"I'll be at a hotel for the rest of my stay. I'd be finishing my project at A-uni. So I wanna say thanks and goodbye." Patrick said while picking up his bags. He loaded them up at the taxi then gave Janet a hug.
"I'll see you again soon?" I asked.
He nodded. "But next time I will not back away." He pulled me in an embrace and whispered in my ears. "I'll wait for you to love me back."
I blushed and he gave me a wide grin. "Bye."
I waved at him as he rode the taxi. "Take care."
"So he left this morning?" Jessie asked when I arrived at the PubRoom.
"Yup." I answered.
It was a Saturday but we had an activity with the staff. As a yearly tradition, the school publication holds an overnight layouting. Meaning, we get to spend the night at the PubRoom. We get to scare the new recruits and allow us more time to actually finish the newspaper.
It was 6PM when everyone finally gathered. We started off with a photo op as a remembrance for the graduating seniors. Afterwards, I left the rest to torment the newbies.
I sat on my usual chair and pulled out my phone, not that I was expecting someone, but I was hoping. That's when I noticed the date, it was a Saturday, February 12. Two things came to my mind, today, basketball team will be announcing their new captain and Monday is Valentine's day.
I don't know how long I stared but I jumped a little when my phone rang, it was an unregistered number. I hit answer and put the phone in my ears.
Rick's voice greeted me " hey."
I swallowed a lump in my throat. "Hi" I greeted back.
"So I did promise that you'll be the first to know about our announcement" he whispered.
"Rick, now is not the time to call your GF you know." Someone from behind called.
"Ohh..." someone teased. A few others started calling out to Rick.
This probably was the reason why he was whispering.
"I'm sorry." He muttered, obviously embarrassed. "We're still at the gym, I know you're at the PubRoom, Jessie told me about your midnight something."
"Hmm, yeah." I kept my response short so he wouldn't know I was grinning from ear to ear.
"Can you come here?" He asked.
"You know you can just give me the name, but I'll send someone there for photos."
"No." He suddenly said. I was surprised but I keep my mouth shut. "Sorry, can you come here instead?" He begged. "Not your staff, you. I want to see you."
After we hung up, I went to Jessie to let her know I'd be leaving for a while. I grabbed the camera and worked my way at the back of the school and into the gym. I could hear shouts and dribble from afar. It's almost 7PM but the team's still at it.
When I came into view, Rick waved right at me and ran towards my direction.
"You came." He said excitedly. "Routine is almost done so just give us a few before the announcement."
I nodded. "I will just take pictures then."
I snapped a few pictures of the team making laps and taking turns doing lay ups. I also took pictures of the newbies, the manager and their coach who was beet red when angry. And of course, of Rick, running, shooting hoops and passes and shouting commands. After almost 10 minutes, the team gathered for a group picture.
"One for the team." I cued and everyone followed.
Rick suddenly stood up beside me. "Alright team, let give the ball to your new Captain." He stated. "I wanna thank you all for the great year and all our achievements and now I pass the torch to your new captain Gregory."
Gregory, the tallest guy in the team, was the obvious choice. He also had the best records amongst the Juniors in the team. He stood up and shook hands with Rick. I took a photo of them shaking hands and another of Gregory with a ball in hand. I snapped more photos after all the handshakes and back slaps.
Rick came back to my side after noticing I was done taking pictures. "I really want an interview but I have to get back." I told him. "I'll send someone here to finish the job though."
"Of course, you press people always are meddlesome."
I laughed. "That's our job."
"I love it when you laugh like that" he murmured. I suddenly noticed him standing too close to me. I turned to my heel and started to leave. Rick followed me out.
We were outside the gym and into the football field. It was a cool evening and the wind blew strong. I could smell the scent of freshly cut grass and the faint mint body spray Rick sometimes used.
"It's mint today huh" I commented out loud.
"It's mint today." I repeated. "Sometimes you smell like coffee, sometimes mint."
"Oh. You can tell."
"Of course I can, you always stand too close." I answered as a matter of factly.
He chuckled. "Sorry. Does that make you feel uncomfortable?"
I shook my head.
"Good." He answered.
He turned to me and blocked my path. He towered over me so I just stood there and stared at his hazel eyes. He bent down and gently gave me a kiss. It was quick and sweet but the taste of his lips in mine lingered.
"Thank you for heeding my selfish request." He bowed. "Careful on your way back." He planted another kiss on my forehead and I almost melted. He ran back to the gym and I walked back to the PubRoom in a daze.
I took my time walking back to the PubRoom to make sure I wasn't blushing when I face the staff. Also, to make sure I've gathered back my composure.
"Gregory is the new captain" I announced when I arrived. "Someone go to the gym and do a profile." I really don't care who does what as long as they get it done.
I sank back to my chair hoping I wasn't acting out, but of course, I did not deceive Jessie's prying eyes. She sat down beside me with a smile on her face.
"Something happened right?"
I nodded and her smile widened. "I won't force you to tell me but I'd love it if you do."
I buried my face in my hand and shook my head. I was too embarrassed just thinking about it.
"Okay. Maybe when you're ready." She stood up and left me floating mid air.