it’s just boys- what’s the worst that can happen?
On The Ice
‘’So your saying if we win this game we start the playoff games?’’ I grinned.
‘’That’s right’’ Coach clapped his hands.
‘’We’re gonna win!’’ Liam shouted.
‘’Ah ah ah. Don’t get cocky. Last year our team did this well and we got crushed’’ he shook his head.
I wonder if that’s how it worked out for ten years.
‘’Yeah that stunk’’ Kenny clicked off his phone.
‘’Now the Dolphin’s weakness is that they don’t know how to communicate with each other. Don’t let their silence make you quiet’’
So Coach was going deep on this talk. I nodded and grabbed my helmet from my bag.
‘’Their power though, is to use their words against you. Now these other teams have trash talked you, even beat you up’’ he looked at me.
I touched my lip and felt the big bump still lingering.
Most of the bruises had gone away after the ice packs and long showers.
I would never ever talk to Collin again.
I mean if I ever saw him again, I would beat him up so hard his ancestors would be dizzy.
‘’But these guys are rough. Just don’t let it get to close to you’’ Coach stood up and cleared his throat.
‘’The game is ready’’ one of the ref’s told him.
I noticed his shirt was a different color than the other guys. It was a weird dark purple.
‘’Thank you Chip’’ he nodded.
The ref gave us a thumbs up and skated to the middle of the ice.
‘’Let’s get a win out there!’’ he held out his fist.
‘’ONE...TWO..’’ we all grinned at each other. ‘’GOOOOO STARS!’’ we shouted.
Okay it may actually sound like cheesy whiz but think about it.
We dedicated the name to Emily based off the star story and also cause we’re...STARS on the ice!
I know it’s kind of lame but it’s way better than the Beavers.
I mean who wants to be named after a animal with huge buckteeth?
‘’I still think we should’ve went with the Corpse Killers’’ Joey sighed.
‘’Well they all can’t be winners’’ PJ grabbed his hockey stick.
‘’Hey what did Coach mean by their words and stuff?’’ Rick slid his gloves on.
‘’Oh I know. This team’s got some nasty insults’’ Kenny made a face.
‘’How nasty?’’ My heart started to race. They wouldn’t like a girl being on the team if they were that nasty.
‘’Um let’s go with..them be fighting words nasty’’ Kenny explained.
I groaned. ‘’It’s fine. Your a good roaster’’ Zach encouraged.
‘’Yeah remember when PJ used to be evil?’’ Liam laughed.
‘’Um I don’t think he’s not evil yet’’ Rick shoved him.
‘’Hey! I’ve improved since tryouts okay?’’ PJ grinned.
‘’Sure sure sure’’ I teased.
‘’I’ll have you know, my therapist says that I’m getting really nice’’ he protested.
‘’That came out very weird’’ Kenny patted his shoulder.
‘’What? I mean, you guys don’t have therapists?’’ he looked at us.
Benny raised a hand but nobody else did.
I bit back a laugh.
‘’Hey! I see that Natalie!’’ PJ pointed me out.
‘’What? I’m not laughing’’ I sniffed.
‘’Yeah yeah yeah’’ Rick patted my shoulder.
‘’Alright everybody out on the ice!’’ Coach ordered.
‘’Let’s do this guys!’’ I put on my helmet and skated out to the ice.
‘’The team wants to meet you’’ A ref tapped my shoulder.
‘’Oh. Really?’’ I skated over to the line.
No team had ever done that before. Maybe they were actually really nice and Coach was overreacting.
He did do that a lot.
‘’Hi I’m Pablo’’ a kid with brown eyes and spiky hair said.
‘’I’m..Natalie’’ I hesitated nodding at them.
‘’We heard’’ he coolly said.
I bit my lip. What was that supposed to mean?
‘’I’m Isaac’’ another kid with green eyes and orange hair said.
“Cool. Good luck’’ I started off back to my side.
‘’Oh and Natalie?’’ I heard Pablo ask.
‘’Yeah?’’ I turned around.
‘’Never mind’’ Pablo squinted at me.
I skated back to my spot, ignoring the weird feeling in my mind.
They didn’t seem mean at all, which was weird.
