Here's chapter 7! I'm planning on this being the final chapter but I still have an epilogue coming next week to wrap up the story. Let me know what you think!
I cried a lot the night I texted Scott. I couldnt even stop crying long enough for my new brother gave me a home spa treatment so I ended up just crying in bed in nothing but my robe. The next morning when Mom came to wake me up, I told her I was sick.
She gave me a look but didn't question it and closed the door.
I was still a little mad at her. I had no plans to tell Scott about the little crush I'd developed over the past few weeks and if not for her I probably never would have. I wasn't even sure how real it was. How did I really like Scott that much? Did I like him as a guy and just not realize it? Was it even a real crush or was it just a feeling that had come on because I had been basically been playing a girl for weeks and Scott was the only guy who I was still close with? If it was that then why didn't I like Thomas? Scott and Thomas were both pretty cute but I only liked Scott. Either way, now Scott knew and didn't like me back and I couldn't stand thinking about the awkwardness of seeing Scott again. He probably saw me as some stupid, ditzy, lovesick teenage girl. Or even worse, he saw me as some freaky, girly, lovesick, dude who wants to jerk off to pictures of him. Was that worse?
I slept till noon that day and stayed in my room until 3 before finally going downstairs.
I hadn't told anyone but I'd been eating small breakfasts recently in hopes of appearing pretty when I saw Scott. We didn't have any classes together this year but we had a few free periods together including lunch on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Now I didn't care.
I saw a box of donuts and grabbed one.
"Hey sis!" my new brother said as he came home from school. "Feeling better?"
"No." I said through a mouth full of donut.
"Still in your nighty?" she asked noticing my lacy pink nightgown.
"Clearly" I said. "How was school?" I tried to shift the conversation onto her.
"Fine." she said smiling. "Scott was looking for you. And Jessica Chandler too actually. I told them you were sick."
I finished my donut and grabbed a third.
"Jessica wanted to know if you were interested in joining the girls volleyball team. I know its mid season but Jane Jefferson got hurt and apparently the team doesn't have any subs. So she wanted to know if you wanted to join. I said you might. Scott didn't tell me what he wanted but..."
"He wanted to apologize and say he could still be friends" I said cutting him off. "He's been texting me.
Scott had texted me a bunch of times but I hadn't read them. I considered blocking his number but that seemed childish. He'd even called me a few times while I was asleep.
I grabbed another donut.
"How many donuts is that?" my now brother asked.
"Scott won't love you any more if there's 20 pounds more of you, fat girl." he said trying to joke but he apologized quickly after I shot him a look.
I didn't make dinner that night and I didn't even change out of my nightgown. Mom had a date with Robert so me and Johnny ordered pizza. I ate 4 pieces of pizza and a pint of ice cream for dinner, ignoring another "fat girl" comment from Jonathan. I went to bed before Mom got home but couldn't sleep.
I lay in bed, alone, trying to tell myself my crush on Scott wasn't even real. It was just a result of my best friend being the only one who stood by me during the punishment. Feeling love toward someone who stands by you is normal, I just got confused about what that love meant, I tried to tell myself. Why was I so upset? I knew Scott didn't like me like that. Why was it such a blow? I wasn't even really a girl! How could I really have a crush on him?
I sighed as I thought about Scott. I couldn't help it. I just couldn't stop thinking about him. I took out my phone and looked scrolled through his instagram. I looked at him with his bright smile, deep dreamy eyes, and dark spikey hair. I thought about how I felt around him, how comfortable and happy he made me feel. When I got to a picture of him shirtless at the beach I couldn't help it. I felt myself getting turned on and a voice in my head said "omg hes so hot." I sighed. Yeah, if I could snap my fingers and have Scott forget I ever texted him I would, but if I could snap my fingers and suddenly make Scott want me I would if I could snap my fingers. If I could snap my fingers have Scott suddenly lying next to me naked wanting to hold me, I would. I felt myself getting excited as I looked as I imagined naked Scott next to me and tried to push it out of my mind again.
Maybe its a real crush, but dwelling on it isn't going to make me get over it any faster I told myself but I went back to scrolling through Scott's instagram anyway, imagining the pictures he would post of us as a couple and the comments people would make. Maybe I could photoshop one to make it look like we're a couple, I thought as I found another cute beach pic of him flashing a sexy smile and a bare, sandy chest.
