It wasn’t until the next day that we could go visit Mina.
Nick pulled me to his side as he led me and Carly through the hallways to the room they were keeping Mina. Nick was n my right side and I was clutching on to Carly’s hand really tightly - she was surely feeling worser than me. I knew that much. I just wished Cameron or Bruce would support her the way Nick always supports me.
We finally found Mina’s room and Carly gently knocked on the doot., before entering. Nick and me followed her together, Nick’s arm still around me.
Leo, Micheal, Mr. and Mrs. Carter and Cameron were all in the room when we entered. I was surprised to note that Dr. Brown - my doctor - was also in the room, checking up on Mina.
“Carly, Sydney, Nicolas!” Elisa Carter greeted us softly - she knew all of us because we’ve gone to her house on countless occations with Mina.
“Hey Elisa. Leo, Mr. Carter, Cam.” Carly greeted politely, her voice hardening somewhat when she greeted Cameron. They weren’t over their animosity towards each other. They tolerated each other only for my sake - something I pretended to be unaware of.
“Hey, Mi.” I greeted softly, waving my hand at her, after giving a nod of acknowledgement to everyone else. “How are you feeling?” I asked as I stepped away from Nick and towards her.
“Better each miniute miss Blake.” Dr. Brown answered. This got me and him weird glances from everyone besided Carly and Nick. “You’ll be fine. All the doctors are doing everything they can to save your life.” He patted Mina’s head softly, reassuringly. Then he left the room.
I rushed over to Mina and hugged her. I could feel Carly holding her hand on her other side.
“Do you know Dr. Brown?” Leo asked - probably near me - as his parents followed the doctor out of the room. In all fairness, none of my friends - except Carly - knew the extent of my sickness. So obviously they didn’t know how I knew the good doctor.
“Yeah, we’re friends” I said cheerily - I wasn’t going to actually all sad and brooding and make Mina’s feel worse - letting go of Mina and sitting up beside her. Mina raised her eyebrow at me in obvious disbeliefe. “What! We are friends!” I exclaimed, throwing my hands up in exasperation.
Carly laughed at my exasperation, but it was Nick who let them in on the loop. “He’s her doctor too.” He sighed, rubbing his temple tiredly. He was leaning against the wall , right next to the door.
I pouted at Nick for spoiling my fun, or wasn’t like they didn’t know I was sick. They all had been there when I had an attack in California. Or rather, almost all of them. I had completely forgptten about a small someone who was in the room with us and didn’t know anything about I too being sick.
“What do you mean her doctor too?” Well, we had forgotten about him until he spoke up, than is.
All our heads turned to look at Mina’s little brother simultaniously. Everyone had a deer-caught-in-headlights, wide-eyed look. A long pause followed Micheals exclamation.
“Leo, Cam, Mike, why don’t you three go get something to eat. You three have been in my room since morning, you boys must be starved” Mina finally suggested, breaking the silence. “Carly and Sydney will look after me just fine until you all get back.” She added with a pointed look at her big brother.
“Fine. Just stay in bed and don’t get too excited.” He grounded, looking none too pleased with our current arrangements. Still he left with the others - Nick left with them - leaving, me carlyand Mina alone in the room.
At first, me and Carly mostly updated her on the going one at school, all the gossip and everything - Carly was better at keeping track of events more than I was, so she did most of the talking. We didn’t know of Mina knew anything about Leo’s and Daisy’s break up, so we steared clear of that topic - which was the main gossip at school.
Something I hadn’t been expecting she’d ask is how my relationship with Cameron was going. I told her it was the same as always.
Mina was puzzled, like every girl would be, on why I didn’t just go out with Cameron since I cared about him so much anyway. And that is the first time u told her everythinhg there was to be told about Mark - and no, I didn’t tell it to her because she was going to die soon. I told it to her because she is my friend and it is wrong of me to keep deep secrets from her. This was the kind of thinbg that friends had to know. I told it to her because I trusted her with my secret.
