everyone's life has a certain style to it. Jason has his own special style. Everything under the sun.
I was running down the field as fast as my legs could possibly carry me, a speed I never thought was possible for me, a football tucked under my left arm as I ran. Everything seemed like a blur, I was moving on pure adrenaline now, which was actually normal for me, not thought just reflex, action and reaction in one sequence that was never-ending. People were running after me, trying to attack me, but I dodged every one of them or others kept them out of my way. Then I felt myself hit the ground and realized that I had dived over a white chalk line, people began cheering all around me, I had made a touch down with only sixteen seconds to go, and no way could the other team make it to the other end of the field. They knew it, the looks of their faces told the story.
Fourth quarter, their down by a touch-down, with only sixteen seconds left in the game while they’re quarter-back was one of two injured teammates. They’d long ago lost their drive to win this game and the only reason they weren’t down by more than one touch-down was because their quarter-back had been on the field up till two plays ago. We had this game in the bag; we just had to amuse the crowd until time was up even though they as well knew the outcome of the game already. My friend, Larry, held his hand out to me and I took it and was heaved up. “Nice job Jace,” Larry beamed past his red and yellow football helmet.
“It was nothing Lar,” I said to him as we jogged with the others over to the coach. He obviously seemed pretty satisfied with the score board.
“Isn’t that what you always say around the girls?” I could almost hear the grin on his face. We slowed to a walk as we reached the team. They patted me on the back saying “nice going Matthews” or “keep it up Jace.” Coach had the heaviest hand and I wondered if I’d wake up with a bruise between my shoulder blades in the morning.
“You won us the game son,” he crackled with laughter. “That dumb coach of theirs.” I didn’t comment on that, partly because I hate being called son by people who obviously weren’t my father in any shape nor form. I sat out on the last play and watched as the seconds on the board played out.
I yawned as I sat bored in biology watching the seconds on the clock tick away, waiting for our lunch hour to come. The game last night continues to be the topic of student conversation, guess it makes sense; it was our Homecoming game after all so it was a pretty big deal. Not to mention we were undefeated so far this school year according to all of the school newspaper articles which somehow managed to drift toward the topic of the game and commended one person for the undefeated status. The name I put on every piece of paper handed to me in class. Jason Matthews, “Jace leads the chase”, “Eagles led by Matthews”, other things that all used some form of my name.
The school year had barely begun and I had become famous. Of course all people knew about me was that I was apparently some kind of football prodigy, possibly the son of some big time football player. It would be enough for anyone else, I could care less. The bell rang and I scooped up my books and strode out of the room and went to my locker, throwing my books inside and pulling out my wallet, placing it into my back pocket. When I made my way to the lunch room Larry caught up with me.
“Hey, Jace, I got you something,” he sounded pretty excited. Though that was something to expect from my good friend Lar, he was always pretty happy. He pulled a red and yellow sports jacket with my initials near the left shoulder, and my nickname, Jace, in cursive big and yellow on the back. To be honest it was pretty nice. “You look pretty surprised dude, try it on.”
I slipped on the jacket. “Whoa this feels great,” I said with a smile. “Did you guys make these for the rest of the guys on the team?”
“Yeah but yours is the only one with your nickname across the back. Think of it as a good luck charm.” A few girls walked past. He shot them a flirty smile, shot me an apologetic smile, and chased after some short skirts. I rolled my shoulders and the jacket slid off and I slung it onto my shoulder.
As I entered the cafeteria it wasn’t hard to tell that all eyes turned toward me, conversations got hushed, girls began to giggle more, and guys shot me jealous glances like I was trying to steal their girls’ attention. Like they had the girls’ attention in the first place, they were probably just some skirt chasers who always strike out. It made me laugh, they were fans who wanted so badly wanted it to look like they hated me. I strode to the end of the lunch line and was pulled forward to the front. Alright, I understood that I had made three touch-downs including the winning touch-down during last night’s Homecoming game, but special treatment from a lunch line full of hungry males was something I didn’t expect in my life.
I told the lady at the cash register what I wanted and paid, she handed me a receipt that held my order and I went into the second line, which I was again pulled through and I handed the second lunch-lady my receipt and she gave me my lunch. Spicy chicken sandwich, two orders of fries, and pink milk. I found my way to the table full of football team-members. They had me feeling like a god, something that I wasn’t, and I honestly didn’t like it at all. But how could I complain?
“Nice job ball hog,” someone said as they walked passed. He wore dark clothing and I’d put money that he probably had a lot of dark eye-liner on, most of the school Goths did. Someone on my team, big guy, number 17, got up to stop him.
“Hey big guy, take a seat,” I called. “The guys allowed speaking, it’s his opinion, and this is a school, not a prison.” He looked at me and then moved out of the guy’s way. “You’re “Kristoff” correct? Never thought you would be one to follow high-school football, you do realize that I passed the ball through-out the game and only took it when the coach pushed me to?”