"Your so cute, I love you." I said out loud, blushing even though no one could here me. "Your really hot Tyler." I said in my normal voice, trying to sound like Scott. It felt weird and sounded unnatural. "I wanna fuck you." I had a hand on my dick and another on my boobs.
I jumped when I heard Mom's car in the driveway almost the moment I said it and tried to calm down. What the fuck was I doing? When Mom peaked into my room I pretended to be a sleep but listened carefully as she went into Johnnys room.
"How was your sister?" she finally asked after asking him about his day.
"She's still pretty sad." Johnny said. "She ate a lot. Like a lot. He texted her but she wouldn't text him back."
"She'll be ok." Mom said. "She'll get over it soon."
I tried to tell Mom I was sick on Tuesday too but she didn't buy it.
"You can't hide in your room forever! Besides, its Halloween!" she said as I begged her not to make me go to school. "I'll drive you if you like."
I changed my panties, grabbed a bra, put on a pair of leggings, forgoing a shirt I slid my favorite dark purple Victoria Secret sweatshirt on over my bra, put my hair in a quick bun, and headed downstairs.
"Hey sis!" Johnny said warmly.
I grunted at him and grabbed a donut. Two donuts later Mom took the box from me and drove us to school.
I avoided Scott all morning. I scanned the halls for him when walking to my classes. I saw him in the hall on the way to History and turned the other way. I ducked into a side stairway when I saw him on the way to Science When I saw him eating with some friends in the cafeteria I turned around and, instead of grabbing a seat on my own, hid myself among some 5th grade girls.
"Can I just sit with you guys, just for today?" I asked.
"Ok." They said confused as to why an 8th grade girl, or maybe they knew I was an 8th grade boy but I didn't think so, who they had never talked to wanted to sit with them.
"Sorry, you don't have to talk to me, I'm just hiding from someone. I'll eat fast."
"Who are you hiding from?" a pale red haired girl asked.
"That boy, with the dark spikey hair." I said pointing at Scott as subtly as I could.
"Is he your ex boyfriend?" she asked nosily.
"Kind of." I said.
"What happened?" the girl next to me asked.
"Well I don't want to get into the whole thing now but we just weren't on the same page with our relationship." I said, trying to sound cool so they wouldn't think I was a loser who got rejected.
"Ohhhhh" the girls reacted.
"He's pretty cute," the first girl said "but I'm sure there are better guys out there."
"Yeah." the other girl said. "You gotta be more confident. If you were in our grade I bet you could get any boy you wanted."
"You're all really sweet to say that." I said smiling.
"I'm not just saying it." the girl said. "It's true. Hey, Nate!" she called out toward skinny, blonde floppy haired, 5th grade boy in an Adidas sweatshirt and pants. "Do you think she's pretty?"
Nate looked at me and smiled nervously. "Uh yeah. She's hot. Why?" he said, flipping his hair and smiling at me.
"See!" the girl said to me before asking Nate if he would date me.
"Totally." he said. "Your really hot." he said smiling at me again.
"Tiffany?" a voice said suddenly.
I looked up and saw Jessica Chandler standing above me.
"Hey" I said.
"I was looking for you yesterday but your brother said you were sick. Are you feeling better."
"Yeah." I said. "I'm good."
"Great!" she said smiling at me. "Listen I just wanted to know if you were interested in joining the girls volleyball team. I don't know if you've ever played but its really fun and if we don't get someone to replace Jane Jefferson soon, we'll have to play short handed the rest of the season. It's really fun, I think you'd have a good time. I'd love to get to know you better. What do you say?" she asked hopefully.
I sighed. "Sure." I said, unsure if was even allowed to.
She beamed. "Great! Come tell coach with me. She'll give you the schedule. We have a game tomorrow but after that we have a few practices so you'll be able to get the hang of it."
"Bye Tiffany" the first girl said waving at me as I left.
"Yeah bye Tiffany!" Nate said, smiling at me as the girls waved.
"Who was that?" Jessica asked as I followed her out of the cafeteria.
"Um, Nate I think." I said smiling. "Its kind of a long story."
"He said you were hot?"
"Yeah, like I said, its a..."
"Look," she stopped walking and turned to me putting her hand on my fore arm. Her hands were soft and I fully appreciated just how hot she was when she smiled at me. Her eyes were kind and her voice compassionate. "I know your situation is kind of unique, but you are really pretty and you dont need to date 5th graders if you want to be with someone. I know tons of guys who would love to be with you, I could set you up. I mean unless you really like that kid in which case its fine, he's kinda cute I guess and he could grow into a total hunk, but I'm just saying..."
