Amber Who?

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Chapter 4: I Trust You.

Julia was walking back to home from her school. Today Lucas didn’t approach her or maybe he didn’t even come to the school. She didn’t see him anywhere. Julia never thought that she would do this, but she actually looked for him in the school. His group of friends was there, but he wasn’t. She was unobjectionable by the fact that he didn’t try to talk to her today, but at the same time, she was diminutively bothered by the fact that he wasn’t at school today. He never really skips school – not since Julia started to notice him. Since Lucas has been trying to befriend her – she has been preparing herself each morning to see him just as she did today, but he didn’t show up. Julia was a little scared – she was actually getting used to of him talking to her at school.

She dismissed the thoughts about Lucas when she heard the thunder rumbled. She looked above at the sky to see grey cloud slowly covering the gleaming sky. She increased her pace as she felt drizzles falling from the sky. Just when she was about to take a turn – the thunder loudly rumbled and it started to pour heavily. Julia tried to cover herself with her bag as she ran towards her house – which wasn’t far away. The rain thickened minute by minute and by the time she got closer to her house – she was almost drenched. Her feet hit the splash of water as she ran on the wet pavement. She made a mistake of looking at her feet splashing the water as she didn’t see a person in front of her and collided with them and fell on the pavement. She groaned as she fell on her hip.

“Ow.” She heard a girl’s groan. Her gaze fell on the girl that fell with her. She was looking down at her elbow which was scratched and was now bleeding. “I am so sorry. I didn’t see –” Julia started to apologize, but stopped when she saw who it was. She narrowed her eyes when Amber averted her gaze towards her. “What are you doing here?” Julia blurted out. As soon as she blurted it out – she regretted it. She shook her head as Amber raised her eyebrow, “I mean – uh – I didn’t expect it to be you.” Julia explained herself. Amber sighed, “Yeah – well, it is me.” She rolled her eyes and looked down at her elbow. Julia bit her lip – she was already feeling bad. “I am sorry. I didn’t see you coming.” She apologized to Amber.

Both girls were completely drenched in rain by now. Julia gazed down at Amber’s black bag on the pavement and picked it up. Just as the girls – the bag was soaked as well. Julia handed the bag to Amber, “Here is your bag – I am really sorry.” She apologized once again. Amber averted her gaze from her wound to Julia and sighed, “It is okay. I wasn’t watching either.” She shrugged. As she struggled to get up – Julia mashed her lips and hesitated for a moment before she stepped forward and helped her. Amber huffed as she hanged her bag on her shoulder and looked down at her wound once again, “Wow – it stings.” She hisses as she inspected the wound closely. Julia leaned forward to see the blood around the wound. She wrinkled her nose, “You better cover this wound up.” Julia suggested. Amber sighed, “With what?” She asked. “My house is like twenty minutes’ walk away.” She waved her hand in the air, “And this rain doesn’t seem like it will stop anytime soon.” She pouted. Julia quiet kept listening to Amber – who was complaining about the weather. Julia looked up at the sky to see the sky covered with grey clouds. Amber said it right – it doesn’t seem like that the rain will stop any soon. The cold wind gusted through Julia’s wet hair causing her to shiver. She mashed her lips as she stared at Amber. She doesn’t know this girl – she could be anyone. Julia already suspects that she might be the one who is sending out letters to her brother. But on the other hand, the rain gushed and it was getting very windy – Julia’s house was just two houses away and Amber’s is quite far away from here. One part of her wants to be a mellow person and ask Amber to come to her place till the rain goes down, but the other part was scared to do so.

“Okay. I better go before the weather gets worse.” Julia snapped out of her thoughts as she heard Amber speak. Amber put her hand over the wound – that has stopped bleeding now and walked passed by Julia. Julia closed her eyes tightly as she felt bad for letting this girl go like that, so she turned around and called her name, “Amber.” She said. Amber halted and turned around. Julia instantly started to feel fiddly. She intertwined her hands and rubbed her palms together – something she always does when she is nervous or anxious. “Uh – maybe – maybe you should come with – with me to my house.” She pointed her finger behind her as that’s where her house was.

Amber knitted her eyes together, “Uh, it is okay. I mean, I can walk home.” She sounded unsure. Julia swallowed the lump she felt in her throat, “You said your house is pretty far away from here.” Julia said. “Listen, um – if it isn’t a problem for you. You should wait at my house for the rain to slow down.” Julia offered. “Also, I think you need to put a bandage on that wound of yours. It might get infected.” She added.

Amber chuckled and walked few steps closer, “It might not be a problem for me, but it will be for you.” She shrugged. Julia creased her forehead, “And why is that?” She asked. Amber sniggered, “I am not blind. I can see how uncomfortable you get around me.” She said. “I don’t want to make you uncomfortable. I will be okay. You should get in – you will catch a cold.” Amber said as she smiled. When Julia didn’t say anything Amber turned around and started to walk away.

“It is not just you, you know,” Julia spoke loudly over the rain. Amber once again halted and turned around to look at Julia. “I am uncomfortable around everyone.” She added. Amber gazed at Julia wordlessly while Julia was surprised. She doesn’t open up to anyone – not even a little bit. This might be the first time she said something about herself to a stranger. She wasn’t sure either what made her say it, but deep down she felt remorseful by the fact that this girl, who tried to be Julia’s friend, thought that she was the reason of Julia’s apprehensiveness – when her dented past is the reason why she was always so anxious.

