Friends Forever

Amber's best friend is Luke Hemmings from down the street. They have been super close since they can remember. She's going to make sure that his dreams come true. Even with some rough patches here and there.
(Cover art is by Deviant Art artist Ribkadory)
[Trigger Warning: It isn't throughout the whole thing but it does pop up here and there, abuse and self harm. If that bothers you, read with caution or check out some other stories of mine.]

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9. Birthday

"I'm sorry I pissed you off. Luke explained that he calls you babe because you've both decided that it means nothing but a great friendship," Ashton's eyes connect with mine. "It makes sense. And he explain your family situation. Well, most of it. He said there was one thing you would have to tell me yourself. I like you too much to just let you walk away. All right?"
I nod, "All right Ashton."
"So, I came here to drum for the boys. Would you like to watch?"
"Um sure," I bring my hand up to the side of his face. "I'd tell you about my family, but, I'd rather not. Not now."
He slowly kisses me again. "You don't have to tell me right now. I don't expect you to. I just have one question."
"Hm?" I close my eyes.
"Will you be my girlfriend?"
I smile, "Yes Ashton. I'll be your girlfriend."
He grabs my hand that's not on his face, "Come on. I want you to watch me drum."
I open my eyes and lean up to quickly kiss him again, "Don't tell Luke. But your kisses are better."
He laughs, "Come on." He drags me out of my room and into the garage where there is a drum set and the boys are waiting.
"You all right Amber?" Calum asks.
I nod, "Yeah. I'm all good."
"You are a miracle worker, Ashton," Michael says.
"Hey!" I pout.
"You're emotional, babe," Luke shrugs.
"Oh shut up," I roll my eyes.
Ashton let's go of my hand, kisses my temple, and sits down behind the drum set.
"All right Ashton, amaze me," I smile and cross my arms.
To say Ashton is good at drumming is an understatement. He's amazing and looks so into it, pouring out pent up emotion like I do when I draw.
He finishes and smiles at everyone.
"You're really good, Ashton," Luke says.
"Yeah, you could be just what we are looking for," Michael says.
"I loved it Ashton," I smile and give him a thumbs up.
"Thanks," he's breathing quite heavily and sweating so much.
"Do you want some water? I'm getting you water," I rush off to the kitchen, grabbing a bottle from the fridge, and rushing back to the garage. I hand Ashton the bottle.
"Thanks," he smiles and starts chugging it.
"Well Ashton, the guys and I are gonna play FIFA if you'd like to you can stay and play," Luke speaks up.
"What if he wants to look at my drawings?" I look over at Luke.
"He can do that then play," Calum says.
"I don't play FIFA," Ashton says.
"What?" Michael says. "What the hell is wrong with you?"
"Don't be mean to him," I say. "Come on Ashton. I want to show you my drawings."
He stands up and I lead the way to my room. Ashton moves my office chair back to its spot in front of my desk. Then takes a seat.
"Ashton, get up," I say.
"Come on. Take a seat," he smiles.
"Ugh, when you smile. How can I say no?" I walk over and take a seat on his lap.
"So, these drawings?"
I grab my sketch book and bring it to us. "The other boys love them." I open it to the front page. The first drawing of Luke and me. It takes us a while to go through all of my drawings and explain what they are and if they have any meaning. Once we finish I put one headphone in and get back to the drawing I was on before I got pissed off. Ashton wraps his arms around me and rests his chin on my shoulder. It makes me so happy.
*Two Weeks Later*
"Its hairspray," Luke pouts at the camera after Michael comments on his temporary orange hair.
I smile and get back to drawing Ashton with angels wings.
Calum and Michael are back over to record another cover. I think its Next To You by Chris Brown and Justin Bieber. They've been practicing this one for a week and are finally getting around to filming.
"You like hairspray, don't you?" Michael teases.
"Be nice!" I shout.
"That's Amber, our manager," Calum smiles.
"Yeah right," I switch to a charcoal black colored pencil.
