Sunday morning woke me with my cell phone ringing. I flipped it open, knowing the person before he said a word, “Hey Jayson,” I said.
“Lauren! Glad you’re up. We are getting ready for church, want to come?”
I sighed, “No thanks, it’s not that I don’t want to, but with soccer and all, I’m just really tired. Maybe next time,”
“Alright,” he said. And that was the thing about him; he never pushed me to go with him; even though I had only gone on Christmas Eve for the last two years.
It wasn’t that I didn’t believe in God, I just wanted to put it off for a little bit. Religion could wait, soccer tournaments couldn’t.
I stayed in my pajamas all day and relaxed. The next five days would be extremely challenging. Then the tournament on Saturday, when it was over a load would be taken off mine and Jayson’s shoulders and we could enjoy the last couple months of high school in peace.
The week was blurring by and by Wednesday I had totally forgotten mom and dad would be back home. Soccer practice was over after three hours of hard work. Thursday would be a four hour practice and Friday was going to be a half hour practice, but with strict instructions to eat healthy and go to bed early.
I walked in the front door to hear voices, “Lauren! Honey, we’re home!” mom exclaimed.
I hugged her, “Missed you two. How was vacation?”
“Oh just amazing,” mom gushed.
Dad ruffled my hair, “It was fun, a great place I’ll tell you,”
Emi walked out of the living room, a cookie in her hand and said, “I baked dinner tonight too!”
“Emi, that’s great,” I said encouragingly. I knew that as much as eating was a problem of hers, depression was bad too, and any activity she enjoyed I should support.
“How’s Jayson doing?” mom asked. Her and dad had always loved Jayson and expected we’d be together eventually.
“Oh good, busy with soccer like me,” I said.
“Well, we look forward to your tournament.” Mom smiled.
“Yeah, and after it ends, I’ll be going to Jayson’s to catch the second half of his,” I said, to avoid confusion later when I took off right after my game.
Mom looked at me questioningly and I quickly explained, “But when his games over our teams are celebrating together, so don’t worry, I’ll be with the girls,”
As much as they loved Jayson, mom was always worried I spent too much time with him. She frequently invited my soccer girlfriends over to “balance out” my friendships. I didn’t mind, but I had to be with Jayson almost always. I loved him.
Thursday came and I was proud of my team, they gave it everything they had and I knew they wanted to win just as much as I did.
“Maddie, way to be!” I yelled from across the field.
She smiled, “Thanks Lauren! I listened to your Lover over there; he’s smarter than he looks,”
I laughed; her humor was always what our team needed to keep us from being too intense. After an excruciating four hours of soccer we all collapsed onto the field and wearily cooled down. We headed to our cars, tired but accomplished. We were confident that Saturday would be a good day; we were giving it a hundred percent.
Jayson’s team looked good too, he wasn’t as confident, but that was just his nature, I knew that on game day he’d be more pumped up than any of them. He was being cynical right now, and hoping for third place.
“Jayson, hope for number one,” I sighed.
He smiled slightly, “But I don’t want to be disappointed,”
I shook my head at him and left him in silence, the only sound in the car was our hearts beating fast from soccer practice, and in perfect sync with one another.