Colliding Hearts

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Chapter 2 | The Life Of Noah Jackson


“Blue 42...Blue 42...hut hut...hike!”

Catching the ball thrown to me by our center after the snap takes place, the field erupts into chaos. Coach shouts orders at us from the sidelines, and football players cover every inch of the field. The offensive players aiming to get the ball to the end zone prepare, taking their positions on the field, waiting for my next move. While the defense trying to stop us, keep their eyes on every single offensive player to figure out what our next step is.

Even football practices are as chaotic as the games when you’re running a play. Although it’s a lot easier since you can anticipate the movement of your teammates, whereas it’s harder to establish what the other team will do in the game. It’s an adrenaline rush, that’s for sure. Acting on instinct and spur of the moment is a comment thing in football games if something unexpected from the other team happens. The only thing that is not a spur of the moment is our plays, which take weeks to craft.

Sprinting down the field, weaving in and out of the defensive line. My football boots stomp against the green turf that covers the ground beneath them. My breathing is harsh against my ears, drowning out the noise of coach, and my grip tightens on the ball. My fingers digging into the rough material. My eyes scan the field from one player to the next, over their red and white jerseys with their respective numbers on the back, strategizing on how this will go down.

Bringing my arm back and throwing the ball in a perfect spiral to the wide receiver before I can pass the line of scrimmage, which prevents me from throwing the ball forward after that. He catches it perfectly. The attention of the defensive team is taken off me and onto our wide receiver instead who is bounding down the field dodging the defensive line left, right, and center. Quickly avoiding one of the players by only an inch, he makes it into the end zone and throws the ball down in triumph before starting to dance.

Classic Dylan.

“He’s really got to work on his touchdown dance. He’s had the same one since freshman year,” One of the guys on the team mutters watching Dylan dance like no one is watching when in reality everyone is watching, making me chuckle.

“Defensive team, you’ve got to work harder than can’t even stop your teammates! How are you supposed to stop the other team? Roberts, don’t look so smug about the fact you were on offense, you guys could use some work too!” Coach shouts at us as we make our way off the field and to the sidelines. Taking my helmet off, my hand runs through the damp brown strands. I hate wearing these things, it gets too warm in them.

“Damn what crawled up his ass and died?” Dylan mutters taking off his helmet as he walks next to me. “You know what? Maybe he needs to get laid. I heard that’s why older people are always so cranky, cause they’re too old and wrinkly to have sex, so of course they’re not happy. I wouldn’t be either if I wasn’t getting any.”

“I heard that Foster! Ten laps around the field.”

“But cooaaachhh.”

“NOW!” Coach shouts, making Dylan jump before running off around the field as the rest of the team laughs. Dylan turns around running backwards to flip me off as I wave at him before sitting down on the bench taking a swig of my drink. “Wanna join him, Jackson?”

“Sorry Coach,” I apologize, turning my laugh into a cough. Coach rolls his eyes before turning back to what he was doing. Looking over at Dylan, seeing him panting as he runs around the field, I can’t help but chuckle and shake my head.

“Twenty dollars says he doesn’t make it around the fifth lap,” Aiden bets, guzzling down his drink as he sits next to me, resting his helmet down next to him.

“He’s already out of breath, he won’t even make it to lap three.”

“He’d make an awful running back, that’s for sure. At least I never had to worry about him taking my position.”

“He looks ready to pass out. Not surprising, though. Coach has been on our asses lately,” I shrug

“He’s worried about the game against UCLA on Saturday. They’ve recruited a new wide receiver, and he’s pretty beefy. So, our defense will have to do a hell of a good job to stop him,” Aiden explains, tapping away on his phone.

I look over at coach. “The team is going to have to step it up for next year then since a lot of us are graduating.”

“COACH! I’M DOWN!” Dylan screams out from the field. He lies in the center of it with his arms spread out, panting and sweating like crazy. Making the entire team burst out into chuckles. “It’s not funny, one of you big oafs come and help me!”

“That guy will send me over the edge one day. He’s your friend, you boys go help him,” Coach points to Aiden and me, so we put our stuff down and jog over to him.

“This better not be what my heaven looks like. I want hot chicks not you two ugly faces,” Dylan says as we help him up halfway, before Aiden and I look at each other before letting him go. “OW! COACH, THEY’RE ABUSIVE! Jackasses,” Dylan mutters as we help him up and pat him on the back before we make our way back.

“Alright, practice is over. I know I’ve been working you guys hard, but I’ve seen the Bruins new recruit. We cannot let him through our defense,” Coach explains, walking over to us all along with the assistant coach. “Now onto some other business. For the rest of this semester, there will be a couple of journalism majors in the football department. It’s a part of their grade, so we signed off on it. She will be at most practices, games, and will need to interview you guys. She’ll be here from tomorrow, so I expect you all to respect her and not act like douches. Noah, keep an eye on them and put them back in line if they step out,” Coach explains, and I nod my head. “Her article will be published on our college site and football is big. So, the last thing I need is one of you idiots being a dick to her and her writing about it, do I make myself clear?”

“Yes coach!” We all shout, and he nods before walking off before we all make our way into the changing rooms to shower.

