Crushes are always hard, especially growing up and knowing that the person you are crushing on will never return the feelings for you. I used to think my crush on Luca would go away, but over the years, the crush seemed to get worse. I would date guys hoping they would take my mind and my obsession away from him.
Luca is my older brother's best friend; I can't remember a time in my life when he wasn't apart of it. Luca and my brother Will are only two years older than me, so we shared a lot of friends growing up, and we always spent time together.
"Would you stop spacing out on me, Henley? Oh, don't tell me you're thinking about Luca again?"
"Would you please be a little more discrete, this is his store, and I'm sure he is currently here, so I don't appreciate your loud mouth, Connor."
Connor is my best friend. We met in the fifth grade and have been friends ever since. Connor knows about my crush on Luca, and he likes to tease me about it and likes to try and get it out in the open.
"Just because you're ok with him knowing that you find him attractive, doesn't mean I want him to know that I find him attractive." Connor is gay, and has a boyfriend, their relationship is cute and probably the ideal relationship that is built on trust. It kind of makes me jealous at times because I haven't found someone to have that with, but then again, how can I if I'm hung up on a guy.
"So, are you going to the party this weekend?"
"The party that Will's frat is throwing? No. I'm not sure we can even get in."
"Use the 'Will is my brother' card."
"Are you kidding me, they would tell Will and Luca that I showed up."
"You're eighteen; they can't keep you at home."
"That's true, but I would rather not go to a party knowing Will and Luca will be hooking up with girls in the same house." Thinking about Luca with some girl causes my heart to ache. It wouldn't be the first time he has been with a girl, but it doesn't get easier thinking about it.
Speak of him, and he shall come. "Hey, Luc. What are you doing?"
"Getting ready to clock in, mom and dad are a little short-staffed, and they need some help, if it weren't for that, I would be off today."
"You know Henley has nothing to do; she could probably help out too" I tried to give Connor my meanest look, but I knew it wasn't doing anything.
"Really?! That would be great. Mom would love to have you around for a bit."
"Sure," I said nervously
"Sweet, follow me, mom is in the back." I flipped Connor off as soon as Luca turned his back. This is going to be torture for me today. I followed Luca to the back, where it says employees only.
"Hey mom, Henley agreed to help out today since we are short-staffed."
"Oh, Henley, you're such a godsend."
"No problem, Lily. It'll give me something to do."
"Well, we are going to be doing a lot of cleaning and rearranging, so let me go get some old clothes in the back for you to change into."
Luca and I were waiting for Lily to get back, it was awkward, or at least it felt awkward to me.
"So…" Luca started, "I don't think we have spent the day together without Will before."
I paused, trying to think back. "You're right; I can't think of a time when it was just you and I hanging out."
"We should change that."
"Here you go, sweetie." Lily interrupted before I could respond. Did Luca just invite me to hang out? It's probably nothing, it's probably only as friends.
"Luca, why don't you get started with the inventory in that corner, and Henley, you can go over to that corner over there and change? No one will be back here except for us."
I nodded to her, I haven't changed in front of Luca since we were little, and even though I was in the corner hidden, I was still embarrassed, but luckily, I have a matching set of underclothes.
I quickly changed and headed over to Luca to help him.
"What are we doing?"
"We are taking inventory of the stock that we do not use. We plan on putting all these on the sale floor to get rid of them. Just open the box and mark what is in there and how many are in there. Make a note if any of them are damaged."
"That seems easy enough."
I opened the first box, and it was a box of t-shirts with different sayings. I went through to make sure none of them had stains or tears and then recording how many of each saying there was.
"How is school going? It's your last year, are you excited about going off to college?"
I shrugged my shoulders at his question.
"Do you not have a plan."
"I have a plan, but I'm not sure if I want to follow it. I don't think it fits me anymore."
"You don't want to be a vet anymore?"
"I do, but I'm thinking about just staying around here. The university here will be cheaper than paying out of state tuition."
"I understand that, but didn't your parents save up for yours and Will's education?"
"They did, but it doesn't mean that I want to spend it all. Besides, I need to get my undergrad and then work on getting into vet school, might as well cost cuts in my undergrad instead of vet school."
"I guess that makes sense." He mumbled.
"Are you trying to get rid of me, Luca?"
"Of course not, you're just smart, and I don't want you to waste it."
"You're smart, and you stayed around here, and so did Will." Luca didn't answer me after that. Instead, he changed the subject.
"Are you coming to the party tonight?"
"No, I'm sure Will doesn't want his little sister dragging him down."
"Come on; we would rather you be at our party than someone else's party. It'll be fun, and if you attend there next year it would be nice to get to know other people, right?"
"Ok. I'll come, but Connor has to go with me."
Why did Luca want me there, is he not afraid of me drinking or being around other guys? Maybe it doesn't bother him, and he just wants me to make friends, so I don't cling to the next year.