What Once Was Lost:  Old Rivals


          “Ow!”  I rubbed my forehead where the Frisbee hit me, coming from the direction of Robinson Field as my friend Craig and I were headed back toward our building.
          Craig, who’d caught the Frisbee after it hit me, looked toward me, concerned.  “You OK, Shai?”
          I just cursed under my breath, rubbing my forehead.  “I’m going to have a monster bruise, but I’ll live.  Where did that thing come from?”
          “Craig!  Craig Ian Malcolm!”
          It was all I could do not to groan.  Shannon Tyree.  I thought she was at State, far away from us.  As the perky, annoying brunette ran over to us, I just continued to rub my forehead, grumbling.  Craig just looked surprised.
          “Oh, God, Craig, I’m so sorry!”  Shannon blurted out.  “Are you all right?”
          “I’m fine,” he said, then motioned to me.  “Shainann’s the one you hit.”
          Shannon glanced at me and her face twisted into what was almost a snarl, but when she looked back at Craig the expression of distaste was gone.  Yeah, I know you don’t like me, Shannon.  Guess what?  The feeling’s mutual.
          “So you’re sure you’re all right?”
          “I’m fine, Shannon, really.  Here’s your Frisbee.”  Craig handed it to her and looked back at me.  “Shall we?”
          I nodded emphatically and began to walk again, Craig with me.  Shannon grabbed his arm.
          “Stay and play a while, Craig, please?”
          He just smiled.  “I have homework.  Sorry, Shannon.  I’ll see you later.”  He gently took his arm from her grip and resumed walking with me.
          Once we were well out of earshot, I glanced back over my shoulder toward where Robinson Field was, then looked at him.  “When did she come to Grand Valley?”
          He shoved his hands into his pockets and glanced at me as we walked.  “Shai, would you calm down?  It’s no big deal that she’s here.”
          “Yes, it is,” I whined.  “She always kept trying to one-up me in high school and because she never could she hates my guts.”  I looked at him again.  “You do realize that she sees you as a prize in our little contest, right?”
          He just shrugged.  “I figure she’ll eventually figure out that I’m not interested in any way, shape, or form and move on.  If she doesn’t…well, I’ve got you to protect me, don’t I?”  He grinned at me.
          I had to laugh at that.  Putting my arm around him, I nodded.  “Yeah, you do.”
          “A guy couldn’t ask for a better friend than you, Shai.”
          I blushed.  “Thanks, Craig.”
          “I tell only the truth,” he smiled.  “C’mon, race you to Kleiner.”
          I looked down at my bike, then up at him.  “You sure?”
          Craig didn’t answer, just grinned and started running.  I shook my head and swung onto my bike.  Best friend a girl could have.  I started off after him, laughing.  Whether or not Shannon had shown up to ruin my life, that didn’t mean I couldn’t enjoy it in the time that she wasn’t around.



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