Through my Window by ARIANA Godoy ,Chapter 3,The Soccer Practice

“You what?” Daniela, my childhood best friend, almost spits her soda in my face. We’re hanging out in the most popular café in town, hiding away from the summer heat. God bless the AC. We love it here. The calm music and dimly lit surroundings create a soft, comfortable energy, and it’s become our favorite spot to hang. “Yes, I did exactly what I said,” I sigh, playing with the straw of my orange juice. Daniela grins broadly as if she’s won the lottery. Her black hair falls to the sides of her face, framing it perfectly. She has that kind of hair where even if you don’t comb it, it still looks good. I’m so envious! But it’s the good kind of envy, of course. Daniela has been by my side for as long as I can remember. Our friendship started in kindergarten when she stuck a pencil in my ear. Yes, it was an unconventional way to start a lifelong friendship, but that’s us: unconventional and crazy. Somehow, we adjusted to each other in a perfect, synchronized way. If that’s not true friendship, then I don’t know what is. Dani keeps that goofy grin on her face. “Why are you so discouraged? We’re talking about Ares . . . your crush since you were seven, or something.” “I told you how he treated me.”
“But he treated you, Raquel. He talked to you; he noticed your presence in this world. That’s a start! It’s much better than just looking at him from afar like a creepy stalker.” “I don’t stalk him!” Dani rolls her eyes. “Really? Are you going to try to deny it? To me? I’ve seen you stalk him from the shadows.” “Of course not, it’s pure coincidence that I see him in the distance when I walk around town.” “Walking through town or hiding behind a bush?” she teases. “Anyway,” I change the subject. “You’re supposed to help me, I need to find a way to stop him from using my Wi-Fi. I don’t want him to get away with it.” “Why don’t you change the password?” “So he can just hack my computer again? No, thank you.” Dani takes out her makeup and looks in the mirror to adjust her hair. “I really don’t know what to say, girl. What if we ask Andres for help?” “Are you kidding? And for the last time, Dani, it’s André, no S.” “Whatever.” She takes out her lipstick and starts to apply a bright red color to her lips. “He’s good at computer stuff, right?” “Do you really have to do that here?” I ask, even though she does it all the time. “And yes, I guess so; he helped Francis with his computer project.” “There you go.” Dani puts her makeup away and stands up. “See how I always find solutions for you?” I open my mouth to speak, but she continues. “In fact, do you know what my advice is?” “Get over it?” “Yes. You’re wasting your time, really.” “He’s just so . . .” I sigh. “Perfect.” Dani ignores my last statement. “I have to go to the bathroom; I’ll be right back.”
She turns and walks away, earning a few stares from the guys that she passes. Dani is tall and has a great curvy body. I can honestly say that my best friend is one of the hottest girls at my school. I take a sip from my straw, finishing the last of my OJ. It’s hot as hell outside, but I rejoice in it. I don’t want summer to end because that means classes will begin and, to be honest, the idea of entering my senior year of high school scares me a little. Thoughts of Ares invade my mind again, and I remember his voice as well as his arrogant smile from the night before. I know he doesn’t have the best personality in the world. As I’ve watched him, I’ve come to realize how cold and meticulous he is. He barely smiles and doesn’t usually talk much, preferring curt answers and gestures. It’s like he’s a robot, incapable of feeling. Part of me is hoping that I’m wrong and he’s actually a sweet person on the inside or something. I scroll through Instagram until I see a post from Dani’s brother, Dean. He goes to the same school as Ares and plays on his soccer team. He posted a picture of the guys at practice on a public field near my neighborhood. It’s a chance to see Ares from a distance. After settling the bill, I lean against the wall in front of the bathroom to wait for Dani, running my fingers through my long, light brown hair to check for tangles. I shuffle my feet impatiently until my best friend deigns to come out. Dani raises an eyebrow. “You already paid? I thought we would have dinner here.” “Soccer practice.” “You’re going to abandon me here to go see a bunch of beautiful, attractive, possibly shirtless guys?” she jokes. “Do you want to go?”
“No, stalking guys from a distance isn’t my thing. I’m more into action and you know it.” She winks. “Stop rubbing your experience in my face.” I pretend to sound hurt. “Stop being a virgin.” She sticks her tongue out at me. “Maybe I’m not anymore.” I also stick out my tongue. “Yeah, sure, stop saving your virginity for that crush of yours.” “Dani! I’m not saving anything for him.” She averts her gaze. “Of course, of course, go away. God forbid you miss the chance to see him shirtless because of me.” “He never takes his shirt off,” I mutter. Dani laughs. “He’s making you go crazy, naughty girl.” “Dani!” “I’ll shut up. Go, I have things to do anyway, don’t worry.” With my cheeks on fire, I leave the café, and head toward the field. Once I arrive, I buy a pineapple milk shake—my favorite—and slip on my dark glasses. I flip the top of my hoodie over my head to cover my hair and sit in the stands out front to enjoy the view. Other than me, there are four girls sitting there—they are probably the players’ girlfriends or just their friends. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen one of them kissing one of the guys before. It’s so hot, I’m roasting inside this hoodie. It was a poor choice of camouflage on my part. The boys are spread out across the field doing routine stretches. Although this is the soccer team from an elite private school, they have to practice here during the summer while some kind of yearly maintenance is performed on their own field, or at least that’s what Dean told Dani. Ares jogs around the field, wearing black shorts and a green T-shirt with the number five on his back. His black hair flips in the wind as he jogs. I watch him like a fool and forget all about our interaction last night. He’s so handsome!
