It's been two weeks since I joined the school basketball team and I'm loving every single day.
Practice was getting tougher since a match was coming our way. Not that I minded. I loved the extra training.
I throw my face towel on the handle of the treadmill and tie my shoelaces more firmly before I start getting into the machine.
It was Sunday and I just got back from school after basketball practices. Dad was away and so I was left in charge of the gym.
Doesn't mean I can't work out right?
I thought of polishing up my running speed by trying the treadmill.
The glass door of the gym is pushed open and a familiar head pops in.
A smirk crawls onto my face unbeknownst.
"Oh! If it isn't brother gorgeous." I say with a grin.
He scowls as his eyes land on me.
"My name is Travis." He says with a strong emphasis.
I flick my hand and roll my eyes like it doesn't really matter.
I could very well feel Travis's deep gaze on me.
I look down at myself. Purple fitted T-Shirt and shorts. Nothing extraordinary.
I look him in the face and wait for him to tell me exactly why he's staring for such a long time.
"Can you not try to be a little cuter?" He says with an upturned expression.
"What? Do I look like someone who comes to the gym just to parade around in a bikini for your satisfaction?" I scoff.
He just shrugs.
Is it even possible to gym with bikinis?
This guy is mad and infuriating!
"What are you doing here?" I ask with an authoritative tone. If he's here to mess with my timing then I'm kicking him out.
"My mom told me the gym down the block was the best in the area?" He says it with doubt.
My dad's gym is by far the best I've ever set eyes on.
Not just cause he's my dad. But this place has every facility a top-notch gym could afford.
"Are you here for a one-day workout? Or for a membership?"
"Why do I have to answer to you?" he asks with annoyance
I just couldn't stop myself from smirking.
Oh god. He's just so gullible.
"Well, cause this is my gym?"
He chokes. He literally chokes on his own spit.
The utterly confused stare he gives me was worth it.
"Yours?" He looks me up and down trying to figure out how in god's name I'm the owner of a gym.
"Technically it's my dad's. But he loves me so much that he's given me permission to get my gym buddies to throw out anyone I don't like." To prove my point I jut out my thumb in the direction of some really bulky gym guys who were under my dad's care.
They notice me looking their way and wave which to my advantage makes Travis believe every word I said.
Okay, so I lied. They're actually always watching over me under dad's order to make sure I don't get myself trapped in between machines I can't handle since I always try to work out with bigger ones.
But brother gorgeous doesn't have to really know that right?
He seems to understand the tight spot he's in cause he sighs and hangs his shoulder in defeat.
"Look, I don't want to argue with you. I mean you're the one who started this mess by screaming through the phone. So let's call it a truce? I just need a place to work out." Travis says and extends his hand for a treaty handshake.
I stare at his outstretched hand for a minute and then turn around to my treadmill.
"Yeah, whatever. Do what you want."
I start the treadmill and start with slow walks.
Travis drops his hand and goes over to the counter to pay up for a workout session.
I wasn't being rude. I just can't handle boys.
I notice Travis seating himself on the Leg press, taking off his shirt revealing a body of strong muscles, well cut into the skin.
I'm not disgusted to admit that I was awestruck by his physique.
The majority of the males who come to the gym are guys in their late twenties. Travis was in his earlies and this is the first time I've actually laid eyes on a naked torso of a young guy almost close to my age.
I always thought a strong body was a sign of an athlete. But Travis didn't really look like a sportsman.
Who am I to judge? I barely look like a basketball player.
I turn my eyes on the display board and ignore his existence. I concentrate on myself instead.
I hate distractions.
An hour later I'm done and wipe myself with my towel and sit by the receptionist table as Derek, our receptionist leaves after his shift.
I gulp down mouthfuls of water and then start with my history homework.
Someone taps on the table and I find Travis peering at me with his deep green eyes.
"If you're done, you can leave. No need to say goodbye." I say shooing him away but he keeps standing in front of me and I start getting annoyed.
