Chapter 32 | Who Would Have Thought?
𝐀 𝐕 𝐀 𝐋 𝐎 𝐍
There is one minute left in the championship game. The game has been tough, which the guys expected in the first place. You don’t get to the championship game to go down without a fight. Both teams are tied, and it’s our team’s turn to make a play. One more touchdown before the timer is up and we win. If they don’t, the winner will be determined by field goals.
Who would have thought? At the start of the academic year, I had to force myself to come to the USC football games. Now I willingly come to watch them play. Even Sierra has changed her attitude on football and doesn’t complain anymore when we come to the games. Nor do we have to drag her. Life of a football player’s girlfriend. Even after the guys graduate, it may be that we’ll be sitting in proper stadiums watching them play in the NFL. God, if Avalon Miller from five months ago could hear me now, she’d slap me.
“Let’s go Trojans! Let’s go!”
The cheerleaders chant as the players head back onto the field to get into their starting positions. Raising my eyebrow as a girl a few rows before us has turned to glare at my clothing choice, which is Noah’s football jersey. He insisted I wear it for the Championship game now we are a couple, since it’s tradition for the players to give them to their girlfriends. Everyone knows no one has worn it since he’s started at USC. The jersey, while long on my height, is tied at the back and paired with black leggings and boot heels.
“Noah must love seeing you in his jersey,” Liv smiles and I chuckle, blushing.
“Is it always that crazy?” Sarah asks and we nod our heads.
“Honey, you’ve been to football games before...including mine when we were back in college,” Noah’s dad says and Sarah rolls her eyes, waving him off.
“I know that! But that was forever ago, and they weren’t that crazy,” Sarah explains. “Have you girls been going to all the games?” Sarah asks.
“We try to. Liv comes to them all, Sierra and I try to now we’re dating Noah and Aiden and Hannah mostly comes along any time we come,” I explain before I look to Luna in which she is wearing a smaller version of Noah’s jersey. “We’re matching.”
“Noah gave it to me,” Luna smiles. “He said until he found the right girl I was the only one who could wear a jersey with his name and number on. And now we’re matching.”
“Noah got her it when he first got into USC, and got her a new one every year considering she grew a lot,” Sarah says.
“That’s so cute,” Liv smiles. “You look very pretty in it,” Liv tells Luna who giggles.
Noah calls the play, and the field descends into chaos, like always. Keeping my eyes on Noah, I see him struggling to find anyone who is open to throw to. He debates with himself, before running down the field, and I don’t think anyone is screaming louder than us four girls. Dodging the opposing team who are doing everything to stop him from reaching the end zone, we jump up and down cheering louder as he gets closer to the end. All of a sudden the stands start chanting Noah’s name and I see him run faster to make it to the end zone before someone tackles him.
Not like I ever doubted them for a second. The field erupts into chaos as the guys let it sink in the fact they won. The other side looks glum as they retreat back. Soon enough everyone from the stands makes their way down onto the field to join the celebration. Us girls and Noah’s family, who came to watch, make our way down to the field to find the guys. I squeal when Noah runs towards me, picking me up and spinning me around.
“You did it quarterback,” I smile before kissing him. Not caring if he’s all sweaty from the game. “I’m so proud of you.”
Noah beams. “You look great in my jersey.”
I laugh at the statement before he puts me down and his mom brings him into a tight hug before pushing him away. “We’re so proud of you, but my god you smell.”
“What did you guys think of the game?” Noah asks his family as he keeps me tucked into his side.
“I haven’t seen anyone play that well since me,” Noah’s dad says, making us laugh and Sarah hits his arm.
“He’s better than you,” Sarah scoffs. “I’m so happy you two got together. Your grandma was taking bets at Thanksgiving,” Sarah says, making everyone laugh and me blush.
“That woman has a serious gambling problem,” Noah says, and his dad nods.
“Can I meet this woman?” Hannah asks, making us all laugh. “We’d get along.”
“WE DID IT BITCHES!” Dylan hollers as the entire field cheers along with him. “I’m free of you fuckers! I will miss you coach.”
“The feeling isn’t mutual, Foster,” Coach shouts back and Dylan feigns offense. “Alright, I guess I’ll miss you,” He admits, and Dylan launches himself at coach. “Get the fuck off me.”
“YOU LOVE ME COACH!” Dylan shouts as coach walks off shaking his head, and Dylan turns to us. “I knew he always had a soft spot for me.”
“You boys go shower, you need it. We’ll meet you back at the house to celebrate,” Grandma Rose waves them off. Noah kisses my forehead before properly kissing me, and he walks off. We all disperse from the field and I go to wait by Noah’s car as everyone else heads back to his parents’ house, where the celebrations are happening.
Looking up from my phone, my eyes land on my ex-boyfriend.
“Charlie? What are you doing here?”
He walks over, and I notice he’s wearing a jacket with the opposing team’s logo on.
“I played in the game. I transferred from East Michigan to Boston last year. Some family problems, so I moved closer to home. I didn’t know you went here. I mean, I know you applied but we lost contact,” Charlie explains and I nod my head.
“Yeah, well, I don’t tend to keep in contact with cheating dickheads,” I smirk, and he chuckles.
“I deserve that. I’m sorry. What I did was wrong, and I didn’t realize it at the time that I was caught up in the college life and the attention. I’ve changed though. With everything that happened, I realized what I did and what I was doing isn’t what I wanted to do,” Charlie apologizes.