Julia sighed as she tried to push the hollow memories in the back of her mind, “Listen, just come with me, okay?” She asked Amber – who gave it a thought. “I am very cold and I think so are you, so please let’s not stay under the rain any longer and let’s go to my house,” Julia asked. Amber sighed and gave Julia a small smile, “Are you sure?” She asked her. Julia lifted her lips in a smile, “Yes.” She replied. Amber walked nearer and together they hastily walked towards Julia’s house. “Hey, by the way, you remembered my name.” She pointed out with a grin stretched across her lips. Julia looked at the girl as they walked under the shade of her porch. Julia didn’t even realize that she called her by her name. She didn’t reply and opened her handbag to take the key from it. “Now that you know my name, can I know yours?” She asked. Julia didn’t reply to her. She took out the key and unlocked the door. She twisted the knob and looked at Amber – who was already looking towards her. “Julia.” She replied shortly as she opened the door for both of them to enter.

“You have a very nice house, Julia,” Amber said to her as she put her drenched bag at the corner beside the door frame. She stepped forward as her gaze roamed around the house. Julia looked at her as she took off her shoes and put her wet bag at the other side of the door. She sighed as she stood straight, “This house belongs to my brother. I just live with him.” Julia replied. Amber turned around to look at Julia. She creased her forehead, “And – what about your parents?” She asked her. Julia didn’t like when people ask her about her parents. She doesn’t like to talk about them. She averted her gaze from Amber and replied, “They passed away in a car accident.” She lied and walked further into the house. Amber stood still for few seconds as she looked at Julia. She mashed her lips, “I am sorry to hear that.” She said to Julia. Julia heard her loud and clear, but she didn’t say anything nor did she act like she heard her.

She turned around and looked at Amber. Her clothes were just as drenched as hers. She pressed her lips together, “You should change your clothes. You can borrow mine till yours dry.” Julia offered her. Amber looked down at her clothes and nodded, “Yes, that would be great. Thank you.” She replied. Julia nodded and pointed her finger towards the staircase, “My room is upstairs. Come on let me give you some dry clothes.” She said and started to walk up the stairs. Amber hurriedly took off her shoes and put them beside Julia’s shoes and followed her up to her room.

Although Julia was hesitating to take Amber to her room – no one except for Ashley and her brother has seen her room. She wanted to ask her to wait downstairs till she gets her some clothes, but that would mean leaving her alone and she doesn’t trust her enough to leave her alone like that. She could do anything. Julia doesn’t trust anyone. She was turning her head around time to time to see if Amber was following her or not. She was being too careful and by the look on Amber’s face – Julia can tell that Amber already thinks that she was crazy. Julia twisted the knob of her bedroom and pushed opened the door. She turned around to look at Amber who was smiling, “Yes, I am right behind you. Don’t worry I will not attack you from behind.” She chuckled. “I can hardly catch a mosquito, so don’t worry – you are safe,” Amber added. Julia looked at Amber – it was like Amber could hear what was going on in Julia’s mind because that was exactly what she was thinking. Or maybe it is because Julia was acting too obviously. Julia didn’t say anything and entered the room with Amber right behind her.

“Wow,” Amber said as she entered the room. Julia knitted her eyebrows and turned around to look at the amazed girl behind her. She had an ordinary room with pale white walls with sufficient amount of furniture – nothing too fancy. “I love your room!” Amber said excitedly. Her eyes beamed, “Your room is so big and beautiful.” She said as she opens up her arms. Julia looked at her bewilderedly. Amber looked at her, “Oh, you must be thinking that I am crazy.” She chuckled as she bit her tongue. Julia shook her head, “No.” Julia replied short and walked towards her wooden cupboard. She opened it and started to look for something to wear for Amber. “Actually, I just love your room.” Amber shrugged. Julia briefly turned her around, “It is just an ordinary room.” Julia replied. Amber snickered, “This room is luxurious if you compare it with my room.” She answered. Julia stopped and listen to her as Amber continued, “I can hardly fit in the room.” She added.

Julia took a plain shirt and jeans out of her cupboard for Amber and turned around, “I live with just my mother. We live in a small studio apartment. Since she is an alcoholic – she never got a stable job and we never moved to a better place.” She told her. Julia could feel a connection between her and Amber. Her story resembled hers own. She felt a lump forming in her throat. “Aren’t you sharing too much with a stranger?” Julia asked Amber. She didn’t want her to share anymore with her yet she wanted to know more. She knows what it is to live with an alcoholic mother. She can feel her pain, but what Amber doesn’t know is that Julia’s wounds are deeper and more painful. Her mother was not just an alcoholic – she was a prostitute.

Amber shrugged, “I trust you.” She answered. “I am sharing it with my friend.” She added. Julia brought her eyebrows together, “Friends?” She asked. Amber grinned, “Yes, oh – I am sorry – I have to ask you first, right?” She laughed. “Julia, will you be my friend?” She asked as she stretched her hand out for a handshake. Julia gazed at her hands. “I am not a bad person – you can trust me.” Amber insured her. Julia looked at Amber who was smiling. Amber raised her eyebrows when Julia didn’t react. “Uh – I – uh –” Julia stuttered. Amber chuckled and withdrew her hand. “It is okay, but I consider you my friend and I am sure that one day you will call me the same.” She nodded.

Amber mashed her lips and wrinkled her nose, “Now can you please tell me where the bathroom is? I have to pee so badly.” She asked with an awkward chuckled. Julia snapped out, “Oh – uh, it is just beside this room - uh - first left door, um – here are some dry clothes for you.” She answered her and handed Amber the clothes. Amber smiled, “Thank you.” She said and dashed out of her room.

Julia was thinking about what little detail Amber gave to her about herself. She wondered if there are more similarities in their lives. She wanted to know more, but at the same time, she is too afraid to let this girl in her life. She looked out of the window – it was still raining cats and dogs. Her eyes fell on the same place where she saw Amber standing the other day. She wondered if Amber was just passing by like today or is she the one sending letters to her brother?

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