Chapter Six

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Chapter Six

Post by Chasezzz on Sun Apr 03, 2016 8:29 pm

drew
It’s raining again today, like it rained yesterday, and the day before that. Sheets of it slammed onto Annoying Emily’s windshield as she drove us to school, and smacked us in the face as we ran into the school building. Kate slipped on the way in, making me smile for the first time in a week. Since Anna broke up with me.
I can’t say that I never saw it coming, maybe I didn’t want to see it. I thought that since we’d been friends for so long, progressing slowly, and building trust. She learned things about me that only Kate knew. And she ended it, in two weeks.
Like none of it ever mattered.
We hadn’t been able to practice outside in a week, the field had been all but washed away by the relentless rain, so the athletic teams decided to practice indoors. The women’s volleyball team used the basketball court for practice. A blonde girl was a clear standout, any time the ball got near her she used her incredible height to spike it back over the net, not caring if it went into a teammates face.
Upstairs, the tennis team and the soccer team worked on drills together. We’d started working together yesterday. All of us matching in our blue and white uniforms.
“Feeling it today?” Kevin asked, coming up beside me as we ran laps.
“Yeah, a little bit,”
“Keep it up, man!”
“You too, bro.” I rolled my eyes as I gained distance on him.
Soccer had been going well since Kate forced me onto the team. I can’t say I like any of the teammates, though. Kevin thinks we’re friends, I guess I can deal with it. Everyone needs a bro, right? As long as they can kick a ball in my direction everything is fine. I haven’t tried learning anyone else’s name yet, maybe I should do that, for the sake of the team or some shit like that.
Coach had been bragging about my ability from day one. I don’t like to brag about myself, but I’m perfectly happy with letting someone else do it. He said I had real leadership potential, and I defaulted to a smile and worked harder for a few minutes. People like Kevin had leadership potential. The ability to push themselves to the limit, to improve in areas they’re lacking in (Kevin is a shit runner, he tries though), but above all they need to be able to shout optimistically to everyone else. If that’s what is expected of a leader then I’d rather be a follower.
“Hey man, enjoying your time on the soccer team?” I looked up to see Donovan jogging over to me.
“Yeah, it’s been good. They’re pretty solid for the most part.” I took a drink of my water.
“Glad to hear it,” he said, pushing his cropped blond hair back. He was without his hat today, guess he only wore it outdoors. “They’ve been needing an extra incentive. Someone new always pushes them. They need to prove that they’re the best shit around, you know how it goes.”
“Yeah, I’ve seen it happen once or twice.” When I joined the soccer team in Arizona the guys on the team acted the same way. Their newly long, uneven limbs trying to kick harder, run faster. Their voices cracking as they tried to shout above each other, I didn’t buy into any of it, but that didn’t stop them from trying. The memory still makes me laugh.
“Alright everyone, breaks over!” A collective groan resounded through the athletes at the track coach’s words. I looked over to see Kevin stretching his legs, getting ready to give it everything he had. What a top notch guy, giving his all for his team.
“Ready to go again” Donovan asked, a smile across his face.
“Not at all” I deadpanned.
“Let’s have a competition.”
“Competition?”
“Yeah” he replied, retying his red shoes. “Let’s see who can run longer.”
“Run longer?” I question, vaguely amused.
He laughed, “I know its lame, but maybe it’ll make this situation more bearable.”
“I don’t know. I think you’re only asking because you think I’ll lose.”
“Move it!” the track coach yelled because we weren’t moving fast enough to the track.
“Come on let’s go.” Donovan said, slapping my shoulder as he took off down the straight.
Fuck me.
I followed after him, keeping in line with his strong, tan legs.
***
“Not too bad” Donovan said, bent over, hands on his knees after our contest. His blonde hair had fallen in his face, matted down with sweat. “That was fun.”
“Yeah” I sighed, still trying to catch my breath. People were sitting on the ground, clutching their water bottles with everything they had. Poor Kevin was pressed against a wall, his shirt soaked through. “All that work for a tie.”
I looked down at the courts, the volleyball team had just finished practice. The girls were standing around drinking water with as much conviction as a bear tearing into its prey. The blonde girl wasn’t doing that, though. She’d already grabbed her workout bag and was heading toward the exit, not wasting time to say goodbye to anyone.
