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Balls (Ball Games #1)
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Camille Turner has returned to her home town of Rotherham to open her new business, a childrens play centre. She said she left to pursue her education but in reality she was driven away by the antics of fellow pupil Dylan Ball, whose parting shot, a photo of Camille in tight shorts, earned her the nickname Camille Toe.
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Mrs Winters was a bitch. Ninety-nine percent of netball matches saw Camille benched, but on this freezing autumn day, the silly old cow stuck her in the team. Camille longed for her coat and gloves but instead was dressed in a white sports shirt, extremely tight navy shorts, a short navy blue kilt skirt and a yellow tabard. She thanked God for the tabard which hid the fact her nipples could double as coat hooks right now. As she shifted to pass the ball she stuck out her tongue at her best mate Beth, who stood at the side of the pitch, her long brown hair tucked under a woolly hat. As usual, chief arse licker Catherine had the goal attack position, leaving Camille in her dull spot of wing defence. It wasn’t fair, in this position she could never score. Intercepting the ball from her opponent, she passed to Catherine, who aimed and scored the winning goal of the match. As the whistle blew, everyone crowded around Catherine in celebration, leaving Camille at the rear of the pitch—alone. Typical. Camille shrugged her shoulders and headed towards the changing rooms. Beth ran to catch up with her.
‘You did brilliant there, Cam,’ said Beth.
Camille huffed. ‘Not that anyone noticed.’
Beth lowered her voice, ‘Dylan did.’
Camille eye-rolled. ‘As I said, no one.’
Dylan Ball was the class clown and looked the part with his brown curled hair and plump lips. His life mission appeared to be to torment Camille at any possible moment. The end of the year exams were creeping up on them, after which they would leave school for the great wide world. In Camille’s case, she was off to Sixth Form in Sheffield, then Liverpool University, relieved to be leaving behind Rotherham and morons such as Dylan. She’d learnt that Dylan had taken a position in a local bank branch. She reckoned he’d be sacked within the day.
As she pushed open the door, ready for the final lesson of the day, Camille observed her classmates stares, murmurs and cackles as she passed them. Dylan sat among them, addressing her with a twist of a smirk on his face. Camille sighed. What now? She strode past him and took a seat at the front of the classroom. She wasn’t going to give him the satisfaction of seeing how much he hurt her. He could stare at her back. While she waited for her teacher to turn up and start the lesson, Camille switched on her mobile phone to catch up on her Facebook feed. Within seconds, she discovered the subject of the gossip and giggling as notifications piled up on screen. Her. As she’d left the volume on her phone, everyone in the classroom knew she’d received them too. Camille stared at the photo Dylan had posted to Facebook showing her on the netball court earlier. In the picture, Camille stretched as she passed the ball. What had caught everyone’s attention was that the stretch had caused Camille’s shorts to tighten, revealing what Dylan captioned a Camille Toe. Camille dug her fingernails into her thigh to distract herself from the tears that hovered at the corner of her eyes.
‘Camel Toe, Camille Toe. Do you get it?’ A classmate behind her attempted to whisper but failed.
Camille fixed her gaze on the face of Mr Thomas, the teacher who now entered the classroom. She blanked her classmates out and concentrated. She needed to pass these exams and no one, least of all Dylan Ball, would get in her way.
The nickname stuck. Camille closed her Facebook account because everyone thought tagging her in photos of Camels was hilarious. She didn’t have time for social media with the sheer volume of studying she had to do, so it wasn’t the loss it might otherwise have been. Instead, she concentrated on her studies or met up with Beth at the library. She avoided any place where she was likely to bump into Dylan.
Camille sat her exams and left school. She started Liverpool University and the nickname sank into obscurity. Apart from her family and her continued, albeit now distant friendship with Beth, (who had gone to Manchester University instead) her connection with Rotherham was severed. But she never forgot Dylan Ball. She vowed that one day when he expected it least, Dylan would suffer the consequences of messing with Camille Turner.
My tunes are on in my cute Fiat 500. Today I’m singing along to Taylor Swift. It’s a waste of my talents singing in a car, I should try out for X-factor next year. I stall at traffic lights but don’t give a toss as my car has a stop-start function and revs to life by itself. Clever Bella. That’s right, my car has a name. White, with red racing stripes on her sides and a black and white houndstooth interior. She’s one stylish babe though her habit of letting the door swing back to hit my arse is an annoyance. I turn left into the vacant car park and park across two spaces for the hell of it.