"Anyways, this is Next To You," Michael says. "We're 5 Seconds of Summer. Go like, comment, subscribe, and all that shit."
Then they dive right into the song, making it way easier for me to draw and making me smile at their voices. These boys are good. If only they'd give Ashton a yes or no. He's freaking out. Since he's graduated and all that, he wants to know if the band is something he could do instead of go to college.
I finish my drawing before the boys end, and decide to watch them. Calum looks calm, Luke has the best singing faces, and Michael with his chubby cheeks is just too cute.
At one point near the end, Michael looks back at me and smiles. I smile back and give him a thumbs up. Although, Ashton has pointed out that the boys say lyrics wrong, I still think the boys are doing great.
The song ends and Michael turns the camera off and I clap.
"You liked it babe?" Luke smiles.
"Yeah, I thought you guys did a great job. If only you had a drummer," I giggle.
"We have to give other people chances to be in our amazing band," Michael says.
"Like anyone else would want to be in this band," Calum says.
"I can't believe you called me your manager, Cal," I say.
"You kind of are," Luke says.
"And merch designer," Michael adds.
"Am I really?" I look down at my sketch book. "I never thought I'd ever be so useful."
"Are you going to cry, babe?" I hear Luke's feet hit the ground as he hops off the stool he was sitting on for the video.
I look up at him and give him a glare, "I don't cry, Lucas. Well, only that one time."
"Lucas? Cal? Are those nicknames?" Michael asks.
"Yes they are, Mikey," I look over at him.
"I like mine," Calum says. "Nicknames are cute."
I smile, "Thanks Cal."
"Alright, enough of that," Michael says. "But I have to agree. The nicknames are cool."
"What's Ashton's nickname?" Luke asks.
"Ash," I answer. "Or drummer boy."
Luke sits down next to me, "Is that him?" He points to my recant drawing.
"Yeah. I'm actually gonna draw you all with angels wings. I believe you guys are angels. You'll save a lot of people one day."
"That's what bands do," Michael says.
"How full is that sketch book?" Calum asks.
"About halfway," I shrug. "I've got more. And I'm saving up for an easel because I want to paint."
"Well, looks like we know what to get you for your birthday," Michael smiles. "Just have to make sure Ashton doesn't get you one."
"Oh, you guys don't have to get me anything," I look around at all of them.
"Yes we do," Luke puts his arm around me.
"We'll even throw a little party for you and Luke," Calum says.
"You guys are too sweet," I smile.
"Well, you are our manager," Michael shrugs. "And our best girl friend."
*That Night*
I'm back at my real house drawing something that just looks like the outline of a girl. It’s quite peaceful, no one is home, and I can just chill in the dining room.
Then the front door opens and I hear two pairs of feet rush upstairs. My family is home and my brothers have been sent to their room right away. I know what's coming.
"Amber, what are you doing?" My mother walks past me into the kitchen turning on the coffee maker and I know my father is drunk.
"Drawing," my voice sounds so young. "Ms. Katie says I'm really good and says I could do something big with It."
"Ms. Katie doesn't know what she's talking about," my father’s voice makes me tense in fear.
"She went to school to be an art teacher and knows all there is to know. I think she knows what she's talking about," my voice sounds a little older.
"Let me see what you're drawing," my father’s hand grabs my paper off the table. "There is nothing special about this."
I hop off the chair and look at him, "Of course it isn’t. Nothing I ever do is good enough for you!"
The next thing I know his palm comes in contact with my cheek. I stumble back and grip the table for support. I know not to fall to the ground.
"Don't you talk back to me!"
"You know it’s true!"
He backhands me this time. Now both cheeks are on fire. "I said don't back talk me!"
I glance over to the kitchen and notice my mother is gone. "I'm the girl you never wanted and wish you didn't have. Admit it!"
"Be quiet!"
"I'm sick of being quiet! I have a voice that deserves to be heard!"
