The Starbucks Contract

"It's simple, really. We become your boys, you become our girl."

That's what was said. Just a "simple" contract. What would happen if I sign it...

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3. Chapter Three

My last class of the day was P.E., physical education, or what I like to call it, public embarrassment. I didn't know whether to be proud of the fact that I survived another day of school, or terrified that it was time for P.E.

P.E. is the perfect place where my so called "imperfections" could be pointed out. The perfect way for "accidents" to be made when people "accidentally" throw a ball in the "wrong" direction, and it comes flying at me. Five points for the feet (bonus if I fall), ten for my torso (bonus if there's a bruise), and fifty for a head shot (bonus if I get a concussion).

Yeah, P.E. sure is my favourite subject.

I grabbed my clothes from my locker, ignoring the snickers behind me, and changed in the bathroom, where no one could make fun of me. Then I escaped the locker room and headed to my class. Everyone was in their own small groups, talking to each other. But when I came to the field, everyone just stared at me with disgust. I was getting pretty used to this, so I ignored them and sat down in my squad. Soon, Ms. Ramos blew her whistle, causing everyone to jump. And in panic, everyone returned to their squads, as well.

Ms. Ramos is the strictest P.E. teacher you'll ever meet. As if you'd want to, anyway. If you don't do so much as a ninety degree angle when you do a push up, she'll make you do laps until your feet bleed. Just ask Manuel Price. He hasn't come back to school after the marathon Ms. Ramos made him do, when he had the nerve to chew gum in her class.

"Listen up," Ms. Ramos said, glaring at each and every one of us. "Today we'll be doing some soccer practices."

Everyone immediately started to talk to their friends that they want to partner up with. But Ms. Ramos's whistle made them all shut up.

"Don't think you'll be getting to choose your partners," she sneered. "Your names will."

Everyone groaned, looking at the kids in front and behind them. Some were happy, and some were not. The guy in front of me, who's supposed to be my partner, looked like he'd rather die.

"Oh, for the love of-"

"Nice to meet you too," I snapped.

Perfect, he doesn't even look athletic at all. Maybe even a fellow nerd with glasses. The whole time he'll be tripping over his feet, staying away from both me and the ball. Oh, how it wounds me, that even fellow nerds have higher social status' than me.

"Two pairs will verse each other," Ms. Ramos explained. "The team behind you will be your opponent."

We all got up and followed Ms. Ramos's instructions. She randomly picked a letter and picked the first two teams. And luckily enough, "L" was the random letter she chose. My partner, who I now know as Daniel Lee, and I walked over to the field.

"Stay out of my way," I simply told him. "You'll only slow me down."

"Likewise," he said, boring holes into my head with his glare.

Everyone started towards the edge of the field behind the white line, or else they would do ten laps around the track. The team who will verse us bound towards the US, on the field. I couldn't help but raise an eyebrow. It was Declan Lynch. The last of the new transfer students. He seemed the most athletic, you could see the muscles from the other side of the field. I looked back at the bleachers to see girls fanning themselves with their hands, and it certainly wasn't from the sun. It's rumoured he's good with all sports, but those are just rumours. He could be just as bad as Daniel Lee, here.

I turned to my partner, Daniel, and he just stood there, frozen in what it seems to be... Fear.

"It's D-Declan Lynch," he stuttered.

"Yeah, he does have the same letter last name as us, you know."

"I-I think I just wet myself," he muttered weakly.

I jumped away from him. "Are you serious?" My eyes automatically went down to his P.E. shorts, and sure enough, a large wet stain was forming on his crotch. On the ground was a puddle of his... Well, you know. I don't want to remember.

"Ugh," I groaned, not believing what I was watching.

Ms. Ramos's face twisted in disgust. "Lee! Ten points off! Now go to the nurse! You're a disgrace to men!"

Daniel looked like he was on the verge of tears, and only was able to nod slightly. He then whimpered, running away to the main building.

"That was probably the most hilarious thing I have ever seen!" Declan's partner, Keith Lowry, exclaimed. He held up a high-five to Declan, who didn't even glance at him.

Keith awkwardly dropped his hand and dug into his pocket. I heard a crumple of plastic and watched in horror as he sneaked a chip into his mouth.

