She approached the worn-out wooden bench in utter trepidation not knowing her friend's state of mind. She didn't want to scare her that was the last thing she wanted to do, but could she really think that she wouldn't scare her, after all, Carla's state of mind was so far in another universe she was unsure she could be of any help. She had to be of help though, something was willing her to help her friend, she had a lot of hurt in her life and she knew that if she helped she might well reduce that and that was something that she aimed for. Carla didn't look up at her. Her forehead was rested on her knees, Michelle could hear the quiet inconsistent murmurs leaving her friends lips, even though they were muffled and in a foreign language to her, she was not in her friends mind so she could not compute the language her friend was speaking even if it may be fluent English. All Michelle could do was sit and watch, all she could do was listen and wait for an indicator to speak to her, but she really didn't know what to say nor would she interrupt the tangent her friend's mind was on. Would she say something out of term? Would her reassuring words be enough for Carla? Would her being there fix anything for her friend? She thought not because Carla's mind was tortured and damaged and would be in no fit state to comprehend her words. She had heard from Peter and from Ken the extent at which things had got to, how she thought Rana was alive and how she thought people were out to get her. She just hoped that by sitting on the fence she hadn't added to Carla's thoughts of her being the bad guy, but she really did doubt her own thoughts over the matter.

"Hey" Michelle whispers, Carla's head shoots up at the speed of life and she starts to cower away like an abused animal, shaking her head "It's ok, I'm not going to hurt you"

"Get away, get away from me!" she shouts as the hot streams of tears fall down her face, Michelle's eyes also fill with tears "You hate me, leave me alone, you all hate me!"

"Carla, it's ok, I'm not going to hurt you, no ones going to hurt you, we're all worried about you" Michelle reassures the broken woman in front of her, her eyes wide in fear and anxiety, Carla felt repulsed by the words coming out of Michelle's mouth

"Liar! You're lying to me!"

"I'm not sweetheart" Michelle shakes her head, Carla narrows her eyes unsure of the situation which she was confronted with "Where have you been staying?"

"Somewhere to get away from them, somewhere where they wouldn't know, somewhere where they couldn't find me" she stresses pulling at her hair slightly, Michelle approaches her gingerly "Get away, don't come closer"

"Ok, yeah, I'm sorry" she apologises causing Carla to narrow her eyes again, all Michelle wanted to do was hole her friend "Do you need anything? Like a nice warm place to stay? Somewhere safe?"

"Nowhere is safe" she shakes her head causing Michelle to smile reassuringly "Where's Peter?"

"He's gone away for a bit" Michelle blags, Carla looks at her full of suspicion "Why don't we go somewhere warm eh?"


"Back to my flat?"

"Robert will be there, he hates me, they all do, Rana will be there as well, there's no way I can go, I need to get away, you don't understand"

"I do, I understand, we're all worried about you" Michelle tries to sway her friend into agreeing, she knew it was worth a try at the end of the day and whether Carla would agree, she didn't know

"No" she shakes her head "I'm scared"

"I know you are" Michelle's approach softens "I know you're scared, I would be too but you have me, I want to help, anything you need"

"I need you to find Rana, I need you to find her and tell her to stop all this" she shouts causing Michelle to nod reassuringly, she opens her arms up causing Carla to fall into her, she sobs into her chest

"Everything will be ok, sweetheart, we'll get you better, you don't need to be sad" she whispers into her friends head as she continues to cry "It's ok, I'm here now I'm not going to hurt you"

"I'm scared" she whimpers "I need to go"

"Where? Where do you need to go, Carla?"

"Away" she replies vaguely "You need to find Rana" she wipes her eyes

"Why don't we go home? You can come back with me yeah, Robert won't be there if that's what you're worried about, nor Ali or Ryan"

"Maybe" she narrows her eyes "Will Rana be there?"

"No sweetheart" Michelle shakes her head causing Carla to look at her in suspicion "She won't be there, it will be just you and me, you don't need to worry about anything"

"Ok then" she narrows her eyes still not entirely sure if she will be ok if she went with her friend "Do you promise that you will find her though?"

"I promise" Michelle sighs knowing that she would od anything to get Carla home and safe even if it may not even be possible "Why don't we take a slow walk to my car then we can go home and keep you warm?"

"Ok," she whispers clinging onto her friend "Michelle?"


"Thank you"

Michelle smiled simply, the simple words from her friend reassuring her that the real Carla was still there, that she would eventually get her friend back

"Come on, let's get you home and safe again"

The End