I wake up and I can't help the smile that comes to my face, I'm home. I blindly search for my phone on my bed side table. I have messages from Harry, Zayn, Perrie, Liam, Niall, Louis, and my cousin Jeffery. Jeffrey said he was coming over because he found out I was gone for the weekend.
Louis: 'Hey, Niall asked me if I knew where you are, Zayn did too, have you fallen off the face of the earth?'
Zayn: 'Where are you?' 'Hello? Where are you?' 'Okay, don't answer!'
Niall: 'Wanna hang out today?' 'You there? No? Okay.'
Perrie: 'Where are you?' 'Answer me!' 'Hello?' 'I'm starting to worry!' 'Oh I just found your note.'
Liam: 'I hit it off with Sophia, turns out I didn't need your help.' 'Wanna hang out?'
Harry: 'Where are you?' 'Seriously, Amber where'd you go?' 'Are you with Louis again, you really shouldn't be!' 'Perrie told me where you are, I'm coming to your moms.'
I groan, Harry is being so clinging all the sudden and it's annoying. I climb out of bed, and head straight for the shower, I don't change into anything fancy, just sweatpants and a band t-shirt. I out my hair into a messy bun and go out to sit with my mom. "Morning baby." She says patting the couch next to her. As I sit huddle close to her, and she drapes her arm over my shoulder. We're close, and some people thinks that weird, but I'm just happy we're not fighting like dogs.
I look at the t.v and smile brightly, she's watching my favorite movie, The Nightmare Before Christmas. I quickly text all of them back in a mass text saying, 'I'm home for the weekend...or is that now illegal? No one come here.' I add the last part for Harry, I just want to be with my mom for a while. They all text back different forms of okay, and Harry says fine and I know he's annoyed, but I don't care at the moment. "Morning." I say before singing along with Jack Skellington.
"I've missed you singing all the time, you and your father were like two peas in a pod. Both singing all the time." She sighs, kissing my forehead. It's like her way of apologizing for mentioning dad, but she doesn't know it makes me feel better when she talks about him. I smile up at her, and she smiles back down at me. "How are your friends? I was hoping you'd bring that one with long hair, what's his name? Larry?" I laugh, mom likes how Harry doesn't feel the need to cut his hair, even though it's long, and she also loves his eyes, only she can't remember his name.
"Harry, mom, Harry. Anyways they're doing a okay, Zayn and Perrie are finally hitting it off and Liam has found a girl named Sophia. Niall he's still super sweet, and Irish. How are grandma and grandpa?" Last night we made a point only to talk about ourselves, because it's just more comforting than worrying about everyone else and their problems. Even now I keep my answer vague.
"The family is good, Jeff is coming over, although I assume he told you. He is on break from his first tour of Iraq. He said he wanted to put your mind at ease in person." Jeff and I are the same age, twenty, and we were also inseparable for a long time. Jeff is easily my favorite cousin, maybe it's because we're so close in age, or maybe it's because he gets along with Zayn, unlike most of my family. Most of them don't like Zayn because of his tattoos, his religion (which pisses me off, because it's just not right), his 'bad' attitude, his 'bad influence', and some other stupid reasons. My family can really tick me off. Honestly who has the right to judge someone on their religion? No one does, so just get over it. It's even worse because it's not just my mom's side of the family, it's my father's side too. Jeff is my dad's brother's son.
When Zayn came over for dinner one Sunday, it was like a big family thing with both sides, he was questioned immensely. When my family found out he wasn't catholic, they went crazy. The whole night Zayn was completely and obviously uncomfortable, Jeff kept sending me worried glances, because I was fuming. I pushed my chair back making all the conversation and pestering stop. "Listen here, all of you are being rude. Zayn is my best friend, and you are making him uncomfortable, all because of his religion." I scold my aunts, my uncles, my grandparents, and my cousins. My father, who was leaving for his tour tomorrow, gives me a proud look and hugs me.
"That's my girl." He whispered in my ear, I gave him a smile and grabbed Zayn's hand under the table. Zayn gave me a thankful smile. No one brought up Zayn's religion anymore that night, and no one talked to me or Zayn except my parents and Jeff. That night before Zayn's parents picked him up my father apologized to him. He told him, "Listen, I'm sorry what those ignorant people did to you. You are a nice kid, and I know you will be by my daughters side a long time, I can tell you two are the type of friends to never say good-bye. I want you to know, Amber will always have your back, and I want you to have hers, will you do that for me?" Zayn nodded his head with a smile. "Good, now let me tell you something else. Whenever someone has something negative to say about what you believe in remember that they have their own beliefs that you could poke fun of too, but when you don't you know you're better than them."
