~Chapter Two ~
I’m awakened by a sudden cold shiver being sent down my spine like an ice cube. I bring my hands up to my face to rub my eyes and quickly pull them away in surprise, feeling a wet substance on my skin. Slowly, my eyes flutter open, and I see Luke standing directly in front of me, an empty cup in his hand.
“Oh my God Faith, are you okay?!” He exclaims, jumping onto the couch beside me and throwing his arm around my shoulder.
“Did, did you just pour wat-“ I croak out, expecting my voice to be clearer then it is.
“I know, I’m sorry but I didn’t know what else to do!” He soothingly rubs my back, sincerely apologetic.
“What, what happened?” I ask still a little confused. All I remember before waking up is Luke saying my name.
“I, I don’t even…” He trails off for a second, collecting his thoughts. "All of a sudden you just blacked out, just blacked out with no warning.”
“You gripped Luke’s arm, and then just,” Ashton shakes his head, “just passed out.”
“How, how long… How long was I-?” I try to ask, but Luke answers me before I can finish.
“Only five or so minutes… What-?” He stares up at the ceiling for a moment before continuing. “What were you thinking about when, when, that happened?”
I gulp, trying to keep my composure. I don’t want to cry again, I’m sick of crying. I feel like I haven’t had a dry eye for weeks, which is probably close to the truth. “I was thinking about my dad again.” I mutter under my breath, suddenly a little embarrassed about passing out.
“Oh Faith, babe, please don’t do this to yourself.” Luke puts his hand under my chin and turns my head so we are making direct eye contact. “Don’t work yourself up like that. Just… Just try not to think about him.”
“Howwww?” I moan, leaning my head into his chest. How do I just not think about my father when he’s overseas, possibly not even alive? It’s not like it’s easy to make your mind just stop thinking.
“Like this.” He pulls my head out of his chest and places his lips on mine. Slowly, my thoughts shift from my dad, to Luke’s warm, pillow soft lips against my cold ones. He wraps his arms around my waist and pulls me closer. My heart pounds harder and louder in my chest, the same way it does every time he kisses me. I can feel the blood rise into my cheeks making them red, as adrenaline pumps through my veins. Luke sighs quietly and whispers against my lips, “I love you." I slowly pull my head away, and lean back onto his chest.
“Luke.” I smile into his shirt, inhaling his scent. “I, I feel a little better now.” I close my eyes and let out a silent breath, trying to slow down my heart rate.
“Good,” He runs his hands through my thoroughly knotted hair, which I haven’t brushed for days. “So maybe your up for a little, um, little drive?”
“What?” I sit up a bit straighter, confusion running through my brain.
“I, I just…” Luke stutters and shakes his head. “You just blacked out Faith, I just think it might be a good idea to take you into the-"
“No!” I exclaim loudly, jumping up off the couch and onto my feet. The mood in the room has completely changed, from romantic to upset. "Don’t take me to the hospital, NO!” He can’t make me go there, he can’t. "I have to be here when my dad gets home… if he gets home.” I hang my head down, staring at my fuzzy Rudolph socks.
“But Faith what if somethings wrong,” Luke grabs my hands in his own from his position on the couch and squeezes them. “I don’t want to risk you being hurt.”
“Luke, Luke I’m fine.” I wrench my hands away from him. “I only had a small mental breakdown, I freaked myself out, but I’m okay now. Okay?”
“Luke just let her stay here.” Hayley interrupts him and I flash her a grateful smile. “She’ll be just as good here as at the hospital.”
“Alright…” Luke finally gives in. “But you’ll take it easy if you stay here, okay?”
“Jeez Luke, you’re not my dad.” I retaliate before realizing what I just said. No, Luke isn’t my dad, but he’s practically the only male influence I have in my life. Since my father is never home, Luke is almost all I have.
“Faith…” Luke looks at me with wide eyes, and that’s when the waterworks start again. I bite my lip trying to hold back the tears, but it doesn’t help. I hate crying, I don’t ever want to shed another tear in my life. I crawl back onto the couch, and into Luke’s arms and just cry, and cry, and cry. As I cry, I think about my dad. The first time he left, the first time he came back home, the letters he’s sent me while overseas. And then I think about Luke. The way fireworks go off inside of me when we kiss, the way he helps me through everything, especially situations with my father.
That’s when I hear a car drive up the driveway. Instantly, my head shoots up and I jog into the kitchen to look out the window, Luke hot on my heels. Peering outside, I see a military truck pulling up to my garage. My heart starts beating a hundred times faster, and I feel Luke’s fingers intertwine with mine. I turn back to our friends who are now behind us and shake my head.
“I think you guys should stay in here.”
“But-“ Danielle tries to argue, but Ashton takes her hand and whispers something into her ear. Whatever he said must have been pretty powerful, because Danielle quickly stops trying to follow Luke and I.
“Is that you dad?” Luke asks as I open the door, leading to the front steps.
“I don’t know.” I reply, shuddering as the cold outside air hits me. I walk down the steps towards the green and brown vehicle now parked in my driveway and peer at the license plate. “No.” I re-evaluate my answer to Luke. The plate on the truck is different than the one that was given to my dad, which I helped him customize to specially read my name.
I watch in curiosity, gripping Luke’s hand tighter, as a large man fully dressed in military apparel jumps out of the drivers seat of the truck.
“Faith Wynters?” The man asks, his deep voice booming.
“Y- yes, yes.” I stutter. “Yes that’s me.”
He looks me up and down for a few seconds before answering. “Daughter of Aiden Wynters?” I feel my blood run cold at the mention of my fathers name.
“Yes.” I answer once more. The man takes a long pause before speaking again.
“I’m Lieutenant Richard Smith, I worked with your father over in Afghanistan.” The way he uses the past tense of the word “worked” makes my knees wobbly. “I’m here to tell you some important news.” Luke pulls me into a tense embrace. I think we both know what news the Lieutenant has for me.
“You’re fathers flight has been delayed for the day because of a bad storm going on in central Asia. He wanted me to let you know that he should be home by tomorrow, in time to celebrate Christmas.” My heart stops beating for a second as I process what he just said. My, my fathers okay. The news isn’t that he’s died, he’s… He’s coming home!
“Luke!” I exclaim, hugging him even tighter. “Luke, he’s coming home! He’s going to be here for Christmas!” I’m practically screaming in thrill. I don’t think I’ve been this happy in months. “Thank you so much Lieutenant!” I squeal, accidentally hugging him as well.
He laughs, “anything to make a little girls Christmas better.” With that he hops back in his truck and waves goodbye as he drives away.
“Luke!!!!” I exclaim, shaking impulsively. “Luke he’s okay, he’s alive!” Tears of joy uncontrollably begin to replace to ones of sadness, and I feel a heavy weight lift off my shoulders.
“I knew everything would be okay baby, as long as you had Faith.” He gives me a short kiss on the forehead before wrapping his arms around my waist. I suddenly realize it’s snowing as Luke pulls me over to the middle of the driveway. He loops his arms around my waist, and we start dancing slowly in the rain to the music in our hearts.
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“I told you, everything will be okay as long as you have Faith."