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Second Shot - 1. Chapter 1 A Chance Meeting

Meet Jason - soccer player, student and closet case.
Meet Peter, martial arts champion, student and out.
Can these two opposes get together without worlds colliding??

Running full speed, Jason pushed himself as hard as he could. To his right, a defender strained to keep up with him, trying to put himself between Jason and the goal. Half a step ahead, Jason took his eye off the ball long enough to see his teammate and best friend Darryl bolting for the center of the penalty area.

Reaching the ball before the defender, he pushed it forward hoping to create space to take a shot. He could hear his coach screaming for him to shoot. Pulling up suddenly, he stopped the ball, allowing his opponent to run past. Realizing he had a poor angle from which to shoot he screamed, “D, coming at you!”

Pivoting, he chipped the ball toward the center of the field. Using every bit of his 6’3” frame, Darryl leapt above everyone, heading the ball perfectly into the upper left hand corner of the net.

Darryl ran toward his side line, jumping twice before Jason put him in a bear hug, hoisting him off the field. Together they ran toward their sideline, soaking in the roar of the home crowd. A brief celebration with his teammates, a quick glance into the crowd to find his parents and Jason ran back to his position, readying himself for the expected pressure from the other team.

From his left wing position, Jason watched every player on the other team press forward once the referee blew his whistle to restart play. Even the goalie was up near mid field.

“Tellerman!” He heard his coach scream his name. “Keep your position!”

Jason waved back, keeping his position despite his instinct to defend his goal. Up 2-1, he knew their opponent was going to try everything to get the equalizer. He also knew that one errant pass would allow his team to clear the ball and he would be in a race with the keeper. If he reached the ball first, he could put the game out of reach.

Twice he started to chase down a ball that came close, but stopped each time as he noted the opposing keeper moved closer with him. Reinforcing his decision to stay close to the opposing half were the shouts from his coach every time he moved more than a yard or two closer to his own goal.

Time seemed to tick away slowly as he watched his teammates thwart one attack on goal after another. How much time was left? It had to be close to the end of the game.

“Three minutes of added time!” The referee shouted.

Three minutes? How the fuck could he add three minutes? There weren’t that many stoppages to warrant adding three minutes. So pissed at the amount of added time, Jason nearly missed his team clearing the ball his way. This time the ball was going to carry over the mass of attackers waiting to push the ball back towards his goal.

Immediately Jason broke for the ball. There was no one else near him but the opposing goalie. Three strides toward the ball brought a smile to his face. The keeper hesitated between going for the ball and getting back in goal. Jason was determined to make him pay for that indecision.

Chasing as fast as his tired legs would move, Jason reached the ball about 30 yards from the opposing goal. The keeper was pushing to get back before Jason could take a shot. Decision time. His angle was not the best, but pushing the ball closer only gave the keeper more time to get in position. Having it blocked would be worse than missing, he reasoned. At least his teammates could get back in position if it was a goal kick.

Out of position as he was, the goalie nevertheless managed to get back fast enough to get between Jason and most of the goal. From his position, Jason only had a clear shot at a quarter of the net. Either that or loft it over the goalie’s head. This far out, the keeper could not use his hands without getting a red card.

Jason pushed the ball forward enough to improve his shot. Planting his left foot, he kicked with his right, hoping to get the shot away before the keeper was in position. Recalling the ball bounced high on the hard field, Jason opted for past the keeper rather then over.

Still well outside the penalty box, the keeper tried to cut off the shot with a dive. The ball skidded just off his shin guard, barely altering its course. If anything, it hooked in Jason’s favor after contact.

His attempt to get the ball left the goalie off balanced, resulting in a slide that took him out of the play. Unsure his shot would make it into the net, Jason ran after the ball, past the scrambling keeper. When it was clear his shot was on target with enough leg to make it, he slowed down just enough for the keeper to run by him.

