Megan stayed at mine on Sunday evening and then left late Monday morning so that she could continue to get things sorted for our trip to America. I was starting to get apprehensive about the trip now that it was fast approaching and was constantly worried that I would not have everything prepared in time. I spent most of the afternoon therefore drawing up a spreadsheet on my laptop of things I would need to do before I moved to America, which included plans for my flat, student finance and what I would do about my little part time job in the shop – resign most probably.
The butterflies in my stomach seemed to ease after I had covered everything I had to do in my spreadsheet and as a reward I went to the local pizza shop and bought myself a pizza to eat, plans to have a pizza and a DVD night formulating in my mind. I bought my pizza and was just tucking into it and watching The Notebook on DVD when the buzzer on my door sounded. Confused as to who would be calling on me this late at night I picked up the phone,
“Hello?” I asked.
There were some deep steadying breaths from the other end of the phone before a woman’s voice sounded. “Anna? It’s Sam.”
Even more confused as to why Sam would be at my door, I pressed the buzzer to let her in and set my front door ajar so that Sam could get inside. I could hear her climbing up the stairs to my flat and hovered by the door, waiting for her to appear there, when she did, it was her smell I caught first. Sam honked of alcohol and was unsteady on her feet, she was wobbling in the doorway and looked like she was about to topple over. I pulled her from the doorway and led her to the sofa and pushed her into it. The nearby light illuminated her face and I spotted instantly that it was tearstained and her face was blotchy, her eyes red.
“Sam? What ever is the matter?” I asked gently.
“Its Cara,” Sam replied slurring her words slightly.
“What about Cara, is she alright? Is she hurt?” I asked panicked.
“No she isn’t alright,” Sam sobbed, tears gushing down her face, I handed her a tissue box which was sitting on a nearby shelf and she pulled a few of the tissues out to wipe her eyes. This was to no avail however as the tears kept flowing.
“What’s wrong with her?” I pressed, unable to keep panic out of my voice.
“She’s ….. she’s…” Sam’s voice cracked and she grabbed more tissues, replacing the used ones on the table in front of her.
“She’s ill Anna, really ill.” Sam said trying to calm herself, but as she was trying to calm down my world seemed to be crashing in.
“What do you mean by ill?” I asked, swallowing a lump in my throat and grabbing a tissue myself to wipe away the tears which had formed in my eyes.
“Her kidneys, they are failing,” Sam explained before bursting into tears again,”
“But when did this happen?” I asked confused as to how this illness could have sprouted from no-where.
“She said she had some tests done whilst I was away.”
“But I forced her to go to the doctors because I thought she was poorly and she told me that it was nothing….”
“Well you know what Cara is like….”
“Yeah, too fucking independent. When you say failing?” I began but Sam, realising what I was going to say cut across me.
“She needs a donor; the doctors are putting her on automated peritoneal dialysis until they can find one.”
“But, that could take months….. what if I offer mine?” I said blinking tears down my face.
Sam grabbed a fresh tissue and was wiping away her tears as she spoke, “I offered mine but Cara said she didn’t want anyone risking their own lives for her, and there is a chance that our kidneys may not be a match in which case we won’t be able to help. Cara and I had a row after because I said I wanted to get tested but she was adamant and she got really angry.”
Sam finished talking and I just sat there unable to say a word, my best friend was ill and she didn’t want anyone close to her helping and I didn’t know what to make of that.
“Well this settles it, I can’t go to America whilst my best friend is ill!” I said, allowing silent tears to trickle down my face.
“No Anna, I think Cara will be pissed off if you cancel because of her, if you have to do anything, just postpone it.”
“Alright, I will postpone it until she is better and I am getting myself tested whether the likes it or not,” I said adamantly, blinking yet more tears out of my eyes. “Do you have a leaflet for getting tested?”
“Yeah, here,” Sam rooted around in her jacket pocket and pulled out a folded leaflet which I took and scanned through.
“I better get back to her…” Sam said trying to get to her feet but wobbling dangerously still,
“How about I get you a glass of water and you crash on my sofa Sam, You are too upset to go anywhere at the moment!” I said, making it sound more like an order than a question that she could refuse.
Sam nodded and I went to get her a glass of water and the spare duvet, my brain addled.
Why couldn’t a plaster cure Cara?
It wasn’t fair!