The Amber Series‎ > ‎

2. Think Twice

I look at my watch for what seems like the millionth time and sigh softly under my breath. He’s late again. Looking around one final time I know he’s not coming. Slowly I trudge home. He obviously has better things to do than meet up with his girlfriend once in a while. I walk down the drive and unlock the front door, relieved to find there is no one at home.
“Oh, Ben!” I sigh aloud, flopping onto the sofa. Thinking back I remember to when I first started going out with Ben, my best friend Lara Owen’s older brother. It was all so romantic. Every moment we spent together was amazing. Now we rarely go out just the two of us, and he’s always too busy to go out more than once or twice every few weeks. Now he doesn’t even bother turning up to the dates we arrange. There’s no other way of looking at it. It’s over. He obviously doesn’t seem to think I’m worth the effort.

My thoughts are interrupted by the telephone. I pick up the receiver,
“Hello?”
“Hi, Amber? It’s Ben.”
“Oh, Hi.” I say unenthusiastically,
“Ummm… I’m sorry about earlier, I… err… forgot.”
“Don’t worry about it, we can always meet up tomorrow.”
“Actually, I can’t,” he mumbles, at least having the grace to sound guilty.
“It’s alright, I get the message,” I say angrily, “You could at least have the guts to tell it to me straight instead of making lame excuses.”
“I’m sorry, I just don’t think its working anymore…all we ever do is argue… I don’t need this right now.” He says, his anger growing with every word.
“Ben, what are you trying to say?”
“Its over!”
“Fine!” I scream slamming down the phone.
Then I burst into tears. I’ve missed him so much the last few weeks. I guess it’s my own fault for kidding myself that he still loved me. I’d give anything to go back to the way we were. I love him so much.

Picking up the phone I dial Lara’s number but hang up before anyone picks up. What if Ben answers? Besides, what can I say to Lara? He’s her brother. I jump as the doorbell rings as I go to open it, praying that Ben has changed his mind. It’s Lara, holding a huge box of chocolates. I let her in and lead her into the lounge.
“I’m sorry,” she says hugging me, “My bastard of a brother told me you’d split up.”
Slowly I tell her the whole sorry story, the tears cascading down my cheeks. She’s great. It’s at times like this that I remember why she’s such a good friend. We eat the chocolates and spend hours just talking. It makes me realise how much I’ve missed her company. We spend the evening watching girly movies, which guys refuse flat out to watch and eating loads of junk food. Whenever I start talking about Ben she just sits and listens. Then she stays over at my house.

After Lara leaves I have time to really think and I can’t stop all the good memories flooding back. It seems like only yesterday that we went on the skiing holiday with Chris and Lara, when we first got together. Now here I am alone and heartbroken. Hopelessly, I turn to my diary. Opening to a fresh page I start to write…

Dear Diary,
  I miss Ben so much it’s killing me. All I want is for him to want me again. What did I do so wrong that made him stop caring about me? Why was it so easy for him to cast me aside? Did he ever really love me? Will I ever love again?
I have so many questions and so few answers. Everyone says I’ll get over it but I don’t think I ever will. If only I could just have one last night with him. One last kiss. I just turned the radio on and it’s playing our song. How Do I Live without you Ben? Because I don’t think I can…
  Amber xxx

I close my diary unable to write through my tears. I feel so alone. If only I had Ben to kiss all my troubles away.

Days, then weeks go by. I go through the motions of everyday life. I get up every morning, go to school and go to sleep each night but I go through it all in a daze. Time seems meaningless. There seems to be no point to life anymore. Being with Ben had made everything seem all right. Whatever the problem, when I was with Ben I felt strong enough to overcome it, no matter how big it was. Now everything seems impossible to overcome. I miss him so much. He never even thought twice about breaking up with me. It was just one fight, but he never called to say he was wrong. That he didn’t mean it. That it was all just a stupid mistake. That he still cares about me. At school everyone’s excited about the summer holidays. I’m dreading it. It just seems like days and days of endless loneliness that I should have been spending with Ben.

