Amber and Dal

Amber Martins

Mum: Dianne Martins
Dad: Jim Martins
Sister (older): Solaris Martins
Stepmother (after Dianne’s death): Lucy
Home: Bellevue Heights
Best friend: Dal
Personality: sincere, genuine, compassionate, charming, has a good sense of justice, fiery, intelligent, natural leader, sensitive, maternal.There is a certain sense of calmness in her.

Bellevue Heights was a suburb that had it all. Beautiful gardens, treehouses, swimming pools, and a ‘village centre’ where glamorous mothers used to meet for coffee, manicures and gossip.

Amber loved her home. She had an amazing bedroom with all mod cons ? an ensuite bathroom, a walk-in wardrobe, a TV and VCR, a top of the range stereo. And the best view of the Bellevue Hills anyone could ask for.

She got on really well with her sister, Solaris who lived in the flat above the garage. Solaris had moved out here when their new stepmother had moved in. Lucy was okay, Amber got on with her but there was a bit of friction between her and Solaris.

Lucy had been the nurse that had cared for their mother Dianne during her years of suffering from a crippling disease. It was only natural that the whole family bonded with this woman who had cared for Dianne so sincerely right to the very end. Jim felt that it was a progression of his love for Dianne that he developed a relationship with Lucy after Dianne had gone. He thought that the girls needed a mother figure and Jim went out of his way to make sure that Lucy was accepted whilst also ensuring that Dianne would never be forgotten. Lucy was a good woman and Solaris liked her well enough but still found it hard to come to terms with the fact that another woman had taken the place of her mother.

Amber had a happy life. She had many memories of Dianne and happy family holidays that they had all enjoyed together before Mum got so ill. Beach holidays were a favourite, the best times were when they made campfires or when they sat in the sun-warmed water that pooled in the holes they had dug in the sand. Amber clung on to these memories of her mother. She would never forget her but she was also realistic enough to believe what Dianne had said to her before she died ? that life was for the living. With this in mind she developed and enjoyed a relationship with her stepmother without guilt.

School was good. Amber was an A-grade student without much effort needed and she had heaps of friends. She was a popular girl, always well dressed, happy to share her time with friends and hang out at the Mall with them. There were lots of sleep-overs and movie nights and Amber always tried to include the ‘outsiders’ in these events, make the less popular kids at school feel that they had a place in life and people to share their hopes, fears and dreams with.

She had always been sincere in her interest in people and maybe this was because she had learnt that life was so precious at an early age when her Mum became ill and bedridden. She was a rich kid, yeah, but she wasn?t stuck up at all and people responded to her personality, her sincerity and her sense of justice.

One day at school there was a special assembly held. Amber was well aware of what the topic would be. The Virus. She had been avidly watching the news over the past couple of months, seen the destruction and devastation take its effect on the world, wreaking havoc on civilization.

Many people in Bellevue Heights thought that they would be safe from The Virus. They lived in a prosperous and exclusive area where private health care soon dealt with any epidemics or other health problems that came up.

Amber didn’t hold this view and neither did her friend Dal. His parents were doctors who had recently been working night and day to try to save the lives of many people in the poorer parts of the City who had contracted the Virus.

The assembly was meant to be a well informed meeting about The Virus with a visual display of the signs and symptoms but panic soon developed and kids started breaking down in tears and hysteria, unable to get the images of such horrific deaths out of their heads and the realization that this could happen to their own loved ones.

Dal went home with Amber that afternoon and they two of them spent the rest of the day in the garage flat with Solaris, debating how they could survive in a world without adults.

If the worst case scenario panned out as feared they would soon find themselves directly affected by the events that were unfolding at a rapid and terrifying rate around the globe.

A lot can happen in a month and Amber learnt this all too well.

Solaris had gone north to help out as a nursing assistant where the virus had struck down most of the adult populace already. Nobody had heard from her since.

Communications were practically nonexistent. The lines that were still up and running being held open for the use of the government and other officials as well as emergency forces.

Bellevue Heights was no longer such an exclusive area. Many homes had been broken in to and vandalized. Families had moved away to the fresh air surrounding their summer homes outside of the city in the hope that this would be enough to protect them from the grip of death that was taking hold of the world.

