Sharm el shaken

Anonymous, 23
as told to Yasmine Blackman

I wasn’t surprised when my companion didn’t opt for the exotic Long Island iced tea offered on the tea parlours menu, and instead went for something a little closer to home.  After a not quite holiday from hell, a Yorkshire brew was just what she needed…

Having booked a holiday to Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, with my close friend Sarah* I was full of excitement. Sarah* had been a close friend and colleague at work for around seven years, and her sense of humour was great, she always had me in stitches;  kept me up-beat on particularly busy shifts at the restaurant we both worked at. Sarah* had been trying to persuade me to go on a girlie holiday with her for weeks, but, not having a lot of spare cash, I was sceptical.

One day Sarah* rang me out of the blue though, telling me that she’d booked a week long holiday to the popular sunny destination, and that we were jetting off in three weeks time. I was shocked, but happy that she’d taken the decision from my hands.

We both paid around £500 each for the flights and hotel accommodation; it wasn’t cheap, but I reckoned it’d be worth every penny. I hadn’t been on a holiday for over a year and was really excited to get away. After a rough few weeks, I was looking forward to the sun, sand and sea; a break away was just what the doctor ordered.

In the weeks that passed I stocked up on swimsuits, sun cream and beach wear. The thought of relaxing on the beach with an ice cold cocktail in hand helped me get through my shifts at work.  Then, the night before we were due to jet off, I began to feel severe pains in my stomach. I tried to ignore them; soldier on, determined not to let the pain ruin my holiday. However as the night wore on I felt worse and worse, until I ended up calling an ambulance to rush me to the hospital. I was bent over in pain.

At the hospital I sat waiting for a doctor to see me for hours, I was in agony, but the only thing I could think of was the flight I was supposed to be catching the next morning.  What a disaster  I thought miserably to myself.

After numerous blood tests, I was told that I had a viral infection as well as a kidney infection; no wonder I was in so much pain! Then the doctor delivered a crushing blow. I wasn’t allowed to travel. The doctor prescribed me some antibiotics, and advised that I rest up. But how could I? I was supposed to be going on holiday to Egypt! I felt like crying, our plans had been ruined.  I knew Sarah* would understand though, and we could always re-arrange the flights for when I was feeling better. I tried to cheer myself up, but it was useless, I felt so disappointed.

I discharged myself the next morning, and the first thing I did was call Sarah*. I knew it was going to be a disappointment for her  too and I felt bad, but there was no way I could travel with the viral infection, I’d be in pain the whole holiday and besides, it was too big of a risk. What if the infection got worse whilst I was out there?

When I told Sarah* what had happened, I expected her to be sympathetic; I had spent the entire night in hospital suffering after all. I wasn’t prepared for her reaction. “You selfish bitch!” She hissed down the phone. “I can’t believe you’re doing this to me!” Then she started sobbing. I couldn’t believe it! Too shocked to defend myself, I listened in bewilderment as Sarah* ranted at me before hanging up.

Miserable and confused I decided to curl up in bed. I was in so much pain, and shocked that my friend had reacted so horribly. Perhaps she’ll ring me later and apologise. I thought. We had been good friends for a long time; she’s probably just disappointed and not thinking rationally.

Later on my phone bleeped. That’ll be Sarah, apologising. I thought. Well good, she’d been rude to me when I was just as disappointed as her. I hadn’t intentionally made myself ill! But as I read the text, I felt my heart sink in dismay.

I’m at the airport now. Still going on holiday. I’ve found someone to go with me. You’re not getting your money back. It read.

Sarah* had found someone to take my ticket, and had changed the names on the flights. I couldn’t believe it! My friend had treated me badly when I had needed her, and now she was stealing £500 pounds of my money!

So, here I am now. £500 pounds down, and still ill from my kidney and viral infections. Sarah* is currently on holiday in Egypt, selfishly enjoying what was supposed to be our girly get-away.  I feel awful that I lost all that money and have nothing to show for it, but worse than that I’ve lost a friend. I cannot believe that after seven years of knowing Sarah* I never realised what a back stabber she could be.  All the trust and friendship I had for Sarah left with her on the plane, but, unlike my ex-friend, it won’t be coming back any time soon.

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