Offside. Chapter 4

We eat our pizzas a bit more quietly and mostly commenting on a tv show which is shown now on the turned on television. I hadn’t been following it at all, while Paul’s mom has with all the unfolding drama so we got to hear who cheated on who and who had dated someone else before finding their true love. I kept looking at Johnny, who seemed surprisingly content to be with us and I wondered if he had been a loner in a way. Because just because he works out doesn’t really mean that he wasn’t lonely. What if he just didn’t like the football team? He could be some sort of video game addict or just someone who reads a lot. The possibilities were endless and I had no idea what exactly Johnny was, I frankly knew nothing and he had talked minimal, mostly just listening to all of us.

“So what do you guys do later?” He asks as we are close to finishing off the food.

“Me and Paul take the bus together and Robbie just goes home. We don’t really do much, we see each other on practice enough. Well, besides the current sleepover. Is tomorrow okay with you all, by the way?” Andy asks, changing subject from the fact that we frankly just divide ourselves and that’s pretty much all of our life. But then he adds. “Or sometimes we drink if someone can get us booze. I’ll see what I can do about that.”

“It’s fine with me. It’s not like I’ve got a busy schedule or anything.” I smirk and look at Johnny.

“You know I’m always up for one, Andy.” Paul smugly says.

“Yeah, should be good with me too, then.” Johnny confirms with all of us. I just smile at him and he briefly smiled back at me, before eating his last bite. He’s got a nice smile too, I could possibly jerk off to him and then forget about it the day later, since that when we are sleeping over because frankly I don’t want to act any more awkward than I usually would which is already pretty damn awkward. I kind of want him to come not only because he’s attractive and I want to hear his stories because I’m a curious fuck, but a lot of the fact that it’s just a new friend, who possibly won’t ditch me like Paul and Andy often do.

We all stand up to leave and I realize how much taller he is than all of us and frankly I’m the shortest as usual, which is something I should be used to by now. I did start wearing boots with heels when I’m not kicking a ball but once I ended up in a fight and I slipped from them, so I stopped for a while, but that was a rather brief pause. I don’t exactly look like your average football player, but it’s the fact that I play and the passion that counts.

“So how do you guys manage to get alcohol then?” He asks and I wonder how innocent Johnny actually is for asking such things. I smirk, but Andy manages to pick up the question since he offered to get it for the sleepover.

“I’ve got a mate who works in an alcohol store and there’s always whatever the parents have in the house, really. It’s not like they’re too much against it, I’ll get booze regardless.” He shrugs.

“Oh, ’cause my parents are pretty strict about it even if I’ve drank obviously.” Has he? I look at him as he says it. He surely has, he’s not exactly lying and doesn’t really look like the best of liars.

“Mine are fine. Robbie’s can be a bit pissy about it, but that’s because he really gets hammered when he drinks and ends up with a guy in his bed.” Andy smirks.

“Oi, enough soft homophobia jokes, man.” I smirk at him and shove him right in that aching shoulder. I don’t really mind them much, it’s when he’s drunk and says things he ought to regret is when I mind. And it’s not like I can exactly change friends and after all, I can sometimes pretend that they’ve got my back and they were there when me and Brian broke up, so that was something I didn’t even expect from those assholes. It was a terribly tough time and they were there. Football was there and both of them would come over to watch any bloody match which was on and I would scream for whatever team I had decided to root for the second before to bloody score.

“You’re an asshole.” Andy winces and Paul just smirks at the sudden display of violence from my side. I wonder how the hell is Johnny even amused by our bored shenanigans, I don’t even know which place is he originally from or if he had moved quite a few times. I do make a note to actually fucking decide and ask him sometime, because it’s weird if we do bond and I never find out where did he even come from. I feel tired from my aching leg and it seems to be slowly sucking away my energy without me properly realizing about it. I don’t really limp yet or at least not that I notice.

“I just love you a lot. In a bromance way since you don’t roll with the dark side. Unless Paul is involved.” I smirk at him, glancing at Paul who just narrows his eyes at me, because I probably guess too much but I think it’s going to be date night soon, so he’s trying to straighten out or something.

“Ha ha. Very unique.” Paul says, glancing at a confused Johnny. “Robbie has this wild conspiracy theory that we’re somehow banging just because we’re good friends, as if we will somehow one day emerge from one of his pornos or whatever.”

“I see.” Johnny says holding a smile, as we arrive at the bus stop and I start dreading the fact that my bus is in a while, as I check my phone and get out a pack of cigarettes. I offer them to everyone and everyone grabs one without hesitation, possibly making me question how healthy all of us are, but then it just seems fitting that we wouldn’t mind killing time that way as well.

“Okay, that’s our bus.” Andy says and pats Al on the shoulder, as they both wave at me and Johnny. Soon to discard the newly lit cigarettes, fuckers. The head out to their bus, already starting to talk about something, maybe their girlfriends which they seem to have unlike me and Johnny. Johnny seems to be single from what I had understood. Well, otherwise his current girlfriend isn’t too thrilling since he’s thinking about his ex. I mean, I know that sometimes one tries to jump onto the next relationship just to get over the previous, but he seemed too sad about it to actually be taken.