"I'm not really looking for a boyfriend but thanks."
"I get that. Believe me, sometimes I think we're better off without them. You... you look like you need a hug. Can I give you a hug?"
I smiled and nodded.
She gave me a hug and it was maybe the best hug I'd ever had. A few weeks ago I would have loved feeling her perky tits against my chest but now it just felt good to know she cared about me. The girls at school had been fairly friendly to me as a girl but Jessica was acting like a real friend. It felt different.
I followed her through the hall, downstairs, past the locker rooms and gym, feeling the eyes of every boy in the gym on us, to the athletics offices.
"Coach Avery, I found our person." Jessica said proudly. "This is Tiffany Bauer and she wants to join the team."
The volleyball coach was a sizable woman in her 50s, with pasty skin and a large neck.
"This is the one you were telling me about" she asked Jessica. "This is Tyler Bauer?"
"Tiffany." Jessica repeated smiling slightly. "Yes."
"Right. Well alright Tiffany, welcome to the team." she smiled. "Here is our schedule. And you'll need a uniform." she stood up. "Do you have knee pads?"
I shook my head.
"I'll bring extra's for her tomorrow." Jessica said quickly.
"What number would you like to be?" Coach Avery asked me. "We have 4 and 5."
"4" I said thinking about how Scott's number in football was 4 before silently scolding myself for thinking that way.
"4 it is." she said handing the the red jersey and a pair of short black shorts. "Look forward to having you on the team."
"This is going to be so fun!" Jessica told me as we left her office. "I can't wait to get to know you better!" she checked her phone. "Oh god, I have to get to Math. Later."
I watched her run off to her class and I didn't hear someone coming up behind me.
"Tiffany?" I hard a male voice say quietly.
I turned around and saw Scott, standing behind me. I couldn't run away from him. I couldn't ignore him. He was right there.
"Oh hi!" I said, walking down the hall, trying to act normal.
It was weird to hear him call me Tiffany. He had always called me Tyler even when everyone at school didn't. I wasn't sure how I felt about it.
"Can I just talk to you for a sec?" he asked, walking next to me heading down the
"I'd love to." I said speeding up as I saw the door to a girl bathroom. "But I can't right now cuz I really have to pee. Maybe later." I said as I burst through the door without looking back.
"Ty..." I heard him say as the door closed cutting him off.
I spent the rest of my free in the bathroom, ignoring Scott's texts claiming he just wanted to talk, just in case Scott was waiting for me out there and managed to avoid him the rest of the day.
I walked home with Johnny.
"Did you talk to Scott?" he asked.
"Did you talk to Jessica?"
"Yeah I did actually." I said glad to being talking about something other than Scott. "I'm going to join actually. I'm going to join volleyball."
My brother smiled. "I'm happy for you."
"My first games tomorrow."
"Great I'll come. Unless you don't want me to."
"You can come."
Mom was still at work when we got home and I almost forgot it was Halloween until she got home holding a princess Jasmine costume.
"A gift from your cousin Abigail and your uncle Jeff and aunt Mary" she said giving it to me.
"Do I have to..." I started but she cut me off.
"Yes!" she said cutting me off "You're cousin will be over in half an hour. Remember, positive role model!"
"Oh Mom, can I join the volleyball team?" I asked.
"You want to join the girls volleyball team?"
I blushed "Well Jessica Chandler asked me and I miss playing sports and if they don't get another player they're going to have to play a person down."
"Ok, but Tiffany, do you know what girls volleyball uniforms look like? You're going to be showing a lot of..."
"Yeah, can you just sign the form. I left it on the counter." I cut her off.
My mom smiled. "As you wish."
"And could you buy me knee pads for next week."
"We'll get them this weekend."
I went upstairs and tried the costume on. It was bright blue and two pieces, a flowy skirt and a tiny, top that showed off my belly button and hung off my shoulders.
"You look pretty!" my brother said, seeing me from the bathroom and walking into my room. He was dressed as a zombie. He and Gabe had planned to both go as zombies. Carter was going to a party with some of his school friends. "I just think its cute that you chose the princess who's costume allows you to show off your cute little midriff!" he said patting my stomach.
