Drops in the Sky

One foot in front of the other. That's all I knew. Just keep walking. Get water when you can. Get food when you can. Just keep walking. For 92 days, that's all I knew. And then, I met Amber Jeffries. And, by God, that girl became all I knew. All I wanted to know. But the War was all that mattered. Fighting is all that matters.

In World War Four, 10 billion people were killed. I'm one of the lucky two billion that survived. So was Amber Jeffries. Unfortunately, 1.9 billion people live in Europe. Mostly France, and a couple areas just outside of it. I'm in the hundred million left in what used to be the United States, which is currently in the midst of a Civil War. And I'm right in the middle of it.

We're kind of a mess. My life's messy. But Amber... She keeps everything together.

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14. fourteen

God, this is painful. Training has been getting more and more difficult, because of the Services. The soldiers seem to think they're planning on attacking our camp, but the Rookies aren't supposed to know. Nobody's told us directly, but conversations always stop when one of us walks into a room, we've heard the word "Services" more often than ever, and our training is getting harder. 

Much harder. 

Everyone's kind of scared, everyone's pretty on edge, and I'm very, very alone. 

It's been a week since Amber and I argued over nothing. But I got tired, she got mad, I got mad that she got mad, and then she got madder. 

Now we're both alone. Correction: Now I'm alone. Amber seemed to have wanted to waste no time in making a new friend; her name is Cynthia Beckham. She's a pretty red-head, who balances Amber out well. She's laid back and outgoing, like a female version of Thomas. I can see why Amber likes her. 

We make our way into the training room. Amber and Cynthia head over to a couple of punching bags. I join them, and start punching the bag next to Amber. 

"Hey," I say. She rolls her eyes at me, then turns and mutters something to Cynthia. The two of them switch punching bags. 

Well, that went great

Okay, sure, I'm still mad at Amber. Well, I'm not technically mad, I just don't know what to say to her anymore. Conversation, once she got over the fact that I was a stranger she picked up on the side of the road, used to be easy and simple. Like a habit. Now, conversation with Amber Jeffries is completely foreign. 

"She's mad at you," Cynthia whispers. 

"No, really?" I say sarcastically. "I couldn't tell." 

Cynthia scoffs. "What'd you do?" 

I shrug. "Ask Amber. I have no clue." 

I kind of do, but I don't understand why it was such a big deal. 

I continue beating the punching bag until my fists were bruised and bloody despite the wrappings around my knuckles. I take a break to watch Amber fight her bag. 

I notice her weight shift onto her back foot before moving her weight forward to throw a punch. 

Now, I think to myself, a second before she hits the bag. I decide I want to sweat some more, so I head over to the treadmills. I start sprinting as fast I can. I run until my lungs won't let me run anymore, wondering how fast I'd have to go to run away from all my problems. How fast I'd have to go to be able to jump through time, and change the mistakes I made. 

~~~

After training, I grab a quick shower and head back to the cabins. Most people shower in the cabin bathroom, but I've realized that I can be one of the first to shower if I shower at the gym. Plus, I don't have to walk back feeling all sweaty. 

Since everyone else has already gotten back to the cabins while I was showering, I was the only one walking around the camp. Well, the only one walking around my area of camp. 

I hear two people talking. Not wanting to eavesdrop, I walk faster. 

"No, Liam, cut it out," Amber's voice says. My eyes grow wider. 

"Why don't you just give me a shot? Now that that Dustin boy is outta here?" I can hear the lust in his voice. 

"Justin," I hear her correct him. For some reason, this makes me smile. A few seconds pass; I can imagine they're standing, arms length apart, Amber with glowering eyes and Liam with sultry ones. 

"Get the fuck off of me before I give you a black eye." Shit. Maybe I was wrong. No glowering. Just touching. 

I visualize his smirk in my head. "Why don't you give me a kiss instead?" 

I picture her rolling her eyes. I hear the sound of a fist hitting skin. Yup, that's Amber Jeffries for you.

"Psychotic bitch!" He yells. I hear some shuffling. 

"Liam, stop it!" 

I peek around the corner of the building, and see the two of them pressed up against the back of a cabin. 

More specifically, I see Liam pinning Amber against the side of a cabin. My ears flush red with anger. Without thinking, I run over and tackle Liam to the ground and start punching. The punches hurt my fists, which are already sore from training this morning, but I'd reckon they hurt him more. 

I feel a hand on my shoulder roughly pull me away. 

"Fuck you, man," Liam mutters before pulling himself to his feet and stumbling away. 

I turn to face Amber. 

Saying nothing, she glares at me, her eyes full of fire. If looks could kill, I'd be six feet under. 

"I can handle myself," is all she says. 

"Yeah, you seemed to be handling the situation real well," I retort. Is she seriously not going to thank me for taking care of that ass?

I feel her fingertips sting my cheek. Ow. Can't say I've missed being her personal punching bag, but the familiar feeling is slightly welcoming. 

"You're not my brother," she says. "You're not my boyfriend. You're not my friend, so stop trying to take care of me." It seems more like a warning than a demand-- I wait for the "or else," but it never comes. 

Oof. That hurt

"If he was doing that to any other girl, I still would've done it," I say truthfully. "Not just you." 

Her eyes soften a little bit. "You're still a douche," she mutters before walking away. 

Am I? Damn.

I follow her back into the cabin and I'm immediately greeted with all eyes. Great. Amber and Cynthia sit on Amber's bed, and their eyes keep switching between me, each other, and Liam. Hm, I wonder what on Earth they could be talking about? Liam keeps glaring at me. For the second time today, I picture myself being buried in a coffin. He holds a white cloth, now stained with blood, to a cut on his cheek. 

I trudge over to my bed, grabbing a cloth from my trunk, and pressing it to my hands. I glance towards Amber and Cynthia. When Amber looks away, Cynthia locks eyes with me. 

Thanks, she mouths. I nod. Amber would never thank me, especially while she's this mad at me, so it's nice to feel at least a little bit appreciated. 

Cynthia looks away. She really is quite pretty. 

Anyways, Cynthia has red hair that's practically flaming. Her eyes are light blue, so light they're practically grey. What's with all these girls having such exotic eye colors? She's short and muscular, unlike Amber, who's tall and lean. 

I shake my head at myself and tear my eyes away from the girls. I glance down at my split knuckles and sigh. Pretty soon, I'll definitely have scars. 

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