Peeling my eyes open, I saw a sleeping Luke. He had a small frown indented in his features and his hair was sticking up in some places, other places it looked absolutely horrible. I smiled at the sight. He still looked so beautiful. Disgruntled and stressed out, but still beautiful. It's like he has my heart wrapped around his finger. But... It isn't tied. It's literally right in the middle. He jabbed it in there and now he can't get it out, and it hurts. It hurts to have him jammed in the middle of my heart and unawaringly jerk it around. It hurts to look at him and know the vulnerability he holds at this very moment is not for me, it’s for the girl he is dreaming about. I suppose he got hot in the middle of night, as his shirt was peeled off and thrown on the floor, he looked amazing, tangled in the mess of the sheets. The sun was beaming through the window, landing right on his body, my back was faced to the wall, and all I wanted to do was turn towards the cool, blue surface and bury my face in it, hide from the sun and the pain it inflicted on sleepy eyes. But I couldn’t turn away from him. I was finding too much bliss in the sleeping boy next to me. I wanted to roll over, and go back to sleep, but my face was pounding and I was nearly in tears from the headache it caused. I wanted Luke to roll over and kiss me good morning, but I knew that would never happen in a million years. He began to stir, and I closed my eyes once again, pretending to sleep.
Luke sighed quietly, and I could imagine him doing the cute arms-over-head stretch he does whenever he wakes up, placing his hands behind his head. Without thinking, I slowly opened my eyes, reaching up and rubbing them, quickly jerking away, as the pain from my stitches was immediate.
“Shit,” I cursed, holding my eye as I punched the mattress, trying to revoke the pain.
“You okay?” Luke asked, his voice slow, sleepy, and raspy. I looked at him, well, his lips, and I forced a smile.
“No.” I let out a dry laugh. Luke stood, collecting his old shirt from the floor and pulling it on quickly. and grabbing his car keys from the floor as well.
“We should go pick up your pain medication.” He said. I complied, standing and following him out of the house. We’d been in the same clothes for two days now, I was in his trackies and shirt that he lent me after I’d shown him my bruises, and he was in shorts and a black t-shirt, but I’d rather be in the same clothes with him than be alone. Luke opened the car door for me, closing it after I climbed in and nonchalantly walking to his side. As he drove, I took it to my liberty to dig through his things. “What are you looking for?” He asked. He wasn’t angry or surprised. It was like he simply did not care that I was going through his property.
“Sunglasses.” I mumbled, Luke turning onto a back road. He leaned in the door pocket, pulling out his sunglasses and handing them to me.
Before I put them on, I pulled down the sun visor, lifting the flap to see how bad it looked. Gasping slightly, I slammed the visor back up and quickly put the sunglasses on, unable to bear the sight.
“It’s not as bad as you think it is.” Luke offered sympathy, pursing his lips.
“Luke.” I spoke seriously. “I look horrible.” I frowned.
“I mean, yeah it’s horrible to see you like that…” He began, pulling at his hair in attempt to fix it. “But you’re still beautiful.” He glanced at me, to which I immediately looked away. Why does he keep pulling at my strings like that? “But have you seen my hair?” He joked, pointing towards his bed-head. I laughed.
“Your hair is outrageous.” I teased, causing him to laugh as well. As we shared our laugh, I unbuckled my seatbelt, sitting in the middle seat of his truck, pushing the cup holder up in the process.
“That’s not going to come back down.” He informed me, amused. I rolled my eyes.
“That’s because your car is shit.” I teased, fixing his hair lightly with my hands. Licking my fingers, I attempted to fix the piece that wasn’t sticking the correct way. “I don’t want your spit in my hair!” He exclaimed, batting my hands away playfully. I giggled.
“You look like Alfalfa!” I laughed. “Let me fix it!” Luke pouted as I fixed the piece of his hair, he scrunched his nose.
“Gross!!!” He overreacted. “I have Romina spit in my hair.” Rolling my eyes, I moved back to the passenger seat. Luke’s grin disappeared. “I’d rather have it on my-” I cut him off.
“Lucas!” I scolded, he laughed at himself while I sat there shocked. Before conversation could carry on, we pulled up to the pharmacy.
It took about an hour for them to get my pain medication. While waiting, Luke and I walked across the street and had breakfast—well, lunch—at a diner neither of us had ever been to. When we finally got the medicine, Luke bought me a water so I could take the pills in the car. We were on our way back to his house on the back roads when he glanced at me, frowning.
“What?” I asked.