"Studies after workout. Are you sure your body and brain can handle everything?" He asks.
Wow. A true med student.
"What are you doing back home? Don't you have classes to attend in college?" I ask. I didn't mean to anger him but his face darkens taking me by surprise.
"None of your damn business Drakeyer." He snaps as he walked out the door leaving behind a baffled me.
What just happened? Did I ask him his bank Pincode? What got his undies in a twist?
Sighing I get back to my homework. But in fifteen minutes, Ava walks through the door with a forced smile on her face.
"So what did you say Travis that had him bolt back home and start throwing things around?"
I frown, annoyance seeping out of me.
"Why are you blaming me?" I demand coming from behind the counter so I can stand next to her.
"I know well how you can get under a guy's skin." Was her only reply.
I narrow my eyes at her. I don't like when people talk that way to me. I asked her brother a simple question. How is it my fault that he's enraged?
"I only asked him what he's doing back home and not in college," I say, biting the sides of my cheeks to keep myself from yelling.
Ava's eyes widen and then she nods, mostly to herself, affirming something.
"He's been on... Edge. Ever since he came back from college. Something is keeping him from going back and we'll, it's a touchy subject. We all keep away from asking him about college."
I throw my hands up in frustration letting out an irritated groan.
"And how do you expect me to know that?" I press and to this Ava looks ate apologetically.
Yeah. That's what I thought.
Ava usually doesn't piss me off. She knows my feelings well and doesn't question me.
I guess her brother is really wearing everyone out.
I wonder what happened to him?
"You alright?" I ask placing a comforting hand on Ava's shoulder. She gives me a smile. It doesn't reach her eyes but it's not forced either.
"I'll see you at school tomorrow Judy." And with that Ava leaves the gym.
Next time I see that brother gorgeous, I'm picking a fight with the dude for making my best friend upset.
My phone rings interrupting me from my thoughts. I search for the little thing behind the counter but it's missing. The phone continues to ring and look all over the place trying to locate the annoying piece of a nuisance.
"Over here, Judy." One of the guys, Barry, points at my phone which I'd left close to the treadmill.
I cup my hands ready for a catch. He looks at me weirdly but then shakes his head with a chuckle as he tossed me my phone.
I answer even without looking at the caller ID.
"Who is this?" I demand. Instead of giving a reply, the other party chuckles softly.
"Just like you to answer without checking the caller ID. It's me, Señora."
"Whatsup?" I ask coolly as I take a seat behind the reception table.
"Can you get to school earlier tomorrow?" She asks.
"I need to discuss a few things regarding the upcoming game. All team members presence is required." She said and I nod. I then realize she can't really see me and I agree to be at school by 7.
I'll have to cut down my morning running.
I hang up and pack up my things. Dad would be back at any moment. I can get my homework done when I'm home and then do some studying before getting to bed.
The most awaited game of the season was starting tomorrow. It wasn't some kind of rivalry game between schools.
The start of the Summer League commences from tomorrow with the champions of last year, the Hawkettes having the first match against Mectro High School. The runner ups.
Everyone on the team was on edge. This year there was high competition, and the coach only accepted victory.
The Summer League is an athletic event where the basketball teams of all high schools in Minnesota compete in. The final match invites the WNBA members to watch the match and draft potential players.
My lifelong dream. To play for the WNBA. The Minnesota Lynx.
Which was why I never spared a moment without practice.
I had to be in my best. I know I'll be put to play.
I have to prove to all I'm more than what the eyes see.
This is my chance to earn a place in the WNBA.
My seniors, calm and collected, were all aiming for the same dream. Señora most of all.
It was their senior year. Failure was not an option.
I can't let anything distract me. Distractions would be the end of me.
I just got back from afternoon practices from school. I left my bag back home and came over to the street court for more practice.
Thank god it was empty. I had the court all to myself. This place had been a spot I'd always escaped to when I was stressed or needed to prove to myself I was better than I thought. The once tall basket which seemed unreachable was a solace to my now. I conquered it.
