"Mum! I'm home!" I yelled, shutting the door behind me.
I set my keys on the table, and walked to the kitchen. My mum was pacing frantically, collecting things an putting them in her suitcase. She was wearing her flight attendant uniform, which means I won't be seeing her for a couple of days.
"Hey Bri, There's a frozen dinner in the freezer. I will see you on Friday." She kissed my forehead, and was out the front door before I could say anything.
"Goodbye, mum." I mumbled, even though I knew she couldn't hear me.
My mum has been a flight attendant for as long as I can remember. I rarely see her. It doesn't bother me like it use to, I got use to it. My dad hardly ever comes home either. He doesn't work, he's just a drunk. Another thing I had to get use to. He wasn't always an alcoholic. It happened shortly after my grandpa died. everything went down hill from there. I guess they were really close. I've never been close with either of my parents.
I decide to skip dinner. I wasn't really that hungry, and I didn't have an appetite for a frozen dinner.
Not realizing how tired I was, I yawn. I checked my phone to see what time it was. Too late. I had to work tomorrow. I work at a coffee shop in downtown Sydney. It's not the worst job in the world. At least I'm not flipping burgers somewhere. Plus, the pay isn't too bad.
I make my way upstairs, exhausted by the time I get to the top. I get to the bathroom to ready myself for bed. I observe myself in the mirror. Damn. I looked rough. My red curls were wild, and my make-up was slightly smudged under my eyes again; I must have been sweating. I take a rag, and wipe off any remaining make-up, rip a brush through my knotted hair and brush my teeth.
I put my favorite pj's on; which consists of an old pair of joggers and a t-shirt. I turn off my light and jump into bed. I let out a sigh. What a nigh? I think it'll be a while before a go clubbing with Tammy again. That was a nightmare. And if I ever see Ashton again, it'll be too soon.
I closed my eyes and drift asleep.
* * *
I sat up in my bed abruptly, my alarm beeping loudly on my nightstand. I turned off the alarm, and checked the time.
"Dammit, I'm late." I groan, forcing myself to roll out of bed.
I grabbed my coffee shop t-shirt and some jeans, and jog to the bathroom. Something hurts on my neck.
"Ouch." I squeak,
It was a dark blue in the middle and had a purple ring on the outside. It was about the size of a large thumb. I remembered the way Ashton held me, not letting me move while he produced this hickey. Maybe that's why he did it, so every time I look at it, I thought of him.
I dab as much concealer as possible to cover it up. I could get in a lot of trouble for this at work; it doesn't look professional at all. Come to think of it, I'm surprised my mom didn't notice it. She's usually pretty good at that.
I finished getting ready, it only took me about five minutes to make myself look and smell presentable. As quickly as possible, I throw on some black vans, grab my keys and dash out the door.
I arrived at work, only to get a headache. The manager doesn't tolerate tardiness. I accept the long lecture and get to work. Today I'm stuck at the cash register. Which usually doesn't end well. I always end up getting a complaint for being rude to a customer. I honestly hate interacting with people.
I heard a man clear his throat. Before looking up to greet the customer, I follow the routine.
"Hello, how may I take your order." I said dully. I could honestly say I don't take my job very seriously.
"Wow, you covered that hickey nicely." I heard the man say.
I could feel my body tense up at the recognition of his raspy voice. My head snaps up. I could feel the shock that consumed my face.
"Oh don't be scared love, it's only me." Ashton said with a dark chuckle.
I could see the amusement in his face. I straiten up my posture; now feeling uncomfortable.
"You should really find a new hobby. I'm pretty sure stalking people is illegal." I said sharply. I didn't want to sound weak, so I tried to put as much power into my tone as possible. He just chuckled darkly. It made me cringe.
"You know, not everything is about you, Ambria. I strictly came for coffee." he said, amusement in his tone. "You really shouldn't kid yourself, love. But I am quite glad I came for coffee.'' he said with a grin. he leaned in resting his elbows on the counter casually. But I could tell he was just doing in to annoy me. It worked. "Maybe I will come more often.'' he added.
