Don't Mess Up

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic

James is a happy, perky, freshmen who is excited about college. People tend to go along with his unnecessary happy self except for this one American exchange student who just can't stand James for one more second.

Being raised in the poor suburb of Colombia, James, treasures his opportunity to attend a well respected university. He thanks his soccer skills for gaining the attention of the school, winning him a full grant. So what if he blabbers on when he receives high honors. Or that he brags a little too much when he scores the winning goal for his team. He's proud and can't help the emotions that course through him, it's all harmless fun.

He's decided on majoring in English. He loves the language, the culture behind it and the stories it tells, so he takes the challenge with the English skills of a five year old. It's his first week studying and he is absolutely in love. The teachers are nice, his classmates are friendly and his roommate is officially his new best friend. Chris an exchange student from Spain who wears too much gel in his hair and could be confused as a model, but he supports Orlando City, so of course their officially best friends.

On his first free day, Saturday, James and Chris head out exploring the town. James isn't familiar with the city the university occupies. Bogota is a day long trip on bus from his little town of Pereira. They walk around aimlessly with no purpose, pointing out sights and talking casually. Chris was going on about his boyfriend when James sees a familiar short bob of dark hair. "Milan?" He calls.

Milan turns searching for the source of the voice. She smiles ear to ear when she sees James. "James!" She runs up and hugs him. Her arms wrapped around his stomach and her head plush against his chest due to the enormous height difference. James laughs patting her back. Milan and him have been friends since ninth grade. They went to separate high schools but lived down the street to each other. They would play games of football on the muddy field and run like crazy when one of them accidentally breaks a neighbor’s window.

"What's up?" She asks standing in front of James with a hand prop on her hip, grinning wildly.

"I was just exploring the streets with my roommate, Chris." James introduces. Chris plays on a charming smile and reaches a hand out.

Milan grips the hand in a firm handshake. "It's a pleasure." They part. "I'm here with Sabrina to see a movie." There next to her stood Sabrina, an American exchange student Milan recently befriended. How could James not notice her? She was sending him death glares as we speak.
Sabrina always had it out for James. He couldn't move without her breathing down his neck waiting to criticize him. It was an unknown hatred to James' opinion. He didn't recall doing anything to anger her. He stills remember the first day they met.

It was the first day actually and James was going around greeting everyone. "Hello, hello it's good to meet you." When he noticed her leaning against a wall staring at him like he was a scum bag, the nastiest of dirt. He greets her as well with the same, "Hello, good morning, it's good to meet you." She back fires with a simple, "Shut up." James heard the rumors that Americans were rude but that was just down right disrespectful. James is gaping as he slowly steps back and scurries to class.

After class that day James met up with Milan and told her of their encounter. In the middle of his rant the said stranger takes a seat next to Milan ignoring James' presence completely. "She was the one who told me to shut up!" James blurts out. Milan laughs telling James Sabrina was her roommate and her new friend. And that was how their twosome just became a threesome with Sabrina throwing out sarcastic rude comments to James and Milan laughing and James having to suck it up.

"Oh okay, well I'll leave you two alone. Bye!" James leaves with Chris right on his tail.

"Are you dating the Asian chick?" Chris questions as they turn the block.

"Milan? No, she's just a good friend."

"Oh, well she was giving you major heart eyes. I thought I should let you know."

"Okay," James shrugs. Chris was probably seeing things Milan had zero feelings for him. He is sure she sees him as a brother.

"And that other girl was giving you the death stare. Did you kill her dog or something?"
James snorts, amused. "No, we just have a complicated relationship."

The complicated relationship continues on the following Monday. James wins an award for most assists in a season for football and is parading through the halls showing off to his friends. The award was pretty, made of glass and in the shape of a rectangle with golden inscription of his name. Of course as he is showing off to his chess club, Sabrina walks on by. She glances at the award, curious at first but then indifferent, then looks back at James. She snorts and leaves without a word. James is left to glare at her retrieving back.

There was game later today as well. Milan promised she would come but she didn't mention bringing a guest. Normally James was cool with Milan inviting her friends but not if that friend is Sabrina. He could already hear her comments on his playing skills.

