I wiped my face and tried to smile.
"Thanks Anna... I'm not really up for tea right now. But... I could do with a glass of water I think."
"Okay, come on then." I nodded, took a deep breath, and stepped out of the van, closing the door behind me. Pressing my head momentarily to the cool window once more, I let go, and followed Anna up the path.
"Hey." Liam smiled from the counter he was leaning on. "You alright?"
"Dunno." I shrugged. I didn't feel it, but I also felt drained, like I had no more tears to shed.
"After a couple of days with us, you'll forget all your woes!" Jak announced, coming through the door that led to the living room/music room in the basement.
"Or gain some." I added dryly.
Liam chuckled and put his arm out. I slid under it and hugged him. Sometimes I didn't realise how much I'd begun to depend on Liam as a constant. He was the most selfless person I knew, the kind of person I could cry to for hours and still never annoy. I snuggled closer to him until Anna brought me the glass of water I'd forgotten I wanted. I gulped it down and smiled at her.
"Thought you made tea?" Jak asked Anna.
"I didn't want." I explained, returning to hugging Liam.
"Bet they can't compare to Sa-" He stopped.
Everyone looked at me, as if she'd died, and they'd just stepped in it at the funeral.
"Guys... she's... she's not dead. She just... I just... I just didn't want tea okay?" I couldn't really finish anything of the other sentences I'd tried. I sighed and let go of Liam. "I should go unpack."
"No, it's okay Anna, I can do it."
"You sure? I-" There was a knock on the door. Jak went to get it and Megan appeared.
"Hey guys. Cara, how was the move?" She asked, moving towards me sympathetically.
"Alright I guess." I ducked my head. She stopped and smiled gently at me.
"Is Anna here?" She asked glancing round and then starting. "Anna? Oh my god your hair!"
"Do you like?" Anna bit her lip.
"You are so sexy." She grinned and went over to her, catching her round the waist and pulling her in for a kiss. Anna made a satisfied sound, pleased with Megan's reaction. It made me uncomfortable.
"I'm going to unpack." I murmured to Liam and hurried up the stairs away from the kissing. Opening the door to my new room I breathed in the cool, empty air. The window was open to freshen the room, and I looked out the window for a moment to steel myself. Then I turned to the cases.
Unzipping the first my heart stuttered at the neat way Sam had packed my clothes away. She was never this neat herself. Well... she was with clothes but this seemed... different. I would have said it was tender if I hadn't suspected it was actually clinical; her way of removing me from her life. I stroked the line of my blue shirt; I'd bought it in Italy. It was soft, light... Memories of Sam stroking my back through the material swam through my mind and I took a sharp intake of breath. Shaking myself I took a coat hanger from the wardrobe and hung up the shirt. One down.
It was good to sleep in a bed again. Every morning I woke up feeling a little better than I had when I was sleeping on Anna's sofa. And music was filling my days. I'd even got an interview for a job next week, at the club where Lady Lush/Kay worked and we had auditioned. I figured I'd be good at bar work, and at least I knew people there. Plus they'd invited us to play fairly regularly. So I'd be busy very soon, if I got the job. Business was best I figured. It would keep my mind from... thinking.
Friday night everyone was coming to our house for pre-drinks before we headed out. The group slightly smaller than before, but still determined to make it a good night. I stood in front of my mirror unsure of what to wear. And how to do my hair. It was growing fast, and I'd had it cut. It was a kind of bob now, and I didn't think it suited me. But it was only a middle stage. I wanted it long and girly. It was time for a change. Anna had found some extensions for me and I was debating those, or sliding it all back and putting my fake bun curls over it, the ones I had from dancing.
I decided on the extensions and clipped them in. I stared. I looked so different. I blinked, snapping myself out of it, and applied eye liner to the top of my lids. Then I stared at the wardrobe again. What to wear? Anna would kill me if I wore black. She'd been saying, before I snapped out of it, that I looked like someone had died. She'd been trying to help, and I'd had the same idea, so I wasn't offended.
I decided on a dark green body con dress with thick straps. With a push up bra on my boobs looked amazing in it, but I didn't know whether to wear one. It's not like I really wanted the attention. But then maybe... I sighed. I slipped on the bra and the dress, and then pulled my black heels out from the shoe rack. I'd put them on later. I dabbed a little clear lip gloss on and smoothed down the dress. I was nervous. It was my first night out since the break up. I didn't think I could handle being hit on, if that were to happen. Liam had jokingly promised me he'd be my beard, but I was starting to think I might have to take it seriously. But I wasn't drinking, something which was probably for the best, seeing as we were headed to Hype ; the place I had my interview for.
Hearing the door go below, and what sounded like Anna and Megan arriving I decided I'd better go downstairs. If I didn't Anna would only come upstairs to check on me. I grabbed my black clutch and my shoes and took a deep breath.
Here we go.