Lessons learned, and the end of a good thing
"We need to fix this," I say once I’m within arms reach of Amber.
Amber shakes her head, messy hair hitting her face, “There’s nothing to fix. It’s all over Frank…it’s done. We screwed up. There’s not way to salvage this one.”
Why is she giving up so easily? Doesn’t she like me? "Yes, we can!"
"No, we can't! You don't understand! You don't understand at all!"
"What's not to understand? You're attracted to me! I've known this since the fucking wrestling in my room!"
"Its worst than that, Frank!"
"How," I question wanting nothing more than to just reach out and kiss her. I refrain knowing that would only make things worse.
"When I went over to your house last night, Frank, I was a virgin!"
I freeze. How could I not have noticed that? I’d taken something always from Amber I can never give back. I don’t regret it but…the fact shocks me. For a second I have not idea what to say. This isn’t how things were supposed to work out.
"But you said... with Garry."
"I never said anything! You just assumed!"
"Why would you not tell me about something like that?"
"Because I didn't want you to think...."
"To think what?"
"I don't know! I was embarrassed!"
"Jesus... Fucking Christ!"
I pull my fingers through my hair. I don’t know what I’m supposed to say. I’d never been with a virgin before, even when I’d lost virginity. I should have noticed. I just want things to return to normal…as normal as they were before the events of last night. “We can still fix this.”
“No, we can’t!” Amber nearly shrieks, tears pouring down her face. This is hurting both of us.
“Will you at least let me try? You’re my best friend. I don’t want to lose you over one stupid mistake!”
Amber’s small gasp makes me regret my words instantly. I’d fucked up yet again. Calling Amber’s loss of virginity stupid isn’t exactly considerate of me. I’ve managed to offend the girl I love at the moment possible. “I didn’t mean it like that.”
“Yes, you did!”
“Stop arguing with me and fucking listen!”
“No!” You don’t understand and you never will!”
“Then fucking explain it to me so I can at least try!”
“Fine!” Amber yells as the tears continue to trail down her face in a steady stream. I ache to wipe them from her face. “I’m not just attracted to you, you self-centered asshole! I’m fucking in love with you.”
I stand there for a minute, unsure of what to do or say. Of course I’d suspected attraction because I love Amber and really wanted her to love me back; never in a million years did I guess she felt the same. I just didn’t think it was possible.
Amber wipes the salty tears away from her cheeks angrily, hiding half of her face with that beautiful red hair. Why, why didn’t I stop myself last night? It doesn’t have to be like this. I can feel a lump growing in my throat.
“Ambo…” I start.
“Just… just shut up! Don’t use that name ever again. I just want you to go away! Just leave me alone! Don’t talk to me! Our friendship is over! We can never be friends, Frank! Not anymore! We ruined everything!” Amber sobs, my heart aching for her. “Just go away.”
Then my ex-best friend turns and runs for her house.
Unable to move I just stand there, Amber’s shoe still held loosely in my hand. I have no idea what I’m supposed to do now. I don’t know how to fix this. Suddenly my brain kicks in and I realize that if I’d just blurted out ‘Ambo I love you too,’ we’d be happy right now. Yet, I was stupid and didn’t say anything. Angry with myself I march back to my house, slamming the door. My mom has already left for work so the house is mine.
Over the course of the day I call Amber’s house seven times, getting roughly the same answer every time ‘Fuck off and die, Amber hates you now.’ Even though it hurts to hear Gerard or Mikey say this over and over again I can’t give up. Amber and I don’t function without each other. I cannot let one drunken night mess things up.
Amber’s shoe has gained an honorary spot on top of my television. I’d written her a heartfelt note but never get up the guts to go across the street and hand it over; it now rests inside her combat boot.
Monday plays out very much like Tuesday. I wake up to an empty house. The cereal remains untouched as I drink the milk straight from the cartoon something my mother would disapprove of. I watch about three hours of cartoons, my brain feeling a little mushy. Around two I call over to Amber’s only to be informed that she is working down at the fair grounds and won’t be home till later.
Feeling no drive to do anything but sleep or eat I pick up the phone and call Devlin. She’ll be able to keep my mind off of Amber for a while.
At the end of a three hour conversation I confirm that Devlin and I are still going to the start of school fair together and that tomorrow we are going to the movies. Other than that I cannot remember a word the girl said…something about a cat and a new car. In truth I really don’t care.
From my bedroom I can hear Garry’s car pull up in front of Amber’s house letting me know she’s back from the fair grounds. I wonder how much work they’d gotten done today. Even though I know I shouldn’t I pick up the phone and call over to Amber’s.
Gerard answers but hangs up shortly after he figures out it’s me. I wish she’d just talk to me. If I could just tell her I love her things might get better. After about the fifth time I call over Amber’s mother personally asks me to stop.
I bring the phone back to my mom’s room.
As Tuesday rolls around I debate wither I should even get up and go to school. There just didn’t seem like a point when I won’t even be able to share first day memories with my best friend. Eventually my mother makes the decision for me, announcing that if I don’t go to school today I will not be able to go out tonight or on Thursday.
Pulling on a pair of jeans, my Ramones t-shirt, and a black hoodie I head downstairs, myy Converse somehow finding their way onto my feet as I head down the stairs. Exiting the house, I head towards the car I’d managed to buy a few weeks ago. I’d not gotten a chance to drive it yet. I kinda hope it starts.
Thank God the car starts. As I pull up to the stop sigh that acts as the bus stop I spot Amber. She’s shivering a little in her jean shorts, black cowgirl boots, and black and white tie die shirt. Rolling down my window I wave. Amber just glares back.
“Do you want a ride?” I question just trying to be nice. Just cause she won’t talk to me doesn’t mean I’m going to be mean to her. I’m also not giving up on our friendship.
“No thank you,” Amber answers before turning her back on me.
Rolling the window back up, I drive away. It’s Amber’s choice to remain stubborn. I’ll just have to live with it until she works things out.
I’ve got four classes with Amber. We don’t even look at each other. I was forced to sit with Devlin and her slutty friends instead of my normal crowd. I don’t wanna freak Amber out by sitting with her and her friends.
By the end of the day I’m worn out. All I want to do it sleep but instead I’m stuck taking Devlin to the movies. I’m pretty sure the first week of school is going to be complete shit.