C8 What the hell Jason?!
Practice time. The only period I ever looked forward to at school, other than picking on Amelia, that is.
Classes were over now and the team was in the field doing basic warm ups before the main practice began.
Amelia, as I'd told her to, was seated on the bleachers, watching blankly, my stuff beside her. Just to make sure she was actually watching and not doing something else, like pressing her darned phone, I kept one eye on the field and the other on her. It wasn't as hard as it sounded.
Shortly after the warm up, the main practice kicked off at the sound of Coach Hens's whistle.
Okay, yes, I looked forward to practice, pretty much everyday at school, but on some days, some occasions, like today, when it was devilishly hot, I might as well pass it up.
We played for over thirty minutes before Coach Hens decided to give us a break, which I was very much thankful for. At the sound of the whistle, I doubled over, hands on my knees, panting hard, lines of sweat dribbling down my face and jaw.
Straightening up, I wiped sweat away from my eyes and forehead, squinting against the glare of the sun. Then I remembered I had something I could use to mop up the sweat in my face-the bandanna inside my backpack Amelia was holding. I jogged up to the bleachers to get it.
"Short break?" She asked, squinting up at me, as soon as I got to the bleachers.
Reaching down, I snatched my bag up from beside her.
"None of your business," I muttered, unzipping the bag and getting out the bandanna. Tossing the bag at her, I used the towel to dry up the residual sweat on my brows and face and at the base of my hair.
"I'm asking because I really have to go. The sun's too much and it's working my head up in an ache," she frowned.
"Oh, so now you understand how I feel," I said.
"Hey, I wasn't the one that told you to join the football team. If you weren't ready for the work then you could've backed-" she was ranting when I passed her a deep scowl.
"Don't talk to me like you know anything about me," I glared at her.
I saw her jaw tic, her face set in an equal frown, grey eyes cold. Seconds later, she moved her gaze from me.
Grabbing my backpack from her arms, I dropped the bandanna back in, zipped it up and threw it back at her before heading back to the field to join others. They were doing basic passes now, Coach Hens at a corner talking to the twins of the team, Jake and Gabe.
Not too long after I rejoined, someone kicked the ball toward me. Catching it at the sole of my foot, I stopped it from rolling. About to pass the ball back, I saw I was standing not too far from Amelia and directly opposite her.
A smile curling my lips up, I stepped back two inches, moved forward and kicked the ball as hard as my right foot could. It whizzed in the air, headed straight for Amelia. A second later, it collided with her cheek-she was looking in the other direction.
Her head snapped sideways at the impact. A hand to the spot the ball had hit her, she fell forward and off the bleachers.
"What the hell, Jason?!" Was the next thing I heard.
It was from Adrian, who was already running up to where Amelia sat-she'd gotten up after she fell-a hand to her head. Two guys followed after Adrian.
"I didn't do anything!" I yelled in defense, my hands up in the air.
"Yes, you did!" Adrian shouted, crouching down and taking Amelia's hand. Gently, he pulled her up.
The bitch actually swayed, like she was dizzy or something. I rolled my eyes. I wasn't buying her bullshit.
Adrian sat her on the last bleacher before turning to face me, a hard look on his face.
"I saw you," he said, walking up to me, "you could've passed the ball to Fred, who was right beside you, but you shot at her instead."
"Okay, fine, I did." I held his gaze. "So what? It was a mistake anyway. Anyone could've done that."
"So what?" Adrian looked surprised. "Jason, you could've hurt her. You could've hurt someone."
"But I didn't."
His surprised expression morphed to an angry one in seconds. "But you could. What the hell is wrong with you, man?"
"Alright, break it up, you guys," Coach Hens said suddenly, coming to stand between us. "I can't have two of my best players and friends arguing weeks before the upcoming match."
"Coach, he kicked the ball at someone," Adrian reported.
"It was an accident," I said.
"One that's not happening the first time." Coach Hens moved his gaze to me, crossing his arms. "I've seen you do it many other times before."
"I didn't-" I began when he cut in.
"To end this quickly, you go over to her and apologize. Meanwhile, this is the last time I ever want to see her at practice. If you're the one that kept her there then tell her to go. Now."
"No buts, Davenport." He was already walking away. "Just do as I said."
I stood at the spot for a full minute, glaring at Adrian who glared right back, if I might add, before, huffing, I looked away from him.
Slowly, and rather reluctantly, I trudged up to Amelia still sitting at the bleachers.
I noticed her eyes had a pinkish hue as soon as I got to her, as if she was on the verge of tears. The moment our gaze met, she looked away.
Coach Hens wasn't right beside me to know if I told her sorry or not, so I didn't.
"Go," I said instead. "You can go."
She looked back at me then.
"And don't come back. You're not gonna be sitting here at practice anymore. But you'll wait for me everyday after school. In the library. You can use that time to do my homework. Now, scurry off."
Slowly, she got up from the bleacher, grabbed her backpack and made to leave when, all of a sudden and much to my surprise, she swayed and fell sideways, into me.
