To say that Bella was nervous would be an understatement. After being recruited for the university soccer team and moving to Alaska, you could say she was a lot more than just nervous.
She had arrived the day before, her dorm mate seemed nice enough and it's not like they were actually sharing a room; just a suite. From what Bella had gathered, the girl was also on the soccer team. She was the goalie. Her name was JP. Bella wasn't sure what the initials stood for, but she hadn't really cared enough to ask either. She'd just driven for hours, spent several hours in a sort of orientation, been given her campus map and ID card, and sent on her way. She wanted to be alone.
Her room was small and impersonal. She figured she'd have to fix that sooner or later. For right now her dark green bed set, small potted cactus, and her favorite stuffed animal would have to do.
She was now on her way across campus to her first practice. She'd thrown on a pair of running shorts, her knee-high socks, a t-shirt, and a hoodie to be discarded when she got tired of it. Her cleats were in her bag and her favorite running shoes on her feet. Her hair was in two messy French braids that she had done the night before and had then slept on and couldn't be bothered to redo.
She stepped onto the field and she felt at home. The air of Denali was different, but she liked it. The grass felt good and solid beneath her sneakers. No one was there yet so she dropped her bag near the bleachers and took a lap around the field to loosen up.
"It's Bella, right?" She heard and looked up as she came to a stop after nearing the bleachers again. Her roommate was there dressed similarly to Bella.
"Yeah, Bella," She said with a nod as she stretched her legs to continue to warm up some, "JP, right?" She asked just to be sure and the girl nodded, "So what's that stand for?"
"Jaqueline Paige but I hate it. The girls say JP fits me better so," She shrugged rather than finishing her thought, "Though the girls like to shorten everything. Coach Kate has been shortened to CK. There's not even fewer syllables. There was no point," She said after putting her own bag down and joining Bella as she stretched. Bella laughed in response, "I don't suppose we'll get away with calling you BS so they're going to have to get a little more creative."
"Yeah, I hope so," Bella said with a laugh and moved over to her bag to grab her cleats and change into them, "How are the girls?"
"Like a family," JP replied and then continued, "And I know everyone says that but, here, we mean it. CK is like a big sister to everyone, she's always pulling pranks and being a huge hot mess," Bella grinned as she finished tying her first cleat onto her foot, "The rest of the girls usually follow suit. We're always together, even when we're not practicing or playing." Bella nodded and finished with her second cleat before standing again. "Speaking of," JP said and gestured. Bella spun and saw the team approaching the field.
The girls looked like any other group of soccer players. They all seemed to be chatting about something and Bella kept catching sight of blonde hair near the back of the group, but she couldn't make out the face of who she assumed to be her coach.
One by one the girls introduced themselves to Bella and then all simultaneously groaned when they realized that her initials didn't make a good nickname. They all took a lap then and Bella turned to look at their coach.
She was met with a wide grin and felt herself smiling back until she made eye contact. Golden eyes shone brightly back at her and Bella had to physically stop herself from gasping, "You must be Isabella Swan," Bella opened her mouth to correct her but was cut off, "Or, it's Bella, right? You put that on your information pamphlet," Bella just nodded in response, "We're glad to have you."
Practice had been interesting to say the least. Coach Kate had run drills with them after they had properly warmed up as a team. They'd done a few team building exercises and Bella could tell that these girls really did interact like one big family. They moved as a unit, she only hoped that she'd fit in. They ended practice in a huddle while their coach gathered up the equipment that they'd had out.
When they broke the huddle, several girls started talking about dinner. Bella was invited to grab some food with them in the dining hall and she opened her mouth to decline before finding herself agreeing instead. The beaming smiles that she got in response sealed the deal for her.
She grabbed her bag as everyone headed towards the locker rooms to shower and change and looked up when someone stepped closer to her. Coach Kate was stood before her grinning. "So, how was the first practice?" She asked brightly and Bella couldn't help but smile back. Kate was enthusiastic about everything from what Bella had seen already.
"I think it went well," Bella responded with a nod and Kate all but beamed at her, "I'm looking forward to the next one."
"As am I."