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Soccer Girls — Part 1
[Author’s Notes: 1) there are underage characters in this story, but they will neither have, see nor even hear any sexual activity; 2) this is a work of fiction and so certain aspects of this story involving youth soccer programs, college soccer programs and college soccer recruitment are not meant to be factually accurate, but are there because they help advance the storyline. If this will bother you, it would be best not to read this; and 3) this
story starts about 2/3 of the way through the Soccer Moms story. The stories are intertwined just as the characters’ lives are intertwined. You might be able to read this without having read the Soccer Moms story, but you will miss a lot by doing so. You could start reading the Lord of the Rings with the Two Towers, but you would lose a lot by doing so. It’s up to you.]
Katie Rogers woke up and stared at the ceiling feeling as contented with her life as was humanly possible. The 5-foot 6-inch redhead had been blessed and she was appreciative about it. She had wonderful parents who had always done all they could to love her and nurture her. They also drove all over creation to take her to soccer practices and tournaments all through her childhood. Soccer was another thing that was very important in her life. Since as far back as she could remember she had dreamed of going to a big Western school and playing on its soccer team. The school had a very high academic requirement and she had worked hard throughout her high school years to have excellent grades and be eligible to attend this prestigious school. Its soccer program was also Division I and in order to be on the team one had to be an extremely good soccer player as well. And Katie had worked very hard at that for even longer. And all that hard work by her and all the support from her family had ended up with her attending that very school and playing on that very soccer team.
But despite all of that, the main reason for all her contentment was the 5-foot 2-inch blonde who was still sleeping next to her. Melanie Smith was cuddled up to Katie, her left arm draped over Katie’s stomach her head nestled on Katie’s shoulder. Three years ago they became soccer teammates and best friends. About a year and a half ago they had both been offered scholarships to play soccer at the school. About a year ago they had become lovers. They were roommates at the school and from the first day they had pushed their beds together and slept together.
Katie did not want to wake Melanie. “What is it with the Smith girls always sleeping late?” Katie thought. She was completely head over heels in love with Melanie. The funny thing was that Melanie had known that Katie was in love with her before Katie really knew it. Katie knew there was something about Melanie but she had never been able to figure it out. She had been intent on becoming a good enough soccer player and student to be able to fulfill her dream at this school since such an early age, she never even thought about dating or romantic feelings toward anyone. She knew that her parents had met in college, and she always just assumed that she would meet her eventual husband in college like her mom. Katie never thought about it as she wound her way through high school. She just focused on soccer and school in that order. But that all changed in the summer before her junior year of high school.
Katie thought back to that seminal year in her life. She was now in her fourth year in the Blue Lightning Soccer Club Program. This program was run by Steve Pennington, a former Professional Goalkeeper. He had initially built it around his daughter to help advance her soccer career, but it had continued after that purpose was fulfilled and Katie had been a beneficiary of the “Blue Lightning way.” She was at tryouts again that year. No one’s spot was guaranteed but Katie was a very good player and while she did not want to seem arrogant or complacent, she was not too concerned about earning a spot. She was not the best player on the team but she clearly was a leader on the team. She had one extra year in the program over the rest of her teammates as she had been asked to join the team a year early because of the promise she had shown.
One aspect of “the Blue Lightning way” was that Coach Hochbauer had been her coach for the previous three years. Coach Hochbauer moved up as the girls moved up in age. Katie knew what she wanted and what she expected from her players. Coach Hochbauer would never have let her rest on her laurels and Katie was sure that if she did not perform at her best, Coach was more than willing to cut her. But Katie was a leader by example. She worked hard and was always encouraging the other girls and offering praise and congratulations. And if she ever chided a teammate, she was never asking them to give more than she was giving.
