"I don't like being away from you."
“Hey kiddo,” my dad says, “how ya feeling?”
“Much better, the doctor came in and said I could probably leave tomorrow or the day after depending on if I stop breathing tonight,” I respond as Frank crawls back onto the bed. I like having him by my side.
“Nice. I’m going to head out. Call if you need anything, Amber.”
“Of course,” I answer as my dad walks away, leaving Frank and I alone in the room.
“I don’t like being away from you,” Frank admits. “I can only handle it if I know that you’re happy and you’ll be aright. When I don’t know where you are and what’s wrong and I know you’re upset I panic too.”
“I’m sorry,” I answer, resting my head on Frank’s shoulder.
“It’s okay. I just… I need you. Like oxygen, Ambo.”
I smile, “Ditto, like oxygen and greeting cards.”
Frank laughs softly, “Yeah can’t live without greeting cards.”
“Nope, not at all.”
“Dear Amber, please don’t leave me because I’m in love with you. Love, Frank.”
I smile and snuggle up against him, “Dear Frank, I won’t because I’m in love with you too. Love, Amber.”
Frank kisses my head before wrapping his arms around me, “Did you and my dad have a nice chat?”
Frank nods, “How did you know?”
“I could just tell, from the way you looked when you walked in. What did you talk about?” I say worried about what my dad could have said to Frank.
“You,” he answers being very vague.
“What about me?”
“He just wants to make sure I’m treating you right.”
I can tell Frank is keeping stuff from me but I decide not to press the issue, “No one’s ever treated me better.”
“Amber?” Frank starts, tucking a few strands of my hair behind my ear.
“You are so fucking incredibly loved, do you know that?”
I smile, “I know. I’m so fucking incredibly thankful. I thank God every day for you and Gerard and Mikey and Aunt Donna and everyone else in my life.”
Frank smiles, pressing his lips to mine…the metal still feels weird, “And I thank God every day for you.”
Frank ends up spending the night with me again. I’m really surprised his mother hasn’t called and told him to get his ass home. Maybe she understands that I need him. Either way I enjoy his presence.
Although the monitor they have me hooked up to doesn’t go off in the night the doctors want me to stay for another day. Even though Frank wants to, he can’t stay. He’s got work and his mom would be pissed if he didn’t go. He leaves me with the promise that he’d see me later.
Around seven I’m allowed to go home. Aunt Donna, Mikey and Bob come to pick me up. I’ve not seen the blonde boy in a long time. It’s a nice surprise. For the next four hours Bob and I sit on the couch, watching movies and eating junk food. I enjoy the time spent with my other friends.
“I went out to the prison to see Garry,” I tell Bob as we wait for our third bag of popcorn to finish up.
“Yeah, how did that go?”
“I didn’t stay long. I just slapped him then left. It was what I needed to do,” I explain hoping that he doesn’t think I’ve completely lost it.
Instead Bob laughs, “Did it help?”
“More than I can explain.”
“I’m glad,” answers Bob as the microwave beeps.
Once we’ve gathered our popcorn we return to the living room.
Bob leaves around twelve. Soon after that I go to sleep. It’s been a long day and in truth I’m completely exhausted. Sleep is really the best thing for me.