Lucas smiled as he stared up at the clouds above him, daydreaming, as he so often did.
And, as he also so often did, he thought of Evelyn.
He replayed one of their countless late-night conversations over again in his mind, and his smile widened.
Evelyn always lent a sympathetic ear whenever he needed. She always shared fascinating stories about her life. She always laughed at his lame jokes. She always crinkled her nose when she giggled. She always made his heart flutter when she smiled…
Lucas let out a sigh. He’d been struggling with his feelings a lot over the past few years. Evelyn was his best friend in the world, that much had not changed. But now when he looked at her, he saw something… more.
He was crazy, wasn’t he? She’s too good for me…
Evelyn was perfect. She was smart, funny, beautiful… Totally out of his league. If Noah and Sam ever met her, Lucas knew they’d agree. Not to mention the age difference… Evelyn had been halfway through her 20th year of life when it was taken from her. Lucas was still two months away from 17.
And, of course, there was the fact that she’d been dead for the past 25 years.
Still, Lucas wasn’t sure how much longer he could go on keeping his feelings a secret.
What am I gonna do…?
“Uh… Hey, dad.” Lucas muttered awkwardly as he entered the quiet study.
Damien sat at the computer, perusing the latest online medical journal.
“Oh, hey there kiddo.”
Lucas cringed inwardly, as he always did when his parents used pet names for him.
“You snuck up on me…” His father continued, smiling. “What’s up?”
Lucas took a deep breath. “I just wanted to, um… ask for some advice…?” He paused. “A-about a girl.” He added quickly.
Damien smirked, rising from his seat. “A girl, huh?”
His son nodded nervously. “I really like her, dad. A lot… But… I dunno.” Lucas shrugged. “I just keep feeling like she’s too good for me or something. And she’s kinda older, so…”
A loud laugh filled Lucas’ ears as his father clapped him heavily on both shoulders. “That’s my boy!” Damien said happily. “Aim high, right?”
“So, this girl… She’s a senior?”
“Um…” Lucas laughed nervously. “Um, well…”
“Look,” Damien continued, his tone more serious this time. “Things can be tricky at her age…And your age, too. Graduation, growing up, finding yourself. People change a lot, and you can’t always be sure things will work out in the long run.”
Lucas hung his head for a moment. “Yeah…”
“But you know what?” His father smiled. “Sometimes they do. Look at your mother and I – high school sweethearts still going strong today.”
“That’s cool, dad. But… it’s different with this girl… It’s not like you and mom…”
“You like her, right?”
“You’ve talked to her before?”
Lucas couldn’t help but laugh. “Oh yeah, tons of times. We’re really good friends.”
“And she doesn’t have a secret boyfriend or anything that you don’t know about?” Damien teased.
Lucas shook his head, smiling. “Definitely not.”
“Then you have to try, son. Tell her how you feel. Imagine if I’d never mustered up the courage to ask your mother out on that first date…” He shook his head. “It’s a risk, sure. Maybe things will work out, maybe they won’t. But if you don’t tell her now, you’ll regret it forever. Trust me.”
Lucas thought about it. What if he did keep silent? Would he regret it? Of course I would…
“You know what?” He smiled at his father. “You’re probably right…”
Damien pulled his son into a hug. “This kind of thing can be scary.” He said, clapping Lucas on the back. “But you have to be brave. Oh, and don’t sell yourself so short. For the record, you’re a pretty awesome kid. I’m sure she thinks so too…”
Lucas pulled away, his nerves rising up yet again. “I sure hope so… Thanks, dad.”