That evening, at soccer practice, coach was just giving us the run-down of what she expected, practice schedules, game schedules, and all that happy shit. There wasn’t really any real practice happening.
“Okay, so here are everybody’s positions…I’m basing this off the scouts and their ratings plus the video applications I got for some of you.” I grabbed Megan’s hand and squeezed, hoping that I got the position I had always had. “Okay, I’ll be going through the first string list first, then the second string, and then the few subs after that which will be playing any position that will be open, if a spot even opens up.” We all nodded again, looking around nervously. “Okay, our goalie is Megan, our defense is Jackie, Diane, and Tiffany, our middies are Becca, Courtney, and Alex, and our offense is Bethany and Roxie.” We all started clapping and cheering for ourselves before we got cutoff my coach. “Okay, since you guys are the main players, you may go over there and retrieve your numbers, bags, and everything else; everyone else stay here for the ling of second string and the few runner ups we have that will most likely be our water girls if no one gets injured to that extent.” At this point I had already jogged over to the table looking for my special number, not caring about what happened with anyone else. I made the team, and got my spot on the team, so I was happy.
“Congratulations!” The assistant coach said as she started handing out our stuff. I picked up the number 10 and smiled, realizing no one had taken it yet. “Is that the number you want?” I nodded at her and she smiled. “Okay, let me right that down real quick and I need to take the jersey back.”
“Wait, why?” Tiffany asked.
“We are getting your names put onto the jerseys so we write down which number you picked and then we take the jersey and put your name on both of the game jerseys and the practice jersey.” We all nodded as we started handing coach our numbers with our names. We then did the same thing with our bags. Most everything else we were able to keep on the spot. As soon as we were done, coach dismissed us just as a slightly larger group of us; the second string, started walking up to receive all their equipment. Megan and I however just slowly started walking back to the dorms after exchanging numbers with everyone so we could keep in touch.
“Do you want to do something tonight?” I asked Megan as we took the stairs up to our dorm on the fifth floor.
“I wish but I have a party at one of the sororities tonight.”
“Of course you do.” I said, smirking.
“I mean, you can come with me.”
“Sororities aren’t my thing.” I pointed out as I fell back onto my bed.
“Okay well…we still have a week to get settled in so we’ll do something before classes start in a week.”
“Works for me.” I said as I watched Megan rush around, trying to get ready for a party. A little while after Megan had rushed out for her party, I grabbed a book and walked around campus, trying to find a nice place to relax and read where I wouldn’t be interrupted. I finally found a nice spot next to the river going through campus. I settled down on a bench and opened my book, not paying attention to a single thing around me.
I was walking next to the river with my hands in my pocket, trying to let the first day of college fade into the background. I had tried going to a party, one that every athlete goes to on the first day of college since this is the day we find everything out, but…I couldn’t stay. I didn’t know why; it just wasn’t as fun as the past couple years.
I had just about reached the bench I always sit at when I saw someone already there. She had her nose buried in a book, very intently might I add and she looked very comfortable. It wasn’t until I took a few steps closer that I realized it was Bethany.
“Hey…” She looked up suddenly and gave me a half smile.
“Hello.” She whispered.
“Mind if I join you?” She shook her head and slid over a little bit so I could fit. “You took my favorite bench.” I joked. She smiled but didn’t say anything; she just kept looking forward. “You don’t say much, do you?” She shook her head and glanced at me.
“I’m not the type of person to say something if there isn’t anything on my mind.” I nodded, kind of surprised at her attitude. It wasn’t a bad attitude, it just wasn’t one I was used to. “I don’t mean to be rude, but I just came here to read…” She said slowly. I looked over at her and you could tell she felt bad saying what she did.
“That’s okay; pretend I’m not even here.” She looked a little surprised but nodded and turned back to her book. Within a few lines of her reading, you could tell she forgot I was even next to her.
Being next to her was a good feeling. It was nice being around someone that didn’t want to have a conversation with me about sports, or anything that related back to me. She just wanted to sit there and read…not even acknowledge me. I don’t even remember the last person that just treated me like a normal human…or less than that, but in a nice way. At least a girl that would do this. Guys could treat me like shit and I don’t notice it at all, they could worship me and I still wouldn’t notice, but girls worship me way too much that it’s become something I’m used to; this girl though…she didn’t and it was something I certainly was not used to.