“Nothing.” He shook his head.
“What?” I repeated.
“I…” He began. “I’m sorry, Romy.” I bit my lip.
“Why are you sorry?” I asked, confused at how we’d gone from laughing to apologetic.
“For last night.” He stated. The first thing that popped into my mind was my father hitting me. Punching me and pushing me to the floor because his dinner was not ready in time. The images in my mind scared me, but I still wasn’t catching on to what he meant. Luke sensed the confusion and spoke, hoping to clarify. “I… Look, the reason I pushed you away was-” I cut him off as soon as I realized he was talking about when I kissed him.
“Luke, please.” I whispered. “I don’t want to talk about it. I’m sorry I kissed you, I just-” This time, he cut me off.
“Romy, let me speak.” He lightly demanded. “I pushed you away because you were crying. You were a mess, you just told me something serious and I—you—the only reason you kissed me was because you were vulnerable.” I sensed the hurt in his voice. “You didn’t kiss me because you wanted to kiss me. You kissed me because you were sad and I knew that if I kissed you back for too long, then I’d never be able to let it go and I wouldn’t be able to live with myself because I love you, Romy, and I knew if I kissed you back I’d never be able to stop loving you because I’d think that there’s an actual chance that you love me.” His voice lowered to a slow hum.
There was a million things going through my head. A million ways I could tell him that I think I love him, a million ways to say that I did what I did because I wanted to, a million ways to lean over and kiss him and possibly crash the car. There were a million things that were flashing in my mind, but the only thing I could say was something that would break his heart and mine.
“You don’t love me.” I told him. I’m scared. I’m scared he’ll leave me. He’ll hurt me like my father. He’ll ruin me for sure and things would never be okay again. His frown deepened, but he did not reply to my mistake-of-a-statement. He just kept driving, but he wasn’t quite paying attention. I regretted my former words, as they were getting to both him and I. There was a large clunk, followed by Luke cursing and pulling over to the side of the road, turning the car off and slamming the old door as he got out. The deserted backroads felt like torture as I saw Luke kick the car, sitting on the dirt and bringing his knees up to rest his elbows on, burying his face in his hands, rubbing his blue eyes in attempt that he wouldn’t lose his cool.
“Luke?” I asked, getting out of the car. “What happened?” I asked.
“The fucking pothole flattened the tire.” He cursed lightly banging his head on the car. In a bold move, I sat next to him.
“Can’t you change it?” I asked, knowing fairly well he’s done it before.
“I don’t have the tools.” He spoke, irritated.
“What are you doing?” I asked as he stood and walked to the drivers side door.
“Calling Ashton!” He snapped, grabbing his phone and walking down the road so I wouldn’t be able to hear him. He was back in five minutes, sighing. “He’s bringing Kaylee. They’ll be here soon.” Luke held his hand out, pulling me up and getting in the truck. I followed his lead, getting in the passenger seat and rolling the window down.
“Luke, I-” He stopped me.
“I don’t want to hear the friend speech, Romy.” He grumbled, refusing to look at me.
“Luke.” I attempted again.
“That’s why I never told you, Rom, I knew you’d-” I cut him off.
“Will you just shut up?” I exploded. “Please.” I spat. “Let me talk.” He rolled his eyes, still looking forward. “Luke, you’re a great friend. You’re a wonderful friend. Probably my best friend, you passed Kaylee a long time ago. And you’re always here for me, and-”
“Where is the going?” He asked, bitter.
“I don’t want to lose you, Luke. I don’t want to fuck things up and lose the only person who’d let me come over and clean the blood off my face at two in the morning and make me go to the doctor. Luke you’re the only person that really cares, and I don’t want to lose you.” He scoffed.
“That must be nice, huh?” His voice dripped with sarcasm. “At least someone cares about you.” He spat. “Must be a nice feeling, no one cares about me.” His hand travelled to his lips, playing with his lip ring.
“I care about you.” I croaked.
“Not enough, yeah?” He closed his eyes for a moment, finally looking at me.
“Luke.” I whispered. “What I’m trying to say is that I like you. I like you a lot, but I know I’ll mess things up and you’ll leave me. And I’ll be alone, I can’t handle being alone.” This time, I looked away, biting my lip.
“I’m going to protect you, Romy. I’ll take care of you, I promise. I’m not going to leave, I’m not going anywhere. I’m here. I’m going to stay.” Silence struck us for a long while until I mustered up the courage to look at him.
