Episode 3: Girl Trouble

This week Billy’s head has just been in an apsloot mess. Will Best Friend Jed step in to help him out? We’ve got our fingers and eyes crossed…

anna billy Blues football Boys Cambridge flash football girl tourble mollie wintle roberta marley Sunday Serial Texting trinity hall

Catch up on episode two here

“Your fitness is low.”

“But I’ve been training all summer!”

“Quite frankly Billy,” David, the football coach, looked at him, “Quite frankly I just don’t believe you.”

“But it’s true! That’s all I’ve been doing this summer. Training.” Billy hated the whine in his voice but couldn’t get rid of it. “That and my dissertation.”

“Well it’s your head space then. You’re running about like a little bird…who isn’t very good at running.”

“Right.”

“You’re like a recently born lamb who has been born without any sense of co-ordination.”

“I don’t think that’s fair –”

“You’re about as fast as Hamish and Hamish –” David put his stack of kit down and looked Billy in the eye – “Hamish isn’t very fast at all.”

Usually Billy enjoyed David’s similes but today they were beginning to grate.

“Hamish has diabetes.”

“And don’t I know it.” David sighed. “What I’m trying to say is – I don’t think there’s much point you coming to try-outs next week.”

“You can’t be serious.”

“I’m as serious as one of those people who show people round museums.”

“A museum gu – ”

“A museum guide. I mean – is there something distracting you at the moment? Something bothering you?” David put his stack of kit down. “You seemed so on form in Easter.”

Should he try and explain?

“No. nothing.”

“Right. It’s just a shame, that’s all.” David’s voice was light as he headed off the pitch in front of Billy. “I was looking forward to having you on the team this year.”

***

“Why don’t you ask her out?”

Jed’s voice cut through the roar in hall.

“What’s that?”

“Why don’t you stop staring at Anna and ask her on a date?”

Billy stared at him instead.

“I don’t stare.” He nudged his peas with his fork. “And what…do people even go on dates?”

“I go on dates.”

“You go on tinder dates.”

“So?”

Billy shrugged.

“I’m not you.”

Jed looked at him. “You should have more confidence. You’re a good-looking guy.”

“Thanks, Mum.”

“I’m serious. And you – stop playing with your peas – have been staring at Anna for weeks. She’s the reason you’re not on the team, man. Why are you so obsessed with her?”

Billy didn’t reply. If it wasn’t immediately obvious to Jed that Anna Duggins was the most beautiful girl in Cambridge then he was beyond help. Look at her, he thought to himself. She was sitting three tables away from them, also eating peas – a sign?? – dark red hair pulled back into a braid. Somewhere in his mind he could hear Maisy declaring that it was a fish plait..?

“I mean, she’s pretty but she’s not fit.”

Billy tutted. “Watch it.”

“Just ask her for a drink!”

“No.”

“Why not?”

“She’ll say no. And then I will be Billy No Dates.”

“You’re already Billy No Dates. And that’s better than Pervy Billy which she definitely calls you behind your back. Creepy Bill. The one who stares in the corner.”

“Stop it.”

Jed snatched up Billy’s phone.

“What are you doing? Stop! Jed!”

But Jed had already opened facebook and was typing out a message.

“ – and send.”

“NO!”

“You are welcome.”

“Oh god. Jed.” Billy felt his ears prickle. “What have you done?” He took back his phone and read aloud: “Come for a drink with me tomorrow?”

Jed grinned. “Fairly harmless, I would say.”

“You shit.”

“And let the honeys meet the Billy.”

“Fucking hell. I can feel my…” Billy put his hand to his chest. “I feel sick.

“Breathe son.”

“That’s a… why did you do that!”

“Calm down, please.”

“Fuck. Fuck!”

Billy!”

A single phrase in blue had flashed up on his screen.

‘OK.’

Read episode four here