Sneakers over heels

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Chapter 7

Thirty-six

Thirty-seven

Thirty-eight

Thirty-nine

Forty!​​​​

I on the floor of the gym. "Fuck, I hate planks," I mutter to myself as sweat pours down the side of my face.

I got a call from Cassy earlier today informing me of practice today. It was Sunday, but I was more than happy to have grabbed my sports bag and rush to school.

Practice was to start at 10 a.m but I was already at the gym by 9 and so I decided to do some workouts.

My muscles ache after an intense workout. Sweat pours down the back of my spine and my t-shirt was drenched.

I get to my feet to change. Thankfully I always carry spare T-shirts.

I pull out my t-shirt when the doors of the gym open.

There's still half an hour until practice starts. Who could it be?

Carrying her bag and tapping on her phone, Nora enters.

She looks up and then pulls out her earphones. Pocketing her phone, she walks up to me.

Taking my drenched self and panting she might have guessed I'd been working out.

"Are you deliberately trying to tire yourself before practice? I was said we have three practice matches today apart from the exercises." She says her brows furrowed.

"I just like to work out when I've got the time. I don't get tired that easily Nora." I say as I take off my T-shirt. I was wearing my sports bra underneath and thought about playing with it than replacing it with another t-shirt.

"Get dressed, will you?" Nora says dryly almost reading my mind.

I chuckle at her uncomfortable self and put on the clean t-shirt and the two of us sit on the bleacher waiting for the rest of the team.

I keep looking at Nora since I've nothing better to do and I bet it got under her skin.

"Stop staring at me." She says with an irritated tone not looking at me.

"Sorry, just felt bored," I say her and now she looks at me like I'm the weirdest person she's ever met.

There's a silence between us once more. I'm never lost for words. I could go on having a conversation with any girl or well, any human being if it has something to do with my sport. And hell, we're in the same team! But somehow the atmosphere was awkward.

"So you've become friendly with the Howell siblings," Nora says earning my attention.

I perk a brow wondering where she had heard that from.

"I saw you sitting together at a table during lunch break." She says answering my confusion.

I stare at her surprised.

"You were in school!?" I ask and then realize how stupid that sounded.

"I go to Westview high?" She says with a confused look.

"Sorry. It's just that I've never really seen you in school. I thought you were some kind of basketball ghost taking a girl's appearance and visible only in the gym." I say breezily like I hadn't just called a human a ghost.

The next thing was the most bizarre... Nora laughed. She actually laughed.

"I just keep to myself and don't attract attention." She says trying to stop her laughter.

I grin at her. I made Nora laugh.

"The newbies seem to be hitting it off so well." Tori's voice cuts through the gym.

We look towards the door and find Tori along with Cassy and Kaera walking towards us.

"She's trying to keep Nora all to herself," Cassy says nudging Tori and I throw my arms around Nora for extra effects.

Nora stares at us left and right wondering just what the hell is going on.

"The poor girl is confused. Let her go, Judy." Kaera, our sub Captain says with a chuckle.

I had always been under the impression that The Hawkettes were filled with uptight, rude and arrogant girls who thought they were the best. It's the total opposite. The girls' in the team were carefree, friendly and most of all supportive.

I really love being on this team.

"Señora will be here any minute. Let's start with running laps on the school track field." Kaera says as she drops her bag next to mine and takes off her hoodie, revealing a blue loose t-shirt.

Tori and Cassy follow, taking off their clothes to replace them with sports attire and then we're all out the door and running towards the tracks.

"How come we're running before the rest arrives?" Nora asks jogging next to Kaera.

"Actually practice starts at 12. The top five are having their practice two hours prior and we thought we'd like you two to join us." Kaera says with a smile.

I felt a sort of pride well inside of me. Being chosen to practice with the top five is like being one of them.

And that's exactly what I'm aiming for.

We jog on the tracks and then speed up our pace. We get back to the gym in half an hour and find Señora going through today's training menu.

Everyone goes to stand around her while I go in search of a basketball. Finding one, I get back and dribble the ball multiple times, ready to start shooting.

"This girl really has no breaks in her system. Look at her, already with a ball in hand." Tori teases and I roll my eyes at her.

Diverting my attention, I look back to the ball in hand. I dribble the ball skillfully with my right hand. Imagining an invisible opponent in front of me, I run with speed towards the basket. I do a spin move, stop and do a crossover before taking position and aiming for the basket.

I shoot and the ball goes through with a clean swish.

"Nice handles Judith." It was Señora. She was having the same prideful look in her eyes every time I played. The others look in awe and approval as well.

Señora claps her hands to get everyone's attention.

"Okay girls, let..." Before she could finish, Nora had stealthily made her way to where I was and stole the ball, dribbling it with a small smile.

"Great no one's waiting for the starting whistle," Cassy says as she looks at Tori with a smirk and then everyone runs towards the court to grab the ball from Nora, who's doing her best to keep it to herself.

Laughing I join in on the fun.

We play around for an hour until the rest of the teammates arrive with the coach on their track. The coach looks my way and I give her an extra grin just to piss her off. It works as she frowns and turns away.

Her name I just heard from Cassy was Harlot.

Practice was tough but it was amazing as well. I've always trained alone, but now having an actual coach and a team to train with felt so good.

Coach Harlot blows her whistle at 4 in the evening. By then everyone was falling apart. Top five included. Some fell back on the bleachers but me being, well, me, dropped to the floor and I rolled around like a caterpillar.

"See you girls tomorrow," Coach says with a loud authoritative voice and walks out the door.

While everyone tried to make plans for the rest of the day, I sit up and take off my shoes with a low grunt.

I've got blisters at the back and sides of my feet.

