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Wake Me Up (chapter five)

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I woke up to the bed shifting next to me, and immediately pulled the sheets up closer to my neck, and rolled over so I was near the end of the bed, about to fall off. I didn't want to get up, the bed was much too comfortable. I ignored Ed who I knew was laying next to me, probably watching me until I said something to him.

It had been a hard week and a half after I spilled my history to him in the park next door. I was going through some emotional breakthroughs and I felt better letting some of it go. I wasn't sure how Ed would treat me, but he hadn't changed much. He didn't bring up that day at all and I could tell he was watching what he was saying around me. We were growing closer together and I think telling him my story really helped us connect in a whole new way.

However, Ed hadn't been as physical with me as he was that day. I remembered him holding and that feeling of security he gave me then. Since then he wasn't as touchy or protective over me, I wasn't sure if that was because he wasn't sure how to, or if I wasn't giving him the chance to be.

I also had to move back into the spare bedroom, from Ed's, but it was on my own will. Ed told me he was going to be gone for a while this next month, and he trusted me to stay home alone. But that meant I would have to sleep alone, and I might as well have gotten used to it while he was still in the house. I was staying up later and not sleeping as well, but I knew I had to suck it up. I wasn't going to worry him out of not going on his trip. I wanted him to know he could let me be alone, even if I didn't want to be.

"Why do you always have to wake me up?" I mumbled in an angry tone at Ed. He laughed slightly and replied with a sigh.

"Because I wanted to spend some time with you before I leave," he said. That's right, today was the day he had to leave. Tonight would be the first night I would spend alone, and it would be the beginning of what I knew would be a very long few weeks for me.

"I also got you a few presents," he added on. I rubbed my eyes open and stared out at the blank wall in front of me. After stretching I rolled over onto my back and looked over at Ed. To my surprise, he wasn't looking back. Instead, his back was to mine and he was hanging halfway off the bed, mumbling something to himself.

"What are you doing?" I asked sleepily.

"Hang on," he told me then continued what he was doing. I sat up in bed, against the backboard and tried to look at what he was up to, but he rolled back over before I could peek.

I instantly gasped at what he was holding in his hands above his head. A tiny brown tabby kitten squirmed in his grasp and tried to bite his thumbs and he sat it down on his chest and laughed as it struggled to stand.

"You bought a kitten?" I asked excitedly.

"Yea, I thought he could keep you company while I'm gone," he giggled, then poked the kitten gently, making it topple over onto his shirt. He was so small and his paws looked oversized for his small stature. He had bright green eyes and big bat ears. He was awkward but so cute at the same time. I instantly fell in love with him.

"Here, you can hold him," he picked him up and held him out for me to take, but I hesitated.

"I've never held a cat," I told him.

"It's easy, just like this," Ed showed me and I cautiously reached over and took him. I smiled widely as I held him still over Ed in case I dropped him, but I quickly got confidence and brought him closer to myself so I was cradling him against my own chest. He squirmed around, but I could hear him purring at my warmth. With one finger I petted his tiny back and laughed as he sprawled out in my hands.

"What's his name?" I asked, not looking down at Ed.

"Uh..." He tried to remember, "oh yea. It is Toby."

"Toby," I repeated the name and let the cat walk around in my lap. He was so small and so innocent, I never wanted to let him out of my sight. I had never had a pet, my parents said we could never afford one. But when I could get out I would sometimes play with the neighbor's dog or the stray cats that would wander by in the woods at times.

"I think the lady I bought him from said he was the runt of the litter," Ed told me, "he was the only left of his family, she sold the rest."

"You bought him this morning?" I asked, still smiling from the excitement.

"Yea, I was on my way back from the cellphone store when I saw the sign for kittens for sale on the side of the road," I looked over at him and he smiled, "I couldn't resist."

"I love him," I surprised myself by saying. I hadn't said the word love in a while and really meant it. Ed looked up at me and smiled widely, he was proud. I smiled back, a true, happy smile.

"Come on," Ed stood up from the bed and held out a hand for me. With one hand I held Toby, then grabbed onto Ed with the other. He helped me out of the bed and I followed him out of the bedroom and into the kitchen. I set Toby down on the floor and he began following my feet by pouncing on my toes.

"I got you a phone," Ed said and I looked up from Toby to see him holding out a phone identical to his. I took it from him and rolled it around in my hands.

