After my party, I’d accepted that things were changing, and they were changing quickly. Namely, things between me, Mandy and Jenna. Things weren’t getting better, and I was accepting that no apology was going to convince them that Andrew was OK and that I wasn’t turning into Cambree.
Of course, at the same time, I was really pissed at them for blowing me off because I had a boyfriend that they didn’t like. I liked him, so I didn’t see what they cared about. Maybe it was because they’d heard too much about him and didn’t trust him, but I didn’t get that, either. It bothered me because they didn’t trust me or my decisions.
A week after my party, I realized Mandy and Jenna weren’t talking to me anymore, so I just gave up. As sorry as I was to think it, I had other things on my mind, anyway.
On Monday, three days before Valentine’s Day, I had my first day of softball tryouts. Despite the frigid temperatures, we dressed out in the locker rooms right after school, and met at the softball field.
Once we were gathered in the dugout, I looked around at this year’s hopefuls. There were a lot of them. I recognized all the girls that were returning from last year, but there were a lot of freshman.
I wasn’t worried about the freshman, though. They would all be on J.V., anyway. The starting Varsity catcher from last year had graduated, and I had my eye on her spot.
Of course, softball meant quality time with both Jenna and Mandy, so I was concerned about how that was going to go.
They showed up at the field together. They looked my way, and Jenna gave a small smile, but otherwise, they didn’t speak. Instead, they took their own seats in the dugout and began talking with each other.
OK, so maybe I did care a little bit that they weren’t talking to me. I mean, I didn’t exactly deserve it.
I fiddled with my catcher’s mitt, tying and untying the laces just for the heck of not looking bored and lonely. Normally the three of us would be in the corner chatting up. But here I was looking lonely and sad.
Needless to say, I was happy when the coach walked into the dugout.
“Afternoon, ladies!” Coach Smith called out, smiling at the lot of us. Most of us were too cold to move, much less reply. “Big turnout, I see. Well, let me introduce myself and my coaching staff, then I’ll let you know a little bit about how these tryouts are going to work.”
This was repetitive for me and the rest of the returning players, but for the freshman and newbies, they’d learned tryouts would run all week. Wednesday would be the first cuts, and on Friday, the final roster would be posted, and uniforms would be distributed.
He introduced us all to his assistant coach, Coach Alexander, a total hottie, if you asked any hot-blooded female in that dugout, and Coach Linley, a 23-year-old English teacher who was fresh out of college herself. She’d be in charge of the JVs, he’d told them.
“Ladies, I’d like everyone to get out on the field, circle up, and Coach Linley is going to lead your stretches,” Coach Smith told us.
There were a lot of us, so the circle was huge.
Once we were finished stretching, we ran two laps around the outfield, then lined up throw before running back to the pitcher’s mound to circle Coach Smith once again. He split us up into two groups, sending pitchers and catchers with Coach Alexander, outfielders with Coach Linley, and he kept the infielders with him.
So I followed the small group of pitchers and catchers with Coach Alexander out to the batting cages behind the field.
I examined my competition. Only a girl named Tessa was returning, to catch. She was a junior. The other two girls were freshman. Four other girls joined us; pitchers. So I decided Tessa was my only competition.
“OK,” Coach Alexander said once we were all out there. “Four pitchers and four catchers. Perfect setup. Catchers, gear up. Pick a pitcher and start warming up. I’ll be watching.”
I pulled on my catcher’s gear, and found myself geared up with last year’s starting pitcher, Molly Murphy. This was perfect. No better way to impress Coach Alexander than to show him I could handle Molly. So I squatted, and gave her a target.
She threw easy to start with while she warmed up, then gradually, then she started to picked up speed. She stayed consistent, sticking with fastballs. I could tell she was topping out around 60mph, but she could go faster.
Molly was one of the fastest softball pitchers most of our competition would face in this conference. I mean, she was no Jenny Finch, but she was a big deal around here.
Rumor had it, recruiters would be looking at the senior this year from colleges all over the country.
Coach Alexander stepped up and watched Molly.
“Let me see a curve, Molly,” he told her. “Sophia, be ready.”
I nodded. I knew he only asked her to throw it to see if I could handle it, but I knew I could. She threw a curve, and I caught it. And another, and another.
“Let me see a drop ball,” he said.
So he saw one. He also saw a rise ball, a screw ball, and a changeup. I wasn’t counting my chickens early because it was only the first day, but I was feeling really confident.
Then he moved on to Tessa and her pitcher.
After tryouts were over, Molly complemented me on my catching.
“You’re pretty good back there, Sophia,” she told me as we gathered the equipment. “I think Coach was impressed, too.”
I smiled. “You think?”
She returned the smile. “I think. But we got a long week. We’ll have to wait and see. My bet’s on you, though.”
“Thanks. That means a lot.”
She winked at me, and she turned and walked out of the dugout.
I followed shortly after, and walked across the field to the parking lot, texting my mother along the way to let her know I was going with Cambree to Paulette’s for a few minutes. I texted her because I couldn’t lie to her, even over the phone, knowing the lie was coming out of my mouth. The text was hard enough, but once it was sent and she replied OK, don’t stay out late, I let it go and walked to my car.
