Chapter 7
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The break was now over, and Wesley was standing on the field waiting for the coach to blow his whistle. Jake was standing opposite of his position. 

The whistle was blown, and Wesley kicked the ball to Jake. Jake kicked the ball back and rushed forward. He believed he could steal the ball from Wesley and out dribble him, showcasing his skills. 

Wesley knew what Jake was thinking and didn't bother to give him a chance. He nimbly dribbled the ball and bypassed Jake with a cross.

Jake stared in confusion. He ran towards Wesley again, but contrary to his expectations, Wesley didn't attempt to cross him again. 'What is he doing?' Jake thought to himself. Wesley could have advanced towards the goal but instead passed the ball to Steve. 

Jake watched as Steve dribbled pass his teammates and was already in front of the goal. He saw Steve kick with a low amount of strength and believed the ball could be blocked with ease. But alas he was wrong. Steve wasn't trying to score a goal but was passing the ball off to someone, and that someone was Antonio. Jake realized his mistake and rushed forward to intercept the ball but was ruthlessly shut down by Antonio's footwork. 

Wesley shook his head and scoffed. He flicked the ball over the goalie's head, and it rolled into the goal. You could hear Coach Felix yelling at the goalie from the side. Telling him that he was too aggressive during that play.

The goal Wesley scored wasn't very flashy, mostly because he wanted to gauge how well Jake could use the memories to his advantage. Seeing that Jake wasn't at the point where he could bring the most out of his 'gift'. Wesley decided he could use this practice match to widdle away at some of Jakes confidence. Although he wouldn't be able to significantly break Jake's spirit, he could leave a shadow in his heart. Over time, making Jake feel as if he'd never be better than Antonio. After all, everything works out well if the protagonist has hope.

Quincy had the ball and was driving towards the goal. He passed the ball to Jake and freed himself from the two players defending against him. He made his way to a good spot on the field and looked for Jake to pass the ball back, seeing as he was in a good position to score a goal. 

Unfortunately, Jake was in his own world and ignored all of his teammates. He dribbled past a few opposing players and found himself head to head with Wesley. Jake snarled at him and rushed forward, attempting to cross him. 'You may have scored a lucky goal, but now that the ball is at my feet, I'll show you what it feels like to be at the bottom.'

Wesley saw Jake rushing in his direction while he was setting up to score and smiled. He lunged at him, seeming as if he would run right past him and twisted around Jake's body. 

Seeing Antonio run right past him Jake sneered. 'How dumb do you have to be to run right towards me? With that momentum what did you expect to happen?' Jake laughed and ran forward, but he kicked ahead and felt nothing but air. He looked at his feet with confusion, and to his horror, the ball was gone.

Wesley was running towards the goal with two teammates and a few opposing players on his tail. He dashed forward and swiftly dodged two midfielders, leaving them stumbling over their own feet. He passed the ball to a player on his left, who then passed the ball to Steve. Steve was positioning himself for the assist as Wesley shot forward into the penalty area. 

Steve laser beamed the ball back to Wesley and ran up in case Wesley missed his shot. Wesley received the ball and feined a kick to the left side of the goal successfully fooling the goalie. He then kicked the ball with astonishing force, curving it towards the right side of the goal, the ball burrowing itself into the net.

The spectators were still processing what just happened. The silence only lasted for a second before all the people on the sidelines started cheering. Wesley casually jogged to Steve and gave him a high five, surprised at how well he followed his movement. He knew that pass Steve made was hard to pull off and was surprised at how skilled he executed it.

Unlike the crowd near the sidelines, the players didn't overreact as much. Although they were amazed by Wesley's goal, they felt getting so excited during a practice match was embarrassing. Not only were the teams not well oriented, but they also weren't accepted onto the team yet as it was still tryouts. 

Nevertheless, the goal Wesley scored heated their blood, motivating them further.

Jake was standing by himself staring at Steve and Wesley. He clenched his fist and gritted his teeth. He remembered all the times Antonio had one-upped him and was livid. 'Every time! Every goddamn time! If only the goalie weren't so inexperienced, not to mention my teammates. What's with their shoddy defense.' He continuously made excuses in his head but the longer the match went on, the more furious he got.

The score was 4-0 when Coach Felix blew his whistle. Thirty minutes had passed, and tryouts were ending. He chuckled to himself. 'That boy scored three goals within thirty minutes. I can't wait until I see him with the team.' He then looked at Steve, Timothy, and Quincy. They were specially recruited, so he was not surprised at how well they performed. His gaze finally landed on Jake, and he frowned. 'Although he has good technique and solid basics, he's too selfish with the ball. He shows promise, but I'll have to fix his ego up first.' He laughed remembering how proudly Jake proclaimed to be better than his brother, Antonio. 'The kids good, but not good enough to be a starter on my team.' Coach Felix thought as he gathered the players up.

*   *   *

After tryouts, Wesley along with the three exchange students made there way to Russel Stadium. Just as Wesley thought, they were there to practice with the varsity team. Even after two hours playing during the tryouts, they were forced to train another hour and thirty minutes. Wesley felt his muscles ache as he exited the stadium. On the bright side, he'd left a mighty impression on the hardheaded seniors of the varsity team.

Wesley was starting up his car when he felt his phone vibrating in his pocket. He pulled it out to see Cassy was calling him. He accepted the call with a grin on his face. 'Now I know you're a hard working member of society, but I must tell you my insurance is fine, my bills are paid off, and you can tell that Nigerian prince he can keep his money.'' Wesley chuckled as Cassy burst into laughter.

''Why do you like to play so much?''

Wesley started his car up while responding. ''Who knows, maybe I'm just too childish for my own good.''

Cassy chuckled. ''Ok little bro. Wanna get something to eat? Maybe an early dinner?''

''Sure. Only if you can provide me with a little dessert afterward.'' Wesley was starving; sadly hunger wasn't the only thing that burdened him while pushing his body to the limit. Being surrounded by dozens of sweaty men for almost four hours had him desperately needing the comfort of a woman to ease his weak mind.

''Dessert my foot.'' Cassy laughed. She knew what he was implying, but she wasn't going to comply so easily. ''Pick me up in front of the dorms, my roommate is a local, and she recommended a few restaurants she often visits.'' Even though she had eaten an avocado and some toast earlier in the canteen, she found herself hungry again.

''Alright I'll be there in a few minutes.'' 

They both said goodbye and Wesley hung up the phone. He opened his Spotify playlist and put on a song he'd heard in the bar last night.

''Almost heaven, West Virginia."

''Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah River''

He looked towards the baby blue sky and sighed. Something about the scenery before him caused him to feel a melancholic nostalgia.

''Country roads, take me home.''

''To the place, I belong.''

Wesley laughed and looked ahead down the long road lined with trees. ''I'll cherish every life I live from now on.'' He added a new goal for the future in his mind. Enjoy life to the fullest. 

''West Virginia, mountain mama.''

''Take me home, country roads.''

 

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