She’s the man
The rest of the week went as it normally does. Well, actually that's a lie. The rest of the week went like this:
Tuesday morning Harrison intercepted me walking into school by kissing me in front of everyone. If I hadn't felt like I'd completely lost my mind I'd have been slightly embarrassed, but like I said there was no way I cared in that moment. Taliah made fake retching noises but I knew she was happy for us. From there people stared and I got a few evil looks from girls I'd never met before. It didn't take long for us dating to be the talk of the school. Not that it bothered either of us really, we were just happy going about our days.
When Harrison sat down at my groups table at lunch on Tuesday the guys first bumped him and Xavier stole my grapes as his way of showing support. Paige almost threw a hissy fit because I hadn't told her however when I explained that's what I was planning on doing Monday morning but her meltdown threw that out the window, she proceeded to sheepishly sit down and told me she loved me. Yeah, I bet she bloody did.
Ms Stevens admitted she'd heard on the grapevine about us and insists she should take all credit because she partnered us together. And then there was Natalie.
I was coming out of English with Zara and Lucas when a girl's squeal caught my attention. Like the mad woman she was, Natalie ran down the hallway towards me and threw herself at me. Thank god I have good balance otherwise she would've taken me down. She has a habit of trying to do that. The whole way walking to my next class she talked about how she knew we were perfect for each other after that first day at lunch.
It seemed like the only person who wasn't thrilled was Jake. When I sat down in Maths he said hello, but that was it all lesson. It was then that I realised that maybe the guys had been right after all, and he was just getting close to me as a way to get back at them.
When class ended, he all but jumped out of his chair practically ignoring my existence. It sucked because I really thought the guys were wrong about him, but if he carried on like this then I wouldn't really know what to think.
As the week drew on I started to wonder about my plans for the weekend.
Unfortunately, Friday night was going to be spent playing football against a rival school team. Our school was hosting the match and unlike back home, going to school sports games was a common social thing on a Friday night here so we'd have a big audience. Pretty much all of my friends were going. Lindsay, Simon, Erika and Michael were planning on being in the crowd to.
The team had been preparing for this game for weeks and stupidly I was under the impression that my presence on the team was just for practice. On Monday night during practice Tom was definitely cracking the whip.
'Eve sharpen up that pass. You can't be making sloppy passes on Friday especially as we're playing against Wallington.'
It seemed like today was pissy Tom day. I'd passed the ball to AJ one of our midfielders which obviously didn't meet Tom's standards.
'Well it's not like I'm going to be playing.' he stopped mid having a go at something one of the other guys had done wrong to glare at me.
'Oh yeah and why's that Princess?' God I'd really sent him red now.
I glanced at the guys for support but they were all giving me a crazy look as well.
'Well I'm not actually going to be allowed to play am I? This is the guys team.' I sounded obvious to me but I was being looked at like I was two sandwiches short of a picnic.
'Do you think we really would've had you here running around a field for an hour three times a week if you weren't actually going to be playing?' Tom looked at me like I was an idiot.
I watching as Tom's mouth opened and closed whilst the others were laughing. Whatever he was going to say he obviously thought better of it because instead he dramatically acted breathing in and out.
So yeah. I was now spending my Friday night potentially about to make a fool out of myself in front of the whole school. Saturday however I was free as a whistle and I was hoping it would be mine and Harrison's first date. He'd told me to keep the night free but apart from that I knew nothing.
Wednesday lunchtime the whole gang was present. The first half of lunch Harrison had spent with his friends but it didn't feel too long before he was pulling up a chair and annoying me. Mid conversation with him Paige interrupted looking all freaked and wide eyed.
'Ok you can say no but also please please pretty please say yes.' She was giving me the craziest look that was actually kind of terrifying.
'Ok that's not exactly the best way to try to get me to do something. I already want to say no.'
'Please Evie. You know I think you're the bestest and so so pretty.'
'Ok I'm still sceptical but it's getting better. What do you want?'
'So I said yes to the date with Matt because you forced me-'
'Ok force is a bit of an exaggeration.' She made it sound like I tortured her to reply to him. I hate to remind her that she had been a willing participant in the flirty texts and phone calls they've been having the last week.
'Matt Young?' Harrison interrupted.
'That's the one.'
'Ah good dude.'
Ignoring Harrison, I turned back to Paige.
'Well he's asked me out Saturday night and I kind of told him that you and Harrison agreed to go on a double date with us.'
'So really you should be grovelling to me as well?' Harrison said looking very amused.
'Harrison you know I think you're a good guy and you have my seal of approval which is important to Eve, because if you didn't she'd really, really question dating you.'
'Wow stooping low. Fair enough.' Harrison bowed out leaving the decision down to me.
'So, Evie will you say yes?'
I wanted to be supportive of Paige and she definitely looked desperate. The thing was I'd already blown Harrison off once this week and even though it would still technically include hanging out with him, I was looking forward to some alone time on Saturday.
'The thing is Paige we kind of already have-' before I could finish my sentence Harrison butted in.
'We'll do it.'
