The van ride back was silent, no-one spoke, allowing Cara to come to terms with what had actually happened. She stared unblinkingly out of the window, silent tears coursing down her face as we drove. I kept glancing at her as we drove as though if I didn’t she would just disappear, I suppose it was just the sheer shock of seeing her so upset, I couldn’t quite take it in.
Gravel crunching under the van indicated our arrival, yet no-one got out the van for a moment or two, as though we were waiting for someone to give us permission.
“Cara….?” Liam said gently, “We’re here,”
“Yeah I know, I’ll be out in a second….” Cara murmured, still not taking her eyes away from the window she had been staring out of.
“We’ll get your bags out and start taking them up for you C,” Liam said getting out of the passengers seat, I followed suit and clambered out of the van into the warm sunshine.
“Hey Jak, where is Ali?” I asked as we grabbed a suitcase each from the back of the van and started pulling them towards the house (thankfully they had wheels).
“Well she was going to come with but she realised she had a meeting with a university guidance representative about next year and what will happen, what with a baby and all,”
“Ahh, I see, does the university not have a nursery or something?” I asked.
“Yeah it does….” Jak stopped mid sentence as we reached the stairs and tried to decide the best way to carry the case, “What does Cara have in these?” I moaned as he lifted the case up into his arms and began to ascend the stairs.
“Everything including the kitchen sink at a guess, and by the way Jak is complaining,” I heard Liam reply from right behind me,
“Where’s Cara?” I asked him,
“Still sitting in the car at the moment,” he said sadly before repositioning the suitcase he was holding in his arms. We reached the top of the stairs, turned right down the corridor and Cara’s new room was right at the end. A ‘Welcome’ banner made out of four a4 sheets of paper taped together hung above the door, obviously to try and make Cara feel at home.
“Who made that?” I asked guessing the answer, I had recognised the writing,
“Ali made it. Since getting pregnant she has become very artsy,”
“Aww that’s really sweet, Cara will love it!”
“You need to see what else she has made, she has been watching youtube videos teaching her how to do origami. She is either really bored or the hormones are affecting her because I am sure she wasn’t like this before!” Jak said with a shrug, “I suppose it keeps her out of mischief!”
I grinned as I imagined Ali making little origami dragons in her spare time.
“Where should we put these then?” I asked,
“Just dump them on the bed, I am sure Cara will want to unpack them to her satisfaction later,” Liam said, as Jak gently placed the suitcase he had been holding onto the bed and gave a sigh of relief.
“If she ever gets out the car that is….” Jak said,
“Give her a chance Jak, this is a big change for her and I don’t think its sunk in yet,” I murmured, “Anyway, I can coax her out with a cup of tea.”
We all headed back downstairs and into the kitchen, I peered out the front facing window and could still see Cara sitting in the car, head against the window, tears running down her face. She always put on such a strong façade but inside she was this delicate little flower. I knew why she acted so strong and part of it was because in the past I hadn’t been so she had to be strong for the both of us but now it was different. Cara was fighting her own battle and it was one of the hardest she would ever have to fight and because of this, I have to be the strong one, to help her, and right now more than anything, what was needed was a cup of tea and her friends around her to support her through this.
I headed into the kitchen and flicked on the kettle, leaning against the worktop as I waited, Liam and Jak were sitting at the kitchen table neither of them saying a word.
“Oh guys, you will never guess who tried to butter me up this morning and get back in my good books,” Liam said, a sarcastic laugh coating his words.
“Who?” I asked interestedly
“Amanda, the nerve of her!” Liam said, “She said that she missed me and she was so sorry for hitting me with my guitar and that she ‘really loved me’, so I forgave her….”
“YOU DID WHAT?” Jak and I shouted shocked that Liam could be such an idiot,
“I forgave her…..” he said but there was something in his tone that made me think otherwise. I stared him out and he broke into a grin.
“He’s bullshitting us!” I shouted triumphantly pointing at him,
“Of course I am bullshitting you, why the hell would I even dream of forgiving her! Just trying to lighten the mood slightly and it worked,” Liam said laughing at the fact that Jak and I had fallen for it.
“Ha ha ha, very funny Liam you dick!” Jak said giving him a playful punch in the arm which Liam blocked and the two began to wrestle,”
“It’ll end in tears if you two aren’t careful!” I called just as the kettle clicked and I poured some hot water into a mug and began to make Cara a cup of tea . Jak and Liam were now wrestling with each other down in the living/band room.
Tea made, I headed out of the house and towards the van where Cara was still sitting. I knocked on the window which made her jump and look my way so I opened the door and lifted the mug up so she could see it.
“I’ve made you a cuppa … come inside Cara.”