Battles to Be Won - JaredMature


        The basement was packed, and that was saying something considering how large Drew’s basement was. But nevertheless, the partygoers lined the place wall to wall, all of them centered around a wooden table, that was serving as the surface of the main event. Beer pong, which in Andrew’s, and obviously all the people who had come out to witness the match’s worlds, was a very important event.

         The final match of the summer actually, with the sole purpose of having the remaining two champions of previous party’s matches face-off. The prize being, major bragging rights and the “honor” of being immortalized in the “Beer Pong Hall of Fame”, which Jared was quite sure didn’t even exist.

         The sarcastic monologue in Jared’s head, that had been going on for some time by then, was slowly beginning to drive him insane. The only reason he had agreed to come to the party was because it was an excuse to see Ally again. Had she decided not to come? Jared sighed and leaned back, tired of asking himself the same question.

        He was sitting on a leather sofa with his mate, Sam, who was the other champ competing that night, besides himself. Sam had informed him time and time again who was going to come out victorious once the match was over, but Jared wasn’t worried. Beer pong was something he had a knack for, no matter how ridiculous it had seemed at first. Beer and ping pong balls … were not meant to mix. But his friends wouldn’t let up on him about giving it a go, so he had.

       His first time playing, had resulted in a quick win and later, many previously arrogant components who had been sure of their oncoming victories, left stupefied and speechless and slightly drunk, by their losses … Long story short, Jared felt no remorse for the "major fail" in the near future of his friend.

        They were currently waiting for Drew to get back from a phone call or something of the sort. Once he came back down from wherever he was, the game would begin. When Drew came back … down …stairs …

        Jared’s thoughts started breaking up, along with his breath, the minute she stepped onto the stair, a death grip on the railing. A smile broke out on his face. If he thought she was gorgeous before, she was most definitely resplendent then. That dress … he started to get up but … Sam beat him to it. He got up so fast in fact that he had to grab hold of the beanie that was perched on the back of his head, lying partially over top of his coffee colored hair, seriously who wears a knit hat in the summertime? before it came off completely.

        “Ally?!” Sam bounded over to the stair, causing heads to swing around in the direction of what was causing such sudden chaos, whispers started up immediately after most caught sight of who was on the stair.

        He heard snatches of the conversations around him, each snippet confusing more so than enlightening him, “Is that Ally Gilbert?” Some girl whispered to her friend.

        “OMG! That’s Ally!” Another said louder.

        “I can’t believe she’s back, we've gotta go say hi.”

         There were also sly glances at the corner that Mallory was perched in with the rest of her posse.

        Sam finally reached Ally, after elbowing his way through the crowd, a form taller than any others streaking through the room, and crushing her in a hug that she returned with the same force.

        Jared stood up slowly, he had realized that besides the strange fact that Sam and Allison knew each other, along with most of the people in the room it seemed, who were Greenville High students … she had come down the stairs following close behind Derek and Andrew, arms linked with both Sarah and Liz … his friends.  Am I missing something here?

        But if Jared thought there was chaos in the room before, it was nothing compared to what happened next.

        The throng of people in the room that had begun to push toward the stairway, ever since they noticed who was on it, began to shove toward it in earnest then, until Ally and crew were surrounded on all sides by the pulsing crowd. They were all calling one name though.

        “ALLY!” People shouted, “Ally over here! Remember me?!”

       “Hi Ally! ALLY!” They screamed and in turn she waved and greeted those she was closest to, trying to get a hello in to everyone, and when that didn’t seem to be pleasing enough to the crowd around her, she made her way to the bottom of the step, nudging around Derek and Andrew, who both offered her a hand down. She took them; smiling back at them both and saying what looked like a, “Thanks.”

       Allison meandered through the crowd, and they parted for her, making little aisles for her to pass by in. She greeted, what looked like, almost everyone, and it seemed impossible, but yeah, the people upstairs must have heard the commotion, and started to squeeze down the steps.

        Derek, Andrew, Liz and Sarah dispersed from the stair and the crowd waved and called to them too. The whole spectacle was quite … impressive. They were akin to celebrities. Princes and Princesses of Greenville, with Ally none other than their queen. Boy … well I sure have a lot of filling in to do.

        Derek and Andrew had made it over to where he was. They greeted each other happily and afterwards Drew and Derek had taken up spots flanking either side of where Jared was standing at the back of the couch.

        Derek leaned over to Jared and said quietly, “I’ve gotta talk to you about something …”

        Jared nodded, prompting him, but his eyes and his overall attention was for Ally, and no force of will or nature could have changed that at the moment, “Yeah, mate? What’s on your mind?”

       Sam ambled over at that moment, sliding in between Derek and Jared, which was more of a, Jared and Derek seeing him coming and moving over, than Sam actually managing to “slide in” anywhere. Jared knew he was tall, but Sam … Sam was like Shaquille O’Neal tall, who he was told was a famous and tall American basketball player. His friend wouldn’t be fitting into any tight spaces any time soon. Jared and Derek both laughed.

        Derek leaned back around Sam and said to Jared smiling, “I’ll talk to you later.” Jared nodded and faced forward. At this point, they all stood facing the sudden, but not so surprising confrontation. Jared assumed that rulers needed to be set, though it seemed obvious to him who they were.

        When Mallory Greene had stepped into Allison’s path all four of them, Andrew, Derek, Sam and himself had tensed, ready to defend if necessary, and Jared knew at that point for sure, that those guys could be none other than her friends.

        Ally had just spotted him, waved back when he had waved to her, even in his dumbstruck state, and had been making her way over, before Mallory blocked her from view.

        Mallory stood in front of her, glaring menacingly. Ally had no glare for her, but she had no apparent fear either. She stood tall, calm and seemingly untouched by who was standing before her, truly like a queen, as if to say, take your best shot. Jared smiled, silently cheering her on, that’s right. She’s got nothing on you Ally, show her who’s boss.

         But besides all of the guys, himself included, Ally didn’t stand alone. Sarah and Liz came to stand with her, Liz who so like Ally, looking unfazed, glanced around in boredom, her eyes eventually falling on him.

        She winked and smiled slyly, turning back to who she was aiding in the face off, though they all knew, even Jared, that it was Ally’s battle, and was no one else’s but her own to win, and Jared had no doubt that she would do just that.

The End

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