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Chapter 17

When I woke up I looked at my bookshelf, satisfied. I had stayed up well past twelve last night. When I had finished I put it up beside A Court of Thorns and Roses. I couldn’t wait until the next book came out.

I got up, and checked the time. Around six. I hurried over to my closet and pulled out a sports bra, and a pair of shorts. I changed quickly, and then headed out for my run, after I went to the bathroom.

I went on the trail I had gone on yesterday, but today I went on a shorter run. When I got back I saw Storm and Camden waiting outside dressed in soccer shorts, jerseys, shin pads, socks, and cleats.

“Where are you guys going?” I asked.

They looked towards me, surprised, and Camden responded with, “We’re going out to play some soccer with come of our other friends, and Iris is taking a long time to get ready, as usual. Want to come?”

I nodded, “Yeah. Just let me get my stuff on.”

I rushed into my room quickly, not letting Camden see the scars on my back. When I got into my room I went over to the closet, where all my clothes were, and got my shin pads, socks, and cleats. I also picked up an old jersey, and slipped that on, tucking it into the soccer shorts that I was already wearing.

I quickly put on my equipment, satisfied that my scars were mostly covered up. Then, I headed out to see that Iris still wasn’t out. It had taken me, maybe, five minute, and she still wasn’t out?

“Does Iris usually take this long to get ready for a sport, of any kind?” I asked. THey nodded solemnly. “Does she put on makeup before she goes to play? If she does, she does realize how pointless it is, right?”

“Yeah, she just takes a longer time,” Camden started, “Because she is the leader, so she has to be perfect all the time. Or at least that’s what she thinks.”

I nodded in understanding. Now we just waited for Iris.

A few minutes later, she finally made an appearance. She had all of the equipment on with pink cleats, and a pink jersey. She looked surprised to see me, but didn’t question anything.

Camden and Storm started walking towards the stairs, and I followed, Iris right behind me.

“Do you actually like to play soccer or do you just want to hang out with your friends?” I asked Iris.

I glanced back at her to indicate that I was talking to her. She replied with, “I do enjoy sports, but this is mostly to just spend time with my friends.”

I nodded. I really enjoyed sports, and I’m happy that she was honest about why she was going with them. Not everybody likes sports, so that’s why I asked. And she didn’t seem particularly inclined to be up this early.

Iris, Camden, and Storm started down the stairs, and I followed closely behind. When I watched them I was reminded of what close friends are truly like. In my old world, the one I came from, I only saw a few friendships like this, and even then, they were rare. I, also, have never actually experienced a bond like that.

Camden was constantly cracking jokes that would make Iris laugh, and Storm smile. They would push each other around. They had an unbreakable bond. And, for once in my life, I wish that I was a part of that.

When we finally arrived at the soccer field there were guys passing around a soccer ball, and some girls sitting on the sidelines talking and laughing. When we approached, Storm, Camden and Iris in front of me, they were greeted warmly with bro hugs, and actual hugs. Then they saw me.

They all went quiet, and one of the guys close to Camden asked, “What is she doing here?”

“She’s here to play,” Camden replied. They all got a skeptical look on their face.

“I can leave if you don’t want me here,” I spoke up, “I don’t want to ruin your game.”

I turned around to leave, but I was stopped by Camden, “No. You can play with us.”

I turned back around, “Look, I may have seemed scary a few days ago, but when it comes to sports I’m not going to murder you for touching me. It’s a sport. Especially with soccer, contact happens, and I understand that. I just wanted to play some soccer. That’s all I’m here for. A good soccer game.”

After I explained, everyone glanced at each other, and it seemed like they had come to a conclusion. One of the guys stepped away from the group and towards me, “Okay. You can stay, and play. But if you get out of line, I’m not afraid to get you out of this game. Understood?”

I nodded.

Everyone started towards the field with me right behind them. We started the game with 10 girls playing and 21 guys. I was on a team with Camden, and Iris and Storm were on the same team. Each team had 4 or 5 subs (people to sub in if someone got tire, injured or just wanted to stop playing). I really couldn’t wait to see Storm play. We were both soccer players, who loved soccer, and who were both good soccer players.

The game started, and I was playing right defense. This position was my strongest, but I could play any position. The other team had the ball first, so they passed it back to the mid field. Storm was playing left striker, so I guessed that he was a lefty. The midfield passed up to Storm, who had ran up the line towards me. He was passed the midfielders, so it was up to me to stop him.

When he turned, the ball just going passed him, thinking he would be able to pass me easily, I was there waiting. I took the ball, and passed it up to the right striker. She turned, and took a shot at the night. At that moment I realized it was Kalama, from gym class. I really liked her. She seemed like a good friend to have.

Kalama shot for the right top corner, but their keeper got to it just in time. Damn. He went to the right corner, from my point of view, of the eighteen yard box, and drop kicked it. The ball went right to me, and I controlled it, getting it to the ground, with my body. Storm was charging me, so I kicked the ball with the outside of my right foot, and kicked it up yo the guy who was free in front of me.

I looked back at Storm, and he had an annoyed expression on his face. He wasn’t expecting me to be so good, was he? I laughed, which took us both by surprise. I just schooled my face into calm, and got my head back in the game.

In my head I smirked. Now, let’s play.

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