Home > On a Tuesday (One Week #1)(4)

On a Tuesday (One Week #1)(4)
Author: Whitney G.

I gave her a blank stare.

“I’m kidding!” She laughed. “Well, if it wasn’t for his reputation, would you ever sleep with him if you knew no one else would find out? Be honest.”

“I can be more than honest.” I scoffed. “No, I would never sleep with him.”

“Charlotte will never sleep with anyone.” Our mutual guy friend, Eric, stepped between us. “She’ll die with cobwebs in her pussy and I’m willing to bet a thousand on it.”

Nadira burst into laughter and I punched him in the shoulder.

“So, Eric,” I said. “Would you like to be a mature senior, unlike Nadira, and join me at the freshmen dorm party that I’m throwing tonight?”

He looked at me as if I was speaking another language.

“You’re not coming either?”

“Charlotte ...” He sighed and placed his hands on my shoulders. “No one is coming to your freshman dorm party—not even the freshmen. Please join the rest of us normal college students in the real world. Everyone is going partying tonight. You included."

“Well, could we at least—” My sentence was cut short as something hit me right in my face. Something cold, yet soft.

I felt Eric’s hands wrap around my waist and hold me steady, felt him adjusting my sunglasses. Then I looked down and realized what had assaulted me: An ice cream football.

What the hell?

I stooped down to pick it up and was instantly met with the sight of Grayson Connor’s stunning blue eyes.

“Sorry about that,” he said, looking genuine as he took it from my hands. “Are you okay?”

“I’d be a lot better if you actually learned how to throw.”

“That’s a joke, right?”

“Does it look like I’m laughing?”

“I’ve got it!” He yelled over to his teammates, and then smiled at me, extending his hand. “I can’t tell if you’re being serious with me since you’re wearing shades, but I’m glad you’re not hurt. I’m Grayson Connors.”

“I’m unimpressed.”

He laughed and took a step back. “Well, you’re clearly just a freshman, so by the end of this semester, I think you’ll be more than impressed with me.”

“I doubt it.”

“Oh, really?”

Before I could respond to that, one of his teammates ran behind him and snatched the ball from his hands.

“You’re taking too long, Connors!” The guy returned to the middle of the lawn, but Grayson kept his eyes on me. He looked me up and down, but he didn’t say anything else. He simply winked at me and walked away.

“I swear that I hate you sometimes,” Nadira said, lowering her voice. “Like, only you would find a way to mess that up.”

“Was I supposed to kiss up to him because everyone else does?”

“No, you were supposed to introduce me to him, so that way, I could do it.” She laughed. “You could’ve at least looked like you were attracted to him or flirted back. He was clearly flirting with you.”

He flirts with everyone. “I’ll be sure to remember that next time.”

“You should.” She looked at her phone and groaned. “Looks like there’s only going to be valet parking at the club tonight. You two want to head back and get ready?”

“Absolutely,” me and Eric said in unison.

We stepped off the lawn and onto the sidewalk that lined Fifth Avenue, and while the two of them debated who was going to drive later, I pinched myself twice to make sure that I was still standing firmly in reality. That I hadn’t felt my heart beating a little faster when Grayson looked at me, and that I didn’t almost say, “Yes, I’d sleep with him in that scenario,” when Nadira asked me.

It must be the heat.

GRAYSON: THEN

Seven years ago

Pittsburgh

THE SOUND OF LAUGHTER and locker slams surrounded me as I watched the replay of a game from last season. I tapped my phone-screen to zoom in on my arm, watching it move forward in slow motion.

I was trying my best to get mentally prepared for this season, but I didn’t feel the same adrenaline rushing through my veins like I usually did this time of year. There was far too much pressure and expectations. Too many questions surrounding my future and whether I was going to declare for the NFL draft, and lingering rumors about a certain situation I wanted to forget.

“How many times are you going to watch that footage, Grayson?” My best friend, Kyle, sat on the bench next to me. “You know how that game ends. Spoiler alert: We win.”

“There’s still a few things I could’ve done better.” I rewound the video by a few seconds and hit play once more. “There are also some things you could have done better.”

“I highly doubt it.” He laughed. “There’s a house party on Dawson Street tonight. You coming?”

“I’ll pass,” I said, hitting pause on the tape. “I don’t think I’m going to that many parties this year. Last year was good enough.”

“Yeah, I don’t know if junior year will ever be topped. Dawson Street parties are always the best, though. You could at least show up near the end and get a freshman to start your year off right.”

“What?” I looked at him.

“You heard me.”

“What is it with you and freshmen girls?”

“Please don’t make me answer that question.”

“Trust me, I won’t,” I said. “I honestly think I’m done with women this year, too.”

“Does that mean you’ll be pursuing guys?” He looked concerned. “I mean, no judgment from me at all if this is your way of finally coming out of the closet, but I would’ve never thought that you were—”

“Shut up, Kyle.” I tossed him my phone. “Read the last five messages I got this morning.”

He tapped my screen and his eyes widened. “Okay, look. These dumbass messages are all from unknown contacts. They’re being bold and rude because they know you don’t know who they are. Don’t worry about it.”

“This is the second time I’m going to have to change my number,” I said, clenching my jaw. “All over some bullshit.”

“You’re going to have to find a way to not let this get to you anymore. The summer is long over, and you were cleared of everything.”

“Then why are some people still acting like I wasn’t?”

“Who cares? That’s on them.” He returned my phone. “There’s no need to give up your social life for people who are going to talk shit anyway. Hell, if my name was Grayson Connors and every girl on this campus wanted me, I wouldn’t retreat into the shadows over something like that at all. I would pick the top four girls I wanted and keep them on a steady rotation.”

“Why does every topic turn into sex with you?”

“Because it’s my top priority. This type of prioritization is the exact reason why I’m an Economics major.”

“You’re a Communications major.”

“It’s the same thing. Less math and graphs, but it’s the same thing.”

I rolled my eyes at him and shut my locker. Kyle was the absolute last person I would take advice from these days. Still, he was the only person who remained on my side through the entire summer, and I’d learned the hard way that he was my only true friend.

“Okay, everybody! Listen up!” Our coach entered the locker room and blew his whistle, forcing every conversation to a complete stop. “I don’t have to tell you that what we’re trying to achieve this season is something that’s never been done before.” He moved to the center of the room, tapping his fingers against his clipboard. “That doesn’t mean it can’t be done, but we’re not going to be passive or act entitled to the shit just because we’ve done it three times before.”

Our offensive coordinator stepped into the room and began passing out his personal critiques from this morning’s practice drills. When he handed me mine, I flipped it over expecting to see tips on how I could improve, but there were only three words: You were perfect.

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