“Last night when I kissed you, I did do it because I wanted to. It had nothing to do with me being sad. It was because I couldn’t stop thinking about kissing you.” I confessed, Luke raised an eyebrow.
“Really?” He asked, playing with his lip ring with his tongue.
“I still can’t stop thinking about it.” I told him, honestly. We were about to lean in to kiss each other, when Kaylee and Ashton pulled up, getting out of their car.
“Fuck.” Luke cursed, causing me to laugh.
Kaylee and I talked about her and Ashton’s fight they had this morning while him and Luke repaired the tire. Apparently Kaylee opened a snapchat he got and it was a picture of a naked girl, she accused him of cheating, and they’ve been fighting about it all day, despite the fact that her and I knew both Ash would never betray her. I always knew when it was serious because when Kaylee got to her angriest point before giving up, she refused to make eye contact. But when she cooled down, her eyes finally tore to me and she gasped slightly.
“Shit, Romy.” She frowned. “What happened?” She asked, concerned. Her painted nails lightly touched the area around the stitches, retracting when I flinched.
“Nothing.” I muttered, looking away. Kaylee, being her stubborn self, turned me to face her, removing Luke’s sunglasses and gasping.
“Romy.” She cowered, almost in tears. “Is he drinking again?” She asked seriously, referring to my dad. Kaylee knew that he hit me when he drinks on account of my accidental, letting it slip when I was in year five. I nodded slowly, Kaylee giving the glasses back to me and pulling me into a hug. I stayed in her arms for a long while as she told me I could always stay with her and she’d kill the bastard. When I finally pulled away, both of us were desperately trying to wipe our tears away, I put the sunglasses back on and sat on the hood of Ashton’s car with her. The boys had finally got the flat tire off, now to put the new one on.
“Kaylee?” I asked out of nowhere. She turned her head towards me, offering me a small smile. The sun was beginning to set behind her. I judged the distance between the boys and I was positive they couldn’t hear us, but I scooted closer to her anyways and lowered my voice. “I… I really like Luke.” I admitted to her for the first time. She laughed a bit.
“I know.” She smiled.
“No. I mean… Like… Like like.” I felt like a child, trying to talk about him.
“I know, Romy. I’ve always known.” She teased, lightly bumping into me.
“You have?” She scoffed.
“I’m your best friend.” She reminded me. “Of course I knew.” She rolled her eyes playfully. I looked up at the sky, trying to make out the shapes of the clouds before they disappeared. “He likes you, too.” She promised.
“I know.” I whispered, more to the clouds than her. “He told me.” I informed her.
“So what are you going to do?” She asked. The boys finally finished and began packing up Ashton’s tools. I sighed, my hazel eyes finding Luke as he walked over.
“I don’t know.” I whispered, hugging her and Ashton goodbye before getting in Luke’s car with him, attempting to make small talk.
“What time is it?” I asked, he checked his phone, quickly focusing back on the road.
“Five thirty.” I sighed.
“What time did we wake up?”
“Like two.” We shared a laugh.
“I’m exhausted.” I complained, setting my head on the window.
“Yeah, it’s a side effect of the pills.” He informed, switching his driving to one handed and setting the other on his leg.
“When do your parents come back?” They’d left on a cruise, leaving Luke alone as they often did.
“The seventeenth.” It was the third. I felt bad for Luke, they were never here, and his brothers didn’t care much to visit.
“Luke?” I asked, trying to stay conscious.
“Hmm?” He hummed.
“How long do you have to like someone before you fall in love with them?” I asked.
“Five seconds.” He glanced at me. “I fell in love with you within the first five seconds of seeing you.” I unbuckled my seatbelt, sliding to the middle seat, putting the safety belt on and setting my head lightly on his shoulder
“Luke?” I broke the silence again.
“Romy.” He mocked with a small smile.
“Will you hold my hand?” He chuckled, moving his hand from his leg and intertwining it with mine. His thumb canvassed the back of my hand. I closed my eyes. Despite the fact we’ve been in the same clothes for two days, he still smelt heavenly.
“Luke?” I asked him for the hundredth time.
“Yes?” He laughed.
“I think I love you, too. But I’m waiting until I’m positive to tell you.” A small grin plastered on his face, his grip on my hand tightened a bit.
“Okay.” He confirmed. I looked up at him as he focused on the road, leaning up, I placed a small kiss on his jawline, setting my head back on his shoulder and enjoying the silence we shared.
I hope you liked it!
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ღ Elliana ღ
Luke's truck -
Ashton's car -