Cold water splashed my face and I spluttered violently as I sat up wet in my bed.
“What the—” I yelled.
I heard Luke’s laughter and a flash of brown hair leaving my room. I quickly jumped out of bed and ran down the hallway and tackled the first thing I ran into which just so happened to be my dad.
“Woah, woah where do you think you’re going? And why are you soaking wet?”
“Why don’t you ask Luke,” I answered grumpily.
“What? Me?” I heard his mock innocent voice coming from downstairs.
“Your mom made you breakfast why don’t you dry off and go grab some before school?”
I huffed out a breath and returned to my room, “I swear he’s adopted.”
“Oh trust me he is,” I heard my dad reply. It had always been a joke between us.
I cleaned up and pulled on my preppy uniform for school and ran downstairs. My mom was at the stove and Luke sat quietly at the counter. I slowly walked up to him and slapped him upside the head.
“Hey! What was that for?”
“You seriously have to ask?” I replied grabbing a plate and serving myself some scrambled eggs.
“Morning mom,” I said giving her a small hug.
“Hey, sweety. How’d you sleep last night?”
“Just great! Until I had a rude awakening this morning,” I said glaring at Luke.
He held his hands up in defense, “Dad told me to wake you up he never specified how.”
I rolled my eyes and finished eating my breakfast.
“Bye Mom, bye Dad,” I said running out the door with my backpack, “You driving?” I asked Luke as he came out to the car.
I jumped in the passenger seat and began to flip through the stations on the radio.
“Oh, this song sounds good. I heard it yesterday! It’s this new boyband.”
“Boyband? Yeah, no thank you,” Luke replied switching the radio to his music.
I decided not to fight with him so I closed and dosed off as we drove to school.
I felt my shoulder being nudged, and my name being called. Quite loudly in fact.
“Amber! C’mon, we’re here!” Luke yelled.
“Okay, okay I’m up,” I grabbed my bag and opened my car door. I was instantly elapsed in a gigantic hug, which could be from no other than Priya. I laughed, “You’re cutting off my circulation.”
“Oh sorry,” she said letting go of me, “But I just thought I’d be the first congratulate you.”
“For what?” I asked confused.
“Word is, Kyle is asking you to the party tonight,” she squealed. Kyle was only the quarterback of the football team, complete stereotype.
“What an air-head,” I mumbled under my breath.
“Excuse me?” Priya asked sarcastically, “He’s dreamy.”
“I’m not denying that, but other than that, what makes him so attractive.”
“He doesn’t need anything else.”
I laughed, “Of course not,” we began to walk towards the entrance to the school, “I don’t want to go to the party anyway. Can’t we just stay home?”
“Of course you would want to stay home Amber, you’re a buzzkill,” Luke said chuckling.
“Well are you going?” I asked.
“Good luck convincing Mom and Dad. And who’s your date?”
“Oh, I have someone in mind,” he said as he attempted a seductive wink towards Priya, who blushed violently.
I fake gaged myself, “You two make me sick,” I headed in front of them and in the school doors. I instantly ran into someone.
“I’m so sorry,” I sputtered as I began to pick up my books up off the floor.
“Why don’t you watch were you’re going?” the person said violently.
“I really am sorry,” I looked up to see who it was and sure enough… it was Kyle, “I should’ve known,” I muttered quietly.
“Oh, Amber, I didn’t see it was you,” he said, sugar coating his voice.
“Right,” I said grumpily as I brushed myself off.
“Well since you’re here I was wondering if you wanted to go to the party with me tonight,” he said grabbing a piece of my hair and twisting it around his finger, stepping awfully close to me.
“No thank you,” I said quietly, “Now please step away from me.”
I saw his eyebrows knit together as he began to get angry, “Why not?”
“Because I try to stay away from stuck-up jerks,” I replied trying to stay calm.
“What did you just say?” he spat, cornering me up against the wall.
“I said, I don’t like to be associating with selfish, demeaning, idiots,” I replied raising my voice with each word.
I soon regretted what I said because I saw him raise his hand above my face. I shut my eyes waiting for a blow that never came. When I slowly opened them I saw Kyle on the ground currently being killed by Luke. I screamed his name trying to get him to stop, but he looked absolutely furious as he punched and yelled at Kyle.
“How dare you even think about doing that to my sister,” he screamed.
“Luke!” I yelled grabbing his arms and pulling him as hard as I could. I finally got his attention and he turned his glare towards me.
“Did he do anything to you? Hurt you?” he asked quickly, anger in his eyes.