His fist comes in contact with my stomach and I hunker forward gripping my stomach. Then he grabs me and throws me to the floor. "You never listen, do you? It would be so much easier if you'd just listen." He gives a sharp kick to my arm.
"You never listen to me," I cough and taste blood in my mouth.
Another kick to my legs. "You don't deserve to be heard."
"Luke listens to me. He cares about me. He loves me like you never will! I've done nothing wrong!"
A kick to my stomach and I can't talk anymore. "Well, you're mine until you are eighteen. So you'll have to deal with everything until then."
The world is going black. I'm afraid. Tears start running down my cheeks.
"Cry. You are weak and will amount to nothing." I watch as my father walks away. Pain is surging through my body. The tears keep flowing but I can't let out any noise. My mouth is filled with blood and saliva.
When everything goes numb, and I've lost all hope for everything, I wake up in a cold sweat.
I quickly start looking around. I'm not in my real house. I'm in Luke's house. My body doesn't hurt, and I taste no blood.
I look to my side and see Luke curled up in a little ball next to me on the couch. We must have fallen asleep while watching movies. Not a surprise. I bet he was out first.
I take a deep breath and let my heart beat slow and my breathing go steady. A nightmare as real as real can be. The worst part is it’s also a memory. A memory of the only time I've ever cried after my brothers were born.
"Luke," I give him a shake.
"Hmm?" He mumbles.
"I, um, had a nightmare."
He stretches out and holds his arms out for me, "Come here. I'm here for ya, babe."
I lie down into his chest and he wraps his arms around me. "Thanks Lukey. I love you."
"I love you too. Now let's fall back asleep. I'll protect you this time."
*A Few Days Later*
"Happy birthday to the both of you," Ashton smiles as Luke and I stand in the front doorway.
"Thanks Ashton, come on in," I pull Luke out of the way so Ashton can step inside.
Luke closes the door, "Now the party can begin."
"Who else is here?" Ashton asks and then quickly gives me a kiss.
"Michael and Calum," I answer. "And then a surprise guest is coming, says the other boys. They say I'll be happy to see whoever it is."
"Well, I got you both a little gift," Ashton holds up a small blue bag and a small red bag.
"Come on you two, we can open all the gifts in the living room," Luke grabs our arms and leads us to the living room.
Michael and Calum are sitting on the floor with lots of presents on the coffee table.
"Hi mate," Calum quickly waves to Ashton.
"Hi, um, sorry. I've forgotten your name," Ashton sits down on the floor close to me as I sit on the couch.
"It’s Calum," I say. "And the other boy is Michael. I call them Cal and Mikey, cause I can," I smile.
"You are our manager and biggest support, so you can do whatever you want," Michael says.
"All right, don't let her get too big of a head," Luke plops down next to me and ruffles my hair.
"Oh shut up, Lucas," I give him a shove.
"All right, each of you have five presents, so I think Luke should go first," Michael says.
"Because the best is last," Calum smiles at me.
"Okay," Luke reaches for his presents on the coffee table. He opens all his presents fairly quickly and it’s cool what all he got. From Michael he gets hairspray as a joke, but Luke accepts it anyway. By throwing it at him. Calum gets him guitar picks that have cool sayings or band names on them. Liz gets him a new guitar that is just so cool and sounds great. Ashton gets him lots of different candy that he will share with me. As for me, on the biggest paper I could get, I drew a picture of the both of us. When we were younger.
"Thank you. All of you. These were all great presents," Luke glares at Michael. "Well, maybe not yours."
"Well, my turn!" I giggle. From Calum I get lots of paints and nice paintbrushes. From Luke I got lots of cute cat ear headbands and some anime DVDs. From Michael I got so many colored pencils its crazy. Ashton gets me two new sketch books, new drawing pencils, and a cute black and purple fedora. And lastly, Liz gets me an easel, with a lot of painting paper.
"These are all amazing presents," I smile. "Thank you all so much. And where is Liz? I really want to thank her. For more than just the easel."
"She'll be home soon," Luke says. "She had to pick up the cake."
