Catherina was sitting the couch in her living room. She was looking around with a tea mug in her hands. She loved this house and this whole town really. She had chosen to study her only because they had the course she was interested in but she had grown fond of Delft and didn't think she was ever going to leave.
She lived in a regular town house in a simple street. The living room, dining room and kitchen were all placed in the same area of the house but that made it all the more cosy. Most of the walls were light grey except for one on which she had made a mural painting. She had a plain dark blue couch, and two matching comfortable chairs and there was a soft carpet on the floor. In the centre of the room stood a sixteen foot long robust wooden table with matching chairs. The kitchen was plain and white with only necessities, that really went for the entire house, there was no unneeded stuff. Cat didn't like to much mess around.
She was just contemplating how easy life was for her when the phone rang. She wasn't expecting any calls, not at four in the afternoon. Her girlfriend Amy, whom she had met when she started working at the laboratory, wouldn't be home till six and as far as Cat knew she didn't have any reason to call. She picked up the phone that was on the coffee table in front of her.
"Cat is that you?" A voice on the other end of the line spoke. "Yes Tash, this is me" It was Natasha, one of her best friends "What's up?" Before she had even ended her sentence Natasha blurted out "Rose is here". Cat couldn't help but teas her "Oh, really?"she said with a hint of mischief in her voice. When they were in high school Tash had had a little and short crush on Rose but Cat had never stopped teasing her about it, any chance she got she took. "This isn't funny. She's extremely thin and she looks really sick. I know emotions were never really you thing but I don't know what to do. She needs you, we both need you." The tone of voice and the seriousness of Tash's words directly impacted and Cat sat up straight. "I'll be there as soon as I can" She threw down the phone and got up. She'd call Amy later to let her know where she was, right now she needed to be with her friends. Without a second thought she got in her car and started driving.
After Cat had hung up the phone Tash went to check on Rose. She was vastly sleeping on the bed her arms wrapped around a pillow and a peaceful look on her face. She was almost childlike the way she laid there and Tash was reminded of how beautiful she once had been and still was if you saw past the illness. She was going to help her no matter what it took. She didn't know how yet but Rose was going to be okay. Tash owed her that much and even if she didn't, she loved this woman to death and beyond. It was going to take time but she was sure that with Cat's help, everything would turn out alright in the end.
Tash was physically rested from the nap but still exhausted from all the emotions that had been stirred so she put on the kettle for another pot of tea. She took the same mixture of herbs she had used earlier but also added some sandalwood against depression, she could use that.
When she had been depressed she had also sought refuge in some wiccan customs. She wasn't religious in any way but the recurring nature gave her comfort. She lived by some of the rules, especially one about respecting all things, and believed that Wicca was right about a lot of things. It was Wicca that taught her about herbs and spices. That was the thing she liked most, working with nature instead of against it.
Wicca was there when she needed it and now was such a time, so she decided to make a circle. She drew a circle with some chalk and purified it with some salt. She asked the four guards of the elements to keep her safe while she was vulnerable and then lit a candle.
She then meditated. She shut of her mind from any thoughts and relaxed completely, not caring or worrying about anything for the next twenty minutes. She was only disturbed when Rose mumbled in her sleep and snapped her head up to see if anything was wrong. She blew out the candle and disbanded the circle quickly to get up and see if Rose was okay.
There was pain ridden all over her face. She was still mumbling but I couldn't hear what she was saying. "Rose, sweetie, are you okay?" Not surprisingly there was no reply and Tash tried again "Honey, please wake up" she gently shook Rose's shoulders but she still didn't open her eyes. Tash was starting to worry, the mumbling grew louder and there was now fear on her face as well as pain. She shook her shoulders with more force and repeated her name almost shouting. Tash realized it was pointless, Rose wasn't going to wake up. So instead she sat down on the bed, leaning against the headboard. She took Rose gently in her arms and put her head on her own chest, holding her tight. She might not be able to wake her up but at least she could try to keep the monsters away. This was all she could do for now, so she just lay there and held Rose in her arms. Feelings like she wasn't ever going to be able to let her go.
