chapter four

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AMBROSE WAS NOT TYPICALLY A SHY PERSON. Ask anyone who had ever interacted with the boy, and they would tell you so without even having to think about it. What he lacked in smarts and common sense he more than compensated for with compassion and sociability.

However, this did not mean that he was immune to shy moments. He was simply good at pretending to be more comfortable than he actually was in tense situations, and people often mistook that for him being easily adaptable. He could turn around a situation that turned negative, but when it came to pushing himself into awkward situations he always ended up wimping out and there were days where the idea of being around other people made him feel terrible.

The idea of asking other people for help was still a concept he hadn't grasped completely. As a child, he had always been on his own, a foster kid who moved more often than not. He grew up being taught to not rely too heavily on anyone else, and he never let himself need others' help until he was nine. That was the year that he gained a new foster dad, a man named Steven Curtis who quickly turned into his adopted dad. Steven was his dad in all the ways that counted; he was the man who took him to plays and musicals, who drove him hours to go to the best dance teacher he could find, who bought him his first paint set. He was the man who broke down the walls Ambrose put up around himself, the man who pulled him out of his shell and taught him compassion and honesty.

Ambrose knew that he would be a completely different person without his father's influence in his life. Although there were still times where his childhood came into play and made Ambrose anti-social or rude to others, Steven had done as much as he could to ensure that Ambrose considered other people before he acted or spoke in a way that he never had before.

This was one of the main reasons for him feeling so guilty after Lee Jordan had finally snapped at him-if it could be called that. He had not even considered how his near constant negativity could be affecting his friends, especially seeing as the year was already fairly gloomy. The last thing Ambrose wished to do was bring down the moods of people he cared about, and he had managed to do exactly that. His father would be disappointed in him if he knew that he'd been allowing such negative thoughts to heavily impact so much of his life.

And so, for the first time since the year started, Ambrose allowed himself to take a break. Instead of stressing over the numerous essays and reports due the following day, Ambrose spent his weekend doing as many relaxing activities as he could think of. He took a long bubble bath, he read a book, and he spent hours painting to make up for lost time.

At some point-the watch on his nightstand said that it was seven o'clock-he took a break to examine his various art pieces, and found a tray sitting on his nightstand as well. Pausing from his examination of his most recent painting of the Riddler from the television show Batman: The Animated Series that his dad was so obsessed with, he read the note that was sitting next to it.

I don't know how long it's going to take you to leave your little art zone you're in, or whatever it is. It's honestly super freaky, you don't hear or notice ANYTHING while you're painting. I'd get that worked on mate, I literally threw some papers at you and you didn't even look around. Hope they weren't important but from the looks of things you don't do much of your homework anyways. Yes, I'm purposely making this note long so that I can see whether you experience any humanity while in your Super Distracted Art Zone, and apparently you don't; dude, do you even use the bathroom?? haven't seen you all day. Hence me bringing you food, your roommates said not to waste my time which I thought was rude then but now I understand. You really haven't paid me or the food I brought any attention. Maybe you're ignoring me but I doubt it, you're too polite and shit.

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