That morning I prepared for telling the others. Amber wrapped an arm round me as we approached the main entrance.
“Don't worry,” she murmured. We walked in, holding hands for the whole world to see. Amber really didn't care anymore. I saw girls who hung out with her notice. Most looked too shocked to care. But one arched an eyebrow and grinned. If she thought Amber would let her crown go that easy the girl was severely mistaken. Everyone was waiting by our lockers. Kim yelped with joy when she saw our hands. I listened as Zack dramatically retold the tale of how I'd finally wooed Amber into submission. I laughed along with Amber. But it felt forced, the knowledge that I only had a week hung over my head like a heavy weight. I hugged Amber bye when the bell went and followed Nick to science.
“For someone who should be basking with joy, you've been very quiet,” Nick said once we'd sat in our lab stools. I sighed, knowing I'd have to start telling people sooner rather than later.
“We're moving,” I said.
“Shit,” Nick muttered. I could only nod in agreement with a grim smile. He opened his mouth to say something but the teacher walked in. His booming voice gave us little option other than to listen. Looked like we were preparing for some of the science we'd cover in College if we chose to study it. I'd need to research where we were going. Decide courses and apply as soon as possible.
My next lesson was English. The teacher taught us for about thirty minutes before glancing at her wrist. She told us to just talk the rest of the lesson and turned on her computer. I wasn't going to complain as I looked at Michael and Derek.
“Glad you're better,” Derek said, his voice quiet and unsure.
“Me too. I got so bored stuck at home,” Michael replied. whining loudly enough to make us laugh. Derek grinned and shook his head. It felt wrong to interrupt their moment. I was so happy they were friends after everything that had happened.
“I'm moving,” I announced, drawing both of their shocked attentions. Michael was the first to speak.
“You can't,” he said, gripping the sides of his chair.
“It's been decided by the army. We have too,” I replied. Arguments died on Michaels lips and he slumped in his seat.
“That sucks,” Derek murmured. I went through the rest of my day hearing that statement as I told others. At least I had Amber to hold my hand in Italian. Drama was the hardest. Zack grabbed my hand and led me out of the room. No doubt he'd hear rumours.
“You could stay here while your parents moved,” Zack suggested the moment I told him. I laughed at him and shook my head.
“Where would I stay?” I said with a shrug.
“Me and Amber. It's not like we don't have the room or money,” Zack replied.
“And what happened if me and Amber have a fall out?” I said. Zack couldn't think up a response and sighed in defeat.
“Being an army brat sucks,” Zack said, echoing the word I'd heard throughout the day.
“Yeah. It does ...” I trailed off, unsure if I should ask this of him. “Zack, will you promise me something?” I asked. The words got his attention immediately.
“Talk to Lewis,” I said. That earned me confusion and then some. “I think he's stuck, seeing everything black and white. So talk to him, make him understand your life isn't easy and perfect like he assumes.” I waited for Zack to respond as he considered my words.
“Trust you to worry about someone else when you're the one leaving,” Zack muttered. He pulled me into a sudden hug, his head shaking at me. I laughed and lightly slapped his arm.
“Will you?” I asked when the hug ended. He sighed, looking very torn.
“If you leave, yes. But until then I'm hoping you don't have to go,” Zack replied. Which basically meant he was going to do what Amber wanted to do. Try and use his connections to keep me here. If he managed it, I'd be forever grateful. But gut instinct said it wouldn't work. One hour later the bell rang for lunch and I headed to Amber's locker. I rounded the corner and heard the yelling. I rushed to find Amber in a roaring row with Danny.
“You can't dump me slut!” Danny shouted, making my fists clench.
“I just did, deal with it idiot,” Amber threw back. Danny glared at her before spotting me.
“You!” he singled me out with a finger and I crossed my arms.
“My name's Lily,” I supplied dryly. He stormed towards me and I remembered Nick's panic. Maybe being tough, attitude girl was a bad idea in this situation.
“What are you going to do? You wouldn't hit a girl,” I said, teasing my muscles to run if he decided to prove me wrong. He laughed at me and then his arm raised up, fist at the ready. I covered my face and backed away, but the blow never came.
“I'm a dick, but even I have standards,” Lewis said. I looked up, blinking. Lewis had held his wrist back. Danny shook his arm free and rubbed the skin, annoyance clear in his face.
“This isn't over,” he muttered to me. Then he turned and left. I heard Amber release a breath before running over and pulling me into a hug.
“Hot,” Lewis commented. Earning a glare from Amber. I rolled my eyes and fought back laughter.
“What?” he said with shrug. Amber opened her mouth, no doubt ready to tell him where he could shove it then stopped.
“Thanks for saving my girlfriend,” she said instead. I could see the surprise on Lewis' face but it left quickly.
“It was nothing,” he said with another shrug. He walked past us quickly.
“I still hate him,” Amber said when he was out of earshot.