Today was December 2nd, 2021, this was Alex’s 4th year at UC Berkeley. It was also Charlie’s 3rd year at UC Berkeley. Today was also the day before one of the biggest home games in Charlie’s QB history.
Alex had finally figured out a major, Psychology with a minor in sociology. He was planning to become a college, high school, or some kind of Psychologist/counselor. There was one job he was really looking at, but he would never tell charlie, NFL and other professional sports teams have their own Psychologists/Psychiatrists that travel with the teams and help out the players, since being a professional athlete can take its toll on the brain. However, that would mean he would have to get a Doctorate in Sports psychology which again, he wouldn’t tell Charlie, but he was already working on it and it would only take him 5 more semesters of school to complete.
Charlie was the star quarterback last season and this season, he was already being noticed by the NFL which was incredible. Last year, he took the Golden Bears to the Pac-12 semifinals against Stanford (their rivals) but lost. This year, they were the best team in the Pac-12 conference so they were automatically in the Pac-12 championship, hints why this was such a huge game for charlie’s career. The California Golden Bears haven’t won a conference title since 2006, and haven’t won a national championship since 1937...yeah, it been a while. Charlie and his coach, Justin Wilcox have to lead the team to be the best its ever been (in the new age of football, that is). Tomorrow’s game is against the Oregon Ducks, normally they arent their rivals (that’s Stanford and UCLA) but this year, Oregon and UC have been fighting constantly to get on top of the Pac-12 and tomorrow’s game will be the deciding factor.
Their relationship together has never been better, they live in a small house together right off campus, next door, Estela and Tyler have a house, and Jess and her best friend Morgan also have a house (they’re tiny 2 bedroom houses that college students rent cause it’s cheaper than housing). Estela chose to go to UC Berkeley since 2 of her best friends, Jess and Charlie, and her boyfriend, Tyler, go there. Plus she got a huge scholarship for journalism. Charlie and Alex love each other so much, they have been together for about 3 and a half years now. They’ve had their ups and downs, a few fights, some short separation for about 2 months, but they always came back and never stopped loving each other.
Right now, it was 11:30, Alex, Jess, Tyler, and Luke Holliday were sitting in Alex and Charlie’s house. Luke didn’t go to UC Berkeley, but he was on break, so was everyone but all of them just stayed at their houses because Charlie’s big game is tomorrow, so its easier to stay there than to go home.
“How’s Charlie doing?” Tyler asked Alex.
“You saw him today, he’s doing fine”
“Yeah, but I mean is he stressed about the game tomorrow?” Tyler questioned again.
“No, not at all,” Alex said sarcastically.
“Wait really? I would be,” Luke said.
“Wow Luke, you haven’t changed a bit,” said a voice behind them.
Alex turned around and standing in the front doorway was Alex’s older brother, Peter.
“Big Standall!!!” Luke shouted. He got up and gave Peter a big hug, making him drop all of his things.
“Pete!” Jess ran over and gave Peter a hug too, “I haven’t seen you in like a year!”
Peter hugged Jess back, “I know, its been too long Jess”
“I didn’t know you were coming this early, I thought you, me, mom, dad, and Charlie were all going to have dinner tonight’
“We are, I just drove up here early to surprise you,” Peter said, picking his stuff back up.
“Surprise me, or surprise Charlie?” Alex said, knowing Peter tended to favor Charlie’s company.
“You...and Charlie,” Peter said, walking over to give Alex a hug. “Where is the QB anyway?”
“He’s at brunch with his team,” Jess informed him.
“Damn, I brought you two a gift, I was hoping he’d be here.”
“He’ll be home in about an hour, you can give it to us then.”
“Ok, um… are there any-”
“Jar next to the microwave” Alex aid before he could finish.
“Yessss…” Peter ran over to the microwave, opened the jar, and pulled out 2 cookies. “That boy is a GOD at baking” his mouth was full.
“Yes, he is” Tyler agreed, he got up and grabbed a cookie from the jar too, while he was there he greeted Peter.
“Ty, can you grab me one?” Estela asked.
“Me too!” Jess said sitting back down next to Alex
“Yeah, but that’s it, there’s no more,” Tyler said, taking Estela and Jess their cookies.
“Ok, so the plan for the game tomorrow is, Jess: you, Peter, and my parents are taking one car,” Alex said, and Jess nodded. “Ty: you, me, Estela, Luke, and Morgan will take the other” Alex said, and Tyler nodded. “Then Clay, Heidi, Tony, Caleb, Zach, uhh... Diego, Charlie’s Dad, and Coach Kerba are all going to meet us there.”
