Eyes up here, asshole!
“I hate every minute of training. But I said, don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.” – Muhammad Ali
I am currently sitting in my last period Economics class, listening to Mr. Murphy drone on about the importance of how exchange rates work. It was only Wednesday and I was ready for the week to be over. The teachers wasted no time with diving right into senior year, and I already had a biology quiz on Friday and a history essay due on Monday.
I was deep in thought when I felt something touch the back of my neck. I quickly turned around only to be greeted by Aiden’s smiling face. I shot him a glare before returning my attention to Mr. Murphy.
Aiden on the other hand, seemed to have other plans. He took a strand of lose hair into his hand and began twirling it around as he leaned in to whisper in my ear. “You’ve got some sexy bed-head, princess.”
I couldn’t help the involuntary blush that crept on my face. For the record, it’s almost three in the afternoon and what Aiden was referring to as my bedhead, is actually the messy bun I had tied my hair into last period.
I quicky reached behind me to slap his hand away in the hopes he would just shut up, however, no such luck. Deciding I didn’t want to get yelled at by Mr. Murpby I tried my hardest to ignore Aiden messing with my hair for the remainder of the period. Once the bell finally rang, I was the first to jump out of my seat. “What is your problem?” I asked Aiden.
“Nothing.” He shot me a sweet smile. “You just had something in your hair.”
“Oh cut the crap!” I let out a exasperated sigh, as I reached across to slap his arm. However, he was quick to dodge my action. This only made my frustration grow. Luckily Mr. Murphy had already left.
As Aiden finished packing up his stuff, he was already near the door when he turned back around towards me. “Careful, princess. Or I’ll have to punish you at practice.” I watched in horror as the students who were still in the classroom turned towards me with amused and curious looks.
Oh my god. He did not just say that out loud for all these people to hear! “Fuck off!” I yelled as I flipped him the bird. He just chuckled before he walked out, leaving me behind to face the curious stares of our classmates.
The girls and I had just finished running the five laps around the field when Coach Garcia and Aiden told us to gather round.
“We’re going to do things a bit differently this year.” Coach Garcia started. “After talking with Aiden and observing you guys the past two days we’ve decided that on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays we’ll be focusing on cardio and strength training. Meanwhile, on Tuesdays and Thursdays we’ll focus on drills and skills training.”
We all nodded and hummed in agreement. Truth be told, it looks like the girls soccer team is finally getting in shape and unfortunately it looks like we have Aiden to thank for that.
Despite Coach Garcia coming from a professional background, she’s never been given the funding or the go ahead to have us train like the boys team. Usually the boys varsity team spends all year round training for their season in the spring, while we just start training in August right before the start of the season.
“Natalie, you and I are going to be working on your goalie training.” Aiden piggybacked off Coach Garcia. “We’ve also been granted permission to use the school’s weightlifting room for the remainder of the season, so that’s what we’ll be doing today.” I have to say I was surprised because the weightlifting room was usually reserved for the wrestling team and all the basketball players trying to get in shape for the upcoming season.
As everyone gathered their stuff and began making their way towards the school, I awkwardly hung back and waited for Aiden to see what he had in store for me.
“Another five laps around the field, princess.” Aiden said as he turned towards me. I noticed that he too was wearing workout clothes today. He had on a pair of black basketball shorts and a white t-shirt that clung to his muscles. The white made his tanned skin standout even more under the scorching sun.
I was just about to protest at the fact that he was going to have me run another five laps, but I decided against it. Truth be told, I would never talk back to an actual coach.
As I began jogging, I felt another presence next to me. Aiden had taken it upon himself to run the five laps with me. Shooting him a questioning gaze, he replied “You’re not the only one that needs to get in shape.”
“Are you calling me fat?” I scoffed at him. I wasn’t exactly model material but I also wouldn’t call myself fat. Sure I could stand to lose another 20 pounds so I could have a flat stomach and my legs could use more toning, but I wasn’t about to let him insult me like that. “Excuse me, but we can’t all look like we just stepped off a magazine cover.”
“Relax, I’m not calling you fat. If anything, you’ve got curves in all the right places” Aiden replied as his eyes drifted towards my back. It took me a minute to realize that the pervert was staring at my ass!
“Eyes up here, asshole!” I snapped and waived a hand in front of my face.
“What I meant was, is that now that I’m spending my time after school with you, I can’t go to the gym like I usually do. I have to train with the rest of you guys if I want to keep up my training for the spring.” He replied. Then, a smirk broke across his face. ” What was it you said, looking like I just stepped off a magazine cover doesn’t just miraculously happen.”
I blushed once I had realized that in my attempt to insult him, I had actually given him a compliment. “Shut up.” I mumbled.
After we had finished running, Aiden had us move on to jumping jacks, then sit-ups.
As I attempted, and failed miserably, to do a sit-up Aiden just stared at me with an amused smile on his face. “Come on princess, five more.”
I just huffed in response as I just laid on my back in the grass. “I can’t.” I felt him moving around above me, but I didn’t want to open my eyes. I was hoping that if I kept them closed for long enough, time would speed up and it would finally be time for me to go home.
When I felt something grab my ankles, my eyes immediately shot open and I scrambled to sit up. “What the hell!” I shouted.
“I’m going to hold your legs”. Aiden said as he kneeled in front of me and held my ankles tightly. “Now finish the sit-ups. We’re not leaving until you do.” With him holding my legs, I have to admit it was easier to finish the stupid sit-ups.
