"Frankie...do you love me?"
I sneak out of the back door and hop down the steps, trudging through the backyard. I look down the alley just as headlights appear. I wait impatiently for them to get closer. Eventually Frank turns the car off and climbs out.
“Hey,” he says with a smile.
“Hi,” I reply.
Frank comes to me so I willingly open the gate to let him in. He takes both of my hands in his, intertwining our fingers.
“Is he watching?” he whispers.
“Yeah, he’s conveniently in the kitchen,” I answer as I reach up and wrap my arms around his neck, breathing in.
“You smell so good,” Frank says.
“Like turkey? Last time I checked you hated the smell of turkey or any meat for that matter.”
“No,” he laughs, “like Amber.”
“Mm… Amber smells good.”
Frank just laughs at my rather stupid comment, “Yeah, Amber’s my favorite.”
The backdoor opens causing light to flood the yard.
“Amber?” my dad says.
I reluctantly pull away from Frank, “I’m here dad.”
“Who’s that with you?”
“It’s just Frank.”
“Oh okay. You guys can come in.”
I take Frank’s hand and lead him up the steps. Ray is still in the kitchen. I figure he probably told my dad I was making out with a random guy in the backyard. I wish I’d been making out with Frank.
My grandma wanders into the kitchen to see what is going on, “Frank, hi honey.
When did you get here?”
“Just now,” he answers politely.
Grandma Helena pulls Frank into a hug, “Look at you. You’re getting so much taller. I didn’t know you were coming. Are you hungry? I’m sure there is something soy in the house.”
“Oh, no thanks, I just ate.”
“Alright well come in. Make yourself at home.”
I take his hand and drag him into the living room. Ray glares at us but introduces himself to Frank anyway.
“Hey Frank, how’s it going?” Gerard asks him as they shake hands in that way only guys seem to be able to pull off.
Then Mikey takes over, “What are you doing over here?
“Oh you know, just came to see my girl,” Frank says as he laces his fingers in mine. All four of us break out in a grin.
Ray doesn’t talk to me after that. I’m pretty okay with that. I think it annoys him that everyone seems to like Frank and that they don’t care when I crawl onto his lap, my legs stretched out over the couch. Frank holds my hand all night, occasionally tucking my hair behind my ear or squeezing me for no reason. I like this.
Frank explains that he cannot stay for more than an hour because his mother wants him home. When it is time for him to go I walk him back out to his car to say goodbye. He hugs me tightly for a moment before letting go.
“Is he watching?” I ask.
“Yeah,” Frank answers fidgeting with the sleeve of his shirt.
“He’s probably expecting you to kiss me,” I say my breath starting to get uneven. I either do this now or I’ll never have to balls to try it again.
Frank touches my cheek, “Probably.”
“Frankie,” I start, “do you love me?”
“Of course,” he answers.
For a brief moment our faces are aligned. I take this chance to touch my lips to his. It isn’t a full facial attack or anything. It is just a sweet, simple kiss. My eyes are closed, same as my mouth. I want him to know that this is much more than a friendly kiss but I don’t know how.
For a moment Frank freezes. My breathing is crazy. I’d made a mistake, misread the signs…he doesn’t want to kiss me. How could I be so stupid? Then, I feel his hands cup my face as he parts my lips with his. Our tongues touch softly but it still isn’t a huge kiss. It ends too quickly.
Frank keeps holding my face as we pull part. I keep my gaze down cast because I am too afraid to look him straight on.
“You’re not going to have an asthma attack, are you?” he whispers.
Frank pulls my head to his chest, hugging me. This is a different kind of hug; it is sweeter and more comforting than any he’s given me before. It’s almost like he’s telling me it was okay that I’d kissed him…that he has wanted to kiss me too.
“Night Amber,” Frank whispers.
“Good night Frankie.”
“I’ll come see you tonight.”
“I’ll be waiting for you.”
Frank kisses my forehead before stepping away from me and climbing back into his car. I turn around and trot back up the steps and into the kitchen not even caring that I’m wearing a dorky smile. As I expected Ray is there…but so is Gerard, he looks a little shocked.
