We won the game.
The football game on Friday, I mean.
Jemima and I had spent the entire time bundled up on the bleachers eating nachos and making fun of the football players who couldn't catch or throw and the cheerleaders who couldn't even get the moves right during the halftime show. Overall, a pleasant experience for my first time at any sporting event.
Afterwards we went down the bleachers as the guys were heading into the locker rooms and Josh waved to us, a grin on his grass-stained face. He looked as if he had been through war. I put on my friend-that-might-eventually-become-more-than-a-friend-but-probably-not-however-I'll-be-supportive-until-then smile and waved back. Then Jemima and I leaned on his car, talking, until he came out, at which point she gracefully departed and Josh and I drove to Mario's Pizzeria downtown. The entire night was full of loud, sweaty boys chugging soda and talking about plays and touchdowns. I uncomfortably smiled and agreed with whatever Josh said, apparently pleasing him so much that he went as far as putting his arm around my shoulder.
When he and some other guys who I had been introduced to but didn't remember at all went to play pool, a girl I recognized as a cheerleader came and sat down next to me.
"Hi, it's Jenn, right?" She had bleach-blonde hair with dark roots and bright red lipstick. Her shirt was cut off at her midriff and her mascara was just a bit smudged. She was obviously popular, not just by the way she dressed, but her presence screamed confidence. Something I definitely lacked.
When I nodded she continued. "My name's Angie. I'm cheer captain. You're Josh's new girlfriend, right?"
What?! "No, not his girlfriend." I replied calmly. "We're just friends. Strictly friends."
She smiled sweetly. "Oh, I think he might have other ideas in mind, dear. Anyway, have you ever considered being a cheerleader?"
Now that caught me off guard. Me? A cheerleader?
"No, I haven't. I don't really think that's for me."
"You should consider it." I laughed spitefully. "No really!" She added, "You have the body for it! You'd be the perfect flyer."
"Don't tell me you're already recruiting her, Angie," a voice said behind me. A hand snaked along my shoulders and Josh sat down next to me. His hand found its way to mine, which was resting on the table.
"Well, Josh, I know you are the cheerleader kind of guy, so I figured I would help you out," she replied with a sassy smile. He returned the banter and they went at it for a minute, but I could only focus on my hand in his.
It was all wrong.
I really wanted to shake it off, stand up and leave, but I figured if I was going to try and fit in, start a new life, that I might have to sacrifice some things. Like self-respect and comfort.
Then Angie stood up and with a flirty "See you tomorrow" she strode off to another table. I noticed Josh's eyes trailing behind her. I took the opportunity to turn around to face him, stealthily pulling my hand away.
"So, you're a cheerleader kind of guy?" I repeated, challenging him.
He chuckled. "Well, Angie and I kind of had a thing. But it was a long time ago, I swear!" he insisted quickly.
"Alright, alright, I didn't say anything," I consoled him. We left soon after, planning on meeting Saturday night. And I was already dreading it.