Hick Quotes

it's a craztown
                  F U L L  O F  N E O N

d r e a m s . .


Seems like I've spent my entire life poised somewhere between boredom and anxiety.

State of Grace
Chapter 28

Grace didn’t see Luke for another week again. She would see his truck pull up in the morning for work, right next to hers, and then she’d watch it vanish again at night. When he did show up, he was so happy to see her. It was right after mass where Grace watched Ashley sit with Luke’s family the entire service, tightly holding onto his hand. He must have escaped after since he pulled up to Grace’s house an hour after Church.
            “Hi Grace!” he yelled. He jumped out of his truck and ran to meet her.
            “What’s going-?” asked Grace but she got interrupted by another bear hug from Luke. When he let her go, she took his hand. She saw his smile from underneath his hat.
            “Luke, we have to talk,” said Grace, sadly.
            “About what?” he asked.
            “This! Well, whatever the hell this is! You can’t be hugging me when you’re dating her,” replied Grace.
             He stepped closer and she looked at his face. He still had the stitches but the bruise was healing. Unfortunately it left an ugly yellow mark around his eye.
            “I thought you liked what you see, that you’d never change me, that you loved me,” said Luke, retreating from Grace. She followed him until she was right under the brim of his hat.
            “I do like you, Luke, but I ain’t gonna be the other woman,” she said. He nodded and tried to smile. She kissed him on the cheek and spun around and walked away from him.
            That night Grace couldn’t sleep. She tossed and turned for hours until she finally gave up. She climbed out of her window and onto the roof. For awhile, at least until morning, she sat and watched the sky and all its stars. She had no clue that across town, Luke was doing the exact same thing. 
State of Grace
Chapter 24
“Luke!” screamed Grace.
             “Dude, get off me!” shouted John.
            “Luke! Luke please stop! Luke!” sobbed Grace; tears were streaming down her face. John and Luke were in a full out fist fight, blood was running down Luke’s face and John had a black eye. A crowd had formed around the fight and Grace felt a hand pull her up. May stood silently next to her, intently watching her face. Their hands stayed together and Michael stood in front of them. They watched as two bigger guys pulled Luke and John apart. Luke sauntered over to Michael and said, slurred, “Move please.” Michael shook his head and took Luke by the arm. Grace noticed that he couldn’t walk straight.
            “I wanna talk to Gracie,” said Luke. Ashley stood at the edge of the circle, a mix of worry and anger on her face.
            “No, not here, Mike. Not Ashley. Is Grace okay?” he asked.
            “Luke, I think you’ve had too much to drink,” said his girlfriend.
            “You’re probably right, babe,” said Luke, “But the bas tard was kissing her.” John broke free of the grip of the guy who had him locked up.
            “What? She wanted it, that slot,” he shouted.
            Grace started crying and let go of May’s warm hand. She ran away from the crowd and was aware that someone was following her. It was Michael. He had his keys in hand.
            “Come on, Grace, let’s get you home,” he said, putting a comforting arm around her.
             “Where’s May?” asked Grace, through sobs.
            “She’s going to drive Luke’s truck home and we’re gonna met her there. Is that okay?” he asked, gently. She nodded.
            “Grace, you didn’t know that John was wasted. He hid it pretty well. Did he hurt you?” he said, looking for bruises on her arm. She shook her head

