One of Them

The noisy skid of sneakers against the slippery surface of the indoor court overpowered all of my hearing as the guys and I played, the basketball dribbling loudly. Due to the chilly weather, coach had decided to host classes in the indoor courts the school has to offer. Most of the guys had headed toward the gym to work out, located in a separate area. The girls in class were playing volleyball on the opposite side of the court.

“May, here!” Damien said, waving his hand over at me impatiently. I passed him the ball and watched as he effortlessly dunked it into the hoop, letting out a ‘whoop’ of success. Turning away from the guys, I glanced over at my female classmates.

They were laughing and talking among themselves as they played, most of them good friends by the looks of it. Two of the girls met my gaze when they took a water break, eyeing me before whispering together, gossiping of course. I wasn’t a fool to be oblivious to the fact that being part of a social circle that was formerly a trio of the ‘hottest and greatest’ guys in school would come with its share of troubles. It didn’t bother me that I was getting excluded by mostly everyone else in my class, and the few that did approach me, did so out of fear, admiration or the fact that they were already friends with the guys.

So far, I hadn’t once seriously regretted my decision of associating myself with Damien, Leo and Nick, and I hoped I never would. But it felt like a door was being slammed in my face every time I tried speaking to someone different, someone who already perceived me as ‘one of them’.

I felt an arm drop around my shoulder and looked up to see Nick. His eyes had followed mine to the girls, and as if he had read my thoughts, he spoke happily, “You have us, May! Don’t mind those girls that call themselves our fellow senior comrades.” Even in intended insults, Nick managed to come off sounding incredibly nice. I cracked a smile at his choice of words.

The bell went off overhead before I could respond. P.E had ended and lunch break had begun. We had a whole 45 minutes to ourselves to chill before the last two periods of this Monday came about. The girls from the volleyball section came jogging forward and went past the four of us to the exit of the gym.

“I should probably go too,” I said, slipping out of Nick’s half-hug. “I’ll see you guys at our spot.”

Damien’s smile widened at the way I had said ‘our spot’. I don’t know when I’d started calling it that, but couldn’t help but smile a little bit myself. I was growing more comfortable with them to address it in such a way. Being ‘one of them’ didn’t entail anything bad after all.

The guys nodded and I turned my back on them, exiting the court and heading toward the girls locker room.

The End

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