The doorbell rang, jarring Angie immediately out of her reverie. Her head snapped up from the milk-sodden Weetabix in the bowl in front of her, and she leapt to her feet, running to the door. She opened it, and there on the front step stood Luke. His black hair was in the same casual disarray that it had been in the previous day, and his white teeth were exactly the same shade as the crisp white shirt that adorned his torso. He was stunning, and Angie thought to herself that he probably knew that already. Regaining the power to speak, she told Luke, “Feel free to come in. I’m just going upstairs to do my hair. Help yourself to anything from the kitchen.”
Luke slid past her, whilst her body was still occupying the door frame, and momentarily, his body brushed hers. Angie shivered. The contact send a ripple of cold and a sense of foreboding rippling down her spine. She shut the door, as soon as Luke was inside, blaming the cold on the weather. She shrugged it off, and pointed Luke to the kitchen, before bounding up the stairs two at a time, a knot forming in her stomach.
She would be riding to school on Luke’s motorcycle. She would be sitting behind him; arms squeezing round him. She picked up her brush and stroked her blonde hair. It was dappled blonde and brown, and glistened in the sunlight. Loose curls tumbled past her shoulders, and for a change, she left them that way, straighteners lying unused on her desk. She put on her school tie, and picked up her school bag, before going back downstairs. Luke hadn’t stayed in the kitchen; he had gone out of the unlocked back door and was in the garden, judging from the open door. Angie went outside. No Luke. She scanned the garden, and her eyes rested in the big Oak tree, and found Luke. He was seated high up in the branches, staring out at the city.
“Luke?” Angie called, indicating her presence. He didn’t turn around; instead, he patted the tree next to him. In a moment of decision, Angie lay her school back down on the dewy grass, and clambered up the tree. She had had years of practising climbing this tree; Ethan and Angie did it on a regular basis, as they found it was a place where they could sit, think, talk without being interrupted. That tree held a lot of memories, and it was one of Angie’s favourite things about the house.
“It’s beautiful,” Luke said, still not moving, when Angie sat next to him. “All this, the openness, the colour. It’s wonderful.” Angie murmured her agreement. A harsh wind stirred, and the tree lurched. Angie’s ballerina flat slipped from the branch it was resting on, and she slipped. Panic flooded her, as she felt herself falling. A hand reached out, and grabbed her. A lean, muscular arm pulled her up, back onto the branch she had been seated on moments before. She breathed out a sigh of relief, and turned to Luke.
“Thanks. How did you do that? How could you lift my entire body weight with just one arm? That’s insane. I could have died!” Luke turned and looked Angie straight in the eye. He removed his hand from her waist, and folded his hands in his lap.
“I go to the gym a lot. Or at least I used to, before I came here.” His tone was calm and controlled, in comparison to Angie’s shaking voice, despite the incident moment before. “You ready for school?” Angie stared at him in disbelief – he was acting as if what had happened moments before was nothing – and climbed down the tree. “Sorry, Angie.” Angie looked at Luke in confusion, what was he saying sorry for? He had most probably just saved her from a broken limb, or worse.
“What on earth are you saying sorry for?” She asked him, her voice still shaking slightly. Luke pushed his dark hair from his eyes, and murmured something incoherent, something that to Angie sounded like “Everything.” Angie shook her head, as if to clear this nonsensical last five minutes from her mind, and followed Luke through the house, locking the doors as she went.
Luke’s vehicle was mounted on the kerb, and when Angie saw it, her stomach did a little leap. Handing her a purple helmet, Luke saw Angie looking at him expectantly. “What?” He asked, sounding totally innocent.
“Why’ve you got a purple helmet?” Angie looked at it, the shiny metallic purple showing her her own face in the sea of colour.
“Oh, it’s my mum’s. I thought I’d bring it today, so that you don’t have to wear mine.” That made sense. For some strange reason, Angie had thought he had bought this helmet just for her. But that was silly; why would Luke do that? But to be completely honest, she wouldn’t have minded wearing Luke’s helmet either.
“Oh.” Angie smiled and pulled the helmet over her head. Luke swung his leg over the back of the motorcycle, and Angie followed behind him. She encircled her arms around his waist like a bear hug, and Luke ignited the engine. The bike spluttered into life, and Angie found once again that her body folded itself around Luke’s. Feeling warm and comfortable, Angie only just managed to notice when they arrived at school.
This time, without having to be told when to get off, Angie climbed off the back, and removed the helmet. Immediately her hand went to her hair, which began trying to smooth down. After doing whatever it was Luke had to do to make the bike secure, he turned to Angie, who was still smoothing her hair. He reached out a hand, and put one of the springy blonde coils in the right place. “So,” he asked, “Where do I need to go to get my timetable?”
Angie motioned to the front of the school building. “The Medical Room. I’ll come with you.” Luke fell into step beside Angie, and Angie noticed, that like Ethan, he didn’t feel the need to fill every moment with conversation. That was good, thought Angie to herself, as she wasn’t much of a conversationalist herself. As they got nearer the Medical Room, Angie began to notice the stares which the two of them were receiving. Whether people were gawping at Angie not being in the company of Ethan, or at Luke’s incredible good looks, Angie didn’t know. Instead, she made her way to the Medical Room even faster.
The usual teacher sat bored at the desk, a young black haired woman who went by the name Miss Dobbing. She was staring into her coffee cup, but when Luke approached she became instantly more alert. Moments later, Luke had his timetable and was comparing it to Angie’s. Coincidentally, they both had art and psychology at the same time, and when Angie had English, Luke had PE. That meant that today Luke was in all of Angie’s classes, and the only time that he wasn’t was on a Friday afternoon. Angie breathed a sigh of relief to herself. At least she wouldn’t look like a complete loner without Ethan today. She remembered why Ethan wasn’t here, and checked her phone for messages. No new messages. A bell rang, nearly deafening Luke and Aggie, who were standing beneath it, and they made their way to art.