Small Truths & Hidden Truths
Make Truths Nonetheless
Next time Cade planned to dish out advice, he was going to choose his words wisely. He'd thrown out all the cliches imaginable, they usually worked with the ocassional broken heart, the cheating ex, you've-got-to-live-your-life spiel but never this.
"What?" he almost spluttered. Surely he had heard wrong.
"He left me for dead," Amber said blankly, "He ravaged me with his fists and kicked me when I was down and left me for dead. I understand if you don't want to continue seeing me... no one wants to go out with someone with this much baggage."
"I wasn't even thinking about leaving," Cade leaned forward, "I just didn't know... I'm sorry. I completely mis-judged the situation."
"Thank you for a great day... for a few hours I almost forgot about all this... I'm sorry I brought this up... I'm sorry." Amber grabbed her jacket and headed out of the restaurant and into the street.
Cade grabbed his jacket and followed Amber, she was half way down the street. He grabbed a hold of her and turned her towards him, "Hey, hey..."
"I'm sorry, I'm really sorry Cade...." she started sobbing and he drew her to him. He could feel her shaking as the tears fell down from her lovely face, the unresolved trauma that he could only imagine. He was suddenly angry, angry wasn't the word at all, he was furious, if he ever got hold of the man... no... what man would do this to a woman? Why would a man be compelled to hit a woman, why would he hit a woman?
"Let's take you home," Cade said hugging her towards him.
Millie opened the door to Amber's tear stricken face, her puffy red eyes, "What the hell did you do to her?" She said through clenched teeth.
"He didn't do anything Millie... he was an absolute gentleman," Amber said exhaling, "Leave it."
"Leave it? You've been crying," Millie pointed out the obvious.
"Of course, it's the story of my life isn't it?" Amber said, shaking her head, willing the memories to subside. She turned towards Cade, kissing him softly on the cheek, "Thank you for everything tonight." She smiled and walked into the house, leaving Millie and Cade standing awkwardly outside.
"So you were the perfect gentleman?" Millie eyed the man standing in front of her, despite him standing a few steps down, he still managed to be taller then her.
"Of course," Cade replied.
"Then why is she crying?" Millie said.
"I wouldn't be a gentleman if I kissed and told you, would I? It was nice to meet you Millie, good night," Cade said turning and went down the stairs.
"Seems like an honorable man by the sounds of it," Liam said as he watched his wife close the front door.
"Well, I'm not willing to put all my eggs in one basket," Millie replied, "Did she go upstairs?"
"Wouldn't it be best to leave her to her own devices tonight? Besides, you have to help me run through lines tonight Mrs Blake," Liam said clutching her hand.
"I'm becoming a bit of a mother hen, aren't I?" Millie said.
"Too much, you've gotta give the girl room to breathe, be herself... I know you mean well Mills but in order for her to move forward, you gotta give her some leeway, this is not leeway, if you're constantly in her face. We know you mean well and we have her back but she's a woman and a strong one, once she figures it out... it'll be fine," Liam said as he tugged his wife towards the couch.
Amber made sure to have all the kitchen utensils out of the way... she was afraid. She was afraid for herself and her unborn baby. She had steadily started to tape the knives down in the drawers, giving herself precious seconds to move out of the way in case things got out of hand. She never knew things could, until one night a few weeks ago when Dan had got home after hitting the bars with his mates and moaned about something trivial at work and then taking the whisk of all things and hitting her profusely with it. It had been her arms that she had used to protect her, after the bruises had turned to mere smudges, she could see the damage which was left... the very thought of it made the coldness creep up her spine and the chill never leaving her bones. She'd never been so afraid in her life. If Amber had to explain why everything was taped down, she would explain it... she had to be strong... she had to protect what was hers now. It wasn't just her life, it was her baby's too.
"Didn't you hear me?!" his hoarse voice penetrated her thoughts like a knife.
"Dan," Amber looked up from the kitchen drawer as she closed it.
"Who else you expecting?" he said.
"No... no one at all, I was just caught by surprise that was all," Amber told herself to keep calm, "I was... um... how was your day today?"
He slithered towards her, his eyes never leaving her face. Amber couldn't help but step back with every approach, "You're not scared of me are you?" He lifted his finger and watched as she jumped at his approach, "Oh you are- you shouldn't fear me Amber." He turned around, "You've got nothing to fear." His voice taking on a softer serene tone, a tone she had once heard before... but before she could think about his knuckles made contact with her face and the sheer blunt force had her head snapping back and her feet disappearing out of her. It came to quick, she hadn't had time to prepare to land and landed on her back, missing the dining room table. He came above her and she tried to use her hands as a shield to protect her baby, he batter her, batter her but not her baby. The constant kicking and punching, had the life force taken away from her. It was strange, it was like her soul was ebbing it's way out of her body and was watching from outside of the situation, a silent spectator to the scene. It was pain emanating from her stomach that brought her back to the moment and screamed like she'd never screamed before... and then she saw the blood, the blood coming from her vagina... the metallic taste of blood in her mouth... she screamed one final scream, saw his eyes widen and then her head hit the floor once again and all she saw was the ceiling and administered herself to the angels, so be it.
Amber woke up from her bad dream, clutching her stomach. The silent tears streaming down her face, she didn't want to alarm Millie again. She was bathed in her own sweat and she walked to the bathroom, her legs like jelly and showered, the water scolding... yet her bones were brittle-cold. She quickly dried herself with the fluffy towel and put on jeans and a jumper, she was heading down to the kitchen for a glass of water when the cell phone on her bedside table came to life. She walked over and it was a text message, she clicked the envelope icon and the message appeared;
Can't sleep to be honest- was up reading and was
thinking of you. Had a great time with you
yesterday. Sleep tight.
Amber smiled more to herself then for the text message, she texted back;
Me too. What are you reading?
The text message came back almost immediately;
A Long Walk To Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela
Amber's eyes widened... could his brain cells function at this time of night... it wasn't exactly light reading- she texted back;
Fancy a coffee, at the usual?
You could tell me about it?
The text message was instantaneous;
Give me fifteen minutes and I'll be there.
Amber pocketed her phone into her pocket and crept downstairs. Thirsty, she poured herself a glass of water from the water dispenser and took a gulp. Her mouth was dry. She put the glass in the sink and then walked over to the couch and put on her converses. She was excited, excitement didn't come natural to her but she was excited. Excited to see him, which took her by surprise, but it was a surprise she was willing to partake in. And excited because she hadn't felt excited in a very long time. Her phone buzzed and he was parked outside. She quietly opened the front door, making sure she had her keys and closed the door quietly. He was standing on the pavement in chinos, a cable knit blue jumper and his hair was unkempt.
"Are you okay to walk?" Cade asked.
"I thought you'd never ask," Amber smiled. As they walked side by side to the coffee shop a few blocks down.