“Oh,” I say, my eyebrows shooting up as I say that. “I never knew they still keep up with the physical education in universities.”
“Well, only a few do,” Brad answers for me as he was the only one with the same class for now, “Unfortunately, our university falls in the few and P.E. is mandatory. They don’t take it that seriously, but the coach here is very tight and he’s a grumpy man. One mistake and you’re in the principle’s office. Last time the whole class- except Alex and a few boys- ended up in the office.” He shudders at the thought.
I’m guessing he isn’t very pleasant then. No matter what though, hearing Alex’s name always makes me scowl. I just really hate the guy, you know? Why? I’ve no flipping idea.
Brad doesn’t see the look on my face and continues though, “Oh, yes. Last time was bad, so bad. He made us do a hundred suicides. A hundred. The idiot knew it was impossible and I know I dropped out but still,” he insists, “what kind of a screwed up man is he? Almost all of us gave up and then? Then what, huh? He sent us to the office. It’s always the office he threatens us with. The nerve of the guy-”
“I think that’s enough for the day, Brad,” I interject.
“Right,” he scratches the back of his neck, “I do that. A lot. You’re going to have to bear with me.”
“I think it’s the opposite way round. I think it’s you who’s supposed to be bearing me.”
He waves it off with a flick of his wrist. “We’re both mental,” he clarifies.
“Damn right ’bout that,” I smirk.
Just about then, Alex came running towards us- Brad, to be more exact- along with a scary-looking teacher trailing right behind.
“Everyone! Line up!” he commanded, his finger pointing towards a spot on the grass.
“He’s just as scary as he looks,” I mutter under my breath.
“Yup,” Brad agrees, nodding, “But you wouldn’t want to get on his bad side.”
“Wassup, man,” Alex greeted as he approached us. They did the handshake thing and he ignored me for the rest. That won’t be a problem mister, since I plan on ignoring you for the rest of the day as well.
“No chatting! Line! Now!” the coach yells, his eyes fixated on us. I froze for a second as his stare was very sharp that I was petrified. Great.
Once we were back on the line, he shouted out at us once again, “Suicides! Ten of them! Who comes last, they have to do to more! Go!” before pointing at the bleachers, “If you think you can’t do it, sit on the bleachers and I’ll deal with you later.”
I rolled my eyes. If he was trying to break me, it wasn’t going to work. I was on the football team, remember?
Nearly everyone sat down on the bleachers, making it fill up way faster than I imagined. There were only four people left- me, Alex, and two other guys I didn’t know. Yup, Brad ran away faster than I could say ‘hey’.
Some awesome people, aren’t they? To my side, the two guys I didn’t know were snickering and laughing at the sight of me still holding onto the ground. Alex rolled his eyes and whispered into my ear, “This isn’t some child’s play. Coach said it’d be two more for us if we come last and you can’t back out, are you sure you’re in for it?”
I’d never been so determined to prove someone wrong- well, not exactly, but still... This guy was infuriating me.
“Yes,” I answered back to him coldly.
“You asked for it,” he shrugged and got into position.
“I’m timing you! On the count of three!” Coach announced, “One... Two... Three!”
We were off onto the track already. Lucky for me, I was on the track team before football so I was used to thee kind of things. This was like a daily routine and warm up. So basically, this was practically nothing to me.
Alex and I were neck-to-neck which caused him to be furious. He urged himself to go faster and I went along with him too. Finally, I decided I should just cut out some slack and actually make a run for it- so, I did. I ran. And boy, did it leave Alex shocked.
Alex was frowning at me, his stare burning holes down my back but I kept going. He almost caught up with me but then went back to being three feet behind me. The two other boys I still didn’t know were far behind us.
Alex was enraged- actually, that would be an understatement. You could literally see the steam coming out of his ears and nose by then.
He tried to go faster but it didn’t work out. He was fast. But I was faster.
Before I knew it, ten suicides were done and I collapsed on the grass. Alex followed suit and the other two coming after another minute or two.
Even the coach was surprised. His eyebrows were shot up and he had an impressed look on his face as he looked down at the timer.
“What’s your name, kid?” he asked.
“Samantha, but Sam for short,” I informed.
“Kid, you do know that you literally set the record for being the fastest person in this university for the year, right?” he asked me with wide eyes. My jaw dropped open. Fastest?! Seriously? How?
What is going on?
“What?” I asked dumbly.
“That’s right, kid. Meet me after practice, I want to talk to you.”
I nodded slowly and took my place on the bleachers beside Brad. Ryan was following me by that time.
“How can anyone run that fast?” Brad asked, pointing at the track, referring to what happened a few minutes back.
