Amber

13 April 2018

By Lena Mingzhu Weiberlenn - Fiona was standing in her room by the open window when she heard her phone ping.

A text from Henry. Can you come open the door for me?

She never really understood why he still did that even though they had fixed the bell a while ago. Plus, the garage door was almost always open, too.

Still by the window, she peeked down and said “Yes, I can. Hi.”

He looked up at her and a smile spread across both of their faces. “Hi there.”

It was sunny out for a change, so Fiona didn’t bother closing the window as she sped down the stairs to open the front door.

____

She stood in front of me dressed in a long, flowy, red dress that kind of took my breath away. A bright smile still on her face, she let me in and greeted me with a hug. This was exactly why I always texted her instead of ringing the doorbell. I wanted to make sure it was her face I saw first as soon as I got to her house. As much as I liked the rest of her family, they could not beat this.

“I was thinking we could go to the garden, you’ll read, I’ll take pictures.”

She laughed. “Sounds just perfect.”

As we walked through the kitchen to the garden, she asked me what I had been up to since we last saw each other. Her eyes glistened with genuine interest and I combed through my memory to find the most exciting things to tell her.

“I got an idea for a new painting. That’s part of why I wanted to take pictures in the garden. I need some reference photos. I won’t tell you too much but it’s gonna be amazing if I do say so myself.”

Fiona’s eyes widened in excitement and her expression was a mixture of curiosity and frustration. “That’s so cool! I can’t wait to see it, but now I want to know what your plan is!! Oh, the struggle of impatience.” She sighed dramatically, and I laughed.

____

“What about you? Tell me what’s new.” Henry asked as they lay down on the picnic blanket that was always on their lawn whenever the sun was out.

“Oh, you know. Reading this new book, I’ve just been doing that all day. It’s so good! So, I’m totally cool if you just start taking your pictures. I’ll be lying right here and just be reading.” She grinned at him and flipped open the page she had left off at. A pencil in her one hand, the other one holding the book, she turned to lay on her back and started reading. Just a minute later, she heard Henry’s camera clicking about as he found his angles. However, it wasn’t long before the sound stopped and she felt him lie down right next to her, his warm skin brushing against hers. Fiona peeked out from behind her book to look at him, a raised eyebrow asking why he had stopped. Henry just smiled at her, turned his face towards the sky and closed his eyes. With a light shrug, she focused back on her book with only the birds and Henry’s breathing as background noise.

____

When I heard her flipping pages again, I turned my head to the side and looked at her. The sun was bright and warm, and her book was throwing shadows on her face that moved ever so slightly with every breath she took. She was underlining something in the book, brows furrowed in annoyance or anger at whatever had just happened in the story. When she was done marking the passage, she put the pencil between her teeth and lay down her arm back next to mine. I chuckled at the sight that had become so familiar. As I grew more and more aware of her hand so close to my own, I took a tentative breath and inched my fingers a little closer to hers, seizing the moment in which she wasn’t holding the pencil. A rush of adrenaline sparked through me when our fingers touched. I heard a small gasp from Fiona, though her hand stayed right where it was. Encouraged by her reaction, I laced my fingers through hers and held on tightly. I had closed my eyes, but when I heard her put down the book, I opened them again. She had turned to face me and her amber eyes were merely inches away, lit up with a smile and looking intently into mine. 

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