Woman's Resolve to stay Single

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Chapter 17 | Get-togethers

They set agreed that the celebration be at 8:00 P.M to give ample time for the players to do their post game routines to benefit their bodies. Hayden was happy at this, seeing that he had enough time to prepare the food for everyone.

Awkwardly, the trio said their goodbyes to each other. As they exit, Elizabeth could faintly hear her name being called out behind her. She knew it could be Mark, but because of this he pulled Hayden to walk faster out of the field.

Hayden walked her back to the bus station in front of the cafe as she headed out back home. He opted to stay at the cafe for the rest of the day to continue work and prepare for later.

The ride home was fast and as soon as Elizabeth reached the warm comfort of her bed, she immediately flopped herself down its white sheets and let out a heavy sigh.

Mark Hale... Hahhh, why do you show yourself again?

She placed her arm on top of her eyes, canceling out the brightness of the sun shining inside her room. Darkness now engulfed her as she thought about what would happen later on. Damn Hayden and his insisting, why must he always do that.

The thoughts swirled around her head. Why in her lifetime he had to see his face again? Why could she not escape from his presence, even though years have passed? Was it fate?


Romance isn’t real. It will trick your eyes believing it’s something beautiful, but in the end it’s a drug that addicts you. When the time you lose it, you fall in to a hole of internal chaos and it may ruin you forever.

Fate in love will only lead you to doom.

Later on, the thoughts engulfed Elizabeth’s mind, forcing her to succumb to a deep sleep.

The sound of lighting pierced through the sky and woke her up in a shiver. Through the window of her eyes she could make out the dark sky from the window. She forced herself to stand up. Looking at the clock, she could see that it was already 7:00 P.M. She then remembered the appointment she had an hour from now. She believed an hour was enough time to get ready, so she wasn’t all that hasty.

She got her hair out of the messy ponytail she went to sleep with and brushed it down. After a few harsh pulls, she finally tamed her dark hair. Too lazy to fix it back into anything else, she just lay it to cascade down her back. She changed her shirt into a white blouse and put on a casual jacket to soon battle the outside cold. She wore her shoes, grabbed her bag and headed out towards Hayden’s cafe.

It had been a little past the time they agreed to meet up, but she didn’t really look forward to the whole meeting. It was nerve-wrecking enough that the whole national team may be there. Someone just had to let Mark in the meeting, too. He was in the team, after all.

She planned to lie low for the night, do some polite greetings to everyone and cancel herself out in the background, looking at her phone and maybe drinking the night through.

She soon arrived in front of brightly lit Brick. In front of the glass door, she took a deep breath, put on her best smile for good first impressions, and entered. The chime sounded and her ears soon filled with sounds of laughter. She turned towards the noise and saw the table full of people she knew came from the team.

Although Elizabeth said she enjoyed watching soccer, she wasn’t really one of those hardcore fans that knew everyone out there and did anything to get to see a game. Elizabeth only knew the different teams and watched anything she could catch up on when the season comes by.

She rooted for their national team, but she didn’t really remember the players behind the numbers. She was just a casual viewer of the sport.

“El, you’re late!” Hayden called out to her as he stood from his chair and walked over to her, guiding her towards their table.

“Why are you so unusually super active right now?” She whispered on their way there.

“I may be tipsy.” Hayden said, facing dangerously close to her. True, she smelled the scent of alcohol from him and backed away immediately as he did so. “Guys, this is my friend Elizabeth. She actually knows Mark as well. ” Hayden introduced.

A couple of hi’s and hello’s came towards her from the familiar faces she saw on television. She was freaking out about the whole thing, not going to’ lie, but she tried to give out a casual smile and replied.

“Hello, nice to meet you all.”

Hayden was already familiar with the team, being the friendly, and outgoing person he was. He fit in right away and casually conversed with the rest of the team.

The both of them then took their seats and she then awkwardly added, “I watched your game this morning. Congratulations on the win.”

“Aww, thank you little Elizabeth, what d’ya think?” A guy sitting diagonally across from her said as he flashed a wide smile.

“You all played really well.” She remarked. Nothing else came into her mind after that, so she just settled with the brief sentence.

“I’m Kit, nice to meet ya’” he said as he leaned on the table.

“Nice to meet you too.”

“Kit, it seems like you’re scaring her.” A guy beside him said.

“I’m just being myself Flor.”

“No, its alright. I’m just a bit nervous.” She honestly said.

This then made everyone at the table laugh and through this she loosened up and laughed with them. Soon after, she took a bottle of beer herself and drank some.