“Well, I’m glad you realize that. Although it’s years too late,” I cross my arms, and he nods his head.
“I regret it, and I think about where we would be now if I hadn’t screwed up. Look, I’m in town for a couple more days. Maybe we could go for dinner and catch up,” Charlie suggests.
“I have a boyfriend and catching up really isn’t on my bucket list,” I offer, and he nods his head solemnly.
“That doesn’t surprise me. You always were a great girlfriend. He’s a lucky guy. Maybe we can catch up as friends.”
Before he can utter another word, I catch Noah jogging over, now changed. “Hey babe, sorry coach was giving a speech. Wouldn’t let me leave.” I smile as he wraps his arm around me and kisses me.
“It’s okay, coach must be proud of you guys,” I nudge him and he chuckles.
“Quarterback of the Trojans, right? I’m Charlie, runningback for the Eagles,” Charlie introduces himself and they shake hands.
“Noah. You two know each other?” Noah asks, confused. One thing I’ve learned from being with Noah is he isn’t a jealous person, not like the typical caveman stereotypes. He trusts me, I know he does, and it attracts me more to him. A little jealousy is cute on him, and I can’t help but smile when he brings me closer to his side.
“We used to date in high school,” I tell him and recognition flares through his eyes.
"“So, you’re the asshole ex-boyfriend.
“That’s me,” Charlie chuckles. “I hope you know how lucky you are to have her. I never did,” Charlie says, his eyes landing on me. “I should get going, good luck in the game man, and Ava I’m glad you’re happy.”
Charlie walks off, and Noah turns to me. “You ok?”
I nod my head. “I’m fantastic I have you.”
“You know I’d never be like him, right?” Noah asks, and I nod my head.
“I trust you, with him I always had this fear he would cheat on me. I don’t have that fear with you,” I tell him, leaning up to kiss him. “Ready to celebrate, Mr. Championship?”
Noah nods before we get into the car and head to his parents’ place.
Walking around the backyard at Noah’s parents’ place, I hand out some drinks to the players on the team that Grandma Rose made. Giving my last one, my eyes scan the busy area. At the corner, Hannah, Dylan, Aiden, and Sierra are chilling. While Nick and Liv mingle with Noah’s cousins, who are closer to our age. Noah’s family is scattered around, enjoying themselves while some of us make sure the snacks and drinks keep coming, since a backyard full of football players means everything disappears quickly. Smiling at a couple of the guys as they walk past, my eyes search once again, landing on Noah who is talking to coach and a few of the guys. His eyes floats past coach’s shoulder meeting my eyes and he sends a wink my way. Soon enough he excuses himself before walking over.
“Your grandma is making drinks quicker than I can give them out,” I giggle as soon as he reaches me and wraps his arms around me.
“Yeah, she may be seventy years old but she’s the quickest person I know,” Noah says, making me laugh.
“Everyone seems really excited for Emery and Liam’s wedding,” I tell Noah, who nods his head. The wedding is this weekend and I’m excited to head to Lake Tahoe.
“He’s the first one to get married. They don’t all know how to hold their excitement,” Noah whispers, making me laugh.
“Everyone gather around,” Coach shouts, and we all gather in a crowd. “I’m making a speech and I swear if any of you idiots make a joke about me being soppy I will make you run laps whether the season is over or not.”
“If it means making that joke, I’ll take it,” Colton shouts, making everyone laugh.
“Well, it’s no doubt you bunch of jackasses are the best football team we’ve had,” Coach begins “So I’ll be sad to see you go but I know all of you drafted for the NFL will do great things and I expect my name to come up in any acceptance speeches from now till you die. I will hunt you down if not. “I guess what I’m saying is I’m proud of you guys and I’m going to miss you.”
“I genuinely think that’s the first nice thing he’s said to us,” Noah says, making me laugh after everyone raises their glasses.
“Ava, dear mind helping me bring more food out?” Grandma Rose asks as she walks past us, and I nod my head before following her inside. “Are you excited for the wedding this weekend?”
I nod my head. “Very, I’ve never been to Lake Tahoe before.”
“I’ve seen pictures...Emery did good,” Grandma Rose says, and I chuckle. “I hope we can see another one soon.”
As she gives me the side-eye I chuckle and shake my head. “Hate to break it to you Grandma Rose but I think that’s some years off yet.”
“You’re good for Noah, and I know how ecstatic he is to be sharing this day with you. He loves having you by his side at important events in his life,” Grandma Rose says, and I smile. “Now come on let’s get more food out there these football players are animals,” She says and I laugh following her out to the garden with more food and Noah walks over helping his Grandma before putting them on the table and I put some there as well.
“Coach looks happy. I don’t think I’ve seen him smile before,” I joke as Noah wraps an arm around my waist and he laughs.
“He is the coach who coached the winning championship team, and he doesn’t have to train us anymore. I mean, he has to do some scouting for new members of the team,” Noah explains. “I’m so glad I met you. You’re my everything and I’m glad you’re by my side today.”
“I’ll always be by your side, no matter what. How does it feel to be a champion?” I ask him, wrapping my arms around his neck.
“Mmm, the champion would feel a lot better if he got a kiss,” Noah says and I laugh before kissing him, but we’re interrupted by the football team whistling. “Fuckers,” Noah shouts and they all laugh. I take Noah’s hand leading him back to the rowdy team in the garden.
Who ever thought I’d get excited about football?....yeah no one, my how things change.