Twenty One: One Step Closer
“Pemberton, you’re out.”
What?! I don’t passed the test? But why? When he tested me, with that proud smile stretched across his face, he said that I’m all good and awesome. How could he? How could he said and did that when he’s throwing me out at the end of the day?
“I’m sorry to say this, Pemberton. But you’re not cut out for this team. Not like your brother. I’m sorry.” He looks at me sadly with a frown, and then his gaze falls to the ground.
This is so shucking shuck.
“I appreciate it that you came here to be tested with so much excitement. I really am appreciate that. But once again, I’m sorry.” Now it’s my turn to look at the ground, feeling sad in all of a sudden.
“And one more thing.” He takes in a deep breath and sigh. I prepare myself for whatever he’s going to throw at my face as I suck in a deep breath.
“You are the greatest girl player I’ve ever known. Greatest from all the boys here.” He grins, and it makes my mood lighten up from the words he was saying before.
Is this even real? That I’m better than all of the boys here that who’s been playing baseball for years?!
“I’m saying you’re not cut out for this team because, you can fit into those real team that play in MBL. You amazed me Pemberton. I thought I would never find a girl who could play baseball in this whole school. But now you came here and all of those thought vanished from my head.”
He puts a hand on my shoulder, still smiling. “Congratulations, Pemberton. You passed the test.” He pats my shoulder and I just stand there, with my mouth hangs open in shock. I’m so speechless right now.
Oh god, I did it! I passed the test! I can’t believe this. I thought he really is throwing me out of the team, though I haven’t been the part of the team.
Get into the team: Mission accomplished.
One step closer to Matthew.
“As I promised you before, each one of you would be given a set of new equipment.” The boys cheer, and some of them do high-five with each other in joy, making me smile at the view though Matthew still shooting a glare at my way.
At least I make most of them happy.
“And for Nick, congratulations, you win the dare. And for that, you will get the prize you deserve. And that is...” Coach trailed at his words as he look back at Nick who’s looking at him like he waits for the lottery announcement.
“A ticket to that whatever new Barbie movie premier!” Coach throws his hands to the air, and Nick face scrunches up at the words. “What the fuck?” I look at them back and forth in disbelief and laugh quietly at Nick. I keep looking at Nick who keeps his face scrunches up with his eyebrows furrowed at coach. The boys laugh loudly at him, making him flustered in a second.
What he would probably has in his mind: What the fuck? A ticket for Barbie movie? This is such a waste. I’m not doing this for a Barbie movie ticket.
Hey, if you don’t want the ticket, just give it to me. I would gladly take it. I don’t know why I still like Barbie until now. There has to be something wrong with me. But fuck it, I don’t care.
“I’m joking. You get two tickets to the oncoming MBL match.” He grin. His face lights up at the words as he looks up at him.
“Yeah! Thanks coach.” He grins back at him gratefully, receiving a nod and smile from him. “You get two tickets so you can take whoever you want with you.”
He turns his gaze towards me and I look at him in confusion as he grins at me. “Of course I will take Ashley. She’s the one who makes me get those.”
Wait. Hold up. Oh, no. Oh, no. No, no, no, no, no! That could mean he’s trying to take me out on a date! Again!
But that’s okay, I guess. If I reject his invitation, then it would only make me look bad in front of others. Besides, if I come with him I could learn about baseball a little bit more. And, it won’t really hurt to give him a chance.
“Really? Thanks. But I guess your bros over there wanting that ticket more than me. Maybe you could give it to one of them.” I shrug as I gesture my hand to them.
He looks around at the boys and they shrug at him, not really giving a damn about the ticket. He looks back at me and says, “They wouldn’t mind.”
“Yeah, we’re not.” A black-haired boy shrugs.
“No, just take it.” Ryan says, grinning cheekily at me.
“Oh, okay.” I smile at them.
“Once again, congratulations, Ashley. Give her a round of applause.” He applauded and other join in, cheering at me as they grin and smirk.
“We’re done for today and see you at Monday.” Coach says and walk away from the huddle.
“Everyone, stands up and introduce yourselves.” Nick says as he rises from the ground beneath us, others following after. They take a few steps closer to me, with grins and smirks already stick onto their faces, and they begin to introduce themselves.
