My lip curled into a half-smile as I saw Wyatt walk out onto the field in his football gear. He had invited me to spend the day with him at his school. He went to a public school – one of the worst rated on the east coast at the time – and I was jealous. I so badly wanted to go to Warren High and be free to wear what I wanted, talk as I wanted… Things I didn’t have the freedom for at my private school.
I went around to his classes with him, amazed at public school life. A lot of the classes going over my head since he was two grades above mine. I watched him intently as he hooked up his bass guitar during music class – though I had seen him do such at youth group many times before. It seemed somehow different in this alternate setting.
It was the end of the day by the time he had football practice. He delivered me outside before jogging back in towards the locker room. When he came back out, in his full gear, I smiled. I found him so cute. So attractive in what was such ‘manly’ sport attire.
He spoke to me briefly, pointing to where I should sit, before running onto the field. He didn’t want to piss his coach off. It was a hot end-of-summer day. I sat on the bleachers feeling sorry for him as they did their typical football training activities in the heat, sweat pouring off of them.
After a while, another team showed up from a couple towns over.They came from Warrenton – where my private school was. They came to do a scrimmage.
The boys were kneeling, listening to their coach. One of them looked up and I realized it was Brandon. I didn’t think he saw me.
Brandon had been in my class the year before, though a grade ahead of me. Our school was so small we entertained both seventh and eighth grade in one classroom and all of ninth through twelfth in another. He had moved on to a public school that year instead to get a more well rounded High school experience now that he was in ninth grade, though his younger sister remained where I was. Now he was in my town. Now the idea of my school life and my home life colliding seemed possible, and that did not bode well.
I sucked in a breath and resisted the urge to wave and say “hi.” Let alone entertain the thought of actually going over there after practice to have a conversation.
Wyatt would have been pissed if he saw. He would have been pissed if he found out that I knew one of the rivals. More accurately, he would have been pissed that the rival was a guy. I pressed my lips together and resisted the urge to wave. Practice ended and I walked off with Wyatt, not saying a word about it.
A few weeks later I saw Brandon in Warrenton. We said “hey,” and he said he thought he had seen me in Front Royal. I confirmed it was me and explained “Yeah I live in Front Royal… and I was there because my boyfriend is on the Warren High team.”
“Ah, okay,” he said – seeming to understand.
But I don’t think he really did and I didn’t explain further.