✿l u k e✿

I'm lying down on a flannel blanket with Eleanor's head peacefully resting on my chest. I watch the crackle of the fire, which is slowly settling down the way fire does when you stop fuelling it. I watch everyone else sleep on their own little blankets, their snores minimal and their breathing completely tranquil. This silence accompanied by the sounds of the forest brings a smile to my face. It's so serene, and Eleanor's nose is twitching so much, that I just feel like everything is a lazy Sunday morning with the television on. I don't feel tired. Out of all the things that could keep me awake (like the paranoia of some axe murderer slaughtering us all as we sleep or an even scarier creature we know nothing about mauling our bodies), it's my thoughts. They're running so wild like now like a sprinter running freely on a track. Mr. Dixon asked me to write about my experience of finding love, and now's the perfect time to create a rough draft in my mind.

Everything about this scene is so peaceful and so unbelievably raw. Everyone's at their most vulnerable. Jake and Arden are faced towards each other with her hand on his chest. The beat she feels is for her, and only her. There's a small smile on her face, and it makes me wonder what she's dreaming about. Is it about the wedding? Or Jake? Or everything else ahead of them after they exchange their vows? I wouldn't know, and I want to keep it that way. The unconscious thoughts that run through her head that power such a smile is one to be kept in a box with a lock only she can open. And even she won't know that she's unconsciously unlocking it. What triggers her happiness is so natural. And that's the way it should be.

Michael, who was the one who drank the most beer, is laying down face-first. I don't know much about him, but somehow, I know that under all those bad puns and his dyed hair, he's a mess. I noticed the falter in his smiles earlier. For a moment, I caught his spirit drifting away from the group as we all laughed at his ridiculous antics. His voice would waver, but would only be noticeable if you paid close attention. For a moment, I saw his walls of humour break down just enough that I saw a glimpse of the Michael who wants just one chance to cry and let all his suppressed feelings out. I don't know what he's keeping inside, but I know it's something I'm not permitted to ask about. He's laying face-first, but if he turns around and lies on his back, I'm certain no evidence of the Michael we've been laughing with all night would be present.

Then I realize someone's missing in the picture. Ashton should be sleeping beside Michael, but the spot next to him is vacant. I look around, wondering whether he just got up to pee. Then I realize he had also drunk more beer than he should have. I carefully scoot away from Eleanor and begin looking for Ashton. Then, I hear someone cuss from a direction away from where we're sleeping. I follow the voice, and in no time, I find Ashton laying face-first on the ground in front of some sharp-looking rocks. I rush over to him and grab his hands to pull him up, but he thrashes away from my grip and turns to lie on his back.

"The fuck? Don't want you, okay?! No one wants you!" he yells, and then yells again, but this time, in pain. He clutches his right leg and my eyes widen as I see a huge gas running across his calves. "Fucking piece of shit rock asshole motherfuck!"

I try to haul him up again but he spits at me. I retreat backwards and become startled as I see tears running down his face. "Luna, whatever the fuck your name is! I don't want you, okay? You steal! You thief! She's mine, and then you stole! Ouch, it hurts! Stupid piece of shit rock! I've met better stoners than you!"

And there he was. There was the Ashton with all the anger and all the emotions coming out of him all at once. I never got to see any side of him besides the one teaming with hatred towards me, and the one that craves for Eleanor's attention. I get it; they've been friends for years and he wants himself to be the only one to know all the layers there is to Eleanor Matthews. I get that he doesn't want Eleanor to be with me, because maybe, just maybe, he wants her to be with him too. Then I feel sad for him. I feel sad about how hard it must've been for him to spend all these years with the one girl he secretly wishes was his. I feel sad about how he didn't muster enough courage to risk their friendship but in return pursue a relationship. Then, I start feeling bad about how I'm unknowingly taking Eleanor from his reach. Eleanor is a people pleaser. She puts everyone else ahead of her, because she thinks that's the only way she could show her love for them. She unconsciously felt the need to be there for me because I'm disabled in a way. She felt obligated to care for me and to show me that maybe life isn't so bad after all. I always had doubts whether what she's feeling for me is actually love. But I know, deep down, even if she won't admit it, her love for me is mixed with pity, too. I feel bad that Ashton never got the chance to taste the fairytale Jake and Arden are living right now. Then I feel bad that I'm having all these thoughts while Ashton's suffering from the bloody wound on his leg.

