I should have known that this was a bad idea.
I mean, really.
Maybe I should just turn around and go back home. I never thought that I, out of the eleven girls on the softball team, would be the only one who would actually have the guts to go through with this.
I'm all for making a statement and proving that girls can play baseball, since softball and baseball are so similar. I just don't know if I can do it all by myself.
I know what my mom would say if she were here right now, "Well, you made your bed and now you have to sleep in it too."
That is such a stupid saying.
I hate it.
I was sitting in the middle of the field, refusing to move until I got what I wanted. They got rid of softball and I had every intention of trying out for the baseball team. They had no reason to deny me, it wasn't like girls weren't allowed to play, I read the rule book and it said nothing about girls participating in the sport at this level.
The twenty or so boys that had shown up were looking very pissed since, being in the center of the field and refusing to move, I made it rather difficult for them to even start. Coach Wilson was no where in sight. I figured he was off calling anyone he could think of who could possibly get me to move. But there was no way I was moving until I got what I wanted. If they wanted me gone without it, I would not go quietly, they would have to drag me kicking and screaming the whole way. And scratching would be involved, I had long nails and I would use them if I needed to.
And what I wanted was a fair chance at making the baseball team.
And since they took away softball, it would only be fair to at least let me tryout.
Well, whether it was right or not I had no intention of moving until they let me participate.
"Miss Clark, what exactly do you think you're doing?" Coach Wilson, who seemed to have appeared out of nowhere, yelled rather loudly as he opened the gate leading onto the field and made his way, rather quickly over to where I sat. Well, at least that explained where he went. I watched as he approached me, he didn't look angry, he just looked annoyed; which was something to be expected since, you know, I was kind of preventing him from starting tryouts.
"Hey there Coach." I said, looking up at him, he was now blocking the sun, but I still squinted up at him as he stood a few feet in front of me.
"Victoria… what are you doing?" he asked almost pleadingly.
"Don't 'Victoria…' me, you know why I'm here."
He sighed, "Victoria, I can't let you try out for the team."
"Why not?" I asked, exasperated, "I checked the rule book and there's nothing in there that says I can't at least try out." I explained, standing up and crossing my arms over my chest.
"Victoria, I just got off the phone with your father and he does not approve of you doing this… I don't think I need to tell you that." He was right, he didn't. I already knew that my father didn't like the idea of his "little angel" playing with the boys. Sometimes I thought that my dad had no faith in me… I mean, just because I'm a girl doesn't mean I couldn't play and keep up with the boys.
"So?" I asked, "I don't care! Besides, he's just afraid that the boys won't be able to keep up with me." Yea, I know I'm a little cocky; okay… maybe I'm more than a little cocky, but I can't help it, I got it from my father, so it's all his fault. "I don't even care if I make the team; I just want the chance to try out!"
"If that's true, Clark… then you and your father need a reality check since you are both clearly delusional" a very distinctly male voice stated from behind me. I didn't even have to turn around to see who had spoken… I already knew who that voice belonged to and I knew it very well. I ended up turning around anyway, mostly just so I could send a glare at the owner.
Before I could even give him a retort, he beat me to it, "It's also good to hear that you won't be disappointed if you don't make the team because even if you did tryout, you wouldn't make the team anyway."
Jared Peterson smirked at me, standing only a few feet in front of me, flanked by Thomas Jackson and Joshua Jennings and several other guys that I didn't recognize. He was a few inches taller than me, but at this distance I could stare at him practically eye to eye without having to look up at him.
I scoffed, "What? Are you actually afraid of a girl beating you?" I asked, "Aw… is little Jaredikins afraid of a girl?"
He glared at me, his blue eyes flashing, though, I caught Thomas trying to hold in his snort of laughter, though he did a terrible job and Jared ended up directing his glare at him, and he immediately shut up. But, the minute Jared glanced back at me; there was an amused glint in the other boy's eyes.
"I" Jared started, "Am not afraid of anything, especially a girl who actually thinks she can play baseball on the same level as I can."
I scoffed, "Right… then why are you so afraid of me trying out then? If you're so sure that I can't beat you then what's the point of preventing me from trying out? I mean, you obviously think that you shouldn't be worried that I might, you know, actually be better than you."
"I don't think that, Clark, I know you aren't nearly on the same level as me."
"I've been playing softball for years, Peterson; my own father is a retired baseball player."
