Jesse didn’t want to go to practise. He honest to god hated soccer. What was fun about running after a ball? Most of the season was during fall or winter, and Jesse hated being outside during bad weather too.
Who would sign up for soccer by free will?
Well, he did, but it was different. While others actually enjoyed running through the mud to get a ball and score a goal, Jesse mainly did for different reasons.
Well, one reason: Calix Milonas.
The golden boy. The guy everybody loved from the first second they met him. He was funny, he was smart, he was caring. He was a soccer miracle, a straight A-student, a loving brother of two siblings, the pride of his parents. He was the guy every girl wanted to marry; the guy every mother wanted as their son-in-law. The Greek god.
And Jesse’s best friend since pre-school.
It was a blessing and a curse to be best friends with someone who seemed so flawless. Then again, while Calix seemed like a golden boy who had no flaws, Jesse knew better. Even the lives of people like Flawless Calix weren’t perfect. Calix loved to curse upon his father more than he loved anything else in the world. They did not get along most of the time, simply because Calix hated the way his father paraded him and his successes around to show off.
And for someone who could pick anyone to be his best friend, Calix still preferred to hang out with Jesse and Axel—the third in a pack of three who were mostly inseparable—because he knew they never bragged about their friendship, they just supported each other no matter what.
But Jesse knew better than anyone that Calix was too insecure to let more people come close. Calix wasn’t perfect, but that, to Jesse, made him perfect.
From the moment they became friends, they had been through everything together, and for the most part, there were no secrets between them. Well, at least that was what people thought. Jesse knew better; he kept tons of things a secret, an he was willing to bet his soul to the devil that the other two had their fair share of secrets too.
That was just how the world worked. People had secrets. They lied, they deceived, just for different reasons.
Like Jesse lied solely not to ruin his friendship with them, and to prevent from getting kicked out of the house by the guy that was supposed to be his father, but claimed he was not.
Which, he thought, were two solid reasons to keep secrets.
So, he kept up a charade, and he pretended to be this outgoing boy who was always up for a bit of fun. Just to let people think he had tons of confidence and he didn’t really care about other people’s opinions, he dyed his hair in a different colour every so often—from blue to pink, from green to purple—and he had only just managed to get a tattoo, using a fake ID.
His parents had gone ballistic when they found out his lower arm was now covered in one big sleeve of tattoos.
He had been grounded for a month, but his friends had admired both his guts and the tattoo itself.
It wasn’t like he only changed his hair colour, or took a tattoo to let people believe he was careless and did whatever he want. No, he actually liked changing his hair colour, and he had actually wanted the tattoo for years already.
He didn’t always do what others would think was cool, or funny, or whatever they thought of things. No, for the most part, Jesse did indeed do whatever the hell he wanted himself.
Just not soccer. Which was why his facial expressions could probably kill someone by staring too long. Which was why his shoulders slumped down while he dragged his bag from bike to locker room. Which was why he had the hood of his sweater pulled far over his messy hair, hiding most of his face, while the first raindrops started to crash down from the sky, slowly forming pools on an already way too muddy field.
It didn’t look inviting to him. Though, when he looked up, his reason to be there in the first place, stood before him, offering him a cigarette.
“You look like you need one.” Calix smirked, waving the cigarette invitingly in front of Jesse’s face. His voice sounded heavenly; his way too bright blue eyes looked amused.
The butterflies in Jesse’s stomach went crazy.
“Yeah, thanks.” He mumbled from the corner of his mouth, while lighting the cigarette with Calix lighter. “You’re early, as always.”
“I’m excited!” Calix jumped up and down a few times. “Marlon is our trainer for the evening.”
Jesse’s head snapped upwards, and his eyes must have been filled with horror, because Calix instantly started laughing when he saw Jesse’s horrified look.
“Marlon? Why?” Jesse cried out, kicking his bag. “Couldn’t you have warned me? I would’ve ditched.”
“Oh, come on.” Calix nudged him playfully. “He always has fun drills.”
“He has drills, Cal.” Jesse breathed out in annoyance. “Drills. And drills are drills, no matter what they require me to do.”
At least he wouldn’t be the only one who wasn’t exactly excited that Marlon would be their drill-sergeant that evening. Jesse knew Axel hated practice under his command too. When he thought about it, most of the guys in their team hated it, for the simple reason he was strict and didn’t like pussies.
“It’ll be fun.” Calix tried to lighten his mood again. “He promised not to be too hard on us, since we had a tough match last Saturday.”
“Potehto, potahto.” Jesse rolled his eyes. “Him not going too hard on us still means drills.”
“Just get dressed, you know how he is with people who’re late.”
“Yeah, I don’t care.” Jesse shrugged. “Leo knows why I’m late. And I only explain myself to him, since he’s our coach.” Jesse flicked away the cigarette, still following up on Calix advice to get dressed and be in time. He knew Marlon wouldn’t go easy on him even if Leo knew he was running a bit late.
Besides, if Calix told him to do something, Jesse would do it. Because he was that much of a sucker for his attention.
He liked Calix a little too much to not listen to him.
He was so, so, fucked, considering the fact nobody even knew Jesse was gay. They didn’t need to know either, since Jesse was pretty sure Greek God Calix was religious, and probably against gay people. And Jesse wasn’t willing to lose his friendship, even if it was painful to be close to his straight crush.
No, it was one of the secrets that was best left unsaid.