Overdue

Ember always found herself buried in her work, never paying much attention to anything but her future that she has lied out for herself in the fear of failing. She has lived most her life this way ever since a tragic happening and has promised herself to never fall in love. She remains loyal to her promise until a guy walks into her life and changes everything. She no longer knows what to do because of this unexpected event that was never suppose to happen. So she does the only thing she can do which is push him away as much as she can hoping he will go away. But the one trait that Ember and Alexander share exactly is loyalty.

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1. Chapter 1

     "Happy Birthday!"

   Skyler inhales deeply before exhaling, cancelling out the flame on the two candles that read the number 25. I capture her as she is doing so with a snap of my camera. Everyone cheers as someone switches the light switch on again, lighting up the room that is filled with other employees from our job and friends of Skyler that I don't know too well. The party rages on with glasses wrapped in their hands as the strong alcoholic smell drowns out the room and I know well enough that it is my time to make my escape with a slice of cake. The night easily wages on the hour of midnight and I can't waste another minute or else I'll be tired for tomorrow's presentation that I'm giving to get a higher position at the job. 

   Skyler cuts the cake as she talks and laughs with an old friend of hers and when there is a break in their conversation, I nudge a disposable plate in front of her so she can put a slice of cake on it.

   "Oh someone is eager to get a slice of cake," she says laughing with the hint of alcohol wavering in her breath.

   "Yeah, I got to get going now. It's getting late," I say as she slides piece of cake on my plate. She then looks up at the clock hanging on her wall and notices how close it is to midnight to then say, "Oh the party only just getting started. When are you going to learn to just let loose and have fun?"

   "When I don't have an important presentation to give in the morning that depends on me getting a higher position at the job."

   "Oh we all know they're just making you jump through their loops for fun and that you already have the job. You're their number one worker."

   "Yeah and I'll be their number two worker if I don't show up tomorrow."

   Then a particular sadness falls down her face like a veil and tears seem to be adding up at the brim of here eyes as she says, "I just want you to have fun and you to be happy, you're always working super hard and sometimes I see this sadness in your eyes but you don't let anybody help you or you hide away before I can say anything. I just don't know what to do because it hurts me to see you like this and I want to help you as best friend, but I don't know how. I just don't know...."

   Her tears begin to fall like great towers of an empire that were built to be secure but only were only broken down to shambles. I start to feel bad because this is what I've done, I've made the birthday girl cry at her own party, and not only is she the birthday girl but my greatest best friend. And it's all because of me and how I act. I feel my eyes get hot and stuffy as I place my plate down on the table and go to hug Skyler. I take her to the bathroom to get her cleaned up and to talk to her privately.

   "It's not your fault that I'm like this," I say closing the bathroom door, "I choose to be this way. I'm this way because it's my true ambition in life and I'm sorry if I hurt you. I don't mean to hurt you....I'm sorry. There are times when I make up excuses but this time it is for real because I can't mess up this opportunity. I've made a promise and I plan on keeping it.... How about this, if I get the job let's go out to celebrate?"

   She stops dabbing her running mascara off her eye and looks at me through the reflection of the mirror and gulps, "Really?"

   I nod my head firmly, realizing I've made a mistake and there is no way of taking it back now.

   "Like my idea of celebrating? Going out to a club, drinking, and dancing?....Picking up guys?"

    I continue to nod my head until I hear the last part and I say, "Now I don't know about the guy part but everything else is a yes."

   "You act like you're in a serious committed relationship. Or in a relationship at all! You're young Ember so get 'em while you can before you grow old and your breast start to sag-"

   "Skyler!"

    "Hey it's truth! My grandma says it all the time. Plus what she really means is that we are beautiful women who should enjoy our prime years before it's too late. I mean she is right, I've seen guys checking you out but you still choose to be single. Now you see, I make the best of things like that like my grandma wants me to do by dating a guy here and there," she says wiping off all her mascara then adds a fresh coats to her eye lashes.

    "Guys check me out?" I ask, confused about the matter.

    "Are you being serious?"

   "Yeah."

   "Like you really haven't noticed all your life?"

   "Nope, not once. I don't even know how to flirt or when a guy is even flirting with me."

   Skyler immediately place her brush into the mascara tube and rushes over to me, placing both hands on my shoulders and says, "Look me dead in the eye and tell me this because there is no way you have gotten through 24 years of your life without knowing any of this information."

    I look her right in the eyes and say, "I've never flirted or have noticed if a guy has checked me out or flirted with me. I really don't see the big deal about it at all."

   "It's official. I'm not going to leave you alone in that little bubble of yours anymore. I'm taking you in to be my Padawan and I'll you what it is like to take a risk by falling in love with a guy," she says letting go of my shoulders to only give a hug as she pats my head repeating the phrase, my poor child.

   I then rush to tell her that I have to go as she releases me from her grip. As I walk out the bathroom, yells right behind me, "Training can happen anytime this week so be prepared!"

   As I close the door, I can only imagine the type of trouble I have gotten myself into but I know I'm in good hands at least since Skyler is a great friend and is only trying to help me out of friendly love.

  I walk back into the kitchen to discover my piece of cake gone and only a few slices left of the cake. I get myself another plate and piece of cake and then wrap it up. I check my pocket to make sure I still have Skyler's gift. The only reason I didn't give it to her today because the fact that she might loose it since she is drinking and somebody else might take it, so I'll have to give to her sometime later. 

   I weave my way through the crowds of people and to the front door, managing to keep my cake from getting mushed. I walk out the door knowing that I've made it out with success of a piece of cake that is still standing and I begin walking down the walk path and turn sharply at the gate to suddenly collide with someone, mushing my cake against their chest. Luckily it was wrapped up because the person's clothes look expensive.

   I look into the eyes of the person to see a young guy around my age staring down at me with my now mushed cake. His eyes glowed softly in the dark night, sparking up some interest at what he has sees which must be my cake. His voice pours out of his mouth like silk as he says, "Sorry, I didn't see you there."

   I take a step back with his hands on my forearms and say, "Not a problem." When it certainly is a problem. Skyler had been raving about this cake for ages now and I really wanted to try it, but it's now mushed against foil.

   We continue to keep eye contact as he stands there for a second longer before placing his hands down at his sides and then he says, "Sorry," again before walking around me to then stop again to ask, "Are you a friend of Skyler?"

    "Yeah," I answer back as I examine the cake.

    "See you around then," he says before going inside Skyler's house.

   I have no idea what he means by that. Maybe he thinks I'm coming back to the party when I'm actually leaving. Eh it doesn't matter, I doubt I'll ever see him again. 

 

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