Two weeks had gone by since Luke and I had started "dating". Every day he would take me to school, we'd kiss occasionally only for show, and I would go home alone. Day after day the same routine and process continued. It seemed robotic and repetitive.
It was now Friday and the day of the first football game this year. The pep rally was scheduled for the end of the day and I was seriously dreading it. Not the pep rally itself, but the fact that I would be forced to sit in a hot gym with my entire grade for a half hour.
"Rory, wait up!" I heard Lukes voice say from behind me as I exited the gym after the pep rally. I turned on my heel and faced him, nodding in acknowledgment. "So, obviously, theres a football game tonight and I was wondering if you'd come to cheer me on" He said shyly while playing with his hands. I smiled and looked to my feet, blushing slightly.
"Uh, yeah of course" I replied as I looked up to him. He smiled and nodded before leaning down to kiss me. "What was that for?" I asked quietly, blushing harder than ever. He leaned down again to whisper in my ear.
"Audrey's watching" My small smile faded as I looked to Audrey. She crossed her arms and I could almost see steam coming out of her ears before she stomped away angrily. "See you at the game" Luke snapped me out of my thoughts before walking away. I went in the opposite direction to the main doors of the school just to see an empty parking lot. Getting caught up with Luke caused me to be late to the buses.
"Looks like I'll be walking today" I mumbled as I put my headphones in and began walking.
After an hour of walking, I stepped onto my front porch and walked inside.
"Hi guys" I greeted my parents as I pulled off my shoes.
"Hi honey" My dad said before standing up and walking upstairs. My mom stood up and came over to me, giving me a hug.
"Hi Rory. How was your day?" She asked, taking my bag from me.
"Good." I said as more of a question than a statement. "Why are you and dad being weird?" I said grabbing a water out of the fridge.
"What? We-We're not being weird" She nervously laughed.
"Mom. Something's up. Please tell me." I pushed. She looked down at her wedding ring, moving it around on her finger. She deeply sighed and plastered a fake smile onto her face.
"We can talk about this later tonight, I promise. Are you gonna go to the football game?" She changed the subject. Something was definitely wrong.
"Yeah, if that's alright?" I raised my eyebrows.
"Of course, have fun" She smiled and walked away to the living room. I furrowed my eyebrows before going upstairs to my room to get ready.
"Now what the fuck do people wear to football games?" I thought to myself. I decided to wear a white tank top with an old dark green letterman jacket from when my dad was in high school. Good enough.
"So he invited you to the game to 'cheer him on?'" Addy asked as we drove to the game. She went to a different school but could still come to the games.
"Yeah. People are gonna expect me to be there for him so that's probably why he asked" I shrugged, looking at her from the passenger side.
"Stop doubting yourself. Maybe he actually likes you." She suggested, causing me to laugh.
"No no. He could literally get any girl he wants. No way he'd go for me." I said, chuckling as we pulled into the schools parking lot.
"There's Luke!" Addy exclaimed as Luke ran out onto the field and hyped up the crowd. I suddenly found myself smiling so wide that my cheeks hurt. I watched him as he got into position and the game began.
The game had ended and our team won. Addy went home early so I ran out onto the field and found Luke drinking from his water bottle. I tapped his shoulder causing him to turn around.
"Hey!" He said enthusiastically, pulling me into a hug.
"You were great out there" I said into his shoulder.
"I'm really glad you came. Come get ice cream with me?" He asked.
"Sure" I replied, smiling.
"Awesome. Just let me go change." He kissed me before jogging to the locker room.
"Aurora, just the girl I wanted to see" I heard Audrey say from behind me right as Luke was out of sight. I rolled my eyes as I turned around and was greeted by her in her stupid cheerleader uniform.
"What do you want?" I snapped causing her to gasp.
"Sassy. What's got your panties in a twist?" She asked, snickering.
"Funny you should because guess what? It's you that's got my 'panties in a twist.' Now leave me the hell alone." I said angrily before walking off to the locker room.
"Hey, are you okay?" Luke asked, putting his hands on my shoulders and turning me towards him.
"Yeah I'm fine. Can we just go, please?" He nodded and intertwined our fingers as we left the schools field.
"So, you had a crush on Audrey in first grade?" I laughed as Luke and I shared embarrassing stories of when we were younger.
"Yes, but if you tell anyone I'm gonna have to kill you." He said in all seriousness.
"Well shit" I exclaimed, still laughing. "Ok, ok I won't tell anyone"
"Y'know, Rory? I gotta be honest with you, I don't really have a lot of friends" He quietly said, changing the subject to something more heartfelt.
"But. Aren't you the most popular guy in school?"
"The attention I get isn't ideal. People only know me as 'Football Star Luke' or 'Popular Guy Luke.' No one sees me as just Luke."
"I've never thought about it that way"
"You're the first person that likes me for me. You're the first girl that doesn't just want to sleep with me to get a reputation. You're a real and honest friend and I really appreciate that"
Friend. He called me his friend. Just a friend. I knew our relationship started out as a lie but with the way we've been acting with each other I thought we could be something more. I knew it was too good to be true. I knew it was stupid to think that he would fall for a loser like me.
"Yeah, yeah. Friend. Y-You're a good friend too, Luke" I said awkwardly. He looked up to me from across the booth and furrowed his eyebrows.
"Something's up with you. You've been acting weird all night" He questioned.
"Its just that Audrey's kind of getting to my head and I feel like people are gonna find out about our relationship being fake and everyone will hate me and you'll get a bad reputation. I don't want that to happen to you." I explained, without making eye contact.
"I don't give a shit about my reputation, Rory. And even if I did, this whole thing started out because of me. I wanted to help you. It would be my fault. You have nothing to worry about."
I got home that night thinking of two things. What was going on with my parents and Luke calling me just a 'friend.' I walked into my house and saw my mom sitting at the dining room table with her head in her hands.
"Mom?" I said, walking towards her. I sat down in the chair next to her and put my arm over her shoulder. "Mom, what's wrong?"
"Your father left, sweetie. We were already thinking of getting a divorce and we discussed it while you were gone but in the middle of a conversation he just up and left." She uttered the words so quietly I could barely hear her.
"Why?" I asked just as quietly. I felt tears brimming my eyes but I refused to let them fall. I had to stay strong for my mom.
"You know our marriage has been rough these past few months but your father he just. He couldn't take it anymore. He didn't give an explanation. He just said he couldn't handle it."
It was my fault. I knew it was my fault. My dad and I never got along very well. I should've been a bigger help and better daughter.
Now I was just a friend and a terrible daughter.