“Holy shit, how many tickets do the players get?” Peter asked, his mouth was still full.
“At Tennessee, we only get 4 tickets per player”
“Well Charlie is the star player,” Alex said.
“Yeah, they’d do anything for that boy,” Jess laughed.
“Well, me Jess, Ty, Stela, and Morgan all have student passes. Then the school said they could give him up to 15/20 tickets for his family and friends, but he only had to use 11.”
“He invited more, but not everyone could come” Tyler informed them.
“Exactly,” Alex said.
“Wait HOW MANY?!” Peter asked.
“15 to 20 tickets, however many he needed,” Alex repeated.
“That’s insane. They really love him don’t they?” Peter said.
“Yeah, they do,” Estela said.
“What do you mean?” Peter asked her.
“Its nothing,” Alex avoided the question.
“She means that some of the players on the team aren’t as big of fans of Charlie as the school and the coaches are,” Jess explained.
“Jess, What the fuck?”
“Shut the fuck up Alex,” Jess said.
“Why dont they like him, he’s literally the sweetest and he’s an incredible player,” Peter was confused.
“I bet its cause the school loves him so much,” Luke guessed.
“Its more about who he loves,” Jess said.
“Seriously Jess, shut up,” Alex insisted.
“Wait a minute. Is this about how he’s bi?” Peter realized.
“Thanks, Jess,” Alex said sarcastically.
“Are you kidding me?” Luke shouted. “What the fuck? That’s awful”
“Yeah, no kidding,” Peter scoffed and thought hard about what had just been said, it was quiet in the room, besides the sound of the T.V. nobody talked for about 5 minutes. “Hey Luke, you wanna help me with my bags, I’m staying in alex’s room.
“Wait uh... But what about” Alex started to say.
“Oh cut the shit Alex, I know you two sleep in Charlie’s room. Every time I come here your bed is untouched. And you’re literally 22 years old dude. And I’m not going to pay a bunch of money to stay in a hotel when you have an open room.”
Alex blushed but didn’t say a word.
Peter got to “Alex’s” room (it was basically a guest bedroom) and set down his stuff. He sat on the bed and told Luke where to set the rest of his stuff. “Hey, wait,” he said to Luke as he was walking out the door.
“Do you know where Charlie is at?”
“At brunch…?” Luke said, confused.
“no, I mean the address, or building, or something?”
“Yeah, actually I do. Why, are you thinking what I’m thinking?”
“I think so.”
The guys left the room and went out to the living space.
“Hey, uh… Luke and I are going to run to the store.”
“Uh...why?” Alex questioned.
“Um...I forgot Shampoo and toothpaste, and don’t say I can use yours cause I need a specific type of shampoo and your toothpaste gives me canker soars.”
“Ok…” he says as Peter and luke walk out the door.
Peter and Luke wait outside the restaurant, waiting for them to finish, once they do, they wait for charlie to leave first and funnily enough, he’s the first one to leave. Once he does, they go inside and walk up to the table full of football players.
“Hey!” Luke shouts.
“Which one of you guys have an issue with Saint George?”
Four guys look up, the rest get up and walk away, they seem to be underclassmen who didn’t want to get involved. Peter was 6’2”, and Luke was 6’6”, they were big dudes.
“Yeah, we’ve got an issue with that fag, why? Which one of you is his boyfriend?” one of the guys says, the others with him.
“Well, you’d better keep it together or w-” Luke was interrupted.“Or you’ll what, you’ll go running to your boyfriend? Well, we’ve already hit him enough to keep him from standing up to us. And trust me, it doesn’t take a lot” another one of the guys says
“The fuck you just say?” Peter shouted.
“I said we’ve already bruised that fag up enough. He won’t even look at us anymore” the same guy laughed and stood up, chest out. His face was mad and he was looking directly at the two guys. (he was about 6’0” at most, so he was looking up at them)
Without needing to hear anything else, Luke punched the guy in the face. “Well guess what, Charlie is my best friend, and the reason he doesn’t look at you, is probably because of you fucking suck.”
Just then another football player stood up and tried to swing at peter, peter moved out of the way and punched him in the nose, he started bleeding.
“Leave charlie the fuck alone,” Luke said, holding one of the guys (who hadn’t been punched yet) by his collar. He was big, but luke was bigger. He somehow broke free and got a few hits on both of them.
