As the basketball bounced against the wood of the gym floor I found myself thinking about it to try and distract myself. I knew that if I looked up I'd meet Logan's eyes and I'd probably stumble over my own feet. Something about having him in the crowds watching me made my heartbeat race. Knowing that right now his eyes were on me, judging my form and tact, made me feel like I had to make him proud.
The ball rebounded off of my fingertips and bounced off of the slick floor only to meet them once more as I dribbled my way down the court. All around was the sound of cheers, jeers and the footsteps of the girls who were desperately trying to catch up with me. It was amazing how supercharged a gut twisted in nerves can get you.
I stopped at the three point arc, jumping up as I released the ball from my hand. Even as my feet hit the ground I kept moving forward, running with the other girls who had caught up towards the basket. My shot rolled over the rim, missing the hole I so desperately wanted it to go in, and was quickly snatched from the air in a rebound from a girl on the other team.
As I jogged to the other side of the court I began wondering what it was like to be a basketball. I couldn't imagine it would be a very fun experience.
Every single thing I did would affect everyone. As many people as I made happy I'd be making an equal amount upset. I wouldn't just be making a shot for team A, but be putting team B behind as well. There'd be no way to please everybody.
Not to mention I'd have no control over myself. Everyone else would have a say in where I went but me. I'd be bounced from person to person, rebounding off the floor without any one so much as thinking about my feelings. Everything would revolve around the goals of whose hands I were in.
I'd be helpless and hopeless at the same time.
Then again, maybe it would be better for me not making any of my own decisions. I wouldn't have to worry about where I ended up or who I was disappointing. All of my actions would be by the hand of someone else. I'd have no control, it's true, but I wouldn't be able to blame either. I'd be able to just go along for the ride and hope for the best.
But would that really solve anything? Where would I be if someone else got to decide all of my actions?
My legs burnt as I bolted across the court, chasing after the ball. I'd been in all four quarters so far with nothing but halftime as a breather. I wasn't sure if it was because Lucas didn't want to have me on the bench near him, or because I was playing well enough to be left in.
Either way I was thankful. I'd avoided the girls questions so far only because I'd made it to the school with no time to spare before getting ushered onto the court. To be honest I was surprised Mary or Christy hadn't pulled me aside mid-shot to interrogate me.
A handsome tattooed stranger punching their beloved in the coach wasn't something that could easily be shrugged off, especially when it pertained somehow to me.
It took me a moment to realize what had just gone through my head. Logan, handsome? What was wrong with me?
I looked over towards the bleachers, my eyes seeking him out. He'd stayed just as he said he would.
Logan sat in the front row, just behind the benches of players and more specifically Coach Lucas. He was leaning back, completely at ease, a smug look on his face. I knew that look- and I knew why he was wearing it. The girls from my team, and the opposing team for that matter, kept looking over at him with interested eyes. Some just looked, but you could see the slight moving of mouths as they others glanced his way, whispering about him.
He was so out of place in this simple high school gym. There was barely anyone in the bleachers, it was a non important home game after all. A few of our parents had shown up to cheer us on, along with a sibling or two who had been dragged with. Here and there sat a few of the girls who would be playing after us, all dressed in their warm-ups and waiting to be told they could take over the locker-room finally.