Oh, he's got a death wish.

"Lowry!" Ms. Ramos roared.

Keith jumped at the sound of his name.

"Yesh-" He covered his mouth and swallowed. "I mean yes?"

Ms. Ramos took a deep breath. "What was that you just swallowed?"

Keith chuckled nervously. "My saliva?"

"Turn your pockets inside out, Lowry!" She ordered.

Keith obeyed and dropped the bad of chips on the ground.

"Give me twenty laps around the school, and five more just for littering on my damn field!" Ms. Ramos hollered.

"Y-yes sir, er, m'am."

"You little piece of-" Declan caught himself as he took a step towards Keith.

Keith took a step back. "Whoa, whoa bro. I only got a little hungry."

"I saw you at lunch getting yourself seconds," Declan growled, his eyes looking menacingly. "And you're still hungry?"

"I-I wasn't getting seconds. I was getting it for a friend!"

"Are you calling me a lair? 'Cause I was sure I saw you eating that lunch for your so called friend."

"Wh-what, I-I mean um-"

"You're causing me a grade, Lowry."

"I-I'm sorry," Keith said weakly.

Declan cracked his knuckles. "Parking lot. After school," was all he said.

Keith nodded and took off running. 

Ms. Ramos was pinching the bridge of her nose, flipping through her clipboard.

"Lorraine! Lynch!" She announced. "Due to your stupid partners, you two will have to team up."

The two of us automatically looked at each other. I watched as he checked me out, and I bet judging a book by it's cover. Not a good choice.

I walked over to his side and waited for Ms. Ramos to choose another team.

Declan cleared his throat awkwardly. "Can you kick?"

"Excuse me?"

"Can you kick a ball?"

"Can I kick your balls?" I retorted.

Declan took a step back. "Okay, let me rephrase that. Are you good at soccer?"

I snorted, but didn't reply.

"You didn't answer me."

"Don't need to," I simply said.

"What do you mean by that?"

I looked at him. "Look, just because I'm a nerd, doesn't mean I'm not athletic. There's no such thing as a girl's soccer or basketball team in this school. I'm probably the most athletic girl you'll get. So, you'd better shut up and let me handle this."

Now it was his turn to say it. "Excuse me?"

"Sanchez! Simpson!" Ms. Ramos ordered. "Get to the field or drop and give me thirty!"

The two of them looked like they'd rather give her thirty. David Sanchez and Marco Simpson are the most athletic boys in my class. So I was pretty surprised when I saw that they were trembling at the sight of Declan.

"At least Nerdy Naomi is his partner," Marco said.

"Yeah, the guy's got a huge disadvantage," David agreed.

I scoffed but ignored their comments.

"Nerdy Naomi," Declan muttered to himself. "A disadvantage they say? We'll see about that."

Ms. Ramos walked over to the middle of the field and placed the soccer ball on the grass. I usually play soccer in my backyard. Playing here by myself or while others are near me is dangerous. Someone might "accidentally" throw a football at me or kick a soccer ball. I had my share of bruises that I have to make up new excuses for when explaining it to the nurse or my parents.

"Well, you all know the rules, except you guys have been living under a rock all your pitiful lives," Ms. Ramos said. "Whoever wins, wins. It's only if I'm satisfied by the scores will I end the game. It could go up to 56-81 and I would still make you play past your bedtimes. Any questions?"

Marco raised his hand. "Can we take bathroom breaks? 'Cause I drank some Gatorade an hour ago, and I don't think I can hold it for as long as midnight."

"Simpson, shut up."

Marco gulped. "Yes ma'am." David punched Marco in the shoulder, giving him a look to not take his chances.

Then Ms. Ramos walked off the field. All of the other kids took their seats on the bleachers under the blazing sun. Keith passed the risers and slowed a bit to watch the game. But Ms. Ramos yelled at him and he ran faster than before.

Declan came up before the ball as I took his right. Marco and David were talking to each other, telling the other to verse Declan. Finally, David gave in and walked over before the ball. The four of us stared at each other, trying to intimidate the other. But Marco and David didn't even glance at me, their eyes were on Declan. But Declan wasn't going down, he just glared at them until both of them looked down in defeat.

