Ashton parked the car in my driveway but stopped Calum from getting out. He had taken his sunglasses off and looked at Calum like he was trying to stare into his soul or something.
Calum turned around in his seat. "Ashton wanted to know if you wanted him to hang out with you for a little bit. Although, then I'd have to walk home..."
"No, it's fine," I decided. I had other plans tonight. "But I'll meet up with you tomorrow after school, okay?"
Ashton gave a disappointed smile, but nodded, agreeing he'd meet me outside Luke's house after school the next day. Calum got out of the car, allowing me out. I walked inside with my bag on my shoulder, waving as Ashton drove back down the street. I went inside to drop my bag off before leaving the house again and walking across the street to the Hemmings House. I walked up the front steps and took a deep breath before knocking cautiously on the door. It creaked open slowly, but Luke wasn't there when I walked in.
The house looked the way it had yesterday. It was like after that little stunt Luke and Michael pulled, they cleaned up the house. Or maybe they made a mess of it to make it actually look like no one lived there. In actuality, Luke still lived in the house.
"Luke?" I called as I wandered into the living room. "Luke, it's me, Bridgette. I thought you might want to...hang out for a while?"
"Alright," he said from behind me. I gasped and turned around on my heels to see him standing with his hands jammed in his pockets. He towered over me. "But I'm not really that interesting."
"Do you like giving me heart attacks?" I asked, holding my hand to my heart.
"Kind of," he shrugged. "I told you, I don't have anything fun to do. Ever."
I rolled my eyes. If I was expected to become friends with this guy, he wasn't off to a very good start. I wouldn't want to be scared every time I tried to hang out with him, but that seemed to be the case.
"Hey, I can behave myself." he said, sounding like a little boy who insisted he could do grown up things.
"Right," I nodded. "Mind reading."
"Only because your eyes are showing." he sang.
I smiled at his childishness before looking around his house. "So what do you do when you're bored?"
He shrugged, looking around as well. "Mikey usually comes over. Or Ashton. Calum sometimes, but he's usually busy. Um...video games, movies, music. We've played indoor footie before. But the same things get boring after a while."
"I understand," I nodded. "That's why I'm here."
"Yeah, you're trying to befriend me because you feel bad for me."
"No, I'm trying to befriend you because I was told to."
"And you felt bad."
I shrugged, but nodded. When Michael said that Luke never really talked to anyone besides the same three people, I had to admit I did feel a little bad for him. He was dead, after all. He would probably spend the rest of his existence talking to Michael. He should at least be able to talk to other people while he still can.
"Thank you." Luke smiled.
"You answering things that I never actually said will get some taking used to." I noted.
"As long as you'll stick around long enough to get used to it." he said with a nervous laugh, running a hand through his blond hair.
I gave him a reassuring smile to let him know I'd try my best. He smiled back and gestured for me to sit on the couch. He sat down next to me, sitting cross-legged. He just watched me for a while, probably going through my thoughts.
"It's kind of hard to do," he replied, still giving me the same, concentrating look he had been giving me for the passed three minutes. "You have a lot going on in your head right now - a lot of questions. A few keep popping up a lot."
"And you weren't going to say anything about them?" I laughed lightly.
"They're not my questions to answer," he shrugged, his expression finally softening. "They're Ashton's."
I sighed. It seemed like everything I ever did or thought of had to do with Ashton lately. He was just so interesting. He didn't say anything to anyone so he never talked about himself. I wanted to know what was going on with him so badly.
"Yeah, that's what it is." Luke snorted, rolling his eyes.
"What?" I quizzed.
"You like him," Luke grinned. "You think he's cute and sweet. That's why you're always thinking about him."
"He did try to save me from you." I reminded him.
"Hey, I apologized," Luke pointed out. "And anyway, it doesn't matter what he did. You like him and that's why you want to know so much more about him. You're hoping he's not a terrible person like Michael or me or Calum."
"I never said you guys were terrible people," I told him. He opened his mouth and I added, "Or thought it."
His mouth snapped shut.
"Yes, I think Ashton's cute and yes, I think he's a sweet person," I agreed. "However, I understand that he probably has his own baggage - baggage bigger than what I've been told. I still have to take that into consideration."
Luke went silent after that and looked at the floor. He probably was keeping secrets for Ashton too. After all, Luke knew everyone's secrets whether they wanted him to know or not. Or maybe Ashton wore his sunglasses because there were things Luke absolutely couldn't know.
"That's what I think too." Luke said, studying me while I was spacing out.
"Any idea what it could be?" I asked.
"Nope." he replied, popping the p.
Luke let his head fall to the side as he stared off at something else. I realized that I was probably being pretty rude about this. Here I was talking about Ashton when Luke has talked to the same people for six months. The least I could do is ask him about himself. It's not like anyone else really has.
"So what's up with you?" I asked him, making his head snap back up. "How's...being a ghost?"
Luke chuckled at me, but answered seriously. "Not as great as I always thought it would be. Can't scare anyone since I can't leave the house. And it's a pain in the ass trying to get people to come in here. Sometimes I don't even want to prank 'em. I just want to become friends with someone, you know? I just want a friend to talk to."
I shrugged and smiled a little "Here I am."
"Here you are," he smiled and nodded. "Super Bridgette to the rescue."
"Super Cooper." I said, laughing at my own stupid rhyming joke.
Luke smiled a full-on smile, showing off his teeth and squinting his eyes as his laugh filled the room. "Wow, I've never really laughed like this since...seven months ago."
"Really?" I inquired after I'd collected myself. Luke's laugh was contagious. "With who?"
"Your new best friend," he teased. When I didn't know who he was talking about, he sighed and rolled his eyes. "Ashton. He was a funny guy."
"You used to be friends with Ashton?" I questioned. "I thought it was just Michael."
"We were better friends than him and Michael were, actually. But after Michael died, we sort of...grew apart." he shrugged, pulling his knees to his chest. He put his back against the arm of the couch to face me. "We became more like acquaintances. Kind of like us."
"Acquaintances?" I gasped with mock hurt. "Lucas Hemmings I'm offended."
Luke began to smile. "You actually want to be friends?"
I smiled a close-mouthed smile and nodded once. "I do."
His smile spread across his whole face.