After my phone call with Cara I rang the others and told them that Cara wanted everyone to come round to hers for a nice relaxed meal and evening together. Ali seemed quite reluctant to come and socialise with everyone and it was with quite a lot of persuasion that I eventually got her to agree to come. I thought that it was slightly odd that Ali didn’t want to come out; it was as though she thought that things would be awkward if she were there which of course is total rubbish as Ali was quite a character in our group of friends who we would be lost without.
The evening soon rolled around and before I knew it, Megan and I were knocking on the door to Sam and Cara’s flat. Sam answered the door, a tea towel thrown over one of her shoulders and wearing a black shirt and some black skinny jeans,
“Hey you two, come in. The others haven’t arrived yet but come up; Cara is in the living room.” Sam said holding the door wide for us both to enter. We followed Sam along the corridor and into the kitchen which was alive with beautiful smells of cooking food.
“I just need to check on the salmon and the potatoes, do you two want to hang up your coats and go and see Cara, she is in the living room on the sofa,” Sam said whilst pulling on some oven gloves and pulling open the oven where the smell of cooking salmon filled my nostrils.
I walked into the living room and spotted Cara sitting cross legged on the sofa, she was wearing a pair of blue jeans and a thin jumper which showed me just how skinny Cara had gotten. I was taken aback for a moment by just how thin she was, she had always hidden it so well before.
“Hey Cara, you okay?” I said leaning down to give her a hug and dropping down onto the sofa next to her.
“Yeah, I’m okay considering…. You know…. Things,” she said shrugging.
“I know. I’m sorry neither Megan or I could donate to you,”
"It's okay. I mean, it's not your fault.” She said.
“Yeah, I know but I would have liked too.” I said.
“Yeah I know,” Cara said.
“Do you know if anyone who got tested is a match?” I asked curiously, looking at Cara,
"Guess we'll find out. Sam was upset when I told her she wasn't."
“I can imagine, she will want to have helped just as much as I did.”
The sound of the front door opening and chatter could be heard and we didn’t need Sam’s shout of, “They’re here!” to guess that Ali, Jak, Liam and Callum, had all just arrived.
“Hey C,” Liam called as he entered the living room and pulled Cara into a hug, “Christ you are getting so thin C!” he commented, pulling Cara to arms length to look at her properly.
“Shut it Liam. Watch the catheter,” Cara said smiling at him, I was glad that I wasn’t the only one who thought Cara was getting skinny.
Ali came in closely followed by Jak and then lastly by Callum. They sat themselves down on the opposite sofa and smiled warmly at Cara.
“Hey Cara, you okay?” Ali asked smiling softly at her. It struck me that Ali wasn’t quite her normal bubbly self tonight but I guessed it might be to do with Cara’s situation. I guessed that she wasn’t a match.
“I’m okay Ali are you?”
“Not bad,” Ali replied quietly smiling at Cara again before shifting slightly in her seat and telling Jak to move his fat bum so she had more room. Liam sat himself down on the chair arm on Ali’s right hand side as there was no room left on the sofa.
“Liam, there is another chair there,” Cara pointed out,
“Yeah but then Megan wont have a seat,” he said pointing at Megan who was also standing as there was no more seats.
“Its okay Liam, you have it….” Megan said but Liam shook his head,
“Nope, mid year resolution, be the gentleman,” he said, “You have the chair, I insist!”
“Well, if you insist Liam,” Megan said chuckling slightly.
“You? A gentleman Liam?” Ali jibed playfully,
“Yeah! It’s my mid year resolution,”
“Since when?” I asked,
“Since my best friend told me she was seriously ill,” he said seriously and that put an end to all joking.
“So….” I said breaking the awkwardness that had filled the air,
“So….” Liam said, “err, How is everyone….”
“Yeah not bad Liam, but Megan and I got our letters today and we can’t donate to Cara so that was a bit of a bummer,” I said.
“I got my letter too,” Jak said, “I’m not a match either,” he said disappointedly, “Sorry Cara.”
“Don’t worry Jak, I…..”
“…But Ali, got hers today too but she wouldn’t say what it was…” Jak continued quickly and everyone turned to look at her. Ali was giving Jak an annoyed stare and didn’t answer immediately but due to all the stares she took a deep sign and said,
“I’m a match,”
“That’s brilliant news!” everyone said smiling but Megan looked serious, looking directly at Cara and fidgeting,
“But what?” Jak asked,
“I can’t do it….” Ali said, “I am so sorry Cara but its personal reasons and I really wish it was different but I just can’t.”
Every smile in the room dropped off faces as they all turned to face Ali looking outraged.
“But what personal problems?” Jak asks her, trying to sound worried rather than annoyed that she was being so selfish.
“None of your business Jak. Look I am really sorry Cara, I really am but can we just drop the subject,” she said the last to Jak who scowled but did not press the matter.
“Dinner!” Sam called from the other room and without saying a word everyone got up and headed towards the kitchen where Sam was laying the table. I held back for a fraction of a second to grab Ali’s arm and pull her aside without the others knowing,
“ Are you okay?” I asked concerned,
Ali nodded quickly, pulled away and headed into the kitchen before I could press the topic, Ali knew that I knew that she was upset about something and I was going find out what it was before the night was out.