I glanced over at him trying to ask him if he was sure with my eyes. He obviously could see how torn I'd been because he smiled softly and shrugged his shoulders to say it was ok.
'Yay! You two are the best!'
'We know.' We said in unison.
'Ok I'll text you later.' With that she left the table and excitedly skipped back to where her friends were sat.
I turned to Harrison and nudged his knee with my own.
'Are you sure? You were planning something for Saturday night.'
'It's ok. We will still do, it just another day. Plus Matt really is a good guy so I think we'll have fun Saturday. ' Ok this boy really was amazing.
I ran my fingers through his hair as we stared at each other.
'You're the best you know that.'
'Yeah I know. I was born this way.'
I giggled at his stupidity and he kissed me.
'Do you have to do that? People are trying to eat.' Taliah joked from the other side of the table.
I stuck my tongue out at her and we went back to joining in with the rest of the table's conversations.
By the time Friday night arrived it felt like the week had flown by. In no time I was getting changed into my football kit in the locker room with the girls from the cheerleading squad. Yeah that's right, as well as a crowd we get cheerleaders.
As we started warming up on the field, I was starting to get nervous. It felt stupid because we've been practising for ages but I haven't played an actual game in a long time.
As I expected the other team looked at me with confusion as I walked onto the field. Coach told me though that apparently there was no written rule to say girls couldn't play on the boys' team so I would definitely be staying. As we were finishing warming up one of the guys from the other team walked up to Tom.
'So what we've got cheerleaders actually on the field now?'
I rolled my eyes but obviously Tom wasn't in the mood.
'Oh fuck off Malcom.'
Malcom held up his hands in defence but was visibly happy he'd gotten a rise out of Tom.
'Hey I'm not complaining, I don't mind at all. If she's so good with her feet then I'd love to know what she can do with her hands.'
He looked over at me with a sly look and that was it I was pissed. I wasn't the only one because Harrison walked up to him with balled fists and the others weren't far behind.
I quickly got up from the floor and put my arms around Tom and Harrison to try and calm them down.
'It's ok guys.'
I turned to dipshit who had a smile on his face but I restrained myself from punching him.
'You want to know what I can do with my hands? Well..Strangle you. Just to make it clear even if I was a cheerleader, I still wouldn't be interested in you. Small penis syndrome isn't an attractive quality.'
He visibly recoiled and muttered bitch under his breath.
'Hey don't be mad at me, be mad at yourself. Penis enlargements are widely available on the internet now a days.'
By that point he was angrily walking away.
'That was amazing!' Joseph rushed up and high fived me.
'Well unfortunately there's more low IQ guys like that around. He was just trying to get a rise out of all of you.'
'Yeah well he got more than he bargained for because our Evie here is a badass.' Tom ruffled my hair but I could tell he was still pissed. Harrison definitely was.
'Hey ignore him.' I put my hands either side of his face to make him look at me. As soon as his eyes met mine I could see his anger dissolving.
'Use your anger in the game.'
He agreed and smiled at me but I could see the clogs working. It wouldn't surprise me if our dear friend Malcom ends up with a few bruises by the end of tonight.
As we walked onto the pitch my nerves were turning into excitement. I was ready and I was pumped, let's do this. Half an hour later it was safe to say I wasn't feeling the same enthusiasm. I was losing the will to live.
I'd touched the ball about twice and the score remained nil nil. It was also kind of comical that as soon as the game would start the guy covering me would run off. I mean really? They were that convinced I was useless that they didn't need to watch me. Well they had a point because right now I was feeling pretty useless. When half time rang all of us groaned in annoyance.
'Come on guys and girl. I know you're tired but we're wearing them down. Continue that and we've got a shot at winning this thing.' Coach screamed as we came off the field.
I glanced over at the other team and saw the carbon copy of our coach saying the same thing to them. I rolled my eyes and took my water bottle from the stand that I didn't really need as I'd done nothing for 30 minutes.
Coach excused himself to do whatever it is he does and Tom rallied a huddle. I knew I should probably keep my mouth shut but that wasn't me.
'Tom, we need to switch it up.'
'You heard coach we gotta keep doing what we're doing. He's right we are wearing them down.'
'Yeah but they're going to come back from half time with pep in their step and half an hour later we'll be in the same position we're in now. Tom we've hardly moved passed midfield. They're using all the same tactics as us. If we keep on playing the game the same way it's going to end nil nil.'
'Ok then what do you suggest?' I could tell he was exhausted. Just because we hadn't scored didn't mean the game hadn't been tiring for the rest of the team. They'd been working their asses off to try and score.
'Use me. They underestimate me and they think I'm just a filler player. Every time the whistle blows the guy covering me runs off.' I could see he looked a little sceptical but he wasn't arguing so I continued talking.
'Listen the first time coach brought me over you guys underestimated me too and I ran rings round you. Let me do that now. Or leave me as a filler at the back but I didn't sign up to that, I signed up to win.'
'I thought you didn't want to sign up at all?' Mark added looking very confused by my whole speech. Although he looked confused a lot of the time so the situation right now wasn't really anything to go off.
'Small details Mark.'
