Her blond waves bounce off her shoulders as she walks to soccer practice in front of me. So petite. So bitchy.

The frosted grass crunches beneath out cleats. “Jamie!” one of the girls huddled on the sidelines runs forward to hug the blonde. My legs itch to run a lap or two.

“Jamie, Sanders, Melody. Practice is starting, twenty sprints.” Coach blows her whistle. While the rest of the team stretches, we run. Arms pumping, I push faster than the other two. I feel Jamie glaring. What did I even do to her? Play better defense? I run harder, passing her up. It feels good to have someone to hate, someone to absorb all my anger.

Practice kicks off with more running. The wind stings my ears, but the blood flow fills me with energy.

“Melody, Jamie, you’re up for the first drill. Beat each other to the ball and bring it back.” Coach tosses the ball high and across the field. I take off with Jamie on my tail. Knowing I’m faster, she buries her shoulder into me. The energy and adrenaline bubbles inside, bursting from my chest in a laugh.

“What’s so funny?” She presses harder, trying to slow me down.

I reach the ball first and cut to the side, making her lose her balance. Cursing, she falls. Her hand shoots out and grabs my ankle. I land beside her. “What the hell?”

Her freckles darken as her face turns red. Her eyebrows pull together and her blue eyes turn glassy. I offer her my hand, but she turns away.

I brush the grass off my butt. “What’s your problem?”

She tightens her ponytail. “You.”

Fiction

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