I was out all day today, but I had seen Teresa’s writing prompt and I had a story in my head all day that I was looking forward to typing up:
Your challenge today, should you accept it, is to explore love and romance on the sports field. Write your take on the romance subgenre of Sports Romance and see where it leads…or whatever/wherever the prompt takes you. (Note: Sports romance can include any sport, but the romance traditionally includes at least one sport’s player.)
I have used a slightly different picture to set the scene for my story. I am going back to school with Annabelle Riley, who like every other girl in her year has a crush on Trent Walker, the high school sports jock. We’ll also see Dean Mathers (before Mildew get their recording contract), who is a few years older than Annabelle. I will be honest with you, although I have a character who is a sports player…this story is not particularly sporty at all!
Annabelle had just finished her history lesson and was putting her books into her locker. Hearing a round of giggles a couple of metres away, Annabelle looked over to her right and saw some of the girls in her year who were on the cheerleading squad. As she made eye contact with them, their laughter erupted again. “Losers” Annabelle thought to herself.
“Hi Annie. How you doin’?” came a voice from her left.
Annabelle turned to find Trent Walker with one arm stretched against the locker and the other clutching the strap of the rucksack on his shoulder. He was smiling down at her. Her eyes could not hide her surprise. She felt flattered that Trent even knew her name. “Um, hi!” she responded.
“Have you caught your arm on something? That looks like quite a scratch you have there,” Jordan’s fingers gently stroked Annabelle’s forearm.
Annabelle felt butterflies in her tummy as she felt Jordan’s caressing her skin. But realizing that he was referring to one of the deep scratches she had inflicted on herself, Annabelle pushed her sleeve back down and gasped the edge of the cuff to prevent it from riding up her arm again. “Oh it’s nothing. Yeah I just caught it.”
Trent continued to flash smiles, revealing his perfectly white teeth “So, Annie, I was wondering if you wanted to go to the school dance with me?”
Annabelle nearly choked on hearing the question Trent had just directed towards her. “You’re asking me to the dance?”
Trent grinned on seeing Annabelle’s face flush with pink, “Think about it Annie. Here, take this, why don’t you send a message when you have decided.” He passed her a scrap of paper with a cellphone number written on it.
As Trent turned away and walked down the corridor, there were more chuckles heard from the crew of cheerleaders who had probably heard the entire conversation. Ignoring them, Annabelle shoved her entire bag into her locker and closed it.
Twenty minutes later, she was on the outskirts of the woods. She could detect a familiar aroma and moments later she heard a guitar strumming.
“Alright Nan, are you skipping class again?”
Sitting down on the dry grass near to where Dean sat with his guitar, Annabelle drew ler legs up and hugged them, “It’s phys-ed after lunch.”
“Bleedin’ waste of time” scowled Dean breathing in a drag of the roll-up perched at the side of his mouth.”
Annabelle laughed, “You’re no Trent Walker.”
“Who the hell is Trent Walker?”
“The guy who has asked me to the school dance,” she smiled with pride.
Dean was surprised, “You’ve never mentioned him before. How come?”
Annabelle hesitated before answering, “It’s kind of new. He only asked me to go to the dance with him today.”
“Do you hang out with him?” he asked.
“No, he’s on the football team. He hangs out with other guys on the team and the bitchy girls on the cheerleading squad.”
“So he’s a popular kid then?”
Annabelle nodded, “And he is soooooo gorgeous.”
Dean seemed amused, “So why’s he asking you to the dance?”
“What’s that supposed to mean? What am I that repulsive that you think he wouldn’t be interested in me?”
“Nan, you are pretty. Any guy would be lucky to get your attention. But you don’t sound as if you have any connection with this Trent guy. So why, out of the blue, does he invite you to the school dance? What about the other girls he hangs out with? Has he hooked up with any of them?”
“Hooked up. What? Do you mean actually hooked out, like making out and stuff?”
“If he’s really sooooo gorgeous as you say, and on the school football team, he’s probably screwing half the cheerleaders. Why doesn’t he ask one of them to the dance?”
“Don’t say stuff like that! Trent seems nice. Maybe he doesn’t want to ask one of them because they are all nasty cows.”
Dean put his guitar down and moved over to sit besides Annabelle, “I’m going to tell you something now, and you are not going to like it. Either he is planning on pranking you and getting your hopes up before the dance only to stand you up. Or he is hoping you will be so chuft that he asked you to the dance that you’ll let him shag you.”
