Choices

"You have to choose, Emily. Me, or him."

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18. 18

- - - 

School went by pretty fast.

I could see that Calum really had to behave himself around Luke.

Luke didn't notice, because whenever Calum shot him a glare, I shot him one back, causing him to back off. 

I was at home, doing my homework for calculus. 

I was sitting at the kitchen table, with mum next to me. 

She was reading the newspaper of that day. 

She closed it after awhile of silence between us. 

"Honey, I think I'm gonna go to bed. Didn't sleep so well last night." 

She started to slowly roll to her room in her wheelchair. 

She was getting weak in her arms, I could see.

I stood up and pushed her towards her room. She smiled up at me.

"Do I need to get your medicine?" I asked as we entered her room. 

She nodded weakly. I first helped her with getting in bed. 

I quickly walked out and reentered the kitchen.

I opened her medicine cabinet and took the right ones out. 

I filled a glass with water, and brought it all to her room. 

"Here ya go, mum." 

I handed her the pills. She swallowed them and took sips of water right after. 

She handed me back the glass, and her eyes started to get heavy. 

"Goodnight, mum." I softly kissed her cheek, turned off the lights in her room, and walked out. 

I sat back down at the kitchen table, and looked at the clock hanging in the kitchen. 8pm. 

I just had to finish this homework, then I was done for tomorrow. 

I was excited for the two upcoming weeks. Christmas. 

My dad always came home with tons of presents for me and my mum.

I smiled at the thought of him being here again. 

 

I had changed in my pajamas and Luke's warm sweater. 

My mum didn't like to sleep in the heat of the heating, so I always turned them off when she went to sleep. 

I was downstairs, watching Spongebob on the TV. I didn't really feel like watching anything else.

I sang along to the song. "F is for friends who do stuff together! U is for you and-"

The doorbell cut me off. 

Who in hell would possibly be ringing my doorbell at 8.30 in the fucking evening? 

I decided to peek out of the window first. 

I crawled over to the window closest to the front door.

In the process of crawling, I accidentally knocked a lamp to the floor. 

"Shit." I muttered. 

I peeked out. It was dark, so I couldn't see much.

Damn, we really needed to fix the lamp at the front door.

The person turned his head to me. I quickly duck.

"Emily, c'mon. Please open up." 

I exhaled and closed my eyes for a second. Luke.

I stood up and opened the front door. 

Luke was leaning against the brick wall, holding a hand over his stomach. 

"C-can I please come in?" He panted. 

I stepped aside and allowed him in. 

He held onto things while walking in. 

"Is something wrong?" We entered the living room, and he sat down, clenching his jaw in pain. 

He removed his hand from his stomach. 

A hand flew up to my mouth. His white t-shirt was red from blood. 

"What the hell, Luke?!" I didn't yell too hard, otherwise mum would wake up. 

"H-he pushed me to the ground, and I-I don't know how to clean it." He cried. 

I followed a small study online about these kind of wounds, in case mum would get it. 

I asked him to remove his shirt, and he did. 

I inspected the wound. It were all deep scratches, together looking like one big scratch. 

"Stay right where you are." 

I ran to the kitchen and grabbed a cloth and the emergency aid kit. 

I did warm water on the cloth, and reentered the living room. 

Luke struggled with breathing again. 

"We'll clean this mess up, 'kay?" I asked, kissing his cheek. 

He blushed and nodded softly. 

After cleaning him up, I threw his bloody shirt and the cloth in the laundry basket. 

"You can wear something of my dad." I offered, but he shook his head.

"You'll probably wake your mum up, you don't have to do that. If you just have a blanket that would be nice.

He shivered. I already turned the fireplace on, but it wasn't really helping. It was more for the atmosphere. 

"Then take your sweater back...?" I pointed at his sweater I was wearing. 

He chuckled. "You're wearing it quite frequently, aren't you?" 

I nodded. "I'll just get myself a shirt, be right back." 

I ran up the stairs and threw on a shirt.

I tossed Luke his sweater. He put it on, and I sat down next to him. 

I had turned off the TV when he came in, so it was just our breathing and the cracking of the fireplace. 

He rolled up his sleeves and pulled his knees up to his chin. 

I noticed several things on his left arm. 

I bend over and softly took hold of his arm. 

I let my fingers trace over the first scar, starting on his wrist. 

Cigarette burn wounds. 

"For talking back." He whispered. 

My fingers moved over to the next scar, near his elbow, which was bigger than the one on his wrist. 

He sighed. "That was for not answering."

There was another one near his bicep. I made small circles around it with my fingers. 

"For disrespect." 

I sniffled and looked down at the penguin on his sweater. 

A few tears escaped my eyes. 

"Hey.." Luke whispered, and put his index finger under my chin.

He looked me deeply in the eyes, and said, "It's okay. They don't hurt anymore." 

He softly stroke my cheek, and kissed my forehead. 

I snuggled into his side, and he wiped away my tears. 

I looked up at him. "You've done so much for me without even knowing it." He said. 

I smiled, and sniffled. "I'm seriously sad about this, Luke. Knowing someone does that to you breaks my heart." 

He sighed. "When you're sad, you're not really sad. You are merely oblivious to the good things in your life. There is always a crack of light in the darkness. And you know what... You're my crack of light, my escape from the bad things. The only thing that makes me smile physically. You're my best friend." 

I looked into his eyes again. "If you hadn't chosen to talk to me that day, I don't think I'd be alive today. I could've just end everything, but there you were. Asking me for a pencil. You saved me, Ems." 

He choked on a sob. The flames of the fireplace reflected in his eyes. 

I held his head in my small hands, and moved close to his face. Maybe too close for just best friends.

"You're a really sweet person, Lukey." We both smile, whilst our breaths collided. 

He leaned in a bit, making his nose almost touch mine.

But I let go of him before anything more could happen.

Of course I liked Luke. Maybe I've liked him since day one.

He meant so much to me, and that's why I didn't want to go further than best friends.

What if one of us breaks the others' heart. I didn't want that. 

"Thank you, for helping me with the wound." He weakly smiled. 

He was tired, I could tell. I was, too. 

"Let's get some sleep..?" I asked. He nodded and yawned. 

"But, what about school tomorrow?" he asked, suddenly concerned. 

"We'll think about that tomorrow." I answered, too tired to say anything else. 

I grabbed his hand, and helped him with standing up. 

We quietly walked up the stairs, and I closed the door behind me when we were in my room. 

He immediately plopped down on my bed. I laughed, it seemed as if he lived here, jeez. 

I turned off the lights and crawled under the covers, too. 

"Can I braid your hair?" Luke asked out of nowhere. 

I laughed. "Sure?" 

I laid down so that my back was facing Luke. 

He softly took strands of my hair and began braiding.

My eyes felt heavy, and eventually I fell asleep with Luke softly playing with my hair.  

 

 

 

 

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