I run my aching soles and don't notice Señora until she's squatting down beside me looking at my feet with concern.

"Is your feet alright? Those look painful."

"I hate new shoes," I say biting my cheeks when I feel a jolt of pain as I run the blisters.

Kaera grabs the first aid box and hands me a pair of bandaids. I thank her for them and plaster it onto my feet.

I take my shoes by the lace and get to my feet to fetch my bag.

"Don't tell me you're going to go back home barefoot?" Cassy asks in surprise.

I look at her and give a nonchalant shrug. She groans and Tori facepalms.

"Girl, it's summer. You do not walk barefoot on the streets. Let alone the stares you'd receive." Tori says with a sigh trying to add some sense into my brains.

"I've been running barefoot on tracks during middle school. And the stares? I've been getting them since I stood at a basketball court when I was ten. They don't bother me anymore." I say to all eyes that were paying attention to me now.

Señora and Kaera share a worried look with each other.

"See yah. I've got a dad waiting at the gym." I say with a grin and leave the court irrespective of their concerned calls.

Truth be told, the street really was scorching hot but somehow it felt soothing to my aching feet.

Like Tori had suggested, I got stares. Some wondering why I was walking barefoot when I had a pair of shoes with me.

I just ignore them all and continue making my way to the bus stop. I could certainly call Ava to bring me comfortable slippers to put on but then I didn't really want to cause trouble.

I was almost to the bus stop when a car pulls up beside me.

I don't really mind it and continue but then it was like the car was following me.

Turning to throw a glare at who it was that's stalking me I come to face a pair of bright olive-green eyes.

When I realize who it is I ignore the person and look in front of me.

The side window is pulled down and brother gorgeous puts his head out stupidly.

"Are you insane or is it a new trend to walk barefoot on a summer day?" He drawls in a bored tone.

I keep ignoring him.

"The evening sun is burning and I don't think the streets are being compassionate to keep the ground beneath your feet cool." He says as he drives slowly alongside me.

Just get lost!

"Why do you care!?" I demand making a stop to glare at him.

"Actually I don't. But Ava has spoken so much about you, I'm pretty sure she'd throw a bucket if she comes to know you walked home barefoot."

I raise a brow challenging him if he'd dare rat me out to his sister.

He stares back at me and I divert my gaze.

"Just get in. I'll give you a ride."

"No thanks," I say in an instance. He frowns.

"I won't drive you up to your house. Just until mine and you can walk the rest of the way for all I care." He says and I stare at the guy in disbelief.

Wow. He's a complete douche.

I sigh giving up. I'm positive he'd just drive beside me the whole way annoying me out of my wits.

And it's a free ride. Earlier I get home, faster I can help dad out.

And so I get in at the back, slamming the door hard. Brother gorgeous flinches but doesn't say anything.

We don't make conversation. I just stare out at the almost empty road.

"So where were you?"

I didn't really have to answer him and so I remain tight-lipped.

"I always thought Ava and you were glued to each other. I guessed wrong it seems since I found her home today in front of the TV bawling her eyes out at some sappy romance drama." He finishes with an exasperated eye roll.

Romance drama. I thought with bewilderment. Thank heavens I was saved with practice.

He looks at me through the rearview mirror and chuckles at my mortified expression. I scowl at him and he gives me a playful smirk.

I roll down the side window and Travis sucks in a deep breath.

"The AC is running." He said with a matter of fact tone.

"The summer wind is much more refreshing," I say in an equally matter of fact tone.

I just love getting under his skin.

He shakes his head as if in disbelief as he turned the AC off and rolled down his side window as well.

"You really are a peculiar one." He says.

"Aren't we all," I reply with a grin.

"No one screams at the person on the other side of the phone!" Travis exclaims and my mind runs back to the day I pranked him and it makes me want to chuckle.

"Blame it on the person who wrote that "Hello" song," I say blankly.

He slows down as he looks at me through the rearview mirror once more.

"If Adele had known prior to writing the song that it would almost deafen a person she'd surely not have sung it." Brother gorgeous says with a straight face.

"Who's Adele?" I ask really confused now.

Travis looks like he's about to jump out the car and go die somewhere.

"You don't even know the person who sang the song?" He deadpanned

"Not a fan of music," I reply. He just sighs.

"What are you a fan of then? Certainly not glamour and makeup."

I frown when he says that.

"Are you calling me ugly?" I demand and Travis bangs his head on the wheel.

I hear him count under his breath, most definitely to keep himself from turning back and murdering me.

Travis must have realized having a conversation with me was close to impossible and so he remains silent.

"Would you please pick up the speed? My grandma would walk faster than this." I say throwing my arms around inside the car.

That's certainly not true.

I don't know if I have a grandma. Or grandparents. It's always been just dad and me.

Not that this bastard needs to know.

He accelerates and we're soon turning into our street.

I'm not sure if the dude is a gentleman or not, but I couldn't have him driving me up to my house.

Sitting in this car made my butt hurt, I needed a run so badly.

"Pullover. I'm getting off."

Travis doesn't say anything as he drives to a corner and stops.

I get off dragging my bag and shoes along and shut the door behind me.

"Thanks, Brother gorgeous," I say and am about to leave when he says something that makes me stop and grin.

"My name is Travis. Not brother gorgeous."

Damn, I just love annoying the guy.

I don't pay heed to him and start jogging towards home.

I open the front door and drop my bag on the couch as I run to my room to grab some study materials. I put on my sneakers And then lock the door behind me as I make way to dad's gym.

He was coaching someone. As soon as I enter, his eyes are on me. He gives me a nod to acknowledge my presence.

I sit at the receptionist counter and open my book to do some studying.

Let's get this over with.

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