"Minor leaguer" he interrupted. "Benched most of the time, from what I remember."
I ignored that, "It's in my blood."
Jared sneered, "Just because it's in your blood, doesn't mean anything, Clark."
"You're just afraid that I might actually be better than you, Peterson. Admit it; you're afraid of a girl."
"That's enough you two." Coach Wilson admonished right before his cell started ringing, he took it out of his pocket, glanced at it and said, "I'll be right back… you two better not have killed each other when I get back." he warned before he turned his back and stepped away from us to answer the phone.
"Why do you even want to try out anyway?"
I just looked at him, "You know why… you just want me to say it."
He shrugged, "Can you blame me? I just find it so entertaining that your precious little softball team got cut."
"Yea… well, it's that chauvinist pig of a principal's fault."
"Don't blame Mr. Adams for the lack of skill on the softball team. It's not his fault that you weren't performing well enough to earn any funding from the school this year." he shrugged.
I glared at him "You're just as sexist and ignorant as he is." I accused, "Good luck finding a girlfriend with that attitude of yours."
"I don't need luck." he said, crossing his arms over his chest, "Girls all come flocking to me thanks to my extremely good looks." he said smugly.
I rolled my eyes, "Okay, I take what I said back… you're more than a bigot, you're a conceited asshole as well."
Jared was about to retaliate when Coach Wilson's voice interrupted, "I just got off the phone with Mr. Adams and before that your father Victoria, you can try out –"
"What?" was Jared's reaction to that little bit of news.
Coach Wilson continued, completely ignoring Jared's outburst, "– You just have to agree to be treated like any of the boys. No special treatment just because you're a girl."
I was still looking at Jared during this whole announcement; I don't think I've ever seen someone's face get that red before or their glare get that menacing either. I simply smirked at him, which only seemed to make him angrier.
"What? Coach, you can't be serious!" Jared complained.
"Don't argue with me, Jared. Both her father and the principal have given permission. After some convincing on my part, more so for your father, Victoria… he's not very pleased with you at the moment"
I shrugged, "I expected that." And, really I did… I wouldn't be surprised if he spent the whole night yelling at me for my decision. Actually, I would be surprised if he didn't.
He nodded before continuing, "I see no problem with her wanting to play now that my superior has Okayed it. If you have a problem than you can just get off this field and not play."
"Fine," he mumbled, before stalking away, his entourage following closely behind him.
I turned back to Coach, smiling, "I agree to that, Coach. Thanks!" I said before I practically skipped over to the relatively empty dugout and threw my bat bag carelessly on the floor. I grabbed my glove from inside before I sat down on the bench, leaning back against the wall, sighing contently.
The boys slowly trudged into the dugout after me, grabbing a ball from the bucket before heading back out to warm up throwing. Most of them ignored me; a few gave me strange looks. Only Jared and a few of his flunkies actually glared at me. I simply smiled, albeit, cockily, at them. One by one they left the dugout to head back onto the field to start warming up.
I picked my glove up and stood up, walking towards him and getting a ball out of the bucket as I went, "You know, since you've spent all this time glaring at me, Jared, you let all your potential throwing partners leave." I pointed out, "Now, you're stuck with me."
He scowled, but didn't say anything, which was surprising… he just left the dugout, I followed him past all the boys already warming up, trying not to get hit when a ball came flying past me, only inches from my face. "Sorry!" was the flustered words of the boy who had thrown it, a scrawny redhead with glasses. I could tell just by looking at him that he was freshman; he was way too small to be anything but.
I shrugged, "It's alright… it's not the first time."
"Clark! Stop running your mouth and get over here!"
Well, that was a rude thing to say. Then again, it was Jared, so really… what was I expecting?
I sighed, rolling my eyes, "I'm coming, you don't have to be such a jackass." I said. Jogging a couple of yards away from him and turning around, he was holding his glove up expectantly waiting for me to throw the ball which I promptly did.
"What? No witty comeback?" he asked, catching the ball and then throwing it back.
"No. my comeback is coming in a different form this time." I said, smiling at him.
He just looked at me, eyebrows raised questionably at me, but I didn't give him a chance to actually question my intentions since I threw my comeback at him before he could.
His eyes widened slightly as he saw the ball hurdling right for his head at an alarming speed. He managed to get his glove in front of his face a split second before the ball would have otherwise nailed him in the nose. Even though I was several yards away I could clearly here the smack as the ball made contact with his glove.