“Which one of you did he suck off to do his fighting?” the guy said, standing in front of the two guys before hitting Luke and Peter again.
“Why don’t you shut the fuck up,” Jess said, then knocked the guy out. She had followed them there because Alex said he thought they were acting weird, so she decided to.
“Oh...hey jess…” Luke said.
“You two are idiots.”
“What were we supposed to do, let them do that to Charlie?” Luke asked.
“No, but you could’ve called for backup, I would’ve joined you sooner,” she said helping Peter walk since one of the guys hit him in the side really hard. Peter’s arm was around Jess’s shoulder as they walked to Luke’s car.
“Hey Jess, are you going to tell anyone?” Peter said, struggling to talk.
“No, but you two better come up with an explanation for why you look like shit.”
“We’ll just say we got mugged,” Luke said.
“Wait, Luke thats actually a good idea,” Peter said, laughing.
“Yeah, I know, that’s why I said it”
“Let’s just go, if we’re all gone too long, they’ll get worried” Jess reminded them.
Once they got back to the house, Charlie was obviously home. And the boys and Jess walked into the house.
“What the fuck guys,” Alex said after they told them the mugging story they had perfected on the way there.
“Do you want us to call the police?” Tyler asked.
“No, we fought them off so they didn’t get any money,” Peter said.
“Yeah, but we can still get them for assault,” Charlie explained
“Seriously guys were fine. It’s no big deal,” Luke told them.
“Fine, but you get to tell mom and dad,” Alex pointed to Peter.
“Shit. I forgot about them,” Peter said as he sat down.
“Ooo, yeah. Good luck with that,” Jess said, patting Peter on the back and sitting next to him.
“Hey! Who ate all the cookies?” Charlie questioned as he opened the cookie jar.
“It was them!” Alex pointed to the rest of the people there.
“I didn’t have any either!” Luke shouted defensively.
“I only had two, Stel and Jess both had one.”
“Peter, holy shit there were 12 cookies in here!”
“WHAT? I was hungry. And it’s not my fault your cookies are addictive.”
“Peter, these were for you and your parents.” charlie said disappointed.
“I’m sorry char.”
“It’s ok, I’ll just make more.”
“Wait really? Cause that would be amazing,” Peter said looking over at Charlie who had already started to get out the ingredients for his cookies.
“Peter, you literally get cookies one every month when I send them to you.”
“I know...but they’re so good. What is your secret?”
“Its chili powder, I use it in every recipe.”
“Dude, thats so cool.” peter said, amazed.
“Tell him the story,” Alex said, to charlie.
“Sure. Once when I was about 7 or 8, my mom and I were baking cookies, and she asked me to grab cinnamon. I ran to the cupboard and grabbed the cinnamon and put a whole bunch of it in the dough. Then my mom freaked out and was like “Charles what are you doing?” and I was really confused. It turned out that I accidentally put chili powder instead of cinnamon. So then, we put cinnamon in it as well, and we got as much chili powder out as possible, but still baked them. Then when we tasted them, and they were the best cookies we had ever had. So now, I add a dash of chili powder to each cookie dough no matter the recipe.”
“That is the cutest story,” Etela said.
“I’m just glad you didn’t read the label, or we never would have had these amazing cookies,” Peter said.
About 7 hours later, it was time for dinner. Alex, Peter, their parents, along with Jess and Charlie all had dinner at Alex and Charlie’s house. Charlie cooked his famous chicken parmesan. They all caught up with each other and Peter explained the whole mugging thing, Jess helping out.
They talked about football, the game tomorrow, Charlie and Alex’s plans for the future, Jess’s too. Then Mr. and Mrs. Standall left and told them they’d meet everyone there before the game.
The game started at 5:00, it was 3:30 now, and everyone was driving to meet at the stadium. Peter and Jess with the Standall’s, and Luke, Morgan, Alex, Tyler, and Estela all together. In the Standall’s car, the parents were in the front with jess and peter in the back.
“hey, so how are you and Diego?” Peter asked her.
“Wow, it has been forever. Pete, Deigo and I broke up like 11 months ago.” Jess told him.
“Really, I’m sorry,” Peter said while putting his hand on her shoulder
“Dont be, it wasn’t the best relationship. It was more onesided and I wasn’t really in love.”
“Oh. well is there anyone new in your life?” Peter questioned.
“Nope, I’m all alone.”
“Hmm,” Peter sighed.