e l e a n o r

Here are some things that changed after the wedding: 1) Luke Hemmings is now my boyfriend, and frankly the whole school already knows too, 2) Luke now hangs out with us. Like really hang out. It's like we're friends who've known each other our whole lives. 3) I am completely and truly in love.

Luke is so iridescent. My perspective of him changes every day, and somehow, I can't settle on one thing I adore about him. He's a guy who's perfect in every way. He's like a human prism; he shines his multi-coloured light wherever he goes.

What he did for that man on the bench was something we didn't talk about. It's just hanging in the air between us, and even if we don't talk about it, it's enough that we know it's there. He did something greater than I've seen any man do. And what struck me was that he hadn't done it because other people were looking. He did it because he had a heart. He hasn't have life handed to him; he's a victim of a terrible accident; his family's broken, yet he still puts others in front of him. His heart's shattered, but he gives people with the same shattered hearts some pieces of his. Even though no piece of his heart would be left, he still sacrifices them for the sake of the people around him. He removes pieces of himself just to make others complete.

"Eleanor," Ashton says, successfully pulling me out of my enamoured state. "I want us all to go somewhere after graduation."

I take a sip of my cranberry juice and try to tune into the conversation. We've been anticipating the nearing graduation for months now, talking about how to spend it, what to do after it, and the reality of our lives unfurling once we step up that stage to receive our diplomas. Because right now, our life is fixed. We know what we're good at, and we know what we have to uphold in our time here in this university. But what lies ahead will be completely new, completely unplanned, and irrevocably scary.

"Me too. I just don't know where," I add. "I want to go on a road trip for a whole month and just see the world."

"I second that thought," Michael says with a whoop. "God, just imagine. Once we graduate, we'd be adults. It's fucking scary."

"I know. I mean before, in highschool, all I wanted was to graduate and move on to college. But right now, I don't even know what I want anymore. Where I'm headed is still unclear," Ashton says with a longing sigh.

I myself don't know where I'm headed, either. But a small part of me knows that as long as I have these people by my side, Luke especially, then where I'm headed would be a great place to be in. Someone then plops a tray next to me, and instinctively, I know it's Luke. He smiles at me and then smiles at the group. His smile is distracted. Tainted with something deeper than a quiet hello. I refrain from asking because I know he wouldn't be upfront with Ashton and the others around to see.

So I decide to just continue the conversation in hopes of covering up his palpable distractedness. "Luke, how do you feel about a month-long expedition right after graduation?"

Luke is gazing far into the campus, his blue eyes settling on the depressing little tree he used to sit under. It takes him a moment before he grasps the fact that I've just addressed him. I instinctively hand him my phone.

Yeah, sure.

Something is really bothering him. And when something's bothering Luke Hemmings, it's gonna be one hell of a fight to bring it out of him. While the others delve into their own conversations, I remain still at the table, thinking about how I could approach Luke regarding this matter. I don't even know if I should confront him about this. I look back at the past three days and try to remember if something went wrong that could be the reason for his distantness today.

I come up with nothing.

"Eleanooooor," Ashton sings, waving a French fry in front of my face.

"Hmm?" I mumble absentmindedly.

"We were thinking we could go to Warped Tour and then travel around the northern hemisphere," Calum suggests, a hopeful glint in his eyes. "Ashton was thinking south, but man, I've had enough of that scene."

"I'm just curious about the things you could see down under," Ashton says with a cheeky little wink.

We all laugh. Well, except for Luke. He still has his head hung low. He doesn't exactly look happy or sad. He looked like someone who doesn't know where he stood between those two emotions. He looked like the blank space in between. He looked utterly lost.

"But seriously, Warped Tour?" I ask. I softly take Luke's hand in mine under the table. I give him a tight squeeze, and he squeezes back just as hard.

Ashton lifts his hands up into the air in a dancing manner. "Fuck yeah, Matthews. We're gonna live life to the edge this summer. Because I am not ready to settle down and have kids and grow a beard. Nope. I don't even know how to do my own laundry."

"I don't even know how to freaking use a dishwasher," Calum adds in with a chuckle.

"And Michael still uses a night light," I say with a loud laugh. Michael flips me off in response, but he, Calum and Ashton easily laugh along.

"Damn. I can't believe it. We're almost adults," Ashton says finally. And then he sighs in resignation.

"I've only spent a month here, and in less than three months, I'm on my own. And I'm a freaking music major so who knows where that'll get me," Calum adds with a shake of his head.

"Well, I major in literature so you can't exactly talk," I retort.

"Oh my god we're all going nowhere," Ashton says with a giggle. And even though that should petrify me-that this is the extent of our abilities-it doesn't. It makes me want to appreciate little moments like this more. Because right now, we have something to laugh and smile about. We have something to ponder. And in two year's time, I'm certain that I would yearn for this freedom. I would yearn for small, regular moments like this. I'm not petrified of the future, because the now is happening. And while I'm holding this fragile boy's hand, I realize that every now I could spend with him and these idiots would be memories worth keeping. Forever.



a/n:

just a filler before things get real srs and mysterious and stuff :---)

i'll probably be updating during the weekend bc we just got back to school and things are starting to get hectic bc wait for it... WE HAVE SATURDAY CLASSES? *dun dun duuuun* fml but it's alright i can cope (i hope) (no i cant send help)

anyyywayyy, i hope you like this even tho it's probably the shortest chapter in this whole book.

OH AND BIG HUGE ANNOUNCEMENT: I've decided to start a new fanfic called "Another You." It's already up on my account and I wanted to post it once masterpiece finishes (only ten more chapters or less aw :c) but I got so excited bc my idea flowed vvvv well and if i don't put enough focus on this new fanfic, the idea would leave as fast as it came. so yeah, give it a read, why not? I'm not spilling what it's about, but it's in the fantasy category aye and it's rlly different from all my previous fanfics. and i'm gonna stop now bc im rambling too much and the author's note is becoming longer thAN THE ACTUAL CHAPTER OK BYE LUB U -angelika

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