“Amber, can I talk to you upstairs for a minute?” he asks, putting his plate down on the counter.
“Sure,” I answer,
I follow Gerard up the stairs and into our grandma’s extra bedroom. This is the one we used to stay in when we’d sleep over. We'd always make forts and she made cookies. Grandma Helena would tell us scary stories until we fell asleep then sing to us when we woke up in the middle of the night due to a bad dream.
Gerard shuts the door, pulling me away from the memories, “So, what the hell way that?”
“What was what?” I ask innocently, allowing myself to fall back onto the bed.
“Frank putting his mouth on yours,” Gerard explains.
I laugh, blushing a little, “We both knew Ray was watching.”
“So, he used to play your boyfriend all the time when you got hit on at the mall. He never kissed you then.”
I shrug, “I don’t know.”
“So how are things between you guys? You still head over heels for him?”
“I thought it was pretty obvious. I mean I was the one who instigated the kiss out there.”
“Did you ever tell him…how you feel about him?”
I nod, running my hands over the soft quilt. I wonder if grandma would let me take this home.
“What did he say?”
I clear my throat, “It was last summer but I was mad as him. I never really gave him a chance to respond.”
“Last summer when you….” Gerard trails off, unable to say it even thought I know he already knows.
“When I lost my virginity to him…yeah,” I respond.
“So… what’s going on with you guys?”
I shrug, “I don’t really know. I think he likes me but for some reason he’s holding back.
“Why do you think he’s holding back?”
“Just… signals I’ve picked up. Like he’s always with me and the way he touches me. I feel like he likes me but he never makes a move. One time he said that the only reason he liked Devlin was because he didn’t think the girl he really liked would ever give him a chance.”
“You think he was talking about you?”
“At first I didn’t, but I can’t seem to think of who else it would be. He said that there was something he wanted to tell me but I wasn’t ready for it. Then he said something about giving me himself for Christmas. Then the kiss outside.... I don’t know…it’s all really confusing.”
“Do you think you’re ready for that kind of relationship?”
“With Frank, yes, with anyone else, no…Frank is just different.”
“You don’t want anyone other than Frank?”
“No, I don’t.”
“So you’re ready.”
“Yeah, but I mean… I’m not ready for like… sex or anything like that. We already act like we’re together. Might as well be, right? Then maybe eventually I’ll be ready for… that.”
“Do you think maybe the reason he’s holding back is because he thinks you’re not ready for it?”
“Maybe probably, if he even likes me. There’s always the possibility that he doesn’t. I mean I’ve put more moves on him then he has on me. Maybe he’s holding back because he doesn’t know how to tell me he doesn’t want me.”
I flops down on the bed, staring at the ceiling, “You’re not disappointed in me, are you?”
“That you lost your virginity to Frank…no. In a way I’m actually kind of relieved.”
“Mainly ‘cause you waited as long as you did and you gave yourself to someone you love…someone who actually deserves you,” Gerard explains to me.
I smile, sitting up and look at my lap, “I thought you were going to be mad. I was ready to kill Frank for telling you.”
“I would have been three months ago, but Frank has really helped you a lot these past moths. I really don’t think you would have made it this far without him.”
I nod, not realizing it has been that long. Sure, it sucks that I couldn’t heal on my own and I had to have someone help me, but it is the truth. Frank is my rock. He is the strongest person I know, the person I go to when I need something...anything. He’s helped me heal and he is there for me on my roughest of days. He never judges me and he never treats me badly. He just waits patiently for me to fix myself and gives me what I need to do so.
“I want to marry him,” I blurt out.
Gerard smiles, “How about you wait a few year for that, then you’ll have my blessing.”
“I don’t mean anytime soon. Just that…that’s how much I love him,” I answer.
Gee nods slowly, “You’re both very luck kids, to have each other.”
“Do you think that someday… we’ll get married?”
My oldest cousin just smiles again, “I can’t picture either of you with anyone else.”
Note: Chapter, yay! Haha hope you enjoy :)