Poisoned Fruit

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Joseph POV

I tightened my grip on the bar of the bench press as I pushed through my workout. I gritted my teeth as I pushed my self harder in anger as I could feel myself losing in this battle with the amount of weights I had put on. After a stressful few days I needed to let out some much need steam. I was swamped with grading the students tests from Tuesday and then I had piles of paper work and preparation for the game this Sunday.

I grunted out sligtly as I slammed the bar back in its place. I was disappointed with myself for putting off talking to Robin. After Stacey had interrupted us the other night, I was so caught up with arguing with Stacey that I hadn't realize that Robin had left. I could only imagine what was going through her head. I felt so embarassed to have her see me argue with my ex-girlfriend. Only she doesn't even know that. Do I even tell her?

After that incident we have kind of avoided each other for the most part. She comes to class and pretends like I don't exist and I sneak glances of her when I could. It was pathetic and I was angry. She had me missing her and she didn't even know it.

"Try not to break the equipment dude," I heard Seth's voice pull me from my angry thoughts.

"Sorry man," I apologized as I stood up from the bench grabbing my water bottle from the ground in the process. I could feel the effect of my workout as I felt my body aching in response. Taking my hair out of its ponytail, I bent down as I poured some of the water on my head cooling me off slightly. I flipped my hair back as the water dripped from my scalp down to my neck. I shook my head a little bit as my hair started to soak my shirt from being wet.

I sat back down on the bench with a sigh as I could feel my muscles aching for an ice bath. I looked around at the empty gym and realized that it was already closing time.

"So how's the new job treating you?" Seth asked as he leaned on one of the equipments in front of me.

"It's going okay. I was a bit weary going into it but it didn't take too long too long to get used to my new schedule. It's just weird being there as a teacher and not a student," I answered.

"Yeah it must be. Same with coaching?" He asked interested in my new job.

"Hell yeah. Kinda makes me miss the days we used to play," I replied as I could feel myself becoming a bit nostalgic remembering the days I used to play football.

"Those were some of the best memories I had in college. We were unstoppable on that field. Thousands of fans in that stadium watching our every move. The scouts were like predators when they watched us play," Seth reminisced in front of me as if he was reliving it in his head. But I knew what he meant though. I miss that feeling of adrenaline pumping through my veins and just letting my wild side take over.

"The shield!" Seth yelled out sarcastically​.

"Ahh Yessir," I gave him the knowing look.

"The females went crazy over that. I swear I got the most ass in college," He spoke as he shook his head in sorrow and I couldn't help but laugh at his dramatic antics.

"I agree. You had better game then," I mocked him as he narrowed his eyes at me. I laughed the comment off not taking the joke seriously.

"I think I'm gonna break up with Aj," He blurted out. I looked at him in shock not knowing what to say. His face held shame as he hung his head low and I felt sorry for my friend

"What happened?" I asked trying to understand what could have prompted this break up.

"It just wasn't working for me. She's great and everything but I've got a lot of things coming up and I don't think I will give her the attention deserves," He tried to explain to me. But I knew it was bullshit. I love Seth to death but he was one of the most selfish men out there and he probably got tired of the good guy act around Aj. I almost though she could have finally calmed him down but I guess not. I knew that he got what he wanted from her and was ready to be a bachelor again.

"I get it. It wouldn't have been fair to her anyways," I responded agreeing with him.

"So Stacey's back," Seth spoke up breaking the awkward silence. I fought the urge to roll my eyes as I heard her name.

"Yeah," I replied stiffly. She just seemed to be a reoccurring problem that just kept getting bigger and bigger. Her being back is like a slap in the face with all the memories that come with her.

"So listen, the rest of the crew was talking about having a welcome back party for her,"he started off hesitantly sparking my attention.

"Nice one," I laughed in response to what he said not taking him seriously. I looked at him as my laughter died and down and noticed that he was not laughing.

"I'm not kidding man. I think Nikki is planning it. A lot of people are happy she is coming back," Seth spoke carefully.

I guess I never thought of it that way. Nobody really knew what happened between me and Stacey. All they knew was that we broke up and she left. I forgot how well involved we were. We hung around the same circle and shared the same friends. Just because I stopped talking to her, it didn't​ mean everyone would too.

"I'm a hundred percent on your side man," He assured me as he probably sensed my mood.

"I get it. No worries. I'm not going just you know," I informed him of my decision.

"Just think about it Joe. But I totally understand if you don't want to come," he spoke as he got up from his spot.

"No need to think about it. I'm not interested in going," I replied as I got up too as hit had just started to rain.

"You know you never really did tell anyone why you two broke up. It couldn't have been that bad right?" he spoke as he moved around the gym area getting ready to close the whole place down.

"You have no idea,"I responded as I grabbed the rest of my stuff as I was suddenly in a hurry due to the storm that had arrived.

"I have to go before I get stuck here with you in this storm," I told him as I held on to my gym bag and walked towards him to say goodbye.

"Alright, be safe out there," He warned me as shook each others hand goodbye.

"You too," I called out to him as I had already started to walk away. The rain picked up as I jogged towards my car in the windy darkness of the night. The weather reported that tonight's storm was due to a hurricane coming so there wasn't many people out like there usually was at this time. I quickly rushed into the car as I had become soaked in the rain and I could feel my hair wet again. Moving some strands out of my vision, I through my bag in the back seat and started the car.

I had realized that I had to stop running from my problems and just face them head on before it gets out of hand. I focused on the road as the the rain picked up and the windshield wiper moved at a fast past to keep a clear view for me. I needed to set the record straight and not have any confusion on what needed to happen.

After what felt like forever, I finally pulled up to the familiar apartment complex. Turning off the engine, I paused to take in what I was about to do. I had rushed here not really thinking of a plan, but it was already too late back out now. There was no way I was about to punk out now. I jumped out of the car into the pouring rain and started to run to my destination. The dim street lights made it hard to see where I was going as I could feel my clothes become soaked as they clung to my skin.

I came to a stop at the door and started knocking rapidly. I shook my hair slightly in attempt to shake of the rain and put into a bun. I knocked on the door a couple more times as I waited impatiently for the door to open. I could feel my stomach twist in knots as the wait was killing me. Before I could knock on the door again, I could hear the door unlock from the inside.

The door opened wide enough allowing me to take in her whole appearance.

"Joe?" She looked at me in shock and confusion.

"Good evening Robin," I smiled down to her as was happy to see her. She stood in front of me and from the looks of it, she was about to go to bed. She wore a black tank top and a pair of colorfully stripped pajamas. Her curls were pulled back into a pony tail.

"I uhm w-what are y-you doing here?" She stuttered out and I smirked in response. She was nervous. I looked down at her in amusement as she still couldn't believe I was here.

"We never got to talk baby girl."

 

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