We pulled into the gravel parking lot behind the football field. It wasn't even a parking lot. It was more like an area of grey rocks.
The football field was fenced around. The only way in was through a booth that usually had a man inside offering tickets during the games. You usually couldn't get in during the practices. But I didn't doubt Tatum. She knew what she was doing, I think.
We got out of the car and I immediately felt the cold wind blow through me. Goosebumps rose from my arms and I began to shiver. I turned around to Tatum and a grey item landed on my face. I pulled it off and realized it was her sweatshirt she threw at me.
"Thanks. Aren't you gonna be cold?" I asked slipping the sweatshirt over myself. It smelled like her. Vanilla.
"Nah, I'm too hot for the cold," she said, a crooked smile grew on her face.
I chuckled. "Okay, so how are we gonna get in? I mean, the booth's closed," I said.
"Watch and learn Grasshopper," Tatum walked over to the fence and started climbing. She perched herself on the top like an owl, and after a while she said said, "You coming?"
"Um," I walked over to the fence and hesitated. I started to lift my foot but then I realized I didn't even know where to put it. "Do I just, like, step in the holes?"
She laughed unnecessarily loud. Then laughed some more. "It's a fence, Micah, not rocket science."
I sighed and just climbed. Which I probably did extremely wrong. But I managed to get to the top and flip myself over the fence and almost kill myself.
Tatum jumped from the fence and landed softly on her toes and led the way to the unoccupied bleachers.
Some of the foot ball players turned to look at us and I wondered which one was Jason. I immediately became self conscious of the way I was walking. We were half way there when an old man with sweatpants, probably the coach (he had a whistle), noticed us.
"Crap, Tatum, I knew we weren't supposed to be here at practices,"
"Chill, bro," she said.
"Hey, you aren't supposed to be here," the coach rumbled, his voice noticeably southern. For some reason he was only looking at me.
My heart started racing and I could feel my face getting warm. I tried to glance at Tatum but she didn't look at me. There was an awkward silence before she started laughing and playfully punched the old man in the shoulder.
"Oh sorry Coach Wooden. I couldn't hold myself." Tatum said.
He did a hearty laugh. "I almost couldn't either. Do you think we got her?"
"Sure do think so. Only jokes, Micah. Meet the greatest man in the world, Coach Wooden."
He shook my hand with his sweaty one and gave me a cheeky smile. "Nice to meet you, Micah. Hope I didn't scare you too much. Nima (sometimes I forget what Tatum's real name is) here tells me all about you." He glanced back at the football players. "Welp, I better go back to the guys. The game's only in a week. You guys are free to watch if you want," He motioned over to the bleachers and walked off.
"You suck Tatum. You got me."
"It was all fun and games," She smiled and skipped over to the bleachers. She waited for me patiently and patted a seat next to her. I walked over and sat down.
"Coach Wooden?" I asked.
"He's used to coach my dad in football. He's old but he's still got a lot in him. Good guy, Coach Wooden,"
We watched the guys run around the field for a while. It seemed pretty monotonous, really. Just running around, chasing a ball, throwing a ball, kicking a ball. They shouted the usual words in football: "Hike, hut, left field!" I never really understood the purpose of sports. I never knew why people would chose to get sweaty and tackle other people and run around when they could be doing something more important. My opinion.
It was quite boring, actually, watching them. That's another thing I didn't understand. Why would anyone WATCH sports? Playing is just as bad, really. Watching is like, the next resort. I thought about all the things I could be doing instead of watching the guys run around. I could be reading. I could be exploring the unknown adventures of what is yet to be read. Although, that was just me. I was that kind of person. I was always very seclusive even when I was younger. My parents even once thought I was, like, autistic when I was little. But that turned out it was just my personality. I liked being by myself.
Tatum broke my train of thought when she whispered hastily, "Oh my god, number 42, that's Jason, look look look look look look look."
My eyes shot up in search of 42. My eyes spotted him and they were locked. He sat down on the player benches across from me and took his helmet off. His hair was slightly damp and and he was drinking from his water bottle.
**to be continued**