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   Chapter 81 NO.81

The Football Boys By BenRyans Characters: 12764

Updated: 2018-01-13 03:49


I slipped on my shoes, not bothering to untie them beforehand and walked out the front door. The morning chill made my body tremble as I began the treacherous walk to school. I watched in the corner of my eye as Dakota walked across the street, staring at the concrete below him before slowly turning his head to look my way. I averted my eyes, staring straight ahead of me, pretending I wasn't just staring at him.

"Hey." I could tell by the sound of his voice he was walking behind me, trying to catch up to match my pace.

"Hey." I said, not looking at him.

We walked in complete silence, but I wasn't angry. It was more of a comfortable quietness having him beside me. It had been so long that I'd almost forgotten we used to do this every morning. It wasn't clear about what we were but when was it ever? Our friendship was all over the place, a thought I tend not to linger on. Whatever happened, would happen. That's the kind of friendship we've always had, sweep it under the rug and all is forgotten.

We made it to school with twenty minutes to spare before class.

"See ya." Dakota smiled at me as we headed into different directions. I gave him a half smile before going to my locker. Even though we weren't exactly talking, I felt that things were going to only get better between us, I had hope for it.

"Luka." I turned around, coming face to face with Michael. I chuckled nervously before taking a step back.

"Hey, sorry about that night."

"No, it's fine. I actually wanted to talk to you about that."

"I like you, but I know you're uh.. distracted. So whatever is going on between you and Dakota, I hope it turns out."

"Thanks." I nodded, knowing what he meant by that and I couldn't help but feel bad.

"We're still friends right?" Michael asked, looking up at me.

"Of course."

"Alright, well.. see ya." He said as he walked away from me with a somber smile. I'd only ever seen Michael as a friend and seeing him hurt made this feeling at the bottom of my stomach worse for not being able to like him the way he liked me. But at the same time I knew it wasn't my fault, it was the way it was meant to be.

"I'm excited." Gemma said as she sat beside me on the bleachers.

"For?"

"The fundraiser."

"What fundraiser?"

"For the football team, didn't coach tell you?"

"Not a word." I said, exasperating a sigh of annoyance before digging into my lunch.

"Mind if I join?" I looked up to find Dakota standing in front of me with a smile on his face, squinting his eyes slightly to block out the sun.

"No." I shook my head one too many times as I moved over for him.

"I'm gonna-" Gemma trailed off before tailing it across the field. The tension in the air only grew thicker after her departure, making it uncomfortably silent. I twiddled with my thumbs, looking anywhere else except at Dakota who I could feel was staring at me.

"Coach is having some sort of fundraiser." Dakota said as I looked up at him.

"Yeah, Gemma told me."

"Anything else she tell you?"

"No."

"I broke up with Eva.. again. We were never really dating anyway." He trailed off, looking down at his shoes.

"Sorry." I muttered, unable to say anything else.

"I realized that night, that she's not a good person to be around, not if I want to get better."

"That's great. That you want to get better, I mean." I said as I gave him a half smile, hoping that he'd keep to his word this time but I couldn't help but think that he'd only go back on it sooner or later, that's just the way he was.

After practice, it was complete chaos as the school began setting up stands for the fundraiser. Popcorn and cotton candy scents drifted in the air of the school field. It was a small event, with food, games, fundraising booths and they even blocked off some of the street

e best food, nothing could ever beat it. Alright, maybe my moms cooking.

"I think those old women like you." Dakota said with a smirk, motioning behind me. I turned around, unsure whether they were the same women from earlier. I shuddered at the thought of seeing those red wrinkled lips closing in on me like some horror movie that I couldn't get out of.

"Hey boys." Alex said, sitting beside Dakota and wrapping an arm around his shoulder. Some of the other seniors on the team surrounded us, helping themselves to my fries that I barely had a chance to eat.

"What?" Dakota said curtly, shoving his arm off of him.

"When did you become so hostile, buddy?" He chuckled. I could tell by the sound of his voice he'd downed a couple cold ones and I wanted to tail it out of there as soon as I smelled the liquor on his breath.

"I have a couple beers with your name on them." Alex said with a smirk.

"No thanks." Dakota said, standing up and motioning for me to follow him. I nodded, shoving past the seniors that were leaning against me like I was some post stand. I could hear Alex's foot steps behind us as Dakota grabbed me by the wrist, quickening the pace but they easily caught up, blocking the path in front of us. It was going to be hard getting away from him, seemingly fixed on getting Dakota to drink with them.

"Come on, Dakota. Just one beer." Alex said, grabbing him by the shoulder. I stared at him not uttering a word, wondering what'd he'd say and if he'd resist the temptation. I couldn't decide for him this time like I always had, keeping him out of trouble and watching out for him. This time he had to make the decision. For a moment, I knew he wanted to say yes but then he looked at me, searching my eyes before averting his attention back to Alex.

"Not tonight, Alex." His face scrunched up in confusion, unable to understand what Dakota was telling him.

Dakota grabbed my hand as we walked across the field and started walking home, leaving everyone behind us. He glanced over at me with a huge smile on his face that I couldn't resist returning, I could see how happy he was just by seeing that smile, it lit up his face and made me feel warm seeing him so pleased with himself. I knew it wasn't always going to be easy for him, I knew there would be set backs to this but as long as Dakota had me and I, him, things would turn out okay.

A/N vote, comment and tell me what you think! i personally loved writing this chapter, i think it was a tiny milestone for Dakota, so I hope you enjoyed! :)

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