"So you can call of you need anything," he continued on.

"How do I... Work it?" I frowned.

"Here," I set the phone back in his hand and he showed my how to turn it on.

"You just call from here," he touched a little square box on the screen and a keypad appeared, "I put my phone number and Harry's in here," he tapped on something else and a list of three people appeared. He showed me how to tap on the name and how it would call.

"Try to call me," he told me. I did what he told me and tapped on his contact and it began to call. I held it up to my ear and listened to it ring. Suddenly Ed's phone began ringing from his pocket. He took it out and showed me what I had done.

"Just like that!" He said. I hung up and looked through the contacts, seeing Harry's phone number then the name of someone I didn't recognize.

"Who's Stuart?" I asked.

"Oh, he's my manager. You can call him if I don't pick up," Ed returned his phone to his pocket, "but he doesn't know who you are," he winced, "just introduce yourself if you have to call."

"Thanks, Ed," I said his name for the first time, and before he could say anything about it, I wrapped my arms around him and a big hug. He hugged me back and rocked me side to side. I couldn't help but notice how warm he was. I breathed in his scent and let my head rest on his shoulder.

We were interrupted by a hasty knock on the door and Ed pulled away quickly. He took out his phone again and checked the time only to sigh with relief.

"Someone is here early..." He mumbled to me then walked over to the door and opened it. The tall person immediately let himself in and held up a two bags of groceries above his head.

"I brought groceries!" He sang loudly with a wide smile on his face. I couldn't get over how excited he got over nothing. He was loud and obnoxious but kind and funny at the same time. I could see why Ed liked him.

"Hell, I can afford my own food, Harry," I was shocked to hear Ed swear. He had never swore around me, but I guess he was getting more comfortable.

"It not for you, Edward," Harry frowned at Ed then set the bags onto the counter. He winked at me then walked over and engulfed me in a big hug. I didn't hug back, I was just overwhelmed by his large figure that overtook my small stature.

"We're gonna have the best two weeks ever!" He said to me after letting go and I frowned back and looked over at Ed.

"Harry volunteered to come check up and hang out with you a few times when I'm gone," Ed finally told me. It bothered me a bit that he didn't tell be before. I hardly knew Harry and I would much rather spend this time alone. I still wasn't 100% sure about him, but Ed trusted him. Should I?

"You're still here early," Ed reminded him. Harry only shrugged and began rummaging through Ed's fridge. He took out a soda pop and made his way over to the living room where he sat himself down on the couch and turned on the TV. He rested his feet on the coffee table in front of him and opened the soda.

"At least I'm not late," He muttered back, now distracted by what he was watching. He treated Ed's house like it was his own, but Ed didn't seem to mind. I left my new phone on the table and followed Ed to his room, I didn't want to be left alone with Harry. I scooped up Toby who was playing with a loose string on the carpet on the way there. He struggled in my arms but eventually gave into me.

I sat down on the edge of the bed near his half full empty suitcase and watched him rummage through his closet, pulling out clothes and throwing them down on the bed next to me. Toby scurried around the bed, trying to keep standing on the shifting ground.

"You okay?" Ed asked me and I looked back at him from Toby and nodded. Ed gave me a look as if he didn't believe that I was telling the truth.

"I'm just a little nervous," I played with my fingernails and looked away.

"I'm sure you'll be fine," Ed told me and began folding the clothes he pulled out and placing them in the suitcase.

"I'm sure too... I'm just not sure what I will do for two weeks," I said.

"Harry will take you to do stuff," Ed told me and I looked up at him and a worried look, "Harry's a good guy, but don't be afraid to tell him you don't want to do anything."

"I'll feel bad then," I mumbled.

"He'll understand," Ed told me then returned to his closet. I watched him pull out a large orange sweatshirt and look it over.

"Do you want this?" He asked and handed it to me after returning to the bed. I took it from him and looked it over. I slowly brought it up to my face and breathed in Ed's familiar scent. After taking the hanger out I pulled it over my head. I then stood up and let it the bottom of it fall all the way down to my knees, the long sleeves hung over my hands and the collar hung low on my chest.

"Perfect fit," Ed joked. I pulled my hair out and returned to the bed. Where I rescued Toby from under the sheets.

"Two weeks is a long time," I said in a husky voice.

