I burst out of the office and got in the car. Liam reluctantly followed but I finally got him to start the car and take us home. When we arrived I jogged inside tears brimming my eyes and found the boys in the living room. I went straight up to Louis.
“Did you know?” I yelled in his face, “Is that why you sent me to therapy? You knew the whole time!” I banged my fists against his chest, sobbing.
“Woah, woah,” he said grabbing my hands, “What do you mean?”
“I have family on my mother’s side. Who want me to go live with them? That’s what I mean.”
“Amber, I promise you I knew nothing about this,” he assured.
“He didn’t. None of us did,” said Liam.
I took a deep breath, attempting to calm myself down. I knew I had overreacted, I was just scared.
“It’s okay though, you aren’t going anywhere you’ll stay right here with us,” said Louis stroking my hair. I nodded in his chest, sniffling.
“Well…” Liam said quietly.
“Well, what?” Louis asked.
“Dr. Andrews gave me some papers when you ran out. Apparently your uncle was able to get custody, you’re expected in the states this weekend,” he said handing Louis a file.
I felt myself fall back against the couch. Panic rushed through me. I was just getting comfortable here and I was about to be ripped away from my family again. Louis caught me and helped me back up. He grasped my shoulders and made me look at him.
“Amber, it’s okay. We’ll figure this out.”
Niall picked up the file which and fallen on the floor and began flipping through it, “You’re 18 right?”
“Well it says here, once you’re nineteen you have custody over yourself. So you could just come back on your birthday which according to this is in…. four months.”
“Four months!” exclaimed Louis, “Wait a second why does she have to wait till she’s 19. Isn’t it when you’re eighteen?”
“Apparently because of all you’ve been through they got legal permission to extend the age for you.”
“That makes no sense at all!” Louis yelled, getting very upset. He began cursing the doctors and such arguing with the others.
“It’s only four months,” I whispered getting their attention.
Everyone went silent. Finally Harry spoke, sighing deeply.
“She’s right. We should try and stay positive about it.”
I softly smiled and mouthed a thank you in his direction.
“Are you sure, Amber? We can try and fight this,” said Louis.
“No, it’s fine. My uncle may be really nice and I might enjoy my time there. So, we are getting worked up about nothing.”
“I don’t know—,” he started.
“Louis, it’s okay. I can do this.”
I dragged my suitcases down the steps. All five boys waiting for me by the front door. I slowly gave each of them a hug as Louis took my luggage out to the car.
“Don’t have too much fun,” Zayn said quietly.
“I won’t,’ I replied chuckling.
“I’ll miss having my best mate around,” said Niall.
“I’ll see you soon, Niall. Don’t replace me while I’m gone.”
Harry opened his arms wide and elapsed me in them. We hadn’t talked much since the incident, but it felt good to be back in his grasp.
“See you soon,” he whispered quietly.
I nodded. He pulled me back so I was looking straight into his eyes. He then shocked me by planting a soft kiss on my forehead and lingered there for a few seconds. I closed my eyes and smiled lightly. When we pulled away I saw the other boys standing around us, besides Louis, but none of them seemed surprised. They must’ve thought it was just friendly. That’s all I wanted it to be. That’s all it should be.
I slowly walked out the door and waved a quick goodbye to the others as I jumped into Louis’ car. The ride to the airport was silent. Louis still was upset over the fact that I was leaving for four months even though I assured him they’d be over before he knew it and I would move back. Finally we reached the airport after checking in my bags we headed to my gate and took a seat to wait for departure. My uncle lives in northern Ohio not too far from Chicago so I’m hoping that maybe I can visit my friends while I’m there. I started to wonder what it was going to be like living with my uncle, who I have never before. It can’t be much different from the situation I was in just a few months ago. I didn’t know the boys and they were so sweet about making me feel at home. And I did. I just wish I didn’t have to leave.
“Amber?” Louis asked quietly. I detected a crack in his voice.
“Hm?” I said lifting my chin up to look at him.
“Nevermind.” He replied quickly.
“Louis tell me.”
“I just… please come home.”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean when the four months are over. Please come home.”
“Of course Louis why wouldn’t I?”
“Because you may like it better over there, I don’t know. I just want you to promise me that you’ll come back to us.”
“I promise. Louis you’re my family.”
“Well so is your uncle.”
“Sure, we are blood related, and so are you and I, but you are my real family.”
The intercom switched on and a voice boomed across the airport “Flight 4A to Toledo, Ohio. Now boarding.”
“That’s me,” I said quietly.
We both rose and I collapsed into his arms tears threatening to spill over.
“I’ll miss you so much,” he whispered.
“I’ll miss you too.”
I slowly waved goodbye as I boarded the plane. I found my seat and luckily no one seemed to have a seat around me so I had the whole aisle to myself. I relaxed slightly wiping tears from my eyes as the plane lifted off and we rose into the air.
The flight lasted long enough I stretched as the plane landed and I rose from my seat. I departed the plane and went to the baggage claim. I then proceeded to the front of the airport where I was told my uncle would be waiting for me. I waited on a bench for what seemed like hours but finally a gray pick-up truck pulled up next to me. A forty-year old man hopped out and somehow I knew it was him.
“Uncle Matt?” I asked hesitantly.
“Amber? Is that you?”
“You look so much like your mother!”
That comment hit me like a ton of bricks but I tried my best at a genuine smile, “Thank you.”
“Well, hop in and we can get going.”
I followed him to his car and got in the passenger seat. He started the car and quickly drove off, it took about ten minutes to reach his house which was very small compared to the house in London, but it looked cozy which is what I preferred. I walked up the front lawn following in his footsteps, he unlocked the door and held it open as I went inside.
“I’ll show you your room.”
He escorted me up the stairs, down a hall and into a small room with a twin bed, dresser, closet, and door to what looked like a bathroom.
“I know it’s not much, but make yourself as comfortable as possible.”
“It’s perfect, thank you.”
“Well, I’m making burgers for dinner so feel free to come down whenever you’d like.”
I thanked him again as he walked out of the room and headed back downstairs.
I sat myself down on the bed and let out a deep breath I had been holding in for so long. This wouldn’t be so bad. I might actually like it here, I told myself. And I hoped with all my heart I was right.
AN: The song Skinny Love by Birdy really helped me with this chapter, I suggest listening to it while reading, gives it much more meaning.