Chapter 1I curl up in the armchair in front of the fire, pull my wool blanket over me, and close my laptop. I've just finished my online classes for the day. I get up, walk to the kitchen and open the fridge. I take out some leftover cranberry sauce and eat it with a spoon. Leaning against the counter, I close my eyes.
Life is good.
My iPhone buzzes, and I open my eyes. I pick it up. It's a text from Amber. "Hey..." it says.
I frown. That's odd; Amber is always peppy. I open Messenger and type a reply: "Hey, what's up?"
Amber answers quickly. "I can't do this anymore."
My heart quickens. I text her back. "Are you okay?"
Her answer: "I need your help."
I let out a breath. She's just playing ominous. I send a response. "Wow, that sounds dark! Stop being so mysterious, haha!"
There's a long pause. Then she finally replies. "I'm sorry."
"No need to be sorry. What's going on?" I text.
She takes a while to reply. "Nothing. Be strong. Good-bye."
I quickly text back. "Wait.. what's wrong?" But she doesn't answer. Worry floods through me. Did she...kill herself?
But then I remember - Amber's the happiest person I know. She's always smiling and cracking jokes. Besides, even if she were depressed, she would have told me. We're best friends; that's what friends do.
I don't have time to think about it anymore, because the front door opens. Mom and Dad come in.
"Hey, honey!" Dad smiles and gives me a hug. "How was your day?"
"Great, thanks." I kiss him on the cheek and go to help Mom.
She hands me her bag. "Thanks, sweetie," she says, as I carry it to the couch. She walks over to it and sits down. I sit down next to her and snuggle up, my head against her chest.
"Did you take it easy today?" I ask, squeezing her hand.
That is the question I've been asking for the past couple weeks, and the reason for that is that Mom is a bit overweight. Normally, that wouldn't be a problem, except lately, she's been having some trouble climbing stairs. Dad tries to convince her to lose weight, but I know all she needs to do is take it easy.
She chuckles. "As easy as I could."
I pat her hand and stand up, stretch, and yawn. "Well, I'd better be getting to bed." I go upstairs.
"Aren't you hungry for supper?" Dad calls.
I yell back, "Nah. I had a big lunch, and a little snack before you guys got home." I head into my room and climb under the covers. Then I snuggle up and drift off to sleep to the faint sound of conversation downstairs.