I just roll my eyes. This guy has some nerve. He really needs to learn how to take a hint. I let out a sigh, already feeling frustrated. This is exactly why I shouldn't be working at the cash register. I just don't have the patience. And now he knows where I work, that's just great.
''Look. Ashton, right?'' My tone was cold. he nods in response. "Are you gong to order something, or not? I don't get paid for chit-chatting with customers. I get paid for taking their order." I said sternly.
I watched him as he observed the shop. Hardly anyone was here. Most of them already have their coffee.
" Yeah, I can tell your pretty busy. The place is packed." He said sarcastically gesturing to the empty tables. I can feel myself start to scowl at him. Why is he even doing this? Can't he get the message? I'm. Not. Interested.
"Alright, Alright. I'll have a caramel latte, and a date for Friday night.'' He said with a wink.
Ugh. This is never going to end. I wish he would just leave me alone.
"That will be $3.50." I said in a fake chirpy tone."Oh and your should probably get your eye checked, you've got a twitch or something.'' I add with a wink. I meant it in a mocking sort of way, not flirtatious. I hope he understood that.
"And what about that date?" he laughed.
I kept my face serious. I didn't find it funny at all.
"Oh, hmm. Sorry I don't think you can order a date at a coffee shop." I shrug with a fake smile.
I walk away to make his coffee. I had some serious thoughts about spitting in it, but it wasn't really worth losing my job.
"Here you go, sir. You have a nice day." I lied, I actually couldn't give a damn if he had a nice day or not. But it was all apart of the work routine.
"Great, so I'll pick you up at eight." he said walking away. I could only stare at him in disbelief. I wasn't going anywhere with him.
"Uh sorry, I'm busy.'' I assured him. Lie.
"Really? doing what?" he stopped and turned back at me. he looked utterly curious, which was kind of ironic, because I was doing absolutely nothing Friday night.
"Um. I don't know I'll think of something to do." I flash him a fake smile and walk away. Maybe that'll shut him up.
* * *
When I got home from a long day of work, I felt so physically exhausted, I'm pretty sure I could fall asleep in the shower; which I almost did. I got dressed into some comfortable cloths, trying to wring out the remaining water in my long hair. I heard a door slam shut. My dad must be home.
I dashed down the stairs to greet my father. About half way there, I could already smell the alcohol.
"Dad, are you drunk?'' I already knew the answer. I honestly don't know why I ask the same question every time he comes home. Him being drunk is to be expected.
He mumbled something under his breath; which wreaked of cigarette smoke mixed with the alcohol. It wasn't at all pleasant. I didn't hesitate, I grabbed his arm and tried to lead him into the living room. I made him lay on the couch, and pulled a blanket over him. I held my breath while I kissed his cheek. I didn't want to get a whiff of his stench. I have done this many times. It's sort of become a routine. It's kin of funny, sometimes I feel like the parent around here.
I shut my light off, and crawled into bed. I was so glad i didn't have to go to work tomorrow. It is most defiantly going to be a lazy day. I'm not even going to get dressed. I close my eyes, and drift asleep.
In my dream I was falling. Everywhere I looked I only saw darkness. It was almost as if I was blind. I finally hit something hard. My back aches, and my head throbs. I opened my eyes. The thing I hit that felt like stone was Ashton's arms. This wasn't a dream. It was a nightmare. And I wanted so badly to wake up. I struggle to escape his grasp without any luck. It was almost as if his arms were stone around me. His face inched closer to mine. I was frozen. I couldn't get myself to move a muscle. His lips were only inches away from mine. He kissed me lightly, then hard. Almost to the point where it hurt. I wanted so badly to scream and run away, but my body and lips are doing something else. Was I kissing him back? His lips were soft and warm to the touch. My lips moved gently with his.....
I shot up gasping for air. My hair was sticking to my sweaty neck. The hickey on my neck was throbbing. It hurt, and I winced. I laid back down still out of breath.
''It's okay. It was just a dream.'' I assured myself.