Ms. Ramos's ear-piercing whistle rang throughout the field. The kids nearest to her covered their ears with their hands.

Time to show them what I'm made of.

I don't know what made him do it. Either he found that he couldn't handle two guys at once, or for some unknown reason, he accidentally passed me the ball. Of course, I was ready for it, even though it took me by surprise. I thought he would challenge them and fight the ball past them, but he passed it to me. He trusted me. Our eyes met and I knew what they said.

Prove it.

The guys were surprised by the pass. They looked at Declan like he grew extra arms. I used the confusion to my advantage and passed them, dribbling the ball. They figured out what just happened and charged towards me. I bit back a grin. They'd have a better chance stealing from Declan. David shot under me, and I jumped over his leg as it slid on the grass to get the ball, taking the ball up into the air with me. Then Marco jumped in front of me, trying to steal the ball. I twirled around him with the ball at my feet, then passed it to the open Declan.

Big mistake to leave Declan unguarded.

He grinned when he got the ball and ran towards the unoccupied net. David and Marco looked dazed, not sure what had just happened. Just a second ago, they were inches close to the ball, and now, Declan had the ball. I just kicked their asses.

Declan scored and everyone in the bleachers were silent. They weren't staring at Declan, who made the goal. They were staring at me. Nerdy Naomi. The girl who dared to challenge two of the most athletic guys in the school. And danced around them with the ball, like it was nothing.

I absolutely enjoyed it.

We went back to the middle of the field. Marco and David were already short of breath, their faces glistening in sweat. But Declan and I barely worked, looking like we didn't do anything. This time I stood in front of the ball and Marco and David weren't looking at Declan. Their eyes were right on me, glaring like lasers would shoot out of them.

Ms. Ramos blew her whistle and I passed it to Declan. Both of the guys were ready and charged to Declan, leaving me open. Declan smirked when he saw that the guys were challenging him. He ran towards them, daring them to steal the ball from him. I wanted to call them off, two against one. But then I realized the same thing happened to me, so I watched. Declan kicked the ball into the air behind his back. Then he jumped over the guys, using his hand to help him flip over the ground with a back-flip. Then he landed back on his feet and started back to running.

I couldn't help but blink, dumbfounded. I guess those weren't rumors after all. David shook away from the daze and bound towards Declan. But he still had more tricks up his sleeve. He juked the ball from David, playing with him. Then Marco came up from behind, but Declan maneuvered the ball from them and kicked it to me. I easily trapped the ball and ran towards the goal.

As Marco was left to guard Declan from helping me, David ran after me. But he knew he wouldn't reach me in time to steal the ball. Not that he would be able to. So instead he ran towards the goal to block my shot. I smirked, as if that's going to help. I kicked the ball into the air, spotted a blind spot, and shot it. Sure enough, the ball flew past David, landing into the net.

No one cheered, the bleachers were silent once again. Everyone was speechless on what just happened. Then I heard the whispers like the guys were going easy on me, or took steroids or something. Maybe even used my nerd powers and found the formula to maneuver a ball from a player and shoot it. Formula my ass.

"You little cheat!"

A huge force pushed me and suddenly I found myself on the ground. I lay there a bit dazed, my head spinning on what had just happened. I looked up and saw that it was David who pushed me onto the ground. His face was twisted in anger, his eyes had a look of disgust in them. This time the kids in the bleachers cheered. Before I would have cried at how much I was hated by my classmates. But now I'm used to it, and I just let what happened, happened.

I felt a blow in my stomach. I groaned and curled into a ball, whimpering in pain. David kicked me in the stomach again, this time much harder. The kids were on their feet, hooting and laughing at this scene. Ms. Ramos for once didn't know what to do. She blew her whistle. Maybe to shut the kids up, or to stop David. Either way it didn't work.

I used my hands as a shield to block another kick, then grabbed his foot just as it became inches close to my stomach. He yelled at me to let go, then managed to flip me onto my back and stomped on my stomach. I let out a cry at the blow.

I knew he would get bored of me after a few more kicks, his anger died down for today. Probably going to get back at me tomorrow. Then everyone would leave me, laughing at my pain and suffering. So I just laid there, watching as he pulled back his foot for another kick.

