Pretty Girls ⇼ Luke Hemmings
What About Pretty Boys?
Lea and I walked across campus, the wind whipping around my body made me thankful that I was able to change Lea’s mind. I was also thankful that she’d accepted her loss and zipped up her jacket to prevent her from catching a cold.
“Where are we going?” I ask as we turn down a street, stopping in front of the bus stop.
“Oasis,” she pulls out her phone and checks the time. “It’s a bar,” when she sees the worry on my face, she merely laughs. “They don’t card,” she tells me as the bus pulls up. I follow her on and she finds a set of seats in the far back, flicking off a drunken man as he whistles at us. “Don’t worry,” she whispers, her hand finding mine. “We’ll be okay,” I don’t understand why she says this because I wasn’t phased by the man. I thought for a second that she was the one who was worried, but the smile on her face made me unsure.
The bus stopped four times in the span of time we sat there, and finally, we got off.
“It’s just about a block and a half down,” she tells me and crosses the street. I’d never been into the strip of bars as I’d never had anyone to go with. I followed Lea silently, ducking into the small, crowded space with her. She took a minute, standing in the doorway and scanning through the crowd before grabbing my hand and pulling me to the bar. We took seats next to Michael, Calum, and Ashton.
“Let me buy you a drink,” Ashton smiled at me, flagging the waiter down. “Can I get a Sex on the Beach and a rum and coke?” The accent I’d questioned earlier was clear. Ashton winked at me, sliding a light orange drink toward me. I gave him a small smile picking up the cold drink and bringing it to my lips. I felt like the Sex on the Beach was a bit inappropriate, but I didn’t comment on it. Ashton’s eyes didn’t leave me. A smirk appeared once he took a large gulp. His pink tongue slid out to wet his lips. “You like it?” He asked.
“Yes, thank you,” my voice was low and I’m unsure whether he heard me.
“You look amazing,” his eyes raked down my body, “Love the outfit,” I simultaneously thanked Lea and regretted the outfit. I felt much too exposed.
“Thank you,” my face burnt.
“So, what’s your major?” Ashton asked.
“I’d like to major in Creative Writing and minor in English Literature,” he stares at me while I take a long drink. It’s so sweet yet so bitter and I could easily see myself having one too many of these and getting drunk. Maybe that was his intention. I narrow my eyes at him. “What about you?” His lips tugged into a smile.
“Education and Music,” Ashton didn’t strike me as the type that wanted to teach. He lifted his rum and coke, taking a sip.
“Do you do covers in your band?” I ask in hopes to keep the conversation light.
“No,” he laughs. “We write our own music, babe,” I tensed with an uncomfortable feeling as the pet name left his mouth.
“Maybe you could help us write some,” Calum brought himself into the conversation. “Being an English person and all,” I felt my face heat up, Calum’s accent was just as thick as the other boys’, if not more.
“Oh… I don’t know,” I muttered, taking a long drink.
“How have your days been?” Was that the proper thing to say? I wasn’t sure how to do this whole bar stool conversation.
“Just a lot of cleaning up after the party,” Calum shrugged. His drink was clear, I was unsure what is was, but I could smell it on his breath as he took the seat on my other side. I was now wedged between the two, taking a sip of my fruity drink in hopes to seem less uncomfortable.
“I slept all day before I realized it was Saturday and almost missed my own gig,” Ashton’s smile beamed and I couldn’t help but laugh.
“We don’t need you anyways,” Calum joked along with him.
“Fuck off,” Ashton laughed. “You always need the drummer. You don’t need three guitar players,” he retaliated.
“I play bass. There’s a difference,” I couldn’t help but laugh at the pair’s light bickering. “And Luke hardly even plays, so you do need me,” Calum spoke as-a-matter-of-factly.
“Then it’s settled, we’ll kick Luke out,” I couldn’t tell whether or not they were joking and I wondered what their band would be like without him.
“Where is Luke, anyways?” Michael butted in. I didn’t even know that he and Lea were listening. The mention of his name upset me, and I took another long drink. I wished we could all stay like this, laughing and talking. I was terrified that Luke would show up and be as rude to me as yesterday.
“Fashionably late,” Lea laughed.
“As always,” the three boys spoke at the same time and we all started to laugh. If I had to hang out with these four people for the rest of my college career, I wouldn’t mind it one bit. I sort of felt at home with them.
As if he sensed us speaking about him, Luke appeared. He took the seat next to Calum.
“Finished already?” Ashton smirked down at my empty drink. My face burnt up at the realization that I’d drank the whole thing. “Let me get you another,” he insisted. Before I could reject, he flagged the bartender down. “She’ll have another Sex on the Beach and I’ll have…” His voice trailed off. “A screwdriver,” he finally decided. I wondered if his choice of drinks were a ploy to bring up sexual tension. If it was, it wouldn’t work.
“Thank you,” my voice was quiet now, as if the presence of Luke had forced my mouth shut.
“Pretty girls don’t buy their own drinks,” he winks and my mind flashed back to last night, when Luke claimed that pretty girls don’t light their own cigarettes. I took a long drink, wondering what smoking a cigarette is like.
“What about pretty boys?” Luke’s voice sounded. It was low and hoarse as if he’d been yelling. His tone was neutral, I couldn’t tell whether he was leaning toward an angry side or a pleasant side. I’d yet to see the latter.
“Pretty boys can go to hell,” Ashton’s eye fell down in a wink and Luke rolled his eyes, his lips falling into a straight line.
“I’ll meet you there,” Luke snapped. I couldn’t tell whether their banter was playful or purposeful. Feeling caught in the middle, I took a long drink. Maybe it isn’t a good idea to mix alcohol and weed, but Lea was doing it, too.
