Part 1

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1. Seth

My bare feet dig into the hot sand as I push myself forward, the smell of salt and sun lotion tickling my nose. The ocean roars beside me, seagulls fly dangerously low over my head and my team is just barely behind me. The beach is filled with people of all ages. This is the absolute epitome of summer.

As I turn my head and take a deep breath, I spot a group of girls playing volleyball, dressed in barely anything. They shout at each other and their loud laughs ring in my ears. I shake my head, a small smirk pulling at the corners of my mouth.

"Smith! Head in the game!" Someone hollers from behind me and before I can turn to look at the person, he is beside me and with a few long strides, he takes the leading position from me. "Wouldn't want ya fallin', bro!"

There is no concern in Jackson's voice. Just pure mockery.

I shake my head again and fall back into the group, slowing down a little bit.

You're not captain any more, I think to myself, reminding myself.

As we reach the finish line most of the guys are red-faced and out of breath. Even my sides sting a little and I need to take a few deep breaths to calm myself down. Jackson, the team captain, calls us together and stands tall. He looks as calm and collected as always and not in the least bit tired.

What an asshole.

"Guys, I need you to know that this is no joke. We've been training for two months now. Summer is almost over! In less than twelve hours campus will fill up. The tracks will be occupied, the fields will be occupied and I need you to give this your all! I and the captains before me have built this legacy and now it's up to you, to keep this up! I will not be disappointed." His eyes seem to linger on me a few seconds too long and I can feel anger rising inside me.

"There will be absolutely no distractions! Especially for our scholarship brothers. No alcohol, no drugs, no parties", he pauses dramatically as the team objects loudly, "and no girls. Unless you're willing to share, of course. Now get out of my face!" Jackson shouts.

The group disperses quickly and I try to catch up to a few of the guys but they're already far ahead of me. I stop jogging and start treading through the sand until I can see the campus ahead of me.

I have been here, and by here I mean college, for the past two months. It was not what I had been expecting... at all. I expected some ratty old dorm-building and maybe a little soccer field. What I arrived to was something quite different. A huge campus, multiple soccer fields, tennis fields, tracks, two large gyms, two pools, a mini spa and a lake for water sports. The dorm-buildings are huge and pompous.

I left home early to start training as soon as I could. Admittedly it wasn't the easiest decision but I did what had to be done. I could not risk my scholarship and I knew that everything would start to fall together sooner than later. And there was a lot of catching up to do. These guys on my team are good. Really good.

When I reach my room, all I want to do is fall into bed and take a nap. Fortunately I don't have to share my room so that is exactly what I do. I strip out of my sweaty clothes and fall onto my bed. Automatically I reach out for my phone and push the home button, watching the screen light up. Two missed calls. Another click on the home button and the phone goes dark again.

"Not now." I grunt, roll onto my side and rub my hands over my face. My eyes are already fluttering shut and I give in to exhaustion.


I wake with a groan. Loud music seems to be playing right next to head, causing a throbbing headache.

"What the...?!" I mumble and it takes me a few seconds to realize that my phone is ringing non stop.

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