The ball bounced once, high enough that Jason was glad he opted for past not over. Too fast for anyone to stop it, the ball hit the back of the net, drawing a cheer from the home crowd. Jason almost pulled his shirt over his head before he ran towards his teammates, but stopped so he wouldn’t get a card. Darryl met him near mid field, catching Jason as he leapt into the air.

This time their opponent did not rush up to the line to get the ball back in play. Whether it was the uninspired play of the opposing team or the referee cutting time short because the game was no longer in doubt, the final whistle blew sooner than Jason expected.

Handshakes over, Jason joined his teammates back on their side of the field. Coach Slewman gave everyone his customary post game two sentences, reminding everyone to meet in the locker room before showers for the team meeting.

Gathering their gear, Jason and Darryl both looked into the stands trying to find their parents.

“Did you notice Jordan’s folks came too?” Darryl asked.

“Yeah I did,” Jason answered, peering into the crowd to see his parents talking to two other couples. Darryl’s parents were the lone African-American couple in the stands. If it bothered them, they did not give any outward indication as they joked with his parents. “I am surprised Jordan didn’t come to the game to see them.”

“I am not,” Darryl zipped his bag shut. “You know what he is like. Sitting in the stands with his parents instead of being on the pitch with us would only remind Hank Colmar that his only son didn’t make the team.”

Jason shook his head. “It can’t bother the Colmars too much if they came to the game with our folks.”

“Tellerman! Minger!” Jason turned when he heard his coach’s voice.

Past fifty and overweight, Coach Slewman had been at Graydon for 20 years. His gravely voice instill fear in more than a few players in that time.

“Last I checked, that little chip shot and header was not in our play book.” Lifting his hat to rub his nearly bald head, he glared at Jason first, then Darryl. “The play called for you to shoot,” he pointed a thick finger at Jason. “And for you to not be so close to the net. The other forwards were there for any rebounds. If Tellerman’s shot was blocked, they could have gone on the attack and we would have been short handed.”

“I didn’t have a good angle on the goal coach.” Jason protested.

“SO?!?” The older man raised his voice. “We practice situations like that all the time. You shoot anyway. It is the job of the other forwards to get the rebound.

Jason stole a glance at his friend who looked every bit as sheepish as he felt.

“Listen boys,” their coach continued, softening his tone marginally. “I know you have played together since you were ten, it is what makes you so good together. However, this is my team; I decide how we play, not you two. Next time you decide to use one of your own plays instead of mine, you will be benched. Am I clear?”

“Yes sir.” Jason put his head down. He heard Darryl answer as well.

“Good.” Coach Slewman started to turn away. “By the way, that was a hell of a play. Not saying you were right to go rogue like that but it was a hell of a chip and header.”

Jason grinned at his friend. “Um Coach?”

“What is it Tellerman?”

“Our parents are in the stands,” Jason said. “Do you mind if we go say hi before we join the team?”

He watched the man roll his eyes. “You both know we have a meeting following every game. There is no, ‘my parents are here’ exception.”

“Yes sir.” He replied. Darryl shrugged slightly at him.

“But I am a fat old man.” Slewman smiled at them. “I don’t walk fast anymore. So long as you are back before I get there, you can say hello.”

Jason felt his face split into a smile.

“Just remember,” he cautioned. “One lap around the practice field for every 10 seconds you are late.”

“Yes, coach.” Darryl said.

Grabbing their bags as their coach slowly made his way to the locker room, the pair ran over to where their parents stood. The early October weather was slightly chilly, but neither put on their sweat pants.

Jason’s parent stood along the edge of the bleachers. Other than missing some gray hairs, a few wrinkles and 30 years, Jason looked like a younger version of his father. Dressed in khakis, a button down shirt and blue Graydon sweat shirt, his dad smiled broadly as he ran up.

Standing next to him was Jason’s mother. Never one to dress causal, her gray pants, white shirt and blue windbreaker seemed more fitting for a country club than a soccer field. Blonde like her husband and son, she managed to keep her hair in place despite the semi-windy conditions. She grabbed her husband’s hand as Jason covered the last few feet.

