At Any Cost | Book One of Exafortespent

By Alma Azura Celia All Rights Reserved ©

Action / Drama

Twenty: Language, Pemberton!

“What’s your name, once again?” Coach asks as he turns his body around and look at me.

“Soph- I mean, Ashley. Ashley Pemberton, sir.” I nod with my heart beating faster in my chest because, phew, that was close. Two letters said, and I’m done.

“Ashley Pemberton.” He nods a few times with his finger stroking his chin, and then he looks at me with curiosity in his eyes. “Are you related to Colton Pemberton?”

“Yes, sir. He’s my brother.” I nod again.

“Stop calling me sir, call me coach.” He smiles. And his was-kind-looking face turns into the strict one real quick and he shouts, “Run, everyone, run!” My eyes widen at his shouting as I take a step back in shock. And now I think about how silly I look and the boys probably already laughing at me quietly as they start their running.

I shake the thought off of my mind and begin to move my feet quickly. Not to mention, with my eyeglasses on. And, it won’t stop bouncing on my fucking face!

I keep running though my eyeglasses keeps bothering me at its most, until someone run at the same pace as mine on my side. Nick.

“Hey, Ash. How is it going? Do you like it so far?” He glances at me for a second, smiling. I groan at his question. “Not really. Because my goddamn eyeglasses can’t stop bouncing on my freaking face!” I pop my eyes at my own eyeglasses, thinking that it would stop my glasses from moving up and down my face, groaning in frustration.

“I see that.” He chuckles. “I guess you need another glasses, the one for sporting.” Huh, good idea. But it's not I need it anyway. This glasses just an effing disguise for me. But it would be very convenient to use the right glasses.

“Maybe. I guess I’ll buy it later.”

“Okay. See you in the next 12 minutes!” And then he picks his running pace up, leaving me far away from him. And what the hell? I thought it was 10 minutes of running already!

“What are you doing here?” Matthew says flatly, his pace of running matches mine.

Now here he is, trying to make me feel bad by being here with that flat facial expression he's giving me. It's not like it does anything to me, anyway.

“Just trying to get into the team. Have problem with that?” I sass, not even take a glance at him for a second because why should I? Though I’m here because of him, for now I need to focus myself on getting into the team. Because this is once in a lifetime opportunity. Be the first girl in the team and make Colton, the cousin I hated the most, proud of me. Weird of me to try to make him proud.

I will probably tell everyone like: “Hey, you know what? I’m the first girl in Harrington High baseball team! That’s great right?” With a too-fucking-proud tone.

Nah, I won’t. I would probably humiliate myself because of it. Because it’s not that big of a deal to talk about.

“I’m sure you’ll be failing on this.” He chuckles bitterly. I glance at him, narrowing my eyes at him. He already have a bitter smile on his face as he keeps his eyes forward. The anger flares inside me and I run faster than him.

“Ha, in your dreams, Williams!”

“Fuck, that was exhausting.” I mutter as I pant and wiping the beads of sweat off of the side of my face and forehead.

It really was exhausting. But not as bad as the night when dad barged into my room with that panic look all over his face and prank me with the a-murderer-is-in-our-house-we-should-runaway-by-jumping-off-your-room-window shit.

“Language, Pemberton!” He shoots me a glare. “Ah, sorry, coach.” He looks at me with the glare still staying on his face and turn his attention to the boys. “For now, practice your throw and catch.” And the boys nod at him. He turns his face at me and says, “Pemberton, follow me, I’m testing you now.”

Shit, shit, shit.

I nod once, gulping down my own saliva as I feel anxious and nervous getting to much to handle. I follow him, away from the boys, as I put the glove on and stop behind him. He turns at me, and tell me to step further from him, and I obey.

“You already know the basics, right? Don’t tell me you haven’t because you’re here to be tested, not to learn or practicing. This team, is only for professionals. Not amateur. Or worse, newcomers.”

Well, I am an amateur.

“Yes coach.”

A ball suddenly thrown at my way and I quickly catch it, staring at it with wide eyes.

Holy shoot!

“Nice reflect, Pemberton.” He says, nodding his head in approval.

Woah, that was fast. And cool! Like in Spider Man movies when the first time Peter got his power. Someone tries to punch him and swoosh, he dodged the punch and other shit?

I guess I get bitten by a spider when I was sleeping and I’m turning to be like him? But it’s not that like I want to throw spider web out of my hands.

Damn, why do I always rambling?

A ball gets onto my thigh hard and I wince. “Ouch!” I look up at coach and he gives me a glare. “Focus, Pemberton. If you’re not, you’re going to get a ball onto that face of yours and broke your glasses.”

“Yes, coach.”

“Everyone, gather up! Hurry!” Coach claps his hands hard as he calling all the boys and they quickly stop their practicing and run towards us. Coach gestures his hand for them to sit and they quickly get down and sit.

When all of them already sit in front of coach and me, he says, “So, as you see in front of you, this girl here come and already proved herself to me if she fits into this team or not.” The boys gaze are already fixed on me as I look down at them. As I look at Mathew, he just have this blank expression on his face as he stares at the ground.

What’s wrong with him? He was all arrogant when he ran and talking to me. And now, he's just staring at the grass with a sad look on his face. And it’s weird.

Does he regret all the things he done to me for these past few days? Or is he just thinking about his life? A life with parents who sell illegal drugs?

“Pemberton. You’re out.”


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