"Stop!" I said swatting his hand away."I didn't chose it. Abigail bought it for me"
The door bell rang.
"Is she hear already?" I asked. "She's like 15 minutes early."
"Tiffany! Would you come downstairs please!" Mom called.
"I guess she's excited to hang with her positive female role model." Johnny said mocking Mom's tone when ever she said the phrase. "Seriously though," he looked at me "try to have fun. Don't make yourself miserable. Remember, embrace it."
"I will" I said heading downstairs, then realizing I wasn't wearing shoes I called down, from half way down the stairs, "One sec I'm not wearing shoes."
"Just come down anyway!" My Mom yelled.
I continued down the stairs and froze when I saw Scott standing in the doorway. He was wearing a large white hit, very baggy white pants, and no shirt but a large purple vest.
I saw Mom back out of the room.
"Wha...wai...what are..." I struggled to get the words out. "Are you... Aladdin?" I managed finally.
"I heard couples costumes are fun." He said with a nervous smile.
"But you... wha... you said..." I sputtered. "I thought you didn't see me like that."
"I didn't." he said. "Ty, you've been my best friend for 13 years and its hard to wrap your head around big changes like that. But then I saw those pictures of you on facebook and I thought about it. I've been trying to treat you the same as I did before but your not the same. You're different and thats ok. I mean you're still my best friend and my favorite person to spend time with but now you're really hot too. AND you said you have a crush on me. That's basically the perfect girlfriend. Isn't it?"
"Seriously. Your my best friend and you look sexy in a mini dress. I just wasn't expecting it when you told me. You shouldn't text things like that. It's off putting. But honestly I've thought about it and I've thought about you as a girl. I mean, I just like you," he paused. "I really like you Tiffany. You've been a girl for a few weeks and your a great girl. You're pretty, and you're funny and I honestly missed spending time with you just over the past few days."
"So you wanna, you know..." my voice trailed off.
"Well" he said smiling. "I went to a Halloween store and bought this giant ass XL Aladdin costume because it was the only size they had in stock on Halloween, so yeah I wanna."
I ran up to him and hugged him, pressing my face into his shoulder. I smiled as I felt my exposed stomach touch his.
"Who are you?" I heard a little girls voice say and I suddenly saw Abigail walking up the path to our house.
We both turned around and saw her bounding toward us, followed by Aunt Mary and Gabe.
"I'm Scott." he said, smiling and putting his arm around me."Tiffany's boyfriend."
I smiled and put my head on his shoulder.
"You have a boyfriend?" Gabe said, looking at me, the corners of his mouth twitching into a sneer.
"Yeah" I said, grabbing Scott's arm. "Scott, this is my cousin Gabe, my aunt Mary and my cousin Abigail. Guys, this is my boyfriend Scott.
"Boyfriend" I heard Johnny say from behind me. "So you guys have made up then?"
I smiled and nodded.
"Its so nice to meet you Scott." aunt Mary said shaking his hand.
"Wait, you have a boyfriend?" Gabe said again stupidly.
"Yeah dude," Johnny said casually. "C'mon. Don't give her shit about it."
"Does he know that she... have they, you know...does she..." he stuttered.
"Seriously, don't fuck with her about it." Johnny said. "Lets go."
I'd never loved Halloween but I had fun that night. Me and Scott held hands all night and took Abigail around the neighborhood trick or treating. All the adults complimented me on my costume and even though a few weeks ago I would have been embarrassed to have strangers tell me I looked "pretty" or "gorgeous" but I loved every second of it. When we finished we dropped Abigail off at her house and walked come. Scott put his arm around me and I leaned into his bare chest, remember how I liked the smell of his clothes.
We passed his house but kept walking.
"Where are you going?" I asked him.
"Thought I'd walk you home." he said smiling. "Even if its only a few houses."
When we got to my house he paused in front of the door.
"I had a lot of fun tonight." he said.
"I did too!" I said happily. "Hey, you wanna come to my volleyball ga..."
Suddenly, he leaned in and before I knew it, his lips were on mine. It wasn't a long kiss but it was perfect.
"See you at your volleyball game." He said as he walked back down the path.
The next morning I was excited to wake up, more excited than I'd been to wake up in a long time. I woke up without an alarm or Mom waking me up and started doing my make up and hair. After finishing I started toward my dresser before pausing looking at my closet, where my sisters, no, my dresses hung.