Amber and Dal spent a lot more time together. Dal’s parents had perished quickly after they inevitably caught the virus from working with so many sick people and Dal needed all the support he could get.

Amber’s parents had decided that the time had now come for them to get on their boat and try to find a safe place to moor. Life around these parts wasn’t easy and they lived in the constant fear of being robbed or hurt. There were ever increasing groups of street kids that were roaming around the suburbs looking for food, shelter … and anything else that they happened upon.

Jim and Lucy started to load up their boat with supplies and in a few days they would be ready to set off for the welcoming waters off the coast.

Lucy started to feel pretty sick but put her illness down to the fact that she had been lugging supplies back and forth in the heat.

She was really just denying the inevitable - she was going to die.

Jim stepped up the pace and loaded the rest of the supplies himself while Lucy rested at home. He too was starting to feel rough but he wouldn’t give up and pursued his dream of escape with a passion.

The day for the departure came and at sunrise it was clear and bright. But Lucy wasn’t destined to see the dawn of this new day. She had slipped away into unconsciousness during the still of the night and had passed to the other side before the birds started to sing.

Jim was devastated. To him this meant more than losing a wife and companion. It signaled to him that his own time was drawing to an end. He couldn’t run, he couldn’t hide. He had to face his own mortality and prepare himself for the worst.
But before he could just give in and die he had to prepare his daughter. He had to make sure that she would be okay. That she would survive.

Amber surprised her father. He had always known that she had a strong personality but her calmness and strength really shone through in his darkest hour. As he was burying his second wife, as Amber was supporting him physically and mentally, Jim realized that his daughter had grown up. She would be okay.

Like many parents who had gone before him, Jim had no desire for his daughter to watch him fade away to nothing and die. He convinced Amber to say good-bye to him while he could still manage to hug her and hear her words and he watched her go one evening. She disappeared into the sunset with her friend Dal and neither of them looked back, just as they had promised him.

Dal Majeeb:
Family: Dad - Dr. Majeeb at Group 9 Hospital in sector 15 and Mum, also a doctor.
Dal lived in Bellevue Heights like Amber and went to the same school with her. He first met her during a spelling competition at school. Though Dal was a year younger, they got along well from the start.
Personality: sensible and practical. A down-to-earth jack-of-all-trades handyman. Loves the country-life.

Before the virus Amber and Dal lived in the same suburb - Bellevue Heights - they attended the same school, though they were in different classes.

Dal was a year younger than Amber but was very smart and they just “clicked”. They met during a Spelling Competition at school. The whole school participated and Amber and Dal were finalists.

Amber liked Dal for his kindness and good natured personality - he was always friendly to new pupils and although he was very smart for his age he never thought of himself as better than anyone else.

Dal admired Amber’s compassion and sense of justice. If someone at school was being picked on or bullied she had a great way of showing the bully the injustice he was doing and turning them completely around. It didn’t always work but most of the time it did. She had strong morals and was a force to be reckoned with if you got on the wrong side of her.

Dal and Amber also liked to share a good laugh together. They hung out after school and spent time together during the weekends. There was never anything romantic between Amber and Dal but Dal did like Amber.

They often talked about the future. Dal wanted to go to University and study to become a Doctor like his parents (they were very succesful). Amber was unsure what she wanted to do and was waiting for something to enlighten her that would tell her in which direction she should head.

Their thoughts of the future were turned upside down with the onset of the virus. As the world collapsed around them it turned into a nightmare.

Their daily routine had gone. School was the first to go and then the adults and parents.

They were abandoned in a world without adults and they had to fend for themselves. They had to think seriously about food, water, and their safety against other kids. Where would they go?

Dal convinced Amber to leave the city. Their best chances were going to be in the countryside where there were less people and more resources. If they could find an abandoned farm they could collect rainwater, grow food and live in peace.

They had lots of plans and they didn’t have much time. Kids had started to ransack the city and their homes were no longer safe.

They packed up as many belongings as they could carry and were going off into the sunset together when all of a sudden they saw a young girl in trouble - Cloe - and the rest is history.