They all meet before the game behind the bleachers. Milan insisted she had to wish him luck right before the sound of the first whistle. "You can do this! Score all them beautiful goals!" Milan cheers tip toeing to kiss his cheek. James blushes a bit but thanks her.

"Yeah don't fuck up." Oh how can James forget of Sabrina's presence. James tosses her a fake smile, just an inch movement of his lip, to show his gratitude.

"Don't worry about her, she secretly supports you too." James hears a sarcastic "okay". "Plus you are wearing your pink kits. You guys always win while wearing pink it's like your good luck charm. And you look really cute in pink to which is a bonus."

"He looks pretty gay to me." Sabrina comments. James sighs and escorts them to their seats and is back on the field to start the game.

Their team wins, 1-0, a decent win that leaves the crowd happy. The game was a tough one though. The opposing team had strong defense, almost unbreakable until the last remaining minutes of the final play. Chris is able to squeeze his way through the defense and score a beauty that flies cleanly inside the net. James didn't score but he was simply happy to be of an assist to his team's success.

Even from feet away from Sabrina, James could swear he heard her voice mocking him. It was like they had a mental link and it bothered him. A miss pass, "Who was he passing that too? Casper the imaginary ghost?"
He trips, "What a loser!"
He misses a goal, "Even I could have made it in!"
His running, "My grandma can run faster then that!"
His face overall, "He looks like an lost dog, how pathetic."

When James meets up with Milan and Sabrina outside the locker rooms he is greeted with a hug from Milan and a blank stare from Sabrina. "Congrats! Oh my god you played so good." Milan gushes squeezing James' sides. "Right Sabrina?"

"Eh, I've seen better." Let it be noted this was Sabrina's first ever football match. So the lie was evident. James bit back a comment too tired to bicker. Milan playfully slaps Sabrina's arm and she apologizes for her sake. James doesn't care, he has become accustom to the verbal abuse.

His mother and baby sister comes to visit and James is ecstatic. It's been a month since his first day and James is living in a bubble of pure happiness. His grades are on point, he has a ton of new friends and he got a job at the Nike store. Milan and Sabrina are getting closer and it really has become a threesome because they go everywhere together. The rude standoffish behavior in Sabrina is forever strong so not everything was perfect. James has learned to avoid her as much as possible and stick by Milan side whenever they go out.

"James! My love, how are you?" His mother greets once he opens the door. They embrace and share kisses. Strolling later inside is James' little sister Salome. She's two now and can wobble anywhere. James is enchanted by her cuteness. He lifts her up in his arms and places sloppy kisses all over her face.

"My god aren't you adorable." James coos. Salome giggles clutching James' shirt.
The family spent a much needed time together. James talks about his experience and success in college, and his mother updates him on his home town. They are alone as Chris is out with his boyfriend giving James his family time. After a while later and a bunch of cute selfies with mom and Salome, James takes them out.

They are at a popular mall when James spots the new pair of Adidas cleats. He tells his mother he has to see them up close. She says she'll wait for him outside as the sports store did not interest her in the slightest.

James hurries inside wasting no time to hold the yellow color cleats in his hands. They were so nice and James was consumed by their beauty he failed to notice Milan and Sabrina staring at him like he grown a second head.

"He is looking at that shoe like he found God or something." Sabrina mocks finding James amusing.

"James loves his cleats I swore he owns like five pairs but only uses one." Milan informs.

"What a dork."

"We should go over and say hi."

"How about we just leave he looks way in the zone to care about us." Sabrina states.

"But I don't want him to spend his money on more shoes." Milan worries tugging a spare hair behind her ear.

"Those shoes are like 825,00 pesos (300 dollars) no way in hell he's dumb enough to buy them."

"I guess you're right." They leave secretively promising to never mention the encounter.
James ends up buying the shoes. His bank account a whopping negative hundred pesos (10 dollars). He shows his mother and she shakes her head and leaves for the night with Salome in her arms. He shows Milan the next day at their Sunday getting together at her dorm room. Milan is gasping and Sabrina randomly bursts out of the kitchen laughing her head off. Her face is red and she's gripping her stomach. James stares confused. What was so funny?