"Alright," I look around at everyone. "So now we wait for cake."
"And the special guest," Michael says.
"Can you guys just tell me who it is?" I groan."
“Goes to our school," Calum says.
"Wow that helps loads." I pick up my old sketch book off the coffee table and open it to the page with the drawing I'm currently working on. "Thanks for a great birthday guys. Fifteen years old now. It’s crazy."
At that moment, the doorbell rings.
"The special guest?" I giggle, setting my sketch book by my side.
"Go get it and you will see," Luke pats my upper arms.
"All right," I stand up and head for the front door. I make sure that my clothes are straight and my hair isn't too messed up before opening the front door.
Two girls stand on the other side. Two girls I haven't really talked to for a few years. Two girls that I hoped to be close friends with but that never happened.
"Hello, Amber," Emily gives a big smiles. Her brown hair seems straighter and with more blonde in it than the last time I really looked at her. Her green eyes no longer trapped behind glasses.
"Happy birthday," Laurel holds out a small box. Her hair is darker brown and wavier than the last time I really look at her. Her eyes are now an even more prominent mix of brown, green, and blue.
I take the small box and move out of the doorway, "Come in you two."
They enter and I close the door. I look at the box and then at the two girls.
"So, I'm assuming everyone else is already here," Emily says.
"Yeah. Why did you come?" I ask.
"The boys said you wanted us to come," Laurel says.
"Ah, well, sorry to say they lied. But, I guess I'm glad it’s you two."
"They didn't tell you we were coming?" Emily asks.
"They told me someone was coming. Not who. And not two."
"Well, we've missed you," Laurel says. "You stopped talking a few years ago. We didn't know what to do. I guess we should have asked. But we saw Luke helping and thought maybe you'd open back up."
"Well, I'm better now," I nod. "A lot better. I'm here forever now. I live here, away from a hateful family. I couldn't take it at my own house."
"Well, as long as you are better and happy," Emily says.
"Open your present here, please," Laurel says.
"Okay," I quickly rip the wrapping paper off and smile at what is inside. "You guys didn't forget. After so many years of not talking." I turn the box holding my favorite movies. All from the 80s that can always make me smile. "Thank you."
"Friends remember things," Emily says. "Besides, we wrote it down when you told us. Just in case."
"Girls, what's taking so long?" Luke's voice fills my ears.
I look over and see all the boys.
"We are catching up," I smile. "Thanks for inviting them."
"No problem babe," he smiles.
"Okay, so I know Calum and Michael," Laurel says. "But who are you?" She looks at Ashton.
"Yes, who are you?" Emily smiles.
I walk over to him and wrap my arms around him from the side. "This is Ashton. My boyfriend."
"Hello girls," I can hear Ashton smiling.
"Nice to meet you Ashton, I'm Laurel," Laurel smiles. "And this is Emily," she motions to Emily who is no longer smiling as big as she was.
"How old are you Ashton?" Emily asks.
"I'm 17 now," Ashton puts his arm around me. "Just had a birthday. That I spent with Amber."
"That's so cute," Laurel says.
Emily is now looking at Calum with a smile on her face. "Well, what's the plan for the rest of the day?"
"Eating cake and playing video games," Calum answers.
"And just chilling really," Michael says.
"Sounds like fun," Emily looks back at me. "This is your day. All that matters is if you are happy."
"Well, as long as no hooking up happens, I'll be happy," I smile. "I know you Emily. Stop eyeing the boys. It’s making me uncomfortable."
"Sorry, you've got cute friends though," she shrugs.
"You're never like this unless boys are around," Laurel says. "Just act normal, all right?"
Emily's face relaxes and so do her shoulders, "Well, I am an actress. I wanted to keep up an act."
"Very nice, very believable," Luke says.
"Yeah, I forgot you act," I giggle. "I've forgotten so much about you two. Come on. I want to catch up."

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

This is quite long, I didn't realize it was so long until I went to copy it. Hope you liked it! XD

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