Status: Active, updates may be very slow though, but bare with me

Shoulder to Shoulder


Once Elena had been relieved of the weight of submitting her dissertation, she quickly returned to her old self. Most of all, she was excited about returning to London, her time in Norwich had ended, and despite the bitter taste that thought left in her mouth, she was proud of herself.

“To us!” Lila called, as the five housemates all clinked glasses. They’d organised to have dinner together a few days before they all went their separate ways. Lila and Elena were going back to London; Susie was moving to Spain; Millie was going to Manchester and Rachel was going back home to Birmingham. It really was the last time that they’d all be together for the foreseeable future.

Perhaps it was the wine talking, but as soon as Lila started making an impromptu speech, tears were rolling down her cheeks. “It’s just…I’m really going to miss you guys. I love you all so much!”

Setting off the other four girls at the table, they engaged in a group hug and then tucked into the meal that Rachel had prepared for them.

It was sad to see this chapter of her life become a thing of the past, but to Elena she saw it as the start of something much more exciting. Now she was going out into the world to (hopefully) put her degree to good use.

Whilst packing away the things in her room, Elena came across a picture of her and Lila during their first year at university, they’d gone to a Harry Potter themed night at the Student Union club. Lila had gone as Luna Lovegood, whereas Elena had backcombed her hair to within an inch of its life and been Bellatrix Lestrange – in the picture Elena was trying (and failing) to look threatening, while Lila looked like she was in another world. It made Elena smile, and the fact that she’d agreed to move in with Lila made her even happier.

Looking at her calendar that was still hung on the back of her bedroom door, she checked through the month and saw what was coming up. It was Juan’s birthday the at the end of the week, but he was away playing in the first leg of the Europa League semi-final on the 25th. He wouldn’t return to England until the 26th, and their Premier League match against Swansea fell on Saturday the 27th, which was perfect because that meant they’d be able to spend his birthday together.

As her eyes traced each day of the month, something struck her as odd. But she put it out of her head and continued packing her stuff away. A few hours later, after Elena had almost packed everything away, she couldn’t help herself; she went out to the pharmacy down the street.

The ten minutes of waiting was almost agonising. She’d had a scare a few years earlier with he first serious boyfriend, which had ultimately come to nothing, so she didn’t want to get ahead of herself.

This time though, the results were different. Almost as soon as the plus had appeared on the test, Elena ran to see if anyone else was in the house. She knew that Millie and Rachel had already left for their respective homes, but she wasn’t sure that either Lila or Susie were in the house.

Much to Elena’s delight, Lila was sitting in her room.

“Lil,” Elena said walking into Lila’s room, her heart pounding in her chest. “I have something to tell you…”

Though, Lila didn’t seem too eager to find out what Elena was about to reveal.

“Lila?” She tried again, as her friend didn’t even feign interest. “What’s wrong? I have something important to tell you!”

This time Lila’s face was stern. “El, you know I love you, but why does everything always have to be about you?”

At this, Elena took a step back. She had no idea that Lila would come out with that. “What do you mean?”

“I mean, for the past few months – well, this whole year really. You’ve been really self-absorbed. Wait, self-absorbed isn’t the right word, you haven’t been your usual, loving, caring self. It’s been all about you and Juan.”

Elena went to reply, but her friend cut her off before she was able to. “You know a few weeks ago when you came in here to ask why Juan wasn’t talking to you?”

All Elena could do was nod slowly. “Well, I was going to tell you something, something really important, but when I tried to, you sort of…waved me off.”

“Did I?” Elena sat down on the edge of Lila’s bed, being careful not to sit too close, they’d never really had a talk like this before.

“Yeah, you know what I wanted to tell you?” she asked, her voice taking an accusatory tone. “I was going to tell you that my aunt, Josie had cancer.”

A gasp fought its from Elena’s tightened throat, Josie was Lila’s favourite aunt, they’d been close ever since she was little.

“Oh my God, you know you could’ve told me Lila. I’m so, so sorry. I really am.” She opened her arms, and it took a couple of seconds, but Lila collapsed into them.

“I didn’t even know how to tell anyone else, but I thought I could come to you. And when it seemed like you didn’t care about what I had to say, I kept it bottled up.”

Elena wrapped her arms tighter around her best friend, feeling terrible that Lila thought that Elena wouldn’t care about her huge problem.

“Lil, you know that I would’ve have paid attention, I know how much Josie means to you. How is she doing?” The brunette sniffled and hooked her sleeve over her thumb to wipe away her tears.

A small smile worked its way on to Lila’s lips. “She’s doing okay, they caught it early, and she’s had an operation to remove the tumour. They’re just waiting for the test results to see if they were able to get rid of it.”

“I’m so happy to hear that. She’ll get through this, she’s a tough lady.”

They sat in silence together for a few minutes, wrapped in each other’s arms. They knew the balance had been reinstated in their friendship, but it still shocked Elena how she hadn’t even noticed that Lila was mad at her.

Lila looked up at Elena with tear-stained cheeks, and in a thick voice asked, “What did you want to tell me?”

“I’m pregnant.” Elena said quietly, her voice steady with forced composure, as it was the first time she’d said the statement out loud.

Jumping out of Elena’s arm, Lila jumped up and down then hugged her friend. “Oh my god! I’m so happy for you El!”

Not quite matching Lila’s happiness, Elena said she was happy too. But the blonde caught on to her friend’s subdued nature. “What’s wrong? Aren’t you happy?” Lila waited a second before tacking on cheekily, “It is Juan’s, right?”

A playful shove in the side accompanied Elena’s fake shock. “Of course it’s his! I’m just a little scared…I’m only 22, I haven’t even left university yet and now I’m having a baby. Bloody hell.”

“How did Juan take it?”

Meekly, Elena replied, “I haven’t told him yet…I only found out a few hours ago. I think it happened on my birthday…”

“You saucy minx!” Lila laughed. “I know him, I’m sure he’ll be so happy.”

“I hope so.”

“Oh, don’t be silly, he loves you, he will be happy. When are you going to tell him?”

“He’s away until Friday, so I think I might tell him when he gets back. I don’t want to distract him, this match is a big deal.” Elena said thoughtfully.

“Well, Friday it is then.”

Suddenly, it all became real to Elena. She was going to have to tell Juan that she was going to have his child. That he would be the father of her baby.
♠ ♠ ♠