The week was thankfully almost over, and I had just finished practice with the rest of the guys. I had been becoming better friends with most of them now, and I think it had to do with the fact that the coach was back. He’s into team exercises and all that stuff to build better teamwork.
I decided that I should go to the buffet today, because I’ve been skipping out on it a few times this week. I was having a good day so far today, so I figured just to share my good mood today instead of just going home today. I think skipping a couple days of the buffet made me dislike going to the buffet all the time less. Most of my good mood extenuated from last night though, or early this morning.
Almost all week I’ve stayed up pretty late texting Gabrielle all night, sure I was tired, but it wasn’t affecting my mood. It’s mostly just been small talk over the texting, but it didn’t really matter to me. After all of us were done doing what we needed to do in the locker room, we all gathered up in the center of the room, and then headed out into the lobby.
I’ve gotten into the habit of checking around everyday to see if Gabrielle was waiting here in need of a ride. I knew that was probably a one time thing, but it didn’t hurt to check. I tried to push all the thoughts out of my mind though, and just focused on heading out to the parking lot and then the buffet with the rest of the guys.
We all walked out to our cars, it taking me a bit longer to arrive at mine of course, and then started to drive the familiar route to the buffet.
Once I arrived a the buffet, I parked in a parking spot, finding the one I usually like to park in, and driving into once I saw that it wasn’t taken today. I got out of my car, and ran to catch up with everyone else already beginning to walk in.
Once we were inside, I was told that it was my turn to pay today, so luckily I had some extra money in my wallet to use to pay for the meal. I was a few dollars short, but luckily the coach helped me out a bit. I got into the line with the rest of the team, and the assistant coach who decided to join the coach and us today.
I grabbed a plate and went down the line, choosing what I wanted to put on my plate. I decided to find some food I haven’t yet tried here, and see if some of the options tasted better than they looked. My I filled the plate up a bit more than I usually did, but it didn’t really matter. I went with everyone else to sit down at the big table the coaches had already made from the small tables.
As everyone was sitting down and beginning to eat their food, I felt my phone vibrate in my pocket just as I was picking up my fork. I set the utensil down, and took my phone out of my pocket. I saw that it was a text from Gabrielle responding to the greeting I had sent her earlier. I knew it was rude to text right now since I was eating and hanging out with the team, but I really wanted to answer her.
I know she has her phone right now and if I wait until afterwards, she might have set her phone down and I’d have to wait awhile for a response. Plus not everyone was sitting down at the table yet, and nobody seemed to be making an effort to talk to me right now.
I quickly responded to her, and then put my phone back in my pocket when someone said my name.
I looked up and saw the coach now sitting in front of me. I hadn’t talked to him much since he came back from wherever he was, mostly because I skipped out on a few days of the buffet, and when I did come, other guys were already sitting next to me. There wasn’t really anytime for either of us to even try to converse during practice, so this is the only time.
“Hey coach,” I said once I had realized he was now sitting in front of me.
“How are you enjoying America so far?” he asked me, just like I suspected he would.
“It’s nice,” I answered.
“That’s all you got to say?” he said and smiled.
“Pretty much,” I said, and he laughed.
“Well I’m glad you’re enjoying the country,” he said just as my phone vibrated again in my pocket.
I was about to take my phone back out of my pocket to see what Gabrielle had texted me, but then my coach started back up with talking to me again, so I kept the phone in my pocket.
“The boys been treating you nice while I was gone?” he asked.
“Yes, sir,” I said.
“No need to call me sir Harry, just a simple yes is fine,” he told me.
“Yes, si- yes,” I corrected myself with a cough.
He continued to talk to me for a while longer, and I probably wasn’t paying as much attention as I should have to whatever it was that we were talking about, he changed the subject a lot. I couldn’t stop thinking about the text Gabrielle had sent that I still hadn’t gotten to answer, or even read.
I kept worrying that she’s thinking that I don’t want to talk to her, or that she sent something she wasn’t sure of what my response would be and thinks that I think she’s weird now or something. I pushed the worries aside, knowing that I could just tell her why later, if she even cares, which mostly likely she doesn’t.
She probably knows that I could’ve gotten caught up with something; she knows that we go to the buffet around this time. I did tell her that I hadn’t gone everyday this week, but still. I hated myself for sitting here worrying about not replying soon after I received the text. Sometimes I wished I could just be like some of my friends back in England, or the hockey guys, who seemed like the people who purposely wait to answer a text and all that shit.
They act like they don’t give a crap to get a girls attention and get them to want to be around them. Coach soon stopped talking to only me and started talking to the rest of the guys that were sitting around us. I took out my phone, and tried to hide and somewhat look up while I was looking down at my phone.
Luckily the text Gabrielle sent me wasn’t very important. She was just saying that she was working on homework, and then asked me what I was up to. I answered by telling her that I had decided to go to the buffet today, and that was why it took me a bit long to answer.
“Harry,” I heard Zack say just as I hit send.
“Yeah?” I quickly looked up, a bit startled.
“Who are you texting?” he asked me.
“Oh, um, no one,” I nervously said as I put my phone back in my pocket.
He gave me an unconvinced look, but dropped the topic, and went back to talking to Ryan.