Somehow my feet managed to find their way back to everyone, though I wasn't conscious of the synapses firing from my brain telling them to do so. Morgan was smiling at me, which confused me until I realised my cheeks were aching from smiling myself.
"What's up with you? Where did you go?" asked Madden, noticing I had returned. He was seated again on the fence next to Jet, and I walked up behind him and wrapped my arms around his stomach, causing him to lean forward slightly and panic that he was going to fall.
"Chill, Madd. You know I'd never let you fall," I said. Once he realised I was still holding him and Jet was watching us, he tried to pull my arms off him and push me away, like it was now somehow uncool to let me be anywhere near him. But in doing so, he only made himself even more unsteady and almost fell again, grabbing back onto my arms and clinging on for dear life. Jet and I both laughed at him, and Jet said, "You guys are real cute."
I held Madden tighter and kissed him repeatedly on the cheek, which he then tried to wipe away like I had some contagious disease. "Alright, I get the point," I said, squeezing him tightly before letting go and returning to my seat.
"I saw you talking to Ruben before," said Morgan quietly. "And now you're smiling like a lunatic. What did he say?"
I could feel my face heating up again, and I could sense Jet's ears listening in for an answer, too. "He just said hey." Morgan raised her eyebrow, pleading for me to elaborate. "He said hey, and it was nice to see me, and then he had to head back out," I said, gesturing back to the game that had already started.
"That's all he said? God, he's pathetic," said Jet, quietly enough for me to be unsure whether he actually wanted me to hear what he said, but loud enough that I could sense his disappointment.
Morgan laughed, obviously hearing it, too. I wanted to ask her questions about him. I wanted to know what he was like now. What he'd made of his life. How Jet fit into the picture. Whether he talked about me after we broke up. Whether he was seeing anyone at the moment. But I couldn't bring myself to ask, and was distracted anyway when the ball came flying over our heads and out of bounds.
I went to collect it and pass it back, but I wasn't quick enough to stop the commentary that began in my temporary absence, initiated by the handsome teenager sitting on the fence.
"Dude, you need to lift your game. That was pathetic," Jet said to Ruben, who was waiting for the ball and looking confused.
"Huh? The other team kicked it out on the full, not me. It's my free kick," he said, his voice sending warm chills all through my body.
"Wasn't talking about the ball, you idiot. But seeing as you mentioned it, your actual game isn't going so well either. Lift that, too."
"It's not my fault I'm distracted," he said, taking the ball from my hands as I passed it over the fence to him, and winking at me in the process.
"Well played, boss. Much better," Jet said, clapping as Ruben took the free kick along the boundary. "Oh, so close. So, so close. That kick sucked. You just passed it straight back to them." This kid is amazing.
"Yes, thanks, Jet. I'm aware," said Ruben, now marking his opponent as the ball came soaring back and out of bounds again.
Madden looked exhausted trying to make sense of the commentary surrounding him. He looked at Ruben, then to me for answers. "I know him from somewhere. Who is he?" Of all the people to actually remember, Ruben is who you go with?
YOU ARE READING
Rise and FallChickLit
Life has reinvented the definition of rock bottom so many times for twenty-six-year-old Sadie Blake. With each revised edition, Sadie believes herself skilled enough to bury those rocks a fraction deeper in her memory. . . . but Life is much better...