Brandon and Brodie, they’re twins. Identical twins. I can’t even remember which is Brandon and which is Brodie. If they have the same eye color. Brandon is the one with blue eyes and Brodie is the one with brown eyes. And they both brown-haired.
And the there are Chris, a dark-blonde-haired and green-eyed boy, Alex, a brown-haired and brown-eyes boy, Jackson, a black-haired and blue-eyes boy, Samuel, a brown-haired and blue-eyes boy, Oliver, a blonde-haired and green-eyes boy, and Ryan, Matthew’s best friend. Wait, where’s Matthew?
“Congratulations on being the first girl here.” Nick smiles, which I quickly return. “Next week we’ll be practicing three times. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. You don’t mind with that, are you?”
“Not at all.” I smile.
“And.... we have something for you.” Chris grins widely, making me laugh at the way he looks. “What is it?” I look at them back and forth, grinning excitedly.
“Team jacket!” They cheer as Brandon holds out the jacket with grin already plastered across his face. I take a hold of it, looking at it with my grin grows wider.
First team jacket! This is so cool. It has a navy blue color and the school logo on the right side of it. And I turn it around, it has number 9 on the back, one of the numbers I like.
“Oh my god, thank you. This is so awesome.” I look up at them with a wide grin still showing on my face. Brodie put his arm around my shoulder, make me look up at him in a little confusion. “Don’t mention it. You already a part of this team.”
“Don’t forget to wear it tomorrow.” Jackson smiles.
“I won’t.” I smile. Brodie lets go of me and stand beside his brother, smirking at me.
“See you tomorrow.” Brodie says.
They begin to walk, waving their hands with smile on their faces, and I wave my hand back at them. They leave the field, leaving me with Nick alone at the field.
He turns to me and sigh, smiling. “Not bad for a first day, right?” He looks down at me, grinning.
“No! It’s awesome!” I look at him wide-eyed in joy, grinning back at him.
“See you tomorrow at class?”
“See you tomorrow.”
Wow, I can’t believe we’re already friends now.
I begin to walk, waving my hand at him and he returns it with a little smile. I walk towards my car, feeling of joy still remain inside my body. I keep walking, smiling widely as I slightly skipping towards my car when suddenly Matthew comes. His face covered with anger, and his eyes shooting daggers at me.
“Ashley Pemberton, the first girl in Harrington High’s baseball team. Who would have thought the new girl and the nerd can get into the team?” He scoffs, smiling bitterly as he stares away from me. I give him a glare at the word ‘nerd’.
His expression changes as he turns at me to the usual glare he gives me everyday. “I’m sure you won’t be playing good at next month match against Beverly High.”
Hold up, there’s a match next month? How can anyone not telling me this? Why it should be Matthew and his so-called deadly glare?
“What is your problem, Matthew?” I scowl at him, already feeling sick at his arrogance and annoying demeanor. He take a step forward, but no, I’m not taking a step back. I just straighten my back, looking up at him with a daring look on my face.
“The problem is you coming into this school, act like you’re a good girl when you’re not! You’re a bitch!” He yells at my face.
“Watch your mouth, Matthew! You don’t want to get slapped across the face again, are you?” I glare at him, pointing my finger at him threateningly.
“I don’t care!”
Getting triggered by his words, I raise my hand and quickly swing it towards his cheek. He grasps my wrist tightly, preventing my hand from getting onto his cheek.
“You, slap me, again?” He looks away, rolling his eyes and scoffing as a bitter smile appear onto his face. He turns his face to me again, glaring angrily at me. “I won’t let you. Not anymore.” He glares into my eyes with so much hatred burning in his eyes.
“From now on, keep your eyes on yourself. Because sooner or later, something bad would be happening to you.” He says through his gritted teeth. He throws my hand harshly, almost making me fall, and walk away.
Damn, why does he has so much hatred towards me? I’m just here for a few days for god’s sake! How can a boy acts toward a girl like this? What have I done to him other than slapping him once and yelling at him? Nothing! I wonder why girls wants to be his girlfriend.
Or, what if he already knows that I’m a spy since the very first time we met? But if he already knows that I’m sure I would already be gone by now, dead. But I’m not. But that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t do things to me too.
I guess I really am should watch my back.