Fourteen: Urgent Meeting †

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I was sat up in my room on my own.

Since we didn't have a window in our room, but we did in our bathroom, from my bed, I couldn't see the sky. However, I knew the moon was high and the absence of Johanna was quite anomalous right now. Normally she'd be in bed by now unless she's still with her science friends. Even so, this gave me some time on my own and I was thankful.

I was missing my parents dearly right now and since I was an only child, I didn't have any sibling advice from anyone. I was starting to regret choosing to come to Georgia for college, even if they did have a spectacular athletics program and professionals come to the competitions, but England would be so much more expedient for me.

I would never have even laid eyes on Jason McCann. Technically, he knocked into me and I fell to the floor so that would never have happened.

Leaning my head back onto the plain white pillows, my fingers fiddled with the ends of the white duvet to match, too. That's when the door swung open and Johanna came sauntering in. I stared at her whilst she ignored my eye contact and went straight into the bathroom.

"Where have you been?" I asked, raising my voice a little so she could indisputably hear me.

"In town with the girls," she replied hastily.

My mouth was open and I nodded slightly, despite not being in her view. When she came out again, I could see the palpable bags under her eyes. She had already changed in the bathroom into her pyjamas (which had obviously been left in there for "later use" – which is what she said) and got right into bed. Sighing, I decided to do the same so we could both go to bed.

When the lights went out and we were plunged into dimness, some light seeped through from the bathroom since the moon and stars were shining in and the door wasn't closed fully. I turned around and faced the wall so consequentially, I was directly in front of the picture of my parents and myself. It was taken at graduation and we were all happy and smiling.

They're so proud of me and by giving up at North Vale College would mean they wouldn't be proud of me anymore. I sighed.

I closed my eyes and then Jason popped into my head. I clamped my lips shut and in due time, I managed to fall into a profound slumber.

***

Even though it was Sunday, Coach Kate had ordered a meet up for all long-distance runners just before lunch by shoving a note under our doors – presumably – since she did it to mine in the night.

I managed to get ready and I was just unsnarling my sodden hair with my fingers as I ambled to the athletic grounds. I saw Coach Kate and Verity on their own together and I could just envisage the gauche tension hanging pointlessly in the air around them.

I stood next to Verity and greeted her. She had a clear face from makeup and I could tell it was a rush for her to get here. Finally, behind me, everyone else was slowly sauntering along until it came to Ruby who was last. She was walking arm-in-arm with Lea and today, she had an emerald bow in her hair separate the fringe and main hair. She wandered off into the stands while Ruby kept marching to us, her shoes clicking against the track as soon as she got on it.

Coach Kate exhaled deeply – she tended to do this when she was annoyed instead of rolling her eyes – and looked down to her clipboard. "Right, the first autumn competition is October 27th so from beginning of October, we will be training a lot more. It will be here but I can't guarantee that all of them will be home competitions, just be warned."

We all nodded and after a little more of the briefing, we were able to go to lunch. Before I left the athletic grounds, I saw Jason emerging from a group of soccer guys in the middle of the pitch. Looks like they were having a briefing, too, I perceived. He was just walking over to me as Lea strutted off in front with Ruby and neither of them looked back.

The wind blew my hair to the side as soon as Jason approached. I moved the air away, and tucked it behind my ear. Jason greeted me with a smile.

"Hey," I said in response to his smile.

"So, have you seen the pictures yet?" he asked, lowering his voice.

I shook my head. "No. Not yet, sorry. Hey, how come you had a meeting?" I wondered aloud.

Jason shrugged and glanced over his shoulder. "Remember I told you we had a soccer game coming soon? It's tomorrow so we're practicing later. But the game is in the evening so all extra-curriculum has been cancelled for then." Jason nodded as he spoke, pushing away the ends of his hair on his forehead that had fallen down. "They always do it, coach said. I'll also be watching out for you in the stands, you know. You are coming on my behalf." He paused. "How come you had a meeting?"

"The athletics competition is October 27th," I replied, "and I will hopefully be competing in the long-distance event but Coach Kate said we'd find out who would be taking part and in what closer to the time but I'm going to call my parents anyway to tell them." You are coming on my behalf – oh, such regrettable yet sexy words.

Jason nodded. "Yeah, I'll have to call mine, too. You know, lots of people have been telling the guys on the soccer team who have told me that people expect us to date; I mean, captain of the soccer team and the best runner in the whole college? We'd be like the 'it' couple and you run better than people in the year above. Plus, even coach said not many first years ever make soccer captain."

I stared at him in incredulity. It made me wonder if he was suggesting something but that was farcical and preposterous. He is dating Lea, for Christ's sake. He would never go for someone like me after someone as striking as Lea.

"I'm kidding," added Jason, chuckling manically. He tossed his hand to his stomach and prolonged his laughter until it ceased a minute later. I was in too much bewilderment to even crack a damn smile. "But I'm not kidding about what people have been saying. They're starting to deem us popular and people have been whispering when we're talking."

"What's Lea said about it all?" I blurted out before I could refrain myself.

Jason's smile departed and suddenly he turned gauche. "Uh, she doesn't actually know yet and neither does Ruby so it's only really a matter of time before they know."

I nodded. "I won't say anything. You know, I don't even talk to Lea but Ruby thinks she owns long-distance running."

"Yeah, I'm not the biggest fan of Ruby, either."

Today, Jason was wearing black jeans, sagging on his hips and a grey top on. He was also wearing black worker boots. He wasn't wearing a jacket, but it didn't stop the wind from thrashing around slightly, shoving my hair into dissimilar directions.

"I should get going, anyway. I have to eat with Lea and Ruby." Jason rolled his chocolate brown eyes before bidding me a goodbye and jogging off to the main building.

I stayed behind by a lot. I was merely half way back to the building when Jason submerged into the main building and when the wooden door closed, he was ultimately out of view. I sighed and kept walking at my own pace, pondering the aspect of my friendship with Jason.

He trusted me with the pictures – something he hadn't even told Lea – so that obviously meant something. We were progressing as friends and albeit, we've never hugged, he eagerly gave me a massage. There was something between us but that was perilous territory and we couldn't cross the line... wherever the line was.

But I categorically could not wait to watch Jason play soccer tomorrow.

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Author's Note:

Things will begin to hot up between Jason and Tiegan more so so stay tuned for that! We're still not even halfway through this story so there's plenty in store for you guys.

Thank you :) x

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