James is bored. He scrolls through his phone photos for entertainment. It's late but James can't sleep. Chris is snoring in the bed beside him so no use in talking. He can't play FIFA because he'll wake Chris who is extremely cranky when woken. He can't read either as the light will wake Chris from his slumber. He was a extremely light sleeper and it was annoying to the opposite James who can sleep through a tornado. Milan is sound asleep as well, her unresponsive text message proof enough, so she was useless.

James sighs quietly squinting at his phone screen. He is looking at pictures back in his high school days to kill time. He honestly looked ten it was embarrassing while Milan looks the same. He come upon a rare photo. A picture of his and Daniela's first date. He had on his most expensive suit, he remembered his excitement to try it on. They were at a restaurant James' cousin worked at. They both had on big smiles holding hands across the table. James simply stares at the picture clueless and numb, why hasn't he deleted this photo? He hovers over the little trash can icon, hesitating, and doubtful. He swipes right and more pictures of them appear. He has a ton.

James' heart saddens at each picture. He really did care about her. They dated for three years until the last day of senior year. Prior to graduation they were already having their fallout. Daniela cheated on him and James was to put it in simple terms devastated. He still held on to hope but she left to study in Spain and never spoke to him again. He tried contacting her but apparently she changed her number as the voicemail keeps telling him he was dialing a wrong number.

Milan never liked her. She never told James until their breakup but James could take a hint. Milan would turn serous whenever James would mention her and act distant whenever Daniela was around. At first he thought it was because Milan had some sort of crush on him but really it was just because Daniela was simply a bad person.

James swipes back to the photo of their first date and deletes it. He keeps swiping right and pressing delete until ever last trace of Daniela is gone.

The English majors are having a trip to Cabo de la Vela beach. Their assignment is to write on the scenario surrounding them in fluent flawless English. James loves writing, his dream is to become a bilingual writer, well and also a football player but the writer dream seems more plausible. Other students from different majors could join the trip for a fee. Sabrina and Milan paid the cheap fee and are currently across from James on the bus.

James is more focused on the window than his friends excitement. He adjusts his glasses on his nose. The frame was too big and fell down his nose too many times. He never bothered to replace them. James mostly always wears his contacts so he thought new glasses were a waste of money. Today was an exception. The day he had to wear contacts he drops his last pair of contacts down the toilet. He was too gross out to retrieve them so he decided on wearing his glasses and simply taking them off when he swims, he wasn't totally blind.

Sabrina of course had to have her fair share of mockery. "Honestly who wears glasses to the beach?"
James gives her a sideway glance but does not look directly at her.

"I lost my only pair of contacts." James doesn't mention the real story. The jokes would be endless.

"That's fine you can take them off when you swim, you just have problems seeing far?" Milan suggests.

"Yup," James answers.

The class arrives to the beach. It's a beautiful day. The sun is out with not a cloud in sight just promising blue skies. It is uncomfortably hot though with the sun not having a shield to block it's light. A swim would be nice but James wants to focus on his assignment first. He sits Indian style on his towel with his notepad balancing on his leg and his pen hidden behind his ear. He observes the area recalling as much detail as he can. Rocks and stones scatter the shoreline like the ones on a cliff making it hard to walk across the sand barefoot. The water is light, and waves strong pulling people in it's grasp and then pushing them back out.

James takes his pen and starts writing notes, a draft of his story. The sun's rays is hitting James directly on his bare back. His skin was burning under the pressure. James regrets not bringing sunscreen, he burns easily and by tomorrow he'll be a tomato. He's writing his tenth bullet point when Milan drops down next to him on the towel. She's wet, her cool skin touching James' shoulders. "Come swim with me." She pleads grabbing his arm. Her fingers wrap around his forearm, her nails digging in his skin.

"I can't I have an assignment to finish." James argues glancing over to Milan with apologetic eyes. Milan pouts standing up. She dusts off sand from her legs.

"You are no fun!" Milan shouts running towards the shoreline.

"Hey wait! Do you have sunscreen?" James calls back.

