The ringing of a phone interrupted the peaceful sleep of Clara Oswald. She reached out from under her covers and moved her hand around the bedside table, searching for her phone. Finally, her hand came into contact with it and she grabbed it as she opened her eyes to see who was waking her from the loveliest dream.
"Agh, dad." She said as she answered it and glanced at her alarm clock. "It's 5 in the morning."
"Sorry darling." He answered. "I couldn't remember which city you said you're in right now. Listen, I'm calling because I thought you should know that I've taken your Gran to the A and E."
"What? Why?" Clara asked panicked.
"She was having chest pains. The doctor is with her now and is examining her." He paused and sighed before he said what he wanted to say next. "Clara, I really think it's time you came home."
Clara had been traveling since she dropped out of university 8 years ago. She had been home for the occasional visit, but wouldn't stay for much longer than a week as she began to feel restless and wanted to move again. Her father had been trying to convince her for the last few years to move back to London and settle down, but she kept telling him that there were too many places she had left to visit. She wasn't ready to return home and she certainly wasn't ready to get married and start a family.
"Dad, how bad is it?" Clara asked worriedly.
"I'm not sure Clara, but she's not getting any younger. What time you have left with her is getting shorter with each passing day." Her father sighed heavily, and Clara knew that he was getting frustrated with her. "Look if you don't want to move back, at least come home and see her."
"Okay. I'll book the first flight I can."
"Great. Just let me know what time you land and I'll meet you at the airport."
"Okay dad. Give my love to Gran and tell her I'll see her very soon."
Clara ended her call and laid back down in bed gathering her thoughts. She knew her dad was right, her Gran wasn't going to be here forever, but she didn't think she was ready to start putting down roots.
Clara looked next to her to see a man lying there with his eyes still closed. She had completely forgotten that she wasn't alone. Now if she could only remember what his name was.
"Hope so. I need to go back to London." She answered still unable to recall his name. The previous night was flashing before her, the bar, the drinks, the dancing, the snogging, all of which led to the shagging, but no name. "It's a bit of an emergency so I'm going to have to leave today."
"No worries. I should probably get going anyway." The man said as he finally opened his eyes and looked at her. "Any chance I could get your number? Maybe we can hook up again when you return."
"Oh, that's sweet, but to be honest I don't think I'm going to be coming back." Clara answered as she got out of bed, grabbing her robe laying on a chair.
"Really? Sorry to hear that. I had a lot of fun with you last night." He answered as he too got out of bed and started searching for his clothes that had clearly been tossed around the room.
"It was and for sure if I'm ever in San Francisco again, I'll look you up."
"That might be difficult since, we never exchanged names." He said, flashing her a perfect smile. Clara gave a sigh of relief as she knew she had been drinking, but by no means enough to actually forget someone's name.
"Right. Sorry about that."
"It's okay." The man replied now dressed. "I'll be on my way then."
Clara walked him to the front door, thanking him again for a lovely night and sending him out into the early morning streets of the Mission District. Once he was gone, she went to the kitchen to make some coffee and to start searching for flights on her phone. She needed to find something fast, which she knew was likely going to cost her a small fortune. However, she felt confident that her dad would pay her back given the circumstances. She was also going to have to leave her flat mate with enough money to cover rent for the next month.
Later that morning with her bags packed, Clara stepped out of her little flat and made her way to the airport. She was going to miss San Francisco. It had a really great vibe and she had managed to make some friends, given the short time she had been there. But there was part of her that was looking forward to going back home. She really missed her Dad and Gran, but she also missed her best friend Amy. It would be great to see her and catch up since the last time she saw her was over a year ago in Scotland for her wedding. The more she thought about it, the more she convinced herself that this was a good thing.
Clara looked in the direction she heard her name and saw a man waving frantically at her with a huge smile. She smiled and waved back as she walked towards him and wrapped her arms around him.
"Dad!" She exclaimed. "It's so good to see you."
"You too luv." He replied as he grabbed one of her bags and they started walking towards the exit.
"How's Gran?" Clara asked worriedly.
"She's doing better, but she's going to be in the hospital for a while. She is very excited to see you, so I hope you don't mind if we go there first."
"Not at all. I'm anxious to see her."
The pair caught up while they drove. Clara told her dad all about America and what it was like in San Francisco. Her dad told her about his work and brought her up to date on the family gossip. When they got to the hospital, Clara was surprised to see her Gran looking so fragile. She was always a very strong and independent woman who very rarely needed help from anyone. They didn't stay long, but Clara promised to come back and visit once she got some rest and they would be able to have a proper talk.
