I had my arms wrapped round my knees when Amber arrived. Mum let her in and told her where I was. She appeared round the corner. Based on her cheeks she'd ran to the door. Her usually perfectly styled hair was dripping with the outside rain. She hadn't even bothered with an umbrella. She took one look at me and sat down, wrapping her arms round me.
“What happened?” she asked after a few moments. I pulled away and gulped. There was never going to be an easy way to say it.
“The army wants to post us somewhere else,” I murmured. Amber stared at me for a few seconds before covering her mouth with one hand. I saw her taking breaths before facing me again.
“Can you stop them?” she asked, her voice quavering as she spoke. I shook my head, what the army wanted, the army got. Dad only way out was to quit, but even then we'd have to move. You had to give one years notice in the army.
“I'll call my dad,” she said. She stood up, phone at the ready.
“Don't. It won't work,” I said, following her. I flipped her phone shut for her as she stared at it hopefully. A drop fell onto the surface and I place both my hands on her cheeks. She looked up and I could see the tears running freely.
“We can still meet up. And I'll still go to Europe with you. This doesn't have to be it for us,” I rambled. I knew in the back of my mind that it was the end for us. Long distance relationships just didn't work. Amber nodded along with my words regardless.
“Dinners ready,” my mum said from the doorway. She took one look at me and Amber and I saw her add the pieces.
“I'll go to bed. Your friend can stay the night if she wants,” she said. Then she walked upstairs and the upstairs hallway light flicked off.
“Let's eat,” I suggested, not liking the stretching silence. Amber nodded and I put the food on two plates. Somehow stir-fry noodles with chicken didn't taste as nice as it usually did. I saw Amber pick at her food a little before she ate. I expected her to hardly touch it but she ate it all.
“I should've just accepted everything sooner,” Amber whispered when we'd finished eating. I looked at her, unsure what to say.
“Your father isn't exactly great when it comes to subject. No one can really blame you,” I finally said, wrapping an arm round her and rubbing her arm. She looked at me with wet eyes, licking her lips.
“I still screwed up. And now we only have a week because of it,” she said, her voice breaking at the end. I stood up and pulled her from her chair.
“We're still just teenagers Amber. We're meant to screw up,” I said, gripping both her hands in front of me and looking at the floor.
“We've still got our whole lives ahead of us,” I continued. We both knew where I was going. Amber stopped me from saying more by kissing me. The passion behind it took me by surprise. I wrapped one hand through her hair as it deepened. I rested the other on the small of her back, pushing her closer still. Tears mixed with the kiss but I didn't stop, caught up in the frantic nature of the moment. I led her upstairs and to my room where we fell onto the bed. I rolled so I was on top of her and pulled away. Taking in her flushed cheeks and red lips. Her ruffled black hair and perfect blue eyes. I wanted to stare at her forever, holding this memory in my mind.
“Stop looking at me like that,” Amber murmured, her silky voice like music to my ears.
“Like what?” I whispered back, bending down to close the space between our lips.
“Like I'm going to disappear,” she replied. Her lips so close they brushed mine as she spoke.
“You won't. But I might,” I said. Amber shot up, pulling me into a vice-grip hug. I would've made some witty comment about choking. But I was too caught up fighting tears.
“Promise me you won't,” she whispered in my ear. I realised where she'd misunderstood and pulled away.
“Amber, I didn't mean … I just meant because of the move,” I explained. She nodded, a sigh of relief leaving her lips. This time I didn't hang around, I just kissed her. Felt her body respond under me and let my hands wander. Loving how soft her skin felt under her clothes. We wasted hours in each other before giving into the pull of sleep.