A few feet away, each with matching smiles, Darryl’s parents waited for him to arrive. Both favored jeans and a sweat shirt given to them by their son. His mother was slightly darker than his father and while Darryl has his father’s color, he favored his mother.

“Hey mom, dad.” Jason kissed his mother on the cheek.

“Great game, both of you.” His father grabbed Jason by the shoulder. “Hell of a header Darryl.”

“We have about 30 seconds before we have to go.” Jason told his parents.

“Yeah,” Darryl added. “If we don’t make it back before coach, we are going to be running laps all afternoon.”

“Jason, why do you get so dirty when you play?” His mother asked, drawing a laugh from the others.

Jason and Darryl exchanged eye contact. In unison they said, “If you aren’t dirty you didn’t play hard enough.”

Both sets of parents rolled their eyes. “Evelyn, are we sure they are not twins?” Jason’s mother asked.

Mrs. Minger laughed. “You don’t know how many times I have asked that over the years, Barbara.”

The two friends slapped hands before chest bumping each other. Jason tried not to laugh, but couldn't stop himself. When he turned his head he notice a tall, dark haired student at the far end of the bleachers looking his way. He had seen the guy around campus, but never met him. Jason thought he saw a smile as he stepped off the stands, heading for the field house. Not sure, he let it go.

“What say we meet about 6:30.” He heard Mr. Minger suggest. “We’ll make dinner reservations for 7:00.”

Jason nodded his agreement to Darryl who said, “Sounds good dad.”

“Wonderful game boys.” This came from a middle-aged woman who walked over with a short, balding, slightly overweight man.

“Thanks Mrs. Colmar,” Darryl answered. “Felt good to get this win.”

Despite being friends with Jordan since they were 5, Jason never really felt comfortable with the Colmars. He always thought they tried too hard to fit in. Mrs. Colmar wore a blue track suit she probably bought just for today. Jason knew she didn’t exercise much and the jogging suit did not flatter her.

Her husband, dressed in blue slacks, light blue shirt and sports coat, was checking his blackberry while she spoke to him and Darryl. As the owner of several strip malls, Mr. Colmar never seemed to relax. He made up for not spending more time with his children with expensive gifts. When Jordan turned 18, his parents bought him a Porsche 911. No doubt to make sure Jordan had a better car than either Darryl, Jason or any of his other friends.

“Will Jordan be joining us for dinner?” Jason asked. Although he didn’t much care for the Colmars, he and Jordan were good friends.

“He said he will try,” Mrs. Colmar answered. “There is some fraternity event today. As rush chairman he said he was very busy.”

Jason did his best not to roll his eyes. Jordan was not rush chairman; he was helping the chairman. Rather than correct her, Jason merely nodded. “If you talk to him tell him I hope he makes it.”

The woman gave him a genuine smile. “I will be sure to let him know.”

“Ok, we have to book.” Darryl bumped him and pointed toward their coach. Although not at the field house, Coach Slewman was getting close enough that they were going to have to hustle to beat him to the locker room. “See you at 6:30.”

“Bye.” Jason managed to get out before he and his friend took off.

Running side by side, they pushed their tired legs for one last dash across the field. After their impromptu play today, they knew the coach would make them run laps if they were late.

The fan Jason thought smiled at him was walking slowly across the field, gym bag slung over his shoulder. As the pair sprinted across the pitch, he turned toward them. For a split second Jason made eye contact with him.

“Nice game guys.” Jason heard him say.

“Thanks man.” Darryl answered.

Jason smiled and gave him a quick wave, still unsure about what he saw. The pair continued running before he could give it more thought.

Halfway across the field, their coach looked back. To Jason’s eye, Coach Slewman appeared to speed up.

“Son of a bitch!” Jason said between breathes.

“I ain’t running laps.” Darryl said.

Jason ran harder, realizing they were being played.

Panting, they reached the field house a step ahead of their coach.

