30 Days Of Summer

One year. Twelve months. 365 days to find myself and live on the wild side in Australia. It seemed like a long time at the start. I made friends, learned how to surf, got a nice tan. The usual. Then I met five crazy Australians who changed my life. It wasn’t just the fun, the laughs, the risks, the love. They showed me a part of myself I didn’t even know existed. And suddenly, one year didn’t seem so long anymore. {http://www.wattpad.com/story/11732664-30-days-of-summer}


13. Chapter 13

{ A/N - Filler chapter. Martha (missxmartha, the co-author) and I have never actually seen 'The Conjuring', so sorry if there's any mistakes. Vote, comment and enjoy. }

♥ ♥ ♥

The ball tumbled down the aisle in a jagged motion, aiming towards the white pins. I clasped my hands together, willing the ball to fly in the right direction. But the heavy sphere trailed off, rolling down the margins of the aisle and leaving the pins standing upright.

A groan escaped my lips, falling on the backdrop of a familiar chorus of laughter. I spun around in the worn coloured shoes to see the boys laughing too loudly, apart from Luke, who was sitting on the end of the bench earnestly.

"Let's all bow down to the Queen of Bowling," Daniel teased. "What was that? Your fourth miss in a row?"

I flipped him the finger. "Shut up. I know you’re just jealous."

"You’re jealous too, Lil,” Jai said. “Jealous of my magnificent, unrivalled bowling skills."

"I am definitely not jealous of your big head," I shot back, earning an appreciative laugh from the boys - besides Jai, who scowled at me.

Luke stood up, touching my arm lightly. "Come on. I'll teach you."

"But it's your turn," I objected.

He smiled. "I don't mind comprising my turn for you to sabotage."

"How kind of you," I replied sarcastically, picking up a new ball from the dispenser. I stationed myself behind the vibrant yellow line at the foot of the lane and Luke positioned himself behind me. His arms snaked around my waist, his hands finding mine. My insides burned, as if his fingers had ignited them.

My stomach writhed. I glanced up at him. Our faces were close together, close enough to be breathing the same air – if I could remember how to breathe.

“Okay,” he said softly, “When I say ‘now’, drop the ball.”

I nodded and he started to guide my arm backwards. The boys were yelling over each other, a kaleidoscope of inaudible sounds, but I paid no attention. Luke’s muscles added power to my shot, the ball itching to go flying already, heavy in my hand.


I released the ball from my grip and it sped down the aisle, gliding across the smooth floor of the bowling alley with precise straightness and determined speed. At the other end, all of the white pins crumbled to the ground like a flurry of dead leaves.

“WOO! STRIKE!” I cheered, beaming brightly and jumping up and down on the spot. Luke laughed, and suddenly enveloped me in a warm embrace, his muscled arms cradling me. My breath hitched in my throat and I pressed my palm against his lower back awkwardly; but he released me before I’d gotten the chance to hug him back.

He stepped back and glanced at the scoreboard. The small screen above his head was illuminated by projections of vibrant colours. The flickering blue light bathed Luke in a turquoise glow, casting shadows in the faint hollow beneath his cheekbone.

“Yes,” he hissed triumphantly. “Now I’m in the lead. Suck on that, Jai!”

We scurried over to where the boys were slouched on a bench by the bowling ball dispenser, laughing and chatting animatedly. Jai scowled at his twin, replying with a string of colourful curses.

Beau leapt to his feet, a leering grin on his face. “Hey, Lover-Boy. We all saw you two out there. Will you ask her out already?”

Luke gawped, the colour rushing to his cheeks. The muscles in his jaw tightened, his eyes shooting invisible daggers at his brother. “Shut the fuck up.”

“Yeah,” Daniel added, wiggling his eyebrows suggestively. “She hasn’t got that long to wait for you to get the guts to ask her out.”

“What do you mean, ‘get the guts’?” Luke growled lowly, ignoring the obviousness in Skip’s voice which sliced at me like a sharp knife. The anger which was churning inside Luke was becoming more obvious. His voice battled to contain from breaking into a yell as he fumbled for an appropriate insult. “I’ve got more guts than you...Rudolph!”

Jai giggled, nudging Skip with his elbow. “Ah, Daniel. You must be so offended by Luke’s ultimate insult!”

Luke rolled his eyes. “James. It’s your turn.”

“Eh, leave the Lovebirds alone,” James said loudly, shooting me an apologetic smile and picking a ball up from the dispenser. “But, Luke. The guys have a point. You should make a move before somebody else does...”

Luke’s eyes widened, every emotion drained from them, except one which I could not identify. He stared at me, his jaw tight and his fists clenched, his expression sending chills shooting down my spine.

