Chapter 1 One day after school Amber is at her little sister's, Parker, cheerleading practice. She curled up in a plastic chair on the sidelines wearing her big sweatshirt while listening to her iPod. She wasn't paying much attention to Parker. Her mind wanders as she taps her finger to the beat of the music. She was too distracted to notice her mother had sat down beside her. "Hi Honey." Sarah says, startling Amber. Amber removes the headphones from her ears, "Sorry what?" "How was your day?" Sarah asked. Amber shrugs and puts her headphones back in. "Amber?" Sarah tries to pull the headphones out of Amber's ears.
"Stop." Amber says.
Sarah hears the hurt in her daughter's voice, "What's wrong?"
"Noth...nothing." Amber tries to mask her feelings.
"Amber...what did you do?" Sarah wonders "I don't want to talk about it." Amber wipes away a tear that had fallen.
Sarah sighs and gets up, "Come on, follow me."
Amber gets up from the chair and follows her mother. They stop near the vending machines.
"I'm not hungry."
"I didn't come here for snacks. I came here for quiet." Sarah informs, "Now tell me what's wrong." Amber doesn't say a word. "Was it me?"
Amber shakes her head.
Amber becomes quiet.
"Something happen at school..." Sarah thinks for a moment, "Did you fail a test?"
Amber shook her head.
"This would be a lot easier if you would just tell me." "Kids are spreading rumors about me." Amber confesses.
"Rumors? Like what?"
"They say I'm pregnant and have a STD."
"Well why on earth would they say that?"
"I slept with Steve." Sarah's jaw drops, "You slept with Steve?"
"Yes." Amber stares at her feet, ashamed.
"Steve. As in your cousin's boyfriend?"
"Yep that Steve." Amber looks at her mother, "Before you say anything, I know it was stupid. We were stupid."
"Were you safe-"
"Geeze Mom! Now you believe the rumors?"
"Relax Amber." Sarah says calmly. "Does Haddie know?"
Amber nods, "Her stupid little clique is after me. They were the ones who started all this shit."
"Language!" Sarah scolds. "Do you want me to call Kristina?"
"Mom no, you don't have to do that." Amber tells her.
"I don't want this to ruin anyone's relationship."
"It already has." Amber says softly, "Haddie is never going to talk to me again.
"Amber just relax. We'll figure this out." Sarah swings her arm around her daughter's shoulder. "Let's go watch Parker cheer her butt off."
Amber giggles but stops before grabbing her side, "Ow."
Sarah notices a bruise on her arm, "What happen to your arm?"
"Stupid girls hit me."
"Why didn't you tell me?"
"Because it didn't matter."
"It matters. Come on." Sarah takes her by the hand.
"Where are we going."
"I'm going to take you to Dr. Craigson's office. I'll get you check ed out."
Amber sighs and gets into the passenger side, "You're overreacting."
"I'm a mother. It's what we do."