"But it will fly by," Ed sat down next to me and zipped up his suitcase. I pushed a strand of hair off my face and sighed.

"I promise you'll be fine. You might have some fun. Do what you want, this is your week," his hand found my leg, "if Harry takes you shopping, spend all of his money."

I giggled at that and he stood up again and lifted the suitcase off the bed. He rolled it out of the room and shouted at Harry for something once he made it past the doorway. I gathered Toby in my arms and wandered outside myself. I came out just in time to see Harry take Ed's suitcase and disappear out the front door with it. Meanwhile Ed picked up his guitar from the kitchen counter and slung it across his back.

He muttered to himself, and patted his jeans saying, "phone, yes, passport, yes." He looked and pointed at me. By his expression I could tell he was trying his best to remember everything he needed.

"If you need help with him," he motioned at Toby, "Harry's good with cats, and you can always call."

He then pulled a soda pop from the fridge and took a big swig from it. I followed him to the front doorway as he continued to mumble nonsense, then he turned to me. Toby squirmed out of my arms and I sat him down on the floor and he ran off to hide. I laughed and looked at Ed to see him staring intensely back. His eyes searched mine and I stared back to try to see what he found.

"Have fun," his hands found my shoulders and he held them protectively while looking down at me, "I'm just a phone call away."

His voice sounded deep and serious. He wanted this time to be good for me, and I needed to let that happen. Ed was the first person I really was beginning to trust and like since I got here, and I didn't want to do anything to disappoint him, not now. We were starting to have a connection and I would do anything to keep that alive.

"Make sure the door is locked and the windows are shut. Don't open the door for anyone but Harry... Uhm," he sounded like an overly protective parent and I bit my lip to hide my smile, "try not to burn the place down," he concluded and I nodded lightly.

"Okay," he whispered, but kept looking at me.

"Come on, Ed," Harry called from the car.

"Bye Ed," I said in my small voice. He watched my lips move and bit his back.

"Bye Amber," his hand wandered up my body and to my face where he pulled my hair back and off my right cheek. I tried my best to stand still as his face got closer and I felt his soft lips on my scar. His warm breath heated my neck and sent shivers down my spine but his kiss made me feel light hearted. He slowly pulled away and smile at me.

My face grew bright red and I played with the bottom of the sweatshirt nervously. Ed stepped down from the doorway and gave me a last wink before turning around and making his way to Harry's car. My heart was beating quickly as I saw his messy red hair disappear into the passenger's side of the car.

I waved slightly as the vehicle drove slowly down the road and out of sight. I wasn't sure what to think of what just happened. Why did he do that to me? I have never been touched in that way before... And I... Sort of liked it. For some reason I wanted more. I wanted to be closer to Ed, closer than we have before.

A tiny meow echoed from inside the house and reminded me that I had the door wide open and I was staring out at nothing. I sighed and retreated back into the kitchen. There was no point in thinking about Ed, I wouldn't be seeing him for another two weeks, I might as well enjoy my time alone.

I found Toby quickly and brought him over the to the living room where the TV was still on from Harry. I laid down on the couch and placed Toby on my chest. He walked around for a bit, yawned, then laid down on my stomach in a tight ball. My head rested against a pillow and the couch cradled me to sleep.



















~*~



I spend the rest of the day sitting around, eating and watching TV. Most of the shows playing I didn't recognize, but the definitely caught my attention. I was mesmerized mostly by the girls on the shows. They wore so much make up and their hair was so pretty. I wasn't like that at all.

Before bed I stood in front of the mirror and compared myself to the girls on the television. My nose wasn't perfect and my lips weren't big. My hair was boring and I had nothing that really stuck out about me. I wasn't special in anyway, and I was awkward. I wasn't anything like a girl should be.

Feeling worm out, I made my way to bed. There was no way I was going to sleep in the spare bedroom alone, so I gathered all my blankets and pillows from there and brought them into Ed's room. I threw them all on the bed and sighed. I didn't care if I was going to be hot, I wanted to feel protected. I still wore the sweatshirt Ed gave me and I made Toby climb into the bed with me.

I laid there in the dark, not feeling very tired from being lazy all day. Toby was purring on the pillow next to my head, but otherwise the house was completely silent. I was used to it being quiet at night, but that was when I knew someone was in the house with me. Now that I knew there was no one around to comfort me if I did have a nightmare, I was slightly afraid to fall asleep.

