We sat in silence for a few moments, or maybe it was half an hour, I couldn’t tell as the atmosphere in which we all sat was horribly icy and I could be sure that it could be sliced with a butter knife. I took a slurp of tea for something to do, I couldn’t think, my brain was in overdrive over that fact that Cara was seriously ill. I wanted to cry, to show how much her refusing to let those closest to her help was affecting us all but for some reason it didn’t feel as though it was my place to cry, or to show any emotion at all so I just stared at my shoes.
“When’s your appointment?” I asked to break the silence.
"I just said... tomorrow morning." Cara muttered, not looking at either one of us.
"But when tomorrow? Only I think we should come with you, or if not both of us, one of us should." I said, trying to convince her in the tone of my voice that I had her best interests at heart.
Cara looked up at me and frowned before muttering, "What, so while I’m having my op you two can go get tested? Don't think so." There was still a note of anger in her voice which made me recoil slightly, it was an anger which I had never heard in her voice before, it was quiet but firm.
I didn’t let this anger detract from my own feelings of anger and frustration however and said angrily and with as much confidence as I could muster, "Cara, no matter how much you argue the point, Sam and I have already decided to get tested so you may as well get used to the idea and stop being so egocentric and childish!" I folded my arms and glared at her.
"Anna, I'm too tired for this okay?" Sam moved forward concerned but Cara shooed her away. *I don't want either of you being tested for this. I can't ask you to give me a kidney. And I won't accept it either. But if you two are going to continue to fight me on this then I'm going to leave, because to be honest, I'd rather spend the rest of my day dealing with everyone else I have to tell, than the two of you who for some strange reason have suddenly decided to become best friends." All the fight had gone out of her voice now and she gave an almighty sigh, placing her head in her hands.
"Cara, can’t you see it from our view though? We both want to help and you are pushing us away?" I implored desperately, "I get your perspective Cara I really do, you are trying to protect us from harm but what if all we want to do is protect you from harm? How can we protect you from harm if you won’t even let us try to help?" I said very calmly, as though I was explaining to a child why what they did was wrong and why they were now being punished.
"Don't patronize me Anna. Don't talk to me like I'm a fucking child." Cara stood up "I don't want you to protect me from harm. Either of you." Cara looked over at Sam. "I get why you went and got drunk, I get that you crashed here. But I'm still pissed you told Anna before I could. Try to keep the information to yourselves, both of you, until I've managed to tell people. Okay?" She grabbed her bag and went to leave, but as she headed towards the door Sam stood up.
"Cara, at least let me go with you. I know you're mad, you have every right-"
"-Yes, I have every right. I know that thanks Sam." Cara glances back at me, and then at Sam. "I'll see you at home. Maybe." And with that she leaves the house, slamming the door behind her.
Sam went to come back inside, looking downbeat but I shook my head,
“Grab your coat!” I said unhooking mine from the peg and grabbing my keys. Sam obliged and by the time we had made it outside Cara was just rounding the corner at the end of the street.
I slammed my door shut and it locked instantly, Sam had ran ahead and I caught her up in mere seconds. We were running flat out to catch up with her, Cara must not know that we were running after her otherwise I was sure we could have quickened the place but as she slowed to a walk we caught up. Sam put her hand out and touched her arm and she stopped in her tracks.
"Cara, please don't go alone. I can be there when you tell them."
"I don't need your help."
"Cara, you don’t have to do this alone!" I said, trying to catch my breath back.
"Well maybe I want to. Thought about that?"
“But why? It makes no sense!”
"Please Cara, you need help. You're tired already."
"Yeah and whose fault is that? I'm up almost all night crying, worrying, being angry, and then I get here and the argument has to start all over again because you went and-" Cara suddenly grabs a nearby lamppost for support and starts breathing very heavily.
“Cara?” Sam and I said together, Sam walks forward and grabs hold of her arm,
“No, leave me be.”
“But you need to rest,” Sam argued.
"I can sleep on the operating table." Cara countered, I was surprised that she could still muster up the energy to argue when she's so weak.
“And until then you’re what? Just going to drain all your energy, that won’t help you girl believe you me. Cara listen to me, I have been there, I have tried running on empty and it gets you nowhere! Do you remember how I was when I was starving myself?” I said, now crouching down in front of her and trying to make her see some logic.
"Yeah well that was your own stupidity. This is something I can't control." Cara rubs her eyes. "Sam, can you please walk me to the taxi station round the corner? I'd rather not walk."
"Why don't you wait with Anna? I'll get my car, drive you-" Sam suggested but Cara cut across her,
"I don't want... Okay. Okay fine. I give in."
Cara lent onto Sam, gripping her coat tightly for support,
"I just want to tell them... Get it done."
"I know baby." Sam murmurs.
"Look, there is a bench over there, why don't we sit over there whilst Sam gets her car and then when she gets here we can all go together?" I suggested.
"Anna you don't have to come."
“Please, I want to?” I implored a strange feeling in my stomach, my best friend was pushing me away and there was nothing I could do to help her, to make her see that all I wanted to do was help.
"Perhaps it'd be best Cara." Sam says.
"No, really. Anna, you should tell Megan for me."
Cara sat down on the bench and looks down at her shoes as Sam looks at Cara and then at me with a last hopeless look and before jogging off to get the car.
"Anna, don't make this any harder than it is. I don't want crowding. I'll make Sam stay in the car. And you can find Megan, tell her for me"
“Why don’t you want us there?” I asked, feeling dejected, all I wanted to do was help and she was pushing me away.
"Anna can't you see I'm tired? I don't want to talk about this now."
“Please Cara; please just let me help you. I am your best friend. You helped me and now it’s my turn to help you!” I said allowing one small tear to trickle down my face before I wiped it away.
Cara gets unsteadily off the bench and turns to face me, "it would have helped if you'd stopped when I asked." Cara said, tears now running down her face, before she turns and runs into a nearby shop.
Sighing I get up off the bench but do not follow Cara but instead head back to my flat, silent tears trailing down my face. I felt as though my heart had physically broken, was I being selfish to feel like this? My best friend did not trust me enough to let me help, she didn’t want me there for support and I just felt lost and miserable. I locked the door behind me and clomped up the stairs and into my flat before throwing off my coat and falling onto my bed, the tears falling thick and fast down my face.