Sam was waiting outside for me, her head in her hands. I watched concerned as she ran her fingers through her hair and then glanced up to see me. Her eyes were red, as though she'd been rubbing them, or crying.
"Is she alright?" She asked, and I felt my heart squeeze involuntarily. She was asking about Anna, despite all that had been between them, and how she was obviously feeling. I sat down and lay my head on her shoulder.
"She'll be fine. She wants me to get her some clothes from the house. Are you alright?"
"Yes... No? It's just a lot to deal with Cara."
"I know, I'm sorry. I don't know how to change it... I don't know how to make this better."
"You can't. I know that, but I just don't know how to cope with it. I'm sorry."
"Is there anything I can do?" I took her hand and squeezed it. She laughed slightly and shook her head.
"No. I just need to get a hold of myself."
"You don't always have to have it together you know." I stroked her hand and shifted so that she could lay her head on my shoulder instead. "We can talk about it tonight, if you'd like."
She laughed again.
"That's what it's come to? Alright, I'd like that. You know I never thought we'd be like this?"
"Discussing our problems at night over a drink."
"Are you disappointed?" That same vice that had choked my heart earlier returned, along with it's friend worry. Sam looked up at me and slowly shook her head.
"No, I'm not disappointed. I'm just in love with you." My heart clenched and I smiled, kissing her forehead and leaning my head on hers.
"I'm in love with you too."
"I brought your clothes, and your laptop and phone charger too." I said, laying the bag on the chair beside Anna's bed.
"Thank you." She smiled. "So do you want to watch a film, because apparently there's one coming on in about five minutes." She pointed at the t.v and looked expectantly at me.
"Um, actually Anna, I have to... I've kind of promised Sam we'll talk."
"Talk? About what?"
"Oh you know, stuff."
"Trouble in paradise?" She asked and I detected the faint tone of hope in her voice. I shook my head.
"No. We just have a lot to prepare."
"We're going on holiday in two days."
She stared at me.
There was an awkward silence before Anna said:
"Well, ok. Have a nice chat."
"Thanks. Enjoy the film."
She nodded and turned on her side. I knew I'd upset her a little, but it couldn't be helped. And right now I realised that Sam was more upset than she'd been letting on, and it was my turn to listen to her.
"I'm all yours." I said, flopping on to the sofa and smiling at her. She nodded and took a deep breath.
"I told you, when we were in the dance studio, about how I feel about Anna. And it's true, I do both know and accept that she has a part of you I will never have. But it doesn't mean it doesn't hurt to think about it. And seeing how much Anna was hurt by us... by you choosing me... I just wonder whether you'll ever be like that with me?"
She sighed and laid her head down on my lap, stretching herself over the sofa.
"Sometimes. But then sometimes I catch the way you look at her and it's like she's glass, and you're the thing that holds her together."
"Sam, she's always been in my life... and she's been through so much that I've had to be with her through. And you saw her, at the moment she basically is as fragile as glass. But there's something different with you. With her and my other friends, even though she is my best friend, there's this similarity, this constant similarity. With you... with you I feel like you're the thing that holds me together, and at the same time I feel like I've already shattered, because everything I used to know before you... it's not enough any more. What used to be me has changed, because I've found that extra piece that has always been missing. Am I making any sense?"
She kissed me, first on my lips, then my nose, my hair, my lips again....
"God I love you. You're making sense... complete sense."
I kissed her back and we held on to each other desperately, relieved we had shared everything.