[9] paper rings

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"what's this?"

"i made you a paper ring." ingrid tells me and runs off into the field as i look back down at my hand that holds the teal paper ring. "whatcha got there?" but suddenly i'm not alone anymore.

"my girlfriend have me a paper ring!"

"you're dating someone here?!"

"what no i'm talking about ingrid." sometimes i wonder if i'd much rather be mapi or ingrid in their relationship. i love them so much individually but they're so perfect for each other. "oh, it's cute though." ansu tells me. "yeah i taught her how to make them."

"can you make me one?!"

"i have made you one." it's sad to think pedri already lost it. i cherish things like these like a maniac. really anything you give me.

letters, bracelets, pens, napkin drawings, anything. "well... can i get another one?"

"why not." they're so fun to make too. "can it be blue?" he asks and i nod excitedly. "y yo? (and me?)" balde asks from next to me. "i'll think about it."

"we've been best friends since we were nine and i get an 'i'll think about it'?!"

"wait you guys have been friends for that long?" christensen asks out of nowhere. "shocker, i know."

"right. i can't believe i've put up with you for eight years." i'm not even a hassle?! "shouldn't i be saying that?"

"can we just take a moment to notice the fact that you guys are leaving me out?"

"i'd never leave you out!" i go to stand next to ansu with urgency. after all, he's the reason i met balde. "you're the better friend after all." across from us, balde gasps like he just used up all the oxygen in his lungs. "after everything we've been through?!"

now i'm torn.

"then you guys are equally important to me, there!" anything to get us on the same page.

"hi guys."

everyone's attention moved to gavi who was walking right towards us as he greets everyone with a shaking of hands. "hi, camile." i smile back at him wide enough where he doesn't have to second guess me accepting his apology. "hey, gavi." which i don't by the way.

"can i ask really quick?" balde asks suddenly. "ask what?" it better not be stupid or else i'm just gonna walk away. "why paper rings?"

i should've known. "you've never listened to paper rings by taylor swift?"

"i don't listen to taylor swift like that."

"que?! (what?!)"

"cami, we've been friends forever. i thought you knew this." except i didn't so now he has me standing here with my jaw to the floor. and i know it's that low because frenkie had to pick it up for me but it still fell. "ansu really is the better friend."

he on the other hand loves taylor thanks to me. "i'm so glad we've established this!" he says all excited next to me. "i still want a reason."

"in the song, she's so head over heels for the guy, specifically joe alwyn, that she'll literally except anything down to a paper ring. it's in the lyrics!"

"i'm not impressed." i suddenly become defensive over her when i get up close to balde. "i'm gonna punch you."

"all because i don't listen to her?!"

well of course. but i feel ansu grab my shoulders and pull me back lightly only to stand next to gavi. "i'm honestly with camile on this one. she has good songs." i really wasn't expecting that from gavi. "i like blank space." ferran pitches in. "see! you just wanna be different so bad."

"or the most normal one here." balde can say all he wants but that's the last thing he is. "i can't even look at you." i meant that to the point where i snapped my neck just to look in the other direction.

"can i still have one?"

"no!" this time, it was definite. "fine, i'll learn to make my own and not give you one either!"

he'll never find the time for that even it's to prove me wrong so i have nothing to worry about.

not even a minute later, we all realize pedri wasn't even with us till he comes around from the bench steps. "te buscan (they're looking for you), gavi." even gavi gives him a puzzled look like everyone else here.

and because everyone is equally nosey, they all take a step to the right to get a better view.

"uh, ya regreso. (i'll be back)"

but now that he was gone, "what? who is it?"

so what if i'm nosey too? but i wasn't gonna turn around and make it obvious. "who knew she was real." she? "did you seriously think he made up some girl named ana?" lewandowski asked and i now know all that i need to know.

that's strange though. not even he looked like he was expecting her. "he just side hugged her!" eric spat out. "shh!"

they were all whispering louder and than they should've. "oh relax i don't even think she knows english."

"that's a rude assumption." i say; i don't know what's making me so defensive today but it's the truth. "you know her?" no but that doesn't mean i'll let them continue being this loud while they're right behind us. "i've seen her at a party his sister was attending, never actually spoken to her."

"she looks sweet enough." one would hope. "how come he hasn't made anything official?"

"cuz he's an idiot." pedri didn't even sound like he felt bad for saying that. "why'd you have to say it like that?!" lewandowski yells in a whisper at him.

"because i've been telling him for ages to just ask her out but he's afraid of commitment!"

"give him a break he just turned eighteen."

"then let's ask another almost eighteen year old on how they feel about commitment," everyone looks around at each other confused as to where pedri is going with this. "camile,"

he cannot be serious. "if you'd been talking to gavi for a while and he hadn't made a move, would you be upset?"

way to put me on the spot. "i think... i think raphinha's right. he just turned eighteen." plus, i don't even know how long they've been talking.

"mi punto. así que deja que tome su tiempo. (my point. so let him take his time)"

i would've asked but it feels like raphinha shut the conversation of the two as a whole. "you think she makes him paper rings to hint at him?" i start to laugh at ansu's joke louder than i should've until he shoved me slightly. "te están mirando. (they're looking at you)"

all because i laughed?

"must be my sign to finally get out there with my teammates."

"i always forget one of us has practice after the other." yeah because we end up in stupid conversations like these. "i'll see you guys around, love you!"

i've been meaning to say that as a goodbye for  forever but gavi's been around that it would just feel wrong. "te queremos mas! (we love you more!)" raphinha shouts back.

at least now i have an excuse to turn around to finally see the two... still staring at me.

"cami!" what i didn't need was someone catching my attention like that but turns out, i did. mapi had thrown a ball at me and it was slowly coming down on me till an instinct kicked to bring my leg back to touch it.

"que toque pero ya ven aquí! (what a touch but come here already!)" she yells back.

i comply anyways and move on with my life.

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