Youth

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Chapter 4

Lukas

“Is she always like this?” Madeline asks Sage as Bo leaves the cafeteria.

“She’s a shy girl,” she replies, looking a little lost.

“She didn’t seem that shy, I just think she might not like us,” Madeline looks over at Sage with the most intimidating face, “You like us right?”

“Of course I like you guys!” I don’t particularly like Madeline but Mason is one of my good friends. It’s funny how people can be twins yet they’re so different.

“So, Lukas, how come you wanted Bo to sit with us?” Aaron asks, pulling Stephanie close to him.

I shrug, “We have Spanish together and I thought she was cool.” Aaron nods and starts to make out with Stephanie. The two of them are on and off, they’re together one day and the next they’re not. The life of a cheerleader and jock, am I right?

I pick up my backpack and hit the table to get everyone’s attention.

“I’m gonna go to Chemistry, I’ll see you guys tonight.” They all either nod or say ‘okay’. Before I leave, I notice Bo’s sweatshirt sits on the chair she was sitting next to. I pick it up, push in the chair and leave the cafeteria.

-

I walk into Spanish class and immediately notice Bo. Her dark chestnut hair is formed in her natural loose curls, her mocha colored skin and her beautiful green eyes were glowing in the sunlight that peeks through the large windows on one side of the classroom.

I let out a breath trying to gain the courage to sit next to Bo. My grip tightens on the straps of my heavy backpack as I make my way towards her.

Just as I was about to pass Stephanie she squeals my name and pulls me towards her. It’s embarrassing how easily she pulled me.

“Come sit next to me!” Without my consent, she shoves me down into the seat next to her. I stay in the seat, not bothering to move.

I glance over my shoulder at Bo and I catch her looking my way, we exchange small pathetic smiles.

Stephanie talks to me, but I’m not really engaging in the conversation. I’m too focused on Bo who looks incredibly upset. It’s my fault, I should’ve sat next to her and asked what’s wrong but I chose to sit with Steph. I look away, trying not to get too engrossed in staring at her.

Throughout the whole period, I’m lost in my own head. I try to focus on the lesson but I fail, I seriously can’t wait to get home.

-

The front door to my house is unlocked when I push it open. My mother and father sit in the living room, watching their gospel television.

“I’m home!” I shout as I walk into the kitchen.

“Lukas! How was school, honey?” My mother asks, standing from the couch and crossing the line of carpet to tile.

“Good, I’m going to dinner tonight with friends,” My mom nods an envelope over to me, “What’s this?” I ask picking up the mail. My name is sprawled on the front but there is no return address.

“Just open it,” She smiles as I tear open the package. I pull blacked-out pictures with white lines all over it. I set the picture down and dump out the rest of the contents of the envelope. A note falls out and I pick it up from the table.

Dear Lukas,

I know it’s been years since I’ve visited home but I wanted to let you know that you’re going to be an uncle! The baby’s due date is in May of next year so I’m hoping you’ll be able to fly out and visit Cory and me.

Your sister, Melody.

“Melody’s pregnant?” I ask, picking up the picture again, “Is this a photo of the baby?”

“Yes! Oh, I’m so ready for a grandbaby!” My mom dances around the kitchen.

“That’s amazing!” I hug her tightly and then let go, “I have to go get ready but I’m gonna call Mel later.”

I walk down the hallway towards my bedroom and lock the door behind me. My first action is to turn on my music pretty loud to drown out the tv from the living room.

I play a kick back playlist and take off my shirt. I view myself in the full-length mirror that leans back against the wall and my eyes scan everything.

I point out to myself every single flaw I have;

Too skinny

Not muscular

Teeth aren’t straight enough

Untamable hair

Big ears

I look like a girl

The list could go on forever. I can feel my heart begin to break. I’ll never be good enough. I wish I didn’t have to deal with this.

It’s not fair I have to feel this way and no one understands well besides my friend Avery. She’s the only person I actually trust with this type of stuff. She helped me to stop self harming.

I pick up my t-shirt and throw it into the hamper. I’ve only ever been to Aqua once and that was when I was fifteen. I take the black dress shirt that’s been hanging in my closet forever and put it on. I adjust the collar and then put on my plain black Adidas. My phone buzzes in my pocket and I check to see who it is.

Adrian’s name flashes on my screen and I slide the button to answer the call.

“Hey, I’m outside.”

“Already? What time is it?” I pull my phone away from my ear and look at the time.

“It’s seven-thirty. Madeline wants us there at eight,” I check to make sure I have everything I need before I leave.

“I’ll be out in a sec,” I say before leaving my bedroom.

I say goodbye to my parents and see Adrian’s black pickup in my driveway. I approach his car and open the passenger side door.

“Who’s gonna be at the restaurant?” I ask, buckling in before Adrian backs out of the driveway.

“Madeline, Mason, Aaron, Stephanie, Levi, and that girl, Sage I think.” I nod, taking out my phone and scrolling through Instagram. I see pictures of people who are way more attractive to me. I feel an emptiness inside that weighs me down, I hate the feeling but I have no way to get rid of it. It’s just there.

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