Finally, it’s the first day of the holiday. In an attempt to cheer me up, Grace, a friend of mine from school invites me to the cinema to see the new Ben Affleck movie. I agree and meet up with her and a few other friends. The movie is great and for the first time in weeks I find myself enjoying something. Ben Affleck is my favourite actor, despite him having the same name as my ex. I can’t believe Ben is my ex when I still love him as much as I did when we were going out, if not more. After the cinema, we all go out for a pizza. It’s good to get my mind off Ben, even for just a few minutes.

The next day I get a call from Lara, inviting me round to her house. At first I refuse but she assures me Ben will be out until late so I agree to come. An hour later I’m sitting watching ‘Home and Away’ with Lara in her living room. When it finishes, Lara continues to watch another soap, which she’s hooked on. I don’t watch it so I get out my diary and start doodling in the back. Not even realising I’m doing it I draw a heart…

I hear the front door open and close and assuming it’s Lara’s parents I ignore it and continue with my doodles. I hear the living room door open so I look up. To my horror, standing in the doorway is Ben and a girl I recognize from the year above. Slamming my diary shut I shoot a horrified glance at Lara whilst sliding my diary under the cushion on the sofa. Ben quickly disappears up to his bedroom with the girl, probably before I can say anything, which may ruin his chances with her. Standing up I tell Lara I have to get home. Knowing there’s no point trying to convince me to stay, she reluctantly walks me to the front door.

It’s been a month since Ben and I broke up yet the pain is still just as bad as it was when we first split up. I know I should have stayed at Lara’s but knowing Ben was upstairs… it was just too much. Breathing deeply I reach into my bag to get my diary. Feeling sick with worry, I realise its still under the cushion in Lara, and more importantly, Ben’s, living room. Picking up the phone I take a deep breath and then dial Lara’s number. With every ring I feel like I’m going to have a heart attack. Then someone picks up,
“Hello?” It’s Ben.
“Hi,” I say nervously, trying to stop my voice from shaking, “Is, Lara there?”
“No, she just went out, she’ll be back late, sorry.”
“Oh, never mind. Thanks anyway, bye.”
“Bye.”
I put down the phone, my hand shaking. What am I going to do? How can I get my diary back now? What if someone finds it and reads it? What if it’s Ben? Now I need my diary more than ever.

After an awful nights sleep I get up to the sound of the telephone. Groggily, I stumble across the room and pick up the receiver.
“Hello?” I ask croakily,
“Hi,” Ben says nervously. “Amber? I didn’t wake you did I?”
“No,” My heart is pounding so hard I’m sure he can hear it.
“Amber, I need to see you. It’s important.”
“OK” I say unsteadily. He must have found my diary, there’s no other explanation for it.
“Meet me at the park, by the big oak next to the pond in fifteen minutes.”
“Sure,” I reply, “See you then.”
“Bye.”
Hanging up the phone I start to shake. Then I run around like crazy trying to find something to wear. I need something casual but I have to look really good to show him what he’s missing. Besides, if I look a mess it’ll just make him think he was right to break up with me when he did.

When I get to the park, Ben is already there. Standing in the shade of the oak tree. I can’t help remembering all the times we met spent by that tree, curled up together. As I approach he looks up without smiling.
“Hey,” I say softly.
“Hey,” he motions to the path and I fall in to step with him as he starts to walk. We walk in silence for a while, circling the pond. Then, taking a deep breath I say,
“So, what did you want to see me about?”
He’s quiet for a minute, then reaching into the inside pocket of his denim jacket, he takes out my diary and hands it to me. I take it from him trying to make sense of the situation. It’s possible he hasn’t read it but too unlikely, and if he has? Well, he’s read pages and pages of my deepest thoughts and feelings. How badly I want to get back together and how much I miss him.

