M I D N I G H T

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vi. frustrated humans

It was now officially my second week of high school and my first football game.

My alarm went off way faster than I thought it would.

I could’ve sworn I just closed my eyes.

I slapped my hand on my phone a few times, not even looking to see if I was pressing the β€˜stop’ button. It eventually turned off and groaned. I was not looking forward to tonight. I was barely prepared and I didn’t want to hear Alex making fun of me in my uniform.

Reluctantly I got dressed and went to school. Nina greeted me excitedly. Unlike me, she was actually good at cheering and looking forward to tonight. Not to mention, she was also happy about James being able to play again after being out last season.

Around lunch time, I was passing by the school entrance and saw Alexander talking on the phone. His face was twisted in concern and I could hear his voice from where I was standing. What was he so upset about? I know weren’t close friends, but I suppose I should still ask him if everything was okay.

I mean, James, Nina, him, and I were like a group of friends.

Right?

He teased me, so that had to be something.

Wait, what am I worried about? Alexander himself said we were friends.

I slowly opened the glass door and overheard a bit of his conversation.

β€œI know they’re a threat. That’s why I want them all gone.”

Is he talking about the game tonight? Like he wants the team gone?

I barely placed a toe on the concrete when his eyes turned towards mine. He hung up, not bothering to say bye to the other line and walked towards me, his hands clenching and unclenching. I slowly walked out to him.

β€œIs everything okay?” I asked, softly.

He looked down at me and sighed. Alex’s head then turned to the sky and he clenched his jaw.

β€œEverything’s fine.”

I scoffed.

β€œIf something is bothering you, we can talk about it. I know we aren’t that close, but I might be able to help-”

He let out a humorless laugh before narrowing his eyes at me.

β€œWhat do you know? You’re just an oblivious human-being who has no idea what’s going on around and has no idea what pain is.” He took a step closer to me. β€œYou have no idea how tiring life can actually be.” He got closer and I backed up. β€œYou’re small and weak.”

His words stabbed at my brain. The cold tone of his voice didn’t help either. My mind went completely blank a second just trying to process everything.

I processed it: his accusing eyes and the anger in his voice.

This was a bad idea.

My stomach dropped and I felt my eyes water. I looked him dead in the eye and saw his face relax then pale as the weight of what he just said hit him.

The atmosphere became cold and awkward.

β€œCorvina, I-” he cut himself off.

I wanted to shout at him.

Tell him he didn’t know me and he was being unfair.

Tell him my father died and my mom’s boyfriend was a pervert. But I didn’t. I shut my mouth and watched the puddle under my feet form ripples as I shifted my weight.

I bit the inside of my cheek and hugged onto the binder in my arms tightly. He didn’t need to know me or my business.

I heard him let out a deep exhale and felt a warm weight on my shoulder. β€œI’m sorry.” He removed his hand and took a step back. β€œYou should go back inside. You’ll get sick.”

Alex walked past me and into the school.

The day passed by quickly and I wrote off Alex’s words as stress that was poorly handled. It didn’t want to think too hard about them and soon there I was again on damp turf in the cold. It was pitch black and the only source of light were the beaming stadium lights that would blind you if you looked at them for too long.

I kept fidgeting with my top and I couldn’t stop itching my head. I’m not sure what type of hair spray Nina put in my hair, but I’m pretty sure I’m allergic to it.

β€œYou ready?” Nina walked up to me.

β€œEhh, I hope so,” I muttered.

She didn’t pay attention to my response but I saw her eyes brighten up, β€œThey’re here!”

Nina grabbed my arm and pulled me to the corner of the field where the tunnel the players would be entering through was. I spotted James and Alex only. At the sight of him, I grew nervous.

β€œHey baby,” James smiled and pulled Nina into a deep kiss.

I blushed at the sight and turned my head away, leaning against the interior. I felt Alex walk up to me. He leaned down so he was towered over me and placed both his hands on either side of my head. My mind went on pause at his actions. What is he doing?

This is one weird fucking apology.

He leaned down closer and I felt his minty breath fan over me.

My pulse quickened and my heart began to race. β€œW-what are you doing?”

I swallowed thickly and felt my cheeks heat up as his lips quirked upwards.

β€œAren’t you going to give me a good luck kiss?”

Sir. please.

No lol.

β€œI-”

He gently nudged my chin, β€œI’m teasing Corey,” he looked down at me tenderly, β€œand I am really sorry about earl-”

Their coach blew his whistle and my head snapped to its direction. The rest of the football team was there watching Alex and I. He straightened up and walked over to his fellow teammates. Nina smiled at me and pulled back towards our squad.

He really knew how to blow hot and cold.

The night was blurry after that. I was too confused about Alexander’s actions to properly execute the routine or see who won the game. I was surprised I didn’t ruin the whole pyramid. I didn’t catch Alex after the game and Nina gave me a quick hug before going off with James.

I walked home and sadly made it before my mom got off her shift, meaning Mike would be roaming with no care in the world; and no matter how hard I tried to look past it, Alex’s words kept replaying in my mind along with the scene on the field.

I pulled my cheer skirt down and took the bow out of my hair before walking inside. Mike seemed preoccupied so I quickly slipped up the stairs. I put my hand on the door knob but was quickly ripped away.

β€œWhat the fuck are you wearing?” He brought the gross face dangerously close to mine. I turned my face away and struggled to get out of his grasp.

β€œWhy the hell are you in that little outfit Corvina? I asked you a question!” He slammed his hands on the door behind me and I jumped at the sound.

β€œAre you fucking one of your teachers? Whoring yourself out to get good grades?” He chuckled darkly, β€œIn that case...” he trailed off and reached for his belt. My eyes widened and I readied myself to kick him in the balls.

β€œMike? Where are you?” My mother called from downstairs.

I guess neither of us had heard her coming in.

β€œI’ll be right there sweetie,” he called from our position upstairs. I clenched my fist at his retreating figure.

I didn’t realize how violently I was shaking until I moved to open the door. I guess it kind of went over my head but as I thought about it more, Mike had just tried too....

Nope.

Nopety nope.

Imma stop you right there cowboy.

Don’t think about it Corvina. Don’t think about it.

Negative thoughts get you nowhere but keep you in the past. Negative thoughts get you nowhere.

I needed to do a better job at keeping a positive mindset. All this is temporary. It won’t last forever. If anything happened, you would just tell mom and she would believe you. She’s your mother after all.

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