Home > The Field Party #2 - Under the Lights(6)

The Field Party #2 - Under the Lights(6)
Author: Abbi Glines

As if I wouldn’t see them in that small high school. “Yes, ma’am. I have classes with both of them.”

“Did you speak to them?”

“Yes, ma’am. Not much though.” I knew she was worried about my being involved with either of them. She didn’t trust me, and why should she? I had done nothing to earn anyone’s trust.

“You’ll make friends soon enough. Just pick good ones, though. You are who you spend time with. Guess you learned that lesson the hard way already.”

Yes, I had. A lesson I wish I’d never had to learn. I had spent hours, days, and weeks wishing I hadn’t been there that night. That I had been smart. That I hadn’t seen what I’d seen.

“Your momma ain’t perfect—Lord knows that. But she tried to bring you into her home and be the mother she had failed at being the first part of your life. You can’t go blaming her or anyone else for what you did. You made them mistakes and now you got to pick up and figure out life again.”

I didn’t need to be told that I made my own mistakes. I lived with that daily. However, Nonna thought my mother tried to be a mom to me. She hadn’t. Not really. I often wondered why she’d sent for me six years ago. I had never been able to make her happy. Now the one woman who had loved me thought I was a loser of the worst sort.

If I did anything else in this life, it would be making my nonna proud of me again. I didn’t care if I ever saw my mother again though. When I had needed her most, she hadn’t listened to me. She hadn’t believed me. No one had.



Call It Whatever You Want



Maggie’s bedroom door was open when I walked up the stairs. I knew her boyfriend, who was also one of my best friends, had gone with his mother to a counseling session after workouts today. Since his father’s death a couple months ago, his mother had been in and out of town, going back to her parents’ house. They weren’t the same after losing his dad. His mom wasn’t handling it well at all.

Maggie’s dark hair hung over her shoulder, blocking her face as she looked down at the book she was reading in her hands. I cleared my throat, announcing my presence. She jerked her head up, and her expressive eyes went wide. Then she smiled. “Oh, hey, Brady.”

My cousin didn’t speak at all when she’d first moved in with us. I had West to thank for her actually saying my name, or anything for that matter. When she had held his hand and been his strength while he watched his father die of cancer, he had given her a reason to speak again.

“What are you reading?” I asked, walking into her room, which had once been my room.

“Voyage in the Dark by Jean Rhys.”

I had no idea what that was. Figures Maggie wasn’t reading something I had heard of. She wasn’t a Twilight-reading kind of girl. I nodded like I knew what the hell she was talking about.

She smirked. “A young girl with a dead father and bitchy stepmother. But she’s not Cinderella.”

“Ah, okay.”

She laughed at my response. “Are you bored? Why the visit?”

I rarely stopped by her room. But then she was rarely alone. West was either here, or she was there. Figured I’d get to the point. She wasn’t one for chitchat. “Do you have any classes with the new girl?”

She raised her eyebrows. “Willa Ames? Yes, we both have a class with her, together.” Oh yeah . . . I’d forgotten she and West were even in the room. I’d been so busy watching Willa and not getting caught that I couldn’t focus on anything else. I had wanted Willa to speak to me, but she hadn’t spoken to anyone.

“I mean any other classes with her?” I corrected my minor mistake.

Maggie set her book down and turned to fully look at me. “West told me she was really close to you and Gunner when y’all were kids. And you couldn’t stop watching her in class. Do you like her? Is that what this is about? Because I’m fairly certain if you want her, you can turn on your charm and get her.”

She didn’t know Willa very well, but then neither did I. Not anymore. She was different. Not just her looks, because like everyone else she’d grown up. She wasn’t the little girl with pigtails and dirty knees from playing ball with us anymore. It was more than that. She was harder, withdrawn, and untouchable. The carefree, laughing girl I once knew was gone. Completely.

“She’s changed. I’m curious.”

Maggie shrugged. “Call it whatever you want. But you’re more than curious. It was entertaining to watch.”

This was a pointless conversation. “Whatever” was my annoyed response before I turned and walked back out the door. I loved my cousin, but she wasn’t a normal girl either. She wasn’t going to be much help in all this.

“She watched you, too, when you weren’t looking,” Maggie called out, and I paused. A smile slid over my lips that I couldn’t control.

“Thanks,” I replied without turning around, then made my way to my attic bedroom.

Before Willa had moved away to live with her mother, things had gotten awkward with the three of us. Gunner and I both had become attracted to her. Days before we found out she was moving, he and I had made a pact that neither of us would ever ask her to be our girlfriend. We would always just be best friends. Nothing more.

It seemed silly now. Gunner and I competed for girls and on the field all the time. The days of us being friends first were long gone. Gunner was my friend, but he was also a spoiled jerk a good portion of the time. His parents sucked, but he did have every materialistic thing he so desired. That got annoying.

But back then he’d been one of the best friends I’d had, and I hadn’t wanted to lose that. Not even over a girl. Neither had Gunner. We’d been determined to stay close no matter what. Things sure had changed.

Willa hadn’t been our first big fight. Serena had when we were in the eighth grade. Before we figured out Serena would make her way through the whole football team before sophomore year.

I wondered how well that would have worked out if Willa had stayed. Would she have been our first big fight? Would we have lost our friendship over her? Because even though we were kids, we both loved her. That much I knew was true. She wasn’t that girl now though. The darkness in her eyes said things in her life had changed. She was different. And I wanted to know why.

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