But just as he was about to kick me once more, someone jumped on David. I heard grunts and punches as the kids from the bleachers booed. I slightly looked up, clutching my stomach to see what had happened.

Declan was beating David up. He straddled him, giving him punch after punch. That's when I saw blood flying out of David's mouth. He was too weak to try to defend himself, maybe he was already unconscious. 

"What the hell is wrong with you?" Declan exclaimed. "Kicking a girl! Don't you have any shame?!"

I blinked. What is happening? Is he... Is he standing up for me?

"S-stop," I told him. "W-will make it worse. Stop."

I watched as Marco tried to pry Declan, but was only knocked to the ground. Finally Declan calmed down and got up from the ground. David laid motionless on the field, Declan was breathing heavily after using David as a punching bag. Marco got off the ground and began to drag his friend to the nurse's office.

"Declan you freak, siding with that nerd." Marco hissed. "I thought you were cooler than that."

"What did you say, punk?" Declan growled, taking a step forward to him, his fists clenching.

Marco didn't reply as two other guys came to his aid. They carried David off the field, towards the nurse's office. The school bell rang, letting everyone know that the day was done. Ms. Ramos just left, back to her office, not giving me a glance. All of the kids went to the locker rooms to change, asking each other what just happened. Some others laughed at my state.

I set my head back on the ground, looking at a patch of grass in front of my eyes. Then a shoe was in front of me and I saw Declan looking down at me. He held his hand out to help me up. I looked at the hand, then at him, and then back at the hand. Something was really wrong with him.

"Hey, you okay? Here, let me help you up. I don't think the ground is very comfortable."

I didn't reply and looked back at the ground. Slowly, I curled myself more into a ball.

"Leave me alone."

He blinked. "What?"

"I said leave me alone. Go away, I don't need your help."

Declan narrowed his eyes at me. "This guy was kicking you in the stomach even though you're a girl, and I just beat him up for you. The least I can get is a thanks."

"Thanks," I said, "For wasting your time and energy on me."

"Is it because of your pride, I can't get a decent thanks?"

I forced out a laugh. "Pride? What pride? I lost that years ago. It's not like you beating up another kid will make it any better," I snapped, putting my hand over my face to cover myself up in shame. "He'll just get me back the next day, and the day after that. You just made things worse."

He didn't say anything. 

"Just do me a favor and go," I said quieter, my voice cracked.

There was a slight hesitation, and he didn't move until-

"Fine. Whatever."

Then I heard his footsteps trail away from me. It's better this way. If he kept on defending me, it'll just make things worse for him. His social status was dropping by the minute, every pass he gave me, every punch he gave the guy, every second he was next to me. But even if he knew that, he still helped me. Defended me.

I laid there in the dry, green grass, motionless. There was a small wind that blew my hair off my face. I tried to blink back the tears, but for once, they weren't listening. I choked back a sob and laid there alone.

Like I'll always be.

 

 

The school was pretty empty, the only ones still here are probably some staff and kids who stay here after school. No way I'd want to run into them in this state. I tried to avoid the popular areas and headed towards my locker.

It was then, I realized that I was still in my P.E. clothes. The locker room was probably closed by now. I guess I'll have to bring this home, and get my other clothes back tomorrow. I opened my locker and took out my backpack.

Then I took out my calculus book to do some practice work, because I got a B on my math test. And I'm not letting that one slide so easily. Just as I was taking out my book, a piece of paper fell from my locker. I narrowed my eyes at it. What is this? A death threat? A note of how much of a nerd I am? I don't see the point, given, I already know. Or maybe someone was asking me to meet up with them, and I unknowingly walk into the football team, ready to soak me in water balloons. Yeah, that was for sure a really fun way to spend a Friday.

I picked up the note, a simple piece of paper folded in half. At the front, my name was written in sharpie. Why is it just my name? Where was the nerdy part of Nerdy Naomi? Or other nicknames, like freak, geek, and so on. I opened the letter and found just one sentence, with only three signatures written under it.

And the thing was, it wasn't a death threat. It wasn't a list of my imperfections. It wasn't a false meet up. It was something that I later found out would change my life.

Meet us in Starbucks tomorrow at noon.

-The Three Musketeers:

Bennett, Jordan, and Declan

 

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