Chapter 10. Varsity Letters
The wounds were still there. The injury Bram put on my heart was still there. The ice had crystalized my emotions, and my heart. Without any warmth from Bram my heart had frozen over.
I still went to practice. I still came home everyday but I wasn't the same.
I had grown worse than I was before Bram started talking to me.
He was not aware of how down I was feeling. He thought we were friends. He didn't see the hardship he put me through by choosing Melissa. They both wanted me to be happy for them. Which I had pretended to be for so long.
After the last past games and all the days inbetween I had shut off completely. It was to the point where I couldn't talk to anyone, but Levi. I didn't even talk to him that much.
In my classes my head was hurting all the time now. I felt like I was nauseated. Every time I saw them close, things got so fuzzy. My legs didn't want to keep struggling trying to carry me through school just to get hurt more.
I was tired of the bruises of pretending to be happy. I couldn't carry this weight anymore, so I let Bram go. I let Melissa have her way with him. I was tired of seeing a cold breath cloud come out of my mouth when I said `Hi' to them. The cloud was from my frosted heart, that had broken and frozen in two separate pieces in my chest.
I did do some more connivery before giving up, but when I notice nothing helped, I threw in the towel.
I tried to vandalize Melissa's uniform. Amber our cheer captain told her she lost her cheerleading uniform privileges. She could not cheer for the next game. It didn't stop Bram though. He still liked her.
I decided if Bram wanted her, then our friendship was over.
He tried to talk to me but I kept ignoring him. He tried to call me, but I never answered. The situation had reversed dramatically. It was now me doing the ignoring, it was me who didn't want the friendship.
He was confused I'm sure, as to why I was neglecting our friendship. He didn't know why I was putting distance between us. He even tried to send me a handwritten letter at school, but I didn't reply to that either.
In the letter he was asking me `what was wrong,' and `why wouldn't I talk to him?'.
He hurt me! He didn't know but it didn't stop me from being dreary all day and night.
At the game we had to cheer. I really wasn't feeling like a cheerleader this Friday night. I wasn't saying `Go 88!' `Go Bram!'... Nothing. I scowled at the game. In my head I was chanting: `Get hurt, Get injured', because that's what he did to me.
"Let's do A-T-T-A-C-K!" Amber yelled at the squad. Melissa was not out here. She was probably in the stands wishing she was. I was glad that she lost her uniform privileges. Now I wouldn't have to be annoyed with her calling Bram's number.
"A-T-T-A-C-K the Eagles are back!
A-T-T-A-C-K the Leaders of the Pack!
As the game proceeded Bram caught a long pass, and ran the ball getting the eagles a first down. Kenton was pitched the ball and he took the football all the way to the in zone. Where he did a dance to celebrate.
The one thing I noticed about this game was: The other team was hitting with smashing force. They made most of our players fumble. To be honest, I wasn't going for either team. I couldn't after the things I was dealing with.
We pulled out our pom-poms to raise the players spirits. We wanted to keep them motivated even though they looked to be hurting from the hard hits they were taking. Amber thought they could use some excitement from the sidelines to give them something to keep going.
The coaches were yelling, and spitting plays. They were slapping the helmets of the players when they did something wrong. Amber thought the pom-poms would lessen the football player's pain and stress.
"Touchdown, Touchdown, Touchdown boys,
You make the touchdown we make the noise.
Touchdown, touchdown, touchdown boys,
You make the touchdown we make the noise.
Boom, Boom, Heeey! (shaking pom-poms)
Boom, Boom can you feel it! (shift feet)
Boom, Boom, Heeey! (shaking pom-poms)
Boom, Boom, that Eagle spirit!!!
I still wasn't feeling good. Even after using my pom-poms. It had been weeks, Melissa and Bram were still talking. There's nothing else I can do but forget I know him. That way it hurts less.
I watched his number zip across the field, dive for passes getting tackled. I watched the whole team battle with fierce intensity, and a strong desire to win...something I had lost.
We cheered for the guys. Wanting them to bring a win to the Eagles name. I screamed my lungs out for the team even if I didn't feel like it. all I wanted was for somebody to cheer for me. Somebody to say `Go Brice! You can have Bram. Keep trying.' Just once. I could use it.
"W-H-S we are the best.
W-H-S we are the best.
W-H-S we are the best.
Beat those hornets
Beat those hornets
Beat those horneeets!"
The next week everything remained the same. Only their bond was stronger. So strong that everybody in the school knew. So strong it made me sink back into the background and watch.
Kenton and Saleen had started back talking. I saw them eating lunch together. It was a mess. Everything I tried to do failed. I don't know where my plans went wrong but they did. Another plan blows up in my face. Another section of my heart left feeling miserable pain.
Before throwing the towel in on Kenton like I did with Bram. I did one last thing. Because I know another blizzard will soon blow over the place in my heart that he had. I told Levi that Saleen liked Shane Riley. It wasn't too long after that it was passed to Laura, then Shelby, then Eryn, and finally our cheer captain.
