It started again. Amelia and Jared began bickering more fiercely than ever, insulting each other and vowing to see the other defeated.

“You know what? It would be a pain the ass for me to watch you cheering for a team in which I am the main player,” Jared sneered.

“Oh right,” Amelia said scornfully. “You know what is more painful? Cheering for a team which has a loser like you.”

“Then who asked you to become a cheerleader?” Jared stepped forward menacingly.

“It’s my high school, my life, my wish. Who needs your stupid opinions? If you have a problem, then back off. Leave the team gladly and walk away.” Amelia too advanced on him angrily.

“Oh really? Do you think I am gonna let you have any satisfaction? Just wait till you learn a lesson. You are gonna stop being a cheerleader once you see me winning right in front of your eyes. That’s a bet. If I win, you are gonna do whatever I say.”

“Ha ha, you winning? If that happens everyone will appreciate the cheerleading girls too and if it doesn’t, then I will be happy to see you becoming a loser. One way or the other, I am always going to be the one who will be happy.”

“Okay, stop it both of you,” Dan, the rugby team captain stepped in between both Amelia and Jared who had advanced on each other till there were only a few inches between them.

“Whatever your issues are, you shouldn’t show that here, not when the game is on.” Dan pushed both of them apart and continued, “Look, we need to win the match and the trophy. If you both keep fighting like this, the other team members will lose their energy and I don’t want anything like that. We are tired of your mutual hatred. Now you both listen carefully.” He turned to Amelia and said, “If you are gonna do anything irritable in between the match while cheering just to distract Jared, then I will surely complain to the coach and you know how tough he is. If you do anything spiteful, then we will lose and I don’t think you would want anything in your record that the team you cheered as the main cheerleader lost because of your wickedness.”

He then turned to Jared and said, “If you keep concentrating more on how to plot against her rather than planning your moves in the game, then you will be out of the team and I won’t recommend your name to the coach to put it on the list of prospects for the state team. I don’t think even you would like a black remark in your record. Focus on the game, not on the cheerleader and not on Amelia especially. Got it both of you?”

Amelia and Jared nodded after giving a seething look to each other and then left.

“What’s your problem?” Nina, Amelia’s friend asked her.

“Nothing. I don’t know, we just don’t get along well. I always feel like fighting with him.” Amelia was thoughtful.

When Eric, Jared’s friend asked him the same question he said, “I don’t know. But she is cheering for my team and it is like attending the wedding of your ex-girlfriend.”

“You both seem strange. I just don’t get why you keep fighting without any reason. You both are kind of idiots,” both of them opined.

The match started and by the end of the first half, Jared’s team was in a losing situation.

“What happened to you?” Amelia charged upon him as soon as the half time break was given.

“What? I am perfectly fine, no thanks to you,” Jared shouted back.

“Really? Show this energy there,” she gestured vigorously.

“I know. I don’t need your advice,” he shrugged her off and went away into the field.

Whether it was the anger he had on her or if it was his spirit, he played hard the next half and they won the match.

As they came back to the dressing room, cheering themselves excitedly and congratulating each other, Jared paused to sneer at Amelia who was standing nearby. “See, I won!”

“Yeah, only because I knocked some sense into you,” she mocked.

“You didn’t, okay,” he retorted.

“Okay, stop it both of you. don’t start again.” Dan intervened and dragged Jared away.

After the presentation ceremony, as Jared walked back to the parking lot with Eric, he saw their school bullying gang sneering Amelia. They had surrounded her and she was trying to put up a fight with them to escape them. Jared stopped walking and tried to listen what they were fighting about.

“I don’t get how you keep all your focus on that stupid Jared only. You know you can be with me too,” the gang leader, Roger said, trying to put his hands on her shoulder.

“Shut up Roger. Jared may be my enemy but you are worth nothing. So stop bullying me and get lost.”

“Oh come on, just one party tonight,” another one from the gang advanced onto her.

Jared could see that they were forcing her to join them, god knows for what. Before he could step forward, one of the boys from the gang poured a beer on her.

That set Jared up. He charged forward and pushed half of them away.

“Beware, one more time you get near her and I am gonna bang all your heads together and break your necks,” he warned them, putting his arm protectively in front of Amelia.

“This is none of your business Jared,” Roger stepped forward menacingly and continued, “You too hate her. So why not join us for some fun?”

“She is my girl, my enemy. No one else should dare to do anything. Only I have the right. Got that? Back off.” Jared too advanced.

It broke into a fight with Jared and Eric playing the gladiator heroes. After the fight and the group broke off, Eric told Jared, “Man, I knew that you were trying to hide your feelings for her beneath those bickering. Why do you both fight when you like each other?”

“Because it makes life and love more interesting,” Jared winked.

“Get home and have your wounds dressed,” Amelia said throwing Jared’s bike keys to him. “You did a good job with the fight.” She smiled and turned away to go.