"Do you have any cereal?"
This was a mistake. Amber sits up quickly, her head hitting me in the nose. As she turns I get back handed. Her eyes are huge, hand covering he mouth. She looks adorable with her cheeks dusted in pink with embarrassment.
“Shit,” she gasps “Frank are you hurt? Oh my God Frank you’re bleeding.”
I can’t help but laugh, pinching the bridge of my nose. It’s not broken so I’m okay, “Naw, its fine Ambo, calm down I’m fine.”
She shakes her head before getting up and hurrying towards the bathroom. A few seconds later she comes back with a trail of toilet paper behind her. Kneeing down beside me Amber bats my hand away from my bleeding nose. She gently presses the toilet paper against my face.
After a few minutes the toilet paper is removed, Amber taking my face in her hands. She moves it to the left and right, tilting it towards the ceiling her sparkling green eyes set on my nose the entire time. Rolling my eyes I laugh, pulling her into a tight hug.
“I’m just fine Amber. What about we go downstairs and get some breakfast,” I offer, helping her to her feet.
“Do you have any cereal?”
I stop halfway down the stairs. Amber runs into me, her arms wrapping around me from behind. She giggles as she jumps onto my back. I give her a piggy back ride the rest of the way to the kitchen.
Once she’s sitting safely on the counter I pull out the cereal box. I’ve not touched cereal in a very long time. Two blue plastic bowls are set out milk is poured in followed by the cereal. It’s a weird way to put everything in the bowl but Amber and I have done in since we were little.
I hand over the bowl, jumping up to sit on the counter next to my best friend, “I’ve missed this.”
She chews, circling the spoon around in the bowl, “So have I. Will you be there when I have my court date?”
“When is it?”
Of course I’ll be there if I can but I’m not sure my mom will let me out of school for Amber’s court date. It’s an important milestone in her recovery and as her best friend I feel the need to be there. I’ll just have to convince my mom it’s a good idea.
“A week from yesterday,” she answers, drinking the milk out of the bowl before tossing it across the kitchen and into the sink.
“I should be there,” I answer. “Do you know what you are coming back to school?”
“Not sure, my mom called the school to see if I could go back sooner than planned. We’re waiting for them to call us back,” she answers swinging her legs back and forth.
“Are you excited?”
“More nervous than excited, I just want people to accept me. I don’t want things to be weird just cause of what happened,” she answers, head coming to rest on my shoulder.
In keeping my promise to Amber I tell her the truth knowing that’s what she wants, “It’ll be that way for a while and I’m sure some people won’t be very nice about it but in the end everything goes back to normal.”
“I’ve missed a lot,” she says.
I shrug, “I’ll help catch you up. Wanna stay over and watch movies?”
Amber nods before jumping off the counter and hurrying back upstairs. I wait patently, looking over the movie selection. I opt for something fun, not sure if scary is a good idea.
As I pull the movie off the shelf hands cover my eyes, “Boo. What are we watching?”
I hold up the movie. Amber takes it from me eyes running over the case, “The Lion King, really Frank?”
I just nod, putting the tape into the player.
As the opening song begins to play Amber and I sing along, laughing like little children. I’ve not seen this movie since I was ten. I’d forgotten how much I enjoy it. For the next hour Amber and I laugh and sing and quote the movie.
This was a good choice. It’s a fun movie and it made Amber smile, something I was afraid she’d never do again.
Around lunch time Donna comes over to let Amber know her mom has gone out of town for a few days on business and also to inform her that the school says it would be best if she came back after the court date. Amber and I do a dance around the kitchen. This is great news. It’ll be nice to have her back in classes with me.
“Any parties tonight Frank or are we staying in?” Amber asks as I microwave a soy burger for her. I hope it’s not got freezer burn.
Moving over to her I stand between her legs looking into her eyes, “I figured we’d stay in and watch movies. After lunch we can got over to your house and pack and over night bag.”
She smiles eyes glittering in the afternoon sun that comes in through the window. This is the Amber I love…this is the Amber I’m extatic to have back.