After getting dress I bounded downstairs, more cheerful than I'd been that early in the morning in months.
"A dress to school?" Jonathan asked me as I entered the kitchen wearing my lacy white long sleeved dress with a pink skirt. "And a bright dress!"
"Yup." I said happily grabbing some cereal.
"Well you certainly seem perky." Mom said smiling at me as she entered, wearing a pants suit and it suddenly occurred to me that I was the only member of my family not wearing pants.
"Yeah, perky in a few ways!" Jonathan laughed, eyeing my chest.
"I don't know what you mean." I said smiling and adjusting the padded push up bra I was wearing under my dress.
I don't know if school was more fun or I was just happier but everything seemed a little brighter that day. I felt like I wanted to be there.
"Hey Tiffany!" I looked back to see Jessica, running through the door of the school after me with another girl. "Cute dress!" she said putting her hand on my shoulder and looking at my dress. "I love it! You ready for today?"
"I'm actually really excited." I told her.
"I brought the knee pads for you." she said patting her bag. "This is Lydia. She's on the team too." she said of the tall, pretty, dark haired girl next to her. Lydia had long straight black hair, was a good 5 inches taller than me and even though I'd never met her, I knew her face from being one of the only Latina girls in a primarily white school.
"Hi!" I said.
"So nice to finally meet you!" Lydia said smiling at me. "Thank you so much for joining. I don't know why its so hard to get people to join the volleyball team. Volleyball is kind of my thing."
"She's being modest!" Jessica said. "She's the best player on the team. She's the reason we're undefeated even though we have no subs."
I smiled. "Cool! Hope we're still undefeated after today!" I said.
The day flew by. It was Wednesday so I was prepared to eat on my own but when I got to the cafeteria I saw Jessica wave at me. "Come sit with us!" she said, her shiny brown hair glistening in the sun from the near by window.
Lunch was fun. I hadn't realized how much I had missed sitting with a group at lunch, even if I was now sitting with a group of girls, as a girl. Jessica and her friends told me about the team, the girls on the team, the recent fashion choices of the girls on the team, the boys the girls on the team liked and had moved on to which boys the girls in our grade were mostly likely to go with the middle school dance at the end of the year.
"It's like 8 months away!" I said laughing when asked if I had any ideas on my dress or which boy I wanted to go with.
"I've already got my dress picked out." Nora McGee, a friend of Jessica's who wasn't on the team, said as we left the cafeteria. "Gotta pick it out nice and early so all the necessary adjustments can be made. Right Jessica?" she asked, seeking her friends approval.
"Right Nora." Jessica said, subtly shaking her head and rolling her eyes so that only I could see.
My last period was Science and the clock couldn't move fast enough.
"What are you so excited for?" my lab partner Travis Garrett asked as we put our papers away when class had finally ended. I hadn't noticed that I was tapping my fingers on the desk rapidly.
"Oh sorry." I said. "Its my first volleyball game after school today."
Travis was one of my friends who, upon seeing that my mom was actually planning on dressing me as a girl for an extended period of time, had distanced himself from me but unfortunately could only distance himself so far as my first day in school as a girl my science teacher had assigned new lab partners and paired me and Travis up. I had officially stopped considering him my friend when I saw that he had spent our first class as lab partners taking snap chats of my ass and fake cleavage. That led to me calling him a dick in class and him asking if I was "on the rag" and saying that I "was never much of a guy anyway." Since then our relationship had been pretty cold, consisting mostly of necessary science talk awkward "hi's" when we got to class but I had heard him tell me I looked pretty today when I first came in.
"You're on the volleyball team? The girls volleyball team?" he smiled.
"That's actually pretty smart, Ty. Using your situation to see girls changing."
A few days ago I would have loved him giving me boy cred like that but today I didn't feel like I needed it.
"That's not why I'm doing it." I told him. "They needed an extra player after Jane Jeffereson got hurt. Jessica asked me and I said yes."
"Oh, well good luck then." he said, pausing before adding with a smile "I'm sure you'll look cute in the uniform."
"Thanks!" I said as I put my bag over my shoulder and headed to the locker room.
When I finally got there I paused for a second. Was I ready for this?
"Go in! We don't bite!" I heard a voice say from behind and saw tall Lydia Cora walking towards me. "We don't even haze!"
I followed Lydia in and was greeted warmly by Jessica who was in the locker room with 3 other girls, 2 of whom were fully dressed in the uniform, one of whom was sitting on a bench, wearing the shorts and a sports bra, holding the jersey in her hand.