State of Grace
Chapter 22

When May heard the story the next day, she thought Grace was actually joking. They were peeling corn for dinner (May was staying over that night) and Grace had been holding back all day regardless of May’s incessant pleas.
            “He kissed you, told you it meant everything, and then goes back to his girlfriend,” she said, in disbelief.
            “Yeah I don’t know what he really meant. Maybe he was just trying to make me feel better,” replied Grace, “He said he needs Ashley to make him a better guy.”
            “Do you think he’s fine the way he is?” asked May. Grace smiled; her best friend knew her so well.
            “I think…I think I like him, May.”
            “I knew it!” shrieked May. She started jumping up and down and hugging Grace tightly.
            “I said I think! I’m not positive!” said Grace, trying not to laugh or smile. Annie came outside then. She was holding Theodore. May squealed and ran over to the baby, “Can I hold him?”
            “Sure,” said Annie as she handed the soft bundle to May, “So what were you girls screaming about?”
            “May was screaming, not me,” said Grace. She left for a moment to bring the corn inside for her momma and when she returned Annie’s face said it all. “May! Can you not keep your mouth shut for a second?” said Grace, but she wasn’t really that angry. She knew May would have to tell someone and Grace preferred it was Annie rather than Michael.
            “I’m not even sure if I do,” said Grace, “He has a girlfriend so it’d never work out anyways.” Both girls just smiled like they knew something she didn’t. 
State of Grace
Chapter 21

 A few minutes later the door opened again and May and Michael were back this time with Luke.
            “Can I see your scar?” asked Michael. He looked excited and interested in it so Grace couldn’t resist.
            “He wants to be a doctor,” said May as she rolled her eyes, “Go figure.”
            “Hi Grace,” said Luke, shyly. He was standing in the doorway, twisting his hat around in his hand, almost afraid to enter her room. It was the first time he had ever been up there. Grace looked at his face and she knew she couldn’t be mad at him.
            “Hi,” she said, “you can come in if you want.” May had been curiously watching their conversation and she looked rather confused.
            “Tell you later,” mouthed Grace over Michael, who was still examining her stitches.
            “Are you feelin’ better?” asked Luke. He seemed genuinely concerned for her wellbeing.
            “I’m fine, thanks. How’s Ella?” she asked.
            “She’s still in recovery. I haven’t seen her since last night.”
            Grace nodded. She knew how the Taylors must be feeling so she offered Luke anything else his family could need.
            “No, we’re doing alright and besides you’ve done way too much already!” replied Luke, “I actually came to offer you anything you needed.”
            “Could I speak to Luke alone for a second?” Grace asked May and Michael.
             “Sure,” said May but when she closed the door she gave Grace a questioning look.
            “I’d like an explanation,” said Grace after the couple had left the room. Luke didn’t even pretend to play dumb, “I’m sorry,” he said right away, “I just got caught up in the moment with the rain…”
            He sat down next to her and crossed his arms over his knees. “I’ve been wanting to kiss you in the rain since that day you got lost. The opportunity kept presenting itself but I was afraid,” he said.
            Grace could hardly speak for a moment. Then she asked, “Afraid of what?”
            “I don’t know, Grace. Well I do, really. I was afraid you didn’t feel the same way, that you actually hated me, that I really did hurt your feelings sometimes…” he said.
            “You still love her, don’t you?” asked Grace.
            “It ain’t love, Gracie, it ain’t even close. I know what love is. I see it in my parents, your parents, Annie and Ryan, even Michael and May. Those people are in love. What I wanted from Rachael was that kind of love. I think Ashley can give it to me. That’s why we’re together,” he said, “She’s changing me for the best.”
            Grace wanted to scream at him right then. How could he possibly change who he is? Didn’t Luke Taylor realize he was perfect? He was already the perfect gentleman! He was the most redneck, cowboy gentleman you’d ever come across but he was a gentleman at that!
            But she held her breath and said instead, “So you’re sticking with her.” It wasn’t a question, more of a statement. Luke nodded and got up to leave. Grace grabbed his arm, “Wait!” His eyes closed at her touch and he sat back down. “One more thing,” started Grace, “That day, with Rachael, what did you want to talk about?”
            He smiled then and looked her straight in the face. “I hadn’t slept that night because it was a bad night for Ella. I knew Rachael wasn’t perfectly honest with me, I had found out the day before. It was after you told me, of course, and after I didn’t listen, like an idiot. Well anyway I was real tired and had worked through it all that day. I wanted to thank you then and ask for advice with Rachael, and I was gonna be straightforward but you came down the stairs and wow.”
            “What do you mean, ‘Wow’?” asked Grace, trying to remember that day.
            “You looked like an angel. Everything about you just got to me and then you seemed to actually look at me, not right through me. You even smiled at my belt buckle and at me. Then Rachael came down and ruined it all,” Luke finished, lamely.
            “You had liked me back then?”
            “I liked you since the day I met you, darlin’,” said Luke, real slow and soft. Grace broke his gaze by getting up and moving towards the door.
            “Thanks for stopping in,” she said.
            “What’s wrong?” he asked. He brushed back her bangs from her face and leaned down and picked up her short braid. He twirled it in his hands then let it fall. He held up his hands and said, “I know, stupid question. I’m sorry again.”  With that Luke walked out and down the stairs. Grace turned and faced her window, waiting for his car to pull out. When it did, a tear dripped down her face and she held herself tight. Ashley was waiting in the front seat. 

