Saving Kate

Vianne, Kate and Colin have been friends forever. But nothing can last forever, as Kate falls apart and Colin does his best to fix her. But when he fails, Colin's world collapses and takes him with it. Vianne is left with one friend dead and another as good as. Looking back eight years later from Cordoba, Spain, Vianne recalls all this. At the arrival of someone she never thought would look at her again, Vianne finds out that to truly understand the present, you must first know the secrets of the past.

And secrets there are.


5. The Turning Back

Kate was bouncing off the walls, ice cream down her clothes, smeared in sticky, thin puddles on her chin, lips and nose. This was madness. The middle of December and were eating ice cream. Kate was leaping on the couch, springing to the floor, running halfway up the stairs and hollering as she jumps, all in one go to the bottom. I was trying my best to stay out of her way, laughing hard enough to see spots under my eyes, little starbursts, expanding, exploding, invisible to everyone but me. We had wings, felt butterfly wings that were an early Christmas present. Elastic strapped them to our shoulders and secured them to our wrists and we were ready to fly. 

"VEE! Watch this!" Kate was by the stairs, leaping up them two at a time until she reached the top. I was laughing so hard I didn't register what she was about to do. Or did, when she leapt. So when she bounced off the banister and hit the wood back-first at the bottom, I was still laughing,  giggles bubbling and receding with the force of lunar surges. But as soon as Kate didn't immediately stir, a total ebb in the flurry of movement, and a quiet descended,, there was something wrong. Kate had fallen down the stairs, she was hurt, she hit her head, she was-

I was over there next to her, shaking her, too young to know that if she had hurt her neck that that would've killed her. Still so much half in the jubilance and madness of a few seconds ago, I couldn't cry. But I didn't need to - Kate coughed her way out of surprise and eyes flew open, flicking and inhaling. 

"Kate..are you okay? I swear, I thought you were dead. It was really freaky-" 

"That's stupid," Kate laughed. She looked at me, glowing and sure. "I'm never going to die." 

To be honest, as I sat by Kate, who lay at the bottom of the stairs grinning up at me, that was the way it seemed.  A full flight of stairs had been conquered without injury -nothing could take Kate down. 


Except the next several years, which poisoned her like leukaemia, death pumping through her veins.

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