Finally, the day arrived, the day that my boyfriend and my best friends were looking forward to. The Interschool basketball competition. They were competing with our rival school, Hilton high school. Like I’ve mentioned before our school has never won for the past ten years but they have been practicing hard to win the cup this time.
Vian and Jay haven’t talked to me yet. They’ve been avoiding me since that day using the excuse of practice for the game. I tried to convince them that it won’t happen again and apologized for it numerous times for what happened, but they still avoided me like I am an infestation.
I know why they are angry. It’s not that I wasn’t there for the party but I forgot to spend time with my friends after I started dating Ryan and gave them the wrong idea that Ryan’s more important to me than them.
I realized my mistake, and I have been trying to make amends since then but they are being stubborn, especially Vian. After few days Jay started talking to me but he kept evading spending time with me. Even if I ask him to accompany me somewhere he refused, saying ‘Ask your boyfriend.’ So I let them be hoping that they would come around one day.
In the past, I never went to the game to see Vian and Jay play before. I always teased them that they are going to lose anyway, so why bother going to watch them. I don’t know if it ever hurts them even if it did they never showed it.
So, this time I decided to go to the game and cheer. I changed my mind not just because we are in a fight and I want to make it up to them but I watched them play a few times when I waited for Ryan after school. To be honest, after the first time, I just stayed to watch them play with that excuse.
Only after that, I realized that this meant something for Vian and Jay. Not just for them but for all of the players. Even though they have been losing all these times, they practiced very hard which made me wish that I want them to win this time. Each and every player on that team was very good, so I wondered what the problem was… why can’t they win?
When I got a call from Hazel who is here to pick me up, I grabbed all the posters that I designed all night to cheer Vian and Jay from my bed and ran downstairs.
We found a good place to watch the game inside the stadium. The stadium was started to fill up with people carrying posters and colorful ribbons to cheer the players. The cheer girls discussed their positions and getting ready for the performance with poms on their hands.
I wanted to see Vian and Jay before the game, so I excused myself from Hazel without telling her where I was going. I found them standing outside the room where all the players were waiting for the game to begin, getting ready. They both looked a bit nervous talking about something serious.
“Hey,” I announced myself when they didn’t notice me arrive.
They both looked surprised to see me there. Thankfully Vian didn’t turn around and walked away as soon as he saw me like he did those days.
“Hey, What are you doing here?” Jay questioned walking a bit forward towards me.
I hugged him taking a few steps towards him. “Good luck. I have a feeling that you guys are going to win this game. So don’t be so nervous.” I said smiling releasing him from the hug. I hope it helped him lessen the pressure he was feeling.
“Thanks,” Jay said with a small smile on his lips but I know he appreciated it.
And then my eyes shifted to look at Vian. He stood there behind Jay looking at me. His gaze wasn’t unwelcoming nor was it inviting.
But I brought up the courage and slowly walked towards him expecting the worst but he didn’t move an inch. I threw my hands around his neck once I reached him and hugged him tightly.
“Good luck,” I whispered in his ears. That’s all I could get out of my mouth since I was expecting him to push me away from the hug any minute. He didn’t hug me back, but I felt his body relaxing. And then I released him and walked away without looking back.
I found Ryan on the way back, who was looking for me. We haven’t spent that much time as before because he was always practicing for the game. But he tried his best to spare me some time whenever he can.
After talking to my grandmother that night, I decided not to let my teenage hormonal feelings take over me anymore. I decided to choose Ryan and be honest with him about what happened between Vian and me. Part of me was terrified about what will happen next regardless I decided to tell him everything and let him choose our fate thereafter.
I planned to tell him someday after the game. I just didn’t want to distract him when he was working hard for this. He kissed me before leaving me with Haze saying that it’s for good luck. He is just too sweet for his own good and I can’t help but blush at his gesture.
As soon as the first round of the match began, I understood what the problem was. It was Jackson. He was acting like an ass even in the real game. Once he passed the ball to some other player who stood far away instead of Jay who was standing near him and Jay could’ve scored a point if the ball was passed to him. Jay punched in the air in frustration when the other team scored a point intercepting the ball.
The first round was finished and our team was lagging two than the other team. I saw Jay ranting in anger to Vian on one side while the coach yelling at Jackson and he looked like he didn’t care. It wasn’t too late to turn the game around, and I really wanted to do something even though I didn’t want to meddle in their affairs.
I rushed towards the players avoiding the crowd aiming for Ryan. I pulled him aside once I got to him saying that I need to talk to him.
“What is it? Can it wait? We can talk after the game.” He was worried and talked while looking at the digital clock.
“No. You need to listen to me now.” I said urgently.