So it was the first day of tryouts and Coach Hochbauer was calling the girls over to get started when she first saw her. Melanie Smith had arrived right as practice şişli escort was about to start and had to run over from her car to where the girls were gathering around Coach Hochbauer. And it was immediately apparent that she was fast. I mean really fast. Gazelle like fast. She flew over to the field, threw her bag down and joined the girls around Coach Hochbauer. Katie kept an eye on all of the girls who were coming out for the team for the first time to have an idea of the competition. Melanie was very petite, but she did not shy away from contact in the drills and her speed allowed her to get to most of the balls in her 50-50 drills.
When Coach called for the first water break the girls all went to where they had left their stuff and got their water bottles. Since a number of the girls already knew each other they were talking together. As Katie looked around, she noticed that the new girl, Melanie, was standing off to her side and did not appear to have a water bottle. Katie went over to Melanie and offered her some of her water. Just what any team leader would do. In fact, that’s what Katie told herself although she had not noticed whether or not anyone else might have forgotten their water on the first day of practice.
Melanie thanked her and Katie just started talking to her. It was just natural and they were so immediately caught up with their conversation and did not realize the water break was over. “Hey Go-Go, New Girl. Let’s go!” barked out Coach Hochbauer.
From that moment on they were best friends. Katie had friends but never really a best friend. But her and Melanie became joined at the hip after that first water break. This was only reinforced when Coach Hochbauer decided to use Melanie’s speed as part of their offense. Katie as the center midfielder was very important in controlling the ball as they advanced up the field. Coach Hochbauer wanted Katie to put a long pass toward the flag and have Melanie’s speed get her free behind the defense to pick up the ball.
Even after practices were over the girls spent time working on this play. Melanie also was left footed and very good at putting corner kicks and close free kicks on goal. Her and Katie worked on this too so that the team could score off these set plays. Fortunately, their mothers had also become friendly and they indulged the girls for a while after the practices so they could keep working together.
Since Melanie lived almost an hour away from the practice field it could never last as long as Katie wanted it to last. She really enjoyed working on soccer with Melanie. Not surprisingly the girls spent hours on their cell phones with each other. They lived too far away from each other to hang out together in person, but they took full advantage of electronic communication.
Then came the “talking to.”
Katie got a rash of yellow cards for rough plays during their first few tournament games they played that year. This had not been something that was usual for Katie in her soccer career to date. Katie had no answer for it when questioned, but two sets of keen eyes caught it. One was Coach Hochbauer who saw and remembered everything that happened in every game. In addition to that, the Blue Lightning always videotaped their games for the coaches to analyze. And Coach Hochbauer was also great with her film study.
The other set of eyes was Melanie’s mother Jen. The reason Jen caught it was she would watch her daughter closer than anyone else. And if someone fouled her daughter, she remembered them as well so she could watch if Melanie had to go by them again. Apparently so did Katie.
Although she did not even consciously realize it, if someone on the other team fouled Melanie hard, Katie would wait for an opportunity and foul them back, hard. When Coach Hochbauer showed Katie’s mother some of the game films, the evidence did seem compelling. Both her mother and the Coach spoke to Katie about it in general terms and they certainly did not press the apparent relationship between Melanie getting fouled and Katie retaliating. Katie never said there was a connection.
Jen Smith had told Melanie about what she had seen as well. Melanie was furious. While she did like that Katie felt protective of her, she was capable of fighting her own battles. Plus, yellow cards on Katie hurt the team. So at the next practice Melanie called Katie aside to give her a very stern “talking to.”
For anyone who witnessed it, the scene was almost comical. The 5-foot 2 petite blond looking up but clearly in charge and almost yelling at the 5-foot 6 sturdy redhead who had her head looking down but very much on the receiving end of this tirade.
All Katie remembered from the first 90% of this “talk” was Melanie’s blue eyes. Katie thought they looked like a cloudless sky during an October game, when the air is crisp and you just look up and see blue. Katie knew that Melanie was upset at her, but she just kept staring into her eyes.
When it was clear taksim escort that Melanie was wrapping up, Katie did listen and caught Melanie saying “…the best way to get them back is to score on them. So if that ever happens again, we’ll set up like it’s a near post play and you circle around and head for the far post as I approach the ball and I will send it right to you and you put it in. That will be our revenge. Okay?” Not really sure what she had agreed to but knowing Melanie wanted her to agree, Katie just nodded her head.
