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Wake Me Up (Chapter Seven)

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I looked over at the guitar sitting in the corner of the room from my seat on the bed. It seemed to stare back at me, and I amazed me I had never noticed it before. I knew that Ed had a countless amount of musical... Devices, many I didn't know the name of, laying around the house. I was slowly beginning to discover them all, but I didn't try to mess with them. Although my mind was becoming more and more curious about everything, I couldn't bring my body to explore anything. I was too afraid of what I would discover.

I bit my lip and played with the tips of my fingers, trying to resist the urge to touch the instrument. I had seen Ed use it before, but it was still his, not mine. I had taken so much from him already, I wasn't sure if I should meddle in his life anymore. But it was so inviting, how I could I resist?

I eventually gave in and stalked over to the corner and sat down, cross legged, in front of the guitar. With one hand, I reached out and stroked the smooth, glossy wood. My fingers found the cold strings and gently plucked one of them. I smiled at the small sound it made and repeated it with the several other strings, listening to each individual tone.

It had been a while since any sort of music filled the empty house. Ed had been gone for a week now and I hadn't done anything since then. Harry called once to see if I wanted to go with him to a friends house, but I turned him down. I felt bad about it now, but something inside me told me to be careful. I knew Ed trusted Harry, but I wasn't sure if I did yet.

With both hands, I picked up the guitar and gently sat it down in my lap. I mimicked what I had seen Ed do plenty times before. The bottom of it rested on my leg and I held the neck up with my left hand. I attempted to press the tips of my finger down onto the wood like I had seen Ed do, but I only received sore marks from doing so. My other hand strummed the strings gently while my ears listened to the quiet sound it made.

I pressed the wood closer to my chest and tried my best to stand up and hold up the heavy instrument at the same time. Once I did, I began walking around the room and strumming the random strings. I tried to picture a microphone in front of me like the one that was at the studio. I opened my mouth and left it open for a bit.

After biting my lip I spoke the words, "Maybe I'm just in love when you wake me up." It felt weird to hear my own voice in the empty atmosphere, but so right at the same time. I smiled slightly and strode nearer to the bedroom window where I gazed out and got a good look a few people walking out of the park and down the side walk. I saw a couple holding hands and talking to one another like they were best friends. I wondered what they were talking about and how they trusted each other to keep the other one safe.

I walked away from the window, my arms now struggling to hold the heavy guitar up. It wasn't like the smaller ones that Ed usually played with, but it wasn't as used as them either. I think I had only seen him use it once before, but I never thought much of it. I didn't like to see it gather dust.

"Cause maybe you're lovable, maybe you're my snowflake," I spoke out again, and followed it up with a few notes. I found my reflection in the mirror above the dresser and smiled at myself. My eyes looked bright and perky and I could help but be proud of that. It was the first time I had seen that from myself.

My thoughts were immediately torn from me and I was forced back to reality when I heard a loud knock on the front door. I panicked, and practically tossed the guitar back into the corner. My heart was running at a thousand miles an hour, but I somehow got myself to calmly walk out of the room and into the kitchen. I stood in front of the front door and tried my best to stand on my tip toes and look through the window to see who was there with no luck. Instead, I turned the door knob and opened the door to see Harry standing on the door mat just in front of me.

"Hello Love!" He smiled down at me.

"Hey," I said in my American accent.

"How are you today?" He tried to make small talk while taking the sunglasses off his face.

"I'm fine," I gave him a small, meaningless grin, then stepped aside to let him in the house. I didn't notice the small, white box he was carrying until he sat it down on the countertop on the kitchen.

"I thought you might like to see what Ed is up to," he told me and I frowned.

"How?" I asked in a small voice. He snatched an apple out of a basket not too far away and took a bite. I watched him open the box up and I quickly realized it was a computer. My dad used to have one, but it wasn't nearly as nice as the one Harry had.

"YouTube," he said through his chewing. The screen began to glow and show a background of a beach sunset. I stepped closer to it and Harry and leaned up against the counter, watching him click on an icon near the bottom of the screen.