Gasping, Jason put his hands on his knees, watching Darryl do the same.

“That was better than making you run laps.” Coach Slewman said. “I will have to remember this next time I need to discipline someone.”

Jason stared at his coach’s gloating expression, sure he had a ‘son of a bitch’ look on his face.

“Hey don’t blame me,” the older man laughed. “You guys talked too long. Now get inside so I can start the meeting. Oh and next practice you each owe me 5 laps.”

“But . . . .” Darryl tried to protest.

“It would have been 25 if you hadn’t scored.” The look on Coach Slewman’s face told Jason they were not getting out of this. “And you can thank me later for not making your do it today after the game.”

“Yes, sir.” Jason mumbled. “Thanks.”

“Yeah thanks.” Darryl managed without much enthusiasm.

Jason rubbed his hair as he left the locker room. “They really need new showers.”

“Tell me about it.” Darryl replied. “I still feel like I have soap in my hair.”

“You probably have more than just soap in that brillo pad you call hair.” Jason jumped back to avoid the swipe from his friend. Stumbling a bit further, he felt himself back into someone.

“Sorry,” he stammered, turning to see who he ran into and if they were hurt. The same guy he saw on the field was standing behind him. Jason noticed a blue gym bag upside down on the ground. A towel and a hair brush sat a few feet away next to the wall.

“It’s cool.” He told Jason.

Jason bent down to pick up the fallen items, nearly banging his head when the other man did the same.

“Sorry man,” Jason repeated, grabbing the brush and towel. “I didn’t know you were there.”

He was about to hand the damp towel back when he noticed a white robe and black belt half out of the bag. Looking up, Jason found himself staring into his ‘victim’s’ dark brown eyes.

“Really, it’s no problem.” He smiled at Jason before he turned his attention to stuffing the robe and towel back in the bag.

“Do you take martial arts classes here?” Groaning inwardly at how stupid he sounded, Jason stood up to hide his face.

“I am on the school team.” Standing up, he held out his hand. “Peter Gregory.”

“Jason Tellerman,” he shook hand with Peter. Pointing to Darryl he said, “That’s Darryl.”

“Nice to meet you both.” Peter’s eyes lingered on Jason long enough for them both to look down. Staring at his bag Peter said, “Great game. Loved the header near the end. Looks like you two practice that a lot.”

“Ha!” Darryl snorted. “Tell that to Coach Slewman. We got five laps after practice Monday for that play.”

“Really?” Peter looked confused. “But you scored.”

“I was supposed to take a shot, not chip it up for Darryl.” Jason looked back at Peter, trying not to stare. “That was something we did in high school. Coach doesn’t want us using our own plays.”

“Still,” Peter shrugged. “It looked good.”

Despite his efforts, Jason realized he was staring again. Turning away he mumbled, “um, thanks.”

“Hey Jase,” Darryl said. “We better go. The rents will be there at 6:30.”

Although he didn’t want to go, Jason knew he had no choice. To Peter he said, “We need to go. Sorry again for backing into you.”

“Seriously, it’s all good.” Peter told him.

“Cool.” Jason could feel himself smiling. “See you around.”

“Yeah.” Darryl added.

“Bye.” Peter picked up his bag, walking toward the parking lot.

Walking next to Darryl, Jason resisted the urge to turn around to see if Peter was watching.

“He seemed awful sweet on you Jase.” Darryl joked.

“Whatever dude.” Jason made sure he didn’t smile. “He could kick both our asses without breaking a sweat. I seriously doubt he was sweet on either of us. Probably couldn't believe what a dork I am to back into him like that.”

“Just because he is tough doesn’t mean he can’t like guys you know.” Darryl said as they reached his car. Clicking the key fob, he unlocked the doors to his blue mustang. “But you’re probably right; you were quite the doofus. I mean who backs into people like that?”

“Hey, if you hadn’t tried to nail me, I wouldn’t have jumped back.”

“Yeah, well, don’t hate on my hair and I won’t have to slug you.” Darryl laughed.