Once she got back to her dad's she called Amy. She hadn't had a chance to let her know she was coming back, so she knew her friend was going to be shocked.
"Well it's about time you rang!" Amy said as she answered the phone.
"Hello to you too." Clara answered.
"I've been trying to talk to you for weeks and you never return my calls."
"I know. I'm just the worst."
"Yes, you are. So, before you tell me about your latest shag and what fantastic city you're living in, I have news."
"Would you rather tell me this news in person?"
"What? Really!? Are you saying you're in London?" Amy asked excitedly.
"Then what are you waiting for? Get your arse over here now!" Amy ordered.
"Okay." Clara replied as she laughed. "I just need to have a quick nap and I'll be over in a couple of hours."
After a nap and a shower, Clara headed out to see her best friend. She had met Amy in high school, when her family moved from Scotland to London and the pair became fast friends who were pretty much inseparable until Clara left home 8 years ago. It was going to be good to see her and to hopefully get to know her husband, Rory, a bit better while she was home.
"Ahhhh!" Amy screamed when she opened the door and saw Clara. Clara immediately hugged her and screamed in return.
"Get in here." Amy said as she dragged her inside the house.
Clara entered and glanced around looking for Rory.
"Where's your husband?" She asked.
"He ran away knowing that we would have a lot to catch up on, but he promises to hang with us later." Amy said as she stepped into the kitchen. "Can I get you anything to drink?"
"God yes. I would love a glass of wine." Clara said as she took in the quaint surroundings. "Better make it a bottle, we have a lot to talk about."
"Well I won't be having any." Amy said.
"What? Why?" Clara looked at her friend who was smiling at her.
"I told you I had news."
"Your news is that you've given up drinking?"
"No, you daft idiot. I'm pregnant!" Amy declared.
"Oh my god!" Clara exclaimed and hugged her friend. "You're going to be a mum!"
"I know! Who would have thought that would ever happen?" Amy said as she started to put the kettle on for tea.
"So how far a long are you?" Clara asked.
"Not long. I'm only about 8 weeks, so we're not telling many people. But you had to know."
"Well I feel honored."
"I'll be honest, I was kind of hoping that you would hear the news and you would want to come home, but now I'm hoping you'll want to stay."
"Not you too." Clara sighed. "My dad's been on me to move home too."
"It's only because we love and miss you. Plus, if ever there was a time I needed my best friend more, it's now."
"I don't know Amy."
"Why are you home now, anyway? Not that I'm complaining, but you usually give me a warning when you're returning."
Clara explained to Amy about her Gran before they moved into the living room where Clara went on to tell Amy about the places she had traveled to since she was last home. She talked about skydiving in Tijuana, mountain climbing in Nepal, and scuba diving in Australia, not to mention the men she had met along the way.
"Any of these men ever decide to travel with you?" Amy asked.
"One guy, Matt, did for a bit. I met him while I was in Japan and we traveled together for a few months, but then he decided he wanted to stay in Australia and I wanted to head to California."
"And you have no desire to settle down?"
"Nah. There's just too much to see Amy. Too much to experience." Clara replied. "I'm not going to make the same mistake my mum did."
"You think getting married and having you was a mistake?"
"No, of course not. But she died before she got to see the world, and I know how much she wanted to see it." There was a distant look in Clara's eyes as she spoke. "I know that she would have wanted me to finish uni, but when she died I just couldn't. I wanted to live the life she didn't get to."
"And what about the life you wanted to live? You wanted to teach."
"And I have been. I've taught in almost every place I've been too." Clara answered, almost defensively.
"But you wanted to teach here. You wanted to get married, have kids. You were never the one to jump from relationship to relationship."
"I know, but I changed. You don't know what it's like to lose a parent Amy. Suddenly the things I was interested in no longer mattered." Clara stated. "I stood in front of my mother's grave and suddenly saw my whole life ahead of me and I didn't like what I saw. I knew that if I stayed, I would have continued dating Danny and I would have most likely ended up marrying him. But that wasn't what I wanted. Suddenly, I wanted to see the world. And not just see it, but live it."
"And don't you think you've done that? Maybe your dad is right. It seems like this might be a good time to stick around for a while. I know I would love to have you here with me and your Gran would likely love to see you more."
"Maybe." Clara said hesitantly.
"Why don't you give it a year. Finish your degree. You only had one year left and then you could do the one thing I know your mum wanted. She would have wanted you to finish school Clara."
"I know." Clara answered. "I'll think about it okay."
"That's all I can ask for." Amy smiled at her friend.