Could I grab a bite of that?
The sun blazed down on the pitch as I sat in the bleachers eating a hot dog smothered in ketchup and mustard. Tia and Harris sat either side of me on the edge of their seats chanting in support of Chestington Highs soccer team. It was unbelievably hot, I felt sorry for the team running through this burning heatwave. The whistle blew for half time and it startled me, causing red and yellow splodges to drip down onto my black camisole.
“ugh, I’m such a -”
“hey, could I grab a bite of that?”
With puffed up cheeks filled with mutilated sausage meat and bread I looked up to find myself face to face with Liam, all eyes on us from both the bleachers and the pitch. He didn’t wait for my answer before he took a bite from the bottom of my hot dog. Leaving my jaw dropped to the floor. He shot a quick warning glance towards Harris and returned to his pitch.
I shrunk down in my seat, not wanting to be the center of attention anymore but people would not stop staring and whispering. I could feel the fire igniting in my face, knowing my cheeks were displaying an uncomfortable shade of burning hot red.
“What the hell was that?” Tia turned to me as soon she found her words.
“I have no idea.”
Because I didn’t, it was the truth. Liam spent the majority of his time not speaking to me or avoiding me. When we did speak it was like walking on egg shells because you never knew what was going to dip his mood. But then sometimes he kissed me, or showed up at my doorstep or took a bite out of my hot dog in front of the whole school. It was complicated.
“Don’t think the cheerleaders are your biggest fans” H said jokingly.
They were all shooting me death glares as they performed our school chant and I just rolled my eyes at the newest mess Liam has caused for me. Game time started again and the opposing team had control of the ball, they passed it from player to player until one of them took a shot at the goal. Zak intercepted the ball and blocked the ball from going in to the net.
This team was rubbish! They were losing 4-0 in the first half, that was the closest they had come to scoring but Zak was an impeccable goal keeper. Liam had control of the ball. He dribbled it across the entire pitch unscathed and then his foot collided with it for a final time. Score!
Jordan had the ball, passed it to Ben, he passed it to Tyler who passed it back to Jordan. Another score. The bleachers were going wild, so pumped with energy and excitement. The enemy team were a laughing stock, I honestly feel like they gave up by the time the final whistle blew.
“You guys wanna get ice cream? It’s SO hot.” I offered.
“Sure” they said in unison.
I spotted Liam still lingering on the pitch.
“I’ll be right back.” I told Tia and Harris.
Liam was drenched head to toe in sweat, his whole uniform was two to three shades darker than the vibrant red it usually is. Chestnut strands clumped together with wetness. His eyes observed me as I walked across the grass, he took a big swig from his water bottle without breaking eye contact.
“What was that?” I asked, casually.
“What was what?” He replied, casually.
I rolled my eyes and used my hand gestures to emphasize my point “the hot dog.”
He mimicked my hand gestures “I was hungry.”
This is why talking to Liam was so frustrating. He gives nothing back.
“Liv, c’mon we want our ice cream.” Harris shouted from the bleachers.
Liam turned to face him, not looking as casual anymore. He sighed and turned his attention back to me. “You look good today Liv.”
I’m that girl who cannot take a compliment, it makes me feel awkward. I was a sweaty hot mess and my outfit wasn’t anything special just denim shorts, a black broderie camisole with essence of hot dog over, Nike sliders on my feet and my hair was just loose beach waves since I slept in braids last night.
“uh, thanks?” He rewarded me with a polite smile and then ran off towards the showers leaving me utterly confused.
Double chocolate ice cream, with whipped cream, a cherry, sprinkles and chocolate sauce on top. It doesn’t get much better than this.
“So what did he say?”
“Nothing. Just that he was hungry and I looked good.” I shrugged trying to keep my gossip queen friend calm and make sure she didn’t read too much into it.
“You need to be careful Liv. He might be playing you like Ben was.” Tia warned with a concerning look etched across her face.
My spoon hovered mid air as she spoke the words I had been whirling around my brain since he kissed me. I knew deep down it felt real, especially when he opened up to me but I still had doubts at the back of my mind.
“So the bonfire party” Harris interrupted my bleak thoughts “let’s just get really drunk and have the time of our lives, we’ll roast smores, drink the keg dry, skinny dip in the sea and sleep under the stars when we pass out from alcohol consumption.”
“Who knew you were such a party animal H?” I teased.
“We won’t need to skinny dip if we wear our bikinis to the party.” Tia pointed out
“Everything is more fun when you’re naked.” Harris replied suggestively.
My two friends hit it off straight away. Harris hasn’t made a move and asked her out but they seemed to be getting on really well and I think that is baby steps in the right direction. We devoured our ice creams and headed off in opposite directions with plans to meet up again tomorrow for the bonfire party.
Tia sat on my bed glued to her phone while harris spun round and round on my desk chair for the ‘buzz.’ I threw things out my closet trying to decide what to wear and I had almost gone through everything I own.
“Who are you texting? Get off your phone and help me” I pleaded.
“John Paul, he’s coming tonight and I hope to finally find out where we stand. We’ve been on two dates and text a lot but nothing has really progressed from there.” Tia looked crestfallen.
I glanced at Harris who stopped spinning at Tias words. I shot him an apologetic look and he shrugged discretely letting me know it was okay.
“Maybe John Paul isn’t the one for you” I said turning my attention back to the closet.
“Gee, thanks” Tia picked up my pillow and launched it at the back of my head.
She shuffled down the bed and came to join me on the floor.
“Here. Denim shorts with the white lace trim, light blue and white striped bikini bra, beach curls, minimal makeup and this silver ankle bracelet because you won’t be wearing shoes on the beach.” Tia had pulled together an outfit in five seconds which I’ve been trying to find for three hours.
“Now let’s paint your nails, fingers and toes.” She browsed through my gel nail polish collection and picked out a baby blue to match my outfit. “Perfect” she muttered to herself.
“You girls take forever to get ready.” Harris said as he rattled his fingers inside a plastic bag. Pulling out a bottle of pink gin he held it up to us “pre drinks?”
“Fancy, where did you get that?” Tia said, eyes wide as she looked at the blushed liquid.
“Raided my moms stash.” Harris explained. “I’ll go get some cups.” He left my room leaving Tia to paint my nails while I let my thumb glide over my iPhone spying through Liams social media.
He posed with the keg, a dorky smile filling his face and his hands forming a thumbs up sign. The caption read ‘it’s going off tonight.’ He looked hot without even trying. 1,459 likes already and the comments kept flooding in telling him how hot he was from various girls and ‘bros.’ I hovered over the picture, debating double tapping to add one more to his like count but I decided against it. I didn’t want him to think I was checking out his Instagram.
Harris returned with the cups and I consumed the fruity gin which left a tingle to my taste buds. It was really nice, much nicer than beer. I needed to pace myself otherwise I’ll be drunk before I even got to the party.