“How can you even run?” Alex questioned. “No one has ever beaten me until now. No one.”
“Glad I was the first then,” I shrugged my shoulders nonchalantly. I was feeling pretty smug because I did after all kick his sorry little ass.
Take that, Alex.
“It wasn’t a compliment,” he shook his head, “It was supposed to be a warning.”
“It sure didn’t sound like one,” I muttered under my breath. Apparently Alex heard me, so he leaned over and strained to listen.
“What?” he asked.
“Nothing,” I mumbled.
He rolled his eyes and sighed. “Look, I just want to know how you run like that,” he told me before guessing, “Track?”
I decided to just go with that and nodded.
“Ah,” he dragged the word out nodding his head in comprehension. “It’s just that I was so surprised to know that someone was faster than me. And a girl that too. I should feel so ashamed right now-”
I don’t know what happened then, but something inside me just snapped at that comment and anger came to me at full force. “Look, I get that you’re not used to being beaten at a race or something but if you ever say that girls aren’t better than boys at anything. I swear to god, I will chop your balls off and feed them to the dogs. Am I understood?” I glared menacingly.
He raised his hands up, “Jeez woman.”
I huffed and tried to cool down in the meantime when coach’s voice sounded again.
“Right, just like I said, loser goes for two more!” he announced, “So, Mason, you’re going again.”
The guy- Mason- let out an embarrassed groan and got ready for it. His face was red, just like the others including me, and he was panting heavily.
Suddenly feeling bad for him, I stood up from my spot.
“What are you doing?” the both of the boys asked.
“Going to help him,” I answered for them before jogging back to the field. This was what I’d do for my other friends as well. Especially during practice.
If any one of them run, I go run with them as well. I never want anyone doing it alone.
Once I was right next to Mason, he just gave me a weird look. “What are you doing here?”
“Helping you. I’m going with you,” I told him, answering his question.
“But why would you even do that? Didn’t you, like, come first?”
“Yup. But I just want to help you,” I said.
“Alright then,” he just raised his eyebrows and shook his head at me seeing that I wasn’t going down.
“Hey, kid! What are you doing?!” Coach yelled from behind.
“I running with him!” I declared and Coach just furrowed his eyebrows at me and then blew the whistle.
I ran with him, not going too fast. It was a comfortable silence, except for the fact that it wasn’t really silent as we both were breathing heavily, trying to get as much as air we could into our lungs whilst running.
“I don’t... even know why... you’re doing this, to be honest,” Mason broke the silence, his deep breaths stopping him throughout the sentence. “Why?”
“I told... you, it’s cause I want to help you... I don’t want you to do this all alone,” I answered with gaps in between to take in deep breaths. He sighed and dropped it.
Minutes later, we were done and I just sat on the grass, sweating like crazy.
“Alright, everyone! Class over!” he said, before adding, “All those who sat on the bleachers instead of running, I want you in the office, but Sam, I want to talk to you.” he called me over.
Everyone groaned when they realized he wasn’t going to let them off the hook for sitting the whole class.
I walked over to him. “Yes, Coach?” I asked.
“Do you play any other sports?” he interrogated.
“Track, sir,” I replied.
“Anything else?” he pressed on.
“No, sir,” I answered hastily, faster than I was supposed to.
His right brow rose up and he studied me dubiously before nodding and letting me go.
“Bye,” I bid before walking out.
“What did he ask you about?” Brad caught up with me.
I waved it off. “Nothing much, just if I played any sports,” I told him. He had a flat look on his face and he gave me the are-you-serious-right-now expression.
I shrugged innocently. “What did I do now?”
“You lucky person. He thinks you’ve got the talent,” he grumbled.
“Talent for what exactly?”
“Something...” he trailed off and then paused to maybe remember something. He ended up shaking his head at the end and throwing his hands up in frustration, “How do I know?!”
I just shrugged and sighed. We met up with Cecilia after that who had Chemistry instead. She’s got only a few different classes- including P.E.
“Hello, people,” she mock saluted and I laughed at her attempt at a terrible accent. “So... how did it go?”
“Okay, I guess,” I mumbled.
Brad, on the other hand, was rather loud. “You know this girl over here,” he pointed at me, poking my chest for emphasis, “This girl’s a superhuman! I swear! Did you see her run?! She’s practically ‘The Flash’!” he yelled around in excitement. I raised my eyebrows at ‘The Flash’ comment and she just shrugged, telling me that she had no idea what was up with him.
“Long story short, she beat Alex in running. I mean, we’re not talking about just anybody, we’re talking about Alex-”
“I think we go that, Brad,” I narrowed my eyes at him but he shot me a dirty look that had me sighing and giving up on shutting up. You know what? I give up with this kid.
