Ru knew the world was cruel; she learned that the hard way. She thought that she was the only one, but when she met Luke Hemmings and then Calum Hood, everything changed.


12. 11.

Chapter 11


Month 15. Day 25.


Luke and I are laying in my bed on our backs. I’m reading a magazine and Luke keeps poking my cheek to get me to pay attention to him. My mother’s out, probably at the store or work or something, I stopped keeping track.


“Ru pay attention to me.” Luke says and pokes my cheek for the 47th time; and yes, I have been counting. “Ruuuuuu.”


I stop reading and look over to him, raising an eyebrow.


“Stop reading and pay attention to me.” he whines and tries to snatch the magazine out of my hand. I huff at him, but let him take the magazine, only because I don’t want him to rip it in half. “Ru, I’ve been sitting here for an hour watching you read that magazine and I’m bored.”


I grab my notebook off the table and quickly write, “I’m not holding you here against your will. You are allowed to leave.”


When I show him the notebook, he pouts. “But then I’d be bored AND alone.”


“Don’t you have other friends?” He reads it and nods.


“I do, but they’re not as interesting as you are.” I scrunch up my nose.


“Don’t fall in love with me or anything.”


He laughs and shakes his head. “No, no, not in that way. Like, you’re a mystery; I constantly want to figure out what you’re all about.”


“You know what I’m all about.”


“No I don’t.” He says. “There’s still so much more for me to learn.” I don’t reply to this, mostly because I’m not sure what to say. We both sit in silence as I think about this.


I know that I’ve been letting Luke get close to me, but did I want him to know every tiny detail of my life? I have no interest in falling in love with Luke, and if I let him know everything, I might.


“I didn’t scare you off, did I?” Luke asks and I shake my head. “Good, because I was worried.” I smile at him and he leans over, kissing my cheek.


I blush, and he chuckles, wrapping his arm around my torso. I take the magazine back from him and find the article that I was reading, and continue to read it. Luke nuzzles his face into my arm and his body relaxes.


I hear the door open and close from downstairs, but I don’t make an attempt to move Luke. We’re just friends, so I don’t see any harm in our current position. My mother doesn’t keep quiet as she puts all her stuff away. I roll my eyes at her loudness and continue to read the article.


A few minutes later, I hear my mother stomp up the stairs. I can hear her breathing and mumbling to herself; something must have happened that pissed her off.


She passes my door, glancing in, but then she backtracks and stands in my doorway. “What the hell is going on?” Luke looks over at her and I do the same.


“Did I stutter?” my mother asks. “What the hell do you two think you’re doing?”


“Well…” Luke begins. “She’s reading her magazine and I was trying to take a nap.”


My mother ignores Luke and stares at me. “Why is there a boy in your room… In your BED while I’m not home!?”


I cringe at her yelling and quickly write in the notebook, “We’re just friends, mother. I don’t like him like that. I didn’t even think about how it would look, but we’re just friends, I swear.”


I stand up and walk over to her, holding the notebook out to her. Instead of taking it like I thought she would, she slaps it out of my hand, and I watch as it hits the ground.


“Why can’t you just talk?” she asks, and I can already tell she’s going to start screaming. “Huh? Haven’t you prolonged this game long enough? It’s been a year, Ruthanne! If you think this little game of yours is funny, it’s not! All you do is try to irritate me! You’re just like your father!”


The last of her words sting when they hit me, but I let her throw her verbal punches.


“Don’t talk to her like that,” Luke butts in. As sweet as it is that he’s sticking up for me, I just want my mother to say what she has to say so she can leave.


But instead of leaving, she storms over to Luke, shoving her finger in his face. “You. I don’t want you around my daughter anymore! Do you hear me? I want you out! Go!” She points to the door but Luke doesn’t move. Instead, he looks over to me.


“Ru, do you want me to leave?” he asks and I shake my head.


My mother looks me directly in the eyes and says, “you are NOT my daughter.” And with that, she storms out of the room. If the door was attached, I’m sure she would have slammed it. When I hear the front door slam shut, I sigh in relief and relax my tensed shoulders.


After a year in therapy, I sort of stood up to my mother.

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