o3 | stupid

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"Tryouts for both boys basketball and girls cheerleading are today after school in the gym at 2:30, tardiness will not be accepted without a valid excuse, thank you." The principal's voice said over the loud speaker, just seconds before the last bell rang. Mackenzie rolled her eyes once he was finished talking, and stomped out of the classroom as the bell sounded.

"Mackenzie, wait!" Brooklyn called from behind her, but she ignored him, and continued to walk until she reached her locker. "You've got to relax. Just try out for cheerleading, is it really a big deal? Doesn't your sister do all those flips and stuff?"

"That's exactly why I don't want too, Bridge. Do ever listen to what I say, or does it go in one ear and out the other?" She retorted, slamming her locker shut once she shoved all of her books into her backpack.

"I have selective hearing," Brooklyn volleyed, putting on his backpack as well. "Maybe joining cheerleading will bring you guys closer." He suggested, and Mackenzie rolled her eyes.

"Oh my god, I don't have time for this." She waved him off, "just go get changed and go to tryouts, I'll watch."

Brooklyn shrugged, walking passed Mackenzie and down the stairs to the locker room. Mackenzie walked down the hall, dropping her backpack onto the hallway floor, and heading into the gymnasium. It was completely empty, a small tumbling mat in the far corner, and a rack of basketballs on her right.

She picked up a decent enough ball, and dribbled it between her legs. She jogged to half-court, making a perfect shot. She grabbed the rebound, making a left layup. It was inching closer to two-thirty, and Mackenzie didn't want to get caught, but she wanted to work on her dunk. She dribbled down the court, pretending to sweep past other players, reaching up and missing the slam dunk. She let the ball drop to the floor and roll to the bleachers.

"Just a tad short, are we?" She spun on her heels to face the door. Nate stood in the doorway, a Nike gym bag hanging from his right shoulder. Mackenzie nodded, and scooped up the basketball. "I assume this is yours," he continued, holding a backpack out towards her.

"I was just leaving." She shrugged, taking her backpack from him.

"Aw, come on. Just stay and watch," He said, as Mackenzie shrugged again and handed the basketball over to him. "There we go." He smiled, as Mackenzie took a seat on the bleachers.

This is just for Bridge, she thought, as the coach walked into the gym, followed by a few boys.

"Ms. Smythe! Fancy seeing you here." Coach Martin called out, setting his things down on the bleachers, and taking out his clipboard. "Im glad you've decided to try cheerleading."

"Oh, I'm not here for cheerleading. I'm here for basketball." She retorted, standing up. "Who said I followed the rules?"

"You must follow the rules." Coach replied. "Oh look at that, I just said it." His voice perked up, "Have a seat, Smythe." Mackenzie rolled her eyes, plopping back onto the bleachers, yet again.

"This is so stupid." Nate called out, stopping stretching. "Who cares about the stupid rule? She's good."

"Nate-"

"No, Coach, Mackenzie's good. Really good. And if you don't think so, then you're just stupid." He continued on, standing up and walking towards Mackenzie.

"Nathan, if you don't sit down right now-"

"What? You'll kick me off the team? We haven't even started tryouts yet." Nathan huffed, giving Mackenzie a little shoved forward. "Come on, show him what you can do."

"Don't encourage him, Mackenzie. I'll have you both suspended." Coach Martin said sternly, giving Mackenzie the chills.

"Suspended? You can't do that." Nathan volleyed, rolling his eyes.

"Rules are rules, Nathan."

☀︎

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