“Twenty pushups.” Aiden ordered next. He must have sensed I was about to protest because he spoke before I had a chance to. “And before you start complaining about how you can’t, I want the modified push-ups where you’re propped on your knees instead of your toes.” At least he had enough common sense to realize that a girl who can barely do fifty jumping jacks wasn’t going to give him no damn twenty pushups.
As I finished the last pushup, I was hoping we were done but Aiden decided to crush my dreams. “A hundred squats.” I groaned in response but nevertheless got into position. After about twenty squats, I began to look around because I was bored, only to find him with his eyes glued to my ass. I cleared my throat in an overly dramatic matter in the hopes he would get the hit and stop staring, but no such luck.
When it was clear he was going to keep perving at me, I stopped and crossed my arms as I cocked an eyebrow at him. “Why’d you stop?” I heard him ask.
“Because you’re a pervert!” I yelled at him as I pushed at his shoulder. He didn’t even flinch under my touch.
“It’s not my fault your ass is so captivating” He winked at me.
I threw my hands in exasperating. “Isn’t this like sexual harassment or something? Didn’t the school make you sign some paperwork or some shit like that.”
Aiden burst out laughing at my comment. “I’m not an employee they hired, princess. I’m just volunteering my time for the greater good. Plus, you and I are the same age.”
Once Aiden looked at me expectantly as if he was waiting for me to continue, I just stared back at him. Sensing that I wasn’t about to give in, he finally sighed. “Look, I promise I won’t stare anymore. Just finish the squats. We’ll go to the weight room next.”
Satisfied, I resumed the squats. Aiden was true to his word, and after I finished the two of us made our way to the weight room. Once there, I took notice of my teammates all struggling with the equipment in one way or another. It’s clear many of us have never been in this room before, let alone used the equipment.
Aiden had given me free reign over the equipment I used while he talked to coach Garcia. I had opted for the arm press. My legs were still on fire from all the squats Aiden had me do.
I didn’t get to enjoy my newfound freedom for too long because Aiden in front of me again.
In the next hour, he had me do a combination of bicep curls, triceps kickbacks, overhead extensions, lateral raises, and some dumbbell front raises. Luckily for me he only gave me the five pound weights because I kid you not my arms felt like they were about to fall off. I have never worked out so much in my life before, and let me tell you it’s not fun. If this is what we were going to be doing three days a week, I could kiss any feeling in my body goodbye.
As I counted the last set of dumbbell front raises, I looked at Aiden pleadingly. “Please tell me the torture is over!”
“Not quite.” He smirked as he walked towards the bench press. I watched in horror as he took two ten pound weighted plates and put one on each end of the bar. He motioned for me to take a seat on the bench, and I unwillingly let my feet guide me there.
Once I had adjusted myself on the bench, I stared at Aiden above me. He slowly took hold of the weighted bar and raised it from where it was resting with one arm. He motioned for me to lift my hands and take over. As soon as I felt the weight of it, I gave out a small yelp. I was not expecting it to weight that much, and the fact that my arms felt like jelly already was probably not helping.
“I’m going to let go of it now. Give me twenty pushes.” Aiden said softly. “I’ll be right here the entire time.”
I just nodded in response, not trusting myself to speak. I mustered up all the concentration I had left as I began pushing the bar. I had reached a count of ten when I felt my arms slowly begin to give in.
“Aiden!” I groaned and looked up desperately. I saw him come into view above me and watched in relief as he took some of the weight off my arms.
“Come on, Buffy” Aiden teased. “Five more.”
Mustering up all the strength I had left, I finally gave out one last huff as I pushed the bar in the air for the last time. I laid back breathing heavily as I watched Aiden place the bar back above my head.
“That... was... cruel.... Why... would... you... do... that... to.. me?” I asked in between breaths, as I tried to calm my beating heart. Once I finally sat up, I noticed that everyone else had already emptied out and all I could hope was that practice was over.
Aiden just shook his head at me. “Look princess, a goalie needs good upper arm strength and leg strength to be able to properly defend. Right now, you have neither of those things.”
I just stood there quietly as I took in his words. He took this as an opportunity to continue. “You can have all the skills down- and I’m not saying that you do by the way, but if you lack the strength, chances are you’re going to let the ball slip past you.”
“I get it.” I stood once I had finally calmed my breathing. “The thing is I don’t ever intend on playing professionally or anything. In two months, when the season is over I’m never going to put on another pair of cleats again. I like soccer as much as the next person, but this is just another extracurricular activity for me to write down on my college applications.”
Aiden looked slightly taken aback by my words, but he recovered quickly. “You don’t have to want to play professional. You just need to try your best, and unfortunately neither you nor many of your teammates seem to want to be doing that. This may just be another thing you list as an extracurricular, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give it your best.”
“Let me ask you,” he continued. “Are you going to be pre-med in college?”
Once I shook my head no, Aiden continued. “But you’re still learning biology and trying your hardest to get an A in class. The same concept applies here.”
Who knew, Aiden Cooper had a philosophical side to him.
“Now go home, princess.” Aiden smirked. “You look like you’re about to fall asleep while standing up”. And boy did I feel like the same. Every muscle in my body was on fire, and I was ready to go home and reunite with my bed.
“See you later, asshole.” I smiled as I walked past him. I heard him chuckle but I didn’t bother turning around.
I knew he wasn’t too far behind me._____________________________________________
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- Kitty Kat