Friday rolled around at the speed of a snail, possibly a sloth. You couldn’t settle on a good comparison quite yet. Nonetheless, it was finally Friday, and Friday meant football game, and football game meant after party, and after party meant Calum Hood. Of course, almost everything meant Calum Hood when he preoccupied about ninety percent of your daily thoughts.
As your friend had so eloquently put it, you were dragging her along for the rollercoaster ride entitled “Can I Get Calum To Like Me?” Quite literally dragging her, in fact. Your friend was in tow behind you as you purposefully strode towards the football field the game would be taking place at.
“You know, even after all the games you watch, I don’t think you know the first thing about football,” your friend accused with a playful tone. You shot a glare over your shoulder, mostly because that statement rang true.
“I know you kick the ball into the goal. What else is there to know?” The two of you finally reached the swarm of people mostly comprised of the student body, all waiting to take seats or buy tickets.
“I dunno, maybe the rules?” your friend feigned thoughtfulness before ducking away at your swatting hand.
“Shut up and buy a ticket.”
The two of you took your regular seats at the very top of the bleachers, the space having been kept empty since most of the student body knew that’s where the two of you sat at every game. See, you were social enough to attend the game, but not enough so to sit within the mass of your fellow students. The spot you’d claimed as your own long ago had a nice view, though, and by nice view, you meant you could watch Calum’s movements clearly.
Calum’s team won the match easily, and your school’s half of the bleachers stood in cheer, including you. People began to stream down the stairs, feet clanging on the cool metal surface. Your friend insisted on staying behind for a minute until everything calmed down. Well, insisted as in held you by your shirt when you started to get up.
“Relax, Calum will still be down there after everyone clears out,” she rolled her eyes at you, her signature expression. Your cheeks flushed with a dusting of pink, but you only mocked her eye roll with your own.
“Okay, come on, it’s been a minute,” you got up again, this time your friend rising as well.
“Did you really count?”
You reached the bottom step first followed by your friend a minute later, and your heart nearly leapt into your throat when you turned to nearly bump into Calum himself. You could’ve figured out it was Calum just by the smell, but not in the creepy way. Rather, the way in which he smelled horribly of sweat.
“Oh, god, it reeks of pubescent boys,” your friend groaned before you elbowed her in the side to shut up.
“Gee thanks,” Calum’s smile was wry, and it twisted up the corners of his lips before his eyes landed on you and lit with recognition. “You’re Luke’s neighbour, aren’t you?”
Your heart jumped into overtime at his words, at the fact he actually knew who you were. You could only manage a dumbstruck nod, still processing the situation. Calum laughed for a moment, and you thought it was the shortest but sweetest moment you’d ever had.
“Hm, you stare a lot, don’t you, babe? I know there’s a lot to stare it, though,” his eyes held a glint of amusement and cockiness in them, and you got the feeling this was his normal demeanor.
“Don’t you have an after party to get to?” your friend interrupted the conversation. It was more a one-sided talking and other-sided staring than an actual conversation. Calum turned his brown eyes to her, eyebrow arched at her challenging tone. You turned your head to look at your friend as well with your own displeased look.
“I can tell when I’m not wanted,” he threw his hands up in surrender. “You wanna come to the party, too, babe?” You nearly choked on your own spit at his proposition. Calum Hood was asking if you wanted to go with him, but you realized there was a catch. You’d be ditching your best friend for him.
You glanced between the two of them, both giving you pointed looks and expecting you to agree with their sides.
“Um, give me a minute, yeah?” you turned to Calum before grabbing your friend’s arm and leading her to the side.
“Why’d you do that?” your annoyance finally seeped out into the cracks of your frustrated voice.
“Do what? Try to keep you from throwing yourself away on a total dickwad?” her voice was sharp with the surface of anger, making your lips tilt down into a frown.
“He’s not a dickwad! He called me babe, and he even asked for me to go to the party with him,” you only realized how pitiful your words sounded after they’d left your mouth. You had a terrible habit of speaking before you thought out what to say. Your friend, however, was the opposite, and now, she was thinking.
“One, that babe was ninety-percent patronizing, and two, he just wants to make out with you, probably more, but that’s gross.” You shook your head at your friend’s words. This was unbelievable. Was she really just now having this conversation with you?
“I think you’re being ridiculous,” you started before she narrowed her eyes at you.
“I’ve quietly put up with watching Calum with you for years, and only now, you think I don’t know what I see? Go with him if you want, but he’ll break your heart,” she warned before turning to walk away. You walked the opposite direction to Calum, heart fluttering from a mixture of nerves and nausea.