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"Oh sweet baby Jesus."

Coach Redmille shot me a brief glance as he heard my gasp, and for a second I was worried he might yell at me. Fortunately he just shook his head and turned to leave the classroom.

"At least today you have an excuse for not wearing any sportswear," Gill said next to me as she was packing her bag.

"Not helpful," I mumbled and reluctantly reached for my own bag.

Lunch break had just ended and we were supposed to have Chemistry, but instead of the actual teacher Coach Redmille had shown up to announce that she was absent and that we would spend the afternoon on the soccer field.

What a joyous proclamation.

"Can't we just watch a film or something?" I asked in annoyance. "That's what substitutes are supposed to do, after all."

Gill shrugged and leaned against her desk. "The Coach's not one to waste time with movies." She glanced at her phone. "Speaking of time, you should hurry up. He doesn't react well to late arrivals either."

"Hold on, are you waiting for me?" I asked while shouldering my bag.

The girl shot me a smile. "Why do you sound so surprised? Has no one waited for you before?"

I rolled my eyes. "Of course not. Thanks for being my first," I replied.

We left the room, Asher, Tyler and Sam following behind. Tyler had his nose buried in a book while Asher and Sam were walking next to each other in silence. They were such boring people.

I turned my head to look at Gill. "Let me guess, we'll play soccer again today."

Her lips turned to a smile and she met my gaze. "Yep. All day every day, the hustle never stops," she said. "We gotta get better for the annual soccer competitions."

How come everyone was so active out here? Soccer was without doubt one of the most pointless games that had ever been invented – running after a ball with a bunch of other sweaty guys and dramatically falling whenever your foot hit an obstacle, no matter how small it was? How could anyone pay to see that?

"Tell me more about the competitions," I said.

"Well, they take place in about two months before it gets too cold to play. The teams mostly consist of the same people every year since training already starts in spring and continues over the summer, but when a new school year starts, everyone gets the chance to join the team," Gill explained. "It's actually pretty cool. We have a lot of fun."

She shot me a grin and I briefly glanced back at the others.

"Let me guess, you're all on the team?" I asked.

Gill nodded, then linked her arm with mine. "Of course, it's so much fun! You should join us, it would be a great opportunity to meet people," she said excitedly.

I rolled my eyes. "Of course. It's not like I have better things to do than chase a ball around a field all day."

The girl skeptically glanced at me. "Do you?"

Wow, rude?

"He could never keep up," Asher said from behind and I glared at him. "What?" He raised an eyebrow. "We've all played for years, and you can't even stay focused on the ball for ten minutes."

"How would you know?" I contradicted.

"I've seen you play yesterday."

"Wow, so you watch me one time and know everything I'm capable of?" I rolled my eyes again at his stupidity while Asher sighed.

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