“What??” Jason played along. “All I said was you have steel wool for hair. How’s that hating on it?”

Darryl started the car. “Dibs on the shower first.”

“No way.” Jason protested. “You just want me to be late when Royce and Barbara are early.”

Darryl shrugged. “Hey, Evelyn and Keith are going to be with Barbara and Royce. I don’t want to be late either. And since I called it first, I get to go first.”

“Who made up that stupid rule?” Jason knew the answer before he asked.

“You did Jase.” Darryl reminded him.

Jason knocked on the door. “Dude, seriously, you need to get out. Royce will not be happy if I am late.”

“Go shower, I’m done in there.” Darryl opened the door.

Tossing his towel over the hook, he got in the shower. It only took a few seconds to get the water warm enough to turn on the spray.

“Seriously, D what takes you so long? I mean you don’t need to spend time on your hair.” Jason said as he quickly washed up.

“You white boys just don’t get it.” Darryl replied. “I need to moisturize or my skin gets all dry and scaly. Why do you think I have the jumbo sized bottle of lotion?”

“To jerk off with?” Jason laughed.

“Who uses lotion for that?” Darryl sounded incredulous. “Don’t tell me you’ve been snarking my lotion to beat off dude.”

“No worries there D,” Jason said between rinsing off. “I got that taken care of on my own thanks.”

“That a relief. Not sure how I would be able to use this bottle again knowing you had it that close to your boy.” Darryl laughed.

“Whatever dude, we both know when I’m not here you sneak into my room and steal condoms from me when you’re out.” Jason laughed.

“Better to steal `em than borrow `em, don’t you think?” Darryl replied. Jason heard him brushing his teeth.

“Ok that is nasty.” Jason stuck his head around the back end of the curtain. “I seriously would kill you if you put a used condom back in my draw.”

Darryl burst out laughing, spewing toothpaste all over the mirror. Jason joined him before ducking back into the shower.

“What if I used your last one? Wouldn't want to leave high and dry.” Darryl began laughing harder.

“That’s okay D, leave me hanging. Please.” Jason turned off the water.

“Okay, but remember you said that.” Darryl tossed him a towel.

Cocking his head Jason asked, “how did this turn into my giving you permission to rob me blind?”

“What are best friends for?” Darryl joked. “Besides, you owe me so many tee shirts, socks, towels, you name it. You are always forgetting something.”

“True.”

“Plus you seem to think the apocalypse is coming and you will run out.” Darryl said. “Do you go to Costco and ask for the biggest box of condoms you can find?”

“Hey,” he answered. “One can never be too prepared. Some of us need more than others.”

This topic was moving toward a place Jason didn’t want to go.

“Yeah?” Darryl said. “Then why do you always have so many around? Doesn’t seem like you’re using them up too fast.”

“Dry spell.” Jason answered quickly. Now the conversation really was going somewhere he didn’t want it to go. “I can’t believe the Colmars came with our folks. Did you see that stupid get up she was wearing?”

“I know! When was the last time either of them got any exercise?”

Jason rubbed his face to check his stubble. Not bad enough to need a shave. Running some gel through his short blonde hair he combed it out. “When they conceived Jordan?”

He opened the door to the medicine cabinet and removed his deodorant. When he shut the door, he saw Darryl standing in the doorway, staring at him.

“Dude,” Darryl looked like he smelled a skunk. “That’s so rude. I may not be able to eat dinner with that image in my head.”

“Sorry.” Jason’s face matched his friend’s as he realized what he suggested. “Yeah that is nasty.”

Darryl continued to stare at him before bursting out laughing. “I’m not sure I can look at them now without laughing.”

“Wait until she asks you a question.” Jason wrapped his towel around his waist. Sorting through a few CDs in the main room he said, “U2? Sum-41? Greenday? The Bee Gees? How the fuck did this get into our stack?”

“Emily likes that.” Darryl confessed.

