IT was now lunch and Ava still hasn't seen him since they said goodbye that morning. She actually hadn't seen any of the boys. She even waited at the end of every lesson in case Lucas came to meet her but he never did.
When Jackson came back from his chat with Lucas, he looked more or less ok. A little sweaty but she assumed he just ran to lesson in fear of being late. Understanding that it was none of her business, she didn't want to ask what they talked about. But, curiosity got the better of her and she ended up blurting out the question.
"Nothing really. Just wanted me to look after you." He whispered casually as to not draw attention to themselves. It sounded like something Lucas would do but she looked at his Adam's apple bob as he swallowed and how his eyes focused on Miss Gillies presentation for once. He's lying. She thought but didn't point it out. She had no idea why he would lie but it must've been a secret. Ava was just concerned for Jackson as Lucas tended to be a bit protective.
Now they were sat at the lunch with Ava sulking as she picked at her pasta. She wanted to know where Lucas was and it was worrying her that he hadn't said anything. She didn't think he was ill because he seemed fine this morning.
"What's up with you?" Jackson asked her, finally sick of her glum attitude.
She sighed and ate another piece of pasta before replying, "nothing." She paused. "Just wondering where Lucas is."
He rolled his eyes. "Probably just skipped with his friends. People tend to do that."
"But why wouldn't he invite me then." Ava was confused. She understood that they didn't have to spend every second together. It was just weird if they didn't.
"I don't know. Don't worry about it Ava." He put his fork down and looked at her. Sensing he wanted a serious conversation, she did the same. "I wanted to ask..." he hesitated, thinking of the right words. "If you and Lucas are together."
Her eyebrows creased in confusion. "Weren't we just discussing this. They ski- "
"That's not what I mean." Jackson interrupted. "Are you and Lucas in a relationship?!" He shouted quickly, attracting eyes from nearby tables.
"No? Why would you ask that?"
He lifted his arms up in exasperation. "Because it's obvious he likes you." Jackson said like it was the most obvious thing in the world, making Ava's eyes widen. "No wait sorry. He loves you."
She shook her head vigorously and laughed a little. "Not in the way you're talking about. We're just best friends. Why would someone like Lucas, 'love' someone like me? A shy, awkward girl that's always clinging onto him." She trailed off, looking a little dejected.
Jackson was quick to end her thoughts as he shouted, "are you crazy?!" He was obviously not afraid of people listening to the conversation whereas Ava sat blushing next to him.
"N-no. At least I don't think so. Sometimes I like to talk to myself but everyone does that. Doesn't mean I'm crazy right?" She muttered, partly to herself.
He ignored her crazy ramblings. "You two are perfect together. He's mean. You're nice. He's ugly. You're pretty. He likes you. You like him." Jackson clapped his hands together as if they were Ava and Lucas and he moulded them into one.
Ava couldn't stop a blush from forming at the idea of being with Lucas. Her Lucas. Her best friend. She knew that he'd definitely be in her future but she pictured it would be as her best friend. But now, the possibility that Lucas may like her in a way other than friends was making the picture a blur and she had no idea what would happen.
Clearing her head of the thoughts, she said, "you're being weird. What's up? I thought you hated Lucas."
He threw his head back and laughed, startling Ava a little. Jackson was one of those people who weren't afraid to let out their ugly laugh. "I did because I was jealous. But he's ok... only when he's with you though. To be honest, I just like annoying him."
"That's dangerous." She pointed out, knowing that it wasn't the best idea to get on his bad side. She hadn't known anyone who would try to on purpose. Maybe Jackson was the crazy one.
"I know right. But it's hilarious because he goes all caveman on you whenever I try to flirt." Ava stifled a giggle, trying not to laugh at how true it was. "And emphasis on try. Little Miss Oblivious can't even tell when I'm flirting." He playfully rolled his eyes.
"I guess it's a little funny." She turned her attention back to food but kept Lucas at the back of her mind as always.
He nodded in agreement. "The guy has nothing to worry about anyway."
"Why? Know that you could never catch a gal like me?" Ava teased, throwing her hair over her shoulder and winking at him. From a far it probably looked like a spasm.
He chuckled, shaking his head in amusement. "I only see you as the weird little sister I have no choice but to hang around with."
Ava gasped, looking offended. "Hey! You chose to be friends with all this awesome." She gestured to herself as Jackson ruffled her hair.
There was no sign of Lucas for the rest of the day and Ryan, Connor and Mason were nowhere to be seen. Even some of the guys that would hang out with them occasionally, weren't there. The teachers didn't really say anything about their absence so Ava was still in the dark. And she hated it. Something that herself and Lucas had in common was that they absolutely despised not knowing something.
