The City Girl

The Swing Set


Riley's POV

I don't know what Lucas and I are. We went on a second date after Halloween and we had a great time. But whenever we see each other, it's completely platonic. I see him more often now that Maya and I are best friends. While he's the kindest out of everyone in the rebel crew, he's the most mysterious. He's not comfortable talking about his life and his friends don't know much about him. Maya even admits that she hasn't been to Lucas's house since they were nine. No one has even seen his father, who apparently, is his sole guardian. I don't know about his mother and I probably never will. All of his secrets are so tempting but also dangerous if he hides them so well.

I was doing my homework on a regular Wednesday afternoon. It was the middle of November but I still have to keep my fan on. Texas is unbelievably hot. Soon enough, I decide to go out on my balcony to see if there's a breeze. I jump back when I opened my curtains. Lucas was standing there.

I open the window and shout, "What are you doing here?!"

"Farkle gave me your address," he replies and he climbs into my room. "Did you know there's a tree conveniently placed under your balcony? All I had to do was climb and then jump."

I felt a mixed jumble of happiness, shock, and fury. Who says he could come in here uninvited? But it's almost romantic in a way, is it not? But he gave me a heart attack! Wait, what am I doing? I'm arguing with myself!

"What are you doing here?" I repeat. My dad is going to be mad to see a boy in my room. Especially since it's Lucas Friar, who is a bad boy.

"I wanted to show you something," he says.

"Can't it wait?" I ask. I had a project to do.

"Nope," Lucas says teasingly and he takes me outside (thankfully, he uses the door).

We hop on his (Brandon's) motorcycle and drive off before I could even think about leaving a note for my dad. He's going to kill me. But isn't it worth it with a guy like Lucas?

We finally stop at a grassy field in the middle of nowhere after a lengthy twenty-minute drive. Lucas covers my eyes and leads me somewhere. I didn't know what to expect, maybe a romantic picnic or a really mean prank. But when he uncovers my eyes, I didn't expect to be standing in front of a rusty two-person swing set in front of a small pond.

The swing set was old; it must have been standing here for decades. It was also small and totally lowered my expectations. What kind of date is this?

"What is this place?" I ask when I realized that Lucas was looking at me expectantly.

"It's my special thinking place," he answers. He sits down on one of swings and signals for me to sit in the other swing. I almost expected the swing set to collapse when I put my weight on it.

Lucas continues, "My mom showed me this place when I was six. She said it was magical. Sometimes, it does feel that way."

I rock back and forth in my seat. What was I supposed to do? Lucas was just sitting there, as if he thought I was going get it immediately. I stare at the pond in front of us. It wasn't romantic looking either, just filled with fish and frogs, reflecting the dull gray sky.

"You just have to sit and talk in order for the magic to work. Mostly, I talk to myself since this is my secretspot, but I wanted it to be your spot too," Lucas explains.

"What do we talk about?" I ask.

"Anything," he replies and I started to feel frustrated. I didn't get the feel of this supposedly "magical" swing set. But when I see how happy Lucas looks, I pretend to be happy too.

"Did you know that Maya's dad abandoned her?" I ask, wondering if Lucas knew.

"What kind of friend would I be if I didn't know?" Lucas answers.

I felt a little crushed since I thought that Maya confided in me with a special secret. But it turns out; she shares the secret with every friend.

"You know, it's probably why we're such great friends," Lucas continues. "My mom left too."

So that's where his mom went. The magic was working; this swing set is revealing Lucas's secrets!

"So why did she leave?" I ask, trying to sound nonchalant.

"She wanted to be free of my dad. I don't blame her; he's a horrible person," he answers.

"What's wrong with your dad?" I ask. I could list a million things wrong with my dad.

"What isn't wrong with him? He's everything evil in human society," Lucas says. "I hate him as much as my mom does."

"Do you ever contact her? Where does she live?" I ask. It seems like I'm asking all the questions.

"She never said where she was going," Lucas spits out. "All she said that she would be back for me. But she never did."

Why does everyone around me have such horrible families? My parents are happily married. They always been a happy couple; they've been happy since they were two. I always idolized my parents' relationship but now I realize that not everyone has those kinds of families.

In order to keep Lucas from crying, I changed the subject. "So Maya told me that you used to date Missy."

"That was a huge mistake," Lucas responds. "She's nothing like you."

I couldn't help it; I blushed. "But Missy's beautiful and I'm just Riley."

"You actually have substance, unlike her," Lucas says. "You actually make me feel good. Looks have nothing to do with it." He cups my chin in his hand and I feel butterflies in my stomach and in my brain.

Everything went still for a moment. A gentle breeze rushes by. Even though we only met last month, even though we rushed this relationship, even though I didn't even expect to fall for him first time around, we kissed. Though it was a quick kiss, it was still firmly etched into my memory, even when I went to bed. This was different than all the other kisses I had. Lucas wasn't exactly first kiss but he was the first magical kiss I ever had.

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