“Before somebody else does...?” he repeated, his voice so low it was barely audible above the clamour of the bowling arena.

Beau caught his expression and laughed heartily. “Lilly...what was that you were saying about jealousy earlier?”

Jai bounded up to me and flexed his biceps in my face, smirking at me playfully. “Hey, Lil. If I changed my name to Luke, would you date me?”

I shrugged, shooting him a grin I hoped was more mischievous and light-hearted than I felt. “Maybe...but I prefer the name ‘Jye’.”

There was heat prickling on my cheeks though, and I hoped it wasn’t visible. In my periphery, I noticed Luke sinking onto the bench and running a hand through his hair, exhaling deeply. It seemed like years ago he had hugged me, a victorious smile on his face.

James trudged back over, dragging his feet. He moaned, “Only a spare.”

Only a spare? That’s better than I could ever do,” I said.

He shrugged and smirked. “Not when Luke is helping you, though.”

I ignored him. “When does this game finish? I’ve been looking forward to that movie marathon you promised us.”

“Only Daniel and Beau left to bowl,” he informed me, before sidling up next to Luke. I hovered awkwardly on the spot, watching as Skip launched the bowling ball into the air. Like the majority of my shots, the ball zigzagged along the lane and skimmed the side of pin at the other end, the blow not hard enough to knock any down.

 I cheered anyway, clapping my hands enthusiastically. He ran back, poking his tongue out at me.

“Shut up. Like you could do much better.”

“Ooh, the burn,” I replied, placing a hand over my heart and titling my head back, fanning my face with my other hand melodramatically.

“Are you okay?” he asked. I could indentify undertones of desperation and concern in his voice.

“Yeah. I’m just kidding,” I shoved his shoulder lightly. He tried, and failed, to hide the fleeting relief which crossed his face. “You’re such an idiot, Skip.”

“How about that movie marathon, then?” James announced loudly. I was grateful that the lanes beside us were vacant, sparing me of public humiliation. The boys drew a lot of unwanted attention with their loud, reckless antics. “Ronnie Diamond’s waiting outside in the car.”

“Does he know the way to my flat? Mark’s not in,” I said.

James shrugged. “I’m sure you can direct him.”

They all fumbled to return the hideous bowling shoes the venue had lent us and sprinted outside the bowling arena chanting Ronnie’s name in unison, clutching their shoes in their hands instead of wearing them. I hung back, meticulously tying the laces on my worn Vans. The soles had faded to thin rubber and the colour was a dirty, drained purple. I intended to purchase a new pair when I returned to England.

The thought crossed my mind only fleetingly, but it was enough to make my heart feel as if it was constricted and my breathing tight. Hearts are wild animals, which is why our ribs are cages. Right now, if felt as if the wild animal had been confined too long and was threatening to break out.

Luke loitered as well, waiting for me to get ready. Contrary to the rest of his friends, he had actually put his shoes on.

“I’m sorry about them,” he apologized. His cheeks were still red; I couldn’t indentify if it was due to the stuffiness of the bowling arena or his lingering embarrassment.

“Don’t apologize,” I replied, offering him a small smile.

He grinned. “Hey, that’s my line.”

♥ ♥ ♥

The screen faded to black, the credits rolling onto the screen. I blinked my eyes harshly, scanning my surroundings.

My gaze fell on the mess that scattered the living room. Stray popcorn kernels littered the floor; empty cans cluttered the small coffee table and my six best friends were lost in slumber.

Beau was lying down on the floor with a pillow below his head and a blanket which covered his waist. James was sprawled out on the sofa, his left hand loosely clutching the remote control. Daniel was beside him, curled up in an awkward position with his leg jabbing James’. Jai slept peacefully in the worn armchair which resided in the corner of the room. Tiffany had her arms wrapped around Ellis in a protective bound. Her head fit perfectly in the crook between his shoulder and neck.

Finally, I noticed a pair of bright eyes gazing at me intently. Luke was perched on the arm of the sofa, a beanie concealing his unruly brown tresses.

“These guys are absolute pussies,” he told me, his voice low. “Three movies in and they’re already asleep.”

I smiled. “Well, it is way past midnight. Plus, High School Musical 2 was pretty boring.”

“It wasn’t,” he snapped defensively. Then he grinned. “But how do you fancy watching something a bit more...riveting?”

“Don’t you dare say High School Musical 3...” I moaned, stifling a yawn.

“No. I was thinking more along the lines of a scary movie.”

I shook my head, laughing nervously. “Horror movies and I aren’t the best of friends...”

“Oh, come on. The Conjuring isn’t that bad. You never know, you might become besties!”

