Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/594202-Ambers-Friend
Rated: E · Fiction · Fantasy · #594202
Amber is a young girl that loved and cared. She only asked for love and caring returned.
Amber’s Friend

Amber sat at her little writing desk on this warm afternoon. She could only think of how one’s life could turn so sour in just a few short weeks. It seemed like only yesterday everything was great. She thought the things at home were normal. She thought her friends were with her. School had started and she was a freshman.

Her thoughts flashed back to her first day of school. It had been announced in homeroom that twenty of the two-hundred freshmen would be picked for a special class. This pick would be done by a drawing and it was for a four-year course. You could even receive credits for it. she couldn’t believe her ears when they called her name out of the two-hundred freshmen enrolled at her school. The very next morning those twenty freshmen had met after homeroom, and the second class would be Chance period.

She sat with tears in hers eyes and asked herself what happened. My life has gone to hell in a hand basket. Dad's in jail for a ticket he received. Mom's too worried about my brother and sister to even give me the time of day. My
so-called friends got pissed because I was picked for Chance classes and they weren't. In fact, the other nineteen will hardly give me the time of day either. I'm not pretty enough to hang out with them. Her teacher, Mrs. Turner, was nice though.

As if things weren’t bad enough, she found out that morning in class that they were suppose to invite their dad, or guardian, to school for the class to meet during the last week of school. They were also to tell their classmates what they expected out of the class and give a brief description of what 'Chance' meant to them.

Amber was called on first. She stood in front of the class and smiled. “Hi, my name is Amber, and Chance means to me just what it says. I mean,
take a chance on a friend or loved one. Don’t live your life just for yourself. Treat each and everyone like you want to be treated and chances are that love will be returned. Live your whole life based on this idea." Amber smiled at the class and took her seat.

She closed her eyes and thought, What a dad! What a family! What friends! I could take my dad’s bottle, but I couldn’t get into school with that. I could put all my friends in my pocket and there'd still be room for my
hand. Then Amber laid her head on her desk and softly wept. Yes Amber, sit here and feel sorry for yourself. Why the hell not? No one else will. If I want a hug, I have to put my arms around myself and hug.

The next morning Amber was ready for school and anxious for Chance class to get started. She would get one more stab through the heart that day. Mrs. Turner announced to the class they were to search for a gift for the loved one who
would accompany them to school the last day. They were to tell that loved one to bring a gift with them, and they would exchange gifts.

"Remember, the gift you buy will be for your escort or loved one, and their gift will be for you. It’s not the expense that's important here;
it’s just what the gifts mean to each other. Then last of all, I'm proud to tell you the Chance classes are doing great. If you remember, on the first day of this class you were given an envelope. Each of you were given a number
and told not to share that number with anyone. You dropped that number in the envelope and signed your name on the outside and turned it into me.

"I have them locked away and now, you sign all your work with that number when it's turned in. Each assignment you complete is read aloud to the class. I want you to answer the questions truthfully and not be embarrassed with your
answers. No one knows in this class who gets what grade or who they are. Not even I know. We comment and I grade that number. At the end of the year, I'll open the envelope and put the names with the numbers.

”This program is running all over the state with over one hundred and fifty high schools enrolled in it. At the end of this school year, all one
hundred and fifty school names will be entered for a drawing. The winner will have the honor of seeing and hearing Mr. Scott Wiggleworth speak. Just in case you don’t know who this gentleman is let me tell you. He's the founder of
this program and he's a multi-billionaire that made his fortune by taking a chance on a stranger. There was a lot of hard work that went into his fortune also. This is the most sought after person I can think of. If we win, the
security around this town will overwhelm you. You'll think the President is coming. We'll know about a month before school ends. It'll take that long for security to set up.

“The first place he'll speak, if we win, will be at the new football stadium. This will seat 25,000 people and will be offered to the first ones in line. The twenty of you need not worry because you and your escort will have reserved seating. You'll leave from there and come here to school. Only the ones with tickets will get by the guards. Then the last is the best. Mr.
Wiggleworth will address you kids and your escorts. Kids, I can’t express enough how the security and news cameras will overwhelm you. Good luck."

This news made Amber grieved. Now the whole world would know she had nobody. This Chance class was the most important thing in her life, but now dreaded the last day if her school won.

The next few days in Chance class everyone talked about the gifts they had bought and how maybe Mr. Wiggleworth would shake their hands and they'd be the only ones that could get close to him. They would say, “Oh, I bet there
will be two or three guards around him and we get to be beside them."

Amber didn’t care. She thought, They'll probably make me get back out of the way. Mr. Wiggleworth wouldn't want his picture taken with an unattractive person like me.

When school was over, Amber went to the mall before going home that day. She wanted to look at the gifts and pretend she was picking out something for her escort. She knew it wouldn’t be her dad. She asked her uncle, but he had
laughed at her. There was no one else to ask.

