Trouble in Paradise?

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Chapter Seventeen

I was walking past the school oval, a huge oval of grass that was used for P.E. Girls sat in huge groups in circles, probably summoning Satan. Only kidding, of course. No one does that in their spare time...

Anyway, boys use it to play soccer and other sports, making it easy to get hit in the head and face the humiliation. That's happened to everyone, let's be honest.

Anyway, I noticed that the four boys were there. Blake and Ethan were up against Xavier and Jordan in an intense soccer match that had the girls around them swooning.

I didn't know who was winning, but it looked pretty fair. All four of them were obviously athletically skilled, maneuvering the ball around the small field that they had created with two soccer nets. A couple people watched as the match went on, but most just went on with their normal lives.

I had nothing else to do so I decided to go over and watch the game. I had always liked soccer, I used to play it for hours everyday after school when I was younger. I had little mini soccer nets in our backyard, which I would use to practice. I played in a little team, but due to circumstances I obviously had to quit.

But now, watching the game, I ached to join in and get my legs moving. I missed playing a sport. I wasn't as good as these guys but I vowed to myself that I would take up soccer again, or I would at least get back into the sport. Maybe I could find my old soccer ball and use it in the backyard at home for a bit after school. That sounds like a good idea.

I had been so distracted with my plans that I hadn't been focused on the game. Xavier had just scored a goal, making the small crowd let out a couple of cheers. I didn't want to admit it, but he looked pretty damn good.

Then, Jordan noticed me sitting down and watching the game. He grinned and beckoned me over there. The crowd watched me curiosity as I raised an eyebrow but got up anyway, watching right into the middle of their game. Xavier and Ethan looked unimpressed that the game had been interrupted but didn't say anything about it.

"Yes, Lord Jordan?" I mocked him.

He rolled his eyes. "You looked like you were yearning to join in, so wanna have a go?" he asked.

I shrugged. "Okay, but I'm not very good," I said.

"It's alright, we'll do one-on-one first," he said. Ethan and Xavier stepped off the field, walking away without another word. If they wanna be like that, then fine. I was way too excited anyway, excited about actually getting to play. The memories of playing when I was younger were coming back now. The mud on the field, the grass stains on my soccer jersey and shorts. The small cheer from the crowd of parents that watched their kids play as we scored goals.

Blake stood off to the side, a smirk on his face. He thinks I'll lose. Lets prove him wrong.

Jordan grinned, challengingly. "You can start with the ball." He kicked it to me, my foot swiftly stopping it. The corners of my mouth quirked up.

Then, my instincts kicked into gear. I started dribbling the ball across the field, doing zig zags and not losing control of the ball. Jordan was looming up in front of me, so it was his turn to attack and my turn to dodge.

He came after the ball, but I did my best to keep it out of his reach. I was a little rusty, I'll admit that.

Eventually, he got distracted for one second and I maneuvered the ball around him, running faster with the ball just a little in front of me. I kept lightly kicking it, heading straight for the goals. Jordan was coming up behind me fast, but I had already kicked it by the time he caught up.

The ball whirled in the air just above the ground, heading straight for the soccer nets. I hadn't paid attention to the crowd until now, and more people had come to watch the game. Jordan looked at the goal nets with a look of surprise and defeat on his face. He then scoffed.

"I was going easy," he declared, still staring at the soccer nets.

He probably was, so I give it to him. "Okay, I'll let you guys play now," I said, wiping the sweat that had decided to make an appearance on my forehead.

"Wait," Jordan said, coming after me. Blake had already challenged some other guy that was into athletics, so people directed their attention towards them.

"Do you play soccer?" Jordan asked.

"Used to, when I was younger," I replied.

He shook his head in disbelief. "You got some skills, why don't you play for the school? We play every team in the state."

I shrugged. "I guessed that tryouts were over."

He shook his head. "The girls tryouts are next week. You should have a go, I reckon you'd be great."

My heart warmed up at his compliment. "Really?"

He smiled, something that somehow made him look even better. "Really."

As if his smile was infectious, I smiled too. "I might just do that."

He winked and then walked back to the field, where Blake was smashing the other guy. I bit my lip and smiled, gathering my bag and walking back to the school building.

When I got home, I put my stuff away and changed into a shirt and some denim shorts. I then opened the garage and went hunting for my old soccer ball. Until now I had never realised that our garage was so huge and so full of junk.

This will take forever.

After half an hour of searching through countless boxes, I finally found it. Unfortunately, it was as flat as the pancakes that I ate this morning.

So, that resulted in another hour of searching for the stupid pump to pump the air into the ball. I finally did find it, among the mountains of junk that had piled up here over the years. I didn't realise how many things I still had from my childhood in here. DVD's, toys, basically anything and everything. I could make so much money if I sold some of this stuff. However, I am too lazy to do that.

I quickly pumped up the soccer ball, happy that there wasn't any holes in it. That would be extremely irritating and annoying at this point.

Once it was fully pumped up, I sighed and closed the garage. I couldn't be bothered trying to find the probably chewed up and ripped mini soccer nets, so I just settled for kicking it around the backyard.

I went outside and started doing mini drills with the ball that I remembered doing when I was younger, dribbling in a zigzag formation, doing some tricks that I had recalled.

I had left the backdoor to the backyard open, so I nearly groaned in frustration when I heard knocking at the front door. Who the hell could that be?

When I walked inside and opened the door, Xavier was the last person that I expected to be standing at my doorstep, alone.

I was at a loss for words. Why would he be here?

"Please don't tell me that you're here to kidnap and kill me, and then stuff me into my own closet for my family members to find." I had blurted out the first thing that had come to mind. Classic me, trying to get out of awkward situations by making equally awkward and probably inappropriate jokes.

"I'm here to kidnap and kill you and then stuff you in your closet for your family members to find," he deadpanned.

"Well I was spot on then, wasn't I?"

He didn't answer, and it became awkward again. I cleared my throat. "So why are you here then?"

He blinked and looked down, but then deciding better and looking back up at me with emotions that I couldn't identify. "Look, I just came to say that I was sorry."

I tilted my head in confusion. "Sorry for what?"

"For hurting you."

Oh. That.

"Oh," I was caught off guard. "You didn't have to apologise, it's in the past."

He shook his head. "No, I did. Anyway, I'm sorry."

I nodded and then he begun to walk off. I had nothing else to say, so I simply shut the door. I heard his car start up and then retreat out of the driveway and onto the street.

While my mind was still trying to make sense of what just happened, I found myself walking back out into the backyard and retrieving the ball. I put my foot on it, breathing in the fresh air for a moment while the questions ran through my head.

He said sorry?

Was he even capable of feeling guilty? I didn't even know that he was actually capable of being able to say the words: I'm sorry.

I started unconsciously dribbling the ball around the yard, kicking it at the fence and the wall. I pushed the thoughts and questions out of my head and worked on regaining my soccer skills.

I was going to need those skills if I was going to go to tryouts next week.

Hopefully, I can make the team.

I admit, I did miss playing. The soccer ball felt so normal under my foot, it felt so good and empowering when I kicked it hard at the fence, the ball going in the exact direction that I wanted it to go. Was I good enough for the team?

Jordan had said that I had some skills, was that enough though? Besides from getting good grades, I actually had a goal now.

A soccer goal. Ha ha ha.

Anyway, my goal was to make the team and play. I don't even care if we would win or lose, I just want to play again and to have some fun while I'm in my last year of high school.

I was going to do this.

I was going to make the team.

This sounds really overdramatic, but I don't care. Now I just have to train, maybe the boys could even help me.

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