I bundled myself up under all the blankets and pulled the bottom of the sweatshirt over my knees. I wondered what Ed was doing right now, maybe sleeping in a hotel room? I debated calling him, but decided that I had better wait until tomorrow. I needed to show him that I could survive without him, even if I wasn't sure I could. This is something I had to do for him.

My finger found my scar and I stroked the demented skin, remembering how Ed's lips felt against it. They were soft, warm, and for some reason addicting. I don't think I could ever look at him the same way. Maybe it was good he was gone, so I could get back to normal.

I left my hand at my face until I fell asleep about half an hour later. My thought tugged and my mind and tried to wake me, but I ignored them, already knowing that this might as well be one of the hardest weeks of my life. Yes, of course I was away from my dad, and I wasn't getting best on, but now I was fighting another battle against memories, nightmares, and my own sanity.




















~*~



Luckily, the night came and left in a blink of an eye. I didn't dream, but it was better than having a nightmare. I woke up earlier than usual, it was around 7:00. It was still dim outside and a bit overcast. Most of the blankets and pillows I had gathered were now sprawled around the room. I must have kicked them off in my sleep when I got too hot. Toby was missing too and I couldn't help but relate him to Ed and how he would always be gone in the mornings.

I threw the sheets off myself and jumped right out of bed. I was hungrier than ever, and couldn't remember if I had dinner the night before or not. Toby was waiting at the door and as soon as I opened it he ran out and immediately tried his best to occupy himself. I made my way to the kitchen, taking light steps to match the empty atmosphere.

My curiosity found itself rummaging through the untouched bags that Harry bought the day before. Inside I found a bag of bagels, some honey, tea, sugar, and eggs. It was so random, but any food helped. I was worried that I wasn't going to have enough food to last me the whole time, considering my still large appetite. For breakfast I settled with a piece of toast and a cup of tea. Ed had taught me how to make tea perfectly and now it was something I couldn't live without every morning.

I retreated to the kitchen table and sat down beside the phone he bought me. I turned it on like I was shown and saw the three contacts I had. I wanted to call Ed, and hear his voice again. It hadn't even been a full day, and I already felt lonely. I eventually gave in and tapped on his phone number. I held the device up to my ear and listened to it ring over and over again. I was about to loose hope until I heard a voice answer.

"Hello?" Ed's voice answered. He sounded tired, like he had stayed up all night and was just now trying to get some sleep. I immediately felt guilt hit my chest.

"Hi... It's Amber," I hesitated, feeling odd hearing my voice out loud.

"How are you, Love?" He asked, sounding a bit more awake.

"Okay," I replied truthfully, "better now. How are you?"

"Tired," he pointed out the obvious, "jet lag."

"Right," I said, not really understanding what he was saying, "what are you doing?" I changed the subject rapidly.

"Well, you just woke me up, so I should get out of this darn bed and get going," he laughed lightly. I realized how much I loved that laugh now that I didn't have a face for it to go along with.

"What about you?" He asked after a short pause.

"Same," I replied.

"I'm surprised you're up this early," he joked and I shrugged knowing he couldn't see it.

"Someone's got to take your place," I said and I heard him laugh again. I wasn't sure if I had ever heard him laugh that much, or if I was just taking it for granted before. I really was beginning to like his voice and how it sounded over the phone, when his body wasn't there with it. He sounded so much more British and different.

"I've only got one gig tonight," he informed me, "so we could probably talk later too!"

"Good! I'll wait for your call," I said back, then heard a voice from the background. It was shouting something at Ed.

"Hang on a sec, Love," Ed said to me then I heard a bump as he covered the phone with his hand. I had seen him do it plenty of times before, and I always wondered why he did it. It didn't bother me any.

I heard his now muffled voice say something back to the mystery person, then there was a small pause before the person replied again. I heard Ed say okay a couple times, then the sound of his palm coming off the phone.

"Sorry, that was Stuart," he said to me, "he scheduled an interview for me in an hour since 'I wasn't doing anything today anyways," he sounded irritated.

"So, you'd better get ready," I said the next part for him.

"Sorry, Amber, I want to talk longer," he apologized.

"It's okay," I said back, slightly bummed.

"I'll talk to you later then," he spoke.

"Yea..." I replied and bit my lip, "Ed?"

"Yea?"

"I miss you."

"I miss you too."




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