“That was Dara,” Donovan said, now standing beside me.
“I don’t think I’ve met her.”
He laughed, “Maybe that’s a good thing.”
I looked at him, wondering if he was going to give me a clearer answer. He didn’t.
“Well, I think I’ve had enough fun for today” he said, downing the rest of his water. “I’ll see you around, man.”
He walked away, grabbing his bag and heading downstairs. I smelled Kevin walking toward me, grabbed my bag and made for the exit.
***
Marsha didn’t come home tonight. I stood on the porch, burning through cigarette after cigarette, thinking about everything, focusing on nothing. Evening came, midnight came, Kate turned off her lamp light, but she never showed up. I don’t feel disappointed, or mad. I don’t feel anything. Not about her, or Anna, or fucking Kevin. All I care about is ‘Party Police’ by Alvvays. Fuck everyone else and these cigarettes that aren’t doing their job.
***
“Emily, don’t you get tired of seeing Kate’s face every morning?” I asked from the backseat as Kate climbed into the car, and then promptly shoved her seat back into my knees.
“Real nice,” I mumbled, in return she flipped me off.
Annoying Emily began her morning ramble, telling Kate and I guess me, about what dumb thing her brother did last night, or what her damn dog ate yesterday. “Like, my dog ate what?” She’d say, always shocked that dogs get into shit.
“Hey, did you finish that shit book Patrick made you read?” I asked as we Emily pulled into the school parking lot. She managed to park over a yellow line even though she was heading straight for the spot.
“Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is not shit. You’re shit. And yes I finished it.” Emily snickered from Kate’s side. My eye roll could be seen from space.
I broke off from Kate and Kate’s shadow after we walked inside. The place isn’t much different than our old school. People talking to each other by lockers about which boy they had sex with the night before, which party they were going to this weekend. And my personal favorite: people running into each other because their heads were buried in their phone.
“Drew, right? How are you?” I recognized the voice immediately. The icy British accent.
I turned around, “Fine. You?” The same face as before, no expression, just a zombie girl. A beautiful zombie girl.
“I’m well, thanks.” The blonde girl from volleyball practice walked up beside Poppy.
“Oh, Drew. This is Dara. She was the one who was supposed to show you around a few weeks ago.”
She stared at me. I stared back. My green eyes against her cobalt eyes in some sort of unannounced contest to see who would blink first.
I lost.
“Nice to meet you.” I finally said.
“You, too.” She replied, “I think I saw you running with Donovan yesterday. You made him work.”
“Well, if I couldn’t run I shouldn’t be on the soccer team, right?” I chuckled at my joke. Poppy and Dara did not.
“You’re friends with Donovan?” I followed up after a few too many seconds of uncomfortable silence.
Dara thought about it for a second. “As much as anyone can be.”
“Drew, I think it’s so great that you’re playing football here. It’s always good to get involved.” Poppy interrupted, her words conveying a nice sentiment while her body language and lack of facial expressions failed to do so.
“Are you involved in anything?” I asked her.
“No.”
Silence.
“Alright, Pop. I have to go. See you at lunch.” Dara slung her bag over her shoulder and made her way down the hall, her blonde hair shining in the light.
“Well Drew, I have to get going, too. Give my best to Kate.”
“Yeah, I’ll do that.” She locked eyes with me as she walked away; the grey orbs trying to probe my mind or pierce my soul. Or both.
The scent of flowers followed her as she left.
I need a cigarette.

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Chasezzz

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Re: Chapter Six

Post by Angie on Mon Apr 04, 2016 2:20 am

The last part of this chapter is amazing. Emily parking over the yellow line made me laugh literally! And the stare down, just the way you word it and put Drew's spin on it is so cool. Like when he comments, "I lost." I just love thay monologue. I also particularly like how the chapter is broken up. I like his irate smoking in the middle. His interaction with Poppy and Dara is perfect. I felt his awkwardness. You have a way with just getting that character personality straight from your head to the page, no nonsense, no matter which character. It's getting really good. More please.

Btw, Happy Birthday! #chasezzz2016
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