I spent the Sunday morning going over my lines for the scene and the song. I collapsed onto my bed growling at myself. How was I meant to force myself to be something I'm just not? I picked Joanne because I could never act the part of Maureen. I got a text from Zack asking if I wanted to come over to hang out. I had nothing better to do so I grabbed my handbag and yelled a goodbye to my parents. I walked to the gate and waved at the guys guarding it. When Zack's car arrived I jumped in and turned expecting to see Zack.
“How did you bribe him?” I asked with a sigh, seeing Amber small smirk. It didn't do much to convince me she wasn't still all about playing games. She held up his phone by way of explanation.
“He going to be pissed when he realises you stole it,” I said making her laugh.
“He didn't miss a text from Michael or anything,” she defended. She nodded at the driver and he left the barracks.
“I guess we'll need to stop by a shop before going to the restaurant,” Amber said with a smile, taking in my casual cloths.
“Or you could turn around and let me go,” I suggested, knowing it was pointless.
“Can't. It took a lot of effort to convince dad to let me bring a plus one. Don't worry, he thinks your a friend, so best behaviour,” Amber promised. I starred at her like she was insane. Dinner with her father? If it was a business thing I had no place being there. If it wasn't … I didn't understand her world. What little I knew came from Zack and he didn't actually like the social world of the rich.
“Why would I want to eat dinner with your dad and his stuffy associates?” I asked, resting my chin in one hand and leaning forward.
“It's not a meeting like that. It's actually just a family meal with some close friend of his. Zack was going to come but he waggled out of it. So I suggested a friend to fill his spot. That's where you come in,” Amber said with a proud smile. I sighed, wanting to say no again. But truthfully I had nothing else better to do with my day.
“Fine, but I'm not wearing a dress,” I muttered. She laughed and told the driver to head into town. I reasoned if this was a dinner with a friend, then this was just out shopping with a friend. Her driver dropped us off near one of the bigger shopping malls and left.
“Where to first?” she asked with a smile. I tried not to be too pleased with the turn of events but Amber's happiness was the infectious kind. I refused to go near the designer stores where everything was freakishly overpriced. I grabbed a pair of smart trousers and a nice blouse. She frowned at the bag when we left the shop.
“You know, a skirt wouldn't kill you,” she joked.
“Look, you wanted me to go and I will, but on my own terms,” I replied. Her shoulders slumped but she didn't argue the point again. We wondered round the city centre some more, mostly with Ambers running commentary. As much as I disagreed with some of her opinions, her sense of humour was hard not to laugh at. When it was time for her driver to pick us up we waited in one of the parks.
“-And Natasha is getting way too confident for my liking. The other day she flirted with Quinn of all people. I'm pretty sure they're going to upstart together and-” I half listened to her ranting before opening my mouth.
“What do you think is wrong with Lewis?” I asked. She snapped her mouth shut, her eyes instantly narrowing at the mention of his name.
“Other than being a jerk and psycho?” Amber asked.
“I'm being serious. The way he's now compared to how he was. Something doesn;t feel right,” I said, whispering the last part.
“Are you scared of him or something?” Amber asked quietly. I shook my head, looking at the people playing with their pets and the family's have picnics.
“Nothing like that. I just get the feeling if someone doesn't help him soon … he's just going to disappear,” I said. Amber starred at me for a few moments taking in my words.
“One less bully the world has to worry about,” she said with a shrug. I sent her a look and she laughed.
“What? I can't make jokes now? I'm trying to cheer you up okay? Whatever Lewis' issues are, their his. It's not mine or your responsibility to worry about or try to fix them. His parents should be doing that,” Amber said, matching my serious tone. I sighed, knowing she was right. But the idea of ignoring someone dealing with depression felt wrong. Especially when I had such close experience with it.
“Did you have fun bowling?” Amber asked, abruptly changing the topic.
“Oh, yeah I guess,” I answered. I felt my cheeks burn a little remembering how I'd embarrassed myself with Nick.
“I wanted to go when Zack mentioned it but I couldn't,” Amber said, moving and resting her head on my shoulder.
“Why not?” I asked, trying not to be too self-conscious of how close she suddenly was. The smell of her powdery make-up and perfume were comforting. After a moments hesitation I wrapped an arm round her waist and rested my head on top of hers. I felt rather saw her smile.
“My dads got me seeing a therapists. Lame, right?” Amber said with a forced laugh.
“Doesn't sound lame, sounds like a good idea. I'm glad,” I said, pulling her a little closer. She lifted her head and I backed off a little. She gripped my wrist before it could leave her waist.
“Why are you always running scared?” she asked, leaning in closer. I wanted to push her away, but at the same time I didn't.
“I thought we were just being friends?” I asked, knowing the point was irrelevant as she leaned in and kissed me. I didn't fight, just let the kiss go deeper and deeper. I could've stayed like that if it weren't for some jerks.
“Get a room you dykes!” someone yelled. I would've ignored it but a small rock hit the bench close to where my head was. I pulled away, ready to yell at whoever did it but they'd already taken off. I sighed and rested my head in my hands.
“That went well,” Amber said with a clipped voice, glaring at empty space. Her driver arrived moments later and we got in the car.
“Just need to get ready at mine and we're good to go,” Amber said. I licked my lips nervously, tasting her strawberry lip gloss at I did.