Sixty: The Soccer Player †

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Jason had long finished his exams by this point; he had awhile now to relax until the summer began and all the students would be free to escape this prison that was college.

Candidly, college wasn't bad. I was enjoying it. I had a lot of freedom and Johanna and Verity were really good friends. Then, of course, there was the matter of Jason.

We're closer than ever, no matter how cliché that sounds. But it's the truth. He trusts me a lot more now. He told me that the techno guys that helped his parents had been located. He knows where all of them are now and no matter how many times I ask what he's going to do now, his solution is always diverse. Even so, I had faith that he'd do the right thing.

Right now, I was sat in the room with Johanna staring questioningly at me. I was going over my Psychology report. All of my exams were finished now, too and this was the only thing I had left. I'm pretty sure all my exams went okay. Track definitely went better than Psychology. By this point in the year, I'm contemplating why I even decided to take Psychology — even though I knew because I wanted to see if you can read your opponent and beat them based on that.

"Are you sure you want to do this?" she asked cautiously, perched on the edge of her bed, her legs crossed.

"Johanna, I have to do this," I replied for the umpteenth time. Whether she didn't comprehend that or she just scared, I didn't know.

"Right," she mumbled. "I'm just saying... Mr. Gellar would understand."

I shook my head. "I'm fine," I said stubbornly.

Just then, a knocked sounded from the door. I hid my papers and Psychology stuff away in the cupboard as Johanna slowly paced to the door. She opened it just as I closed the cupboard, flustered from the abrupt hast movement and I sat back up on the bed. Jason stood in the threshold.

"Hey," I breathed, plastering a smile on my face quickly. I threw my fringe out of my eyes — it had been cut recently and quite short so it was getting in the way a lot — and patted the bed next to me.

"I'm going into town for a few things," declared Johanna. "I'll be back later. Good luck." She smiled before dashing for her shoes and bag, slipping both on rapidly before darting out of the room, closing the door behind her.

"She made a quick exit," said Jason, shrugging off his leather jacket. It was warm today considering it was July. "Maybe she wants us to be alone." Jason winked at me.

He leaned in and at once, our lips were sealed in a kiss. No matter how many times we kissed, it was always the same: fiery passion. I've said before that I didn't believe in fireworks and bombs and I still stand by that. With Jason, it's something special and something I could never ever get rid of. It was my addictive drug.

"How long have you got until you present?" Jason asked, pulling back from the kiss.

"Long enough," I replied, leaning in and kissing him again.

The kissing went on for quite some time and we progressed to lying down on the bed until we stopped and just began cuddling. Jason offered to listen to my presentation but I objected. There was no way he was listening into my presentation. Jason chuckled at my horrified objection, gawking right at me before shaking his head.

"You'll be fine."

I shook my head. "I'm so nervous. I don't like speaking in front of people."

"Does anyone?" retorted Jason. "You'll be brilliant," he cooed, rubbing my waist.

"I — I have to tell you something," I blurted out, stuttering before I could stop myself. I shot up in bed and Jason's hand fell from my waist.

Jason looked oddly amused for a moment as emulated my conduct but at a much slower pace. "What is it?"

I opened my mouth to speak but before any syllables could spurt out, the door burst open by Johanna who tripped as she stepped inside. Her cheeks were a light shade of magenta as she looked up to us, shocked by our presences.

"You're still here? I thought you would have left like five minutes ago," she said, leaving the door open.

"Crap, what time is it?" I replied, glancing over at my phone. "Crap! I've got to go, Jason. I'll see you later, I promise. I'll come by your room when I'm finished!" I was babbling on, grabbing my papers and USB stick before marching out of the room with Jason hot on my heels, chuckling.

"Okay, I'll be waiting for you. Oh, and you said you had to tell me something so I suppose it'll wait until then?" he shouted as I wandered down the stairs.

"Sure!" I yelled.

Running to Psychology class, my papers were getting scuffled in my hands. By the time I got to class, people were still lining up outside. I straightened the pages, making sure all the edges weren't turned over before glancing up just in time to see Mr. Gellar marching our way. He was holding a mug of something that was steaming. He smiled fleetingly at me before passing me and slipping the key card into the lock, letting everyone enter.

"Good luck today, Tiegan," said Mr. Gellar.

"Thank you," I replied, keeping my gaze low and avoiding his eyes.

We sat down and I made sure to keep close to the door. Mr. Gellar waited a few moments, setting everything up on his laptop as the final few stragglers emerged into the room. He did the register once he was finished and sat down at his desk which was a little out of the way from the board.

"Right," he said, finishing up and clicking off the register on the laptop. "We're going to go in alphabetical order." My chest deflated. "Up first: Tom Ankles."

Nervous as can be, Tom Ankles staggered up to the front, plugging his USB into the laptop and opening up all the relevant things for his presentation. I knew I would have to do the same when it was my turn, but I had awhile to go first.

All the presentations were about ten minutes long, give or take a few minutes. We were passing through the alphabet rather quickly for my liking, frankly so by the time it came to the "S" segment of the alphabet, I was holding my breath. I wasn't quite sure how many others had a surname beginning with S that the second letter came before M, but I knew it couldn't be many.

Finally, "Tiegan Smith."

I stood up, not really apprehending the situation until I picked up my USB, modelling pictures and the actual presentation. I had also scanned the modelling pictures onto my laptop so I managed to put them onto the presentation, too but these were just visuals. I needed them, apparently. It was one of the minimal requirements to get a good grade.

I plugged the USB into the laptop and waited for the pop up. I was now viewing my files. Searching for the project, my hands were beginning to get clammy and I could feel the cursor wavering as my sweaty fingertips were gliding against the touchpad of the laptop. I opened up the PowerPoint and stood back, holding the papers in my hands. I looked down.

The more I gawped at the words on the page, the more they seemed to blur. Black dots were appearing on my revision. I knew it was now or never. I had to give this presentation. I couldn't back out now. I coughed to clear my throat. Shuffling the papers in my hand, I started the PowerPoint with the modelling picture as the front page with the title. There was a twist to the modelling pictures, however. I cut off Jason's heads on the pictures.

"This is my project... The Soccer Player," I announced.

Author's Note:

DUN DUN DUNNNNNNNNNNN, it has been revealed for her project! Did you guys expect that? And how do you think Jason will react? ;)

Thank you :) x

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