She walked up to the jewelry counter that day and there was a middle-aged man looking at the necklaces. His clothes were ragged and worn. He had a heart necklace in his hand and the sales lady was getting impatient with him. The
necklace came in a set. It was a broken heart on a chain. She was trying to explain he had only enough oney for one. He pleaded with her, “Do you have any two items I can buy with $40? My niece promised she'd take me to
Chance class if I bought her something from this store."

“Look! That little bitch knew better. That was her way of telling you to get lost,” she shouted. He dropped his head in shame.

Amber wanted to go over that counter after her. Instead, she opened her purse and pulled out every dollar she had. It was $50. “Gift-wrap one and we'll take the other one in a bag,” she replied. She hugged the stranger and
whispered, “She had no right to say that."

The stranger returned the hug. “How can I ever repay you?"

“You just did." Amber tightened her hug and kissed his cheek. “That was your change,” she replied with a smile.

They left the store and outside they found a bench. Amber wanted to know all about this stranger. “Is your niece in Chance class? I may know her. I'm enrolled in that class at Western.

He looked at her and with a surprising look said, “She's in that class,but her school is across town. May I ask who's taking you?" he asked excitedly.

She had to think fast. “My Dad is. He's a doctor, and I hope there's no emergency that would prevent him from attending.”

He dropped his head in embarrassment.

“May I ask your name?" Amber asked.

“Most call me Garbage Man."

Amber smiled and asked, “Can I just call you Gar?"

He took her hand and said, “You're the most precious princess I've ever met. If you give me time, I'll repay you every cent I owe you."

Amber’s eyes were sparkling as she looked into his. “Your debt was paid in the store. You owe me nothing, Gar. But there's one thing you can do,
let me walk you home."

“Oh no, Princess! I live in a rough neighborhood and you'd have to walk out of there all alone."

She was disappointed but said, “Okay." He told her goodbye and with a twinkle in his eyes, he left. Amber wasn’t going to let her friend walk out of her life. She wanted to
follow him a short distance and see his house. She caught him making sure she didn’t see him. She followed him a short distance, and he walked to an
underpass. It was very dark. Then she understood. Gar was homeless. He didn’t want her to know.

The only thing that changed in Amber’s life the next few days was the new friend she had made. She made regular visits to the mall, but she
couldn’t find him. Why didn’t I ask him to be my escort to Chance? I'm no better than my so-called friends. I lied to him. My Dad the

She hung her head. He's the only Daddy I have and I hate what he does, but I love him. She raised her head and took a few more steps. She thought her eyes were playing tricks on her. It was Gar. He was coming toward her. She
broke into a run. She ran into his arms. She couldn’t hold back the tears. “I’m sorry, Gar. Please, forgive me,” she sobbed.

“Whatever for, Sunshine?" Gar asked. "I know of nothing for you to be sorry for. I'm the one who should apologize.”

“No!" Amber replied. “I lied to you. My Dad is not a doctor, and he can’t take me to Chance. I have no one to take me."

Gar hugged her. “If I only had a new shirt and pants, I'd take you,

“Oh Gar! You don’t need new clothes to escort me. We have the
gifts. Please take me, if you can stand the thought of being interviewed and
having your picture taken with a...” She stopped.

“Amber, I'm sorry. I lied to you also. I’m a....”

She stopped him, putting two fingers over his lips. “You're my friend.
You're the dad I never had. You’re my escort, if you'll have me."

“My clothes are ragged and worn. My shoes have holes in them, Amber.
There's something I must tell you."

“All I need to know is you'll be at Chance for me.”

Amber talked to Gar several times at the mall over the next few weeks. She told
Mrs. Turner her new friend would escort her to the Chance meeting. Amber turned
in his name as Garland Mann. She told Mrs. Turner, “I call him Gar."

Soon the day came when they would find out which school had won the drawing.
It'd be broadcast over the television. That day in Chance class the television
was tuned in. The whole class sat with fingers crossed. The beautiful young
lady pulled the name out of the basket. She announced, “Western High!"
The class went wild. Mrs. Turner got them to calm down so they could hear the
county announced. She called out their county, then Mrs. Turner joined the
celebration. There'd be a thousand things to do over the next four weeks. Amber
was happy, but deep inside she was also sad. She was so proud of Gar, but she
was afraid Gar would be embarrassed to be in that much of the public eye.

As soon as school was over that day she went straight to the mall. There he sat
on the same bench the two had shared the first day. She rushed to him. She
opened her arms for her hug and said, “We won, Gar! We won!"

“I know. I heard it on the television inside the store. There's something
I have to tell you now, Amber,” he pleaded.

“Absolutely not. Just promise me you'll not let me down and be there for

“I'll always be there for you."

Amber just knew he wanted to tell her he was homeless, and she didn’t
want to put him through that.

She smiled and politely said, “Sometimes, I almost call you Daddy."

Gar took her hand and looked directly into her beautiful eyes. “If God
could give me one child, and I could pick anyone in this whole wide world, it'd
be you, Amber."

“Thank you, Daddy. I know how much it bothers you about your clothes.
I've been working after school three evenings a week. I have you a new outfit
and some new shoes to match. They're yours and if it makes you feel better,
wear them to the meeting. You don’t have to for me. I love you just the
way you are and not for what you have."

