Being Amber

Without any memory of her past and not knowing why people react to her as they do, Amber has to learn to survive in the hard underworld of the City, among gangs and the unwanted citizens.
Her appearent resemblance with Ben's dead girlfriend, places her in the middle of a war that easily can cost her and others their lives.
In her quest to find her identity Amber has to learn to tell friend from foe, see behind the lies and decide if Ben's past matters at all.
When Ben asks Tom to train Amber he gets pulled into the war happening around him, far more than he wants to be.
Tom's alliance with Ben hangs in a thin tread when he not only falls in love with Amber but also starts a relationship with Kattie, who already has a boyfriend in Clay, Ben's second in command.
Will Amber ever find out who she really is ?
And how Will they get through the war ?

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5. Checking wounds and Ben is back

 

 *Amber/Sarah*

 I don't need to look at my own body to be reminded that somebody had abused it. I didn't even needed the pain to know it. It was the only knowledge I had about myself and it was hard to let that go. 

 Kattie was very friendly and helpful. She helped me find some of her clothes that was easy to get on my sore body. It wasn't a big problem because her clothes was to big for me. KC made sure I never ran out of pain killers and even though he turned out to only be 17 years old, he had turned out to have as steady a hand as Ben had when he gave me the injection in my arm.

 Both Kattie and KC showed a great level of responsibility and maturity, way beyond their years. They had clearly been forced to grow up at a young age.

 Hope, Katties 15 year old baby sister, spent most of her time keeping me company. She had long brown hair and the same green eyes as Kattie and she was very talkative. She could keep a conversation going all on her own and hardly registered if I answered or not. Several times she talked me to sleep. But she kept my mind of my own thoughts and that was what I needed the most.

 I spent most of my time in bed. Either in my own or sitting next to Clay, Katties boyfriend. He was badly hurt and couldn't leave his bed. He taught me a lot about the place I had ended up.

 I was in the city of Catrista way down south, it was always warm here, but with water on three sides there would sometimes come some very chill winds. Catrista was one of the largest cities in the country and was one of four cities that had a separate goverment from the rest of the country.

 The town was seperated into three parts. In the middle the normal citizens lived, the middle class, that made the city work and the upper class, they controlled the middle class and took all the money. Out on the coastline was the tourist area. Here was hotels, amusement parks, water parks and other ways to take the money from the tourist.

 And then there was the underworld. A hidden part of the city, behind the woods towards the other coastline, the bad side with no white beaches. Here you would end up if there was no room for you in Catrista. When you got the choice, either to disappear here among the gangs or die.

 And it was in the underworld I was. Among gangs, weapons and the unwanted citizens. I had ended up with The shadows, the gang Ben was the leader of.

 I still had a lot to lear and Clay had promised to tell me about the different gangs next time. But right now I was laying on my bed, starring up at the depressing ceiling above me.

 Kattie knocked three times, before she entered the room. Behind her a young man stepped in. Even if it had only been a few days I was no longer surprised how mature and grown up everyone seemed. So when she presented him as Tom, leader of The Eagles it seemed plausible, even though he only seemed to be around Kattie's age. He had gingerblonde hair that curled slightly and friendly and very handsome face and piercing blue eyes. He was taller than both Ben and KC and everything about him spoke of strength.

 "Nice to see you awake". Tom said and stepped past Kattie. "The last time I saw you you were unconscious". He squatted down next to the bed. "I helped KC take care of you. And with your permission I would like to check up on your wounds". There was authority in the way he spoke. He might be asking me nicely but I had no doubt that I really didn't have a choice.

 I looked at Kattie for help. I wasn't really ready to let anyone look at my body. Not even if he had already done so once.

 "Tom is okay, you can trust him". Kattie stepped up next to Tom and placed a hand on his shoulder, in a way that seemed a bit possessive. "And he is much better at these things than I am".

 "Don't worry, I promise you it wont hurt". Tom pulled the chair over to the bed and sat down. "If you turn the head a bit, then I can start with that". He gently turned my head to allow him access to the bullet wound.

 I tried ignoring the hands that were touching my sore skin and I had to bite my lip when I felt him remove the stitches, it was a really weird feeling.

 "Now that is over and done". Tom's hand stayed on my neck as he moved to sit on the edge of the bed. Then it moved with the other to examine my head. He had the most gentle hands, especially considering how big they were. "There is no indication you have hit your head and the bullet wound shouldn't mess with your memory". If he had told me he was a doctor I would have believed him. "I see two possibilities. Both equally possible. Firstly you can have a bump I can't locate, that has gone inwards and is pressing on some nerves. If that's the case you might get your memory back when the swelling goes down. Another possibility is that you have been through something so traumatic that your brain has cut of to protect your sanity".

