It was nearly 2:30 when Lucas finally made it home, exhausted but happy. The night had turned out much better than he could have hoped for and, at least for a while, it helped him take his mind off his fight with –
“Evelyn?” Lucas stopped the moment his eyes fell on her glowing blue form. “What are you doing out here?”
She floated over to him. “I saw you leaving tonight.” The ghost explained. “And I wanted to catch you on the way home… I just really wanted to talk to you about last night…”
Lucas shifted uncomfortably, glancing down at the ground. “Look Ev… What I said last night… that was way outta line.” He said guiltily. “I’m sorry. It just sorta… came out.” Lucas sighed. “But you know it’s not true – you’ve done so much for me, ever since I met you. You were my only real friend for such a long time, and the only person I could really talk to… You changed my life, Ev. Without you, I… I don’t even know if I’d still be me, y’know?” He said. And he meant every word of it.
“It’s just… I feel like things are different now.” He continued. “I don’t know what changed…” Lucas sighed, putting his weary face in his hands for a moment. “And now trying to find this stupid flower and that fish… It’s just stressing me out even more.”
“Well I’m sure I haven’t been helping by putting so much pressure on you.” Evelyn replied sadly. “I should have never called you selfish. You’ve been working so hard for this, and… I guess you’re right. I was being ungrateful.”
Lucas shook his head, placing his hands gently on her shoulders. “You weren’t.” He assured her. “This has been hard on both of us, I get it. And maybe I was being kind of selfish… But not anymore.” He said firmly. “This is for you, Ev. I know it’s all you’ve ever wanted, and it’s all I’ve ever wanted for you too. So I’m gonna make it happen, no matter what.” He promised. “But… it might take a while. And that might mean we have to give up some time together to make it happen.”
Evelyn reached forward and held Lucas as tightly as she could, taking great care not to pass through him. “Things will get better soon though… Won’t they?” She whispered.
Lucas felt his heart sink. “I don’t know.” He replied honestly. “But I sure hope so.”
The ghost pulled away from him gently, the blue hue fading from her transparent form. “So what was Noah’s excuse tonight?” Evelyn asked, trying to bring the conversation back to normal. “He must know how much you hate going out. Or at least, his version of going out.” She added with a smile.
Lucas’ face lit up. “Oh man, Ev, you aren’t gonna believe this…” He told her all about Sam’s “big news”, and Noah’s insistence that they celebrate the happy occasion.
“No way!” Evelyn laughed in surprise. “One of your friends is gonna be a dad?”
Lucas nodded. “I know. It’s insane.”
“Guess it’s gotta happen sooner or later though. You guys are growing up.” She said simply. “Things change.”
But not everything… Lucas thought sadly, looking at Evelyn. Some things stay the same forever… He quickly chased the thought away. No. You’re going to fix this for her. He told himself for what felt like the thousandth time. You have to.
“Well, did you at least have some fun?” Evelyn’s voice brought Lucas back to the present. “I mean, you looked pretty happy when you got back.”
“Oh, yeah, I did, actually!” Lucas smiled. “I – ” He hesitated, just for a moment. “I had a great time talking to Sam and Noah. It was nice to catch up with them.”
“That’s great.” Evelyn smiled. “I’m glad you had a good time,” She looked him up and down for a moment. “But you look exhausted. I’m gonna let you get to bed before you pass out.” She added with a hint of a laugh.
“Thanks.” Lucas forced a smile. “Have a nice night, beautiful.”
Evelyn smirked. “You too, handsome.”
He turned and headed inside. Why couldn’t he bring himself to tell her about Melanie? It’s not like it was a big deal…
Still, Lucas felt the heavy weight of guilt crashing down on him. And, for once, it wasn’t about his birthday. Sighing to himself, Lucas headed up to his bedroom, where he quickly fell into a deep sleep.