Part One - Time for a different approach

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It was reassuring to see the first snowflakes fall onto the roof of the school hall as Jake sat munching his way through a Cornish Pasty, trying to avoid eye contact with the rugby lads. His thoughts drifted to Christmas movies and snowmen and festive music. Overcome by a combination of Mariah's famous anthem and Wham's 'Last Christmas', Jake's eyes glazed over. Just as he was getting immersed in the Christmas spirit, Dan snapped him out of it.

"You coming to the Common Room to play cards?"
"Oh. (Rubbing his eyes) Is it a high stakes game?'
"Sure. Same as always. Roxy is being croupier. She is pretty fair."
Jake's eyes widened and his back straightened. He loved it when Roxy was in charge.
"OK. Just give me five mins to finish this and I'll be there in a bit."

Dan stole a chip from Jake's plate and changed the subject.
"You know Roxy isn't just clever, she's pretty hot too!"
"I've never looked at her that way," replied Jake, with his mouth still churning pastry.
"I was thinking last night, we need to start growing some balls and asking people out. Girls aren't only interested in muscly rugby guys." Dan looked at them, unimpressed.

Jake didn't say anything else on the matter but couldn't help but notice the way that Dan studied the lads with envy. They were currently throwing peanuts in the air and catching them in their mouths. Their loyal fans were cheering them on, including a table of swooning girls across the canteen. Jake couldn't help wonder what was so captivating.

Jake suddenly stood up with confidence.
"Right. Let's go for it. I have a tenner on me. What about you?"
"Same here," sad Dan as he picked up Jake's drink and recycled it for him. Jake emptied his tray and didn't look back. He was in the mood for a gamble and now that Dan had made him think more about it, it wouldn't hurt to take the chance to impress Roxy. Because yes... she was pretty special. Out of his league maybe, but definitely unique. Far better than the rugby swooners.

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