A comforting glow began to break through my eyelids and I smiled. Movement against my the skin of my arm focussed my mind and I realised that Sam was lying half on top of me, her breath tickling my back and her arm draped across my back and on to my arm. She stirred again, and this time I felt her wake up. I grinned and tried to remain still. I felt her kiss my back gently then move her head, and then she stilled.
“Oh my god.” She whispered and I frowned. What?
“What’s wrong?” I murmured, stirring myself to open my eyes fully. The light broke in and I blinked. “Ahhh, no… light.”
“Nothing’s wrong baby.” Sam whispered, kissing me again, this time on the shoulder. “I just think I may have gotten a little carried away last night.”
“Why?” I groaned, unable to turn over because she was on top of me. She chuckled softly and kissed me again.
“How do you feel about hickeys?”
“What?” I gasped, awake fully now. She moved and I rolled in to a sitting position. “Where?”
“Mmm, here,” She murmured, kissing the back of my neck, “and here,” she kissed the side of my neck and came in to view. I laughed at her; her hair was messed up and her eyes were flirty, but the giant bruise at the base of her neck stood out like a sore thumb.
“What?” She grinned, kissing me and sighing.
“I don’t think it was only you that got carried away.” I chuckled, noticing her left breast had a bite on it too.
“What..?” She said and looked over at the mirror on the other side of the room. “Christ Cara! I’m deformed.” She touched them gently, mouth open in horror.
“I apparently like to mark my territory.” I smirked and dragged her face back to mine. “Kiss me again.”
“You know I have a reputation to uphold right?” She said before obliging and kissing me. “And you are definitely bad for business. Although I have to admit, having you on that desk was fucking sexy.”
I chuckled against her lips.
“You wouldn’t have me any other way.”
“And I hope you stay this way forever.”
“What?” She murmured, still against my lips.
“What day is it?”
“Sunday.” She kissed me again. “Why?” I remembered. Today I had to tell her. I looked at her smiling face, saw it dropping, and saw her brow furrowing. It was then I realised that my cheeks were getting damp. “Baby? Cara what’s wrong?”
“Did you have a perfect birthday?” I asked, reaching up and stroking her hair from her face.
“The best birthday I’ve ever had. Is that what this is about?” I shook my head, biting my lip and looking down at the bed, clasping my hands. I’d thought about telling her so much but I hadn’t thought how I was going to tell her. How was I going to tell her that how we had been living couldn’t continue? I didn’t know what I’d have to do, and I didn’t know how it was going to affect her. “Cara, please tell me.”
“I’m not very well.”
“You feel sick? Do you feel like you’re going to throw up?”
“No, Sam, that’s not what I mean.” I stopped her, taking her cheek in my hand and shaking my head. “Baby, do you remember when you were in London and I said I’d had tests done?”
“You told me it was nothing.” She said. “Please tell me it’s nothing?”
“I can’t.” I whispered, my voice cracking. Then the tears were building hot and heavy in my eyes, and Sam’s face was blurring. “It’s bad Sam… it’s really bad.”
“Cara…” I blinked, rubbing my eyes to rid me of the tears but they just kept being refilled. Sam’s fingers made their way through my hair until she was holding my head, and her forehead was on mine. “What is it?” Her voice was breaking, and I reached forward, almost blindly, to put my hands in her hair too, and went to kiss her. It was wet, trying to kiss her with my tears running everywhere, and after the first one she tried to pull away. “Baby…”
“Please…” I whispered. “Please.” She paused and I went to kiss her again. She didn’t stop me, but she didn’t respond either. “Sam please…”
“What is it?” She asked from beyond the watery shield of my eyes.
“My kidneys. They’re failing.”
“But… you’re nineteen… you can’t…” She started, disbelief flooding her voice.
“I can. The doctor called. He said I need to go in tomorrow for a consultation. They’ll put me on dialysis, look for a donor…”
There was a pause and I wiped my eyes, looking down at the bedding. I’d said it now and there was no going back. She knew; my perfect, beautiful Sam knew everything now. I wished I hadn’t remembered so early…
“Why didn’t you tell me?”
“I wanted your birthday to be perfect. I didn’t want you to have to worry about me on your day.”
“But you’ve been struggling with this on your own… wait, have you told anyone? Does Anna know?”
“No. No one. Except Kate.”
“Kate? You told my ex-girlfriend?” She sounded mad.
“She works at the hospital Sam. She saw me there and found out!” I replied.
“She didn’t tell me.”
“I made her promise she wouldn’t. I didn’t want you to have to… I just wanted you to be happy on your birthday.”
We sat there for a while and I don’t think either of us realised we were still clinging on to each other. I continued to cry silently until I’d gotten everything out of my system and then put my forehead against hers and sighed.
“Are you going to die?” She muttered and I opened my eyes to see her, tears streaming down her face like they had been on mine, and her eyes fixed on me like I was going to slip out of her grip.
“I don’t know.” I whispered and a new wave of tears burst from me.