“Which bus are you getting?” I ask him, inhaling and knowing that it should be a good few minutes at least for my bus. Johnny breathes out the smoke slowly and looks at me.

“I actually live nearby, I’m just killing time with you.” I feel a bit too flattered as he says it, just because it’s a new guy whose face hasn’t really rubbed too well into my memory but for sure I’d struggle to remember while I would be jerking off because I’ve got a terrible memory for faces.

“Oh, alright. That’s nice of you to wait for my stupid bus to arrive.” I say. It dawns on me that he didn’t ask for any of our numbers to meet up tomorrow at Andy’. “Hey, you didn’t get any of our numbers. I’ll give them all to you. Just text them telling who you are or they’ll think that I’m trying to hook them up with some guy from Grindr, because I’ve done that a few times.”

Johnny laughs and takes out his phone. I hand him the numbers and wait for him to text the other two guys. I just keep looking at his ridiculously attractive face, which is covered in curls as he looks down. It’s not like someone straight would suddenly discover their sexuality, at least I only feel like it barely happens these days, by now people have it figured out I think, well, in this day and age. Of course there is no right age to discover who you are and sexuality is fluid for some, but I just don’t feel like I’ve struck gold here. I feel like I had drained everything every ridiculous apps had to offer, since I knew everyone already and relying on the big city nearby was enough for a few days of conversations which ended up abruptly and quickly. No one seems to be interested in me and I’m not the best at taking photos of myself and I’m not as attractive as I could be. So maybe the problem lays within me rather than blaming someone else for dropping me like a hot potato.

“Is that your bus?” He asks as a bus approaches us on the stop and I’m actually kind of sad that it showed up a few minutes early, but I can’t really keep Johnny to myself. I nod, sighing quietly so that he doesn’t notice.

“Yeah, actually.” I say, pondering if I had even talked to him enough to properly start liking him at any point. I am jumping in front of the desperate train and wagon and the whole railway system because I don’t really care much anymore.

“Well, I’ll see tomorrow then at the sleepover, yeah?” Johnny smiles at me, taking his cigarette from his mouth and I kind of focus on his lips for a very brief while before nodding and giving him a brief bye. He also tells me bye and I board the bus. He doesn’t really wait for me to board it or anything, he just turns around and I’m left with my own self in the bus. It doesn’t really take too long for it to depart and go through the same fields which I had heavily worn in my memory that I could possibly draw them accurately in my sleep if only I had the talent.

I do think of him a lot as the bus drives me back home and how will the sleepover even go. I don’t really talk much to Paul or Andy on how desperately single I feel and how I would refresh the apps daily in some hope, telling myself that frankly you have to put yourself out there to even get a glimpse of a possibility of trying out someone. It gets terribly ridiculous where I’ve started considering hooking up just because it’s some brief contact with someone else other than being alone.

I keep pressing myself against the window for no good reason even if the bus is frankly making it impossible to do so. My mind keeps going blank, my body finally catching up on the fact that I had the first training after summer now. Of course I’m out of shape even if I would meet up with Paul and Andy just to kick the ball in a circle and we would take turns to wreck Andy as a goalkeeper, since he was the least bad of all of us. But I didn’t get to see much of the other guys, probably we should arrange something all of us later on and be a mob in some place. Then my mind drifts to Johnny again and I open Facebook, just wondering what would his last name be and would he even be a user. Brian would post some photos of us every once in a while, so mine wasn’t really an embarrassing charade of a bunch of photos of me at 12. I didn’t bother to untag myself from them and neither did Brian, kind of making it very awkward where we would both wait if the other would do it.

I entered Johnny’s name and our city in the search bar, nearly missing my stop, so I paused my stalking and wondered if he had already thought of checking all of us already. Probably he would be home by now, by the time I would fucking manage to walk back home through the road and the fields. The internet sometimes gets wonky, but I didn’t bother, scrolling on and on until I found him. He ended up writing the nearby big city as a location instead of our town, how classy. I nearly friended him, but I dropped it last minute and it wasn’t just because because it would have actually been creepy if I had just gone ahead with it somehow. He had a few photos for the whole world to see and just like I had Brian, he had this I guess pretty looking girl with him called Meg. He was listed as single and I couldn’t see his sexual preference, so maybe he was somewhere deep down bisexual or something? Then that would explain the staring other than just staring at the gay.

My leg was really starting to ache and I should get some gel for it, for it to stop aching that is. I tried not to think of it much, as I keep browsing through the photos.

Well, it’s starting to slowly get pretty gay. I really wish it was easier for professional football players to come out, but alas, that’s why I just dived into writing this. It’s really niche, but it’s fun. I’ll keep my mouth shut from spoiling anything.

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