"I'm nervous Anna." I admitted as we stopped in front of Pieces. It was almost dark; after Costa we'd gone for food and then stayed chatting in a bar. It was later than I should have been back but I hadn't drunk, so I knew I'd be able to fall straight to sleep.
"You'll be fine. Nothing to worry about. Your mum will be with you, well, close anyway, and Sam... and then when it's over I'll come and visit."
"Okay." I smiled and hugged her. "Thanks Anna."
"Being a good friend." She shoved me gently and told me to stop being soppy. "Alright alright. Night."
I headed down the alley and up the stairs, happy to be able to collapse in bed and sleep.
“Cara… can you come here for a minute?” I heard Sam call as I closed the door and hung up my jacket.
“What’s up?” I came in the bedroom and found Sam sitting in bed, knees to her chest. She looked upset. “Hey, you okay?”
“Cara, what is this?” She lifted up her hand and…
“Where did you get that?”
“The paper bin in the living room. Why was it in there Cara?” She was gritting her teeth and there were tears in her eyes.
“I… you… does it matter?”
“Of course it matters!” She slammed her letter on the table and threw her legs over the side of the bed in one motion. “I was compatible? I could have given you a kidney?!”
“You’re blowing this way out of-“
“-Oh no. I don’t think I am.” She put her head in her hands. When she looked up at me again her eyes were angry and tearful. Tear lines streamed her cheeks.” Why didn’t you tell me? Why did you hide it away from me?”
“I didn’t want you t-“
“- Oh you made that very clear.” She replied, the muscles in her jaw contracting in odd ways. “You’ve made it very clear over the last couple of weeks that you don’t want me. You keep pushing me away, screaming, ignoring me… How am I supposed to react huh Cara? It’s obvious you don’t want me around.”
“Oh don’t make this about you. It’s so hard on you, having to live with me going through all this? I’m sorry if my kidney failure got in the way of your happily ever after housewife ideal!” I snapped.
She stood abruptly, fists clenched at her sides.
“I never complained, not once! You can’t blame everything on your illness Cara, not everyone going through something like this acts like a spoilt brat!”
“Oh so now I’m spoilt!? I’m not the one who grew up in the high life Samantha!”
“Don’t be so childish. My life before I met you has nothing to do with this. Just because for some insane reason you thought it was okay to hide from me the fact that I could have saved you…”
“… I don’t want you to save me!” I yelled.
“You’ve made that clear!” She sobbed. “Why Cara? I was only trying to help. Why couldn’t you let me know that there was a possibility I could help?”
“I can’t take this anymore, this suffocating mess!” I screamed, crying.
“Suffocating?” She pulled back, her mouth aghast, her eyes furious. “I’m suffocating because I wanted to give my kidney to the woman I love? The only person I’ve ever-“ Her sob sucked in her breath and the rest of her sentence was lost as she stared at me, hand now at mouth to hold back the rant.
“I can’t do this.”
“What do you mean?” She asked, running the hand which had been at her mouth through her hair, rocking forward on the balls of her feet in agitation.
I shook my head and went to the bed, pulling my suitcase from under it. She watched me nervously, crying, rocking back and forth and then becoming very still as I grabbed some of my clothes from the wardrobe, flinging them in to the bag.
“Cara, what are you doing?” I ignored her, piling more clothes in to the suitcase. “What are you doing?!” She yelled as I went to go past her to get my things from the drawer. Her hand grabbed my wrist and I yanked it from her sharply.
“I can’t do this Sam! I’m going.”
“What?” Her voice had lost its edge now; there was a tremor there that made her sound like she’d just been told the worst news imaginable. “No…”
“I never wanted your kidney; I never wanted you to do that for me. And I’m not going to sit here the night before I get a kidney and listen to you yell at me because I didn’t tell you that you were a match!” I kept moving backwards and forwards between the case and my things, piling everything in.
“You threw away the letter, you knew…”
“-And I didn’t want you to!”
“Why?” She asked, sitting on the bed as I threw the last of my underwear in the case and tried to shut it.
“Just because okay?” I pulled the suitcase from the bed and started towards the door.
“Why didn’t you want me to know?!” She cried, grabbing hold of the suitcase handle to stop me.
“Sam let go!”
“No! Tell me!” She glared.
“I’m leaving!” I yanked the case from her and pulled it towards the door, grabbing my phone and purse from the side.
“Cara don’t go please! Please please don’t go… we need to talk, we need to work it out…” She cried, following me down the hall.
“Maybe I don’t want to work it out!” I cried, rounding on her. “I’m done Sam!” I watched her face fall, her eyes filled with tears and it broke my heart but I had to stick to my resolve. “I’m done.” I repeated, grabbed my coat and keys and walked out of the flat, slamming the door behind me. Her sobs followed me down the stairs but I pressed on, in to the night.
I pressed the buzzer and waited for a reply, sniffing and feeling tears begin to fall.
"Anna it's Cara... let me up?"
"Cara are you okay?"
"Will you just let me up please?"
The buzzer went and I headed upstairs, but the door opened before I got there.
"Cara? You're crying... what's happened?"
"I... I just broke up with Sam."
"I- I don't want to talk about it. I just need somewhere to crash." I sniffed again and then the flood of tears began to pour from my eyes. I dropped the handle of my suitcase and let Anna hug me hard.