Jason tossed the disc to his friend. “Keep it hidden please. No one can find that here.”

“I’m feeling Linkin Park tonight.” Darryl said throwing the CD into his room.

“1, 2, or 3?” Jason sifted through another stack.

“Go with the one before the newest.” Darryl walked back into the bathroom.

Noting the time, Jason put the disc in, turned on shuffle and went to get dressed. Darryl opened the door as Jason walked by. Together they started singing and playing air guitar.

Rushing to get dressed, Jason figured he had until end of the first song before his always early father knocked on the door. Given their parents were essentially filling time until their sons were ready, his father would no doubt be even earlier than usual. It had become a game between father and son to see if Jason could be ready before his father arrived. As a result, he learned to get dressed in record time.

Buttoning up his shirt he walked in to Darryl’s room singing, “I’ll never be alright, I’m breaking the habit, breaking the habit, tonight.”

They both sang the last word as loud as they could as the song finished.

“6:15.” Darryl noted. “Royce will be unhappy to find you ready.”

A knock on the front door preempted Jason’s reply. They both laughed as the music began again. “Do you think they’ve been knocking and we didn’t hear it?” Jason asked.

Shaking his head, Darryl grabbed his shoes. “Nah, even Royce Tellerman wouldn’t knock before 6:15.”

Darting back into his room for shoes, he practically ran to open the door before his father could knock again. Smiling he flung the door open.

His mother looked him up and down, smiling. “Told you he would be ready.” She said to her husband, who also smiled.

“Wouldn’t be the first time he wasn’t.” He quipped.

Darryl’s parents followed his parents into the small campus-owned apartment.

“The Colmars aren’t joining us?” Darryl asked hopefully. Mrs. Minger’s sour look told Jason not to get his hopes up.

“They’re picking up Jordan.” Royce answered. “We’re meeting them at the restaurant.”

“Jason, can you turn that down?” His mom asked.

“Sorry,” he turned the music off. “When we’re in the bathroom we need it that loud to hear it.”

“We heard it in the parking lot.” Darryl’s father noted. “I’m sure it didn’t need to be quite that loud for you to hear it in you rooms.”

“No, but it needs to be that loud to drown out Darryl’s lame attempt to sing.” Jason stared at his friend. “He’s practicing to make the bloopers reel of the American Idol tryouts.”

“Me?!?” Darryl feigned indignation. “I think you were hearing yourself sing Jase. I’m a great singer.”

Darryl’s parents laughed first, followed by Jason. “Sorry Son, but I’ve heard you sing.” His mother said. “You inherited your father’s musical ability.”

“Sadly true, Son,” his father agreed.

“Well at least I didn’t nearly get my ass kicked by the school’s martial arts expert after the game like someone almost did.” Darryl slowly turned toward Jason.

Rolling his eyes, Jason noticed the concerned look on his mother’s face. “He’s joking mom. I accidently backed into a guy on the school martial arts team. No big deal.”

“If it was no big deal why was he eying you up like he did?” Darryl asked.

Jason could feel himself getting uncomfortable with this conversation. “Maybe you should go ask him if he was trying to hit on me. Then let me know who got whose butt kicked.”

“If you boys are done.” Mrs. Tellerman interrupted. Jason suppressed a smile. Given how proper his mother was, he was surprised she let this go on as long as it did.

“Shall we head out?” Mr. Minger suggested. “Are you boys riding with us?”

“Nah,” Darryl answered. “We’ll drive ourselves, that way we can head out when we’re finished.”

Turning to his wife, Darryl’s father said, “I think we were just told they were ditching us once dinner is over.”

“What did you expect?” She answered. “They don’t want to hang around us all night.”

“Don’t we have reservations to be obscenely early for?” Darryl’s attempt to change the topic only got a laugh from Jason.

Noting the glare he received from his father, Jason regretted not stifling his reaction. “Nothing wrong with being early,” he said to cover. “We can all get a drink at the bar while we wait for the table to be ready.”