"What is YouTube?" I asked and Harry looked over at me. I returned his gaze for a moment, then looked back down at he screen. His eyes weren't as easy to stare into as Ed's.

"I can't believe you've never heard of YouTube!" He guffawed. I didn't get what was so shocking about that.

"It is basically a site where you can watch whatever videos you want," he explained and typed on the keyboard.

"Oh," I said, still not really understanding. Without telling me, he scooped up the computer and brought it into the living room. I followed him and sat down on the couch. He sat down beside me, thankfully not too close, and set the computer down on the coffee table in front of us. He continued to type and mumbled a few things to himself.

"Here we go," he clicked on a few things and soon a black screen appeared again. It didn't last long before there was a picture of Ed standing on a stage in front of a microphone with a guitar slung around his shoulder.

"This is at," Harry rubbed his eyes as he tried to think, "his first concert? Or maybe it was his second."

"Where he is now?" I asked and he nodded. After clicking something else, the video began to play. The sound of chit chat and a few whistles filled the room. The camera view spun around Ed as he played a few notes on the stage. When the view changed and showed the audience I gasped.

"That is a lot of people!" I gaped.

"And that is one of his smaller shows," Harry chuckled.

"How does he do that?" I asked, still shocked.

"I'm still trying to figure that out for myself," Harry replied.

"This is a song I wrote not too long ago," Ed's voice projected about the room and I listened carefully.

"I wasn't really sure who it was for," he looked down at his feet as the camera zoomed in closer to him.

"But I think I do now," he looked up and smiled.

"Tonight, I am dedicating this song to someone who recently entered my life... Rather unexpectedly. She is... Having a hard time in life right now, and I think she needs a reminder to hold on," he told the audience.

"Who?" I asked vaguely.

"I think it's you," Harry replied, but I already knew that.

"Why?" I looked up at Harry but he only shrugged. I had a feeling he knew more, why wouldn't he tell me?

"This is Hold On," Ed told the audience and they began shouting and whistling while Ed played the first few chords.

"Hush," he held a finger up to his lips and everyone gave out a small chuckle before doing what they were told.

"It's alright to cry, even my dad does sometimes," he sung into the microphone, and closed his eyes at the same time. I recognized the same words as the song he sung at the studio that one day.

"So don't wipe your eyes, tears can remind you're alive," he continued on. Harry and I listened though the entire song silently until it ended and the silence crept up on us.

"He's pretty good, no?" Harry leaned back against the couch and rested his arms behind his head. I kept looking down at the computer, not really sure what to think of what I had just watched.

"Doesn't he get... Scared?" I asked.

"I'm not sure if he does anymore," Harry told me, "he's been doing this for years and years."

"How many?" I asked.

"Well, he started playing at bars when he was only 16," He told me.

"That's young," I said, "didn't he finish school?"

"No," Harry gave out a little laugh, "he was so set on doing music."

This shocked me. He never graduated from High School either? We had more in common than I thought. How come he never told me that? How come he never told me how famous he was? What else did I have to learn about him?



~*~



I woke up the next morning to my surprise in the spare bedroom, still fully clothed. In fact, I wasn't even under the sheets, I was just laying in the top of the bed. I sat up, a bit confused, and saw that the door to the room was wide open, and swaying gently back and fourth from the breeze blowing in from the window that I didn't remember leaving open. After wiping off my sweaty forehead, I reached over to the night stand to turn on the lamp that was sitting on it, but it refused to do so.

Feeling frustrated, I stood up from bed and walked over to the window to shut it, but it wouldn't close. I looked outside to see the rising sun just beginning to peek through the trees. It was oddly quiet out. I must have slept hard, because I hardly remembered anything from the day before. I knew Harry was over, and we watched Ed play a few songs as I concert. He was still gone, right? What day was it?

