His heart ached, longed for his father. And sometimes with a longing so intense, so desperate for the familiarity of it all, his eyes would struggle to cradle his tears, unsure that if he blinked and allowed some to escape, he wouldn’t be able to stop. It was his weakness. Yell in his face, throw dirt in his eyes, even threaten to punch. But any mention of his father, and Luke’s face would blanch, his eyes would glaze over. He became blanketed from all surrounding noises; only the last diatribe about his father would ring like a sour note in his ears. He never reacted this way to anything else—not even to personal insults about his gawky appearance or even worse—his performance on the soccer field. Just his father. Why did he have to shut down completely every time Gravis chose to ram his words into Luke like a five-foot long metal pole? How he wished to ignore it. To steal those victorious, slithery grimaces off of Gravis’ face, the grimaces Luke knew only appeared because he helplessly offered them up, over and over again.