 "And if that is the case ?" I asked, looking at him. I already knew the answer.

 "Then I think it is permanent". He said without a hint of feelings on his face. "But no reason to start believing the worst. No one knows for sure how the brain works. Maybe it lets you remember when you are strong enough to handle the things you have been through".

 "I am not even strong enough to handle that I have no past. How will I ever get strong enough to handle what ever it is my brain wants to protect me against ?" I shook my head feeling like just giving up. It was hopeless.

 "Well all you can decide about is now and how you want it to shape your future". Tom took my hand in his and sent me a flashing smile. "I see two possibilities. You can go to the Cantrista police and let them find out who you are and bring you home. Or you can stay and make your own destiny".

 "To get a name wont give me back my memories". I say slowly.

 "I have seen your body Amber". Tom says softly. "You have marks after years of abuse and I am very much certain that you have been sexually abused too. If you choose to go to the police and let them find out who you are, that is the life you will be sent back to".

 I was so embarrassed that he has seen my body that I can't look him in the eyes. "And what happens if I choose to stay ?"

 "Then you chooses to create yourself a new identity. But you will have to learn to deal with the life we live here and it wont be easy. Our lifes are hard. There are no one to serve you and no fancy dinners. No one to bring you to were you need to be. We do what we need to do ourselves, knowing that a gun can point at us at any moment and end it".

 "Why have you choosen this life ?" I also wanted to know why Tom was the one having this talk with me and not Ben, when he was the one I was staying with. But I feared the answer to much.

 "Sometimes there isn't a choice". Tom answered. "It might even be a blessing not knowing your past. Many people would wish they could wipe their slate clean". He let go of my hand. "I know you are not happy about me seeing your body, but I have to check up on the rest of your wounds".

 I knew this would come.

 "Do you need help with your top or can you do it youself ?" He ask me politely. I was wearing one of Katties long tops. I didn't answer him, but sat up straight and with some difficulties I pull of the shirt. I keep the blanket close around me. "You can lay down and close your eyes if it makes it easier".

 I had only just layed down when Ben stepped through the door. I hadn't seen him for more than a week. For some reason my heart speed up and I blushed afraid everyone could hear it pounding.

 "Ben !" Tom looked at him with surprise. "I have taken out the stitches from the bullet wound and was about to look over the rest of the wounds".

 "I see that.. I can take over from here Tom". He said with a glare that clearly told Tom to get his hands away from me. "Thank you for your help".

 "Are you okay ?" Tom sounded sincerely worried about him. But beside that nothing in their stances told about friendship between them, quite the opposite.

 "Now I am". Ben sent me a small sweet smile, before looking back to Tom. "Yes I know I have fucked up badly".

 "Good !" Tom's voice was hard now. The warmth from when he talked to me was gone. "Let's have a talk about that after you are done attending to her".

 Tom left the room and I was alone with Ben. I felt like my heart was going to jump out of my chest when he slowly walked closer.

 "Sorry I have left you here all by yourself". He said, actually sounding sorry about it, when he reached the bed.

 "Where have you been ?" I didn't dare look at him. It was wrong of me to ask, that much I knew. It was none of my business.

 "I needed some fresh air, to get away for a bit. But now I am here. Have they treated you well ?" I nodded. "And the name ?" He seemed a bit worried.

 "Everyone calls me Amber now". Or well the few people I had any contact with did anyway. "I actually kind of like it. I feel like it gives me an identity".

 "Good". His smile seemed a bit forced. "I am sure Tom would have done this just as good as I can. But I feel like it is my duty to do it myself". His hand rested on my arm. "We are going to take it slowly, but you need to let go of the blanket so I can see you".

 I reluctantly lifted my arm so he could get to my side and the wounds I had there. His hands wasn't as gentle as Tom's, but they left a warm pleasant feeling. And they made my heart beat faster. I had to close my eyes and focus on breathing, not because it hurt but because him being close made me dizzy.

 How could a man I didn't even know affect me like that ?

 Bit by bit he went over my entire body and removed the stitches from the wounds that had needed closing. When he reached one under my breast I almost passed out because I forgot to breathe.

 "I'm done in a moment". He promised me. Shortly after he pulled the blanket over me and removed it from my legs. I didn't have any wounds there but he still felt up both my legs before telling me he was done. "You need to start getting out of bed and get your body moving. Or you will lose the few muscles you got".

 I liked those eyes that rested on me. They looked like miniature galaxies and those was much better than the darkened ones I saw the first time, when he gave me my name.

 "And you need to find out if you want to stay".

 I already knew my decision. I couldn't leave, knowing these eyes would never look at me again.

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