Strong For Too Long
Liz and I watched the two brothers getting out of the car from the living room window. She tigthened her grip on my forearm as she looked at Luke for the first time in months.
Ben had gone to the airport an hour ago to pick up Luke, the tour had finally came to an end so Luke had some free time for a few weeks.
The boys held Luke’s suitcases as they walked to the door. The Hemmings family stood up from the couch to greet Luke, the boy everyone had missed. I was more than excited to see him after all those months, texts and phone calls weren’t enough for me. I missed his presence, I missed his hand in mine, I missed his hugs that made me feel safe.
“Luke,” Liz squealed as he opened the door. He dropped his luggage on the floor before he gave his mom a tight hug. I watched the scene with a smile on my lips, my heart beating crazily fast for the boy I was madly in love with. His mom probably whispered something in his ear as his eyes searched for mine. He had no expression on his face when he looked at me, he only stared at me until his mom pulled away from their embrace.
Every member of the family walked up to him to give him a hug, congratulating him for the amazing tour at the same time. He had a smile on his face for the few minutes that the hugs and the small talk lasted, but it didn’t quite reach his eyes.
When he had talked with everyone, his eyes met mine before he pecked my lips. I knew I would get a longer kiss and a longer hug when we would be alone, we weren’t big fans of PDA, especially in front of his family.
I stared into his baby blue eyes and wondered what was bothering him. He didn’t look as happy as he usually did. The idea of coming back home usually would make him smile like a mad man, he loved his family and he loved being home. But today there was something missing in him.
“I love you,” he said. I looked up at him and smiled, but wondered why he wasn’t saying his usual ‘I missed you so much’ speech. Before I even got the chance to reply, he kissed my forehead before he headed where his mom and Jack were standing. I watched him as he gave them small answers to their questions. He talked with them for a few minutes before a long sigh escaped his mouth.
“I’m gonna unpack, now,” he announced. His mom nodded, but she gave me a confused look the moment he had walked away from her. Luke hated unpacking, we both knew that. We watched him walk to his room with his two suitcases, a frown on both of our faces.
“I think he wants to be with you,” Liz stated as her hand went on the small of my back. “Go talk to him,” she said as she softly pushed me towards his room.
I walked to his room and did not bother to knock before I got in. His suitcases were on the floor, but Luke was sitting on his bed, his elbows on his knees, his head hidding in his hands.
“I don’t want to go on tour ever again,” Luke said as I walked closer to where he was even though he couldn’t see me. His voice held a desperate and sad note, something that surprised me. During all the tour, he was always strong. He was so strong. He would be strong for me when I would call him at 3am, crying like a baby. He would always tell me he missed me, but he was always the one telling me we could go through another month without seeing each other.
“I’m not going on tour ever again,” he corrected himself with a voice that didn’t sound much like his.
“Luke,” I sighed as I grabbed his hands and slowly pulled them away from his face. He lifted his head and I swore the look on his face almost broke my heart. He looked exhausted. The boy who used to be so strong for his family and me, seemed so fragile now. He had been strong for too long, he was always the one who had to tell that everything would be okay, that everything would be worth it at the end. But being too strong for too long had made him miserable.
A tear streamed down his cheek as his innocent eyes looked into mine. I wanted to cry too, only because he looked sad and tired, but I was now the one who had to remain strong for the other. The roles had changed.
“I hated it so much,” he said as I wiped his tear with my thumb. “All of it,” he shook his head, “all of it is nothing compare to one second at home. My family and you are way more important,” he said and that is when I knew he wasn’t being his usual self. I looked deeply in his eyes as he continued talking and realized a small part of what he was saying was truth, but most of it was very false. He loved his job and he loved touring the world. Yes, he had missed home terribly, but he had now a few weeks to spend here with me and his family. He was only saying stupid things because he felt tired, jet lagged and probably hungry too. His emotions were all over the place and I couldn’t do much about it.
“Luke, you’re acting like a baby,” I giggled as my fingers ran through his hair.
“No, Y/N, I’m telling you, I’m done with the band,” he said, causing me to roll my eyes. A few minutes ago, I was so worried about him. But I knew him so well, it didn’t take me too long to know what was wrong with him. And in this case, like many others, he was just tired and lacking sleep.
“Shut up, Luke,” I said. “You’re saying stupid things only because you’re tired, you don’t mean anything you just said. So now you’re gonna sleep for two hours and I’ll wake you up when the dinner is ready.”
He kept his mouth shut as he looked at me with watery and sleepy eyes. He looked as if he was about to cry, but he was only tired.
“Take off those black skinny jeans and sleep,” I voiced as I pulled on his hands so he would stand up. I helped him take his clothes off, just like if he was a five year old boy. “Have a good nap,” I said as my hands pushed on his naked torso. He pulled me with him on the bed and cuddled me, him being the big spoon.
“I’ve slept for so long without you, you don’t get to get out of this room until I’m out too,” he whispered into my ear, making a smile appear on my face.