So I just moved into my dorm at college. What can I say? It doesn't really feel like home yet. It's small, and I can already see cat fights in the future with my roommates. So I guess we'll see how things go. Wish me luck, band camp starts tomorrow! I love you guys, and I'd love some support. <3

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*Chapter Eighteen: It’s a Secret

They worked together on drills with the rest of Oakland’s male soccer team. Natalie felt at home with the boys, and wished that she could have been a boy so she could be closer to the dominate personalities the boys had.

Parker and Natalie did shots at their goalie while the coaches and team members watched. Parker went first, and the boys admired his form, and the four out of the five shots he made. He coach nodded and smiled at what he saw.

                “Natalie, do you want to try?” He asked.

                “Of course,” she replied, and went up to the balls.

All five balls went into the net. She switched corners, and smiled as each one went in. This was for all the tears, blood, and sweat was for. She worked so hard to be here, and be seen by Oakland University. She saw Parker cheering for her loudly, and the boys clapping their hands.

The coaches nod of approval reminded her of her current coach, whenever she scored a goal in a game. With coaches, Natalie felt like she had parents. They always looked out for her, and made her try her best and give more. A coach to her is very important.

***

On the ride back to the hotel Natalie told Parker that he had a wonderful day in front of the coaches. He told her the same thing, and ignored the fetal attempts to get her to apply for a college. She didn’t respond, and went to the bathroom to shower before dinner. Parker had promised her a nice dinner to award their successes today at the college. The college was impressed and wanted both of them.

She was dressed in a dress, and he had on some nice khakis, and button down shirt that wasn’t tucked in. He drove to the restaurant and the hostess asked if it was a first date. Parker smiled and only replied that she was a friend.

Was she only a friend? After everything that had done? After the way he touched her?

After ordering water, she excused herself to the restroom to recoup after what he had said. She realized that she had only over analyzed it. They were honestly...just friends.

When she walked out and sat down Parker eyed her. “I ordered you the spaghetti. I figured you’d get it anyways, and it was a way to get the waitress off my back.”

                “Harassing you already?” She teased.

                He frowned, “Unfortunately.”

***

The rest of the evening went well, and in the car, they were again talking about her future.

She ignored him in the car, and sang along to the song on the radio until he turned it off. Once they got into the room, and the door was closed, the real argument started. He pinned her against the wall, and kissed her.

It was rough, hard, and his mouth only pressed harder until he released it, breathing hard. He held her chin tightly, probably leaving a bruise, and forced her to look at him.

                “Just tell me the fucking secret. Tell me about your future.”

                “Parker I don’t want to talk about it!”

                “You’re being a coward! Why can’t you tell me what you want to do with your future?”

                “I just can’t!”

                “Do you not trust me? I’m your best friend Natalie. I’m your only friend- other than Jackson.”

                “Stop thinking all high and mighty on yourself. You can’t know.”

                “Why- because I’m not important enough to be let on in the secret? I bet Jackson knows.”

                “Jackson does not know!” She yelled, “It’s a secret!”

                “Secrets! That’s what everything is when it comes to you.”

                “Oh get over yourself!” She replied, pushing her away from him.

                “That’s how everything is with you. Everything’s just fucking lies. Why are your parents never around- huh? Are you too ashamed to admit they want nothing to do with you?” He sneered, and she looked at him shocked.

She took of her dress and pulled on her shorts and t-shirt she was wearing earlier, not looking at him.

Her silence spoke volumes. She got into the bed, and looked at him. “Want to know a secret? My parents are fucking dead.”

                He looked at her sharply.

                “They probably didn’t want anything to do with me. They were too busy for me anyways- with their jobs.”

                He tried to speak, but she cut him off.

                “Stop asking me about the fucking future, don’t say sorry, and don’t you dare talk or touch me. Tomorrow, we’re going home.”

She turned her back away from him as she lied down.

She sniffed her nose, and wiped away the tear that escaped.

***

That morning she woke early from barely sleeping, and showered. She packed and sat on the floor staring the closed curtains for two hours until Parker woke up by the telephone wake up call.

They packed in silence, and ate the complimentary breakfast before heading out on the road.

The drive home was deadly. He dropped her off at her house, and he went to get out of his car. “I don’t want to see you.” She replied.

                “Natalie…”

                “Don’t say it.”

                “Come on, I didn’t know.”

                “That’s because I didn’t want you to,” she replied, and blinked her eyes to stop the tears. “Please, just leave me alone.”

                “Until you come to me. If it’s longer than a week, I’m getting after you.”

                She didn’t smile, though she wanted too. “Okay.”

She grabbed her bag from his truck, and went into her lonely house. She went up to her room, and lied in bed for the rest of the afternoon thinking of how she wished she could have handled things different.

She regretted it.

But what happened, happened, and now she had to face the consequence. She had to remain to herself and her parents. Just give it time.

Time: a deadly virtue seldom get. For her, she was ticking away from her childhood.

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