Youth

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Chapter 20

Lukas

I wake up with Bo’s hand intertwined with my hair. Adrian’s loud snores are all I hear as I carefully sit up from Bo’s lap. Without me on her body, her eyes open slowly and she stretches her limbs.

“What time is it?” She whispers, rubbing her eyes.

I look over at the dash and read the time to her, “It’s 3:54. School’s been out for thirty minutes.” I push Adrian’s shoulder and he wakes up as his face hits the steering wheel, “I have to go home, my mom’s making buffalo chicken tacos.”

“Does she know that I’m starving? I’m staying over for dinner, buddy,” Adrian takes a pack of gum from the glove compartment and passes them out.

“I don’t care,” I shrug and look at Bo who’s just listening to our conversation, “Do you want to come?”

She shakes her head, “I have work tonight,” Those words coming out of her mouth is so odd and I can tell she felt weird about it too. I don’t think she’s ever told anyone that.

“Alright then,” I bite the inside of my cheek and sigh. Bo pokes me in the arm and starts laughing, “What?” I chuckle, her laugh is incredibly contagious and the bright smile on her face is so adorable.

“Nothing, I just wanted to poke you. I have to go though, I’m gonna be late for work if I don’t leave now.” She gives me a hug and pats Adrian’s arm, “I’ll see you two, later.” Bo hops out of the truck and gets into her own car.

“Dude, why didn’t you kiss her?” Adrian turns around to look at me, his eyes shooting me an ‘are you crazy’ look.

“What do you mean?” I act dumb as I climb into the front seat.

What do I mean?” Adrian mocks me, “I mean I see the way you look at her dude, it’s like the way my Grandpa looks at my Grandma’s picture, that’s true love, my friend.”

“Love? Pfft, Bo doesn’t see me like that,” I say as he starts the engine.

“Are you trying to convince me or yourself?” He retorts, driving out of his parking spot and onto the road.

“Shut up and leave me to think about my love life, alone.”

“See! You even said, love!” I roll my eyes and wait for this annoying car ride to be over. Adrian always makes a big deal about me and any girl I get close to, “You haven’t had a girlfriend in three years, Lukas, I think it’s time you get over Mel.”

“I’m over her what are you talking about?” The mention of her name bothers me. Adrian knows we broke up but he doesn’t know how badly it ended.

“Really? You think I don’t hear things? Or notice when you stare longingly at her in the hallway?”

“You know what? Fuck you!” Adrian slams the breaks and puts the car in park.

“Fuck me? Fuck you! You can’t get over the girl who shattered you into a million tiny pieces! You think I don’t know anything about you Lukas but I know more than you think. You’re my best friend, I saw how bad it ruined you when you were in the relationship with her and post-breakup. You need to shut the fuck up and face the fact that Mel never loved you in the first place.”

I stay quiet and watch as cars pass us up, honking at us when they go.

“So you’re not gonna talk now? Okay then. We’re gonna sit here until you answer me.”

“I know she never loved me but that doesn’t mean I didn’t love her,” I say calmly and with that, Adrian puts the truck in drive and we continue down the road.

“Get over it.” Is all he says as we pull into my driveway. The both of us hop out of the truck and walk into my house. My senses are greeted by the spicy sauce my mom is using on our food.

“Hey Lukas, Adrian, did you bring the rest of the gang with you?” I shake my head and sit down at the island.

“Nah, they all had other plans for tonight,” Adrian answers for me as he gives my mom a hug.

She crinkles her nose and begins to giggle, “I think you need a shower honey, you don’t smell so great.” Adrian’s eyes widen and he smells his shirt. He obviously forgot to spray himself before he got out of the truck.

“Do I really?” He asks in a fake surprise, “Cool if I hop in the shower before dinner?” Adrian asks me as he leaves the kitchen. I nod and make eye contact with my mom who’s cutting up the chicken.

“What took you guys so long to get back?” She asks, “It almost five o’clock.”

“Adrian and I had things to take care of,” I vaguely answer her question and watch as she lightly puts the knife down.

“You’ve been really distant lately. You’re not coming home, you don’t text me when you’re staying out, and most importantly you don’t tell me things anymore. Is there something going on Lukas that you’re not telling me?”

“No, nothing’s going on Mom.”

“Well your father and I have been talking and I think it’s smart if we suspend your phone use and keep you on a bit of a tightrope for a while.”

“You’re grounding me for being a teenager?” I ask as I take out my phone.

“We aren’t grounding you, Lukas, we just want to make sure everything is okay with you.” I set it on the counter and sit back down on the stool. Adrian comes through the doorway with wet hair and my clothes on.

“Hey, what’d I miss?” He asks, sitting down next to me.

“Nothing crazy,” I reply, taking a piece of chicken from the cutting board and eating it. The flavors are great and I can taste the buffalo sauce, “This is good mom, call me when dinner’s ready.”

I stand up from my seat, walk out of the kitchen and into my room where I turn on my Xbox. I toss Adrian a controller as he comes into the room and I pop Call of Duty into the console.

“Like I said, we’re having a rematch.”

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