He hadn't texted nor called her to say he had gone home. All her calls went to voicemail so she gave up on trying to contact him. She just hoped he wasn't kidnapped otherwise she'd be feeling guilty about being slightly angry.
It was the end of the day and people were leaving home. It was only until she got to the parking lot that she realised she had no ride home. Jackson had already left early as he had a dentist appointment and Ryan would probably be unavailable too. It's not like she had any other friends to ask for a ride.
Now Ava was feeling hurt at the fact her best friend forgot about her. He left her on the second day of school and without a ride home too. She had Jackson but she had only known him for one day. She had no idea what to do with herself. The parking lot was quickly empty and the previously clear skies were getting cloudy.
Pulling her phone out, she tried to get ahold of Lucas one more time. Much to Ava's disappointment, the phone kept ringing until the automated woman told her to leave a message, which she did.
"Lu Lu? I have no ride home and I don't really know how to walk back." She paused, looking up at the sky as a drop of rain hit the top of her nose. "Please come get m-me." Ava felt her lips trembling so she quickly hung up and put the phone back in her pocket.
A sudden rush of emotion hit her as she started to feel abandoned. It's not a big deal Ava. Woman up! She told herself. She knew that Lucas was a busy person so he would have so many more important things to do.
Even though she reasoned his actions, it didn't help the hopelessness she was feeling. Her eyes started to sting as tears were announcing their arrival. Deciding she had no other choice, she started to walk home, hoping it was the right way.
As the temperature dropped, Ava wished she had worn a jacket over her thin sundress. The drops of rain water were coming down rapidly and it wouldn't be long until it was a downpour.
She wiped her stuffy nose with a tissue. Ava had been walking around for about 45 minutes and had been crying for most of it. The car drive to school was only 7 minutes so she knew she was doing something wrong.
"Definitely been here before." She whispered to herself as she past a similar looking bush. "Maybe."
Sighing in defeat, she sat on a curb and resisted the urge to cry some more. She was fed up with feeling emotional.
It felt like she had been walking across the world as her feet ached, her worn out converse not providing her anymore comfort. Her backpack made her back hurt too and it didn't help that her teacher gave her homework, making it extra heavy and provided more work for her to do when or if she makes it home.
Waking up happy made her feel like something good would happen but alas, it was the worst day of her life.
There weren't any people to ask for directions because they probably predicted the horrible weather and stayed indoors. Her phone had died shortly after she began to walk so she couldn't even play games as she waited. Wait for what? Lu Lu isn't coming. Nor could she call him. She doubted he would pick up anyway.
As if to make her mood worsen, the rain increased. It masked her fresh tears with water but the disappointed and gloomy look on her face could not be hidden. Her hair was matted on her head and her dress clung onto her like second skin now that it was wet with rain.
Ava stood up and looked around for some shelter. In the distance she saw the gates of the park. This lifted her spirits greatly because where the park was, their tree was too. Sprinting to her saving grace, Ava had a smile plastered on her face as hope resided in her.
When she reached the gates, she was relieved it was the park and she wasn't mistaken. Spotting the large tree at the edge of the park, Ava fought against the rain and wind and walked towards the it. She remembered all the times Lucas and her would hide at the tree for shelter if it rained and they couldn't get home yet. It didn't work that much but at least it was better than being out in the open.
She expertly climbed the tree, having done it many times since she was four. It was rare for her to get scratches on the wood now. However, the rain caused it to be slippery so Ava took extra time and was cautious about each of her steps. She didn't want Lucas to find her dead at the bottom of the tree.
Resting on the same branches Lucas first found her in, she couldn't help but release a wobbly smile at the memories.
Ava couldn't feel her fingers anymore but could see the goosebumps on every surface of her wet skin. Her normally bright eyes felt heavy as she was exhausted from all the adventure. Even though it was a small town and she'd lived here for most of her life, it felt like a completely different place. It was Lucas who led them everywhere so she didn't really feel the need to learn directions and where everything was.
She tried to make herself comfortable and closed her eyes. She hoped the rain would stop, each drop feeling heavy on her cold skin. She hoped she would stop sniffling as she rationed the limited supply of tissues. She hoped her Lucas would come and save her like he had before.
Thank you for reading!
I feel like all my notes could be me thanking you all for the support on this book and it's probably really annoying but...
I've reached over 10K!!
So I hope you all know how grateful I am. Some give really lovely messages that have honestly made my life. Seriously, my phone has no storage because of all the screenshots I take. XD
P.S. I'm obsessed with DJ Khaled's new song 'I'm The One'. It's so good, I can't even!!
P.P.S. I feel so bad for Ava! :'(
Much love <3