"I need you to come to the dance studio." I said in to the phone.
"I need you." And I hung up. I stared at my reflection, so close. My fringe was drenched, my face sweaty and tired. I looked like I'd been through a battle. Which I supposed mentally I had. But it wasn't about me. Amy was right; I was hurting two people I loved, and I couldn't do it any more.
I wiped my face with a towel and sprayed my armpits with deodrant. I gulped down a mouthful of water from the fountain and went over to the speakers, plugging in my phone again. One in a Million - Swiss ft. Music Kidz. Another song I could really dance to. I had time. The only light in the studio was now the moon; it shone through the windows leaving the room in an eerie yet beautiful white blue light.
The floor seemed to lead me as I leapt, rolled and stepped across it; and I couldn't think of any other way. I had to do this. It wasn't going to work itself out.
"Cara?" Sam appeared through the door, her face concerned. "What are you doing here?"
"Would you have a problem with me coming here and dancing with my ex?"
"Amy? No. What's this about?"
"Would you be jealous?"
She sighed and shrugged off her coat, throwing it casually to the floor.
"Maybe a little."
She rolled up her sleeves.
"Because you're special and I couldn't stand you getting hot and sweaty with another woman." She smiled. "What's going on?"
"I want to come and dance here as often as I want."
"And I want to be able to go out with friends without any suspicion."
"You've always been able to do that."
"I want to be able to buy things myself. I want to support myself."
"Cara, you're scaring me. What's brought this on?"
"Tell me how you feel about Anna."
"Anna? What about her...?"
"... I know you said you were jealous. But that's not all. Tell me. Tell me everything. I need to know."
She stared at me incredulous.
"Will you at least answer my questions first?"
"Afterwards, I will, I just, I need to know."
"Alright." She put her hands in her pockets and began. "I've known how she feels for a long time, and it makes me mad. She's known you all your life, and she chose to notice just when I've found you. I'm always worried that the next time you call, you'll be telling me Anna's the one. That you can't be with me any more. I didn't believe a word of what she said last night, because if she loves you as much as she says she wouldn't simply give up. I wouldn't. And I know that one day she's going to make you choose, because I won't. I can't make you do it, and I know I'm going to lose, because she has so much of your heart. You've shared things I couldn't hope to..." Her eyes began watering and she cleared her wavering throat. "I hate her for that. Everything else I like her for. But for having that piece of you, I'm so jealous I can't breathe sometimes. Sometimes I see her look at you and I want to hide you away, but I don't, because I know that would be like tearing you apart, breaking you, because she's part of you. She's a part of you I'll never be able to touch. Happy?" She took a hand out of her pocket and wiped her cheeks free of tears.
"Why didn't you tell me?"
"Because you love her."
"I know you don't believe you love her but you do. Maybe just as a friend, or maybe something more. But you love her and that means I can never ask you to give her up for me. I'd rather have you for as long as I can than hurt you and drive you away."
"Sam..." I went across to her and hugged her. "I spoke to Anna today." She stilled, wrapped in my arms.
"So the questions...?"
"I just wanted to know."
"What did she say."
"That she couldn't see any bond between us while I was still with you."
She pulled away.
"I want you to see something. You said when we first met you'd like to see me dance. We've been together almost eight months, and you haven't seen me dance. Not properly. So I want to show you."
She laughed and shook her head, beginning to cry.
"Cara you don't have to drag this out... I knew you'd leave me..."
"Just watch." I begged.
I hurried over to my phone and pressed play.
It was the most desperate, emotive dance I'd ever done. It was everything I felt, everything I wanted to tell her, everything I was. The song had always made me cry when I hear it, and as I danced now I could feel the tears dripping silently down my face. 'Try' by Asher Book... it told her everything. So I danced my heart out in the moonlight, crying and dancing until the music ended.
I ended, spent, on my knees in front of her. I was staring at the floor, unable to look at her. Had she understood what I was saying? I'd never done this before. I saw her knees hit the floor in front of me.
"Don't leave me. Please." She was sobbing and I looked up, inches from her face. We were both sobbing. "I love you. I love you." She cried and I gathered her face in my hands.
"I'm not leaving you. I'll never leave you..." I kissed the tears on her face as she clung to me. "I love you."
"I thought.... Anna...."
"But she's your best friend."
"I'll talk to her... I have to believe she didn't mean to give me an ultimatum."
"... Let's not talk about that." I kissed her. "But just in case, how do you feel about having a room mate?"
"Come here." She grinned and kissed me. "I've wanted to ask you for ages, but I didn't want to come between you and..."
"...I know. And I've been selfish. I'm sorry."
"No, you haven't..."
"...I have. But thanks for saying that anyway. Right now though, I have to go and try one last time to get my best friend back. Do you want to come with me?"
"No. I think I should keep back. You two need to sort this out together."
"I love you. Give me a lift?"
"Get away car?"
"Possibly." I shrugged. "I'm terrified. What if she says she meant it?"
"Then you keep trying. Don't let her slip away."
"I thought you hated her?"
"No. Just the fact she's in love with you. She's actually a pretty decent person."
I kissed her.
"We should probably get off the floor."
Eyes dry, I entered the house.
"Anna?" I called. She appeared out of the kitchen, but not before Liam and Ali appeared from their rooms.
"Cara, if you're about to do what I think..." Liam muttered.
"Liam, I just need to talk to Anna please."
She looked nervous but she wasn't crying. I took this as a good sign.
"Anna... would you like to do this privately or not?"
"I don't mind. Privately."
I nodded and headed for the kitchen. Ali and Liam moved close to each other in the corridor but did not follow us.
"No Anna, I need to tell you this before you say anything. I understand. I get that I've changed, and I get that I didn't fight for what we had when we were in a relationship. But all of that is in the past. Because right now, I need to ask you a question. Does the ultimatum still stand? Because if it does, I've chosen. But I'd rather not choose, and if you're still going to force me to... well, tell me. Does it still have to be you or Sam?"