Win Big:A Bad Boy Sports Romance(6)

By: Bella Love-Wins

I twirled a strand of my hair between two fingers. I really needed a haircut. I could use a few highlights in my grown out bangs and at the top of my head to lighten up my dull, dark brown hair. Soon. For now, I sat there, trying to look cool when inside I was buzzing, screaming, begging for him to get over with it already. I wanted one of the baseball spots. I deserved that spot. I needed that spot if I was going to sign on with a MLB team after the placement was over. Yes, this assignment was just the beginning, with the potential to lead to an entry level athletic training position here at the college, or in the minor leagues. Those positions weren’t for me. What I wanted was to get to major league baseball. The sooner the better.

Dr. Jeffries went through track and field, men’s and women’s. Golf, men’s and women’s. Rowing. Tennis. I wanted to scream.

“Softball will be composed of three students, and the leader of that student team will be Dana Hodgson.” We all clapped for Dana, who beamed with pride. She used to be a softball player in high school, but an injury ended her career way too early. She turned to athletic training as a way to help other players get through the strain she’d experienced. I could relate, and was genuinely happy for her. She looked our way so I flashed her a thumbs-up.

“There are six spots on the soccer team, which Nick Goldman will lead.”

I lifted my hand and turned an open palm toward Nick to give him a high five. He was stoked. We’d all worked hard for this. He deserved that lead spot too. Nick gave me a wink, turning to two students nearby who would be on his team when their names were called out.

“Baseball will need five students, all of whom have already been given the all clear by the Director of Kinesiology.”

Yeah, yeah, I knew all that. I wanted to hear my name officially announced with the baseball team. I could have strangled Jeffries for dragging it out the way he did. Nick squeezed my knee under the table, and I didn’t even pull away like I normally would have.

“The student team for Baseball will be headed up by Samantha Woodward.”

I almost screamed for real, and Nick threw his arms around me. Again, I didn’t think to cut the hug short. Leading him on was the last thing I wanted to do, but I was so damned excited it was a sure thing. Hearing applause around the room didn’t hurt either. This was history in the making. I was the first female to head up the student athletic training team for baseball in school history. Pro sports was still very much a man’s world, and athletic training was dominated by men for every sport in the athletic program except for softball, tennis, and volleyball. For a woman to deal with a baseball player when some of their more common injuries resided in the leg, groin and hamstring areas, well it was a big deal, apparently. I didn’t see why. It was all anatomy.

Okay maybe I understood why, but that wouldn’t stop me from being a complete professional if I ever had to help massage around a player’s junk or ass cheeks. I might have enjoyed it, but I’d be sure not to let on about that part.

I barely heard another word Dr. Jeffries spoke. I was too busy sailing around on cloud nine. I couldn’t wait to call my parents and officially tell them the good news. They were both medical doctors. Pediatricians, to be precise. And although they weren’t ecstatic that I didn’t follow in their footsteps, they were more or less supportive that I would end up working in the general vicinity of the medical profession. It was practically all I talked about over the break.

When the class was over, Nick stood to give me another hug. This time, I kept it brief. I was more in my right mind.

“Congrats!” he flashed a broad smile down at me when I pulled away. “I knew you could do it.”

“Thanks. You too!” It wasn’t easy looking up into his face. What he felt for me was all over it. For a while in sophomore year I actually wished I could like him the way he was into me. He was a nice enough person, and a good friend. The problem was the sparks just weren’t there.

“We should celebrate,” he declared, stepping out of the lecture hall. “Let’s go back to that seafood place at the waterfront. What do you say? My treat.”

My mind raced. I was trying to think up some excuse. “How about another time? I just got back to campus today. All my stuff’s a mess in my room. Kristy’s going to go all OCD on me when she gets in and sees it like that. You and I both know how anal she is.” I rolled my eyes, keeping up the act. Sure, I should have just flat out told him no because I’m not attracted to him that way and dinner with him was just going to lead him on, but he was a good friend. I didn’t want to hurt his feelings like that.