I walked toward my baby, the blue Honda Pilot, and unlocked it, sitting in the driver’s seat. I threw my stuff over the seat and then slammed the door, starting the engine. It took me a minute to notice Van standing in front of the car, but I leaned out the window and yelled, “Move, Van!”
“Just wait a sec!” he told me.
“No! I’m in a hurry!” I revved the engine but he didn’t move.
“Oh come on, I just wanna talk, Gail!”
“I’m gonna run you over if you don’t move out of my way!” I screamed.
“Gail! Come on! Please!”
“Sixty seconds!” I said, turning off the engine as he walked toward the window.
“Okay, listen. Matt really wants to talk to you.”
I interrupted, “No.”
“Listen! He just don’t understand what’s going on.”
“What? And you do?” I rolled my eyes and started the engine again.
“No!” He clutched the side of the car and said more calmly, “Just don’t give up on him so fast.”
“Is that it?” I asked, already annoyed.
“Yeah.” I zoomed away before he could say anything else.
At 6:15 PM, I was in the crowded, noisy gym locker room. Tonight was our first football game of the season, and we were donning our uniforms.
Van hustled in, late as usual. “Matt, I talked to Gail again.”
“Drop it,” I said
Van pulled on his socks. “Maybe you could ask her to Homecoming next month.”
I laughed, “You kiddin’ me? Besides I already asked Cerri.”
“Oh, man, she’s hot, but dumber than a bag of marbles. Give Gail a call.”
I pulled my jumper down over my shoulder pads. “Van, what is it between you and Gail? If you’re that into her you ask her out.”
Van was quiet for a few heartbeats, then said, “Maybe I will.”
The coach shouted. “All right guys, you have been trained….”
Saved by the coach, I thought, listening to the same speech he gives every game. I looked over at Van, seated on the bench, his hands between his knees, studying the floor.
I reached out and punched him, whispering, “Wake up buddy the coach is giving one of his ‘you guys are the best’ speeches.”
I sat in the fifth row of the stands at the football game. I had convinced myself that I wasn’t going to see anyone I knew so there I was. I smiled to myself when the team came out, running and screaming.
Even though I’m a girl, I’m in love with football. I don’t know what I like about it. Maybe it’s the speed of the game or just the excitement but whenever there’s a game, I’ll be there.
This game was different though. I could feel it and I figured out it was true when Matt and Van were running and screaming with the rest of the team. So that’s where that feeling came from.
I quickly headed toward the back, getting out of sight. Maybe I could just watch the game and then slip out without either of them seeing me.
The game went pretty well. We won 36 to 32. It was one of those close, close games but those are always the best. After the game, I went through the girls’ locker room to escape seeing Matt and Van. It didn’t work out too well.
The whole team was outside the locker rooms together. I was about to turn around when someone tapped my shoulder. I turned, preparing for the worst.
It was the captain of the team, a complete ass named Riley. “Hey, Gail. Where have you been?” he asked in a mocking tone.
“I went out of town.” I whispered, inching toward the door of the locker room.
“Are you going back or something? ‘Cuz you seem like you’re in a rush.”
“Actually I am. I um … have to go.” I took two more steps and Riley followed me, bringing three buddies.
“Did you guys hear that?” He asked his friends. “Gail’s back in town but not for long.”
“Uh huh. Bye.” I was about to run but Riley grabbed my waist.
“What? You don’t want to give me a game-winning kiss?”
I glared at Riley, getting out of his arms. “No.”
“No game-winning anything?” he asked.
“No.” Riley grabbed me again, picking me up off the ground. His hands squeezed my butt as he pushed me up against the locker rooms’ wall.
“Hey! Get off her!” someone yelled.