But there was about them. I couldn’t really put my finger on it, but it was there.
‘’Psst! PJ!’’ I whispered.
‘’Yeah?’’ he turned to me.
‘’Um..are they really that bad? They seemed nice to me’’ I shrugged.
‘’Oh yeah their really bad. They act nice around adults but on the ice, it’s terrible’’ he shuddered.
I tightened my helmet and we turned back to the game.
It looked like Pablo had the puck and was coming right for me. Okay. Here we go.
‘’Hey who’s your mute friend over there?’’ I heard Pablo ask.
I kept my eyes on the puck. Don’t show any emotions on the ice
‘’Hey! He asked you a question’’ Isaac came toward me.
‘’Leave her alone’’ PJ shouted.
‘’Your not in these, poop head!’’ Pablo yelled.
‘’Poop head? That’s all you got?’’ he challenged.
‘’Oh sorry I meant..bad word bad word, bad bad bad word!’’
And I won’t repeat the stuff he said but It. Was. Bad.
‘’No wonder your sister is dying’’ Isaac grinned.
Like it was something cool to say like that.
PJ took a step back.
‘’Hey! That went to far’’ I glared at them.
‘’Mind your own business, doll’’ Pablo smirked at me.
‘’Doll?’’ I repeated. Oh no he did not.
‘’How do you know about Emily?’’ PJ demanded.
“Word gets out you know’’ Pablo smirked.
‘’Yeah I bet you didn’t even know the whole neighborhood heard about her’’ Isaac added.
‘’I bet you don’t know either Natalie’’ Pablo blurted out.
‘’Shut up’’ PJ shoved him.
‘’I bet you don’t even know that PJ’s mom is dead. He’s living with his aunt he didn’t even know before two years ago’’ Isaac laughed.
The world froze. I glanced at PJ.
He looked at his skates, his cheeks red. Wait..hold the phone.
Did he say aunt? And did he also just say his mom was dead?
Why didn’t I know about any of that?
‘’Wow you didn’t know that?’’ Isaac looked at me.
‘’I mean it’s pretty obvious’’ Pablo made a face.
‘’Who cares?’’ I crossed my arms.
‘’What?’’ Isaac asked.
‘’I said who cares?’’ I repeated.
‘’He doesn’t have a mom and his sister has some weird disease’’ he snorted.
‘’I care. I don’t want to get the death plague’’ Pablo smirked.
PJ bit his lip. ‘’She doesn’t have a disease’’ I heard him whisper.
The death plague seriously?
‘’It doesn’t matter even matter. Who cares if his mom dies?’’ I asked again.
‘’Everybody! You deaf or something?’’ Pablo waved a hand in front of my face.
‘’No. Are you?’’ I smacked him.
‘’Ow!’’ he jolted away from me.
‘’PJ’s my friend now leave him alone’’ I ordered.
Pablo cleared his throat and straightened himself out.
‘’Your gonna have to get tougher for the playoff games’’ he cracked his knuckles.
‘’Just play the game and stop talking. Can you do that?’’ I reached for the puck.
‘’Not so fast’’ he laughed and slipped the puck behind him.
‘’You guys are a bunch of losers’’ PJ was in their faces now.
Good. Cause somebody had to do it.
‘’Really? It’s kinda funny your saying that’’ Pablo calmly laughed.
‘’This is just a hockey game so leave us alone’’ I clenched my hands around my stick so hard my knuckles were white.
‘’I can’t believe how snappy you guys are’’ Isaac clucked his tongue.
‘’It’s to bad, your kinda hot’’ Isaac moved close to me.
‘’Shut up’’ I shoved him.
Isaac snickered. ‘’What’s the matter. To scared to talk to a boy?’’ he jeered.
‘’I’m taken already’’ I flatly said.
‘’Really? Who got you?’’ he squinted at me.
I turned around and pointed to Rick on the ice. He noticed me and started waving.
‘’See? I would be shocked if you ever got a girl to even talk to you’’ I replied.
Isaac snorted. PJ tore off his helmet.
‘’You guys are so stupid I want to beat the snot out of you!’’ he screamed except he didn’t say snot.