I could see Tom thinking, mentally playing the game in his head. Harrison interrupted his thoughts adding his opinion as co-captain.
'She has a point Tom. If we put her in midfield, they won't think anything of it. Plus, she's like a little rocket. If she gets the ball, she'll be off and they won't be able to catch up.'
'Ok London you're in. No pressure.' It was weird hearing someone else use the nickname Harrison's given me but right now I had other things to think about.
When we were called back to the field butterflies danced around my stomach however there was also a fire there.
'You ready?' Harrison asked with an arm around my shoulder.
'That's my girl.' He squeezed my hand before running over to his place on the field.
Ok Eve what are girls good at? Mind games.
I turned around as my back up dancer came and stood next to me. Putting on the best I don't know what's going on act I could I smiled at him and said hello.
He frowned at me and distanced himself by moving a few paces back. I had to stop myself from bursting out laughing. Maybe this was going to be easier than I thought.
In no time at all the whistle had blown and the hunt for the ball was on. First the other team had it but it wasn't long before Harrison intercepted it. Just as I thought, as soon as the game started it was like I was invisible to the other team. That's fine though I wouldn't be much longer. I ran a few paces up the field giving Harrison a clear shot to me. Without even having to call him he saw me and passed the ball. As soon as it brushed my foot I was off. I could hear the crowd going mad and some lunatic that I assumed was their coach was screaming.
I glanced over to see who was free around me. The other teams defenders had zeroed in on me so I needed to pass soon. Thankfully Harrison was relatively free on the other side so just before I made contact with the defenders, I kicked the ball to Harrison and darted my way around the opposing team. We were almost at the goal now and I had a clear shot however I knew I had an army on my tail.
Suddenly the ball flew back to me and I was now taking on the goalkeeper. I watched as he tried to predict my moves but I knew how his mind worked. If I looked in one corner he went to protect there. I had to make a risky move but it seemed like the only option at this point. In what felt like slow motion I looked at one spot of the goal and then booted the ball in the other. The goalkeeper realised too late what was happening. His body went one way but his head was watching the ball aim for the other side of goal. As soon as the ball hit the back of the net the audience erupted and I was practically tackled by my team.
'We knew we kept you around for a good reason!'
'Thanks Joseph that's really lovely.' I said sarcastically.
Time was ticking down. I knew we didn't have long left of the game but I was pushing on, we all were. I dribbled the ball up the pitch in the hopes of scoring again. I knew I was pretty much surrounded but I didn't have a safe pass to Harrison or Mark. I glanced over at Mark who was trying to say something, it was only after a couple of seconds that I realised what he meant. We'd been practising this move during training where if you surrounded at the sides and front kick the ball backwards to a teammate that was waiting and ready. Seeing as since I first scored it was now like the other team wouldn't leave me alone, comical comparing to the start of the game, it looked like my only option.
The rest of the field seemed relatively clear so Mark was right it was a good tactic. I nodded setting the pass in motion, I kicked the ball back where Harrison swooped and dribbled the ball further up the field towards the goal. The other team weren't expecting it but it didn't take them long to go after him. Now I was clear I sprinted up the field as well giving Harrison the option to pass if he needed too. Just before taking a shot he kicked the ball to the side where I was running up towards. I was almost there ready to kick the ball into the goal but instead I felt feet tackle underneath me sending me and the other person to the floor. Immediately the whistle blew and people were in uproar. To be fair to the guy that tackled me looked a little shameful and had the decency to help me up and apologise.
'Are you ok?' Harrison said with a worried expression on his face. Before I could reply Tom was also there asking the same question. It kind of melted my heart a little.
'I'm fine, honestly just a little tumble.'
The ref came over to me and the other guy. He awarded me a penalty and the other a yellow card, not that it really mattered the game was almost over.
After a pep talk from my team I headed over to where the ball was waiting for me. The goalie was eyeing me up, clearly having trust issues because of what I pulled last time however maybe I could work that in my favour. After a few deep breaths I booted the ball. The goalkeeper obviously expecting me to do the same as last time went the opposite way as the ball making a satisfied smirk creep up my face. The ball hit the back of the net and the ref blew the whistle stating the game was over. All of a sudden, I was tackled again only this time it was my own team. We'd won 2-0 and we were ecstatic.
Much to the annoyance of Malcom who was stood off to the side with his arms crossed, a few of his team mates came over and congratulated us.
'Dude that was awesome!' One said to me.
'Thanks! Your friend over there doesn't seem to agree.'
'Malcom? Oh he's an asshole, don't listen to him.'
Hear hear my friend.
We hung around on the pitch for a little while as we were congratulated by friends and family. I got man/woman of the match which I was thrilled about. Then the team thought a celebration was in order so we spent the rest of the night at Hal's.
As the group of us sat around a big table practically overtaking the whole diner I zoned out and looked around for a second. I couldn't believe how lucky I was. I guess it's true what they say. When on door closes another one opens. I'm just lucky that my door is a sparkly magical one.
'What are you smiling about?' Joseph asked with an amused expression. I hadn't realised I had a big grin on my face the whole time I was zoned out.
'I'm just happy, really happy.'
And I was.....for now.