Gar hugged her once more. “My precious Sunshine, somewhere out there is a
lucky young man who will end up spending his life with you. I hope he realizes
just what a gold mine he's getting."

Amber returned that hug. “Just so he's like you, Daddy."

The next few days Amber was very busy getting ready for the big event. She
didn’t get to talk to Gar much after that day she started calling him
daddy. She knew he would be at the Chance meeting, because he told her he
would. The day came and Amber took her gift and headed for the football
stadium. Once she was there, the security was unreal. She just knew Gar would
take one look at all this and run away. She thought, How stupid can I be?
Why didn’t I tell him to meet me at the mall? Then we could have walked
here together. She was almost in tears. Not for herself, but for Gar.
How could I put him through this?

Soon Mrs. Turner spotted her and made her report to a special room. She tried
to explain about Gar and Mrs. Turner promised they would help her find him.

It wasn’t long until someone called for the class to be seated on stage
behind Mr. Wiggleworth's chair. Everyone’s escort was seated next to him
or her, except for Amber. There was an empty chair next to her. She
didn’t care about herself anymore. Where is Daddy? Did someone make
him leave before?

Everyone was seated now. Amber had never seen this many people in her whole
life. There was a microphone set up on the front of the stage and beside it was
an empty chair. The television cameras were filming as the school
superintendent prepared to speak. He welcomed everyone and informed them all
that just as soon as security was satisfied and Mr. Wiggleworth’s escort
arrived, he would be onstage.

Then everyone saw four of the largest guards’ approach Mrs. Turner. They
whispered something to her, and Mrs. Turner looked as if she had seen a ghost.
She pointed directly to Amber. All four of these men approached her. One of the
guards knelt in front of her. He whispered, “Amber, please don't be
alarmed. We're your bodyguards."

He removed the most magnificent gold bracelet from his pocket. “May I
snap this on your arm? It has a homing device in it so we can tell where you
are if we get separated."

All the television cameras were on her. “Okay."

They put out a hand for her to take and she rose out of her chair. There was
one guard on each side of her and one in front and one behind. The
superintendent continued to speak as they led her offstage. Amber was escorted
to another heavily guarded area. When those guards saw them approach, one of
them opened the door and stepped out of the way to let her enter. For the first
time in Amber’s life, she felt like a queen.

She took a seat and all four guards remained with her. One of the guards spoke
when she was seated.“Hi, Sunshine. Mr. Wiggleworth will be right with

“I don’t understand,” she replied.

“He'll explain when he gets here."

Soon the door opened. Amber couldn’t believe her eyes. The middle-aged
man wore a tux. He opened his arms to her. It was Gar. She jumped to her feet,
“Oh, Daddy! I thought something happened to you."

“No, Sunshine. I'm Scott Wiggleworth to the rest of the world, but I'm
daddy to you. The first time you saw me I was dressed as a street person. I do
this, so I can get out on my own without guards around me all the time. They
were in that store that day, but you didn’t see them.

"It touched my heart when you gave me all the money you had for that gift. I
was testing the clerk in that store. There you were being so kind to me. Then
you followed me under that overpass. You thought I was a street person, but
that only made you that much kinder.

"I tried to tell you, but you wanted to spare me the shame. My love for you
grew stronger each day. The four guards have watched over you ever since the
first evening we met. They made sure you made it home safely each time you left
it. There's a chair outside for you while I speak. You were the escort the
county has waited for.

“When we leave here, you and your guards will ride with me in the
limousine to the school. First, I need your permission for all this attention
you're about to receive. If it’s okay, you're the topic of my talks
today. You took a chance on me and oh, how you won. All your needs will be
cared for, your college... and you'll be given a high paying position with my

"Sunshine, you're all the family I have and you'll have a room at all the
mansions so you can visit whenever, and as long, as your folks will allow. One
day, all I own will be yours. Get acquainted with the four guards because
they'll become a part of your life. You can have two female guards, if you

Amber put her arms around him. “All I ever need is you in my life."

With that said, they left the room for the stage hand-in-hand. She took her
seat beside the stand and her four guards were by her side. Mr. Wiggleworth
started his speech by introducing his little bit of sunshine, Amber, to that
entire crowd. They left there when he finished and proceeded to the high
school. So many people tried to get to Amber when they arrived, but the guards
held them at bay. Gar had her hand and whispered to her, “Now you know
why I slip away like a street person."

That was the proudest day of her life when they got to the classroom. They
exchanged their gifts. The same little hearts that Amber helped purchase in the
mall. Mr. Wiggleworth showed his to the other students that day before he put
it around his neck. It was engraved with Gar on one side and Amber was on the
other. That'd be just the first of many days Amber would spend with her new

** Images For Use By Upgraded+ Only **
© Copyright 2002 Harddrive (harddrive at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
Writing.Com, its affiliates and syndicates have been granted non-exclusive rights to display this work.
Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/594202-Ambers-Friend