I caught her by the arms and pushed her off me before steadying her.
"Quit the act already," I said and let go of her.
"I'm not acting," she said and brushed past me, walking off.
"Yeah, right." I rolled my eyes.
Practice ended a while later. After that, I freshened up in the boys locker room and went out to the parking lot to meet Amelia standing by the gateway, staring out. Her ride, the school bus, had already left. Seeing that, I smiled. Serves her right.
Just as I was about to get into my car, I spotted Adrian walking up to her. At that, I frowned. What was he telling her? Asking her, rather, from what it looked like.
All of a sudden, they began heading towards his car? What the . . . Adrian was giving her a ride, yet again.
I couldn't let that happen. Adrian might not have anything for her, and it might just be him being nice, but I wasn't buying. The more he gave her rides the more he made her comfortable, fueled her ego or something, and the more chances there were that he might just fall for her because, as much as I hated to acknowledge the fact, Amelia was beautiful.
Gingered by the thought of him falling for Amelia, I started towards them.
"Hey, Amelia!" I called, just as she was about to get into the passenger seat of Adrian's Ford.
Her hand stopped at the door handle as she turned to look at me. The moment her gaze fell on me, she frowned.
I ignored it. Normally, she knew I wouldn't, but because Adrian was there, I ate up her bullshit. Getting to her, I gave her a wide smile, one she didn't reciprocate, instead her annoyed expression turned to a confused one.
"I thought I told you I was gonna take you home after practice. To make up for accidentally kicking the ball at you," I said.
"And now, all of a sudden, I see you with Adrian. You're not comfortable with me or something?"
"I didn't know she was meant to go with you," Adrian spoke up, looking at me. "Or I wouldn't have asked."
"It's alright," I said.
Amelia was about to say something when I gave her a warning smile that literally said, "You better play along. For your sake."
She understood. That I could tell from the look on her face.
"I actually forgot Jason offered me a ride," she muttered, turning to look at Adrian.
"It's no problem. As long as you get a ride," Adrian shrugged.
"Come on, Mel," I said, reaching out and taking her hand. "Let's go. It's getting pretty late."
She flinched at my touch. An encouraging act. One that told me she still feared me. Just like I wanted.
"So, I'll see you guys tomorrow?" Adrian called as we got to my Audi.
"Yeah, sure thing," I answered for both of us.
Letting go of Amelia's hand-trust me, that's all I'd been wanting to do ever since I took it-I walked around the car to the driver's seat. I unlocked the door and pulled it open.
Seeing Amelia was about to open the door to the back seat, I ordered, "Passenger seat. You know that."
Reluctantly, she let go of the door handle and opened the door to the passenger seat instead. As soon as she got in, I locked all the doors and started the car.
Slowly, I backed out until the car was out of the parking lot, then I did a reverse and sped forward.
"Jeez, Jason, take it easy!" Amelia yelped, as I took a sharp cut right.
"You don't tell me what to do," I muttered, maintaining my speed level.
"You didn't even ask for directions," she frowned. "Where are you taking me?"
"Why?" I smirked, looking over at her. "Home, of course."
Right then, a look of fear flashed in her eyes.
"Jason, stop the car," she said, staring at me.
"But I'm taking you home. Don't you want that?" I cocked an eyebrow.
"Jason, stop the car," she repeated. "Please."
"Stop the fucking car!" She screamed suddenly, her eyes wild with fear. "Stop the car or I swear when I get out, I'll call the cops on you."
Annoyed at her statement, I braked hard. Really hard, so she went jutting forward, her head missing the dashboard by an inch.
"That's what happens when you forget to put on ýour seat belt, Mel." I looked at her. "You have to be more careful. Not everyone looks out for you the way I do."
She remained silent, her shaky breath the only sound coming from her.
"I could have died just now," she said finally, moving her gaze to me. "You could've killed me."
"Goodbye and good riddance then," I shrugged with a smile.
Her lips pulling down in a deep, hateful scowl, she turned away from me, flipped the lock open and grabbed the handle. Right at the moment she was about to open the door, I reached out and gripped her arm.
"Let me go," she glowered, eyes fiery.
"Or what?" I matched her tone.
"Let go of-"
"Shut the fuck up and listen if you don't wanna go home with a bleeding lip," I sneered.
The threat pretty much pinned her lips shut, and the silence that followed was greatly welcomed. She talked too much.
"Now here's what's gonna happen," I began, my gaze fixed on her. "You don't talk to Adrian. Ever again. Whatever shit is going on between you two has gotta end. Today. If he offers you a ride you decline. If he offers you help, you decline too. Got it?"
For moments, she did nothing but look at me fixedly before slowly she nodded.
"Any day I see you doing the contrary, I believe you already know what's gonna come next," I added. "Now, get out."
Letting go of her arm, I pushed her away. Seconds later, she was out of the car, banging the door really hard behind her.
I just shook my head, starting the car once more. I already got what I wanted anyway. Dumping her in the middle of nowhere, that is.