Chapter 2

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Eben

"Eben, buddy, didn't you have a thing on today?" Will knitted his brows at me from across the table. We were at Nando's for lunch - supposedly celebrating Sean's captain news, which was great and all, but really we would have gone anyway.
"Huh?" Shit. What thing.
"Weren't you supposed to be helping your Mum choose paint and curtains stuff?"
"...oh." I let out a long sigh. The new house. Of course. "That must have been why she looked vaguely annoyed about driving me to training this morning. I completely forgot."
"I'm surprised she didn't make you get the bus lmao." Ned snorted, stuffing the spicy chicken into his mouth. "She usually does."
Jonny looked vaguely disgusted at Ned's lack of manners. "Ned that's gross." He curled his lip up, brushing his floppy blonde hair from his eyes.
"Shut up. At least my hair's not fake." Ned replied. Always getting himself way too involved in petty squabbles. Mostly with lads bigger than him, like Jonny, bitchin winger, and blatantly stronger.
"Sure." Jonny raised his eyebrows, relishing the chance to put Ned in his place, once again. "At least I don't have to straighten my hair in every morning though."
"Oooh." I looked at Will, who was desperately trying to suppress his laughter. It was true, Ned did have a massive frizz of hair if it wasn't straightened every single morning.
"Yeah well-"
"Ned." Adam smirked. "Nobody cares."
"Nobody cares about me straightening my hair though? Why didn't you say that to Jonny?" He pouted, hilariously wound up.
"Exactly." Will laughed. "Literally nobody cares. Eat your chicken."We ate in silence for a bit. God, I loved Nando's. The chicken just perfectly spiced, oh and that mash.
"You daydreaming about that chicken again Eb?" Adam was staring at me, "You've got that look on your face."
"What?? When do I ever daydream about chicken??" I snapped, aghast at such a suggestion.
"Like all the time. You always drool in maths."
"Ha... Nooooo..."
"Yes."
"Anyway." Will cut in, "Sean, you coming over to watch the Bath Leicester game later? Should be a good one."
"Yeah, Bath are going to slay you. Wouldn't miss it."
"Good just checking your ready for the humiliation."
"Sure thing." This always came up. Whenever Bath or Leicester or Sarries were playing, they got a bit too into it.
"I might come round later, after I've walked Milo." Adam bit his lip. "Will... Will the girls be there?" Wow typical hormonal Adam. Jeez.
"Adam." Will shook his head. "But yes they said they were coming, I don't know." Sean laughed at that, but I could hear both Jonny and Ned groan.
"Nice. That's a definite yes then by the way."
"Bro chill." I finished off my chicken burger, and then cleaned up what remained of the mash. "Hey, I should probably go. See you tomorrow, yeah?"
"See you mate."
"Bright and early."
As I pushed out the door of the restaurant, I couldn't help but grin. What a bunch of noobs. We made the best team on the pitch, but off it we bickered like a bunch of kids!
I couldn't help but think as I walked across the park, about the upcoming things this week. I hadn't revised for the Physics test on Wednesday - but hey, that's what Tuesday evenings are for, right? And then on Friday we had a match after school. I guess that means hanging around with the lads a while, then heading to the clubhouse to get ready. Our team was really good, even if we hadn't all been playing rugby our whole lives like Will and Sean. Jonny and Adam had started in year 7, with school, those two were killer when put one on each wing. I'd only started because Will had said I'd make a good front row, and then they'd been short of one that season at the club, so I joined. Ned just came along for the banter I think. I wasn't sure.
The trees in the park had turned bright shades of reds and golds and oranges. The sunlight filtered through them, making the colours even more vibrant.
And Sean at captain. Sounded like a good idea. He's a great player, and he manages the pressure of the game very well but school pressures? He wasn't so great with that. He worked too hard, or did too much and then didn't work hard enough. I don't know. I wondered what our current captain, Keiran, would think.
I pulled out my key, and let myself in the front door.
"Mum! I'm home!" I yelled through the hall.
"I'm in the kitchen!" A slightly quieter reply. I dumped my stuff in the hallway and went through to make myself a cup of tea. When i walked in, My Mum looked up from the book in her hand, she seemed tired. Rubbing her forehead, she asked; "I take it you've eaten?"
"Yeah we went to Nando's, to celebrate Sean becoming captain." I replied, switching on the kettle.
"Oh? Well done to him." She said idly, reading her book. "Are you coming to pick out paint this afternoon?"
"Um do you need me to help? I'm not really that good at that sort of thing." I shuffled uncomfortably.
"Yes I do actually," she looked up abruptly, "This is your house too, Eben."
"Um okay I guess." I smiled, the way you do to be polite. "When are we going?"
"In an hour, see if you can get some homework done before we go."
"Okay Mum."

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