"I think you're beautiful."
When we arrive I lead her in and introduce Amber to my cousin. She explains what she wants done while I look through the racks of tattoo designs. Drew, my cousin, leads Amber over to his equipment. Eventually I wander over, sitting next to her.
My cousin looks over Amber’s face, “This is the punk chick you where talking about, right Frank?”
“Yeah,” I respond.
“Gnarly scar you got right there,” my cousin says touching the small pink line that broke through Amber’s eyebrow.
She looks away uncomfortably.
“Oh… yeah,” I walk to the other side of the chair, leaning down to press my lips against the scar. Her eyes flutter closed and I resist the urge to lay my lips against hers. “Now it’s has a good memory.”
“Thank you,” Amber whispers, smiling at me.
I smile back as I retake my seat, “Anytime.”
“Is this your girlfriend?” my cousin asks.
I take Amber’s hand in both of mine, “Yeah, totally.”
My best friend’s eyes grow wide but I wink at her as Drew marks her nose with a black sharpie.
“Is that where you want it?”
Amber looks in the mirror tilting it from side to side. Eventually she looks to me, her eyes large, “What do you think?”
“It’s perfect,” I answer with a smile.
“Then yes, it’s fine.”
“Alright, here we go.”
Amber squeezes my hand, her black painted nails digging into my skin. She jerks her hand slightly as the needle goes through, her eyes starting to water. I gently wipe the tears away with my thumb.
“I suppose I should have warned you that getting your nose pierced fucking hurts,” I say. “It also makes your eyes water like crazy."
“Right,” Amber answers with a giggle.
“It’s the nerves,” my cousin explains. “They react that way when they’re closer to your eyes. Plus facial injuries tend to hurt more anyway.”
“It’s probably better that you didn’t warn me. I might have backed out.”
“You gonna cry?”
“No, my eyes are just watering. I wish you’d get this clamp off my nose.”
Drew laughs, sticking the ring through before unclamping it. He smiles as Amber wipes her eyes. I hand the mirror over so she can see the tiny, silver stud that is now in her nose.
“How does it look?” Drew asks.
“Awesome aside from the redness,” Amber answers looking over at me.
“That’ll go away. Frank’s done this before. He’ll show you what to do. I also gave you a smaller ring. I figured you didn’t want the big ass one we usually give.”
“No, I like this one. Thank you Frank’s cousin,” Amber laughs.
“It’s Drew. Do you want it on your tab Frank?”
I nod, “Sounds good to me.”
“Then you’re good to go unless you want anything else.”
“I’ve got everything at home.”
“Sweet, well have a good night, kids.”
“Thank you,” Amber says once again.
“No problem, sweetheart.”
Amber hops off the chair. I take her hand again, our fingers intertwining. We say our goodbyes and head back out to my car.
“What the hell just happened?” she asks as we buckle up.
“I believe you just got your nose pierced.”
“I know but… I wasn’t expecting it to be that easy…or that cheap.”
I laugh, “It’s because you’re with me.”
“Thank you for taking me,” Amber answers.
“I’m always up for a good spontaneous piercing.”
“I’m surprised you didn’t get one.”
“Where would I put it?”
Amber laughs, “I don’t know…your belly button?”
“Oh, sexy, maybe, I’ll think about it.”
“You should, and get one of those dangly ones.”
“Those ones always kind of freaked me out.”
“Well there are numerous things they could get stuck in, like pants and… pubic hair.”
Amber snorts out my favorite giggle in the entire world, “Pubic hair…seriously Frank?”
“Yeah, I mean if it’s long enough.”
“What, the belly ring or the hair?”
I laugh, “The ring, Jesus Amber get your head out of the gutter.”
She is still laughing, “You should have been more specific.”
“I suppose I should have, you little pervert.”
Amber just continues to giggle. I smile and reach across the seat to hold her hand. Once we get to my house I park out front and shut the engine off.
“Amber, can I ask you a question?” I ask as we sit there in the dark, the car illumined only by the light on the front porch and the street light a few yards away.
“Sure,” she replies, her eyes scanning over my front yard. The lights are doing amazing things to her eyes and I cannot keep mine off her.
“Will you stay the night with me tonight?”
She turn to look at me, her newly pierced nose scrunching up, “Are you scared to sleep alone?”
“Yeah, sometimes the house creaks.”
Amber smiles, her upper lip puckering out. My eyes instantly zeroing in on it, I’d do anything to kiss those lips just one more time.
“Then I’ll stay, but only to protect you from the creaking. You can’t kiss me again. I won’t let you until you tell me what your plan is.”
“Fair enough,” I answer before getting out of the car and heading towards the house.
My mom is already asleep so I take Amber’s hand and lead her into my room, “I’m going to get the cleaning stuff for your nose. Change into these.”
I toss my Jack Skellington pajama bottoms at her before leaving the room.