“The fastest kid in this whole university!” he continued on, “He’s frickin’ amazing at running and she just casually took over-”
“That’s it, Brad. Shut up or I’ll feed you to the lions,” I told him, shaking my head. Now thinking about it... Lions? Seriously? Out of all of the things I could get? Oh god, I need to get to a mental hospital. Fast.
“No, you won’t,” he crossed his arms over his chest stubbornly and looked away from me for emphasis. Now you see why I love this guy? He reminds of the boys at home and he literally just saved me from a very embarrassing conversation on how I chose lions out of all things, but fortunate for me- he’s abnormal. So I’m safe.
“Oh, but I will,” I played along, amusement evident in my eyes.
“Nah-uh,” he insisted.
“Okay, why don’t you do the world a favor and both shut up?” Cecilia interrupted our childish argument. She sighed heavily as if just trying to tell us to do something was a great and tiring thing to do.
I clicked my tongue in annoyance. “But he started it! He just wouldn’t shut up! Why doesn’t he get it?! I don’t want to know how good Alex is! I just want to know that I’m better. The end. Nothing else! But he,” I pointed at Brad who was pouting while I was complaining to Cecilia, “He just goes on and on-”
“I do not! If anything, you make me go on and on! Maybe if you’d let me talk-”
“Didn’t I tell you both to shut up and let me handle this?” Cecilia cut in, holding her head in her hands and shaking it as if disappointed. We both nodded sheepishly in response.
“Yeah, well, this is for you,” she looked at Brad and hit him upside down his head, leaving him groan in pain, “And I’ll deal with you later,” she turned to me and walked away.
I childishly stuck my tongue out at Brad who was frowning at me and waved at him before running off to catch up with Cecilia.
“He’s such a pain, isn’t he?” Cecilia smiled, obviously talking about Brad.
“Brad? Yeah, but honestly speaking, I wouldn’t have him any other way.”
She nodded, agreeing with me. “Sometimes you need a crazy person to just fill in the group,” she sighed, “I know this may be hard for you, but he’s really upset that you and Alex don’t get along. Do you mind just maybe not hating each other? Or just behaving like normal people when you are together? It would make the both of us so happy.”
“Yeah, yeah,” I waved her off, “But don’t expect too much. And also, don’t expect me not to hate him. That won’t be happening for a while. But a person can dream, right?” I teased.
She shook her head (she seemed to be doing that a lot) and smiled like an idiot. “That’d be perfect.”
“All right then!” I clapped my hands together, excited to get off the ‘Alex’ topic again. “Wait a second, how come you don’t have P.E?” I asked, surprised at how come she didn’t have it.
“Oh, I have that stupid coach, all right? Just not at the same time as you do,” she informed.
“Seriously? Why did they separate two friends?” I feigned hurt and clutched my hurt tight. She played along with me as well.
“I know right?” she faked some tears and a sniff, “Why, oh why did they do so? I think I’m going to die!” she dramatically put the back of her hand on her forehead and threw her head back. Soon, we both were laughing so hard that actual tears came right out of our eyes.
“Sometimes I wonder why we don’t join the drama club,” she wiped a stray tear from her eye.
“How many clubs and classes are even in here?!” I asked, my voice going slightly louder than intended.
“Oh, no. There aren’t even that many,” she contradicted. “Just a few sports such as football and volleyball. There’s even cheerleading- which I am in, by the way. Oh! And drama and choir,” she said and then paused a while to think of anything else. When she didn’t remember anything, she just nodded her head slowly, making her point, “Yup, that’s it for now.”
“You’re a cheerleader?” I questioned in disbelief, “That’s new.”
She winked at me. “What about football? Why don’t you go?”
“Just circumstances,” I told her, shrugging nonchalantly, “I just... can’t.”
“Alright then,” she raised her hands up, giving up.
“What do you want to do now?”
“While we were talking, I think you forgot that we have lunch right now,” she shook her head at me... again.
“Right,” I nodded. “I totally knew that.”
“Sure,” she dragged the word and rolled her eyes. “I think we should get going now,” she said.
“Yeah, we should. The wonderful name of pizza is calling me! I can hear it from a mile away!“I cried out.
“Then we shall make a move, Your Majesty!” Cecilia went with the flow. I laughed with her until I just suddenly stopped.
“Alex is going to be there,” I pouted, whining like a little kid.
"Sam,” she reprimanded.
“All right, all right!” I defended, “I’ll be good.”
“Wouldn’t have it any other way.”
I rolled my eyes at her comment and walked with her into the cafeteria.
The wonderful name of pizza may be calling me, but Alex’s name certainly did want me to turn into the opposite direction.