Milan twirls around and nods. She goes over to Sabrina who laid on a purple towel sunbathing with dark lens covering her eyes. Milan rummages through her bag and pulls out a brown bottle of sunscreen. She tosses the bottle at James. He catches it and thanks her with a polite smile.

James props open the bottle and squirts large amounts of the white lotion over his palms. He rubs his hands together and runs the cream over his back, or as much of his back he can reach. James is focusing on rubbing sunscreen on his arms when he feels a stare pointed directly at him. James peers up to make eye contact with Sabrina. She was still wearing her sunglasses but James could still image the deadpan look she was giving him. "Why do you hate me?" James wonders rubbing his other arm. At this point of time he didn't care, he was merely curious.

There wasn't an immediate answer. Either she didn't hear him or she was ignoring him. James rolls his eyes and works the lotion on his legs. "Cause you annoy me." Sabrina finally answers. James studies her face, emotionless as ever. "You are always so damn perky and love to go running around like some stupid excited puppy. It's gross and I only put up with it because Milan is my best friend and she seems to really like you."

It's the most honest answer James has ever received from her. He nods and she turns to watch the skies. James continues to work on his story.

A week later James and Milan are face-timing in the middle of the night. He's wrapped in his blankets, his glasses perched down his nose. She is sitting on her bed with a pink tank top. Her drawing of a rose framed on the opposite wall of her bed visible.

"Are you busy tomorrow?" James asks.

"No, why?"

"Would you like to-"

James is interrupted by Sabrina who walks inside Milan's room slamming the door behind her. She carelessly tosses her bag on Milan's bed. "Who are you talk to?" She asks her head popping through James' screen. She stares at him intensely and frowns, a strict line on her lips. "Ew."

"Nice to see you to." James sneers.

Milan giggles pushing Sabrina away. "So you were trying to say something James?"

"Yeah um do you want-"

"Milan! You need to help me with my homework! It's due tomorrow!" Sabrina yells plopping down next to Milan.

"Oh right, um, James I have to go, can we talk tomorrow?"

"Yeah sure I'll just talk to you at lunch." They hang up and James swears he sees Sabrina smile diabolically.

At lunch the trio sat at a bench outside. Milan sat in the middle of the two munching on her salad. "So I wanted to ask if you wanted to go to the gym with me today?"

"Oh okay sure. You never ask me to go to the gym, why now?"

"Well I normally go with Chris but today he has other plans and it sucks going to the gym. It's always nice to have a gym buddy." James explains.

Milan smiles squeezing James' thigh. "Okay I'll go."

At the gym the pair full around on the treadmills and bench press. They made a game of who can lift more weights. James wins. It was all harmless fun. They are both sweating through their clothes and look like they just ran a marathon. James is on cloud nine laughing as he walks Milan back to her dorm. Their latched arms and skipping like child coming back from a candy store. They haven't sped much time alone together since the start of college and James misses their talks. Milan understood him and loved him enough not to leave him when he shaved his head in the tenth grade.

"You know James I really do love you." Milan says laying her head on his shoulder.
That was random James thinks. She was acting a bit more loving. While James was working on his thigh muscles using the exercise ball, Milan watched him with a daze in her eyes. She blushed wildly when he spoke to her and started touching his biceps to admire them. She even bit her lip when he poured a water bottle on his head. The water stained his shirt causing the fabric to stick against his skin.

"I love you too," James says chuckling.

They arrive in front of Milan's dorm. Milan holds out James's hand. "See you."

"See you." Milan leans up to kiss James' cheeks. She pats the spot and smiles softly leaving James outside.

Inside her dorm Milan sighs breathlessly. "How was the gym?" Sabrina asks sitting at her desk eating a slice of pizza.

"I think I like James!" Milan blurts out. She sits across Sabrina with a panic expression. Sabrina stays quiet taking a sip of her water. "I always thought he was attractive but today seeing him exercise he looked so good! And ugh! He's so nice and he's my best guy friend and I love him! But I think I want more."

"Well first thing first, why do you do this to me? You know I hate James. His face gives me a bad vibe." Sabrina says shaking her head.

"I know you hate him but I really like him! What do I do?" Milan pleads face buried in her hands.

