Chapter 15. The Final Countdown
This week's cheer practice we had a complicated routine to follow. I was having problems remembering the steps. Amber shouted at us for making the smallest mistakes. We just were not trying hard enough to her.
Our Captain said, `if everybody didn't have the steps down by Friday, we weren't doing the routine.' I wanted to ace this new routine to prove I belong on the squad. Especially after all of the rumors that were circling around about me being a liar.
This week's routine was far from our only pressing matters. Besides the routines, and cheers we were hard at work making new posters and streaming decorations for the players locker's. I made Kenton and Bram cute glittery cards. I hoped they liked them. I put a lot of feeling into them.
Then we had to design the spirit stick for this week's pep rally. Figuring out what shapes and designs to go with, was ending in arguments. Our squad was really feeling the stress. It was kind of hard to keep everything going but we were able to complete the tasks on time.
Outside of the Varsity cheerleading responsibilities, I had a plan to handle of my own. I finally repaid Levi with a dose of revenge.
I brought Saleen's books back to school that he and I both destroyed. I strolled to Levi's locker and planted the books there.
Levi was now, the reason Saleen had no books for her classes. Somehow the words made it to the principal and the librarian, who both came and searched Levi's locker to see if any of the accusations were true.
As I passed by heading to my next class. I saw Levi trying to explain himself. How he didn't do it, someone else did. He went red in the face trying to get off the hook. The principal was not listening to him. Neither was the librarian. They both knew when a student was trying to talk their self out of trouble. Levi looked to be in total shock. Deep down inside he knew who was behind this set up.
The principal punished Levi by saying: He had to pay for Saleen's book fine, Due to the ripped out pages and the rude writings all over the inside.
It was turning in my favor. I gave Levi a smirk everytime I saw him. He knew it was better to be with me, than against me.
Levi's mom who focused on her bills, told him he would have to work to get the money for the books. Things were really looking down for Levi. Not only because of working off the book fines but also because the whole varsity squad thought he was a thief.
He got two weeks of I.S.S. for his vandalizing three books, and to top it off he could not cheer at the games but he could still come to practice.
I cooked up a brilliant plan. Levi should have known I would stop at nothing to bring him down. We once were really good friends which is hard to believe but he should have never crossed me. He made me do it!
Throughout the week Bram called me at random times. Sometimes late at nights sometimes right after our practices. I was getting closer than I was before to Bram. Now that Levi was mad at me, it cleared a way for Bram to start bringing me home from cheer practice.
The arrangement worked to our benefit because our practices ended at the same time.
The amazing thing was, Bram started to visit my house after practice. It wasn't a visit like I wanted but it still meant something. My mom didn't trust a lot of people. So when Bram visited she would never let him come inside. Meaning, we had to hang out outside of my house.
It wasn't that much of a bad thing. For the most part, I was near him.
The days he decided to come over, he was teaching me how to catch a football. He wanted me to know everything about position he plays. In return, I wanted him to learn about the world of cheering.
It was so cute seeing a football player doing jumps and trying to remember a routine instead of plays. He wasn't good at cheering but it was a good laugh to watch him try. I am sure he could say the same about my football skills. I was bad at catching the footballs when he threw them.
He would laugh and tell me, "Catch the ball with your hands, Brice." because I was throwing my hands over my face trying to shield the ball from hitting me.
We both had fun together. Even though neither of us progressed in the others expertise, it was just like old times. I guess we were tired of fighting each other all those weeks. It was great to have a time of joy and peace.
It was game day. I was in my cheer uniform. Kenton and Bram were in their jersey's. We all were looking good this Friday. We were ready to leave the other team beat in dust.
was not cheering today. He was in the stands with Saleen, Melissa, and a few
J.V. junkies I ruined this year.
Too bad they got on my bad side.
I was on the sideline cheering my heart out for two players (Kenton, and Bram). The guys who had grown on me this entire football season. I couldn't lie, both of them had me charmed at this point.
As I cheered, I was getting sadder as the clock on the score board ticked down. Things started to settle on me: That next week is our last game and it will be the end of the football season. I won't see those jerseys for a while and all the things I've been through as a cheerleader was crazy. It was a tough year and it was still tough. I am still thinking about trying out next year.
I have been through a network of webs: lies I told, backstabbing, connivery, angry straight guys... when I look back at what this season offered me, I don't think I would change anything that happened. Everything was worth it.
I still remember waking up coming to school on my first day. That was the morning I chased Breece for waking me up with a belt. The first cheer practice I had was exhausting and rough. I didn't think I would make it through the rest of the season as cheerleader. I remember that week on Friday it was my first game to cheer at, and how nervous I was.
Now when I think back to those days, I wish I could have them back. The good and the bad, just to keep cheering for my two star players. It's funny how they have gone this long not knowing I had feelings for them.
The season was ending. The next game I promised myself not to say `Go 88 and 27' in my head but to say it out loud for once.
It shouldn't be hard. I mean all the other cheerleaders will be too busy yelling out other numbers so they wouldn't hear me.
If the season was going to end, I wanted it to end right. I wanted it to end knowing that I at least cheered for them specifically out loud, once.
