Mastering your craft through hard work and constant practice is a very good idea. And Dale had to admit, his son was very good at cutting lumber now...
But then, Luke tended to make any good idea feel like a bad one. It wasn't that he was stupid, or that he lacked talent or determination. No, it was mostly the... intensity of his working, the over-passionate zeal that Luke put into everything he did that made him something of an awkward puppy. He always meant well, but he rarely thought his ideas through before charging forward.
Still, Dale was convinced that Luke would make a fine carpenter one day...
...Or at least, he hoped the boy would...
Heading into town to socialize on your day off is a good idea. And as Bo observed, his friend and fellow apprentice was perhaps a bit... overenthusiastic about following through on such an idea...
"C'mon Bo, I'm gonna head to the inn and stuff myself 'till I burst!"
Bo was rather sure that he'd rather skip watching his friend re-enact a Monty Python sketch, but couldn't do much of anything to break out of the wake of Luke's enthusiasm. Not only had he promised Dale that he'd keep Luke out of trouble (a promise that he still wasn't sure he could keep), but Luke always seemed like he really needed the company. He acted like an overenthusiastic puppy, but Bo was willing to believe that Luke was actually a lot more uncomfortable around people than he wanted to admit.
Some people just always felt a little awkward in public. Bo understood that quite well, which was one of the main reasons why he tended to watch after his energetic friend...
"Hey Chase! Get in that kitchen and whip up a couple of meals for us manly men, would ya?!"
...Even when he did act like a damned fool whenever he went out in public...
Confessing love to a cute girl you've never met is a bad idea, Selena thought as this enthusiastic boy started waxing semi-poetically at her. It wasn't the first time someone had hit on her while she was working, she admitted, but this nut definitely took the prize for the most over-the-top approach.
She wasn't even sure she wanted to know how he'd managed some of the pyrotechnics...
"So, what do you think?"
Selena merely laughed, told him to come back when he grew up, and tried to turn back to her drink, leaving the boy to bask in his own awkwardness.
If she'd known what would happen next, she probably would've been a bit less casual in her dismissal...
Luke knew that this was a very bad idea. Even if he'd known exactly what he was doing, this would've been a very, very bad idea.
But he was going to do it anyway.
Grim determination in his eyes, he started shaping the wood. The timbers would have to be just right, the stones perfectly set...
...But to prove to that girl that he was a man grown, he'd build a house unlike any other.
The foundation was carefully set into place, the framework erected as best he knew how. He'd only built one house on this island, and his father had been the one doing most of the work, but he was sure that he could get most of the basic concepts right on his own.
The real problem would be the parts that took more than one person to accomplish.
For several days, he worked tirelessly on his latest obsession, convinced that it had to be perfect. He never even noticed when people started watching him work, or when the mayor's son slipped off to warn the doctor about the injury that pretty much everyone in town had been taking bets on.
He did notice when that dancer girl from the inn came by to ask him what the hell he was doing, but unfortunately, he failed to notice something else while he was saying hello.
And unfortunately, what he failed to notice was that the framework he'd been trying to hoist wasn't fastened together right.
The resulting mess left him in a rather awkward position.
"He's got a moderate concussion, a hairline fracture on his right femur, and three bruised ribs. He'll be alright, but it'll take the boy several weeks to fully recover."
"Right now doc, I'm just happy he survived."
Dale and Bo looked in on the semi-conscious patient in the island's clinic. When Dale had heard about the accident, he'd worried that Luke had finally bitten off more than he could chew. Although he'd naturally feared for the boy's survival, he'd worried a lot more about something far worse.
And as he watched Luke quietly stare at the ceiling, his biggest concern still felt horrifyingly possible.
Luke had always been a bit awkward. He compensated for it by acting the clown, and by pushing himself as hard as he could in doing what he loved. But now... with Luke meeting his limits so forcefully... Dale worried that his son's passion might have been dimmed.
Quietly, Luke sat up in his bed and reached for his breakfast. He knew who was watching him, but he just couldn't bring himself to care. By this point, that girl probably thought he was some dumb immature kid, and right now he was inclined to agree with her. That stunt of his was stupid, and he was lucky to have survived it.
Maybe he just wasn't good enough. Maybe he'd never be good enough. Maybe it wasn't even worth trying anymore, if all he could do was screw up and look like a fool in front of the whole island!
He put his bowl of cereal down with a slam, and felt a hand slap him across the cheek. But even when that hand asked him what he'd been thinking, he didn't bother to look up at the face that belonged to it.
"I was thinking..." Luke began, muttering quietly.
"No," Selena replied, far more firmly, "I want you to look me in the eye when you give me your pathetic excuse, and I want you to say it loudly enough for me to hear it!"
And so, Luke looked up into those eyes of hers, and used the rush of irritation her command had given her to give his answer.
"I was trying to build a place for the two of us to live together. There, you happy?! It was a stupid idea, a bad decision, and I paid for it. You can leave me alone now."
Dale, listening to the whole conversation, bursts out laughing. Bo merely grins and shakes his head. Selena, upon hearing this, merely blinks in confusion.
"I'm sorry about my son's enthusiasm," Dale says. "He's not very good at thinking his ideas through before acting on them."
"It's one of his deepest flaws," Bo adds. "But it's also one of his greatest strengths."
Luke looks towards the girl, and watches as she starts giggling.
"I think I know the type," she says, smirking even more wickedly as she does so, "And since I do, I think I'd like to be friends with you... um..."
"Luke," Dale supplies.
"And I'm Selena. I'm usually over at the Sundae Inn if you want to talk to me." And with that, she saunters gracefully out the door. As she does, Luke wonders if his idea had really been such a bad one after all.
When he asks his father about it, a few days later, the reply he gets is a simple one.
"With you, son, there's very little difference."