We continue walking in silence until we reach the big oak again.
“Amber,” Ben says softly. He still has the power to make me melt, just by saying my name…
“Yes?” I whisper.
He stops below the tree and looks into my eyes. My heart is pounding as he holds my gaze. Then, as if in a dream he pulls me roughly towards him and presses his lips to mine. We kiss with so much passion, its as if it were our first kiss. Then it’s over. Pulling away Ben starts walking again. I run to catch up with him.
“You can’t kiss me like that and then just walk away.” I say angrily, trying to prevent myself from crying. “Do you really mean to tell me you feel nothing for me anymore?”
“I’m sorry Amber,” he says walking away and leaving me standing alone in the middle of the path. I let the tears fall as I watch him until he’s out of sight. Then I trudge slowly home.

Collapsing onto my bed, I drop my diary onto the floor, my eyes full of tears. Then I sit up quickly. I pick up my diary and look at the page it had fallen open on…

I’m so sure that I never crossed out the ‘doesn’t’, but then who did? Ben… It can’t be. He never wants to see me again… but he was the last person to see my diary, in fact the only person besides me. It’s impossible. I must have done it myself. I’m not exactly thinking straight at the moment anyway. I turn back to a fresh page and a piece of paper flutters out and lands on the floor. Curiously I reach out for it. I unfold it and begin to read…

Dear Amber,
  I’m sorry for everything. I know I’ll be too scared to say this to your face, but I was wrong. You’re the best thing that ever happened to me and I was stupid to throw it away. I want you back. I miss you and I’m miserable without you. When I found your diary, I realised that I still want you, despite everything. I know you probably hate me and never want to speak to me again, but your diary gave me a slight flicker of hope that you might be able to forgive me for the hurt I caused you. All I ask is that you think twice before you say goodbye, and give me another chance to show you how much you mean to me.
I love you,
      Ben xxx


When I finish reading I lie back on my bed, the tears still streaming down my face. Picking up the phone, I dial Ben’s number but there’s no reply. My head is a mess. Ben wants to get back together. It’s a dream come true, but he was so cold in the park. Though the kiss was full of passion, he wouldn’t even look at me afterwards. I know he’s shy but still…

I decide to go for a walk to clear my head. I walk slowly, trying to make sense of my life. I’m so confused about my relationship with Ben. I don’t even know if I have a relationship with him. When I reach the park I turn in through the gates. As I walk the sun comes out from behind the clouds and my spirits lift. Ben wants me back. That’s all that matters. Looking up, I see two figures strolling across the grass towards me, hand in hand. As they walk she leans over and kisses him. I smile. Soon I’ll be like them again. I’m about to turn and go home to try Ben again, but as the couple come closer my smile drops. It’s Ben. With the girl I’d seen him with the day I left my diary at his house. I spin around with a sob and run. I don’t care where I go; I just have to get as far away from Ben and his meaningless declarations of love. As I run I hear Ben calling my name but I don’t stop. I can’t listen to his lies anymore.

Collapsing onto a bench I let the tears run down my face. Then I get up and walk home. Picking up the phone I dial Lara’s number without thinking.
“Hello?” It’s Ben. I should have realised he’d have been at home.
“Is Lara there?” I ask mechanically,
“No, look Amber…” but I’ve already hung up before he can finish the sentence. Up in my bedroom, I take out my diary but I can’t think what to write. I feel the same way I’ve done for weeks, devastated, lonely, miserable, but now I feel lied to, cheated, betrayed. Ben wrote me the nicest letter I’ve ever had, but it was all lies. The whole time he was probably laughing at me with that girl.

Later in the evening the doorbell rings. It’s Lara. I invite her in and we go up to my room. We sit down and Lara starts fidgeting uncomfortably.
“What’s wrong?” I ask worried.
“Amber, I know this is none of my business, but Ben asked me to tell you he wants you back.”
“Was this before or after he started going out with that girl?” I ask bitterly.
“Amber, I’m only saying what he asked me to, but he’s not going out with Danielle. She’s just a friend. She’s fancied him for ages and when he split up with you, she asked him out. He said no because he still cares about you so much. They’re just friends, I promise. Ben really is miserable without you. He barely goes out anymore. He’s a nightmare to live with. When he was with you he was always happy. Now he’s always in a bad mood. He gets angry over the slightest things. He needs you, Amber.”
He’s acting just like me, I think to myself.
“I’m sorry to get you stuck in the middle of this.” I say guiltily.
“It’s OK,” she says smiling.
“I’m miserable without him too,” I say sadly. "He wrote me a letter asking to get back together and then I saw him with Danielle and she kissed him.” I start crying again and Lara puts a comforting arm around me.
“Just talk to him,” she says softly.
“Alright,” I say wiping my eyes.
“Look, I’ve got to go home, but promise me you’ll speak to him. You belong together.”
I promise to phone him and Lara goes home.

