“Hey babe.” Luke said as I climbed into the passenger seat of his truck on Monday morning.
“Hey.” I said buckling my seatbelt. Luke hadn’t called or texted all weekend but that morning he called and asked if I wanted a ride to school. It was better than riding my bike so I agreed even if I was mad at him.
I pulled out my seatbelt quickly but couldn’t manage to get it in. I fumbled around with it, trying to get the stupid thing to latch on.
“Baylin.” Luke said. I looked up at him. “What’s the matter?” he asked me.
“Oh, nothing. Nothing is the matter.” I said sarcastically. “I mean, when your boyfriend doesn’t call you the weekend after you two make out it’s completely fine. I mean, nice guys do it all the time, right?” I looked at him.
Luke shook his head. “Baylin, I’m so sorry about that. I wanted to call or even just text but I couldn’t.”
“And why is that?” I asked.
“Because I was working.”
“Oh, since when did you have a job?” I was getting madder.
“Since I moved here.”
“And what is your job?” I asked him.
He hesitated. “I can’t tell you.”
I practically blew up. “You can’t tell me? You can’t tell your own girlfriend what your job is? Then who can you tell?”
“Baylin, I’m sorry. I really can’t tell you. I wish I could but I can’t.” Luke sounded helpless.
“What is that supposed to mean? You want to tell me but you can’t? Luke, if you and I are dating, I have one request: to be completely honest with me. I’m not going to make you hang out with me all the time or make you remember my birthday or have you buy me flowers on Valentine’s Day. I just want honesty.”
I looked him deep in the eye. “Luke, what were you really doing last night?”
He sighed. “I was following my boss’s orders. I was working.”
I practically punched him. “Great! All I ask for is honesty and you go and lie to me again! You are unbelievable, Luke Zenith—if that even is your name.”
“Just drive.” I crossed my arms over my chest. “We’re gonna be late.” I looked out the window the whole ride to school.
- * * * *
“Hi Baylin.” I looked up to see Bridget staring down at me.
“Hey.” I said. I was sitting on the bleachers by the basketball court, watching Luke play with his buddies. He was practicing for the try-outs this Friday. I would have gone home on my own but I didn’t have a bike or a car so my only choice was to wait.
Bridget came and sat beside me. We just watched Luke and his friends play for a while.
“Baylin, what happened?” she asked, looking at Luke. She could probably feel the tension between us and the hostility I had shown towards him earlier.
“Luke and I just had a little argument is all.” I said simply.
“What about?” she asked, scooting closer to me.
“Just, you know, couple-stuff I guess.”
“Oh.” Bridget said. “Is that all?”
I sighed. “Yeah, that’s just ‘bout it.”
“Okay, if you say so. Just know that I’m always available to talk.” she looked at me.
“Are you sure? You’re so busy. And your schedule is almost always filled with cheer practice.” I responded.
“No it’s not!” she exclaimed.
“Well, they’re calling you back now.” I pointed to the girls that were calling Bridget down. “Case closed. And plus, you’re popular. You have more friends which means more plans which means less time for people like me.” I rambled.
“But—” I cut her off by gently pushing her down the bleachers.
“Go.” I said. She hesitated but eventually started walking down the bleachers, one step at a time. I turned my attention back to the basketball game just in time to see Luke score the “winning basket.” Trenton cheered.
“That was luck, man.” Dan huffed. He was bent over with his hands on his knees, trying to breathe in every ounce of air he could manage. Juvien just laughed.
“Dan, he won because he’s good. You and I both know that.” Juvien turned to Luke. “Good game, bro.” he shook Luke’s hand.
“Thanks.” Luke grinned. He turned to me and looked in my eyes. It was a silent apology.
I tried to ignore it and continue to be mad, but when he looked at me like that I couldn’t hold a grudge against him. I hid my feelings and kept a solemn face as I slowly stepped down from the bleachers.
I stared Luke in the eye as I kept walking up to him until I could feel the heat rolling off of his body. His face mirrored mine. I looked deep into his eyes to see if he really was sorry. He was. I could just see the sincerity in them. I finally smiled and hugged his sweaty body.
Luke hugged me back and I could just imagine that dazzling smile that must have been lighting up his face. He bent down and kissed me and his friends, Dan, Trenton, and Juvien, clapped and cheered.
“Dude, Luke, get a room!” Dan shouted.
Luke smiled and gave me a peck one more time before he turned to face Dan. “I’ll get a room as soon as you and Violet stop making out behind the bleachers.”
Dan’s jaw unhinged from his face as red quickly crept up his neck to his cheeks. Juvien and Trenton laughed at him as Luke kissed me and spun me around. I laughed hysterically as he placed me at the base of the bleachers.
“I love you, Baylin. I’m sorry I didn’t call during the weekend but I really, honestly had to work. I can’t tell you what it is. but if I could, I would.”
“Luke, the whole “having to work thing” sounds pretty fake but I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt. I’ll believe you until you are proven guilty.” I flashed him a coy smile.
“Deal. I promise I wasn’t cheating on you. I love you too much. And after Friday—” he paused. “—I wouldn’t do that. I’m dedicated to you and only you. My heart continues to beat for you and you only because you are the one I truly love.” Luke had just melted my previously ice-cold heart. I had never believed that love like this existed but as I felt the rush of affection for Luke wash over me, I knew that he was the one for me. And I knew that I would do anything and give anything for him.