Goodbye

Amber sat cross-legged on the bonnet of her truck, looking out over the ocean. The moonlit waves roared, crashing into the jagged rocks below the cliff. The air was cold, but Amber was shielded from it by the woolen jumper and sweatpants she’d thrown on. Where is he?

Biting her thin bottom lip, she pulled her phone from her pants pocket and turned it on. The screen flicked into life, blinding her for a moment. 11:07 p.m. He mustn’t be coming. The screen died and she shoved the phone back into her pocket. “Well, I guess there’s no need for me to be waiting out here then.” Amber slid off the truck. The gravel crunched as she walked round to the door. She hopped into the front seat, and was about to slam the door shut when she saw from the corner of her eye a torch light bobbing up and down. She turned her head and watched it come racing towards her.

“Amber is that you?” a voice called out.

“Jonathan?”

“I’m so glad you’re still here,” Jonathan gasped, jogging up the last bit of hill.

Amber shielded her face with a hand. “Don’t shine that thing straight into my eyes, idiot.”

“Shoot you’re mad.” Jonathan directed the torch to the ground.

“And why wouldn’t I be? I dragged my butt out of bed just so I could sit here for hours waiting for you.”

“Look, I’m really, really sorry.” Jonathan collapsed against the side of the truck, breathing heavily.

“Uh-huh.”

“I truly am.”

Amber grimaced as a bead of sweat landed onto her cheek. Wiping it away, she waited for him to give his excuse. Jonathan said nothing, just continued to pant. He wiped his forehead with the back of his hand, sending down another bead of sweat onto her face.

She snapped, “Use your shirt to wipe your forehead. I don’t want your stinking sweat on my face.”

“Sorry.”

“You gonna tell me why you’re so late?”

“Of course. Sorry.”

Amber glared at him, but she doubted he would have seen her displeasure clearly.

“The car broke down on my way here.”

“That’s it?”

“What do you expect me to say?”

Amber avoided the question. “Still can’t believe you bought that hunk of junk.”

“Yeah. Guess I should have listened to ya when I went to buy it, huh?”

“Yes.” Amber looked away from him, back out to the ocean. The waves were less visible now as the moon began to move behind the curtain of dark clouds sweeping across the sky.

After a while Jonathan knocked Amber’s arm playfully. “Remember when I first brought you here? You were too scared to walk to the edge and burst into tears when I got too close.”

“I was a lot younger then.”

“Five years isn’t that long ago,” Jonathan joked.

Amber’s lips twitched. “At least my pants didn’t hang off my ass back then.”

“I’ll have you know I was following the trend.”

“Right. Because you’re so ‘with it’. How could I forget?”

“I will miss you, you know,” Jonathan whispered.

“Geez. Is that why you brought me out here so you could bore me with a sappy conversation?”

“I thought it was a great reason.”

“Don’t you know me at all? I hate sadness, I hate goodbyes, and right now I hate you.”

“You do not.”

“Wanna bet?”

“Stop being you for a moment and shut up.”

Amber planted her elbow into Jonathan’s side.

Jonathan hunched over, grabbing the side of his stomach. “Arrgh!”

A giggle slipped from Amber’s lips. “Stop being a drama queen.”

Jonathan straightened and lifted his head, giving Amber a sad smile. “I’m serious. I’m really going to miss you.”

“I’ll call.”

“It will be weird without you here.”

“I’ll come and visit.”

“It’s not as easy as that. You’re not just going to be across town – you’ll be in another country entirely.”

“So save up. Then we’ll take turns visiting each other and we’ll be able to see each other more.”

“Amber –”

“Look, Jonathan, I don’t know what you want me to say. I’m leaving tomorrow and that’s that.”

“You don’t have to.”

“Yes, I do. I can’t just let my dad go off without me. I’m all he has left.”

“I’m sure if you tell him you want to stay he’ll understand.”

“God, Jonathan,” Amber shoved her hand through her long, wavy hair. “He can’t even remember to pay the power bill. He needs me.”

Jonathan kicked the ground, sending a spray of stones into the air. “I need you.”

Amber was shocked. “What?”

“I like you, okay? And it sucks that I never had the balls to tell you that when I fell for you.” Jonathan, waited for Amber’s response, the torch light reflecting off his sad face.

“You’re right. You should have told me.” Building up courage, she stepped down from the truck. “For what it’s worth… I like you too.”

A large smile spread across Jonathan’s face and he walked up to Amber.  “Does that mean you’ll stay?”

“I can’t. But maybe you could come with me.”

Jonathan pressed his forehead against Amber’s. “I can’t either. You know how tied up I am here.”

“Guess we should have opened up to our feelings a lot sooner.”

“Yeah, I guess we should have. But I don’t wanna let you go.”

Amber wrapped her arms around him and buried her face into his chest. “I’ll come back one day.”

Jonathan wrapped his own arms around her. “You’d better,” he mumbled. There was a pause, and then he asked with laughter in his voice. “Do you think you could jump start my car?”

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