“Can we slow down, just a little bit?” I was having trouble breathing.
The hot North Carolina sun was beating down on me. The sweat was dribbling down my face, my hair was sticking to my cheeks, and my leg muscles were burning.
“Not yet, we still have two more laps. C’mon Kassidy!” Owen yelled back at me, slowing down.
I stood up straight and squinted trying to see how far away my brother was from me. Owen had forever had so many advantages over me. We may be twins, but he still got all the good stuff. He stood at six feet, four inches, could bench over four hundred pounds, and ran like some type of wild animal. I on the other hand, was five foot five, could barely lift a five pound weight, and running was the ONLY thing I was good at. But I loved sports.
Owen and I had put sports at the center of our life since we played on a coed T-ball team when we were four. And coincidentally, we played almost the exact same sports. He had football during the fall and I had softball, we both played basketball during the winter, he had baseball while I had soccer in the spring, and we both played in a summer soccer league. Our love for sports was the only reason we got along all these years. I hated to admit how much I was going to miss the big guy when we left for college next month.
“Kass!” Another voice called from ahead of me.
I let out a grunt and opened my eyes again. Mason had stopped running and was standing with his hands on his hips. As much as I loved sports, I hated running. Yes, all the sports I play are about ninety nine percent running, but I didn’t like it unless I was actually playing.
Having a boyfriend who was as into sports as my brother and I were, was even harder. Owen would let me out of things sometimes, but Mason never did. It also didn’t help that Owen and Mason had been best friends since the fifth grade.
“What?” I groaned.
It was so damn hot out here.
“Get your ass up here and finish what you started!” he yelled.
I rolled my eyes at his “motivation” and mentally prepared myself for these next two laps.
“Dear God, I cannot take this heat anymore,” I muttered to myself.
I grabbed the bottom of my t-shirt and pulled it off over my head. I threw it onto the fence, and pulled my sports bra up, making sure nothing was hanging out. I reached up and tightened my ponytail, and took a deep breath. I started to jog, slowly getting closer to the boys.
“No jogging, move your legs!” Mason called as he and Owen started to run.
“I hate you,” I muttered underneath my breath.
“What did you say?” he turned his head and looked back at me.
Then I smiled a little, and started sprinting. I ran in between the boys and slapped Mason’s butt on my way through.
“I said I hate you!” I yelled laughing.
I heard Mason grumble behind me, and Owen only laughed.
The bleachers felt like the temperature of the sun and left a red mark on my thigh, I grabbed my shirt, threw it over the bench and sat down.
“When did you get so lazy, Kass?” Mason sat down next to me and handed me my water bottle.
“Hm, let me think… Let’s go with April seventh, nineteen ninety-six,” I said sarcastically bringing the bottle up to my lips.
I was soaking up as much shade as I could, while waiting for my brother who was so kindly pulling up the car.
“Tell me something, don’t you want to keep this going when school starts?” Mason looked at me.
“Keep what going?” I squinted and passed my eyes over every inch of the sunlit field.
“Sports, athleticism, all of this,” he said.
I let out a deep sigh and turned to look at him.
“Don’t worry kid, it’ll all be good. I won’t let you down,” I gave him a tired smile and then patted his arm.
Mason had this weird almost father, daughter dream for me. He cared so much about me making it onto some team in college. Especially since he had already made his… And I hadn’t. But it didn’t bother me that much, after freshman year, I planned on majoring in pediatric nursing, so as much as we both hated it, my time with sports would have to come to an end.
“Besides, who says I’ll even have time for sports. I mean yeah, there’s freshman year, but after that I’d have to quit anyway,” I shrugged.
“Why do you even wanna be a nurse? Especially one for kids,” he scrunched up his nose and looked away from me.
“I love kids, unlike you. I also love helping people,” I snapped playfully.
“Well then help me out and come to Texas with me,” Mason muttered.
I stopped obnoxiously drinking my water, and let out a deep breath. I ran my palm over my still sweat-covered forehead, and looked down at our feet.
“Mason, don’t bring this up again,” I said quietly.
“It’s hard not to think about,” he said like he was defending himself.
He was going to Tennessee State to study business, and I was going to University of Pennsylvania for nursing.
“We’re literally two states apart, that isn’t even that bad.”
“It’s a twelve hour drive if you don’t make any stops,” he said.
I rolled my eyes and started thinking. Of course I was gonna miss him, he’s practically been apart of this family since him and Owen became friends. He’s been apart of my life since then. We started dating sophomore year, and it’s been great. I always told myself that I would never get into a serious relationship in high school, because you always end up going to different schools anyway. But one day Mason was actually attractive in my eyes, and sweet, and funny, and just… perfect. Given, we argue about seventy five percent of the time, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
“I told you to quit thinking about it, we’ll be fine, okay? Live in the now, kid. The future is the future, which means we shouldn’t worry about it today,” He hated when I called him kid, but I always did.
This time he rolled his eyes and I smiled.
“Mason, you still can’t roll your eyes,” I giggled.
“What?” he looked at me.
“Your eyes. They just go left to right, you don’t actually roll them,” I laughed.
“Shut up, yes I do,” he pouted.
He tried again and I started laughing even more.
“Keep working on that okay? It’ll come along eventually.” I reached my arm around his back and grabbed the side of his face with my hand.
I pulled it towards me and smashed my lips up against his cheek.
“I hate you,” he squirmed against me.
“I hate you more,” I muttered. I pulled away from him, just as Owen called me.
“We’re coming,” I answered.
I stood up, grabbed my shirt and water bottle, and Mason followed me as we left the stadium, and went down to the parking lot.
“Evans! Long time no see!” A loud voice called from behind us.
Before my hand reached the car door, I whipped my head around and saw Dylan McDaniel, strolling towards my brother’s car.