"Toby?" I called out, hoping to see the little ball of fur race into the bedroom at the sound of my voice, but there was no reply. I ventured away from the window and closer to the open door. I took a peek outside the room to see that the rest of the house was dark, even if the sun was rising.

"Toby?" I called out again, then stepped into the eerie hallway. I silently made my way down the hallway and into the kitchen, but I stopped at a familiar figure standing over the stove. Her dark hair was tumbling over her back and I could now hear her humming a sight tune. She looked fit, even under the shawl she was wearing.

"Mom?" I said in an uncomfortable voice and she turned around. I stared at her, not believing she was standing before me. She looked perfect, her dark eyes were glowing and her face was full. She smiled to reveal her pearly whites and red cheeks.

I ran towards her and encased her in my arms. She was smaller than I remember and smelled of freshly baked bread. She hugged me back and I took note of her strength as she held me. I smiled in the crook of her neck and let out a tiny giggle of pleasure.

"What..." I began to say as we pulled away from each other, "what are you doing here?"

"Making breakfast," she said in a strong voice, and her slight Hispanic accent floated in the air. I hadn't heard it since I was young, she lost it as she got weaker, but I was more than happy it was back.

"How did you get here?" I asked, but she didn't reply.

"Mom?" I asked but a worried look swept over her face. I took her shoulders in my hands and tried to regain her gaze that was starting to wander.

"How did you escape?" I demanded, "where is Ed!?"

"Who's Ed, dear?" She asked me after the silence.

"He lives here," I mumbled, and looked beyond her once again. My hand flew up to my mouth at the sight of the cracked window behind her. Snow drifted down from the dark clouds that formed outside. I backed up, and into the counter behind me. My back hit is and I shouted out in pain. My mom ran over to me and plastered her own, now dirty hand over my lips.

I could hear her heavy breathing, and with tears eyes, I searched over her face. It had changed. The mom I reunited with only a few minutes ago was no longer that. Her now dull eyes scanned around the room in fear and more wrinkles cascaded over her face. Her brown hair began to grey before me and the fingers that held my mouth shut turned frail and skinny.

"Mom what is happening to you?" I sobbed as soon as she let me go.

"Be quiet or you'll wake your father up," she scolded me but I only kept crying.

"Why do you look like that?" I asked her again and she looked back at me in horror.

"You have to leave, Amber," she said to me in a monotone voice. I shook my head in panic, stepping away from her. I looked out into the house, recognizing the broken tables and chairs. Glass bottles littered the floor and the smell of cigarettes and alcohol filled me sinuses.

"Where is Ed?!" I insisted gain, but my mom dragged me over to her again and placed her finger on her lips.

"Please be quiet," I recognized the urgency in her tone. She then began frantically searching through the pockets in her jacket. She pulled out a few paper bills and a hand full of pennies and dimes and placed it in my hands.

"You need to go," she told me, "you don't deserve this life. Go find help."

"Mom, I can't just leave you," I shook my head.

"I'll be okay," she gave me a painful smile.

"No you won't," I said back but she gave me a quick hug.

"Just go," she whispered into my ear. After she let me go, I back up to our front door. I gave her one last look before closing the door behind me and stepping out into the cold, snowy weather. I pulled the jacket closer over my body and began running as fast as I could into the forest. The tears I cried rolled off my cheeks quicker, the faster I ran. I didn't know where I was going, I just knew I had to get away.

I wasn't sure how far I had gone before my legs began to shake and I couldn't breath well. I kept going until I tripped over a log hidden in the snow and fell to the ground. I sat down in the wetness, and let all my emotions pour out. I didn't want to experience this again, I just wanted it all to end.

"Where are you?" I yelled into the dark sky, "why did you leave?!"





I woke up with a gasp and before I could realize that it was only a dream I had just experienced, I threw the covers off Ed's bed and ran to the door. I sloppily opened it and hurried into the kitchen and to my disappointment, it was empty. I didn't realize how hard I was breathing until I choked on the air.

