Page 71 of Hate Like Ours

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Since it’s just after five and the school’s game is at seven, I have an hour to get some work done. I have no idea why I’m even going to the game but since I have nothing else to do and I’m feeling a bit lonely, why not?

I work on my paper for an hour and then put my laptop on my desk before getting dressed in a pair of denim shorts and a T-shirt and some sneakers. I get into my car and head for school.

Riverside is playing against Fairview High and even though I’m not really interested in sports, I figure I’d just get out of the house. Maybe my night will go better than all my days here. I find a parking spot. As soon as I step out of my car, I hear the deafening roar of cheers coming from the bleachers.

I intentionally left a little late so I’d get here after the game already started. From the looks of things, I think the whole town might be here. I’m a little intimidated by that if I am being honest. But I put on a brave face with one foot in front of the other and walk until I get to the school’s football field. I make my way down the front of the first bleacher where I see some space.

The girl I sat next to gives out a huff and slides down away from me like I have the plague or something, but I try not to let that ruin my mood. I keep my head forward and watch the game. I have no idea what the hell is going on but the excitement from the crowd is kind of contagious.

My eyes zero in on Knox. I mean, how could they not? He’s not hard to miss. He’s practically dominating the field and everyone is cheering for him constantly.I wonder what it would feel like to be loved by people like that…

From here, I can see how focused he is and how he’s playing the game with everything in him. Football looks like one of the things he loves.

I wish I knew what else he loved but I’ll never know. All I am, is his dirty little secret—the thing he keeps hidden from everyone else because he’s ashamed to be associated with me. I have no idea how things will go when he officially becomes my stepbrother.

Will he finally just let go of his hate or will things get worse for me? I guess I’ll just have to see when the time comes. I push all those thoughts away. I don’t want them to ruin my night.

I’m having a good time by myself, just being out of the house. I look around as more cheers fill the air and a second later, they’re all chanting Knox’s name with screams of happiness and wonder.

I have no idea what just happened because I missed it all. Apparently, Knox did something good to earn the name chant. I look at the other team’s players and they aren’t so bad either.

They seem to be holding their own against our school. Well notourschool because I’m not a part of any of this.

As I’m still looking around at everyone, my eyes connect with Kinsley’s. I was smiling, having been caught up with the excitement of the crowd, but it instantly vanishes. She looks at me for a few seconds before looking away again like she didn’t see me.

I know our friendship has been dead since she said she didn’t want to be friends anymore. It shouldn’t hurt or bother me anymore because I can’t force anyone to be my friend, but, man, it still does. I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to get over the betrayal of losing a friend because she chose a guy over me.

I turn my face back to the field and watch as a guy tries to tackle Knox to the ground, but his teammates block the move and he runs. He scores a touchdown, and the crowd erupts into deafening screams. He just won our school the game.

As much as I hate the guy, I have to admit that he’s very talented on the field. The guys on the team pounce on him and slap him on the back. A few moments later, the crowd starts to leave but I stay where I am. If I try to move now with this crowd, it’s going to be impossible and I might get trampled on.

When the majority of the crowd is gone, I stand up and start making my way out and back into the parking lot. I just make it to the parking lot and I’m about to head to my car when someone walks up next to me and throws an arm around my shoulder, pulling me closer to them. I’m about to give them a piece of my mind when the person speaks.

“What’s cooking good looking?” the familiar voice asks and I look up right into Aiden’s face.

“Aiden!” I scream with excitement as I pull him in for a hug.

“Hey, babe! Well you’ve certainly made my night better after just getting our asses kicked,” he says laughing. I look at him and realize that he’s wearing a football uniform.

“Of course you’re a jock. I didn’t know you played football!” I say, hitting him in the arm.

“It’s because I’ve come to love you, I won’t take any offense to that. But not just play, sweetheart. I’m the QB,” he says, winking at me.

“Don’t you let it go to your head,” I say with a roll of my eyes and we both laugh. He pinches me on the side and I squeak because I’m ticklish.

“So where are you off to now?” he questions.


“Boring! Let’s go out for ice cream,” he tells me.

“Where’s S?” I ask. I didn’t notice Saylor being here but then again, a lot of people were here.

“Well, since her brother was on the opposing team, we figured it was best for her not to come. Don’t want him finding out about us, now do we?” he says drily.

“Right. I keep forgetting. I still can’t figure out how he ended up with such a sweet and amazing sister,” I joke.

“Hey, hey! She’s mine, so don’t get any funny ideas,” he says laughing, and I punch him in the side. “So ice cream?”

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