Annabelle’s eyes opened wide, “You don’t even know him. Why would you say something like that?”
“I might not know him, but I know enough about guys like him. I’m not trying to be unkind. I’m telling you, he’s a jerk.”
A few tears began to trickle down Annabelle’s face, “Do you really think that?”
Dean put his arm around Annabelle, “Nan, I would never want to hurt you. You know that don’t you. I don’t want to see anyone else hurt you though.”
Annabelle tried to wipe her eyes with her sleeves, “I didn’t actually say yes when he asked me. I was so surprised that I couldn’t even speak. He gave me his number and told me I could think about it and let him know.”
“Do you have it?” When Annabelle nodded, Dean thought, “Don’t use your phone to reply. Use mine. Here, let’s send him a text message, just to kind of suss out what his game is.”
“What do you mean?”
After Dean had typed a message, he presented his phone to Annabelle to read it: THANKS FOR THE INVITE. WOULD YOU LIKE TO MEET UP SOMETIME BEFORE THE DANCE? MAYBE WE COULD GO OUT FOR A DRINK.
“Dean, Trent might not like it.”
“It doesn’t matter Nan. Let’s just see how he reacts.”
Trying to distract his younger friend and cheer her up, Dean began showing Annabelle a song he had been working on. He played the chords and sang some lyrics that he had scribbled down onto a notepad. Annabelle was enjoying his playing when she noticed his phone flash up and sound a message tone. Dean picked up his phone and read the message: I THINK YOU HAVE THE WRONG NUMBER.
Annabelle’s face revealed her confusion, “Did you type the number in properly?” Dean sat next to her again and the two of them carefully checked the number against the one Trent had given her. Dean asked Annabelle if he should reply. She shook her head. Dean could Annabelle’s disappointment. He pushed her hair away from her face and brought his face close to her’s, “It looks like all he’s done is give you someone else’s number. It’s just a stupid little prank. He’s being a jerk. Better that you realized now, rather than getting all excited about going to the dance with him.”
Annabelle nodded, “I feel like such an idiot.”
“He’s the idiot!” cried Dean. Softening his tone he added, “I’m just relieved he was just pranking you. I was scared that he just wanted to…Well, I’d have killed him if he hurt you.”
Annabelle was silent, “Have you ever done something like that to a girl?”
“I’ve never pranked a girl. They wouldn’t have been impressed enough by me anyway.”
“No, I mean have you ever had a girlfriend? Have you ever made love?”
Dean smiled at Annabelle, “I’ve fooled around with girls. I’ve never had a steady girlfriend.”
Annabelle pursed her lips, “How many girls?”
“I dunno, a few. When I was fifteen, we went on a family holiday to Tampa. There was a girl at the fair who was cute. She looked like Avril Lavigne. She was the first girl I ever kissed. There was a girl who worked at Taco Belt over at Claremont. I asked her out. We went out to see some lousy movie. The movie theatre was empty. She had different ideas than watching the film though. It’s a good job she had a packet of Kleenex in her purse. After that experience, I really wanted a girlfriend. But I’ve been out with other girls and it’s not worked out. I haven’t made it past second base with any of them.”
Annabelle didn’t understand everything that Dean was telling her, which he realized by the hazy look across her face. Feeling embarrassed and not knowing how to reply to Dean, she muttered, “Ok. I have never even been kissed.” She was staring into Dean’s eyes.
Dean looked at Annabelle. It wasn’t the first time he had noticed how pretty she was. She was still sitting next to him but had started to lean against him. Dean gazed at her, “Nan, promise me that you won’t let the first guy who kisses you be some jerk from the football team. Guys like that are only interested in shagging as many girls as possible so they can boast to their mates. Promise me that you will make it special. Make sure it’s someone that you know really cares about you.”
Annabelle stood up, “I’ve got to go Dean. School will be out soon, I need to go and pick up my bag from my locker.”
Dean jumped to his feet as well, “Nan, promise me.”
Annabelle turned to look at him, “Promise you what?”
“Promise me to make it special. Make sure it’s someone who cares about you. It’s important.”
Annabelle shrugged, “Whatever Dean.”
Dean grabbed her hand, “No Nan. You’re not listening. You’re special. When it happens, make it special.”
Annabelle let her hand linger in Dean’s as she gazed at him searching his face for signs of something he had never said to her. “I have to go.”