State of Grace
Chapter 17

It was silly, as Grace reminded herself daily, to think that Luke would ever be interested in her. All he talked about was Ashley. She was perfect, apparently, and they were spending more and more time together. Michael and May were spending more and more time together as well. Grace couldn’t help feeling alone all the time. She wanted her friends back. She hadn’t talked to May in days, and Luke was so in love he was beyond useless.
            “I got a job!” announced Grace one night at dinner. Her parents looked up at her, “What?” they asked.
            “I got a job at the diner in town. I’m going to be a waitress,” said Grace.
            “You have a job already,” said her dad.
            “Why do you want to work?” asked her mom. 
            “I need money for college and a truck. Plus I have too much free time around here with May and Luke…” she didn’t need to finish her sentence though. Her parents both nodded. They knew what she was going through.
            Grace started her job the following night. She spent every night there for the next month, taking orders and busing tables. After work she would stop in to see Ella. The little girl was growing worse as each day passed by. One night Grace passed Luke on her way out. He stopped her in the hallway outside Ella’s door.
            “Hey Grace, you like Tim McGraw right?” he asked.
            “Yeah he’s my favorite. Why?” said Grace.
            “I have two tickets to see him this Saturday,” he said, slowly and carefully. Grace gave him a look. “Ashley doesn’t want to go,” he finished.
            “You’re asking me, then?” she said. He nodded.
            “Well, thanks Luke! We’ll have fun!” she said.
            Inside the room, a little girl’s heart was soaring with happiness and she fell asleep with a smile on her face. 

State of Grace
Chapter 15

            The month of May went by as quickly as it came. Grace found herself in June with loads of homework and finals to study for. May and Michael’s relationship continued to grow; they were soon inseparable and Grace found herself missing her best friend. Annie and Ryan soon became less present around Grace’s house. Annie, Annie’s mother and Grace’s mother spent their days getting the house ready for a baby. Even Luke was missing from the picture. Ella was getting better with the prospect of the summer coming and Luke could spend more time away from her.
            Grace thought he’d spend more time at the farm but she soon found out he had a new girlfriend. He was dating Ashley Smithson, the beautiful redhead he met at the prom. Although Grace was happy for him because Ashley seemed like a wonderful person, much better than Rachael, she couldn’t help feeling a little bit jealous. Grace started taking walks through the town on weekends and she kept running into the new couple. They spent every night at the park or at the local pizza joint.
             Luke seemed different when Grace ran into them. He wasn’t wearing his usual cut off and jeans. He wore cargo shorts and button up shirts and dress pants. He was hardly recognizable without his cowboy hat. One Friday night, she actually saw him wearing sneakers. The only time he didn’t wear his boots was Sunday mornings at Church.
            “Wow Luke,” she said to him one night at work, “you’ve really changed.”
            He rolled his eye and put his hands on his hips. He was dressed in his regular work clothes and seemed almost back to normal.
            “Well honey ain’t you the smartest tool in the shed!” he said with an added emphasize on his slow southern drawl. For some reason Grace loved when he talked like that; it reminded her of her father and brother.
            “Why are you laughing?” he asked.
            “You’re not like other boys, Luke,” she said with a smile as she returned to her work.
            “Tell Ashley that,” responded Luke. Grace turned to respond back but Luke was already gone. 
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