Amber was angry about it when she heard about Saleen liking Shane. Amber started plotting revenge on Saleen for liking the quarterback, also known as her man. The weird thing was, the whole varsity squad was going to help her get Saleen back.
I gave the whole Saleen situation to Amber. It was her problem now. Maybe she will ruin `Saleen the skunk' so that I can have a break.
I need a break long enough for me to get over two big losses, my heart needed to warm from blue to red again. Then I could sew it back up, and get it to beat once more.
I went to my locker seeing a piece of notebook paper folded neatly on top of my books. I grabbed it, and opened it when I sat in my next class.
Brice, what's wrong? Are you feeling okay? I've been trying to call you. I noticed you won't answer. I noticed you won't talk to me anymore not even on the bus. I don't know what I did. If I did or said something that offeneded you, let me know. We can fix it. Btw you've been cheering good. Don't think I haven't been watching. Plus we have been winning most of our games so it shows. You might be mad at me for something I don't know about, but I want to know what it is. Just talk to me and let me know what I did. I will keep sending you letters until you talk to me again. Okay BYE!
Oh my God! The note was sweet. It was nice of him to write that, but it won't work. If I told him `I'm mad at you and Melissa's relationship.' then he would know I liked him. Then I would be worse off than before. I better just keep cheering and keep to myself.
As good looking as Kenton was, I didn't like seeing him either. He didn't do anything to me. It was the fact that he was talking to Saleen after what I told him about her. That is what burned me up.
My classes were speeding by. I was daydreaming about what I lost. I had not gained anything from what was going on in my life.
At home my sister Breece wanted me to teacher her cheers. I refused to. I wasn't up for it. Plus I didn't want to talk to her or my mom. That is just how bad it got.
Unexcitedly, I made my way through the halls at school. While everybody's day shined with the sun my day was cloudy with gray. Everything seemed gray. Even at practice.
I was lugging around. Not remembering any conversations I had with Levi. Bosh even tried to talk to me but I could not get on a deep level with Bosh. His mind isn't made for complexity. Only the simple is what he could register.
Every other day I would glance up seeing: Bram and Melissa happy, Kenton and Saleen talking. All those lies ruined. All those wicked weapons, ruined. The rumors, the conniving, manipulating, and the deceiving I did...was all flipped. None of it worked and none of it mattered.
My war was in vain.
I had accepted war on Melissa and I lost...
Oh my god! I said I wouldn't allow myself to get depressed like that. No more thinking about my troubles and my pain. I'm not counting my losses. I'm not going to bring up all the things I did just to lose. Just leave it all where it is and go on with life.
Not everyone you like, likes you. Not everyone you dream of dreams of you. Not everyone is gay! So throw this whole issue to the flames. Cast everything from your troubled mind. Try to make room for new things to come. Because who ever said: `Brice Crowns was granted a happy ending?'
Gloom laid thickly over my schedule. Interfering with my daily ritual. It was everywhere, there was no way around. `The only way around is to go through,' I kept telling myself.
In my locker there was another letter. I opened it, already knowing who had written it. I could tell by his slanted writing it was no one else but Bram. He signed his name for my sister during the, `Meet the Eagles' event our school had. I still remember that.
We've been winning. I didn't think football would be this fun. I'm trying out again next year. Are you trying out for cheerleading again next year? I promise I won't be mad if you do. JK (I hope you are smiling about that.) Anyway, practice is getting rough. I mean too `rough'. Coach randy pushed me yesterday! He cursed me out too! I have been so mad!!! You don't know how mad I have been about it. I wanted to tell someone about it, so I picked you. Most of the guys on the team don't take things like coaches pushing and cursing serious, but I do. To add more to a bad time, can you believe that me and Kenton have been arguing? We got into a bad argument at practice. It was so bad that we were almost fighting-
What in the world is going on? Coaches cursing people out, and Kenton wanting to fight Bram?
The teacher almost caught me reading the note. I quickly hid it under the desk, when she went back to the board. When I saw that her back was to the class I pulled it back out again.
Kenton got mad at me during practice. He kept bragging about how he could be wide receiver if he wanted to. how good he looked, I had enough of him and his arrogance, so coach let us run head-to-head with each other. When he tried to run at me, I picked him up off the ground and DROPPED HIM! He pretended like he slipped in the grass. I'm dealing with a lot. Anyway write back man. I will write more when I have the chance.
p.s. talk to me soon, okay? I'm still waiting on you.
Wow!! Bram, getting tired of Kenton's cockiness, Kenton wanting to outshine Bram. It was going to be a terrible fight. I knew that was coming. At the beginning of school, I knew they would end up colliding. They needed to kill each other because they almost killed me. Their decisions to talk to unworthy chicks was killing me.