Clouds swallow the bright sun as practice ends, thunder rumbles, and, without warning, it begins to rain. Cold raindrops fall on me and I curse to myself, pulling the top of my hood tighter over my head. I run down the stands and quickly pass the parking lot. The guys are about to leave, and therefore the risk of Ares seeing me is high. In my rush to get out of there I crash right into someone. “Ow!” I touch my nose, looking up. It’s one of the guys on the team, a tall, dark-haired, tanned guy who looks like he’s straight out of a TV series. “Are you okay?” I push past him, trying to get away as quickly as possible. And then it happens, I hear the voice of my enduring, frustrated love. “What are you doing standing here in the rain?” Ares asks the boy behind me. “I bumped into a weird girl. She was wearing sunglasses and a hoodie in this heat.” “You’re the weird one,” I murmur and try to hear Ares’s reply through the rain, but I’ve already walked too far away. That was close. I urge my legs to move faster, sighing in relief when I see the exit. I turn right to continue home. The rain is heavy, but I don’t see a place where I can take cover, not even a bus stop. I hear voices and instinctively duck into an alley. With my back against the wall, I dare to peek down the street. Ares is standing there, chatting with some guys from the team. They all have umbrellas, of course. I should have checked the weather forecast! “Are you sure you don’t want to come with us?” the tanned guy I crashed into earlier asks insistently. “No, I have things to do at home,” Ares says. His friends walk away, and Ares just stands there in the rain, as if waiting for something. I narrow my eyes. What is he waiting for? Ares starts
to move and, to my surprise, he doesn’t go in the direction of his house but instead turns the opposite way. Did he lie to his friends? My curiosity encourages me to make a bad decision. I follow him. It’s getting darker and darker, and we’re moving away from the downtown area into a neighborhood of lonelier streets. This is a bad idea. What am I doing? I’ve never followed him before, but I’m interested to know why he lied to his friends. Although, honestly, that’s not my problem. Ares doesn’t slow down and it’s as if he knows exactly where he’s going. I pass a small wooden bridge, and a cool night breeze brushes over me as dark clouds swallow what sunlight is left. I hug myself and moisten my lips. Where is he going in the dark? I can no longer see the road, only a dirt path that takes us into the forest. My confusion is growing. I know that there’s nothing here but trees and darkness. Ares jumps over a small fence to the place I least expected to see —the town cemetery. What the hell? I didn’t even know you could get to the town cemetery by going this way. And what’s he doing here? Oh no. My imagination is running wild again. He’s a vampire, and he comes here to reflect on whether or not to kill his next victim. Or worse, he knows I’m following him and brought me here to suck my blood dry. No, no, no, no, I can’t die a virgin. Hesitantly, I hop over the small fence too. I can’t believe I’m following him into the cemetery. To say that this place is spooky is an understatement. The clouds that are still covering the sky paired with an occasional flash of lightning make me feel like I’m in a horror movie. Being the fool that I am, I continue to follow my crush as he weaves through the graves. I consider that maybe he’s going to visit someone, but
there haven’t been any deaths in Ares’s family that I can remember. Believe me, in a small town you hear about everything, and everyone knows everyone. Ares walks faster, and I struggle to catch up with him, all while keeping a safe distance. We enter an area of mausoleums, which resemble small houses for those who are no longer with us. Ares turns a corner, and I hurry to follow him, but when I round the corner, he’s gone. Shit. Staying calm, I cross the little path between mausoleums, but I don’t see him anywhere. I swallow thickly, my heart beating like crazy in my chest. A flash of lightning followed by a rumble of thunder startles me. This was a really bad idea. What was I doing following him to the cemetery? I turn around. I need to get out of here before one of these souls decides to come after me. This is what I get for being curious, I deserve it. Another flare of lightning, another crash of thunder, and my poor heart is on the verge of collapse. I’m passing in front of a crypt when I hear strange noises. Shit, shit, shit. I’m not going to stick around to find out who or what it is. I hurry, almost running, and of course, because I’m clumsy when I’m scared, I trip over a tree root and fall to my hands and knees. I sit on the back of my thighs, shaking my hands when I feel it. Something, or someone, is behind me. A shadow falls over the path in front of me, a shapeless silhouette. I scream so loud that my throat burns. I get up fast and turn to start praying in defense and then I see him. Ares.

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