"Hey guys, this is Tiffany." Lydia said introducing me to the others. "Tiffany this is Margret, Joanna and Carly" she said.
They all said hi and I realized suddenly, when Carly, the one who who wasn't wearing her jersey, stood up, that all these girls were at least 3 inches taller than me besides Jessica who was only taller by an inch or so.
I also realized that I was going to have to changed out of my dress in front of these girls and I wasn't sure exactly how to do it. I looked at Lydia who had taken her jeans off and realized that I was probably the only won who had worn a dress. Feeling nervous I turned away from the girls unzipped my dress and stepped out of it. I don't know why but it felt like time was moving in slow motion. My back still to them I was wearing nothing but my padded push up bra and panties as I fumbled with my black shorts finally getting them on and up my legs. I looked at them in the mirror. I could see what my Mom went when she asked me about the uniform. These were really short.
I turned away from the girls again and took off my bra, quickly replacing it with my sports bra. I turned around feeling a little more comfortable now.
"Oooo Tiffany!" Jessica said as I pulled my jersey over my head, "You actually have amazing legs."
I smiled. "Thanks."
I took out my Degree Girls deodorant and rubbed it under my hairless armpits and then put my hair up. I took my shoes out of my bag but Jessica told me to stop.
"The knee pads remember?"
There was a boyish part of me that was almost a bit turned on about the idea of wearing Jessica's sweaty knee pads but that part of me died when I saw them.
"I hope its ok they're pink." she said. "They're from 6th grade and your a bit smaller than me so I thought you'd be a small. I'm a medium now."
I nodded and put on them on to a few giggles from the girls, feeling like Jessica's little sister. "I think the pink knee pads are cute on her." said Carly in a slightly mocking but pleasant way. "They suit her."
"I'm sorry." Jessica said. "I 'd give you the white ones but I can't wear a small anymore. And they look like they fit you perfectly. And they are cute!"
"These are fine." I told her.
"Alright girls!" Coach Avery said, gruffly. She had just walked into the locker room and was full of energy. "Have you all met Tiffany?"
"Yes" came the replies.
"You all set, Tiffany?" she asked me sitting on the bench next to me. "I know we're kind of throwing you in the deep end here but we have a real solid team around you. Don't feel like you have to do too much. Just bump it to a teammate when it comes at you and if you and someone else are both going for it, let the other girl get it."
"Alright, girls lets go upstairs. Remember, nice clean hits. Don't try to do too much. Trust your teammates!"
We went upstairs and started warming up. There were maybe 20 people watching total but I smiled when I saw Mom, Jonathan, and Scott sitting in the stands. I couldn't help but laugh when I surveyed the stands again after we finished warm ups and saw the group of 5th grade girls I had sat with at lunch the other day and Nate, along with a pair of his guy friends, the kids sitting together in a cluster near the middle of the gym.
The game started and I remembered how much I missed competition. We won the first game easily and even though I only hit the ball a handful of times, it felt good to be competing again.
The second game didn't go as well. Margaret seemed to be over hitting her shots and they won fairly easily. It was time for the third, match deciding game.
We changed our order in between each game and I always started in the back middle, so I would be least likely to have to serve, and in the first 2 games I didn't have to. In the third game were having trouble winning points off our own serve. We fell behind early and fought back, trying desperately to stay in the game. We won a point off their serve to make it 24-18 and I suddenly realized that I would have to serve and that one bad serve would lose us the game. I needed to put 8 straight serves in (because you have to win by 2.)
"You got this Tiff!" Jessica called to me from the spot to my left. "Just hit it over."
I took a deep breath and tried to focus. I held the ball in front of me and struck it, nothing fancy. I sighed as went over and the girls started rallying. After a few hits on each side Lydia spiked it! 24-19! I took another deep breath and tried to do the same thing to a similar result. It went over and after a few hits, Lydia spiked it! 24-20!
I tried to make sure I didn't deviate from my routine, taking a deep breath and striking it out of my hand. Another one over this one fell without being hit when the girls on the other team had a miscommunication. 24-21!
Feeling the momentum I tried to keep it up and seemed to have found a grove. A block of a spike by Carly made it 22 and another Lydia spike, 23.
At this point the other coach called a time out and I accepted high 5s as we jogged to to huddle around Coach Avery.
