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luke's biggest problem was blushing.

his cheeks would flush at almost any social interaction, and going into a school full of upperclassmen who he was sure to get picked on by wasn't helping. if someone asked for a sheet of paper, he was doomed.

as he read the room numbers on all the doors, he began to panic. he had no idea where he was. it was his first day of high school and he felt tears of frustration begin to well up in his eyes as he looked around and about, then down at his schedule in a scurry. his plan was to find his first class before the bell rang, but it wasn't turning out the way he planned. he thought of stepping into one of the classrooms to ask a teacher where to go, but saved himself the humiliation.


luke jumped, looking up and to his left to find a boy with raised eyebrows, staring down at luke in concern. almost immediately, luke's cheeks flushed a deep red as his eyes met the ones staring down at him. "oh, i -" luke choked out, feeling nervous under the gaze of the boy. he had deep hazel eyes, green in one light and brown in another. "a little bit."

"where you headed to?" he asked, and luke shoved his schedule towards the obviously older boy. "ah, room three-oh-six. for one, you're on the wrong floor. follow me, i'll show you."

feeling embarrassed by his dimness, luke followed behind the nameless boy with his head down, his cheeks blazing already. "i'm sorry," luke apologized, though he didn't know why. the older boy lead him to a staircase luke didn't even know existed, and they climbed up to the third floor, making luke feel stupid. how did he not figure out that a room with a three in it would be on the third floor?

"don't be sorry," the boy smiled, looking fond of luke already. "it's happened to all of us. freshman, right?" the blonde nodded vigorously. "i'm ashton. i'm a senior; been here all four years. if you need anything, come find me and i can help."

luke's eyes widened, running into the taller boy when ashton came to a stop in front of a classroom. "oh! sorry," luke apologized for the second time. "my name's luke. thank you for showing me here . . ." ashton grinned, shaking his head like it was nothing. which, for him, it probably was nothing. no big deal for the big senior hot shot.

"sure thing," ashton smiled, and then turned and walked away.

luke let out the deep breath he'd been holding in, stepping into the classroom. he looked around, seeing no teacher but his best friend, calum, sitting at one of the tables. "luke!" calum shouted upon seeing the lanky blonde step into the room.

"hi, calum," luke breathed, waving at his face to make himself calm down. calum asked why he was red. "this boy helped find my class and he was so, so hot. i can't feel my chest. he was tall and tan and i can tell he surfs, i can just tell." calum laughed as luke sat down at the table next to him.

the dark haired boy tapped on the table. "slow down," he chuckled at his friend. "did you ask him for help? how unlike you." luke rolled his eyes at calum's teasing.

taking a deep breath, luke shook his head. "no, i was near panic attack when he found me. like, almost crying. it was so embarrassing," luke frowned. already, his day was starting to go to shit. "god, his name was ashton. he was so hot, calum." calum found himself feeling left out as he wanted a hot senior boy to brag about.

luke hemmings was sure he was gay. from the moment he cringed while watching straight porn during a day of curious exploration in eighth grade, he just knew. on the other hand, calum never thought about it too much. up until recently he'd just assumed that he was one hundred percent straight and the very thought of being with a boy had never occurred to him as something he'd be interested in. then he realized he would be happy being with either gender, as long as he was happy and got kisses. later on in his journey of sexuality, he figured he might've preferred being with a boy.

"do you think he was," calum paused, his voice dropping to a whisper, "gay?"

luke blushed again - lord, help him - and looked away. "i don't think so, which is sad," he confessed. "i don't like high school. it's big and scary and i'm probably gonna' cry six more times today."

he wasn't lying. luke had very bad anxiety and had panic attacks upon being under too much stress quite often. his mum often encouraged him to ease up, to stop worrying so much about being perfect and let loose, but he wanted to get things right. calum was always there for him when he could be, and his mom, dad, and brothers knew what to do if the time came that he needed calming. luke cried easily and hated that about himself, but it was just part of who he was.


at lunch, luke found himself getting worked up.

calum had third lunch while luke had first, which meant he had absolutely nobody to sit with. he thought about getting food and eating it in the library, which seemed pretty logical. but then he found the perfect spot in the corner right next to a window where nobody was sitting and made it his own.

he was three chicken nuggets in when he heard someone clearing their throat. luke looked up, finding a boy with wildly blue hair atop his head looking down at him, expectant. he stared back innocently, mouth full of chicken nugget, his big blue eyes looking scared. he was a good boy, he did all of his chores. why was his life flashing before his eyes?

"i do believe you're sitting at our table," the boy said, and luke gulped down the food. luke looked around, finding a small gathering of people with a similar style as the blue haired boy standing in a huddle a little ways away.

of course, luke felt guilty. "i'm sorry, i didn't know," he blurted, scrambling to collect his bookbag and lunch tray, standing up. unfortunately, on the way up, his uniform got stuck on the bench of the table and he tugged too hard, making him fall backward. all in all, he made a huge scene and he ended up on the floor while the blue haired boy's friends laughed at him. "i, um . . . sorry."

luke scurried off, making his way to the nearest boys bathroom. god, how could he fuck up a simple task like getting up and walking away?

his heart was pounding in his chest as he dropped his bag on the floor, discarding his lunch in the trash. if he ate another bite, he was sure to throw it back up. he couldn't wipe the face of pure pity that the blue haired boy was giving him from his mind. luke wanted to cry. he really, honestly did.

he paced back and forth in the bathroom, trying to calm himself down. when he was younger and having an anxiety attack, his mom would always sing him the same song, so he began to hum the tune to himself. it was working well enough considering the bathroom was empty and he could be as loud as he wanted. luke stopped pacing and blinked away the impending tears, looking into the mirror that was on the wall. his eyes were red around the edges, his cheeks were blotchy, his lips were bitten raw. luke felt himself feel nauseous all over.

"luke! how's your first . . . are you alright?"

it was ashton. luke felt his insides turn over and over as he looked up at the older boy, shaking his head. his breathing grew shallower and he found himself starting to shake. it was awful, school. he truly hated it. ashton rushed over, not placing a hand on him in fear of startling the smaller boy. it was scary, seeing him so shaken.

ashton hesitated, rubbing his back like he knew his mom would. "just breathe, luke," he said, unsure if that was the right thing to say. he stayed in the toilet until luke felt like he was okay to face the world again. ashton watched the younger, fourteen-year-old boy build himself back up again, stacking his pieces atop each other until he was no longer broken. "are you okay? do you need to go to the nurse?"

luke shook his head, plastering on a fake smile. "i'm fine," he said, though ashton didn't believe him. luke took a deep breath before stepping away from ashton, grabbing his bag and offering him one last smile before walking out, leaving ashton to himself.

he made his way up to the library, where he sat alone until the bell rang.

even if he falls :: lashtonWhere stories live. Discover now