It just so happened that the next week Melanie was fouled hard again. She made eye contact with Katie and had the team set up for the free kick as if the play was going to the near post. When she started to move to the ball, her teammates crashed in toward the near post bringing everyone in the area with them, including the opposing goalie. Katie circled back toward the far post and when Melanie’s kick soared over everyone else’s heads, it was right to Katie, who headed the ball into the goal.
Years later people would still talk about how it was one of the prettiest goals they had ever seen in person. But Katie’s memory was not of the goal itself. After she scored, the team mobbed her as they would for any goal. But Melanie was the first one to her and she leapt into Katie’s arms and Katie held her throughout the celebration with her teammates. That was Katie’s lasting memory of that moment.
Katie never had a boyfriend or girlfriend during high school. Honestly, she didn’t really have friends. It wasn’t that she was not likeable and she got along with just about everyone. But she was so focused on school and soccer, she just never developed that kind of relationship. Melanie was her first real friend and Katie just couldn’t really process what she was feeling. It was always great being around Melanie but there was something else as well and she didn’t know what it was or how to explain it and so it confused her as well.
Then came Melanie’s senior prom. Unlike Katie who was more reserved away from the soccer field, Melanie was a gregarious, always bubbly person. While Blue Lightning Club rules kept her from playing on her high school soccer team, Melanie was good friends with a number of the girls on the team. They were all good friends even though a few of the group were still sophomores and juniors. When it came time for the prom, a few of the girls did not have anyone special they wanted to bring. So a number of the seniors invited some of the younger girls from the team as their “dates.” It gave them a chance to get all dressed up and hang out together. When Melanie explained all this to Katie and asked her to be her “date” to the prom, Katie accepted.
Katie was not what one would call a “girly girl” but she was feminine. She was just more of a jeans and tee shirt girl, but she was excited about the idea of getting dressed up for prom. She had never worn make-up or nail polish before she had become friends with Melanie. She still did not wear much, but she did wear some usually at the suggestion of her friend.
She had bought an emerald green prom gown with her mom. Katie resembled her mom and she had seen her mom in a similar color dress and thought her mom had looked very pretty in it. Katie bought a similar gown. When she came down from her room so her dad could drive her to Melanie’s house, her parents were amazed at just how beautiful she looked. This was their youngest daughter who although now 18 was still their little baby. And they always saw her in cleats and soccer clothes or plain attire and, until recently, no makeup.
She was naturally pretty, and parents tend to have a biased eye when it comes to their own children. But she was a vision to behold with her hair made up and make up accentuating her lovely eyes and her round cheeks. Add to that the beautiful gown. Her Father Paul’s first thought was “Wow. Thank goodness she is going with Melanie. I would have to kill any boy she would have been going with.”
When they arrived at Melanie’s house, Jen Smith answered the door. Equally amazed at the transformation from the tomboyish soccer player she thought of when she thought of Katie to this lovely young woman in front of her Jen first reaction was not surprisingly “Wow! Katie you look amazing”
“Thank you, Ms. Smith, that’s very nice of you to say. Is Melanie ready?”
“Almost dear. The limo will be here soon, but I want to get pictures of the two of you together and I am sure your father does as well.” Paul was very appreciative of Jen reminding him as on the almost hour drive over he had forgotten the admonition to get pictures which his wife Carol had given him.
They went inside. Susan McPherson, Jen Smith’s now live-in girlfriend was there as well. She was not the friendliest of sorts and Carol disliked her so much that is why it had only been Paul who had driven Katie here. Jen called upstairs “Melanie, Katie’s here.” Melanie came down the stairs beşiktaş escort in a cobalt blue dress and matching heels. Her long blond hair was done up in a very stylish way.
The girls’ eyes met each other’s and for a moment, time seemed to stand still. Melanie actually stopped walking down the stairs when she got her first look at Katie.
