The insistent trilling of the phone dragged Filma from a fitful sleep. She snatched the receiver from the cradle and barked into the mouthpiece.
"Someone better be dead."
"Wishful thinking again, big sister?" Filma smiled and wiped the sleep from her eyes; she switched on the lamp and struggled into a sitting position.
"Just a really bad dream" said Filma. There was a short silence and then Kiara replied, her voice low and suddenly serious.
"What did you dream about?"
"I don't want to tell you, in case it happens" said Filma. She pushed back the duvet and padded across the room, deciding that she might as well make some tea as she was awake.
"Come on Big Sister. Tell me what's up?" said Kiara, her voice was slightly higher and more cheerful. Filma laughed as she clicked the kettle on and lifted a cup from the cup tree.
"Okay, but don't come running to me if you snuff it."
"What do you mean?" asked Kiara. Filma dropped a tea bag into the cup and followed it with a dash of milk.
"I dreamt that you died. You were at home and you went to bed and just didn't wake up." There was almost a full minute of silence before Filma shook herself and tried to smile.
"Great, now I've depressed us! Why were you calling anyway? Do you know what time it is?" asked Filma. She poured boiling water into her cup and poked at the teabag.
"I just wanted to call and let you know that I'm okay. I'm happy and I'm safe and please don't be sad." Filma frowned and looked up from her tea.
"What are you talking about?" No answer. The dial tone interrupted Filma as she called her sister's name again. She pressed the hang up button was about try and call Kiara back when it sprang into life again.
"Kiara?" cried Filma, almost screaming the name into the mouthpiece. There was a sniff and the sound of someone blowing their nose.
"Hey, Filly. It's mum, I'm sorry to wake you but I have some bad news." Filma leaned against the wall, her legs gave way and the frozen ball of lead in her stomach dragged her to the ground.
"What happened?" she whispered. Filma's mother burst into tears, through the choked sobs Filma just managed to hear that Kiara was dead.
"She was staying with us for a few days and complained of feeling ill so she went to bed early. I went in to check on her a few hours ago and . . . and . . ." More sobbing, Filma swiped at the tears that began rolling down her cheeks.
"Kiara's okay. She's safe and happy now, mum." The words were out before Filma could pull them back. The sobbing faded, just leaving behind a few sniffles.
"How do you know?" whispered her mother. Filma considered telling her about the phone call but it would just raise unwanted questions.
"Because she's my sister" replied Filma. She told her mum she'd be over within the hour and hung up. Filma looked down at her phone, she had no idea what had happened but it didn't matter. She smiled a little as she looked at a photo of Kiara on her wall. Filma stood up and winked at her sister before going upstairs to get changed and head to her parents.