You Say Basketball, I Say Shut Up and Kiss Me
Matt's Point of View
I gotta feeling, that tonight's gonna be a good night,
That tonight's gonna be a good, good night.
The music was pounding through the arena, and it was a good night. I was going to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in my collegiate basketball career. I smiled and looked up at the scoreboard. There was a small amount of satisfaction that came from winning a conference championship game by eleven points.
I was surrounded by my teammates and I wasn't even sure who I was hugging or who was hugging me, but I knew who I wanted to be hugging right now.
I looked up into the stands and smiled as my gaze landed on Aubree Goodwin. She was sitting in the same place she always did, the slight smile on her face that was always there after a win. She smirked at me and I rolled my eyes at her. Someone called my name and I turned to clobber my fellow seniors in a hug.
I was so happy I could have burst into a song and dance. I took my turn cutting down a piece of the net, posed for a few team pictures, signed a few autographs and then headed to the showers.
I knew Aubree would be waiting for me. I wouldn't be surprised if she was more excited than I was. She was more obsessed about basketball than me, which was really saying something since I'd played basketball since I was old enough to dribble the ball.
I tugged the 'conference champions' shirt over my head and headed back to the court. I used a side door to come out and I snuck up into the stands without Aubree seeing me. I touched her shoulder and she jumped about a mile. I grinned, but toned it down a little as she turned to me.
Grabbing her hands I pulled her up and into my arms. I was curious about why she hadn't automatically jumped into my arms like she usually did. I pushed the thoughts away and wrapped my arms around her waist. I sighed softly, perfectly content with my life. Aubree took in a shuddering breath. I immediately pushed her away and looked down at her.
A tear trailed down her cheek and I wiped it away without even thinking twice about it. She dropped her head. Why was she crying? What was going on? She was supposed to be happy. I checked the scoreboard again. We had won, hadn't we?
I looked back at Aubree. I hated seeing her cry, it made me feel guilty, like I should have been a better friend, or should have anticipated what was wrong and intervened before she could get hurt.
She had only openly cried in front of me twice. The first time it had stunned me and I wasn't sure what to do. Thankfully she tucked herself against me and my arms seemed to naturally wrap around her. The next time she cried in front of me I was prepared and automatically drew her in close.
She had called me once when I was on the road for a game. I could heard how hard she was trying to keep her emotions in check, but the tears finally spilled over and she cried for nearly an hour. I murmured soothing words, but mostly I just let her cry, and cursed myself for not being able to physically comfort her. She eventually cried herself to sleep. She called the next day and thanked me, and apologized.
I wasn't sure why she was crying tonight though. It had been a great game. The game had been close until the last two minutes or so, then we pulled away and never looked back. I frowned. Why was she crying? Didn't she know she was messing up all my plans?
Okay, maybe I had been getting ahead of myself, but everything else had gone according to plan. I was going to win the game, celebrate with my team, twirl Aubree around in a circle and tell her how much I loved her. But how could I do that now when she was so upset?
I tilted her head up, but she kept her eyes closed. I took a deep breath and decided tears or no tears I was going to let her know I felt about her. I touched my lips to hers. She immediately jumped away. I was crushed until I analyzed the look in her eyes.
She wasn't mad, she was confused. I felt a grin tug at my lips and I pulled her close again. She resisted for a second then let me draw her close. her eyes closed slowly and our lips met again. It was hard for me to keep the kiss chaste because all I wanted to do was make-out with her. I didn't care who was watching either; reporters, fellow teammates, coach, my family.
I almost lost control as Aubree's hand tightened around my arm. Instead of deepening the kiss I pulled away from her. Her eyelids fluttered open and I knew she was going to hound me with questions, which I just didn't have time to answer right now. I wanted to, but I couldn't. I knew my family wanted to see me. It was highly likely I would get attacked by my teammates and then by the reporters. I would end up saying something that seemed logical at the time, but in the papers the next morning I would wonder what I had been thinking.
I looked into Aubree's eyes one last time. I was glad the tears were gone. I didn't particularly like the confusion I saw there now, but I was happy to see that she looked at least a tiny bit excited. I honestly wanted to kiss her again, but I settled on kissing her forehead. I was sure I wouldn't make it back down to the court before my team all went home if I kissed her lips again.
I walked away from her, feeling her eyes on me the entire time.
My family swamped me down in hugs and I caught the suspicious look from my mom. I knew she wanted to know about Aubree. When we had lunch together I had told them Aubree was just a friend, my mom had seemed suspicious then too. I guess she had a good reason. Why do mothers have to be so perceptive about everything? My mom smiled as she hugged me. I took it as her approval of Aubree and grinned.
I could still feel Aubree's eyes on me and couldn't ignore the prickling feeling any longer. I turned back to her and raised an eyebrow. She blushed. I nearly laughed about how naïve she was. She had no idea how adorable she was, and I doubted she knew how much I cared about her. My heart started beating wildly again, but I had to finish the night out right.
I love you. I mouthed to her. She tilted her head and gave me a confused look. Of course, I tell the girl I love her and she doesn't pay any attention. She gave me a pointed look, as if she could read my thoughts and I grinned.
I love you.
I saw a slight blush work its way into her cheeks, but she was smiling, which only made me smile even wider. Tonight was an undeniably good night.