Craig closed his eyes in despair as he lay on his back in the middle of the sports hall floor. The throbbing pain that the basketball had made in his head felt a hundred times worse than the last one. Mr Murray's loud voice didn't make it any better.
"Alright Rogers; sit out for this one and watch the others, especially Davison."
Without replying, Craig got to his feet and wandered over to one of the benches at the side of the hall. Sport just wasn't his game. Now, the idea of algebra, quantum physics, (.) always got him in the mood.
He eased himself onto the bench and tried to study the others. His eyes darted around, trying to watch each individual person as the ball was passed. Mr Murray knew that Craig wasn't good at and despised sport, but he was always encouraging him to play. Hopefully he wouldn't put him back in the game. He still ached from last week's lesson when they had football. Not good memories at all.
"Watch out, Rogers!"
Craig's eyes widened at the sight of the sight of the giant basketball hurtling towards him. Throwing his arms over his head and tucking himself into a ball, he felt the rough grip of the basketball brush against his skin and rebounding off the wall behind him. At least some of his reflexes worked properly. He peered out of his cocoon like shape as Davison caught the ball.
"Sorry Craig!" he called, "You alright?"
Just nod, Craig thought, they don't really care. Davison seemed satisfied with his reply and returned to the game.
Lewis Davison was the only boy who was good at sport that Craig was friends with. He was a tall, lanky lad who was quite popular throughout the school. His thick, light brown hair suited his thin face with a side fringe that only just covered his right eye, allowing him to play sport with ease.
Craig's heart jumped for joy when he heard the school bell ring throughout the whole school, signalling the end of school. Picking up his school bag, Craig quickly left the sports hall and walked down the corridor. He never waited for Mr Murray to dismiss him; just sitting there was enough torture. He just felt like he'd especially had enough today.
The sound of feet echoing in the corridor alerted that someone was catching up with him. He didn't look back as Lewis caught up with him.
"Hey, you sure you're alright?" he asked as they walked together.
Again, Craig nodded in response. Their friendship seemed to change when it came to lessons. Other people always wanted to sit next to Lewis or work with him, leaving Craig to himself. Lewis wasn't as gifted academically as Craig was and they constantly ended up doing his homework at one of their houses since Craig had already done his at school, whether it was in the lesson or at break or at lunch.
Lewis was watching Craig carefully. The boy did look slightly pale, but then again he was naturally quite pale.
"So, you don't mind me coming round to yours? It's just that I don't understand some of the work set and you always do, being the genius that you are."
Nodding his head, Craig smiled at the thought of homework. That was his department of expertise.
"Sure thing. Let's go."
The journey home wasn't a long one. Craig only lived a few roads away from the school and Lewis lived a few doors down from him. Both boys remained silent as they walked side by side. Many voices called after Lewis as students said goodbye to him. Some of the older voices asked him where he was going, initially asking him why he was hanging out with the school nerd. Lewis just smiled and said he had important homework to do.
"Ignore them." He whispered to Craig.
That wasn't hard for Craig as it was what he usually did when they were around him. Craig led Lewis straight up to his room with a brief 'I'm back' to his mum. Nothing prevented Craig from getting on with his work. Craig sat at his desk and spread Lewis' work over it. Lewis pulled up a seat as usual and sat next to him.
"Let's see what we've got here." Craig said eagerly.
He was practically shaking with the excitement of doing equations. He set to work instantly, making a few notes to show Lewis how he got the answer. Lewis' eyes glanced at the work, but they also wandered to Craig. He studied the young boy carefully.
"So, what is it?" he asked, determined to understand and learn something.
Craig took a deep breath in. He wasn't used to explaining things to other people as they usually never understood a word of his technical language.
"It's quite hard to explain."
The next group of words stunned Lewis in his seat. He sort of drifted off as Craig's mouth continuously moved, not even stopping for breath.
Craig took in Lewis' baffled face and watched as the boy was forced to blink a few times.
"It's alright. I've made a few notes for you, so that you can try some of the questions in a minute. Ok?"
"I can understand that." Lewis said with a laugh.
A grin appeared on Craig's face before turning back to the work and finishing off the notes. He didn't seem aware of Lewis' eyes studying him carefully from behind. He wasn't much of a self-conscious boy.
"So, you have a girlfriend?"
Craig frowned slightly as he studied the equation. Surely Lewis knew him well enough by now.
"Course not. All the girls go after you. They're never interested in me."
This didn't quite seem fair to Lewis.
"I see no reason why girls shouldn't be interested in you."
Craig decided to say it straight to him. This conversation felt too personal.
"Girls don't like nerdy boys, end of story."
Lewis shuffled forwards in his seat and looked slightly in Craig's direction. He clasped his hands together in his lap.
"I like nerdy boys." He whispered quietly.
Craig stopped what he was doing and listened. He stared at the paper and for once, the numbers meant nothing to him. Lewis' gaze dropped to his hands, scared of Craig's reaction. His voice shook slightly as he spoke.
"Actually, you could say that I have a thing for them."
Craig turned his head sideways to look at Lewis. He leaned towards him, wrapping his hand around the back of Lewis' neck and pulling him towards him. Lewis raised his head and they gazed at each other. Craig had never seen Lewis look so nervous; he had always been the boisterous, popular boy who everyone looked up to. Lewis didn't smile, but pressed his lips against Craig's, closing his eyes as he did. Craig's eyes also closed in surprise, but he remained still, taking in the situation. Lewis Davison, captain of the basketball, football, cricket, rugby and athletics teams and leader of the sports council, was kissing him.