She shared how she watched some of their games and marveled at their plays. In this way, everyone introduced themselves to her, and she became a bit more relaxed.

She could make out Mark’s figure in the corner of her eye as he sat on the other side of the table, silently drinking and casually joining in the conversations about today’s game thrown on the table.

“Elizabeth, Hayden said you knew Mark?” One guy said.

All of them then turned to look at Mark’s way instead of hers. The guy sitting beside him teased.

“Hey, why didn’t you tell us you knew such a pretty lady?” The rest of the team laughed at this.

Elizabeth remained silent at the suddenly thrown question but forced of a small smile from her lips. She could see Hayden too was becoming interested in the new topic being thrown out, and intently listened.

“We knew each other when we were little.” He briefly answered.

“How did ya’ know each other, hmm?” Kit asked, turning towards her direction.

After giving it a bit of thought, she simply answered, ” We were friends. We only met each other again this morning.“.

“Just friends, huh? What a bore.” Kit leaned back in his chair. “Can I take my chances then?”

Shocked at the sudden advance, she choked on her drink. Kit laughed and added, “It was just a joke, Elizabeth, unless?”

Politely shaking her head and laughing, “No thanks.”

“Ouch” Kit said as he motioned a broken heart and a hurt expression, which made everyone laugh.

Elizabeth turned to look towards Mark slowly after the whole topic. She could then see him looking at her as well. With this, she looked away and drank from her glass as well.

Harden your heart. Don’t let it get to you. Just act normal.

That was the end of that uneasy topic. She was happy that it ended early, so Elizabeth relaxed herself.

When the night grew late, the team had suddenly stood up and crazed in the middle of the cafe. Hayden closed early, so the space was all theirs. The music was blasting loud and its bass pumped everyone up. With Kit’s lead, everyone was drunk and had fun doing a somewhat unstable conga line.

Elizabeth opted not to join in since she herself got a bit drunk and didn’t want to get dizzy or embarrass herself.

She laughed at the childishness of the guys. Who knew national athletes could do these kinds of funny stuff. They looked so cool on screen, and now they felt like an overly drunk group of boys. Hell, even Hayden joined in the line and was laughing himself away.

The only people left in the table were those who were passed out. A guy named Florence sat in the very corner of their table and fiddled with his phone, and Mark also laughing at the stupid scene in front of him.

Mark Hale heard the addicting laughter of the woman beside him. She could make out Elizabeth’s flushed cheeks in the dark and smiled. She seemed drunk from what he could make out.

He knew Elizabeth from a long time ago. She was the girl who stood by him and played with his sister and him on free days. She was a joy to be with back then.

He remembered all the things she told him back then. About her past, her circumstances, and her pains. He was heartbroken for her back then and wanted to help her out. So he continued to have fun with her for the remaining days to come by.

The day his family finally granted him to do after school soccer practice, he couldn’t turn down the offer. He spent the rest of his days then playing soccer with a new team and a new set of friends.

He tried to return early to spend some time with El, but after a few more tries, he saw he couldn’t do it. Practice ended late, and once he entered the program, he never saw El’s face again.

He soon casually forgot about the girl and focused on his sports. The moment he saw she had moved, he had regretted it immediately. He was sad how he didn’t get to spend more time with the fun girl and didn’t get to say goodbye to one person he called his genuine friend.

Now that he saw her again for the first time, he was surprised at how the small the world was. How he moved into the same city she was. He saw she grew up to be an exquisite woman. He knew she was pretty back then, but age could really do wonders for others. Her maturity accentuated her features and made her look captivating.

Caught up in her eyes, he zoned out a bit before continuing the conversation when they first met. On the inside, he was happy that they were given the chance to meet again and how she looked happy now, considering what she went through back then.

With a newfound confidence, Mark stood up to sit in the chair across from Elizabeth.

“Hi.” He said.

He could see the visible surprise and confusion she donned on her face and laughed at this. “It’s good to meet you again.” He continued as he raised his glass towards her.

She got her own cup and clinked it with his. He drank a sip while he saw her finish what was left in hers.

“You drink really well.” He remarked.

“You too.” She suddenly replied. Surprised by her own answer, Elizabeth hiccupped. Mark laughed at how she reacted and poured her a glass of water from the pitcher beside him and handed it over to her.

She got the cup of water and drank. Relieved her of her hiccups, she said to Mark in front of her, “Sorry.”

“Just relax.” He replied. “It’s been a long time, huh?”

“Mhmm.” She nodded.

“It’s good we met again.”

Surprised at his words, she confusingly bolted up to look at him. ” What do you mean?”

“I enjoyed spending time with you.”

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