For her part Katie had never seen Melanie dressed up like this and it looked to Katie as if Melanie was about to go on the Red Carpet somewhere, not to a prom. Katie also noticed the chain and little charm at Melanie’s throat. It had been a gift to Melanie from her father when she was six years old. He had died soon after and she continued to wear it although twelve years later it was much shorter around her. It was just another reminder to Katie of the tough road Melanie had had and how she came through it all so happy and outgoing. It was just one more thing Katie admired about her.
Melanie was the first to recover her voice. “You really clean up nice Go-Go.” Melanie’s use of Katie’s soccer nickname seemed to give Katie the sense of confidence she had on the soccer field to finally be able to speak.
“Melanie, you look absolutely stunning.” was Katie’s response. Jen hustled the two of them together and started getting all the pictures together. Paul used his cell phone and dutifully sent them along to Carol waiting at home. Carol got a little misty eyed at seeing her baby and her baby’s friend, now two beautiful grown women. Her nest was really emptying. She had begun to face this fact two years prior, but she realized with these pictures that the actual date was now not far off.
When the limo arrived some of the other girls were already inside. This led to more pictures with the other girls as well. The process was repeated at the last two stops and then it was off to the prom.
For the most part the girls all stayed as one big group. Although Katie did not know them, Melanie had told all the girls a lot about Katie and so they all were able to make Katie feel included in the fun. The girls all danced with each other. They even managed to get Katie on the dance floor a few times.
There was the obligatory prom photo of Katie and Melanie together. That picture still hangs on the wall in the hallway of their house to this day. When the last song of the night, a very slow song, was set to be played, Melanie wanted Katie to dance with her. Katie agreed only if she could take her shoes off. Otherwise the difference in height would have put Melanie’s face right into Katie’s breasts. This thought created that same strange confusion in Katie’s mind that would often come when she was thinking about Melanie.
With Melanie still in heels and Katie barefoot, they were almost eye to eye and Melanie took Katie by the hand to the dance floor. The song played and Melanie folded herself right up against Katie and put her arms around Katie’s back. She looked Katie in the eyes and smiled. Katie always loved and hated this. She always felt a warmth in her body whenever Melanie looked at her and smiled. Unfortunately, it always brought a warmth between her legs as well and that caused her to be confused. But while she did not like the confusion, she enjoyed the smile and the warmth it brought and so she endured the confusion.
As they continued to sway across the dance floor Melanie leaned her head on Katie’s shoulder. Melanie said “I’m so glad you came with me tonight.”
“Well, thank you for inviting me. I’ve had a wonderful time. It’s always great when we can get together outside of soccer and your friends were all so nice to me. This has been a wonderful day for me.”
“If all goes well, it’s not over yet.” thought Melanie although all she said out loud was “You’re very welcome.”
The dance ended and the prom was over. The girls all piled back into the limousine, and it was a raucous ride all the way home. There was talk of who had hooked up with whom and who had disappeared from the prom for a while, only to return a bit disheveled. Finally, they were at Melanie’s house. Melanie and Katie said goodbye to the girls still in the limo and then walked to the door.
When they reached the door, Melanie stopped and turned to Katie. “It’s customary to give your date a kiss at the end of the night.”
“Yeah, but this wasn’t a date.” replied Katie.
“It was the prom which is the same thing as a date. It would be rude if you didn’t kiss me.”
“Well but…Melanie, you see…”
“You’ve never kissed anyone have you?”
“No, actually I haven’t. Do you think that makes me weird or something?” Katie said starting to get a bit defensive and suddenly not feeling as good as she had been.
Melanie looked up at her with her eyes and as usual, Katie was frozen. She immediately started to feel better but the confusion was coming on again. But there was something else in Melanie’s stare that she really could not place.
Melanie said “No, Katie. I don’t think you’re weird. And for the record, I’ve never kissed anyone either. What I do think is that you’re nervous. I think you are so used to being so good at what you do and you are worried because you don’t know how to kiss and you think you won’t do it right. But it’s me, Katie. Don’t you know every time you kiss me it will be great?”
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