"Take advantage of the opportunity!" she said. "We're in this, we just need to finish!"
I went back out there. 24-23. One more and we'd be tied. I took a deep breath and hit the ball.
It didn't feel right.
Instead of soaring over the net it careened toward the bench. It still might land in bounds I thought but it seemed like the girl on the other team was going to let it bounce. It bounced.
"In!" the referee said and my teammates let out a satisfied roar.
I refocused, trying to block out the fifth graders chants of "Tiffany, Tiffany" and served again. This one was returned right back at me. I tried to hit it but I couldn't and it hit me on the head and headed behind me. Jessica dashed behind me and flailed her arms somehow managing to hit the ball back onto the court, which Lydia slammed on the team other team who looked shocked that Jessica managed to save the ball after it hit me in the head.
I started my motion then had an idea. I held the ball above my head and tried a power serve, like the other girls usually did.
Caught off guard the other team wasn't expecting a powerful serve straight down the line. The girl playing in the back corner dove for it but missed. We won!
I don't know what hit me but when I saw Jessica running towards me, screaming in triumph, her arms spread open, I got excited.
"AAAAAAAAIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEE" I shrieked, jumping into Jessica's arms as our team mates gathered around us.
We lined up to shake hands and then I went over to my family.
Scott walked up to me and met me on the court.
"You were amazing!" he said. "That was incredible."
"Thanks!" I said happily. "I just..."
He leaned in suddenly kissed me, really kissed me and in front of people!!! This was more than the little peck he gave me the other night. We were making out in front of a good 40 people who, in that moment, seemed to all be non existent. He slowly lowered his hands from my hips to my butt and I wrapped my arms around his neck as this was quickly becoming the longest kiss I'd ever had but I didn't want to pull away. When he finally did, I looked into his eyes and smiled at him, unable to speak. He smiled back, gave me a quick kiss on the forehead.
"Tiffany!" I looked back and saw Lydia calling me, smiling. "Coach wants to talk to us in the locker room.
I looked back at Scott and smiled, gave my mom a quick wave, and even gave the fifth graders a little wave which the girls returned and Nate responded to by blowing me a kiss, and headed out of the gym.
I followed Lydia down to the locker room, breathless from the joint adrenaline of the win and my kiss with Scott. When I entered the locker room I heard cheers. All the girls besides Margret had taken off their jersey's and were only wearing their sports bras, so I did the same as I entered.
"I didn't know you had it in you!" Margret said, giving me a hug.
"That was incredible!" Joanna said, hugging me next.
"Good job Tiff!" Carly said hugging me as well.
"I'm so proud of you!" Jessica said grabbing me in the tightest hug yet. "And by the way!" she said pulling her head back but still holding me as she looked me in the eye, beaming. "You and Scott Kingsley are a thing? Since when?"
I giggled and shrugged.
A few weeks ago, I'd have given anything to be hugging Jessica Chandler in a sports bra, and now I was, but we were giggling about my boyfriend.
Coach Avery finally came in.
"That was an incredible comeback girls, you all aught to be proud."
We all clapped.
"I'm certainly proud of all of you. I'm especially proud of little Tiffany Bauer. Tiffany joined the team yesterday. Isn't the most experienced girl on the team. She isn't the most athletic girl on the team. She isn't the most skilled or the tallest girl on the team. In fact, she's the shortest. But on her first day on the team she gave it her all tonight and thats the reason we won."
The girls cheered.
"Way to go Tiff!"
"Tiffany," Coach Avery continued "You get the game ball." The girls cheered as I walked up to Coach, gave her a hug and accepted the ball from her. "Alright girls now get showered! I'll see you all at practice!"
I was a little nervous about showering with the girls but the nerves disappeared quickly.
Jessica threw me a towel.
"Should I..." I asked pointing at the shower and Jessica nodded as if it was a crazy question.
"You can't go back up there all sweaty and gross." she said. "You should shower when you get back home too, but shower here first." When I still seemed reluctant she smiled. "I know who you are Tiffany and I'm saying you should shower. C'mon, its fun. We sing." She looked at my locker. "You can't put that pretty dress back on if you're all sweaty. Especially with Scott up there."