"Mom!" I yelled out, hoping she would reply. But the only noise that could be heard was the cracking the vents gave off every once in a while.

"I'm sorry," I pushed my hair off my face and raced to the front door. I threw on my shoes quickly and practically jumped into the outside world. It must have been early morning because the sun was just coming up and the air was nippy and cold. I started jogging down the road, hoping I would see no one on the way into the park.

I wasn't sure why I was going into the park, but I needed to get out of that house. I found the trail Ed and I walked down once and followed it into the forest. I quickly found the same wooden bench Ed and I sat on before. I jogged over to it and took a seat on its cold surface. I tried to catch my breath, but it got harder as all my emotions came rushing to my head. My hands found my face and I sobbed into them.

"What did I do to deserve this?" I mumbled into myself. More than ever, I wanted someone to hug me and tell me it was going to be okay. I needed a shoulder to cry on and someone to be there for me.

I felt a blocky something in my jacket and I reached in the pocket to pull out my phone that I don't remember bringing along. With shaky hands, I unlocked it and tapped on Ed's contact. I held it up to my ear as it rang, hoping he would pick up.

"Hey Amber," his voice floated through the speaker like a summer breeze.

"I can't take it much longer," I stuttered back to him.

"What's wrong?" He asked and I broke down, taking a moment to whimper into the phone.

"Everything," I cried, "nothing is okay."

"Where are you?" He asked.

"I don't know why I keep trying," I ignored his question.

"You're okay," I heard his say but I just shook my head.

"I can't take these dreams any longer," I told him.

"Did you have another nightmare?" He sounded concerned.

"Yes," I answered him and rubbed my wet eyes.

"I'm sorry, Love," he tried to comfort me.

"I can't do it anymore," I mumbled.

"You're going to be okay," Ed told me, "No one is going to hurt you."

Ed's POV

"You're going to be okay," I kept pacing around the room, everyone's eyes were on me, but I didn't care, "No one is going to hurt you." I then pulled the phone away from my face and pointed at the random guy standing in the corner of the room, not quite sure what was happening. He looked shocked that I was pointed at him, and seemed to shrink even further into the wall.

"Get Harry Styles on the phone, now!" I gritted my teeth and demanded him. He nodded viciously and fumbled with the phone in his hand.

"Are you still there?" I asked Amber through the phone I could hear her quiet cries and it broke my heart. I wanted to hug her, to tell her it was going to be okay. Why did I leave, I should have ****ing stayed with her!

"I'm sorry," I ran my hand through my head hair and kept pacing through the room, "I should have known better than to leave you there alone."

"I don't want to live this life anymore," she said through heavy breathing and I began to panic even more, "I hate it."

"Stay on the phone, love," I told her, "keep calm."

"I left her there alone," she said to me and I kept listening, "I should have never left her!"

"I got Harry, Mr.Sheeran," the random guy handed me his phone. I turned my phone so my mouth wasn't near the speaker, but I could still listen to Amber. I held up the new phone to my ear and spoke quickly.

"Harry, I need you to go to my house, now," I told him in, at first, a subtle voice. He only groaned back.

"I am serious!" I snapped at him, "Amber is in trouble, you need to help her."

"It's like four in he morning," he mumbled in an even deeper voice than normal.

"I don't ****ing care!" I lost it, "you get your bloody arse over there now!"

"Fine! Gosh!" I heard him shuffle around.

"Call back this number when you get there," I told him, then hung up.

"She's probably dead," Amber continued to speak through my phone, "he probably killed her."

"She's not dead, she okay," I promised her, not entirely sure who she was talking about, but I assumed it would probably be her mum. People began leaving the room quietly, unsure about what was happening. It was probably for the better, though. Stuart caught my eye and he frowned at me. His arms were crossed over his chest as he leaned up against a wall. I know I had some serious explaining to do. He didn't know about Amber yet, and this situation would help my case any.

"I just want to help her..." Amber's voice got quieter, "I need to see her."

