“Yeah, our parents had… a sense of humour” Tom replied after the brothers exchanged glances. It was indeed not the first time they had heard that observation.
“So, we just need you to stick on the wing and whip in a few crosses.” Jez said turning back to his brother, “Simple stuff, their left back looks a bit suspect but he’s quick.”
“Sounds good.” said Tom, tying his boot laces. Turning to Jools, “Back in a bit.” He gave her a smile and a wink then ran off to join the rest of the team.
“You must be special,” said Jez without looking at Jools, “he never takes customers anywhere, little lone pretty girls such as yourself.” Jools, although confused couldn’t help but smile. She wasn’t accustomed to compliments.
“What do you mean?”
“Tom, he’s… well he’s quite a lonely character. Goes out with these guys,” Jerry continued, motioning towards the team, “maybe twice a week at most, otherwise he just sits in his flat reading.”
“He hits me as being quite sociable and kind”
“Kind, yeah. Sociable, when he wants to be. But, him bringing you here, it’s a good thing.” Replied Jez, finally turning to Jools and a smile spread across his face. “I haven’t seen him smile like he did at you for quite a while.” Jools smiled again, “We’ve not had the easiest childhoods and he’s just locked it all up inside. I have to live with it everyday.” He continued looking down at his leg. Jools looked towards Tom, he was warming up with the team constantly smiling and laughing. He glanced over and saw Jools looking over. He gave a little wave. Suddenly, the ball was passed to him but he wasn’t concentrating and hit him in the midriff. Tom crumpled on the floor to cheers of elation from the rest of the team. Slowly, Tom got up breathing heavily and gingerly walked over towards the sideline to take up his position before the match began. The referee blew his whistle and the two captains were called together, after the coin toss the match was underway.
Once the match was over, the players went in to the changing rooms, and Tom went across to Jez and Jools. It had just started to rain, Jez had brought an umbrella and both he and Jools were stood beneath it.
“I’m just going to run back to the shop and have a shower, I said to the guys we should go down to the Nags Head for a celebratory drink.”
“We lost bro.” replied Jez, slightly confused.
“Meh, that’s just a technicality.”
“How is it a celebratory drink then” asked Jools, equally confused but attracted to Tom’s enthusiasm.
“So we can celebrate Life.” Tom replied cheerily, picking Jools up and spinning around.
He put her down and ran off, back towards the shop. “See you there in 20 minutes” he called back.
“You going to come, you’re more than welcome to.” Asked Jez as they made their way out of the park.
“No, I should probably get going. Here’s £15, for the book.” Jools handed Jerry the money and the umbrella, “tell him, thank you.” With that, Jools stepped out in to the rain and crossed the road. A little further down the road, Tom turned a corner still smiling, he saw Jools crossing the road and disappearing down a side a street, his smile quickly disappeared. He ran over to Jez and took the umbrella.
“She’s not coming to the pub,” Jez handed Tom the money, “For the book. She said ‘thanks’. Sorry bro.”