Ten: A Trip to the Nurse's Office †

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"Smith, are you okay?" questioned Coach Kate quickly as she rushed to my side. She turned her head around to make sure no one was coming up the home straight and when they weren't, she was gazing back at me in distress.

Clutching the left side of my head, I groaned, closing my eyes. When I opened them, I could see the main building of the college wavering from side to side, not being able to stay immobile. I scrunched my eyes up, opening them to see if it had worked to try and halt the trembling of what is meant to stay still. I was sat back on my bum, my legs dangling out in front of me somehow because I wasn't focusing on them and I had changed positions, too.

"Is she okay?" a male voice spoke from the left of me, and quite close, too. He was panting.

I turned my head to the side, too probing for my own good, and came directly face to face with Jason. Our heads were quite close but neither of us jumped back at the unexpected awareness of how close we were. Instead, he frowned and turned to speak to Coach Kate. I think it was safe to say my head was banging and I couldn't focus properly.

"Shall I take her to the nurse?" Jason asked.

Coach Kate sighed. "Yes, I have someone else finishing. Don't worry, Smith, I managed to get your time down. Go to the nurse and don't come back after that just to make sure. But make sure you come Thursday."

Only nodding meekly, I felt arms pick me up. Strong arms, at that as I was hauled to my feet. Jason lugged me to the side to make sure we weren't in the way of any oncoming runners and have another Verity and Ruby predicament but when I glanced behind me, it was Verity coming second, beating Ruby at the last post.

And it was only now with Jason's arm around me did my pale legs begin to worry me compared to Jason's slightly sun-kissed skin.

"What happened?" I mumbled feebly.

Jason chuckled nervously. "I hit you in the head with a soccer ball. I was trying to pass it to someone else but the defender kicked it outwards and it hit you so since the defender didn't know you and it was also partly my fault, I thought I'd come to your rescue."

"You said too much," I muttered, "so I didn't catch half of that."

"What did you manage to catch?" Jason asked as we made it to a building.

"You were trying to pass the ball to someone... something about a defender and he didn't know me so you came." Everything was still trying to fit together. "He must have hit me pretty hard," I concluded after realising Jason meant the defender hit the ball."

Jason laughed half-heartedly. "It seems it."

The nurse's office was in another building: building 4. It was odd how far away it was but I didn't nitpick because it meant more time with Jason and away from prying eyes like Ruby and hopefully, Lea, too. Hopefully she wasn't watching Jason practicing and it was clear when she wasn't when we submerged into building 4 without glimpsing back.

Building 4 had brightly coloured walls, some of the colour distorted by with things plastered on top of it. On one wall there were all these designs and to the left of me were designs of handbags. There were rooms coming up now but after a few doors there were placards of food and recipes. This was all too much for my brain to process right now.

"What building is this?" I asked, gawking around like a hawk.

"Arts and crafts and design and technology," Jason replied hastily, licking his lips and readjusting his arm around me to keep me secure. I suddenly felt its presence on my waist. "But it's all the sections and other things that fall into those choices."

No more words were uttered when we came to the nurse's office. It was strange how the nurse's office was in the creative building but when I saw the sign on the door it made sense: the nurse's office was going to be moving to the main building by the principal's office before Christmas in the main building on the first floor.

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