My eyes widened and I shook my head vigorously. “You’re kidding.”

“What’s the matter? Are you scared,” he teased lightly. I frowned in response. “Don’t worry, I’ll take care of you.”

“Luke, no,” I protested, but he was already rifling through Mark’s DVD collection until he produced the horror film with a flourish. “It’s not even a Disney movie. This is meant to be a Disney movie marathon.”

“More popcorn?” he offered, ignoring me and shoving the film in my hand, darting towards the kitchen. I watched him from the sofa as he dug his hand into the giant pot we’d prepared earlier. He returned to the sofa carrying a bowl brimming with the fluffy white corn and sunk down beside me.

The sofa was a modest size, but not big enough to accommodate sleeping Daniel and James in addition. I was forced against Luke, so that my bare legs exposed by my shorts brushed against his, our shoulders bumping with every subtle movement.

“Do you believe in ghosts?” he asked me as the opening scenes flashed up on the screen. I shook my head, my gaze transfixed on the television.

I was tense with apprehension; not fear. Last time I’d watched a scary movie, I’d cowered behind the plump protection of a pillow for the majority of it, something my friends back in England still teased me about.

Back in England, the thought crossed my mind again. I gulped.

“Scared already?” Luke teased, nudging me with his shoulder.

“Shut up,” I muttered. “I’m not scared.”

And I wasn’t. I was just nervous. Mostly due to the fact that Luke was so close to me; our bodies colliding, our hands touching every time we reached into the popcorn bowl because he was clutching it tightly. I was nervous because apparently, it’s not socially-acceptable for an eighteen-year-old to be scared of a film about something as superstitious and insignificant as ghosts.

But it was the kind of nerves that carried an underlying excitement and anticipation. The kind of nerves that consume you, intoxicating you and making you feel warm and full. The kind of nerves that make fear seem promising.

Maybe that was the most scary thing about it all. Fear doesn’t shut you down; it wakes you up.

“It’s based on a true story, right...?” I asked quietly.

“Yes,” Luke replied absently, already absorbed in the film.

The movie seemed to wear on tentatively, but I wasn’t really engaged on the pictures which flashed up on the screen. My eyes were looking, training the shapes which blurred past on the TV, but I was not seeing. Instead, I entertained myself with promising thoughts of fun activities we could add to James’s ‘summer bucket list’.

But once I’d exhausted every idea I could imagine, I started to actually focus on the film. And the images on the screen sparked a monster of fear to awaken inside me, clawing at my throat and eyes, writhing in the empty space where my stomach and heart used to be.

I gasped, raising my hands to cover my eyes but still daring to peek from behind my shaking fingers. The images on the screen got more vivid, more real. The room felt cold, even though the air was warm. I could feel the presence of the ghosts in my imagination, tangible enough to be here in this room. I twisted and put my head between my knees, breathing until the strangled feeling left me.

It was replaced instead by a pair of strong arms, pulling me into their familiar embrace. There was comfort in them, reassurance in their gentle yet firm grip. I leaned my head against Luke’s firm chest, inhaling his masculine scent. He smelt like sweat and citrus and fresh air. He smelt safe, too, like days spent laying in sunkissed sand and a velvety melody rising from the nylon strings of a guitar.

“Hey,” he murmured softly. “It’s okay. Don’t worry.”

Tears burned threateningly behind my eyes. I wanted to cry. Not because I was scared at the film, but because there was a burdening confession I wanted to tell Luke, but I couldn’t find the words.

Sometimes crying or laughing are the only options left, and laughing felt better right now. Laughter bubbled in my stomach and spilled from my lips and I was conscious only of the sound of my laughter and Luke’s hands tenderly stroking my hair.

“I’m so stupid,” I breathed between giggles. “Terrified of a film about something that doesn’t even exist?”

“Like I said,” he said quietly. “It’s a true story.”

I glanced up at him, my laughter fading suddenly. “Oh, you really know how to console a girl who’s scared shitless, Mr Brooks.”

He shrugged. “I’ve never done this before.”

His eyes held mine, the dramatic sound of film seemed distant. I could hear my heartbeat as the seconds passed. I had been staring at him for too long, but then again, he had been looking back and I felt as though we were both trying to communicate something to each other, or find the words to say it, but neither of us had the courage. Too long melted into even longer, my heart even louder, his tranquil eyes swallowing me whole.

A piercing scream from the film stole our attention and I watched the remainder of the movie through squinted eyes. But the fear which had once reigned my body had vanished, Luke’s comforting embrace fending off my terror. 

Join MovellasFind out what all the buzz is about. Join now to start sharing your creativity and passion
Loading ...