I enter the bathroom and locate my cleaning supplies. I pile them into my hands and then trudge back to my room. I guess I should have knocked first. Amber doesn’t have pants on. We’ve been through this before but each time it’s been her choice to change in front of me, not me walking in.
“Oh, sorry,” I mumble before turning around sharply.
“Frank… stop being modest, it’s not like you’ve never seen my legs before.”
“I just… feel rude.”
“You’ve seen me naked.”
“I've only seen you completely naked once.”
And a million times after that in my mind.
“Twice if you count that time we went skinny dipping in that kid’s pool when we were like eleven.”
I laugh; of course she’d bring that up.
“You can turn around. There’s nothing wrong with me, I'm not even fully naked.”
Slowly I turn around, resisting the urge to size her up. Her body has changed so much in the past few months. I finally settle on looking into her eyes.
“It’s not that I think anything is wrong with you, Amber.”
Her gaze drops to the floor as if she’s ashamed of something, “Then why won’t you look at me?”
“I know we’ve been through this before but each time it was your desision to change in frong of me. I walked in…. I just don’t want you to feel uncomfortable. ”
“Do you think I’m pretty?”
“I think you’re beautiful.”
“If I wasn’t your best friend would you want to date me?”
I smile, “I’d do more that date you.”
I drop the cleaning stuff on the bed then sit on the floor. Amber still hasn’t put any pants on. I’m beginning to wonder if she’d forgotten they are off.
I take a deep breath, “Amber, can I see your scars?”
She nods and walks over so that she is standing in front of me. My eyes run over the pink marks that cover her legs. They are the most resent. I hate what she’s doing to herself.
“They look better,” I remark.
“I’m hoping they go away eventually,” she answers frowning down at her legs. “They make me look really ugly.”
“I don’t think so. Can I touch them?”
“I don’t see why not.”
I reach out and gently run my fingers over the skin of her thighs. Her breathing gets heavier but I pretend not to notice. Amber’s skin is soft and smooth, even over the pink lines.
“The scar tissue isn’t that bad, they might fade over time.”
I look back up at Amber and realize that she is looking down at me. Her chest rises and falls rapidly. I kneel up but Amber turns her head to the side, smirking at me. I’d forgotten her rule.
“I love you.”
Amber nods before stepping away from me, pulling on my pajama bottoms. They are huge on her. She just deals with it, flopping down on the bed.
“Do you mind if I change in front of you?” I ask, trying to de polite.
“You’re wearing underwear, right?”
I laugh at her, “Of course.”
“Then I don’t mind.”
I pull on a pair of sweat pants that are lying on the ground, leaving my shirt off. I climb into bed next to Amber, my head facing her.
She traces over a tattoo I have on my pec, her eyes narrowing, “This one’s new.”
“How can you tell?”
“It’s red and the skin is still really raised,” Amber answers rolling over so she can look at it. “Ambra il mio amore…what’s it mean?”
“I’ll tell you later,” I answer.
The room is silent for a moment as Amber’s hand continue to explore my upper body. I just lie there, eyes closed, enjoying the feeling.
“Can I ask you a question?” Amber asks causing my eyes to open, locking with hers.
“Anything you’d like.”
“You couldn’t tell… that you were taking my virginity?”
I shrug, “I don’t know. I didn’t even think about it I guess. I should have noticed. It was kind of obvious when I thought about it later. I was drunk.”
Amber nods, looking at my blanket, “How often do you have sex with girls while your drunk?”
I smile at her, “I don’t… usually.”
“But you have? Other than me, I mean?”
“Well…Devlin once or twice,” I answer.
Amber nods slowly, “Oh.”
I can tell that she doesn’t like this. I feel so stupid for dating Devlin.
“But…I want you to know it was different with you."
“Well… because I wanted you.”
“You wanted her too.”
Amber looks at me with those big eyes making it hard for me to find the correct way to say this.
“Physically, yes I wanted her.”
“What are you trying to say?”
I sigh, “This is one of those things we’ll have to talk about another time.”
“I’m just… confused.”
“I know you are. Come here.” I reach out to her so she scoots over and snuggles up in my arms.
“I’m happy that it was you though… and not anyone else.”
I just play with her hair, smiling a little, “Me too.”
“Do you still think it was a stupid mistake?”
“Best mistake I ever made.”
Amber laughs softly, “I miss my turtle and my kitten.”
“Who needs a turtle or a cat when you have a Frank?”
“You’re right. Frank’s are much cuddlier.”
“This is true…cuddle, damn it.”
“I am cuddling.”
Amber squeezes me closer her head resting on my bare chest, “Is that better?”
“It most definitely is goodnight Amber.”
Note: :) anyone have any clue what Frank's tattoo says? I'm pretty sure my translation from English to Italian sucks but then again maybe it doesn't. Haha. Anyway, hope you enjoyed this. :)