I sat nervously in the waiting room, aware of the sterile atmosphere and Anna's fussing.
"Anna, pack it in, I'm fine." I'd declined to eat the food she'd given me, telling her that if she forced me I'd send her home and she wouldn't find out anything.
"Sorry." She muttered and sat back, texting.
The door opened.
"Miss Gramms?" I glanced up and saw a nurse standing in the door way, looking grumpy.
"That's me." I stood and so did Anna. "I'd rather go in on my own Anna."
"You sure?" She asked.
"Yeah. I'll see you in a bit."
"Ok." She sat back down and took her phone out again, watching me as I went through the door before she turned back to it.
"In here." The nurse said and pointed through a door. I went inside and a doctor looked up from her desk at me. She was middle aged and had a smile on her face.
"Hi, you must be Cara?"
"Yes." I smiled and sat down.
"So, what can I do for you today Cara?"
"Well, I've kind of been drafted in to this because my friend thinks I'm ill."
"And why does she think that?"
"Because I'm not hungry, and I've been going to the toilet a lot. And I keep getting cramp in my legs. Oh and she thinks I have mood swings."
"I see. And how long has this been happening?"
"Well, I had mood swings a bit last month, and I do get them still occasionally but I'm controlling them. And the toilet has been for a little longer than that. The cramp happened about the same time. And I lost my appetite a couple of days ago, but I think it's just because my girlfriend is away and I miss her."
"Well you may be right but never the less, you should eat. Has anything else happened recently? Have you been getting nauseous at all?"
"Well I was sick the other night but I think I'd just eaten too much."
"Right. And have you been experiencing any other urinary symptoms, other than needing to go a lot?"
"Um... well... my period has been early a few times. And once I thought it had come but it hadn't."
"Why did you think it had come?"
"Because there was a bit of blood when I went to the toilet. But it was... you know... after sex so I thought it might just be that." I mumbled and blushed through the sentence. She smiled encouragingly.
"Alright. And is there any chance you could be pregnant?"
"Um no. I have a girlfriend."
"And you've not had any sexual contact with men?"
"Alright then. Well Cara, I think these are probably unconnected but they do sound like things we need to look at. So first I'm going to ask if you mind having a blood test?"
"I hate needles."
"It would help if there is something wrong."
"Ok. I'll do it."
"Good. And I think you should take a urine test as well just in case, since you are having problems in that department." She smiled gently at me. "Could you do that now do you think?"
She smiled and handed me a little plastic tub.
"Go in to the toilet and just try to get a bit in there. Then come back and we'll take your blood."
"Ok. Thank you." I replied, although I didn't know why. This was freaking me out. I thought they'd tell me nothing was wrong.
I left my bag and jacket and went out in to the waiting room.
"That was quick." Anna said.
"Not done. Just nipping to the toilet." I said. She eyed the tub in my hand and opened her mouth to a small 'o'. I hurried in and locked the door before she could ask questions.
Tests done I sat awkwardly in the chair again, a cup of water in my hand.
"It's best if you have some sugar after a test." The doctor said as she tapped on her computer.
"My friend has some food, I'll have that."
"Good. Well they should take a few days to come back; we're not busy because it's the holidays. That's the best part about being a university doctors." She winked. "Anyway, we'll give you a call when the results are in and then you can come and find out whether there's anything to be worried about."
"Ok, thank you."
"Make sure you eat something."
"I will." I said, finishing the water. "Thank you."
"Alright you can go now, as long as you're not going to faint."
I laughed lightly and thanked her again before heading out to Anna.
"So....?" She asked.
"She took my blood, she took my pee, and she'll let me know when the results are in. And apparently I have to eat the snacks you brought because it's best to eat after a blood test." I groaned holding out my hand. She triumphantly passed them over to me.
"So, did she say what it might be?"
"She said they're probably not connected but that it was good to check and the toilet thing might be something."
"See, it's best to check!"
"Alright smarty pants." I stuck my tongue out as I bit in to the bar.
"I am. Very smart." She grinned. "So you want me to come back with you? I could cook?"
"No, you go to meet Megan. I know she needs you."
"But so do you-"
"No, I'm fine, really. I'm going to go home, do some cleaning, and then Myra wants to meet this afternoon for some more photos and painting. She says she's got a new outfit picked out for the photos so I shall be a dress up doll all over again."
"Sounds good." She grinned. "Well if you're sure."
"Yeah I'm sure. Go." I shoved her gently as we reached the crossing.
"Ok. Take care. Don't worry, it's probably nothing."
"I know." I smiled a small smile, but I was worried now. "Go on, go meet your girlfriend." I gave her a hug and pushed her away. She waved at me and then I crossed the road, heading home.
I dragged myself inside and collapsed on my bed; Myra had kept me there late tonight. I picked up my laptop, logged on and absent- mindedly found myself clicking on photos. It had been a while since I’d changed my Facebook profile picture, a shot of Sam and I that Liam had taken when we were dancing at her art evening, months ago. I’m curled under her chin, a smile on my face, and she is resting her cheek on top of my head, her lips curled in to such a contented smile that my stomach flips every time I see it. I loved this photo; I should print it and put it in a frame. Maybe for Sam’s birthday… god, I’d forgotten! Sam’s birthday was only a little while away. A couple of weeks after she returned, on the first of August. I would have to plan something. Something special. I’d ask Myra and Lexi what we should do. They’d have some good ideas.
