Luke Chambers is captain of the baseball team as a junior. That’s pretty cool. Starting with a positive is better than not starting with a positive, because of science, so that’s the good part. His personal life is a lot more complicated due to his grumpy boyfriend.
Wait, he’s straight. His boyfriend is not straight, but that’s okay because Ryan is actually his “boyfriend.” They get along really well, if you say it like this: Ryan and Luke get along “really well.” While that is not the biggest problem in Luke’s life right now, he thinks it’s the only issue he can solve.
So in this scene from the new edition of One Little Word, Luke is trying to smooth over the animosity between them so they can be friends. You cannot say it like this: Ryan and Luke are going to “be friends.” Because when put like that, it sounds like they won’t really be friends but are something else instead, it’s almost suggestive, and that is very bad.
I drove Ryan home after my baseball game.
“Can we at least try to get to know each other?” I asked. Might as well take this opportunity to clear the air while he can’t run away.
“What’s the point of making nice? You’re just using me to get out of trouble.” Ryan spoke while staring out the window, wanting to ignore me as much as possible.
“Well, have you ever heard about making the best of a bad situation?”
“Yeah, it’s called high school and I do that every day. Though you’re making it especially challenging lately.”
“Maybe you’d have a better time if you weren’t so busy trying to embarrass me,” I reasoned with more patience than I felt.
“That’s the only good part.”
I reminded myself I wanted to make peace. “If we tried, maybe we’d get along. Who knows what we have in common?”
“Nothing,” he responded immediately.
Patience wearing thin, I snapped, “How would you know if you never stop for two seconds to find out?”
“Let’s see, I enjoy microbiology, hot guys, and embarrassing straight jocks with big mouths. How many of those interests do we share?”
There was no need to answer. I obviously wasn’t a fan of the last thing, and science confused me and wasn’t my best subject.
“I don’t understand why you have to make this so difficult,” I said instead. “Why even do this?”
“For my dad.”
“Even though you clearly hate me and spending time with me?”
Which wasn’t a great answer for me, but I stopped being annoyed with him. He lived to torment me, yet now I remembered he didn’t hate everything. He really cared about his dad.
“Well, I appreciate what you’re doing for me,” I told him with as much sincerity as I could.
“Does baseball lead to brain damage? I told you, it’s not for y—”
“I’m still grateful. Did I ever thank you? Thank you, you’re a good son.”