Word had travelled strangely slowly around the school, no one was staring at me as I anticipated. Mostly, I just kept my head down, scared me saying one word would set my friends off crying. I couldn't do that to them, they would be crying when they got home, what was the point of me causing them misery. You will never know how much I wanted to crawl around school that day, to have never existed; anything to protect my friends from the knowledge. But, of course, it was too late for that. 

The only thing that kept me going was the knowledge that soon I would be playing football with friends, my team mates exactly where I belong. I smiled at that thought.

I carried on with my work as usual, understandably slower and my concentration wondering. What was the use? I wouldn't even live to the next test, let alone my exams in seven months. 

Heidi met up with me outside history and we walked down to the sports hall together. I talked enough for the two of us about stuff that didn't matter anymore, like prom and sixth form. The future. The future which I would not be sharing with her. The future I would never have. I knew she did not want to talk about those things, but I had to keep reminding her that life would go on, even if I wasn't in it. 

We changed quickly and stood out in the bracing wind, waiting for Miss Davis. Because we were more than a team, we were friends even though we were all from different years, we all talked and laughed together. The only one of my close friends was Heidi, but I got along with everyone. 

Miss Davis walked up to us, the green net of dirty, half-flat school footballs slung over her shoulder. For a brief second, she stood apart, smiling over at us in pride. I was touched that we meant that much to her. 

For the first ten minutes we did a few passing drills in pairs, which we spread out to include everyone. Soon, we tired of the drill and so we split up into teams to play a match. No one questioned it when I stood beside Heidi, everyone knew that we would not be separated. 

The End

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