I returned to looking through my photos. There was the album from when Sam and I went to Italy, and I smiled, opening it. Pictures of us sightseeing popped up, Sam in a black strappy top leaning against a statue, pretending to stroke an imaginary beard, of me eating spaghetti, of both of us in our smart gear ready for the first art evening that one of the people at the desk had taken. I sped through them, and found the one where Sam and I were in the pool. She’d very carefully held it as we took photos of us together, in our bikinis, arms around each other in the water. There was another of us kissing in the pool, another and another and another of me laughing, of Sam grinning from her deck chair with her book in her lap. I hadn’t gotten around to putting them on Facebook yet, or any of my more recent ones either. I clicked out of the album and looked at the most recent one. It was a combination of photos from my birthday and Sam’s BBQ. I couldn’t believe it had been that long since I’d uploaded any photos. I looked through them to see if there was anything I didn’t want putting up. My birthday night was good; there were lots of pictures of Sam and I. And for the BBQ I had given my camera to Callum and Liam, so they’d been the ones that had taken the photos. There were lots of Jak, Ali, Anna, Megan, Callum and Liam, all pulling funny faces. They’d got one of me being tickled, and then a couple of Sam and I together, Sam’s arm around my shoulders. I smiled. I hadn’t even realised they’d taken that one. There was another of Sam and I, with Mikey. He was clinging on to Sam like a monkey and both of us were looking at him with big grins plastered over our faces. He was grinning cheekily at the camera, his ‘wand’ in his hand. My mind suddenly flashed back to Anna’s comment about Sam and I having children. I looked at the photo again. The two of us, and a child? We looked so happy…
My phone rang, cutting through my thoughts. The caller id said it was Sam.
“Housewife service, how may we help you?” I grinned.
“Well, that’s a nice way to be greeted. I’m just trying to check up on one of your employees, Cara Gramms? I want to make sure she’s behaving herself and being a good housewife.”
“I’m afraid we can’t give details of our employees to unidentified members of the public.”
“Ah, my apologies. This is Sam Kensington speaking.”
“I’m afraid I’m going to need proof Miss Kensington.”
“And how can I give you that?”
“Well if you could tell us anything about our employee that only we would know, that would certainly prove it.”
“Very well... Cara Gramms likes to sing in the shower, she has an adorable nose, beautiful brown eyes… oh, and when we’re together she moans… a lot.”
I grinned and tried to keep my voice level.
“We apologise if her Miss Gramms has stepped out of line by moaning. Our guidebook suggests that spanking can be used as a punishment by clients on employees.”
“Oh trust me miss, I’ll be spanking Miss Gramms if everything isn’t in order when I return.”
“Very well Miss Kensington. And are there any other requests you have for your return?”
“Well I expect a meal, of course.”
“And it would really help me to relax after my long, hard journey if…”
“If what Miss Kensington?”
“If she were willing to let me make love to her upon my return. I’ve rather missed her you see.”
“Well, Miss Kensington, I’m sure something could be arranged.”
“You’re a tease.”
“Miss Kensington, I have no idea to what you are referring.”
“Miss Gramms, I think you do.”
“Miss Kensington, I miss you.”
“I miss you too baby.”
“I’ve been looking at photos of us from my party, and the BBQ. And the Italy holiday obviously.”
“Nothing. I just missed your smile is all.”
“I miss your smile too baby. But there’s only just over a week left now.”
“I know. I’m counting down the days.”
“Me too. How’s the painting going?”
“Good I think. The photos look nice.”
“I’m not the expert. Besides, Myra won't let me look at the painting.”
“No, but then they are of you. And I can’t wait to buy them. Maybe I'll get to look at them before you do.”
“You are not buying them all.”
“I told you, just the ones I like.”
“That had better not be code for; I’ll like them all.”
“You know me too well.”
“Sam… You can’t spend all your money like that. You have the original, don’t waste money buying copies.”
“Baby, have you ever thought that I don’t want you displayed over a stranger’s mantelpiece? That I want to be the only one who gets to look at you whenever I want?”
“Exactly. So anyway, how are you?”
“I’m ok. You?”
“How’s London? How’s the art world?”
“Hectic. And the art world is cutthroat as usual. But don’t worry, I can hold my own.”
“I know you can. So have you succeeded in stealing some artists to your side?”
“Of course. I had to flirt my hardest but they couldn’t resist in the end.”
“No one could. But save some flirting for me.”
“It’s all for you.”
“I love you.”
“I love you too. I’m going to have to go. I have an exhibition to look at tonight.”
“Alright. Be safe, and steal all of them away.”
“I always do. Sleep well.”
“Not without you.”
“Wear one of my t-shirts. I’ve been wearing yours.”
“Alright. I’ll dream of you.”
“I’ll do the same. Goodnight gorgeous.”
I hung up and dashed away the tears that had formed. I placed my laptop on the bed and padded over to the drawers, pulling out Sam’s baggiest t-shirt and slipping it on. It smelt of her and I hugged myself. Then my phone began to ring again. Anna.
“Have you talked to Sam yet?”
“So? What did she say?”
“You didn’t tell her about the appointment?”
“Cara… she should know.”
“I’m not telling her. She’d just be worried and she needs to be focussed.”
“I still think-“
“-Yeah well it’s my decision.”
“Ok ok. Do you want me to come with you when you get your results?”
“No I’ll be fine.”
“Alright. But I could come by afterwards if you’d like…”
“Ok. Maybe. Depends on how I feel.”
“Ok then. Get some sleep. It’ll be fine. Night honey.”
I hung up the phone and collapsed backwards, narrowly avoiding the laptop. Well, might as well put the photos up on Facebook before I go to sleep…
I chose the one of Sam and I in the pool, grinning up at the camera in our bikinis and sunglasses, wrapped around each other, for my profile picture. Likes began popping up immediately and I grinned softly. Then I closed the laptop and slipped under the covers to sleep.