I was just finishing up my explanation on why I couldn’t date Cameron - I gave to her the true reason, the one that had nothing to do with Mark - when the boys came back.
Mina was revolted and shocked by my story and was rendered speachless, and tongue-tied when she saw the boys.
“Hey guys! Had a good lunch?” I asked the guys a little too cheerily and my smile a little too bright.
Nick instanty caught me in my lie and narrowed his eyes at me, but the other three didn’t suspect a thing.
“It was fine” cameron agreed with a diamissve wave of his hand. Leo grunted, clearly not satisfied. “Hey man! You are the one that dragged us away before it could be fulfilling, don’t go grunting at us.” Cameroin teased, mock punching Leo in the arm.
“The food in the cafeteria was crap, how do people eat them?” Leo demanded which made me laugh. This was such a dratstic change in roles. It was usually Cameron ggrouching about food being aweful and Leo trying to her him in a better mood. When they looked at me like I was njuts I said so out loud for everyone you hear.
“Oh! That reminds me Mi.” I gaspes, suddenly remembering my deal with my father the other day. “Tommorow I’m going to go back to Australia-” and that was all I got out before they wouldn-t let me continue. Before I could explain everything properly, withbeinbg bombarded with questioned and demands, it was time to leave and I didn’t get a chance to say a proper godbye to Mina.
It was at around Six, I was watching a movie with Dustin and dad. My dad was having a week long leave from work so he was home for the whole week. Mom had yet to come home, Nick went back to work - covering for a colleague and I have no idea where Tania is.
The popcorn we had been eating had run out and Dustin - who had a notion that you just couldn’t watch a movie without popcorn - had gone to thebkitchen to make some more when dad asked me something I hadn’t been expecting.
“So this Cameron fellow, do you like him?” He asked casually, like he’d been asking me about the whether.
I looked at him strangly. “We’re friends dad,” I said in a tone that ‘I wouldn’t be his friend if I don’t like him’.
Dad gave me a look and said, “Don’t play with me Sydney, you know very well what I mean. Do you like him?”
I sighed, leaning my head on my dad’s shoulder. “In a special way? I don’t know. I never felt like this, even with Mark. Maybe because I’m not allowing myself to give him a chance. At least with Mark I knew he loved me and I could reciprocate his feelings. I don’t want to even give Cameron a chance because I’m afraid he’d run away like Mark when he learns the truth. I’m not sure whether what I feel for Cameron is love in the first place.” I ranted, glad to get this off my chest even if it is my father - who’d support me no matter what.
I feel like if I don’t reciprocate his feeling they’d go away and we can continue being friends, but this is a fantasy and nothing more and I know that dad.... I just have no ide what to do anymore.” I sighed, wrapping my arms around my fathers neck and burying my head on his chest.
He wrapped his hand around me soothingly and ran his hand through my hair, to calm me down. “It’s okay to feel confused darling. You are only human.” He said me softly missing the top of my head.
Just then Dustin came back and we went back to watching the movie, our conversation on pause. By ten Tania called to say she was sleeping over at a friends because their study session was going to be held longer. After the movie was over I sent Dustin to bed, tucking him in moms place.
Dad was sitting in the living room waiting for me you come downstairs. He patted the couch, asking me to sit beside him. He had even made my favourite hot chocolate. We sat in a comfortable silence for a few miniutes.
“So is Mark really the only reason you aren’t letting yourself to love Cameron?” My dad asked me.
“I told you dad. I’m scared to find out how he’d react to the other thing. What I’m more scared to get attached dad. That’ll hurt him more than me, won’t it dad?” I asked, having no idea what to think on this matter.
My day sighed, pulling my head to his lap and stroking it gently, in unregistered patterns. “I wish I can do or say something to make everything better again, Sydney. But I can say that if you do love him, then give him a chance. You might find it worthy more than all your worries. Follow your heart Sydney, it’ll never lead you astray.” He told softly, patting my arm with his free hand.