“Think she’s hot?” One of the guys on the team, Colton, asks and I roll my eyes. Colton is one of the few people on the team we can’t stand. He’s too cocky for his own good when he’s only a decent player compared to the rest of the guys on the team. He treats women like shit.

Aiden huffs clenching his jaw. “Man, I hate that guy.”

“Are they talking about the journalism major?” Nick, the linebacker, asks walking over to us in the changing rooms.

“Yeah, isn’t Liv studying that?” Dylan asks, referring to Nick’s girlfriend we’ve met a couple of times when she’s come to the games and meets up with Nick after before they head home. Nick isn’t one for parties, he’d rather be at home with her, which has never been a problem. Some guys, aka Colton, think he should party more calling him whipped, but it’s his life he can do whatever he wants.

“Yeah, the journalism major who’s assigned to us is a friend of hers. Her name is Avalon,” Nick explains taking stuff out of his locker for his shower.

“I’m going to make a move,” Dylan smirks and we chuckle gathering our things “What? You don’t think she’ll go for me?”

“Good luck with that Dylan, just be careful you don’t piss her off,” Nick chuckles, not answering Dylan’s question before he says goodbye to us and heads out.

“Should I be scared?” Dylan asks as we walk out of the changing rooms, and Aiden and I look at each other before nodding to him.

“You three coming around to the football house later on?” One of the guys on the team, Ryan, asks, catching up with us. While the majority of the team lived in a house off-campus, Dylan, Aiden, and I have lived together off campus since freshman year when we met during try-out week.

“Nah think we’re gonna chill at the apartment. Practice has killed us off,” Aiden explains rolling his shoulder, which is clearly aching from practice.

“No worries. Thought I’d ask, ooh here comes Kelsey, I’m out,” Ryan stops walking before swiftly turning around and leaving.

“Hey, Noah!” Kelsey, the head cheerleader, says walking up to us, a smirk on her face “Oh, Aiden and Dylan...hi I guess,” Kelsey adds, her face falling a little when she sees them. She rolls her eyes and flips her fiery red hair back over her shoulder.

“Yeah, good luck with that. Kelsey, it’s been a horrible time, see you never,” Dylan waves to her as he and Aiden walk off making crazy gestures behind her and laughing. Some friends.

“What’s up?” I ask her, trying to be polite even though I know where this conversation is heading. It isn’t the first, nor will it be the last time she has cornered me after practice.

“You were really good in practice, but I saw coach working you hard. I thought I could relieve some of your stress,” Kelsey smirks running her hands down my chest, and I grab her hands to stop her.

“Kelsey, I’m not interested in dating, or casual sex.” I clarify, pushing her hands away.

“Are you celibate or something?” She questions, scoffing as if it’s an absurd idea.

“No, I’m not. I don’t date because I’m focused on my football career, I can’t afford any distractions if I want to make it to the NFL.”

“That doesn’t mean we can’t have a good time,” Kelsey seductively smirks.

“You know I don’t do hook-ups, casual sex just isn’t my thing,” I shrug. While casual sex is very normal especially for athletes, it’s never been something I’ve been interested in. “It was good seeing you Kelsey,” I offer a smile, before walking around her and out of the building to catch up with the guys.

My eyes focus on the History textbook in front of me, trying to block out the noise of Aiden and Dylan playing video games on the TV. Tapping my foot against the barstool against the kitchen island. I sigh before closing the textbook, knowing tonight was not a night I could study with noise and needed silence. Turning around on the chair I rest my elbows on the island leaning back, watching Dylan and Aiden.

“Dude you just shot me! We’re on the same team,” Aiden shouts, punching Dylan in the shoulder, in which he winces.

“Well, I can’t shoot anyone now you killed my arm. Time of death everyone 7:05,” Dylan gasps falling back onto the couch, spreading his arms out like a dead corpse. We roll our eyes at his theatrics.

“How do you get girls to like you? Seriously? Has no one ever wondered how?”

“I’ll have you know the ladies love a guy with a sense of humor. Something I have enough of for the both of us, Mr. Killjoy,” Dylan scoffs, yet doesn’t realize when Aiden pauses the game and takes a deep breath.

“Alright he’s dead, that’s it...DYLAN GET YOUR ASS BACK HERE!” Aiden shouts running after Dylan through our place and I laugh. They don’t always see eye to eye, but it’s pretty obvious Aiden finds him as a best friend deep down....wayyy deep down.

“NOAH!!! HELP ME!!!” Dylan screams out, but before I can offer help there is a knock at the door. Grabbing my wallet from my pocket, I open the door seeing a brunette girl on the other side. Clad in a pizza place uniform, holding a pizza box.

“Three extra-large meat lovers?” The girl questions and I nod my head, paying her the money, stepping forward as Dylan collides with my back.

“I got away,” Dylan huffs, looking over his shoulder to see where Aiden is. “Hey,” He nods his head to the girl throwing on his charming smile. “You have to be the prettiest pizza delivery girl I’ve ever seen,” He throws a charming smile her way, and she blushes. Here we go.

“There you are honey,” Aiden throws an arm around Dylan’s shoulder. “Is my boyfriend bothering you?” He asks the girl, who shakes her head before scurrying away.

“Dude! You just cockblocked me!” Dylan throws his arms into the air. I chuckle, closing the door before walking over to the couch with the pizzas.

“That’s revenge for shooting me.”

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