Thursday night football training; bright lights illuminate the cool grass. Colin knows the feeling of those grass blades pointing into his flesh, sticking into his skin. They’re sharp and they slice the fragile layer of cells and moisture on his body.
He chases the red leather ball and dives for it, climbs his opposition to take the mark. He falls to the ground clutching the prize close to his chest. His frame thuds into the earth – gravity is not friendly in this game. Girls sit in the cars around the oval. They smoke, cheer and giggle. Show each other text messages on their mobile phones from the boys on the field. Catty, snipe.
I saw him first.
He doesn’t even like you.
You’re a sack of spuds, let it go Janelle. He doesn’t fucking want you.
The whistle blows. They line up, huddle, grunt. Pack up, go home. Lie in bed and think about doing it again on Saturday, harder.