"Thank you sir." Zayn said, his British accent still sounding odd. My dad patted his back and let his mother in. They left, because Zayn's sisters were impatient in the car.
"Amber, don't be upset." Mom said, sitting next to me. I had been upset with my family, their words and simply mindedness making me ill. "You have something good, you're sixteen and have more heart than those old people. Your open minded and free spirited, just like your father and I."
"Why do they care anyway?" I ask, sniffling, I was admittedly embarrassed.
Dad answered me this time, "They care because they don't like the thought of someone thinking differently than them. See there are two types of people, there is the open minded and close minded. You're more open minded, which is good. You care about things, and you can expand to different horizons easily, while others can't. They may even be afraid of differences, because they can lead to change, and change is a scary thing. You have a big heart, but it could easily be broken, and I don't want that, but it will happen one day. It's better than no heart at all."
That was the first and last time Zayn met my father, in person. Zayn would sometimes be over when dad decided to Skype, dad approved of Zayn. That tour was also my father's last, and that dinner was the last one he shared with his family, and even though he was disappointed in their actions he loved them, I do too. There's a knock on the door and I answer it, it's Jeff in his uniform. "Why are you wearing that?" I ask hugging him, glad he's safe.
"Just got back home, my parents aren't there so I decided to come here while I wait for them. Now move freak, your mom said she brownies last night." I laugh, moving out of the door way, leave it to Jeff to ruin a reunion. "Aunt Jinny, where are the brownies?" He shouts, as my mother hugs him tightly.
"Kitchen, but I want a real hug before you get any." Mom, even though she won't admit it, has a favorite nephew and it's Jeff. He is like my dad, and his parents joke that he is actually my father's son. I guess he gave her a real hug, because next thing I know I'm alone in the door way.
"You're a cheater!" I shout at Jeff, we're playing COD Ghost and he's kicking my ass. He won every time we played today, mom watching us with a smile. "How'd you get so good, I use to be able to take you down!" He just shrugs and set the controller down on the coffee table.
"I better be going, I gotta surprise my parents, I'll come by tomorrow to say good-bye." He tells, kissing my forehead and my mothers, before walking to his car. He salutes us and drives off.
"You two are funny, c'mon I'm going to make tacos." She leads me back into the house, where the taco supplies is laid out already. "I've missed you both so much though, I really wish it is a holiday so you could stay longer." She hands me a paper plate, that I use to make a beautiful taco. I look at the clock and I'm surprised to see it's only four thirty.
"Want to go to the mall after dinner? I could use a few new things." I ask her biting into my taco. My mother cringes, at my lack of waiting to sit down at the kitchen island. "Oops, sorry." I shrug my shoulders and sit.
"Sure, Nana and Papa called and asked if you'd visit them tomorrow." Mom watches me carefully, I stiffen and so does she. Nana and Papa are her parents, we don't talk much anymore. Nana and Papa are strong Christian believers and they blamed my father for my mother not caring about the religion as much as them. They also started to ignore me when they met Zayn, because they're ignorant people. After my father died I got a little out of hand and I told them off for being closed minded. I also stopped going to church, and they were angry about that. We haven't really talked since. I think they want to know because they think I 'grew up.' "I can tell them no, if that's what you want." She doesn't seem upset, just understanding.
"I'm not ready yet." We finish in silence.
I hug mom and Jeff and climb into my car with my over night bag and new stuff. I drive away, not to far away is where Nana and Papa live, and when I drive by they're sitting on the porch. The see me and stand up, with smiles on their faces as I pull into their driveway. I climb out of the car and stand on the first step. "Mom said you wanted to talk to me." I say, my tone is emotionless along with my expression.
"Oh yes, how is college?" My Nana tries to make the conversation light before it gets too heavy.
"I have to go, get to the point." I say, not caring if it sounded rude. My Nana doesn't seem shocked, but my Papa seems a little hurt.
"Well we were at the church and they were having their annual breakfast. Our old friends Dan and Sue sat with us, and their grandson was there. His name was Calum, he goes to the same college as you, and is a good Christian boy. Well we thought you could meet him and save yourself while you can." Nana says. She looks hopeful and it annoys me.
"Really? This is what you wanted, you wanted me to come over just to piss me off. Get this into your head, I'm my own person, I'm also a free thinker, I will be friends with who I want. Oh and guess what I have a tattoo." I lie about the tattoo, I haven't gotten one yet, but I plan on it.
"Really?" My Papa asks, his eyes shine with glee, and excitement. His tone is hard. I feel like Papa is where my mom got her free thinking from, but he loves Nana to much to go against her.
"Yeah." I lie. I feel sort of bad, but I just climb in the car and leave.