‘’Boo hoo. The little babies are upset’’ Isaac smirked.
A ref skated over to us, a whistle in his mouth.
‘“What’s going on?’’ he stared at us.
‘’This team goes to far with their trash talking. Isn’t that a penalty or something?’’ I calmly pointed out.
‘’Is their a penalty for being ugly? Cause you would be in the box for the whole game’’ Pablo evenly replied.
I clenched my fists. I so wanted to punch him.
The ref frowned at them, looking like he was thinking about something.
‘’I’m talking to your Coach about this’’ he held up two fingers indicating a time out.
I stormed into the little dug out and tore off my helmet. PJ kicked a bag.
‘’Woah what happened?’’ Rick blocked our way.
‘’What. Do. You. Think. Happened?’’ PJ heaved.
‘’Ummmm...they said some stuff?’’ Rick weakly asked.
‘’Just...a little’’ I crunched a plastic cup in my hand.
‘’Oh’’ he made a face.
‘’They trash-talked about Emily’’ I lowered my voice.
‘’Wait what?’’ he did a double take.
‘’Yeah. And a bunch of other stuff too’’ I pulled my jersey which was plastered on my back.
We watched the ref talk to the Dolphin’s coach quietly.
He was really young and didn’t even have a beard yet.
‘’My team is the best and most responsible. Their lying!’’ he screamed slamming his clipboard on the ground.
‘’Wen get over here!’’ I heard Coach yell.
I guzzled the rest of the water and zipped over to him. ‘’Yeah?’’ Coach was frantically biting a pen.
‘’Look did I not tell you they were bad?’’ he sighed.
‘’Their worse than bad. Their terrible. We can’t beat them’’ I huffed.
Coach rubbed his face and muttered something that I couldn’t catch.
‘’We can, we just have to somehow block them out’’ he took the pen out of his mouth.
And how in the world are we gonna do that? I wanted to ask.
‘’Get the rest of the team’’ he ordered stroking his beard.
‘’Hey guys, Coach wants us!’’ I shouted.
We all tumbled in, dead quiet. I had never seen Zach so silent. Or even Liam.
‘’Look guys. I know this is bad okay? The Dolphins are a terrible team, but we can do this!’’ Coach clenched one of his fists.
‘’No we can’t. It’s like their little..demons’’ Liam explained.
‘’Demons? That’s being nice’’ Zach laughed.
‘’Come on guys we can do it’’ I encouraged.
‘’Yeah Natalie and Coach are right, we just have to believe in ourselves’’ Rick added.
‘’Rick for President’’ PJ coughed.
We all laughed. Sometimes you just had to laugh.
‘’If we win, we go to the Playoffs. Then we only have one team to beat and then it’s the states. If we win this, we could win the whole thing’’ I said. My heart fluttered at that.
‘’Now let’s get out on the ice, and be a team!’’ I held out a fist.
‘’Yeah!’’ we chanted and broke up, feeling confident as we got back on the ice.
‘’Goooo Stars!’’ Rick shouted grinning at us.
We all waved at him and have him a thumbs up.
I watched the Ref skate to the middle and hold up the puck. Here we go.
‘’What team name is that?’’ I hard Pablo ask.
‘’The team that’s gonna beat you!’’ I shouted.
PJ grinned at me. ‘’Hey’’ I skated over to him.
‘’Before we start let me clear stuff up.’s true right?’’I asked.
‘’Yeah. Rick was going to tell you at the dance tomorrow. We just..don’t tell people about it cause..I don’t know’’ he shrugged.
‘’If you say stuff like that it’s like..everybody treats you like your gonna break at everything’’ he explained.
‘’We just don’t talk about it a lot’’ he shrugged again.
‘’Hey it’s all good. I get it, you don’t talk about it because everybody gives you that look.’’ I had gotten used to it from Hugo.
Most people don’t realize they use it. But it’s really annoying. ‘’Thanks Natalie. At least you understand’’ he gave Pablo a dirty look.
I heard the whistle blow and I gripped my hockey stick.
That’s when I realized I mean, we were playing to win the whole states, but when we were out on the ice we were playing for the team.
And that was the most important part.
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