We all trailed out of the cinema after the film feeling thoroughly starving and so all decided to dive into the nearest restaurant which happened to be an Indian restaurant. My flu seemed to be subsiding so as I was hungry I ordered a mushroom Kashmiri with egg fried rice and half a cider. The others ordered similar before sitting down at a table set for five.
“You know, I have really enjoyed our girly night and day together, its been such good fun!” Cara enthused taking a sip of her Bacardi and Coke.
“Yeah me to.” Ali said grinning toothily and rubbing her hands together as the waiter returned carrying our meals. “Goodie, this looks good enough to eat,” Ali said stupidly.
“Good thing you are eating it then” I said simply before tucking into my own meal which smelt incredible. We all sat in silence for a few minutes, just savouring the taste of our curry and taking in the ambiance in the restaurant. A cough broke the silence and I looked up to see Sam taking a sip of water, her face red.
“Too spicy for you?” I asked.
“Maybe I shouldn’t have got a Chicken Vindaloo, its so spicy,” she breathed, her face looking as though she was about to breath fire. She took another gulp of water.
“Oh Sam. What are you like?” Cara cooed pulling her close and kissing her affectionately. I shifted my gaze back at my plate of curry, trying to ignore the burning anger in the pit of my stomach which tried to overwhelm me when I was Cara and Sam being affectionate. Despite my conversation with Sam about sorting it out I still felt as though Sam held all the cards, for one thing she had Cara at her beck and call, for another even if Sam was in the wrong I was positive that Cara would find some way of defending her and making her out to be the vulnerable one in the situation. I couldn’t get back to the way I was with Cara before university…. Before Sam. That closeness was gone, and every time we even got close to normality there would be something standing in the way. My feeling, her feelings, Sam’s jealousy, there would always be something.
“I, um, just need to pop outside. I think my mum’s trying to ring me” I lied, making an excuse to leave the table quickly. I wasn’t sure whether Cara believed me or not but she let me leave without saying a word. I leaned against the cool brick building and let a tear trickle down my face, this was getting ridiculous. I had sorted it with Sam, so why was I still feeling so cut up and miserable, longing to feel Cara’s lips on mine, feel her body pressed up against mine, feel the love that I knew was there somewhere.
I inhaled the smoke from the smokers nearby and felt a small sensation of relaxation flit across me,
“Excuse me,” I said walking over a guy nearby who had just sparked up, “Do you have a spare?” I asked gesturing at the packet of fags. He offered me one reluctantly, obviously thinking that I should buy my own instead of scrounging off other people. “Can I use your lighter too please,” I asked politely, putting the cigarette between my lips.
The man handed me the lighter and I lit the end of the cigarette, inhaling the smoke and feeling a sensation wash over me that I hadn’t felt in a long while. Calmness. It was the same sort of calm you got before a storm, but for me the storm was already upon me. I walked back to the wall where I was leaning and savoured the taste of the cigarette. That was until Megan came out of the restaurant to look for me.
She peered around, spotted me and hurried over.
“Anna, what are you doing?” she asked a calm caring tone in her voice, “This isn’t the way you know, bottling up your emotions only make it worse when you do let them out. Now hand me the cigarette.” She said reaching out her hand and taking the cigarette off me. I didn’t resist but instead let the unshed tears fall. Megan dropped the cigarette and put it out before pulling me into a hug and murmuring words of comfort in my ear. She led me to a nearby chair and lowered me into it before squatting down in front of me.
“Tell me what you’re thinking…” she asked gently, stroking my hand.
“I’m thinking that I am like a little lost lamb with no-where to go. I’m thinking I can’t let go, I can’t move on from her and even though I have talked about this to Sam and it seemed as though we had sorted it I can’t help feeling as though as soon as she clicks her fingers, she gets her way. I am finding that I can’t get back to the way I was with Cara because I am treading on eggshells trying to upset Sam. I’m thinking that I don’t want to love Cara; I want to just see her as my best friend again but it’s like there is a brick wall stopping that from happening.” I put my head into my hands and let the tears fall thick and fast.
“Have you told Cara this?” Megan asked.
“Yes. But last time she went all ape shit at me…” I said remembering when she had vented her anger at me when I was in hospital. “Megan I feel so lost.”
I felt Megan’s hands move my hands away from my face and raise my chin so that I was eye level with her. “You are never alone Anna.” She said simply, wiping a tear away from my cheek where it had trickled down moments before. “Never.” She said shaking her head.
She tilted her head and pressed her lips firmly against mine, I responded by wrapping my arms around her and pulling her closer. Her lips were smooth and tasted of raspberries (and nothing like the last time we had kissed when I was covered in garlic sauce.) it was a different kind of kiss, more serious, passionate and loving. It seemed to go on for an eternity. My heart was beating very fast, my brain screaming its approval, telling me that Cara wasn’t who I needed at this point in time. It was Megan.
Our lips parted and I looked at her.
“Do you see what I mean now? You are never ever alone Anna.”
“I understand. Come on now, we better get back inside before they wonder where we have got to.”
“Yeah, and our curries will be getting cold.”
I laughed and clasped Megan’s hand in mine as we walked inside, feeling a lot happier than before. Before we reached the table however I pulled Megan to one side, “Umm, listen. Don’t mention the kiss or anything to the others yet. I want to see how it goes.”
Megan giggled, “Does that mean we are together now?” she asked blushing slightly.
“If you want to be?”
“I wouldn’t have kissed you otherwise you twit!”