At that moment, Amber turned around facing the stands preparing us for a cheer. Thanks to Shane we scored a touchdown. Putting the Eagles in the lead. Amber had to celebrate her boyfriend's victory.
"Riding on a donkey,
Sitting on a catfish,
We think your team needs a little practice,
Jump in the tub,
Pull out the plug,
There goes your team chug, chug, chug!
We were cheering hard. I suppose Amber knew the season was ending soon and she wanted to leave with no regrets. This would be her last year cheering, being that she graduates this year.
We piled the pyramids, loaded up for stunts, screamed through the mega phone, and danced to the school's fight song. It was happening too fast. I couldn't believe my first year of cheering was coming to an end.
It felt like it wasn't enough. Like I needed more of the thrill and practices, more of the Friday night lights, more Bram and more Kenton. The more the score board clock ticked down, I realized I wasn't ready to let everything go.
In my heart, I believe I will always be a cheerleader as long as Bram and Kent are football players. I needed to ask them will they tryout next year. It will affect my decision for next years try outs.
We won the game and the guys were tiredly walking to their locker rooms. I was waiting for Bram to come out of the locker room so he could take me home. We made the arrangement earlier today at school before the pep rally.
It was filling my head with all sorts of ideas. Cheerleader riding home with football player after the game. It was like my own `cheerleading movie' come to life.
I waited in the parking lot like he told me to do, earlier today at school. He explained it takes a while for the guys to get situated in the locker room after a game. You have arguments, coaches wanting to congratulate you, fights, playing around, showering, guy-talk... etc, but I didn't mind waiting.
Standing there waiting, I think I lost track of time. When my legs started to hurt from standing so long, I knew something was weird.
I don't know what it was, but it seemed like the parking lot was emptying out quick... Or was time moving slow? Waiting for Bram was taking longer than I expected. Did he normally take this long?
I was beginning to get a little worried.
I paced around the parking lot getting impatient. The gravel scratched the bottoms of my shoes as I waited and thought: I knew the fifth quarter wasn't tonight. I would have gotten an invite or word about it.
Maybe he walked passed me already... maybe he forgot he was supposed to be taking me home like we arranged... No, no, no. That can't be the reason. That sounds so ridiculous. Bram couldn't forget something like that.
Car headlights lit up in my eyes, passing by. It was blinding me slightly. If Bram did leave already, I probably couldn't stop him because all of these cars passing by were not helping by flashing blinding lights around.
I probably over looked him... no, that can't be the case. As much as I like Bram, even blinding car lights couldn't stop me from seeing him.
It had been longer than twenty or twenty-five minutes and I didn't see Bram. It was getting strange by the minute. What was this?
Suddenly the stadium lights shut off! Everything was dark! The whole field was pitch black, and nothing could be seen.
Where is BRAM!
Did he strand me out here?
Was it revenge for the lies and all the things I did this year? I thought we put that behind us when we pinky promised.
Bram please do not do this to me. Please!
I paced around the parking lot in the dark seeing different odd cars light up and start their engines. None of the cars looked familiar. I didn't go too far because I was scared if Bram came out of the locker room he wouldn't see me. Then if I didn't go far I might not see him leaving.
I didn't know what to think. I was stuck.
My mind went into panic and I started to see everything spin. I was truly losing it.
As I anxiously waited, my heart beat began to pound with frightened energy. The darkness had settled in everywhere and I didn't know who all was where. I didn't know if I was going to make it home, and I was scared that anything could happen to me.
I kept waiting. Shaking as I checked my phone for the time. I couldn't believe how many minutes had gone by and there was no sign of him!
He hasn't called or text?
It was not like him! It was shocking! Was this actually happening?
There was another full ten minutes that passed. I was worrying so bad. I thought my life was ending. Everyone had drove off not caring that I was left standing here alone, in the dark.
This was the number one reason I didn't like people at my school. They were stupid and ungrateful.
I am a cheerleader. I cheered tonight for our school and they passed me up. I am better than this! I don't have to stand here looking like an idiot!
I am independent.
No one had my back. There was no one at my side. All the things I had been through this year no one helped me. All of my plans of revenge, I did on my own. All the pain in my emotions that left the biggest scars, I dealt with on my own.
If I didn't need anyone then, I don't need anyone now!
I built my courage to start walking the streets.
I was going to get home.
I know it was dark out here and it is almost midnight but what else am I to do?
The guy who made a promise to me... stranded me. I am not sure why, but if this is about Melissa he could have handle it a lot different than this. It was childish, and it proved that our pinky promise was nothing but empty words.
I didn't know my way home from the school stadium but I had to try. I had to risk getting lost. I had to risk my life.
I should have listened to my mom when she told me to learn my way home in case of an emergency. I just never thought something like this would come up.
I started to reconsider what I said earlier tonight. Maybe I didn't want to take this year back. The good or the bad... When you think everything is iin the past and over, It starts over.
I didn't want this anymore.
The stress weighing down on my mind was unreal. Where was I going? What was I doing? What if I don't make it home?... How could this happen to me? Where was Bram when I needed him most? Why would he lie to me?
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