“No, no you got him just in time,” I replied sarcastically, annoyed with his yelling at me.
“Hell yeah I did,” he replied as he looked back towards Kyle who was currently lying in his own blood. I grimaced as I saw his faced. It was cut in multiple places and I wouldn’t be surprised if he had a broken nose.
I saw the principal, Mr. Killian, running down the hall towards the crowd that had formed around us.
“Oh, you are so screwed,” I whispered to Luke.
“Trust me I know,” he replied, “You’re welcome by the way.”
“I had it under control.”
“Yeah sure you did,” he scoffed, “Just let Mom and Dad I’ll be home late.”
“Guess you aren’t going to the party after all.”
“I blame you for that.”
Mr. Killian had made it to the middle of the crowd by now and was trying to help Kyle up. Once some other teachers came to his aid, he turned towards us. “You two, in my office now.”
“Mr. Killian, it was all my fault,” Luke said stepping in front of me, “I was protecting my sister and it got out of hand, she has nothing to do with it.”
“Okay Mr. Tomlinson, come with me. The rest of you off to class,” he said yelling to the rest of the students.
The rest of the day all I could think about was Luke. I felt bad that he had gotten in trouble for just trying to help me but honestly he should’ve stayed out of it. It wasn’t his business. The last bell rang and I gathered my stuff together and headed out the door. I met Priya out by my car.
“So are we waiting for Luke?” she asked.
“Nah, he texted me and said that my parents have to come down to the school and talk to Mr. Killian. He gave me the keys so you wanna come over?”
“Of course,” she said rolling her eyes.
I laughed and got in the car with her. Once I got home my parents were both waiting by the front door.
“Um, Priya can you take my backpack up to my room, I’ll meet you up there.”
She nodded and ran inside giving me a small smile as she went.
“So, Amber, would you like to tell us what happened?” my dad said crossing his arms in front of his chest.
“A guy was threatening me at school, so Luke beat him up,” I said simply.
“And he’s in trouble why?” Mom yelled, frustrated.
“Karen! He beat up a kid!” Dad replied.
“Yes, but he did it protecting our daughter! That’s a valid reason,” she argued.
“Can I go inside?” I asked interrupting them.
“Fine,” Dad sighed, “We have to go to the school anyway, hopefully we’ll be home for dinner.”
“Okay, good luck,” I said.
They both laughed sarcastically, “Yeah we need it, so does your brother,” he said.
“Call me on your way home,” I said giving them both a hug, “Love you.”
I waved as they got in the car. Then I ran upstairs to join Priya. Little did I know that was the last time I would see their faces.
“Shouldn’t your parents be home by now?” Priya asked putting some popcorn in her mouth. We had decided to do a Nicholas Sparks movie marathon. It was currently Safe Haven.
“They said they’d call on their way home. Luke must be in loads of trouble,” I replied chuckling.
“I wouldn’t be laughing, he got in trouble protecting you.”
“Yeah, well he didn’t have to protect me, so it’s his own fault,” my phone began to vibrate, “Speak of the devil.”
“Hey Luke, where are you guys?”
“We just got out of the office, Mom and Dad just wanted me to call to tell you we’re on our way home.”
“Like I said, earlier this is your fault.”
“Okay, well see you soon.”
“Bye,” I replied, hanging up. As I put my phone down the end credits began to roll on the movie.
“What’s next?” I asked Priya.
“A Walk to Remember,” she replied.
“Love that one. Pop it in.”
Hours passed but still they hadn’t returned home.
“Do you think I should call?” I asked, worry in my voice.
“I bet they just stopped somewhere for dinner, no need to worry yet.”
I nodded. We then heard the doorbell ring. We both stood up and walked downstairs. I opened the door to a police officer.
“That would be me,” I replied, “Is there a problem officer.”
“Actually, there is, it’s about your family.”
I felt my throat constricting, but I swallowed quickly trying to calm myself, “Yes, what about them?”
“There was an accident that involved drunk driving,” he paused, “Your family’s car was hit, and it was thrown off the road. There were no survivors from either vehicle.”
If you ever have had the wind knocked out of you, you may have experienced a similar feeling to what I was feeling right then. I felt my world crumbling around. My heart felt like it was being crushed as I sunk to the floor. I felt like each breath I took would be my last as I forced them out of my lungs. I felt arms wrapping around me, but every touch felt alien to me and I began to scream. I screamed into the void of darkness before me. The darkness that had overcome my family and taken them from me. The darkness that would haunt me even to this day. Because their lives weren’t the only ones taken that day.
Mine was as well.