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chapter thirty two: deja vu

When Luke's phone rang at nearly three o'clock in the morning, flashbacks rammed into his brain that he wished didn't. He had finished another long day of work and he had spent the rest of the evening eating macaroni and cheese during reruns of How I Met Your Mother, not bothering to change out of his uniform (Carolyn had changed their dress-code ever since a rude, young customer yelled about how he hated green and roses; now, their uniform was a nice dark green polo shirt with a red rose in the corner, and their pants were khakis) as he sat in his bed. He had just begun to fall asleep when his blaring ringtone, surely some song off of Green Day's new album.

His heart sped up when he saw Ava :-) flash on the screen and clicked the green answer button and he put his phone up to his ear, rubbing his sleepy eyes. He and Ava hadn't spent much time together due to how much work they had and he was worried that they were drifting apart.

"Luke," Ava whispered, her voice crackling through the phone, "Hey."

"What's up, Aves?" Luke responded, biting his lip and already changing into clothes that were acceptable for the weather, "Is something wrong?"

It seemed that whenever Ava was brought into a situation, that's always the question Luke asked, whether it was to himself or someone else, or simply just to her. It was constant and someone like Luke—who was very gullible and always thinking the worst rather than snapping out of it—had trouble realizing that, no, Ava was most likely not being attacked by a radioactive shark at the moment, and was probably just fine. However, he couldn't take chances when it came to his best friend in the whole universe. Ava was rather spontaneous; she often did things on a whim without thinking of all the consequences (until, of course, her anxiety ate her up about it later), so she often surprised Luke, and although they were always good surprises, she scared him.

It didn't take a genius to know that Luke had fear in relationships which often led him to stray away and run, and Ava scared him half to death—but so incredibly far from the usual fear he was used to. He loved her more than he knew he could love a person and it was such a healthy love that made him love himself more and appreciate what he had: her. Luke had his insecurities and he couldn't help them—he knew that he needed Ava more than she needed him.

"Nothing is wrong, Emo! I know you're worrying about me right now so do me a favor and stop. Well I mean I kind of cried for like fifteen minutes, but that's only because I was watching a movie on Netflix and it was really cute and I was overwhelmed. Also, do you want have dinner with my sister because, well, something happened," Ava rushed out, hoping that if she said everything faster than light, he wouldn't focus on her the words she didn't want him to hear.

"What? Dinner with your sister?" Luke repeated, furrowing his eyebrows. He ran a hand through his hair and stifled a laugh, knowing Ava too well. It was likely that Aya asked her and she just couldn't say no. (He's seen what a pushover Ava could be when it came to her siblings and friends, he's heard millions upon millions of stories whenever Becca would make Ava go to yoga classes with her when she didn't want to go, just for the sake of not hurting anyone's feelings.) "You adorable Japanese piece of shit, what did you sign me up for?"

He heard her giggle through the phone, "Answer your door. I've been standing here for about twenty minutes, you tree."

As the two exchanged more rather immature insults, Luke got out of his bedroom and opened the apartment door, trying his best not to make any noise seeing as the boys were already asleep and it was quite late. The only sound besides the door creaking open was the hard rain pouring on the glass windows. A small amount of light leaked into the spot Luke was standing, the yellow light bulbs that lit up the hallway spilling into the room as Ava beamed up at her boyfriend. She was holding a bag of popcorn and two cans of root beer.

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