Twenty-Three: Another Mindset †

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Jason's P.O.V.

I was out on the soccer pitch with Scott and the rest of the team.

My other friend, Rob was defending with Scott but at the moment, we were all chattering away aimlessly as it was a break. It was Sunday at the moment and that meant the game was on Friday evening. I was looking forward to it, but I needed practice.

"So, how's Tiegan?" Scott asked, marching over to me and plonked down next to me on the seats at the side of the pitch.

I sighed. "We're friends, Scott. Seriously," I insisted. "I wouldn't cheat on Lea, you know I wouldn't."

Rob sat down on the opposite side of me with a smirk. "But you're growing closer to Tiegan, it's obvious. Like, she's pining over you. By the end of this year, you'll be dating her. Plus, she's beaten the record for this school for long-distance and you're captain in your first damn year of soccer in the first day. The first day, Jason – it's destiny."

I rolled my eyes, my fist clenching the water bottle in my hand. I took a chug from it before setting it on my lap, my hand constricting the top. I shook my head. "No, you don't understand. That's not destiny. Destiny can be both good and bad and for once, I have my destiny. My destiny is Lea – she's good. My destiny isn't Tiegan."

Before either of them could reply, Coach was shepherding us back to to pitch. I put my half-filled bottle of water in my place on the bench and began to march back to Coach, Scott and Rob on my tail as I stood opposite Coach. He began to give us a little talk about our performance and how we should improve.

"Jason, you need to pass the ball more often," he clarified. "You're an excellent player and an even better captain – which is why I bestowed you with the position – but you need to give your teammates chances, alright?"

I nodded. "Got it, Coach," I replied, shrugging my shoulders sketchily.

He nodded and began to explain other enhancements to the other players before clasping his hands together and gesticulating to the pitch. We all took our places again and for the next forty five minutes, I began to work on my development by passing the ball a lot more. I was getting the hang of it properly, despite how preposterous that sounds, when the whistle blew.

We all shook hands and assembled our assets in prior to marching to the changing rooms. There were people who were observing practice and they were presently commencing walking back to their buildings. I even saw Lea and Ruby making their way to me. I hoped Ruby wasn't going to come over here, but she was Lea's best friend and I had no say in the matter.

"Hey," Lea greeted. She didn't get too close to me considering my hair was pasted to my forehead with sweat that was leaking down my face. "That was a good practice; I can't wait until the game on Friday."

I nodded. "Thanks and neither can I."

We ambled back to the changing rooms' together, Ruby silent on the other side of Lea before I emerged into the room, leaving Ruby and Lea to walk round to the other side where we agreed to meet. I sighed before showering and changing, letting the water cascade in drops down my body.

I didn't quite know what I was doing these days. I was developing an immense amity with Tiegan but at the same time, we were progressing with other things. I hugged her for Pete's sake. Lea knows nothing of this and I could never tell her but what would be worse would be hiding it all from her; you should never lie to your girlfriend about another girl.

As the day wore on, I was catching up with homework in the library in my own solitude. No one, mercifully, disturbed me in my studies and I was thankful as I did my English. For homework, we had to create five characters and answer about thirty questions about them. I made my characters: Lucy Hodgen, Melissa Bakewell, Simon Rule, Gary Heckler and Michele Elaine. I was in the middle of developing them personality-wise.

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