Desperate

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ten

Basketball games.

There are some things in this world that I would like to never be a part of, including: an orgy, a sleepover hosted by fifth graders, and a basketball game. Pep made me nauseous, sports made me feel out of shape, and face paint made me dizzy. In a usual circumstance I would avoid him and anything he was involved in at all costs, but this was an unusual circumstance. Not only would this game get me out of sixth period (my most dreaded class), but Jason had also specifically asked me to come and support the team.

After the big Amanda-and-Shreyas-kickback-disaster, Jason and I got over our bitter feelings for each other and started to be friends. He liked to mock me sometimes but when push came to shove he was a good shoulder to lean (more like cry) on when I was feeling down, which is more and more often now that Amanda and Shreyas couldn't stop canoodling in the halls.

Sure Jason didn't seem like the best person to become BFFs with, but after the kiss, everyone took Amanda's side, even Shauna. So, one day Jason and I got to talking and we haven't stopped yet.

/ /

Much to my mother's pleasure, I went to school that Monday.

Frankly, I was expecting to be the talk of the town. Things traveled fast at this school, and when people got to talking, they got to trashing. Not to be a sore loser, but people should be coddling me, not congratulating Amanda. Amanda was a home wrecker, and I owned the house.

"Scar!" Jason yelled down the hallway.

God, I could not deal with this today. I desperately tried to shrink into my locker. "Not now, Jason. I'm not in the mood."

"In the mood for what? I'm in the mood for breakfast."

"It's three in the afternoon." I looked at him incredulously.

"Come on, there's a Denny's around the corner."

"Don't you have practice?"

"So?" He chuckled and closed my locker for me. "Let's go."

/ /

"I would like an All-American Slam with a side of your number," Jason winked.

I rolled my eyes.

"And for you?"

"Short stack of pancakes, please." The waitress took our menus and shimmied away.

"Why'd you bring me here?" Jason smiled and leaned back in the booth.

"'Cause I was hungry, and you were lonely. It was a win-win for both of us."

"Jason, I'm serious." He laughed.

"What's wrong with being nice sometimes."

"You're never nice."

"To you."

"Exactly!" He smiled and took my hand from across the table.

"Hey," he said softly, as I extracted my hand from his grasp, "I just want you to know you have a friend."

"I don't need friend."

"Everyone needs a friend, especially in times like these."

"Whoa, you just got deep." He sat back again, putting both arms behind his head.

"It was hot, right?" I laughed, and for the first time since Friday, I started to feel better.
/ /

So here I am, sitting on the cold bleachers in the East Gym, as people got high off of school spirit and face paint. The guys sitting next to me all had their face painted the school colors and were screaming so loud the gym vibrated.

On the court, the JV team was warming up. I could see Jason, who was practicing his three-pointers. I contemplated whether or not to call his name. I decided against it and sat back on the bleachers, I was gearing up for a long, boring night.

"Scar!" He knew me too well.

I looked up to see Jason waving at me, I excitedly waved back giving him a thumbs up for support. He was beaming.

As he went back to the drills, my eyes flitted across the court, only to catch on the one and only, Shreyas. Fortunately, he wasn't looking at me. That would have been awkward. My moment was ruined by Amanda prancing in, Shauna attached like a barnacle to her hip. She immediately ran onto the court and landed one on Shreyas. The whole room was aw's and cat calls. I almost threw up.

Jason looked at me. "You okay?" he mouthed.

I nodded, but pointed towards the door. He frowned, an apologetic look on his face.

"Sorry," he mouthed, again. I shrugged, already making my way down the bleachers. It wasn't like I wasn't expecting her to come, I just didn't know it was going to be so hard. And damn was it hard. Just coming to terms with the fact that he was finally over me was hard enough, but seeing it right in front of my face made it hard to forget.

As I reached the court, fate decided to step in once again. Almost faster than I could think, a basketball flew towards me and knocked me right in the face. I toppled over and the whole room went silent. There were black spots in my vision, and my upper lip felt wet. I tried to sit up, but I felt numb, and dizzy, and nauseous. This was bad. I need to leave, now.

"Shreyas, help her! You're the one who threw the fucking ball!" Someone yelled.

Oh lord. I touched my nose only to have my hand come away bloody.

"Jason!" Shreyas yelled from the court, "help the girl."

I felt an arm start to help me up, but I stopped when I heard Shreyas scoff from somewhere behind me.

"She's such a drama queen, I didn't even hit her that hard."

The hurt of the situation was lost in the sharp stabbing pain in my nose and Jason's soft voice in my ear, telling me to come on, let's go.


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