The letters Bram took time out to write were nice. It made me think a little piece of him cared about losing me as a friend. In my understanding, a little wasn't enough to keep my heart warm.
I was reading another letter from Bram in my English class. I don't know how many of these I had now. He might be more serious about friendship than I thought, but if he doesn't leave Melissa then I can't talk to him. No matter what he writes.
I really wish we could talk. I need some of those inspiring words before the game. You know you are good at getting me motivated and pumped up. I know you don't want to talk to me. So, I'll just listen to you cheer on the side line to get inspiration. I still want to know what I did? Melissa is funny. Her and I, went on a date. It was pretty cool. I'll tell you more about it when we get to talk FOR REAL. On the bus earlier I saw you giving me the evil eye. So I know I'm doing something wrong.
Last thing I wanted to tell you, Coach Randy is about to make me quit the team. I swear, I'm telling you! He has it out for me. He is thinking about switching Kenton's position to wide receiver!!!! Can you believe that? How is he going from running back to wide receiver? Kenton is not that good. He is all mouth! I'm sick of that dude. I can't believe we were friends. That cocky little prick, if I get the chance I am going to crush him. I don't understand why I became friends with him. Anyway that's all that's going on in my life.
Write me back.
I folded the letter neatly, putting it in my pencil bag where the rest of the letters he sent me were kept. He better talk to Melissa about all of his problems because I still haven't changed my mind.
I was ignoring Kenton everyday just like I was doing Bram. The only thing was: he forced his way back into my graces.
He sat right next to me in class. His hair was straighten again, and he kept talking to me. When I didn't respond to him. He would grab my English book and hold it behind his back. Whatever it was I was doing he would snatch it and make me acknowledge him. I knew better playing this game with him. Trying to ignore him would not work. Kenton was one who demanded attention. If he wanted it he would get it, one way or another.
"Why are you acting like that?" he said, holding my book away from my reach.
I had work to do for Mrs. Boyette. I wanted to get a good grade I wanted to keep cheering and I wanted to keep two people off of my mind.
"Give me my book!" I commanded trying to reach.
"Oh so now you want to talk." Kenton played around.
"I'm not playing!" I said sharply, reaching over my desk trying to grab the book.
He kept laughing holding it off to the opposite side. "Are you ignoring me?"
I didn't answer him. I wanted my book. So I kept grabbing at the air to get it back.
"Uh-uh...answer the question first." He continued his game. "Are you going to..."
"No!" I smiled somehow. "Now give me my book back." I told him with a smile. When he saw I was talking directly to him, he finally surrendered my book.
"That's all you had to do." He laughed.
I rolled my eyes playfully. It was hard trying to stay mad at him.
"I saw you over there reading a love letter." He examined his shades while teasing me. "Who was it from? Your girlfriend?"
Bram the guy you hate.
"Nobody, I never get love letters, and I don't have a girl friend." I assured him.
"Whatever you probably do have a girl."
"No, I don't. I don't need anyone to make me happy. I'm perfectly fine with being single." I countered him with, "That's why I heard you are dating Saleen."
He jumped in his seat. "What! Who told you that? That's a lie!" he was talking so loud now, he was getting everybody's attention.
"Kenton keep you voice down." Mrs. Boyette said from her desk.
"I see you guys everywhere." I told him.
"So...That doesn't mean anything. Saleen is not my girlfriend, and I know who probably told you that anyway."
"Who?" I asked him.
I could see Kenton's temper rising a little. "That little sissy, Bram." Kenton hissed the name. "He is a hater, man. I can't believe I was hanging out with a hater this whole time. That's why you should never let your fans or enemies get too close." He raged while perching his shades back on top of his head, staring at me.
"Bram didn't tell me that." I tried to correct it but he wouldn't listen. He was talking about how he owes Bram for something that happened at practice. Which I'm sure I know what it is since Bram wrote me about it.
I wasn't in this one. They were rivals, and I had no control to stop them.
"Why did you grab my book like that?" I said throwing the old topic away.
He paused for a minute to clear his thoughts. "Because, you've been acting funny for a while. You don't talk to me as much as you used to, and you've been walking around just acting like I don't exist."
"I'm going to ignore you again, just because you did that to my book." I joked.
"Noooo. Oh no you're not either." He said deeply. "We're not having that. If you do ignore me, I'll just grab your book again."
Right after he said that, I pretended to ignore him. When he caught on to what I was doing. He snatched my book before I could do anything else.
"Give me that back."
"See I knew you couldn't ignore me." He smiled in a cocky way, handing my book back. I couldn't help but blush on the spot. I tried to cover my face. He was getting to me. How was he doing that? It had to be that cocky charm.
"Can't ignore me can you?" he whispered almost making me turn into yogurt.
I shook my head, playing along while the blush burned hotter in my cheeks.
Oh great. I'm starting this all over again. What am I doing?
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