He turned to look at me and I was right about the eye-liner. “Well I-,” he began but was cut off by someone else.
“Kristoff are you starting something with the football star,” asked a girl with black hair, parts of it died purple. She had purple contacts on and she had snake bites, which were piercings on either side of her bottom lip, and she also wore a lot of black. “Stop starting trouble and come on.” She shot me an apologetic smile.
“Don’t worry about it,” I smiled. “He was just telling me what he thought about the game last night. Well Kristoff, before you go, let me just say I’m not much of an attention whore. It’s just… attention likes to find me.”
With that I went back to my lunch and the two walked away. “Who was that girl,” I asked Max. He knew almost everyone in school by name.
“Oh, you mean October? She’s one of those Goth kids.” He looked at me with an odd expression. “Interested in her?” I didn’t reply because I knew that it wasn’t really necessary.
I wasn’t the kind of guy who randomly asks about females. Also, I didn’t care much for social status; she had interested me, which was good enough. Someone came and plucked my jacket from my shoulder. My head snapped over and I saw this perfect girl. Tall, tan skinned long sexy legs, long brown hair, blue eyes, and red full lips.
She put on my sports jacket and shot me a flirty look with those intense blue eyes. The whole lunch room focused on us, though they tried to play it off by glancing away every now and again. A girl wearing a football players sports jacket in middle of a room full of high-schoolers, she was making it obvious by making her way toward the middle of the room slowly, the Barbie was claiming territory. Wanting people to think that I was her man, though I didn’t know her it gave her a better chance than the other girls, and that made it obvious to me that she was nothing more than a Barbie. Like that movie Mean Girls, she was a plastic, a doll, someone who’s perfectly popular.
Someone grabbed her arm and pulled her over to the table, taking my jacket off of her and tossing it to me. “Hey, hey Lar.” Larry gave me his I’m-Just-In-Time-To-Save-Your-Butt grin. He let the girl go and sat down beside me, patting me on the back. But even though Larry had shredded some of the thoughts going around that I was going out with little miss plastic I knew that something had been started.
“Have fun with that.” Larry said jerking his head toward the Barbie who had begun to walk away with a group of giggling, chattering friends.
The gossip was raging already. The guys would whistle when someone brought up my supposed girl-friend and would congratulate me. Of course she wasn’t my girl, I don’t buy Barbies, and she didn’t arouse my interest, though it was smart of her to wear my jacket in middle of the cafeteria. It felt like an eternity before last bell came, this was the only class I had Larry in, and the one class today that had a pushover as a substitute. We’d be handed a paper and be set off by ourselves to finish our work, meaning we were able to talk freely, as long as we got our work done of course.
“Sometimes you just have to hate being a teenage stud,” Larry joked. “The gossip is raging, the girls are all over you, and one of the sexiest chicks in the school claimed you as her territory. Sounds like a day straight out of my dreams.”
“Yeah? Well do me a favor and wake your-self up already,” I ordered and he chuckled.
“Not enjoying your day of fame are you?” Lar said. “We’re not all made out for that sort of glamorous life. You’ll get used to it though, one day. When you have that huge mansion and those ladies in your bed room, all the guys wishing they can be you and- OWWW!” He yelled when I pinched him.
“Sorry, that’s the only way I could think of to wake you up from your day-dream about my future, my bad,” I smiled at him. He glared at me for a moment and then chuckled softly.
“So, do you know what you gonna do about that hot chick from the lunch room,” he asked. I shook my head with a sigh.
“No,” was all I could say. “But I’m hoping that it just passes over.” He raised an eyebrow and sat up.
“Someone you interested in?” He asked me and got his answer from the look on my face. “I wonder who it is. Not often that a girl catches your attention. Wait let me see if I can guess.”
I rolled my eyes, a gesture he didn’t seem to have seen. His eyes went up toward the ceiling as if the answer was going to somehow appear shining down from the lights. “Jane Thompson?” His first guess, he said it like it was the most ingenious guess anyone could come up with. I merely shook my head and his smile fell.
“Lucy Leger? Megan Day? Carrie?” Each guess strikes out and I couldn’t help but laugh. “So no one normal huh, makes sense because you like your girls to be one of a kind. Wait… that other girl at lunch… October, the goth girl?”
“Took you long enough,” my smile could be heard as much as seen. “Every time I see her she’s around Kristoff, which means he’s competition, and she is always the center of attention around her little group of friends. Sounds like a pretty good catch.” He shook his head in disdain.
“Do you not remember any of my lessons,” he asked. “A girl like her always holds some kind of intense baggage.”
“I’m willing to cope with that,” I replied.