I sighed and after all the girls had gone in I undressed and wrapped myself in a towel, and hopped into a shower stall. Jessica was right. It was kind of fun. After belting Katy Perry for 10 minutes with the girls I suddenly realized I was the only one still showering. I turned off the shower and wrapped myself up like I'd seen my sister do, so that the towel was just above my boobs, and walked back out there. All the girls were still out there, in various stages of getting dressed. "Bye Tiffany", Joanna, Margret and Lydia said as they picked up their bags and headed for the door. I changed back into my dress and realized that I was the only one in there. I went to the mirror to fix up my make up quickly and then left the locker room to find my family.
"There she is!" Mom said wrapping me up in a big hug. "Scott just went to the bathroom for a second." she said, knowing who I most wanted to see.
"43 minutes!" Jonathan said. "She really is a girl. It took her 43 minutes to get dressed."
"It wasn't just that." I scoffed, embarrassed. "Coach made a speech, she gave me the game ball" I said showing Mom "I showered, I got dressed, I fixed up my make up."
"Gotta fix up that make up." Jonathan said laughing.
"I don't know why. It was just an impulse. The other girls did." I lied, trying to think of why on earth I felt like I had to fix my make up before leaving the locker room. "Sorry for making you wait."
"Don't apologize sweety!" Mom said. "I'm so proud of you! You were brilliant!"
I even got a hug from Jonathan. "Good job Sis." he said. "Turns out all you needed to be a decent athlete was to play with the girls."
"Johnny!" my mom said. "Tiffany has always been a good athlete. She's just finally hitting her stride."
"Thanks Mom." I said.
Suddenly I saw Scott walking down the hall and I beamed.
"Why don't we give your sister some time alone with her boyfriend?" Mom said to Jonathan. "We'll see you at home sweety." she told me.
"Hey superstar." he said smiling at me.
I smiled back as he smoothly slipped his arm around me and pulled toward him.
Scott took me out to eat after we left. The whole thing felt like a dream. After a while I felt my mouth aching from smiling so much. I couldn't believe we'd been friends for my whole life and I'd never realized how cute his smile was or how dreamy his eyes were or how fit he was. Scott had been my best friend for 13 years and I'd never once thought, "Scott's pretty hot," but now it was rolling through my head on repeat.
The rest of the night was a blur but I remember kissing. Kissing before eating, after eating, and even on the way home. And I remember Scott putting his arm around me when walking me home and feeling safe.
"Can I get a quick pic?" Mom asked when Scott dropped me off.
Scott put a casual arm around me and I turned toward him and put a hand on his chest.
"You two make an adorable couple" my Mom said as she took the picture.
I blushed but Scott said "thanks."
"See you tomorrow." he said to me kissing me again.
I floated upstairs to my room and took off my dress.
I screamed, unable to contain the excitement and emotion of the past few hours and fell back onto my bed.
My phone buzzed. Mom had tagged me in 16 pictures.
The first 15 were all part of the same album called "Tiffany's Volleyball Game." She had gotten some great shots of me playing, including my reaction after we won, celebrating with Jessica immediately after the last point and us all celebrating in a group afterwords. I sighed and went through the album tagging all my teammates so they'd see the pictures too and then paused when I got to the last picture. It was the picture of my and Scott that she just took with the caption "Tiffany and her boyfriend Scott." I smiled. Scott looked like totally dreamy. I looked pretty. I even looked happy. I was happy.
I "liked" the picture.
A few seconds later I got a text form my mom.
Not every picture is for the internet
She had sent a picture of me in Scotts arms after we had won the game. I looked more than happy. I looked in love.
I smiled as I went back to FaceBook looking through all the pictures before deciding there was no point putting it off. I went to the picture of me and Scott, the one Mom had posted, not the one she had texted me, took a deep breath and pressed "make profile picture" and captioned it with a heart emoji and hit enter.
I smiled looking at my new profile picture with my new boyfriend.
A new notification.
Betsy Bauer has liked this.
Classic Mom. How embarrassing.
Jessica Chandler has liked this.
Jessica Chandler has commented on a photo of you.
U guys are too cute
A text from Jessica.
OMG you need to tell me everything about you and Scott tomorrow
Carly Sampson has liked this.
Lydia Cora has liked this.
Jonathan Bauer has liked this.
Hannah Kingsley has liked this.
A text from Hannah.
Since when are you and my brother dating?
I smiled broadly.
Scott Kingsley has liked this.
I turned off my phone, and crawled into bed in just my panties. I'd answer the texts and read the comments another time. I had gotten the only like I needed.
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