Jared slowly moved the glove away from his face, revealing a very angry expression. He took the ball out and tossed it lazily with his right hand while resting the glove on his thigh as he glared at me.
"That wasn't very nice, Clark."
I shrugged, "Well, you aren't very nice, Peterson."
"So, you decided to pelt me with the ball in retaliation? How very mature of you." his tone was distinctly sarcastic.
"I'm the immature one? Really? I'm not the one that nearly threw a hissy fit a little earlier, am I?" I asked with a smirk.
"I did not –"
"Oh, please," I interrupted, "Your face was as red as a tomato. It was only Coach Wilson's interruption that kept you from whining like a baby."
Jared glared at me before throwing the ball back at me. I jumped for it, but I needn't have bothered, it was way too high and I ended up missing it anyway. "Oops… sorry!" Jared called.
"Yea, right," I muttered as I sent him a very annoyed look before turning around and running after the ball. Muttering under my breath as I went. Honestly, I hate that boy. I mean, really, just because his dad gave a lot to the school he thought he was God or something. Well, I think the fact that he had practically every girl in the school drooling over him had something do with that enormously big head of his too. I had never known a guy could be as arrogant as Jared Peterson, I didn't even think it was possible for someone to have their head that far up his ass.
Well, I guess there's a first time for everything then.
By the time I was done with my musing, I had reached the ball which had ended up in right field, Jared had overthrown it by quite bit. Asshole.
I turned around to see him standing impatiently on the left field foul line, no doubt waiting for me to return so we could continue warming up. I rolled my eyes, he looked like a child, standing there with his free hand on his hip and an annoyed scowl writ upon his features.
I jogged back towards him, but when I got about halfway, I stopped which caused Jared to glare at me, "What are you doing, Clark?"
I didn't answer; instead, I threw the ball at him from the distance of fifty feet or so.
The ball landed right into his outstretched glove and he stood there, staring at it. Several of the boys stopped their throwing to watch me as I made my way back over to them. Jared turned his shocked expression up towards me before he seemed to remember who he was throwing with and promptly lost the expression, "No one likes a showoff, Clark." he threw the ball back at me.
"I'm not showing off, I just wanted to know whether I could throw it that far, and I can!"
I glared at him, "You're just mad because I actually have talent." I said, throwing the ball back to him, "I can actually play. I'm not some wimpy little girly girl who runs at the sight of the ball." I said, smugly, "Or like your precious little girlfriend, who freaks out at the sight of a broken nail, or panics when she runs out of lipstick."
"At least Jennifer's a girl." The ball made a loud smack into my glove as he threw it back at me.
I stared at him for a few seconds. I honestly couldn't believe he had just said that. I mean, I knew I was a tomboy. But, that didn't make me any less of a girl than his precious little Jennifer, who by the way, was a total slut. I mean, really… some of the shirts she wore were so low that it looked like her breasts were going to fall out at any moment. It was completely disgusting.
"Your little girlfriend is nothing but a first class skank, and if she's your example of a girl, then I'm glad I'm not one." I spat, throwing the ball back at him, "And, I'm warmed up now." I said before I turned and I made my way to the dugout.
"Aw… did I hurt little Victoria's feelings?" his annoying baby voice made me want to smack him across the head. Preferably with something large and heavy. Since, he was out of reach, I chose to just glare at him instead. Though, I really wish I was close enough to hit him since a glare just doesn't have the same power, I guess you could say, that a big smack would have had. But, it was all I had to give to that egotistically bigoted moron.
"No." I snapped, turning away from him again and walking back towards the dugout, dodging a few overthrown balls as I went, "You see, Jared, it doesn't take more than a couple of minutes of throwing for me to get warmed up." I said, "That, and I don't want or like talking to a pigheaded jerk such as yourself for longer than necessary since, I can swear I feel my brain cells dying the longer I talk to you since you spew so much idiotic crap out of your mouth." I was walking past Joshua Jennings as I said it and he snorted, but it quickly turned into a cough when Jared glared at him.
"You know, it's not my fault that your friends find my insults so funny. They are pretty hilarious, if I do say so myself." I smirked as he turned his glare on me.
"You're all talk and no walk, Clark." Jared spat.
"Is that what you think?" I asked, "Then, I'm just going to love proving you wrong, Jared Peterson."