Girl, I gotta see you shakin’ it in a cheerleader outfit. C’mon, you know you gotta join this year!
Ugh, Marquez was always such a perv. He would actually just stand around and watch the girls come up with routines. I would never, ever be a cheerleader. It’s just something far too weird for me…too…girly.
Ay Ventura, gimme a kiss right here.
How about you shove your head in your ass, you pervert.
He flipped me the finger and laughed. He walked away and went back to being the raucous idiot he was. It was the first day of open tryouts and I was seeing faces that I’d never seen before. I always loved watching these tryouts and practices. I had been raised around football. Guess that’s what happens when your dad is a football coach, your eldest brother is an PAC-12 Offensive Player of the Year and your middle brother is an all-American middle linebacker. It also didn’t help that my mom had spent time as a cheerleader for the Oakland Raiders back in her heyday.
I heard somebody approaching me. I knew it was my dad since he dropped his hand onto my shoulder in the way he always did.
Annie, you know you’re no longer allowed to be watching all these practices and tryouts nowadays, right? Charlie’s becoming more and more private about his practices and you’re a little too old for me to be using the “no babysitter” excuse anymore. You know you’ve gotta go tryout for them.
I know, but it’s not like I can buy a ticket back to San Fran just to watch the practices now. And it’s not like I’m gonna apply to Stanford just to see Andrew play. He’ll graduate by the time I even get into university!
Well, you already know what I’m going to suggest.
I already knew what he was going to say and I definitely did not want to hear it.
You could always go and try out for the spirit squad. That way, you’d be on the field for the practices instead of being in the bleachers.
I shrugged and told him that he was probably right. I would never be a cheerleading bimbo. I was a gymnastics girl, but schools in Toronto don’t really have gymnastics programs…
Looks like cheerleading is my only option right now, huh dad?
The players and the random kids that came for tryouts began filing in. Coach Martz was calling dad over, so he took off for mid-field. I looked over at the spirit squad and took a deep breath in. Guess I had to put my pride aside for once.
I can work with you. You’ve got some filling out to do, but I think your face otherwise makes up for your lack of body.
I wanted to punch her in her stupid face. Spirit squad, my ass. These girls were more like a vanity club in the worst way possible. But whatever, I apparently was “good enough” to be one of them. If it was gonna get me into the practices and if I would be allowed to still tumble and toss, I could deal. I walked over to my dad since it looked like he and the coaches were taking a break.
So, any good prospects this year? Looks like you’ve got some real boneheads out there.
Well, nobody here is suited for our offense other than that guy…
Dad pointed at the little guy wearing #32. When I say little, I mean little. Everybody else on the field had to be at least 6 feet tall and he was 5″5 at the most. He looked like he had a strong frame, but he was tiny.
…Coach Martz also thinks he’d work well on the defense. But I’d like to try him out as my feature back.
Lemme see his profile…5″5ish and 179 pounds? Seriously? He’s a shrimp, he hasn’t got a chance.
I saw him turn his head. Whoops…didn’t think I was being that loud. My dad tried to brush me off.
Honey, I appreciate you being here and trying to help with the recruiting process, but it’s time for the coaches to take over.
Dad, you say that like I don’t know anything about football! What are his stats anyhow?
Dad read off his recorded measurements. He was surprisingly slower than some of the bigger guys, but he could pick up loads of speed once he got going. Kinda like the Juggernaut from X-Men.
He actually runs faster than some of the guys we already have. He looks slow and starts slow, but once he’s going, he’s gone. Charlie, Kenny and I decided to call him Turbo_____. Pretty funny, huh? Anyway, we’re moving on to full-contact scrimmages, so you’re gonna have to go back to your squad. I’ll see you whenever tryouts are over.
Hey, newbie. Quit staring at their asses and focus more on our formations here.
Looked like the defense had come up with a huge stop. Didn’t think that Tampa-2 coverage still worked. The new safety stood over J.P.’s body and he was screaming. He must’ve hit him. I turned around and stared at my “captain”. Sadie Daniels was her name and boy, was she good at being stupid.
I suppose we could all take a break and check out the new guys. Maybe there are some new cute guys out there.