"Wait for me, Love," pressed the phone closer to my ear, and I looked away from Stuart.

"Don't leave me," she begged and I kicked the floor in frustration.

"I won't leave, just keep talking to me," I tried to persuade her.

"How long has it been?" She asked me.

"Since what?" I asked, not sure what she was asking.

"When you left," she said after a short pause.

"A week or so," I sat down on the couch in the room and stared at the phone Harry was going to call back to. Our houses weren't too far away from each other, shouldn't he be there by now?

"I'll be back in just a few days," I explained to her, but there was only silence on the other line.

"Are you okay?" I asked.

"That's a long time," she finally replied, thankfully.

"It will fly by," I told her, "just hold on."

"I don't know if I can," she cried. I could only imagine the tears running down her cheeks. It hurt to think about, and I wanted to be there to wipe them away. I almost jumped when the phone on the table began ringing. I snatched it up and answered it quickly.

"Tell me she's okay," I told him once I moved my phone away from my mouth so Amber couldn't hear what I was saying.

"I would if I could find her," Harry replied, "she's not here, mate."

"What the hell?" I swore under my breath. She wasn't home? Where else could she be?

"Check the park next door," I told him, "you have to run."

"I'm heading over now," I heard a door slam on the other line.

"Ed?" Amber's voice brought me back.

"Yea?" I replied to her.

"Can you come home?" I tried not to break down in tears from the pain in her voice.

"As soon as I can," I said, not wanting to. I knew that would be a few days, it was too many.

"I want you to come back," she cried.

"I found her," Harry said through the phone.

"Oh my gosh," I rubbed my forehead in relief, "is she okay?"

"She is just laying down on the bench," he huffed.

"Go over there," I told him, knowing he would anyways.

"Amber!" I heard his say, "Amber!" I then heard Amber whimper loudly on the other line.

"Harry is there now," I told her, "you're going to be alright."

"I miss you," she spoke again.

"I'll talk to you soon," I hesitated to hang up. But Harry was with her now, he had to take care of her, "buh bye, Love."

"Harry listen to me," I said to Harry once I hung up my phone.

"What?" Harry said back, sounding preoccupied. I could hear Amber crying slightly in the background, then Harry trying to calm her down.

"She's a wreck, Ed," he told me before I could say what I needed to.

"Just tell her she'll be okay," I told him.

"Has this happened before?" He sounded concerned.

"Not like this," I ran my hand through my hair again. I knew I needed to be there, but I couldn't now. There was silence on the other end for a while before he spoke up again.

"Are you sure you can handle her, mate?" He said quietly, "something is seriously wrong."

"I'm sure I can!" I said back, a bit frustrated that he would even ask me that. I knew about her, and I knew she needed someone. That someone was not the police or a therapist, she needed a real human.

"Listen to me," I started again, "she needs to stay with you until I get back. Don't leave her alone."

"Okay," I was a bit surprised that she agreed to that.

"Don't have any parties or invite a ton of people over, please mate," I was now begging him. I knew he was the party type, and he wouldn't turn down a good get together ever. I jut hoped he would do this once.

"I won't, but only for her," he replied and I let out a sigh of relief.

"Thanks mate," I leaned back into he couch, "I owe you one."

And with that I hung up the phone and looked out at what was left of the people who were here earlier. They didn't say anything, but just stood there, staring at me. I knew they were all confused about what had just happened, but I didn't care.

"Someone get me a bloody beer," I snapped, and let my head fall into my hands with grief. I didn't know what to think of what just happened, and I didn't want to think about it anymore. I was going to worry myself out of tonight's show if I gave it anymore thought.

"Ed?" Stuart's worried voice filled the room as soon as a beer was set down in front of me. I looked up at him and tried to open the bottle with my shaky hands.

"So who is this Amber what was all that about?" He asked from the wall. I knew this was going to happen sooner or later. I was going to have to let everyone know about Amber and why I was helping her. I don't know why everyone needed to know, but this was going to be a hard one to explain to my manager.



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