12-yo Bea thought the hardest part of girls’ hockey was falling down. Turns out that’s nothing compared to falling for her teammate. When a lack of funding threatens the team’s future, she’ll have to face her insecurities to keep her friends—and her crush—on the ice. SIDETRACKED x ALMOST FLYING
There’s no way I’m joining the girls’ hockey team.
It’s the first table I see when I walk into the cafeteria with my best friend, Celia Chan, for the Glenview Middle sports fair. They’re way off in the corner, but their bright red banner’s hard to miss. Especially since they look like the only team that actually prepared for this.
And, I mean, fine. Hockey may be one of the few sports I know anything about (a side-effect of having an NHL nut for a dad). But it’s also one of the sweatiest sports in existence—and if I’m going to have to stink at something, I’d prefer not to do it literally.
“I can’t believe you’re finally joining a team with me again!” Celia loops her arm through mine and grins.
I flinch at the reminder of the last team we joined together. It’s not like Celia’s bringing it up on purpose, but the memory still stings.
“I don’t think joining’s the right word,” I point out, “considering Coach Armstrong’s not giving us much choice in the matter.”
When the gym flooded last week, it should’ve been the greatest day in the history of middle school. I mean, if I was a gym teacher, class would’ve been #Cancelled: everyone’s ticket out of the cruelest part of seventh grade. But Coach “suggested” to our parents that we be “encouraged” to join an extracurricular instead.
And my parents took that seriously.