 

When I’m alone, I take a deep breath and dial Ben’s number.
“Hello?” Ben picks up after the first ring,
“Hi Ben, it’s me, Amber. I talked to Lara,” I say breathing deeply.
“Hi,” he says softly, “Amber, I’m sorry about everything. I miss you like crazy. I’m a wreck without you. What you saw in the park today was nothing. Danielle’s just a friend, I promise. Please, just give me one last chance to make it up to you.”
“Alright,”
“Thank you, you have no idea how much it means to me. I won’t let you down again. Are you doing anything tomorrow night?” he says suddenly animated.
“No.” I reply cautiously.
“Do you want to come around for dinner? Just the two of us?”
“OK,” I reply,
“Come round about seven. Oh, and where an evening dress.”
“OK,” I agree curiously.
“See you then,”
“Bye.”
“Bye.”
I flop back on the sofa. What was all that about? More importantly, what am I going to wear? This is my last opportunity to win him back. Deciding to ask Lara tomorrow, I go to sleep.

I wake up late and get up straight away. I’m really nervous but excited about the date. I want him back so bad. Lara comes round mid afternoon to help me get ready.
“I don’t know what you’re so worried about. You could get him back wearing a sack, he likes you so much.” Lara laughs. After raiding my entire wardrobe, we decide on my long black silk dress that I wore on holiday at Christmas, the day before Ben and I got together. Now, seven months later, I put it on again. I style my hair exactly the way I did that night and Lara helps me with my make up. Lara has no idea what Ben’s planning either. All she knows is that everyone has been chucked out of the house for the evening.

At half past six I give Lara a lift to Chris’s house. She’s been going out with Chris since November last year. Then I drive to Ben’s. I ring the doorbell and Ben comes to the door in a suit. I come in and take off my coat. Ben looks me up and down, and smiles,
“That’s the same dress you wore to the hotel on holiday.” He says huskily. “The one that made me fall for you all over again…”
I smile up at him. Then he leads me into the dining room. There’s a small table laid out with a long white cloth and a candle in the centre. The lights are dimmed and there are love songs playing softly in the background. Ben takes my hand and leads me to the table. He pulls out my chair for me and I sit down. He disappears into the kitchen and returns a minute later with the starter. At first we don’t talk much but soon we’re chatting like we did before this whole mess started. Ben cooked pasta with his own tomato sauce and it’s really good. For dessert he serves ice cream. By the time we’ve finished eating we’re friends again, but I don’t want to be just friends. I want more than that.

I look up as Ben shyly asks if I want to dance. I agree and we get up and move over to the hi-fi. Ben turns up the music and then wraps his arms tightly around my waist pulling me close. I lift my arms up, draping them over his broad shoulders. Together we slowly sway to the music. It’s almost the end of the song as I look up at Ben, gazing into his gorgeous grey eyes. Then I smile, as I recognize the introduction to ‘How Do I Live’, our song. The one I sang at the karaoke competition just before our first kiss. I run my hand through his hair and slowly, he leans towards me and kisses me passionately. When we pull apart he looks deep into my eyes,
“I love you Amber. I always have done… and I always will.”
“I love you too, Ben. I just don’t understand why you broke up with me in the first place.” I can’t help myself from adding.
“I was just worried you were fed up with my company. I was so sure you were going to dump me… I just thought if I got there first I might not get hurt. I was wrong. Not only did it kill me, but I hurt the person that I care about more than anything.”
“It doesn’t matter now. Everyone makes mistakes.” I say stroking his face. “We’re together now and that’s what matters.”
Then he pulls me close and presses his lips to mine…


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