“Look, I don’t know anything about this game but everyone here knows that Jackson is the problem in your team. You need to get him out somehow.” I continued.
He looked like he was hesitating and pursed his lips without knowing what to say. If it was another boy, he wouldn’t even listen to me but I know Ryan is not like any other boy. That’s why I took the courage to tell him this. Even if he is not going to do what I ask he would never hurt me.
“Ryan, I know he is the captain of the team and your best friend but you know he is ruining the game bringing outside problems that shouldn’t be brought when you are playing as a team,” I said with a meaningful look.
He brushed his hair in frustration listening to me. I know he thinks that I am right, but he just doesn’t know what to do about it.
“Think of all the work you put on this and the hard work of all the players. Do something for them. After all, you are their vice-captain. So you need to do something when the captain is in the wrong. There is no time to talk to him and put some sense into his thick head. So do something.” I said to him grabbing his hand in mine and left the place hoping that he would do something about it. I saw Jackson starring at me when I left.
Thankfully I saw Ryan talking to the coach and the coach nodded his head looking like he was convinced about what Ryan was saying.
To my confusion, the coach went to Jay and said something. He looked shocked and Vian tried to say something but the coach wasn’t ready to listen and walked away. Jay walked to the side bench looking down on the floor, his shoulders were drooped. I guess he was benched, and I saw Vian convincing him, saying something. Vian threw a glance towards me before the game begins.
That one look made me feel the crack that just happened between our friendships. I was confused, angry, and sad that Jay couldn’t play after all of his hard work. I don’t know why Ryan did this which made me furious.
I didn’t concentrate on the game after that. I couldn’t take my eyes off of Jay who was sitting there like his heart was broken. It didn’t feel fair and I wanted to lash out at Ryan for hurting him like that but ultimately it was because of me Jay couldn’t play.
Finally to my regret our team won but to my relief it was because of Vian. He scored the final point in the final few seconds leading to their win.
After 10 years, our school won the competition. The stadium was filled with a loud cheer and the confetti flying all around in the air. Other players carried Vian on the shoulders happily who is responsible for this glory. Jay hugged him once he was let down with a wide smile and excitement which made me feel a little better.
First thing I did after the game was to hunt down Jay and apologized.
“Jay, I am really sorry… I just told Ryan about Jackson, but I don’t know why…” he cut me off before I could finish.
“It’s okay. It doesn’t matter anymore. We won.” He said with a fake smile and walked away slowly. My heart shattered into a thousand pieces hearing that and watching him walk away from me.
“Hey, beautiful.” Ryan hugged me from the back surprised me.
“Someone is cheerful,” I said in a sarcastic tone.
“Of course. We won.” He was clueless about my anger and lowered down to kiss me.
“Why did you do that?” I asked pushing him away.
He looked confused for a moment but then he realized what I was talking about and sighed.
“Look, Jackson’s problem was Jay and I just eliminated the problem and we won.” He said shrugging like it wasn’t a big deal which made me furious.
“You think what you did was fair? Just because Jackson is your friend, it doesn’t mean you can hurt my friend like that. You could’ve told me that you weren’t going to do it when I came to you like a fool believing that you would do the right thing.” I yelled at him in rage.
“Well, don’t act like you suggested that out of the pure heart. I know you don’t like Jackson and your FRIENDS used you to talk to Me,” he yelled back stressing the friends’ word.
“What? They have nothing to do with this… are you seriously…” I couldn’t form coherent words in shock. I can’t believe Ryan thought like that.
“Look, let’s not bring this into our relationship. I don’t want to fight with you because of them.” He sighed and said cupping my cheeks.
It didn’t convince me nor lessen my anger, but I decided to let it go for that moment. He convinced me so hard to join the party that Jackson was throwing to celebrate their success. I didn’t want to, but I relented after his so many attempts of convincing. He also said that Vian and Hazel are going to the party so I needn’t be uncomfortable.
‘Vian is going to the party leaving Jay? That was weird.’ thinking that I texted my grandma that I was going to be late when Ryan left me alone to find his misplaced wallet.
I was startled by Haze who came from behind and grabbed my shoulder.
“Oh… Haze, you startled me.” I said grabbing my chest.
“You shouldn’t come to the party.” She nervously said looking around.
“What do you mean, Haze? Why? What happened?” I bombarded her with questions since she doesn’t make any sense.
“I am sorry. But please don’t come to the party and…” she stopped and looked around again.
“And what. Haze?” I asked her shaking her grabbing her shoulders to make her look at me.
“Don’t trust Ryan.” saying that she ran off before I could stop her.
‘What the hell does she mean?’