Rose had calmed down when the bell rang an hour later. The sound startled her and for a second she didn't know where she was or how she'd come here. Then it hit her. She was about to sit up when she realised she hadn't felt so comfortable for a long time, or so safe. Unfortunately Tash had to get up to open the door so after saying sorry repeatedly she got up and opened the door.
Cat stormed in and looked around with a frantic look on her face. She was carrying a plastic back in her hands but now walked over to the kitchen to put it on the counter. Tash smelled the delicious odour of lasagne, her and rose's favourite food. And judging by the bag it also came from her favourite vegetarian restaurant, she still was a vegetarian after all.
They didn't speak. Tash just got some plates and some silverware out and put it on the table. She took some apple juice from the fridge and glasses from a cabinet. Tash sat down at the table and Cat joined her also bringing the food over. Neither of them spoke but they noticed how Rose had made no effort what so ever to get up.
Minutes past and Cat cleared her throat and looked at Rose "Will you please join us at the table while the food is still warm" Her tone made it clear that she wouldn't accept no for an answer so Rose stood up and came over. She reluctantly sat down across the two of them without looking into their eyes. Tash took this as a sign and started dividing the lasagne over three plates. Rose eyed the lasagne in disgust. While Cat and Tash ate she merely played with it with her fork. "Why don't you take a bite" Tash suggested. Rose finally granted her a look but her eyes were so filled with anguish and pain that Tash regretted ever saying anything. Rose stood up "I'm sorry, I can't do this" and without further ado she ran out the door, slamming it shut behind her.
"Let her go" Tash told Cat and she continued eating. Cat was shocked, how could she be so calm and relaxed? Their best friend had just ran out onto the streets while she was so unhealthy and had refused to eat at all besides that. Tash saw that Cat was upset with her and explained her actions "If she's anything like me, she'll be back and I know she is. Just give her some time. She loves us and that we love her, she just has to realise that we want to give her the help she needs. Besides, we're the only ones she has. She'll come back to us". Cat now understood and she too ate her dinner.
They sat in silence while eating their dinner but they both knew they needed to use this time to discuss what they were going to do. Neither of them really wanted to talk, but eventually Tash broke the lingering silence. She told Cat what had happened till now, and how bad she felt for screwing up. Cat agreed what she'd told Rose wasn't clever but she also figured Tash had done all the right things after that. They agreed that they needed to get Rose to eat something, anything, to build up her strength. They needed to help her get back the confidence she had once had. The question that remained was how. They discussed it until the darkness fell and they grew increasingly worried about their friend.
Rose finally came back right before twelve. Tash had been meditating and Cat had started reading all the while pacing. When the bell rang both of them hurried downstairs to the door and they found Rose shivering on the doorstep. Tash pulled her in a hug and guided her upstairs.
Tash made her take a shower while Cat made tea once more. Tash dressed Rose in warm and comfortable sweatpants and a sweater when she was dry. She wrapped her in a blanket on the couch and sat down beside her. Rose put her head on Tash's shoulder and wept again., so overwhelmed with all the love that they gave her and that radiated from them.
Cat came walking to the bed with a tray. There was tea on it but also a sliced apple and some grapes. She looked at Rose expectantly and put the tray down next to her hand. Rose knew what they wanted from her but she couldn't bring herself to eat. Eventually Tash took one of the grapes and ate it, showing her that it was okay, she had had the same problem but she had learned that eating isn't a bad thing. Tash picked up a second grape and put it in Rose her hand. "It's alright to eat sweetheart. Your body needs food to work and besides, you're beautiful, you don't need to lose any weight". Rose than reluctantly ate, but at least she ate. For now that was all that mattered, getting some nutrients in her body to make her more healthy.
When she had finished the tray tears of joy were running down Tash's cheeks. She considered this great progress. They had a long way ahead of them, but it was a good start. She pulled Rose tight against her chest and held her, once again wondering how it was possible to love someone that much.
They fell asleep with tears in their eyes and heavy thoughts on their minds, but all could wait till tomorrow. For now they were going to sleep, for it had been a long day. The last thing on Tash's mind was a happy one; The triquetra they had formed in high school, her group of best friends, was back together. And this made her extremely grateful, not to mention happy.