"You are asking the wrong person but don't stress about it he'll ask you out this weekend."

"How do you know?"

"This Saturday is the football's team celebration party and it's social suicide if he goes alone. No other girl is dumb enough to date that idiot so he has to ask you."

"You think?"

"I know." Sabrina says. "But really James? He's like 10."

Sabrina predicted right. James asked Milan on Friday to accompany him to the party. It was 7 and James was expected to come at 8. Milan was panicking, shouting nonsense and rising clothes on the ground. Her makeup and hair done, flawlessly but her clothes was an issue. She couldn't find the perfect outfit. She has spend an hour in her closet pulling of piles of clothes from the rack and tossing them on the ground. There were dresses, shirts, jeans, skirts and shoes scattered around the room. Sabrina watched silently on her bed. The whole situation was hilarious. She would answer the same whenever Milan asked her anything. "Is this dress nice?"
"You look fine."
"Does this dress make me look fat?"
"You look fine."
"Do you think James will like this?"
"You look fine."
"Is that all you say."
"You look fine."

Milan sighs loudly. The time is going by fast. In the last ten minutes Milan settled with a strapless silver mini dress and nude heels. James arrives at nine on the dot. He has on a typical black suit and Milan's jaw drop at the sight. They leave but not before Sabrina called James a ugly penguin.

The party is short more like a awards session. James didn't win, Chris wins almost all of them, but he does not care. He was having a blast with Milan. When he asked her to come he didn't intend it to be a romantic date but more of a friendly hang out. But here they are now eating dinner at the most fanciest restaurant in Bogota sharing a bottle of wine. It wasn't weird, it was nice like the most naturally thing in the world. They were leaving the restaurant holding hands and laughing when someone shoves James.

James stumbles backwards surprise at the sudden push.

"What the hell?" James exclaims. The man who pushed him was a foot taller than James. He had a buzz cut, a face of a escaped criminal with a nasty scar running diagonally across his right cheek, a nose that can poke an eye out and a built of a skinny rat.

"Angel?" Milan shouts. "What are you doing here?"

"What are you doing with this loser!?" Angel shoves James again. James retracts and shoves him back.

"Why are you trying to steal my girl?! Huh? Punk!" Angel shouts a crowd is starting to form. Angel strikes a punch hitting James straight in the jaw. James stumbles backwards falling on his ass.

"Oh my god Angel stop!" Milan is screaming trying to lift James up by his collar. James is a dead weight. He grips his jaw in pain and could barely sit up his head was spinning.

"Why are you cheating on me with this fool? I thought you love me!"

"I do but I love James more!"

James is bewilder, what the hell was going on!? Angel lets out a battle cry and pounces on James. Angel punches James in the eye causing him to lay on the street in too much agony to fight back. Angel slams his head against the concrete, hard and James sees stars before it's dark.

James is in a coma for a week. He gets released from the hospital with a swollen eye, a concussion and broken bones. Milan explains everything to him. Angel and her had a relationship and are technically dating but she's only dating him because of pity. James doesn't forgive her and cuts all contact with her. The last thing he hears that she's raising money for Angel's bail money.

He's out for the football season. So James watches every game on the sidelines. He sits on a bench by himself in a daze watching his teammates play.

He feels a presence beside him. He glances over to see Sabrina sitting beside him. Their shoulders were glued together and knees touching. Since James' accident Sabrina has been acting different around him. Her once famous sarcastic comments gone. Her normal glare and evil look were never seen again. They haven't talked only shared shy smiles.

"How are you feeling?"

"Why are you talking to me?" James asks eyes squinting in question and disbelief. "You hate me. Why the sudden nice friend act?"

"I feel sorry for you." She answers. She looks down at her hands. "I didn't know Milan had a boyfriend. If I knew I wouldn't have let her trick you. I'm sorry."

James is taken aback at the kind words. "Thank you." He says. “So basically this was all your fault.”

Sabrina sits there quietly when she finally says, “Kind of, sort of, my bad.”

James glares at her, “It’s okay, I forgive you.”

“K cool”.

Submitted: July 23, 2015

© Copyright 2020 ilovepenguins. All rights reserved.

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