“Alright boys,” Calum laughed. “Relax, we have to go on stage in a few,” As if on cue, they all checked the time and began to pack up their items. Ashton chugged down his drink and set a hand on my thigh. I wanted, with all my might, to push his hand away but I
“I’ll see you later, yeah?” He asked, his fingers feeling warm against my cold skin.
“Yeah,” my voice was quiet. As Calum got up, I couldn’t help but notice that Luke’s eyes were glued to Ashton’s point of contact. I looked away, pretending not to notice and the boys all left. Feeling uncomfortable from the intimate touch, I slid next to Lea and Cass, finishing off my second drink.
As much as I disliked Luke, I couldn’t deny that he looked good on stage—A loose white button up that his tattoos peaked through (only buttoned up halfway, revealing a large portion of his strong chest), black pants, black boots, with a black leather jacket. Rings were adorning his fingers and a thin chain hanging down, kissing his chest. I hadn’t noticed the blonde flecks of hair that decorated his chest. His golden hair seemed to glow under the spotlight. Luke’s blue eyes turned to Ashton and he gave him a swift nod before Ashton held up his drumsticks, banging them together four times before they all started playing their instruments. I danced along with Lea, hardly focusing on the lyrics as they all sung together. The tempo quickened and I felt a lump in my throat rise.
“When you’re talking to your girls, do you talk about me? Do you say that I’m a sweetheart? Do you say that I’m a freak?” I felt my body jolt to a stop and I looked at the stage to find the source of the soothing, deep voice, my eyes widening as I saw Luke holding onto the mic stand.
“Do you tell them white lies? Do you tell them the truth?” Calum took over.
“Do you tell them that you love me, the way that I’ve been loving you?” Luke’s voice sounded again, making me feel weak in my knees. In this moment, I found him incredibly attractive.
“They’re good right?” Lea asked, still jumping up and down. “Almost makes Luke’s whole asshole routine worth it,” she joked with me, but I didn’t feel much like laughing. I could hardly breathe. My chest felt tight and the bar was much too hot. I don’t know if it was the drugs, the alcohol, or the crowded space and screaming, but I needed to get out of there. Maybe it was Luke, I thought. The second he walked out on stage I nearly melted to a puddle. And when he opened his mouth to sing, a whole different feeling came over. I don’t find many people attractive, but Luke makes the top of the list. He’s the best looking boy I’ve ever met and I’d even say he’s sexy… If that’s something girls say about boys, that is. I pulled myself out of my thoughts, grabbing Lea’s arm. She immediately stopped jumping and looked at me.
“I’m just going to get some air,” I told her, escaping before she could object or follow.
I didn’t want to think of Luke that way, especially since he’s been nothing but a total jerk. I didn’t want to be in the same room as him. I wanted to go home and fall asleep and forget I ever saw him in this state. The effects of the drugs seemed to be wearing off and I was no longer feeling as confident as I did before. I was now feeling tipsy and emotional. I hated the outfit that Lea guilted me into and I hated myself for wearing it. I wanted to go back to my long skirts and loose blouses. I no longer felt as great as I did when I arrived, and seeing Luke up there—So loved by everyone—Made me sick to my stomach. How could he put on such an act? Smiling and singing for the screaming girls when less than 24 hours ago, he was pushing me into my own vomit.
The air was cold against my face, but the emptiness of the alleyway was comforting. Clutching my windbreaker to my body, I found comfort in sitting on the chilled concrete, leaning my back against the brick wall of the building and letting my head fall back so I could stare at the stars. A train whistled in the distance and I closed my eyes to feel—Really feel—The stillness of the night. I don’t know how long I was sitting there, but I felt so at peace that I couldn’t move. I thought about the stars—how small I am in retrospect to the earth—How small the earth is in retrospect to the universe. I knew that the diminishing high had caused these thoughts, but I didn’t mind. It felt… Therapeutic to think about all the possible worlds that we don’t know of. Worlds I might be able to visit some day. The possibility of a world where there would be people like me, and I wouldn’t be so invisible.
My thoughts were interrupted by the bang of the heavy metal door against the brick and boots stepping onto the pavement. I ignored the presence, keeping my eyes shut until the stench of cigarettes filled my senses. Finally opening my eyes, I lifted my hand to brush my hair out of my face, my ruffled windbreaker causing a sharp intake a of breath to be heard.
“Jesus, fuck, you scared me,” the familiar voice started. My eyes left the stars and landed on Luke. “What the hell are you thinking, just sitting there like that? I could’ve had a fucking heart attack!” He scolded, taking a long drag of his cigarette, as if it calmed him down. “And what is it with you always sitting on dirty fucking floors?” His face indented with a frown. “You know, you can’t seem to shut your trap when it comes to anyone else, but when it comes to me, you don’t say a damn word,” he rambled on, his voice getting louder by the second. I remained silent, I didn’t want his yelling to bring down my high like his presence did. “Jesus Christ, will you fucking talk to me?” He nearly screamed, stomping out his cigarette and taking long strides over to me.
I looked up at him, raising an eyebrow. Why does it matter whether I speak to him? He hardly likes me, anyways.
“Valerie,” he warned, earning a scoff from me.
“I prefer Val,” I finally corrected him after who knows how many times he’s called me Valerie.
“I prefer Valerie,” he shot back, his blue eyes challenging my green ones. “Why don’t you talk?” He asked before I had the chance to reply.
“I do,” I crossed my arms. “Just not to you,”
“Well, why not to me?” He snapped. The tips of his boots were touching my heels.
“A pretty boy is nothing if he has an ugly attitude,”