Book cover of “It Wasn't Donovan. Book 1“ by Mary

It Wasn't Donovan. Book 1

  • Genre: Romance
  • Status: Completed
  • Language: English
  • Author: Mary
"I know you didn't kill Amelia." "Oh yeah? How do you know?" He asked with a wicked smirk, "What makes you think I won't come for you the same way I went for Amelia and have you turn up dead the next morning as she did?" Amelia Rosalés is dead. The entire town knows her boyfriend, Donovan, killed her. The only person who still believes he's innoc... 

Chapter 1

I ran fast after the lanky boy with the ball. Being a defensive player, I had well crossed the midfield and could hear, obscured in my deadened senses, shouts of my name to fall back. Was it my coach? I didn’t know. Didn’t care. ‘

He is going down’ was the only interpretable command my brain seemed to process, and I simply let the lust for revenge consume me. Whether it was the sheer boil of my blood that had caused me to act so foolishly or just ill luck at its finest, the oaf had passed the ball to another player before I got to him.

It’d be insensitive to tackle him without a ball, and it wasn’t worth a red card. I locked onto his frame mentally and promised myself to come back for him. To make him feel what he felt. I stopped in my tracks and began jogging in the opposite direction, towards my space that was left unguarded, creating a crater in my team’s defense. My light jog intensified into another sprint when I saw the ball headed for that exact cavern.

What are the odds?

In no time, the opposing team put the ball into our goal. The shot was weak, but our defense was pathetic, and our goalie alone stood no chance against a ‘one on one.’ My shoulders sagged as I walked back to my position. I didn’t even want to look at Coach Weber. I, however, focused my attention on the reason I took on that chase that evidently cost us a goal. Don was still limping from the fall of the slide tackle, and the referee didn’t even award a free kick. Four goals down, and I was still more concerned about a limping boy than anything else in the present moment.

I took my precious time outlining his face. His blonde eyebrows creased along with the rest of his face in a frown. I could tell it wasn’t the recently sustained injury that perplexed him so. If anything, Donovan loved the pain, boldly emphasizing during previous debates that pain was symbolism for growth, likening the burning sensations from a blister to the turgid pull of a spent muscular tissue. Even my crush on him didn’t stop my disapproval of that theory. There was something deeper troubling him, and I was going to ask him about it in the locker room after this match.

“Asheerr! Get your head in the game!” I heard Coach Weber screech. I shook off the thoughts and began pursuing the attacking player who attempted to pass me with the ball, not realizing that the game had started. Despite the three-foot headstart I had given him, I caught up easily and dispossessed him of the ball, flattening him on the ground in an instant. I gave the ball a tap, and it rolled into Don’s control. He sent it flying into the midfield with a single blow. 

I should have been watching the ball. Maybe I would have seen that it was instantly deflected and entered back into the possession of the other team. Instead, I watched Don. He was more fascinating than the gameplay. I splurged my attention on his flexing hamstrings as he relaxed his legs from the stretch of the kick and still felt compelled to indulge myself further on the sight of his muscular frame pacing the pitch.

“Asshheeerr!”

I turned and saw the look of exasperation on Coach’s face. He was looking at me like I grew horns, and I didn’t blame him. I was the one who practically let a player pass me with the ball like a mortal passed an apparition he was oblivious of. Giving chase was useless, and I was only lucky that the net didn’t concede the shot fired.

Before the next goal kick, the substitution whistle blew. I wasn’t surprised to see on the board ‘14’ lined in red LED and ‘55’ in green. Cat-walking to the sidewalk, I emptied my mouth of some tired saliva into the grass and shook the hands of the far less experienced player than I was to take my place on the pitch.

Coach Weber’s voice was soft when he scolded me. Something that made me hate it more. 

“Are you being serious now, Ash?” He looked at me with deep soulful eyes, “We’re on the precipice of the most embarrassing defeat this season and somehow, a crush is more important?” 

Both his arms were akimbo, and it tightened his jersey at his waist, pronouncing his round protruding stomach further. Those soft rebukes made you feel far worse than if a person was yelling. 

“I wasn’t looking at him,” I said simply, taking my eyes away from him to avoid him detecting my lie. I was easier to read than a book.

“Really?” He scoffed.

“I wasn’t look—”

“Then why’d you chase down number 5 from the other team way past your defense position? The one that coincidentally happened to slide tackle Don.”

Silence, except for the cry “goal!”. It was our team that scored, even though one goal against four in the eighty-fifth minute was hardly worth any celebration. The cry was quick, though, and they went almost immediately into kick-off.

