Anna's reactions and actions were so different from what they used to be. She didn't laugh at my jokes, she didn't understand when I talked about things... it was upsetting. I couldn't tell whether I was more upset for her or about the situation.
I spent the morning with her, and would have spent the afternoon if I didn't have to go and pack her things; her parents were coming to take her home. When I'd collected everything she'd need, I put it in the living room and curled up on the sofa, head in hands. I felt like a part of me was ripped out, had been lost. My best friend didn't know me any more. Maybe if I'd spent more time with her recently, maybe she'd remember...
I had told Sam that last night. She had been so understanding, never said a word until I'd gotten all of it out of my system, then went through each problem and sorted it. And then she had kissed me and held me until I fell asleep. Although sleep had not been easy. I only got a few hours and then I had left to go to the hospital, wearing the same clothes, as soon as Sam was up ready for her run.
"So, have I always been gay?"
"That's a strange question."
"Well, if you're gay, you've always been gay. But you didn't know you were gay until the end of last year, when you came to uni. And I don't think you're a lesbian. I think you're bisexual. You used to like guys anyway."
"Huh. How long have you known you were gay?"
"Only a little longer than you. You didn't like it at first. Then you kissed me..."
"...I kissed you?" She interrupted.
"Yes. And we dated for a few days. But it didn't work. Then you went out with Leanne, and much later I went out with Sam, the one you met last night, and now you're with Ali."
"Wow... how long have I been with her?"
"Not long. About a week."
"What about you and Sam?"
"A couple of months now."
"Do you love her?"
"Are you a lesbian?"
"Yes. I don't like guys, like that. At least, not that I know of."
"Why don't you know?"
"I do really. I don't feel for them. I could never be physical with them. But that doesn't mean I can't find them attractive."
It had been like talking to my old friend, but explaining everything. She knew nothing, but she was still there. Faint, but there. It was... odd. Heartbreaking. It was a conversation we'd never really had before, at least parts of it. That made it even stranger... why had we not discussed this before?
There was a knock on the front door and I heard Liam answer. The sound of Anna's parents, then Anna, echoed down the corridor. I got up to go and greet them.
"Oh Cara, thank you for looking after Anna for us!" Her mum hugged me.
"It's nothing really. She's been in hospital most of the time."
"It must be terrible for you."
I nodded. She had been crying. I guessed it was more terrible for her.
"Does she remember you?" I whispered to her. She shook her head, and a tear escaped her eye. I patted her arm and then smiled at Anna. "Well Anna, this is your university house. And I've packed everything you'll need. It's in the lounge." Her dad went and started putting the bags in to the car. I showed Anna around but she remembered nothing. Ali came out of her room, but she didn't dare do anything. She knew Anna hadn't come out to her parents yet.
I took her hand and squeezed it to give her comfort as Anna was driven away. We'd all come to see her go. Even Sam had skipped out early to come and wave her off.
Anna's face peered out of the window as they went, but she stopped looking before she reached the corner. We didn't know how long it would be till she remembered. But we hoped she'd remember and be back to us soon.
"Do you want me to cook you dinner tonight?" Sam asked, slipping her arm around my waist.
"I think I just need to spend time with Ali actually. She's been hit hard by this. So have I but... well we could do with an evening together."
"You're a good friend." Sam kissed me gently. "I'll see you tomorrow then."
"Tomorrow." I hugged her and she left. I went and hugged Ali, who had started crying. "Come on Ali. Ice cream, chocolate and movies tonight. Cheesy pasta too. All the comfort we could want."