I approach him again and try to speak with him with my eyes, even though he's too drunk to comprehend it. I soften my look at him, and then he eases down. I haul him up and he obliges. I put his arm over my shoulder and assist him back to base. Once there, I grab some paper and a pen and write a message for Eleanor, so that she wouldn't freak if she wakes up and sees me and Ashton gone. Ashton's been cut, I took him to the hospital. If you're reading this and the sun hasn't risen yet, chances are, we're still at the hospital. We'll try to make it back before dawn. –larry. For a moment, I think about kissing her head, but then I remember that Ashton's right behind me, and, drunk or sober, I know he'd still get hurt.

I write something down for Ashton too. I'm taking you to the hospital, bud, the cut's pretty bad. He squints his eyes at it, sniffs, and then reluctantly nods. He sits down on a log and caresses his wound. His intoxication is numbing the pain a bit, but I'm sure it'll wear off any time soon. I take off my favourite flannel, and with momentary hesitation, rip the sleeve off and tie it around Ashton's leg to make the bleeding stop for a bit. He stays silent during the whole procedure and avoids eye contact at all cost. I then nod, grab a flashlight, grab Eleanor's keys, put his arm around my shoulder, and then help him walk through the trail. I could hear him whimper with every step, and I want to walk faster, but it'd only strain him more. We walk at a slow pace, me hoping he's not feeling too much pain. The pain of him seeing me and Eleanor is probably enough—heck, it probably hurts worse than his wound.

"Fucking rock asshole," he whispers. "Fucking helpful Larry good guy."

I smile a bit and release a sigh of relief when we finally reach the cars. I help Ashton slowly get in and maneuver myself to the driver's side. I've only driven my uncle's truck once when he asked me to run a few errands, and that was the same day I learnt how to drive. It's not much experience, but if I drive slow enough for an accident-free ride, but fast enough for Ashton not to bleed out, we'll be fine.

I start the car, draw in a breath, and pull out of the forest. I insert a The Goo Goo Dolls CD in the player to try and ease Ashton a bit, and to distract myself from my self-loathing thoughts. Iris starts playing, and again, Ashton starts crying.

"I sang this to her freshman year, yanno? Fucking Loofa for playing stupid ass song," Ashton mutters, then flinches in pain as he hits his thigh in anger. "Ashton stupid."

I shake my head and move my hand to fast forward to the next track, but Ashton shushes me. "Let it play. I'm already pain, it's okay."

I sigh and focus back on the road. But then Ashton continues to talk. "Lily, I don't like you. You're thief, and you steal, and you're tittysucker, and I don't like you because you're stealer and thief. Really."

I feel my hands involuntarily tighten on the steering wheel, and I let it stay that way. I'm not good with violence and anger at all—it makes me anxious. I cower at the first sign of a threat. I don't care if it makes me a pussy. I'm just not a fan of all this negativity. I pride myself in possessing the ability to let things go.

"Larvae, why you like Eleanor?"Ashton asks.

Because I can't write in response, I replay Iris and point at the player to let Ashton know that my answer lies in the first three lines of the song.

And I'd give up forever to touch you
'Cause I know that you feel me somehow
You're the closest to heaven that I'll ever be

"Aaaaaah," Ashton says. And that's the last thing he says during the whole ride.


double update bc i owe you guys so much hahA

and luke Ugh yoUrE so KiNd i SwEaR tO gOd

lub u -angelika 

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