Chapter 2: Fifty Shades of Livid
Week 2, Sunday. Lowest Rank’s Match.
The sky was an ominous dark gray in the sky over the field that Sunday. One of the three referees, Gavin, had just finished tallying the points. Bailey sat there on the sidelines, looking on in some shock at the results of the match between Gray and Blue. Looking to the two teams as they lined up before one another. Still and proud stood the Blue team, while the Gray team looked about ready to storm off in a furious fit.
Ref.Gavin: “Blue team, 78! Gray team, 77! Blue team is Victorious!” He announced to the sky, the only other listener besides Bailey.
Bailey was in disbelief; as if watching his favorite movie for the millionth time, and discovering something big and important about it that he should not have missed, but can’t comprehend.
It was a single point that they one by, but how? When did the previously lowest ranked team some how become capable of standing on equal ground with the previous champions? Bailey’s thoughts raced; not at all acknowledging that this team was more upset over this sudden close in the gap between lowest and highest ranked.
Bailey: As the two teams began heading toward their vehicles, Bailey moved toward them swiftly, before they got away. A member of the blue team raised his head toward Bailey, only to to be brushed passed aggressively with Bailey calling out to the leader of the Grey team. “Will! You got a second?” He asked him as Will and his teammates began to remove their helmets. Grunts and groans and ‘Dammits’ filled the air around them, with one tossing his paint ball gun down into the ground with more than enough aggression.
Will looked reluctantly to the only one who bothered to watch their match. His hair was black and short cut with lifted bangs, and his skin was what some would call ‘Sexy Mocha’. His gear hid his physique, though he looked a bit wide. Bailey stopped before them next to the small restroom building, waiting for an answer from him before he went any further.
Will: “I’ll catch up with y’all in a sec.” He told his team, waving them off to head to the van. As they walked away, Will walked over to the paint gun that was tossed down moments ago. He looked to it with a distant expression, as if he had just come from a funeral. He took this loss pretty hard. “So, what do you want, Green?” he asked with a calm tone that betrayed his own upset expression.
Bailey explained his amazement in his team’s progress, noting that they had gotten incredibly skilled in such a short amount of time.While he praised his efforts, this did nothing to please Will, who simply waited for the point. While Bailey wanted to ask him about how he lead his team so far in a short time, he was unable to ignore this brooding energy that Will continued to give off.
Bailey: You don’t look happy about the fact that you tied with Blue. The team who literally makes everyone their enemy the second they enter the fray… What’s with this depressing reaction? You nearly beat the best-
Will: -NEARLY! Beat the best! Nearly!” Will cutting him off, slamming his fist against the wall.
“Ya know what’s funny? We all thought that a cloudy gray sky in stead of clear blue some how…..Somehow symbolized a victory against a team that makes everyone it’s enemy upon entry! How the hell were we supposed to beat them as the lowest ranking team?!?” He asked, his hands darting this way and that as he spoke his mind. “You know what it’s like! You have to! Being second place, being right near the top but falling short? Ya know what’s worse than missing your bus? Missing it by seconds!” He huffed, pressing his forehead to the wall and shutting his eyes tightly. “What if we moved faster? What if we paid more attention? what if…. What if? How frustrating is that? If I had taken two less shots, we’d be the winners-Heck! One less shot and we would have been just as good as them!” He said as if fighting back something he wanted to say. His body had been tensing up the whole time as he vented, and finally seemed to relax. “As leader of my team, I have to go back to them and keep my head held high. To encourage them, and to give them hope. But I feel just the same as they do. Is this what being a leader is really like?” He asked as he slowly turned his head from the wall he was grinding his forehead into.
Bailey took all he said to heart, having never considered that before. His reactions to losing to the blue team were always viewed as a lesson learned, and his team never showed any hard feelings over a loss or two, no matter how close. But what if the others felt the same as Will and his team? What if they kept it from him to spare his feelings and keep pushing forward? As he had these thoughts, Will was already leaving, simply wanting to get a drink and forget his bitterness.
Bailey: “Will!” Bailey called out to him. Will simply kept walking though, not intent to hear anything else he had to say about the topic. “Gray and Green are the only teams to have ever lost by two points against Blue!” He reminded him, Will’s feet planting there. “Just as good as the Rank one team, and I won’t have you acting like a chump when you know how hard all of us teams together work to hit them!” He smirked,
Will didn’t turn to him, though he did seem to listen. His his back toward him he slowly walked forward, two fingers up as if he acknowledged his words, and nothing more. The sound of the engine starting up seemed to take the Gray team off edge before they drove off on their way. Bailey looked to the opposite direction where the Blue team’s ride was, only to see that it was gone, likely while he was listening to Will. There was much to take from what Will said, a Leader… Just another member of the team, but carries their burdens forward along with them to victory. As he went toward his ride home, he continued to analyze his thoughts and what he learned today.
As Will sat in the back of his van, he listened to his team bicker about the mistakes they made, each one building on the negativity that the other stacked. As they continued blaming one another for their loss, Will began to laugh. His sudden cackling seemed to break the vicious cycle easily.
Will: “Two points away…. Two. Points. AWAY. And I know you all saw how I made that one guy lose his footing with shot knee!” he grinned, looking to the confused lot, even the one driving stopping the car to look back at him. “Oh what, any of you think you did better than that?” He asked them before in no time the group bragged to one another over the victories and highlights of their mere miniature battles.
The van finally began moving after they all began to discuss what they learned from the match, in a more positive manner. Will took a deep breath, silently thanking Bailey for his help, and looking forward to beating him on the field with an egotistical smile.