I was still looking at him. I couldn’t help it. He was limping! And somehow, Coach Weber thought I was the one who needed substitution.

“You know...” Coach Weber started to say, tearing my gaze off Don and towards him. He had a smirk on his face, and I guessed he wanted to say something snarky about my staring at Don, but he decided against it. “You know what? Keep doing your thing.” 

He then turned to yell at other players keeping the facade of optimism even though I could clearly make out from his posture his defeated demeanor.

The match ended 1 - 4. That was the most embarrassing defeat Avenston’s Arrows had suffered on their home soil since the ‘7 - 0’ defeat of 2012 — almost 12 years ago. If I had my head in the game, as Coach Weber had said, it probably would have been better. Goals are conceded when the defense fails. If there was anyone to blame, it would be me, and I wasn’t looking forward to it. I began to make my way to the locker room to change up and stow away before any of my hyena teammates came.

“Uh-uh, kid. You gotta pay respects.” Coach nodded to the pitch. Ugh.

With soggy shoulders, I went about shaking and fist-bumping everyone on the opposing team that I could. They responded eagerly with giddy smiles. We were a well-recognized team, so even though this was just a friendly match, they were still excited about beating us. Everyone on my team glared daggers at me. If looks could kill, I’d be on a trip to the morgue right now instead of the locker room.

“What the hell, bruh!” Matt Simmons, the team captain, backed me up against my locker immediately after he entered. I could smell his sweaty aroma and the desire to pluck my heart out of my ribcage. Another teammate had to pry him off me.

“Really, Asher, that was messed up back on the pitch.” Another player—Andrew Clarified. He didn’t seem as angry as Matt or the other players, that could barely even look at me, but he sounded pretty disappointed.

Another player spoke up. 

“Messed up? You was a literal ghost out there, bro! You could have just lay down on the pitch and not stood. It was more embarrassing seeing you stand when you was doing nothing.”

Ouch. Gage really knew how to deliver blows.

“And the rest of you couldn’t cover up the space this impish rouge left on the pitch!?” Simons raged at the other defenders.

“Donovan! I’m talking to you and the rest of defense. Your game was weak.”

“I was slide tackled,” Don grit. He hated people calling his full name. “My knee still hurts.”

“Yeah, but like the seventieth minute, eh,” Matt argued back, “What happened before that? Three goals!”

Don’s teeth were still clenched, but he ignored Matt and continued changing.

“Yeah...maybe they’re having relationship issues, eh?” Andrew joked, “I mean... probably you and your boyfriend”—he nudged at me—“need to iron somethings out.”

Don’s eyes darkened at the boy. 

“Say that again.” He took a threatening step forward. They were both evenly matched, with Andrew coming out even taller. He had a lazy smile on his face as he taunted. 

“Oh, sorry. What I meant to say is that your lover couldn’t take his eyes off you during the entire match, and you were busy getting drunk in the attention and decided to give him strip roll dances the entire game.”

Silence.

In the next microsecond, Don’s fist flew. Andrew must have expected it because he expertly parried the attack and held Don’s arm in a lock. Don brought their bodies to flush against each other and tried to lift Andrew up. It was futile. Andrew tightened his core and used that moment to push Don as far away as he could. Don didn’t move far, though, and he rebounded almost as quickly, with a barge of blows that Andrew managed to avoid about eighty percent of. The rest was enough to equally piss him off. He now had a split lip and wanted to give Don one. His tussled black hair bounced as he moved his arms in a rhythm, catching Don right in the mouth. 

Before it got bloody, other teammates rushed to stop the fight. 

Andrew was still smirking, but he was obviously pissed. Don, on the other hand, was hulk. Red veins strained hard on his forehead, and it took a lot more to restrain him. Even when he promised he wasn’t going to attack anymore and was released, he still went for another lunge and was held back again.

Just then, Coach Weber came in and rebuked the two. He then proceeded to give us, especially the defense part of the team, a soulful speech about how disappointed he was with our game before taking Andrew with him to avoid any further conflict. By this time, a lot of other players were already leaving, so I took the chance to approach Don.

“Hey...bro...are you alright? Your nose looks broken.” I tried to sound as casually sympathetic as possible.

“I’m good, man.” He didn’t even spare me a glance.

“Listen, uh...about Andrews. You know he’s an airhead, right? So you...” I started, but Don just slung his bag pack over his shoulder and walked past me. 

Someone’s in a mood.

Well, this was also my cue to leave. Taking my bag too, I left the locker room after saying goodbye to a few of the guys who could still bear to converse with me despite my disappointing performance and started, like I did every other day, following Don, making sure to keep a safe distance to maintain his oblivion of my presence.

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