Saturday, May 4, 2013

5. Volleyball girls...

...this was new. The feelings I was having while, and after, hearing about them caught me completely off guard. I mean, I just didn't see him that way. I hadn't for years. I'd tried to imagine us together and couldn't. So, why was I jealous. Why did those dumb volleyball girls, and their getting so much attention piss me off so badly?!

Patrick always talked to me about girls. I loved it. I wanted to help by offering him any insight into the girl psyche that I could. I'd also point out hotties to him and we'd ogle together. I was completely sincere in my ogling as I can appreciate an attractive person regardless of their sex. I'd quite honestly rather look at girls for the sake of looking. They're prettier than boys.

We made our way to the commons for study hall. It was one of the many new joys of being Juniors. Not only were we not stuck in a stuffy classroom, but we also weren't made to be quiet and look at our books. Even greater, we could buy snacks! We'd sign-in, get some junk food and sit down for a blissful fifty minutes of nothingness. Or, whateverness that we wanted. My usual snack, throughout all of high school, was a package of chocolate Hostess Donettes and a Pepsi. If the day happened to be less than perfect and the delicious little doughnuts were sold out, then I'd settle for a package of Otis Spunkmeyer chocolate chocolate chunk cookies (and a Pepsi) instead. Maybe, since today I sat down with Otis Spunkmeyer, I should have had a clue.

It was September, and natural light flooded the entire commons, thanks to the floor to ceiling windows that constructed it's far wall. From the windows, was a view of the courtyard which wasn't much to see. Nobody really spent any time out there. Palmer was an open campus and was spread out among three city blocks. If one had a free hour, it was likely that they'd spend it not on campus instead of in the courtyard. Acacia Park was across the street and so was Downtown Colorado Springs itself. Patrick and I, however, were in class. We'd be marked truant for skipping despite how silly study hall seemed. We chose a table at the back of the room closest to the windows and near the commons shop. I walked between one brown eight foot collapsible table and another to the window, and turned to sit down at the one on my right. My back was to the window, but I was engulfed in sunshine. Patrick sat down on the bench across from me wearing a white t-shirt, jeans and Adidas. He sat where the window frame cast a shadow on his face, so the sun wasn't in his eyes. He'd grown over the summer. He looked less like someone I wanted to squeeze and more like, well, a guy. He had seriously grown something like four inches and seemed thinner; thinner with a six pack. I had noticed, but not really given it much thought.

Somehow, over Pepsi and cookies, we stumbled across conversation of the previous Mac's Tournament, and the extracurricular activities he and his roommates partook in while they weren't playing. Patrick played hockey for the Pikes Peak Miners which was a AAA Midget team. Basically, he was too good for our high school team. This wasn't a secret. Mr. Provenzono hassled Patrick every time he'd happen to spot Patrick in the halls. He'd try to convince him to quit the Miners to play for Palmer. He said that Patrick owed it to his school; as if loyalty should out weigh skill. Mr. Pro was our gym teacher and Palmer's hockey coach. Anyway, back to Pepsi, cookies, Mac's & extracurricular activities. The Miner's were often invited to the Mac's AAA Tournament in Calgary. The tournament features twenty-five male and fifteen female teams from across Canada, USA and Europe. So, to be invited, is kind of a big deal for the sixteen year old hockey player. I was clueless about all of it. It carried no clout with me whatsoever. Not to mention that Patrick didn't brag. It took me years to figure out how good he was. For him it was just his life, and it was nothing new.

Now this gets dirty. Another nothing new relating to hockey. Good grief! {sigh} We'd talked about girls before, but not like this. I just couldn't see it. Patrick, and those girls. I was completely naive, and not just about Patrick and hockey, but about boys in general! What was the point of pointing out a cute girl to him? He didn't need any damn help! Why was he telling me this stuff, and how flipping dumb had I been?! Apparently, while the Mac's tournament was going on, so was a volleyball tournament. As well, teams from both were using the same hotel. Can you imagine, three kids per room, and with those of the opposite sex right across the hall? Good grief. If only the parents knew. If only I didn't know. But I did, and it changed everything. I was happy with the way things were between Patrick and I. But, this suggested that they could easily change. If I didn't want them to change, then what the heck did that mean? Did I feel something for him? 

I was flabbergasted and annoyed. I did my best not to let it show. Knowing how easy it could be to loose him to some volleyball girl, or any girl, made me wonder what to do; it would require some sort of action. But, what?

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