Andrew was leaning against it when I got there. “Hey. How were your tryouts?”
“Grueling,” I replied, kissing him.
“Did you do good?”
“OK, be cocky.”
“Are you driving?” he asked me.
I nodded. “Sure.”
I dropped my bat bag in the trunk of my car, and we headed away from the school. I knew already we were going to grab something to eat, but after that I wasn’t sure, but as soon as we were at Paulette’s, I couldn’t wait to leave.
“Why do you keep looking at the door?” Andrew asked as I stared at the door from our booth.
Because I’d lied to my parents about being here with Cambree. Because I wasn’t supposed to see Andrew at all. Because I was afraid of getting caught.
Take your pick, Andrew.
“No reason,” I told him, picking up my water and taking a drink.
“No, there’s a reason,” he said. “Why are you staring at the door? You look paranoid.”
“I’m a little paranoid,” I admitted with a sigh.
“I’m afraid my dad’s gonna like, bust in here at any second,” I admitted with a chuckle.
“I think I’m the one who should be afraid of your dad.”
“Maybe you should be,” I told him.
“Where’d you tell them you were?”
“Here. But with Cambree.”
He nodded. “I got you. Well, just relax. You can’t stress out every time we go out in public, Sophia. Otherwise we’ll be stuck at my house all the time.”
I nodded. “I’ll try to loosen up.”
We ate, then went back to my car. As I was driving, he lit a joint, and he offered me a hit. I declined.
“Since when?” he asked when I said no.
“Since I’m driving,” I told him. I mean, was he crazy? My windows weren’t dark like the windows in his truck. I wanted to ask him to put his out, but we were on back roads and there weren’t other cars around this time of night.
“It’s not a big deal,” he said.
“It is to me,” I said with a sigh. “Where do you want to go?”
It was getting dark, and I knew I had to be home soon.
“Go to the drive in,” he said.
“Can’t we just ride around and just talk?” I asked him.
He made a face. “Uhm, about what?”
“We just never do that. I thought, maybe—”
“Sophia, go to the drive in,” he said rolling his eyes.
I shut up after that. I wasn’t sure what had put Andrew in such an awful mood. I guess it could have been disagreeing with him, but I wasn’t sure.
We went to the drive-in. There was another car already there. I was worried it was someone I knew and didn’t want them to see my car there, especially not with Andrew in it with me.
“Chill out, Sophia,” he said, taking the last drag from his joint and tossing it out the window. “They’re doing the same thing as we are. Damn. What’s gotten you wound up so tight?”
I wasn’t wound up. At least, I didn’t think I was. Of course, I could have asked him the same question.
I parked, and I waited for him to lean over and kiss me. He didn’t. Instead, he reclined the seat to his liking and he started undoing his belt.
What. The. Hell?
I wasn’t sure where he thought this was going or what he thought we were doing, but if it was any further than we already were, he was wrong.
Next thing I knew, he was unzipping his jeans, and pulling out his, well, manhood.
My eyes widened. I hadn’t seen it before. I hadn’t seen any guy’s before.
“What are you waiting for?” he asked me.
“Sophia,” he said with a sigh. He took my hand, and placed my hand on it, tightening my fingers around it. “Just move your hand up and down. Tight. But don’t hurt him.”
I did what he told me, wondering if I was doing it right. I guessed I was, because his eyes were closed and his arms were rested behind his head. He looked relaxed and his breathing was heavy and rhythmic. I found it hard to believe I was responsible for that.
“Stop,” he told me.
Now. I didn’t know a lot about guys and their, well, guy places, but I did know something was supposed to happen before he could just stop. And that hadn’t happened yet.
“Put your mouth on it,” he told me.
My jaw fell open. “What?”
Was he crazy. I wasn’t doing that!
“Come on, Sophia.”
He looked at me with confusion. “Did you say no?”
“Yes. I said no.”
He looked as if he was trying to process it all. "Why not?"
“Because I don’t want to. That’s gross.”
“Are you fucking serious, Sophia? After everything I’ve done for you? All this time, and I ask you for one little fucking favor and you say it’s gross?”
I chewed nervously on my bottom lip, and it took me a moment to realize I was bunched up in the corner, leaning against the driver’s door. Andrew had never yelled at me before.
“I didn’t hear you fucking complaining when I did it for you!” he continued. “I never told you that was gross. That makes you sound like a real bitch Sophia.”
I continued to chew. Was he right? Was I sounding like a bitch by saying no? He was right that he’d done all that stuff for me.
“You know, most girlfriends do it without even being fucking asked,” he said.
Was that true?
“You’re right, Andrew,” I told him. I just wanted him to stop yelling. “I’m sorry.”
He looked at me for a moment, seeming to be cooling off. Finally he sighed and said, “Then prove it.”
A/N: Sorry for the long delay guys. It’s been a rough week and I haven’t been feeling too well. Hopefully I can get back on track soon and start updating regularly :) As always, thanks for reading!
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