WARNING: LOTS OF FLASHBACKS IN THIS CHAPTER PAY ATTENTION TO POV
*FLASHBACKS ARE IN ITALICS*
LOUIS’ POINT OF VIEW:
I never really realized how strong Amber was. She had lost everyone she held dear and she still went one. Still got through every day, with no one. Until she met us. I, on the other hand, am only on the brink of losing someone and I can’t even…. Breathe. I feel like each breath I take is a struggle. Like it could be taken from me at any moment. Like Amber.
I remember when I had found out about Amber. My first emotions were shock, then excitement, then confusion.
“Hello, Mr. Tomlinson, thank you for joining us here on such late notice.”
“No problem, and you can call me Louis,” I replied shaking the man’s hand.
“Take a seat,” he said motioning towards a chair in his office.
I followed his instructions and he sat down at his desk, pulling out a file and flipping through some papers.
“So, we have called you here today because we have made an interesting discovery. We would have called in your parents, but when I called them they ask that I speak to you about the situation.”
I nodded, not really sure what he meant.
“Your father had a sister, who lived in United States.”
I interrupted quickly, “Lived? As in past tense?”
“Her name was Kathleen Tomlinson, she was married to Joseph Rowley. They had a son and a daughter, twins actually. About three years ago, Mr. and Mrs. Rowley and their son, Luke, got into a fatal car accident. There were no survivors.”
I had never even met them, they were my family, and they died without me even knowing their names.
“What about the daughter?”
“That’s what we called you here about. Amber has been in foster care for the past few years under her father’s name Rowley. She just recently changed her name to Tomlinson, her mother’s maiden name, and that’s how we found her.”
“I have a cousin?” I asked quietly. A hint of excitement evident in my voice.
“Yes, and after talking with your parents, we came to the conclusion that she has not been doing very well in a regular family setting. So, what we were going to ask, is if you would be willing to have her come live with you and your mates.”
I stood up quickly, “Of course!” I cried. The idea of my cousin coming to live with me and boys sounded amazing. I had always wanted a cousin and we need some new company in the gigantic house we lived in.
“Now, Louis, Amber is… a little… damaged, shall we say, after everything she has been through. We only ask that you take it slow and really pay attention to how she reacts to certain things. Recently she tried to commit suicide and she will still be very unstable, but we have talked to people who have seen what she was like before the accident. We can only hope you can help her return to that state.”
“I promise to take good care of her.”
LIAM’S POINT OF VIEW:
Everyone seemed to be falling apart. The boys had asked me to call people to tell them what was going on. I guess they had figured I would be able to handle it the best. But I didn’t think I could. I had called multiple people, but each word I spoke came out shaky and deformed. Everyone believed that I was the strong and mature one. It wasn’t true. Sure there were times when I could hold my ground a little better than the other boys, but that doesn’t make me the strongest. I was really close with Amber. It felt like only days ago when Louis told us she was coming to stay with us.
We were all sat in the living room when the front door open and closed with a loud slam. I flinched at the loud noise as Louis came running into the room a wildly excited look on his face.
“Uh-oh, I haven’t seen Louis this happy since Eleanor came o—” Harry started, but quickly stopped as Louis’ grin turned to a glare. “Never mind,” he mumbled, chuckling to himself.
“What’s up Lou?” Zayn asked.
“I have a cousin!” he yelled.
“That’s cool… what’s so important about that?” Niall asked.
“Well, I mean I just found out about her. She lives in the US and her family died a few years ago, and she’s coming to live with us!”
Harry spit out his drink that had been in his mouth, “Wait what?”
“How old is she?”
“When is she coming?”
The boys practically attacked Louis with questions. I tried to calm them down.
“That sounds amazing Louis.”
“Thanks Liam, for some compassion,” Louis said sarcastically.
“So, her family was in an accident?”
“Yeah,” he replied quietly, “They told me she may been a little unstable and although it sounds weird, that’s kind of why I’m excited. I want to help her.”
“That’s great Lou,” I said smiling, giving him a pa ton the back.
“So, when is she coming?” pressed Niall.
“She’s coming in about two weeks, she’s eighteen by the way, so no funny business,” he instantly shot a glare at Harry.
“Why me?” he asked shocked.
“You are just the flirtatious kind Harry, it’s not a bad thing. Just take it easy on her okay, she’s been through a lot.”
“Of course I will, we can just be really good friends,” Harry replied, smiling proudly.
“Good, I’ll hold you to that.”
ZAYN’S POINT OF VIEW:
I walked down the cold hallways of the hospital. I had to get out of the room. I hated seeing Amber lying there, motionless. I hated seeing the boys in pain. It was terrible. I never could stand seeing other people hurt. It made me feel sick inside. I wanted to scream out and do anything humanly possible to help them. Even though most of the time they just needed someone to be there for them. I always wanted to do more. I wouldn’t just stand by.
