Study Guide

Where Things Come Back Friendship

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Lucas was the only other guy besides Gabriel that I could stand to be around, simply for the fact that I just didn't like guys that much. I liked girls and women, but guys really put me off most of the time. Everything is a pissing contest with most guys. With Lucas, I could be my insecure shell of a man and not feel threatened. (1.12) 

Cullen and Gabriel may keep to themselves, but they've managed to add one more permanent fixture to their friend group, and he's a keeper. With Lucas, they can be themselves and know that he will always back them up. 

Mena Prescott had become, at some point over that summer, someone I learned to truly appreciate, which is not something I do easily with most people. For at least one night a week since Gabriel's disappearance, Mena had shown up at our house with a sack full of groceries and cooked an entire meal, dessert and all. (11.17) 

It appears that Cullen has judged Mena Prescott unjustly in saying that she's fake and annoying. When he and his family are in need, she's totally there and goes above and beyond in terms of making sure that they're taken care of. 

Lucas Cader and Mena Prescott said nothing but looked over at me with expressions that suggested that they were either about to laugh or run for the door. They did neither. (11.42) 

Well, if Cullen had any doubts about Lucas and Mena before, they must be gone by now. After all, only true blue friends stick around once your parents bring home a psychic who is supposed to find your kidnapped or deceased brother. 

Lucas Cader walked over and grabbed the shovel, looked up at me, and said, "Go sit in the truck." I did, and Mena Prescott went with me. My mother sat on the hood of the truck, watching as they began to dig into the dead earth. (13.5) 

What a selfless friend. Lucas is totally aware that finding Gabriel's dead body would kill Cullen, so he takes the digging duties on. That's quite a big thing to do, especially because finding his dead friend would be devastating. 

Ada's suggestion, that Lucas was saving me once again, made me wonder what I had ever done for him. I couldn't remember a single time when I helped him out by giving him a ride somewhere or by defending him from some ass-hat punk or by consoling him over the loss of <em>his</em> cousin or the disappearance of <em>his</em> brother. (13.22)

It's kind of a bad girlfriend move to point out that your boyfriend is a bad friend and that he doesn't deserve the treatment that he gets from his best friend, right? Ada totally puts it in Cullen's head that Lucas is way too good for him. 

"So you're my friend just because you're my friend?" I laughed.

"That's right. I just am. It's the simplest thing in the world." (13.31-32) 

There's no logical reason for why you're friends with someone, or why you love them. When Cullen asks Lucas to explain the reason for their friendship, what does he expect to hear?  

"Are you happy?" I asked her.

"I was." Her face turned pale. Her eyes lost life. Her tone changed to that of a girl trying not to start crying.

It was at that point that I had to, contrary to my normal behavior, hug my brother's best friend. (13.77-79) 

What a ridiculous thing to ask—even Cullen must know that Libby can't be happy if her best friend in the whole wide world is missing and presumed dead. There's no way she can go about her day as normal when that's the reality. 

Lucas Cader came back three days after I'd asked him to leave. He hadn't run in the relay, and the left side of his jaw was purple and swollen. He sat down beside me on the couch, nodded hello to my dad in the recliner beside him, and stared at the TV. (17.100) 

Aw, even after they've had a tiff, Lucas comes back to make things right with Cullen. No matter how much they might yell and scream at each other, those two boys love each other (almost) like brothers. 

"Why'd you do it?"

"To show you I haven't forgotten what's important, I guess," he mumbled. (17.115-116) 

A good friend will go ahead and punch John Barling in the face for you just because you don't like the guy and his quest to find an extinct woodpecker. Cullen doesn't even have to ask Lucas to do it—he just runs out and socks the guy in the face. 

It was by chance that Alma ran into an old friend from church at the grocery store one day. He asked her how she was, told her she looked great, and with all the confidence in the world asked her if the rumors were true about her getting married… This encounter was the first time since she'd moved back that Alma felt unjudged. (18.12) 

Lucas isn't just a good friend to Cullen and Gabriel—he's nice to everyone. Maybe that's why Alma wants to spend some time hanging out with him; he doesn't make her feel like she failed. He just talks to her like they're equals. 

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