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chapter nineteen; would you lie with me?

Luke was enveloped in the darkness of his room, the blinds drawn and the lights off, surrounded by nothing other than the nothingness he felt inside. Spared light from the setting sky peaked in through slots near his blinds and windows, his breathing shallow as he seemed eerily calm. Tear stains streaked his cheeks and he had changed into a hoodie and some sweatpants, laying directly on top of his unmade bed, arms and legs sprawled across the covers, staring up emotionlessly at the ceiling, stone-eyed. He had been like this for four days.

Four days.

He felt pathetic.

His headphones were set in his ears, playing songs that cooperated with his grim mood, a playlist that he hadn't played for a long time playing on his cellphone, already on the fourth song. The mellow, melancholy tunes made him feel worse, but he liked it in a masochistic way. Sad songs were always his forte for as long as he could remember. They were something that he could relate to and just listen to for a while, in order to block the world out and escape. Predictable, maybe, but still true.

As another song, a classic, Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol, clicked on, and he closed his eyes.

He didn't know why he was doing this. He should've been over Delilah, but he wasn't. Far from it. His feelings for her weren't the actual problem at hand—the love he felt for her was diminished—but the hurt and anger he had inside of him stayed put. He was so torn apart, so destroyed, after what she had done to him and she suddenly thinks she has the right to come back into his life and pretend that nothing ever happened. To pretend that she didn't make him feel like he couldn't trust anybody, that he was worthless.

It wasn't fair.

It wasn't fair that she could just move on and restart her life and forget all about what she put him through, that she could act like they were just old friends. Luke wasn't mad at her for treating herself right and obtaining a good future for herself, he just wished that he didn't have to get stepped all over in the process that she had to get it. He felt dirty and used and woeful—everything he hated feeling. He wanted to be the one to move on, so that when he saw Delilah again, he wouldn't feel a thing. He wouldn't even notice her, he'd just act coy.

But that was the exact opposite of what he did. When he first saw Delilah, he swore he almost passed out right on the spot. His head was throbbing and the light from the sun suddenly seemed all too bright and the world all too loud. It was like he was hallucinating—and for a second or two, he thought he was—and he couldn't focus. Delilah, however, functioned completely fine. She smiled and waved and talked about what she had done.

How she had turned over a new leaf and erased Luke from her memory.

It was ridiculous, illogical, and absurd that he be acting this way, after a year or two of not seeing her and being so heavily affected as he was that he locked himself away for four days. But he thought that locking himself up was easier, and so, that's what he proceeded to do. He didn't talk or do much of anything for the past 96 hours, only eating what he could find in his room, or what his roommates had made for him, or sneaking out to go to the bathroom at night to clean himself up or use the facilities.

Calum and Ashton had given up on him getting out, like everyone else always did, and had resorted to slipping in notes from under the door and leaving trays of meals and bottles of water by the floor near his bedroom. At first they screamed and yelled, begging Luke to come out, knocking harshly on the door, even trying to pick the lock. But Luke didn't move, so eventually they tried to coax him out more than anything.

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