*The Next Morning*
“What the hell is up with your hair?” I whisper to Ashton.
He runs a hand through his curly hair, “I woke up late and didn’t have time to straighten it. I know, it looks pretty damn stupid.”
I smile, “No, I l-like it.”
“Well, I don’t let it go natural that often.”
“Aw,” I pout.
“Um, well, maybe I can forget to straighten it more. If you like it that much.”
“Every now and then,” I smile.
“Mate, your hair,” a boy I’ve never seen says as he walks up to us.
“Going natural?” Luke is right behind the other boy.
“I woke up late,” Ashton groans and places his head in his hands.
“Hi,” I wave at the boys. “Who are you?” I direct the question at the boy I’ve never seen before.
“I’m Calum,” the tan boy smiles. “You must be Amber.” He has black hair that he seems to be growing out; dark brown eyes; looks taller than me but younger than me.
“I am,” I nod. “Are you Ashton’s friend?”
“We hang out,” he shrugs. “Are you his girlfriend?”
My face heats up and I quickly shake my head.
“Don’t embarrass her Calum,” Ashton places a hand on my shoulder. “She’s not gonna talk now.”
“Ash and I are just friends,” I blurt out.
“Come on Cal, let’s go sit down,” Luke sighs. “I don’t want you to tease the poor girl anymore.”
“Fine. See you around then,” Calum smiles and winks at me before walking off.
“He must think you’re pretty or he wouldn’t have asked that question,” Ashton sighs; his hand falling off my shoulder.
“He’s an in-interesting boy,” I giggle. “Have any more friends I n-n-need to m-meet?”
“One. But, I think you’ll meet him on your own. He’s a cool dude. Won’t tease you like Calum. Actually, he’s got his eye on an older girl. Out of all of us, he’s the one to fall for an older girl.”
“Do I know her?”
“Yeah. In fact, you live with her.”
“Brylee. She must know he likes her?” I am a bit in shock that my host sister has a crush.
“You are so cute when you get all excited like that. No stutter and you seem so genuine.”
I smile and look away from the boy, “You’re cute.”
“Hm?” Ashton leans closer to me. “Sorry? What was that?”
“You heard me, smartass.”
“I’m sorry about Calum today,” Luke sighs. He decided to join Ashton when he came to join me at lunch.
“It’s f-f-fine,” I smile and fix my glasses. “I’m just confused on w-why he asked t-that question.”
“He must like you,” Ashton is messing with the grass. “He’s not a bad kid. Just, I don’t know.”
“I’m not really in-interested in him. I have someone e-else in mind,” I let the blush overtake my cheeks.
“Ah, you do,” Luke smirks at me and then gives a slight tilt of his head towards Ashton. “I won’t tell,” he mouths.
I tenderly smile and give a few small nods. “What is Calum? He looks, I’m gonna sound so mean.”
“He’s not Asian,” Ashton looks up at me.
“Oh, well, I’m glad I know.”
“Are you going to ask your family to come visit during break?”
“I was just asked that last night,” I shrug. “Most likely. I’m not gonna promise that they’ll come or anything.”
“I’d love to meet your family,” Luke pops back into the conversation. “Ash told me about your sporty brother.”
I laugh, “He’s not r-really sporty. Just into baseball. Because of that…I don’t t-think they w-would be able t-to stay long.”
“That’s okay. It’d be nice to meet them,” Ashton looks up at me and smiles. “What are ya doing after school tomorrow?”
“Hanging with Brylee, Diana, and Laurel. We are g-going shopping.”
“Ah, what are you getting?” Luke asks.
“I’ll tell you Monday. O-okay?”
“You want it to be a surprise?” Luke chuckles.
“Yeah,” I nod. “It’ll be w-worth the wait. I pro-promise.”
“It better be,” Ashton smiles. “And I want to see it as soon as I can. Whatever it is.”
“You’ll get t-to see it. I p-promise.”
“Hello mom,” I can’t even bring a smile to my face as I pick up my phone. I’m glad my parents decided to send me to schools all over the world, but I can’t help but feel so much pressure from them. Pressure to get the best grades, have friends of good influence, and find a boy with great social status.
“Hi dear,” I can hear the smile in my mother’s voice. “How are you doing? Is it nice there? It is getting colder here. It is amazing to think your season is the complete opposite of ours. Oh, silly me. I never let you answer. How are you doing?”
“I’m fine mom.” I know not to interrupt my mother. “It is very nice here. I’ve been able to have lunch outside every day this week.”
“Have you made a lot of friends? I know you have had trouble with that in the past. If you have, there’s no doubt in my mind that they are all good kids.”
“I have made quite a few friends. My host sister helped me get two, and I met three others all by myself.”
“Girls or boys?”
“It’s half and half right now.”
“Oh, I think Franny was talking about you having a crush or something like that. What’s his name? Are his parents successful? What does he want to do with his life?”
“Mom,” I groan. “His name is Ashton, and I just like him as a friend. I haven’t even known him for that long. He’s way out of my limit anyways. Besides, I’m here for the education. You are always pounding that into my head.”
“I know, but you are going to be graduating next year, and I’d like you to find someone to take care of you. Yuzuru was cute. Why didn’t you ever hint to him or something? He was so amazing at figure skating. You two would have traveled the world and it would have been so cute.”
“Because I didn’t want to ruin our friendship over something like trying to date. And I didn’t feel that way about him. Hold on, you think someone needs to take care of me?”
“Everyone needs a little care every now and again. Whatever you say though, honey. I know you can handle both your education and dating. Anyways, I heard you are taking up the keyboard again. Wil you be singing as well? You have such a beautiful voice. Remember when you sang in church. Oh, everyone loved you.”
I sigh, “I remember mom. Um, but to answer your questions, I am going out to get a keyboard tomorrow. My female friends convinced me to get one for when I’m alone. Brylee will be buying it for me after she insisted for a long time. All the girls do an activity after school, so that’s why I’m learning it again.”
“So you won’t get bored. I get it. That is so nice of Brylee. She’s older than you, correct? Are all your friends older?”
“Ashton and Brylee are older than me in age, but we are in the same grade. Everyone else is in the grade below us.”
“Ashton, he just sounds so cute.”
“He is so your crush. I’ll have to let Franny know. She can’t believe you can like a boy and him like you.”
I roll my eyes, “Mom, can you please listen to me for a second. I have to ask you something.”
“Oh, and what is it dear?”
“I was wondering if you could visit during my Christmas break and your Winter break. Everyone over here wants to meet Franny and Theo. I know it isn’t something we’ve done before, but I think it would be nice.”
“Um, I’ll have to talk to your father, but I think it should work. It’ll be nice to see you. I heard you and Theo made up, so it would be good to have you two get together.”
I smile, “Yeah. Well, I have to go mom. I need all the rest I can get.”
“Okay sweetheart. Talk to you soon. I love you.”
“I love you too, mother. Talk to you later,” I hang up and let out a breath. “I hope we don’t talk again for a long time.”
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* Hope you liked it! Amber's relationship with her mother, and when her father makes an appearance, will be very important as the stories (and series) goes on. :)