Before J.P. returned to his huddle, he came over to me.
Looks like you got your ass handed to you, huh Villa?
Shut up, you know that was a dirty hit. I can’t believe nobody called a flag on him!
You’re just mad because you’re a puss and he destroyed you. Admit it.
He jogged off to the offense while I laughed at him. The other cheerleaders came over to the sideline. A play was developing and J.P. was streaking down the sideline. The new QB found him in the progression and threw the ball. As I watched the ball come through the air, I knew J.P. would be ready to catch it. He saw something I didn’t though and he began a jump cut. Next thing I knew, I saw a big, blue blur flying towards me.
I was absolutely dazed. I didn’t know what had just hit me. I felt a warm sting and the pain was spreading across my head. I also felt something cold streaming down my forehead too. I saw #32 getting up and coach Deschappelle was next to him. The last thing I remember feeling was being picked up and hearing my dad direct people around me.
She’ll be okay, she’s just lost a fair amount of blood right now. She’ll be a little disoriented, but just let her rest for the next few days.
Does she have a concussion?
No, she’s okay. She just really needs rest. She sustained a serious blow to the head so she’s very lucky to not have suffered a concussion or anything more. She needed 5 stitches along a cut that measured about 1.5 inches. She’ll be okay, but don’t let her drive or do any heavy lifting right now.
Did you need to know anything else about her injury?
No, we know how it happened. You can go pay her a visit right now if she’s awake.
I awoke to that conversation and many beeps from machines. Okay…I’m in the hospital. My head was throbbing in ways unimaginable. It was painful. Seriously painful. Dad came into the room.
Hey, you awake?
My eyelids were heavier than usual. I barely opened them. I felt so groggy, but I managed to let out a moan and a thumbs up. Dad gave me a kiss on the cheek and said he’d see me in a bit.
Dad, wait. Is J.P. here?
No, sweetie. I don’t know where he is. But the kid that hit you is here.
Well, that was a piss off. Great to hear that my own boyfriend wasn’t in the hospital to visit me.
Can you send Turbo_____ in? I’d like to talk to him.
I didn’t hear a response, but I knew that he was going to come through. I kept my eyes shut and was trying to save my energy. I heard steps as somebody approached my room.
Hey, how are you feeling?
I opened my eyes. It was #32. I wanted to throw something at him, but I had trouble just opening my eyes.
Well, my forehead’s been cracked open, so it’s safe to say that I have a splitting headache right now.
He laughed and fell silent afterwards. He looked like he felt seriously guilty. I felt kinda bad, so I tried to poke fun at the subject.
So, how ticked off is my dad? You gonna make the team?
I don’t know, he hasn’t spoken a word to me since the hit. Practice got cancelled from there, so I came straight here.
I paused to think for a second. Did they really cancel practice? I guess my dad had to have been furious. We continued our conversation and he seemed like a nice guy. He was holding his helmet to his chest and adjusted it every so often to his gut and back into his hands. I could tell he was nervous because he kept showing little nervous ticks. It was funny…he really didn’t know how to carry himself. I caught him staring at me.
Well, if I wind up getting a nasty scar from this, you owe me.
He laughed. He had a weird laugh, seriously. It was unexpected. He had a soothing voice and his laugh was so…awkward. But he seemed comfortable for the first time. He extended his hand toward me.
Hey, I don’t think I ever got your name. I’m Roland.
Was he hitting on me in the hospital? Seriously? He was the reason why I was in here and he was trying to get my name?
…Or maybe he just wanted to know my name and be friends.
I’m Annie. Well, Anne. My dad and my friends call me Annie though.
It’s a weird habit, but I rubbed what was left from the scar at the top of my forehead. My friends called me Harry Potter for a while, but I didn’t really care.
Annie, what’re you thinking about?
Nothing. A couple memories came rushing back is all.
I laid my head on his shoulder and wished him luck. He smiled and kissed me on the forehead.
I gotta get out there. You better be in the bleachers!
He jogged out onto the court and joined the team warm-up drills.
I wonder if he’ll be any good at basketball…Haha, we’ll find out.
I shook my head and opened the door to the gymnasium.