I guess that’s how I felt when we first met Amber.
Simon had asked us to stay in the other room. Louis had gone in to meet her. The other boys sat anxiously on the couch. I paced back and forth across the room.
“Come on, can’t we go in?” I asked.
“Zayn, they asked us to wait here,” replied Harry. Honestly he seemed the least excited about Amber’s arrival.
I, on the other hand, was ecstatic, mainly for Louis, because he had talked about her nonstop for the past two weeks. Finally my impatience took over and I went towards the other room. I heard the boys trying to stop me, but eventually they just followed.
“Can we come in now?” I asked hesitantly as we entered the family room.
“Might as well, Zayn,” replied Simon with a sigh.
I felt myself being pushed forward from behind as we all rushed to introduce ourselves to Amber who was sat on a couch next to Louis. As soon as we approached her I realized what a bad idea it had been. The look on her face screamed total fear and she seemed to collapse to the floor, almost in tears.
Simon quickly ushered us out. I kept looking back to see Louis trying to comfort Amber as she sat in a ball on the floor. I felt absolutely terrible and I just wanted to help, but I had ruined it.
“Boys, I asked you to stay here, as we said before she’s very unstable. She needs time. To get to know Louis, before she meets you, okay?”
We all nodded in unison.
“Good. I’ll talk to Louis, but I think it’d be best if we waited a while and then maybe went out to dinner or something. We just do not want to rush her into this.”
I nodded again in understanding. She was hurt, she needed fixing. And I felt like it would be my job to help her.
I was not just going to stand by on this one.
NIALL’S POINT OF VIEW:
I was slightly embarrassed after my complete breakdown in front of the boys. I had finally pulled myself together and was now sitting quietly in a corner of room. I watched Amber closely as her chest slowly rose and fell with each breath she took. How could someone so innocent be put through so much pain? She was so brave and I realized that the first time I met her.
I had just offered to make her grilled cheese sandwiches, we both were getting dressed and I met her back in the kitchen.
“So are you going to help?” I asked her as I got out a frying pan, cheese, a loaf of bread.
“I’m a terrible cook,” she replied quietly. I could still tell she was unsure of herself around me.
“Well I am an excellent cook, but also an excellent teacher, come on I can show you. Honestly grilled cheese is, like, the easiest thing to make,” I said sarcastically.
She nodded hesitantly and came over to the stove. She helped me butter the bread and then placed it on the pan.
“See not so bad is it?”
She laughed a little, and I smiled at that accomplishment.
Eventually we realized we had made more sandwiches than we could eat so we were just sitting and I asked her to tell me a bit about herself. I noticed her tension and figured it must have been a touchy topic for her, so I offered to talk about myself.
“Ask me anything,” I told her.
“Okay…” she thought for a second, “I can tell your accent isn’t British, so where are you from?”
“Ireland,” I answered simply.
“Why’d you come to England?”
I realized she didn’t know about our band, so I just left that part out, “I met the boys a while back and we became close friends and decided to move in together.”
She nodded in understanding as she took a bite out of her grilled cheese.
We heard a door open and close and in walked Louis.
“How you guys doing?” he asked, “Niall being nice to you?”
I laughed and she managed a smile and a nod.
She spoke quietly, with a hint of humor in her voice, “Yeah, I think I’ve made a new friend.”
HARRY’S POINT OF VIEW:
I held her hand. I grasped it tightly. Not wanting to let go. I wouldn’t let go. If I let go, I could chance her being taken from me. Something that I would not let happen.
I wanted her to open her eyes. I wanted to see the marvelous colors that danced in them. I wanted to see those same eyes, that when I first caught sight of, I was mesmerized.
I wanted to hear her laugher. The rare giggle that escaped her lips. The one that only a choice few could bring out.
I wanted her. I needed her. I let her slip out of my hands once and I wasn’t about to let her do it again.
I stared at her once more, like I had been doing for the past hours, just hoping that I might look again and her eyes would be open, her cheeks full of color, a smile evident on her face.
When none of these things happened I hung my head, looking towards the ground and closed my eyes. Wishing to block out the things around me. But it was no use.
After a few minutes I felt myself drifting away, but small movement woke me up once more.
I glanced up quickly, eyes alert, and found myself staring back into the bright green ones I had grown so used to.
“Amber?” I whispered quietly. Words still not forming well on my lips.
A look of confusion crossed her face as she quickly pulled her hand from my grasp.
She spoke frantically. Her next words tearing my heart in half.
“Who are you?”