I dribble the ball back and forth and in between my legs.
I wasn't aware of the audience until a clap disturbed my focus.
Brother gorgeous stood on the other side of the court net.
My mind wanders back to the events that happened a couple of days ago at the gym. A scowl appears on my face.
"You're really good at that." He said but was I going to thank him?
Of course not!
I ignore him and get back to my dribbling. Standing under the basket I try to do a layup but the ball doesn't even reach the basket.
I try to do once more but a hideous laugh annoys me.
"What do you want!?" I snap. He shrugs with a grin. Like all this was of some joke to him.
"You should really try jumping a little higher maybe?"
It wasn't the fact that he didn't know even if I jumped I wouldn't reach, but the fact that he hadn't arrogantly asked me to do something I'm capable of my height like all others would mock that caught me off guard.
I raise a brow and he raises his.
"Come on in and help me with practice," I say.
When did the court belong to me?
He comes inside at my invitation and smirks.
"Help with what? Carry you so you can shoot?"
He says with a laugh and I scowl at him. I ought to throw the ball in his face.
Since when did brother gorgeous learn to joke?
"Defend," I say clenching my teeth. " Try to get the ball from me and I'll try to get past and shoot."
He stares at me unsure. Like he was so confident he could easily get the ball off my hands.
Before he could come to where I'm standing, my phone rings.
"Hello? Yeah, I'm at the court. What? But whyyyyy? Damn Derek, that lazy receptionist. Alright fine. I'll be there." I pocket my phone and scream in frustration.
Oh right. I forgot about a certain someone.
"Just go back to doing nothing. I've got to get back to the gym." I say grabbing my ball.
But I wasn't satisfied. I needed to practice more. Play more. Shoot more.
And so I come out the three-point line and shoot.
The familiar swish satisfying me.
I grab my ball and turn to leave, to find a surprised brother gorgeous.
"You can... Shoot." He says with slight disbelief in his tone.
His disbelief was like a slap on the face.
"Did you think I was the water bottle carrier of the basketball team!?" I demand planting my hands on my hips and glaring at him.
To Travis, I'm pretty sure I looked like a child demanding candy.
He doesn't laugh. Not smirk. But looks utterly confused.
"What? Team? What are you babbling on about?" He asks giving me a weird look.
I drop my hands to my sides and stare at him, trying to figure out if he's really confused or just playing dumb.
"You don't know I'm in the basketball team?" I ask weighing my question carefully.
He doesn't laugh. He actually looked impressed.
"You're in the school basketball team?" He asks in awe and I can only nod.
"Since you told me Ava talks so much about me, I kind of guessed she'd told you about me being in the team."
He shook his head to prove me wrong.
"That's impressive. Being on the team I mean. Aren't the best girls' basketball team in Westview? What was their name again?" He squints his eye in deep thought and I wanted to laugh at his funny face.
"The Hawkettes," I say and he doesn't miss the pride in my tone.
I wait for him to mock me. Ridicule. Do something that would make me snap at him as every other guy does.
But Travis remains quiet with the same impressed expression plastered on his face.
"You really are a peculiar one," I say. I didn't mean to say it out loud but I did. He raises a brow.
"You're calling me peculiar? " He says. I can sense the laughter in his tone.
"You're unlike the others. The other guys, Who laugh at me when I say I play basketball." I didn't mind admitting it. I knew for a fact he wasn't going to judge me.
What I said seemed to have irritated the guy.
He frowns, his expression darkening.
"Why would I ever mock someone with talent? It's not my place to judge someone on what they can or cannot accomplish." Travis says firmly.
And my heart skipped a beat.
I haven't really met a guy yet who acknowledged my talent. This was a first and it was throwing me off.
I could feel the blush creeping up to my face. And what's even weirder is the guy's ears turn red.
I quickly get my ball and dash outside the outdoor court and run back home, my face flushing red with embarrassment.
No distractions Judith.