"We have to go to Ashton's house to do the recordings," Luke says, when I enter his garage on the morning of December twenty-fourth. "For the two songs that we have, at least." I roll my eyes at him, and look at the guitars sitting up against the wall, next to three old bicycles that look like they haven't been touched in years. "Look, Lil, I'm sorry. You got us this amazing opportunity and we're about to ruin it all."
"You are, Luke," I cry out, exasperated. "We leave in less than 96 hours and the four of you haven't been able to come up with a song? But you're out swimming and drinking every single damned weekend for the last month! Do you know how irritating that is? I made this happen, and you're ruining it. You're right, Luke. For once." I feel bad saying this, because the other three should have been working on songs, too, but Luke's bad attitude lately has made me feel especially mad at him.
His eyes narrow at me, and I can tell he's just as upset with me as I am with him. He crosses the room and sits on the stool that Ashton normally sits in when his drum set is in here. "Well, at least I wrote a song," he says, quietly, placing emphasis only on the word 'I'.
Confused, I question, "I'm not supposed to write a song?"
"No, but you're not yelling at Ashton, who I know you've still been seeing on a nightly basis. I live right next door in case you couldn't remember, because God knows you can't pay any attention to anyone except for him."
"Luke-" I try to speak to him, but he's very angry with me. His eyes are red, he's clearly on the verge of tears, and I don't even understand why.
"So it's okay for Loverboy to not have written anything, but God forbid I only write one of the three songs!"
"Oh, so that's what this is about. Of course it doesn't actually have anything to do with the songs. You're simply jealous of me and Ashton," I exclaim, glowering at him.
He rubs at his jaw, something I've noticed he does when he's angry. "Oh, shut up, Liliana," he says, his voice cracking. "You know what?" he asks, his face red and his eyes filled with tears.
"You're fired from being our manager," he says, simply. Before he could say anything else, though, I turn and exit the garage, running into my house. I quickly go up the stairs and flop myself onto my bed, crying over the boy who was supposed to be my best friend.
It's not very surprising to me when about an hour later my mom knocks on my bedroom door, saying that someone is here for me. What is surprising is that it's not Ashton, which is who I was expecting to see, but Luke. I see his puffy eyes, and know that he has been crying. "Why are you crying?" I ask, my voice tight.
"Lil, please come outside and talk to me. I'm sorry, just come talk to me."
I hold my hard face, but step outside and pull the door closed behind me. "What?"
"I'm sorry, is all. And you know I can't fire you."
"Well, it sure seemed like you could," I shoot back, venomously. "You act like we're best friends but anytime we're out or Ashton comes up, you freak out."
"Well, Lil, I've been the one who has had a thing for you for years! Of course I'm jealous that he waltzes in and you're suddenly in love."
I sigh, "Luke, I'm not in love with Ashton. I like him, quite a lot, though. And of course I need you to be okay with that."
"I'm in love with you, Liliana. I've always tried to get on with you, and you always just blew me off. But I always have been." His voice is cracking again, and he's stepped closer to me. "I love you, Lil."
My eyes widen, and I feel tears coming to my eyes. I like Ashton so much that Luke liking- no, loving!- me is a huge problem, because I don't want to hurt him at all. The worst part is that he actually tried to be okay with me and Ashton. I watch as rain begins to fall around us, the sky gloomy. Luke casually begins to lean in toward me, his blue eyes growing closer and closer. I don't know how to react, and thankfully I don't have to, because I begin to hear the low hum of the 5SOS van, and I can tell that Luke hears it, too.