“Need I remind you Jason Henry Tellerman that you are not twenty.” His mother said.

Using his full name, Jason knew his mother was not joking. “We both know it won’t be the first time I’ve a beer mom.”

Now it was his mother’s turn to give him an angry stare. “Just because you don’t have the good sense to obey the law does not mean I will let you break it in my presence and in public no less.”

“Fine,” he said. “Darryl and I will have soda, or is that too much and we should order Shirley Temples instead?”

“That’s enough, Son,” Royce’s voice lost any hint of humor. “That’s not how you address your mother.”

“Sorry, Mom.” His half hearted apology did little to mollify his parents.

After an awkward period of silence that last too long for Jason’s liking, Mr. Minger said, “Okay, why don’t we head over to the restaurant. We don’t want to keep the Colmars waiting.”

Dinner proved more pleasant than the few minutes inside Jason and Darryl’s apartment foreshadowed. As Jason knew she would, his mother avoided any hint of the tense exchange that occurred before dinner. Hank and Rebecca Colmar were fashionably late and blamed it on their son. Keith and Royce jockeyed for the bill while Hank seemed not to notice or care. Rebecca Colmar appeared uncomfortable when her husband did not even offer to split the bill.

“I almost felt sorry for him.” Darryl said as he opened the door to Jason’s green BMW 328i.

“Felt sorry for whom?” Jason asked when he got in.

“Jordan,” Darryl answered. “Did you notice how he spent most of dinner trying to get his mom to stop talking about him.”

“You felt sorry for Jordan? Am I hearing this right?” Jason knew Darryl and Jordan were not friends.

“No, I said I almost felt sorry for him.” Darryl laughed.

Jason shrugged slightly though he was sure Darryl couldn't see it. In his mind, Darryl had good reason not to like Jordan. Jason and Jordan had been friends since kindergarden. When Darryl and his family moved two houses down from Jason when they were ten, Jordan felt replaced. In a sense that was true, Darryl was his best friend, but Jason never cut Jordan out of anything. Caught between the two, Jason tried not to side with either, but given how tight he and Darryl were, he inevitably spent less time with Jordan as they got older. When Jordan didn’t make the college soccer team, it further cut into the time the two friends spent with each other.

“His mom really was annoying tonight.” Jason conceded. “Your mom reached for her wine glass every time Mrs. Colmar starting bragging about this and that.”

Darryl laughed. “Yeah, I haven’t seen her drink that much in years. One glass with dinner is usually her max.”

“Jordan looked like he wanted to join her, only he probably was hoping for vodka not wine.” Shifting gears, Jason tried to concentrate on the drive as he could feel himself getting tired.

“It’s his own fault.” Darryl said without sympathy. “You know he’s lying to her about what he does. Rush chairman, dozens of girls chasing him, so popular on campus. Where do you think she got all that from?”

“C’mon D, you’re biased.” Jason felt the need to defend Jordan, even though Darryl was right. “You always think the worst of him.”

“No, no, no, not in this.” Darryl argued. “Rebecca Colmar loves to crow about her precious kids and Jordan likes to keep mommy happy. It keeps the taps running on the money from home.”

Jason knew he couldn't argue with Darryl on this. “Yeah he’s told some whoppers to keep them happy. It’s amazing he still does it after all the times he has been caught lying to them.”

“So long as they don’t bitch slap him for it, and they never do, he has no reason to stop.” Darryl replied. “Sometimes I think his mom knows he’s lying, but wants to believe he is so wonderful so bad she’ll believe whatever he tells her.”

“You just don’t like him or his family.” Jason tried again to defend his friend. “Jordan isn’t that bad.”

“Whatever Jase,” Darryl said. “You know what he’s like. I think the only reason you’re friends with him is because you two have known each other so long. If you met him today for the first time, tell me, would you want to be friends?”

Everything Jordan said or did lately left Jason wondering what happened to his oldest friend. “I wish I could say you’re wrong but I can’t. He’s so different lately I hardly know him.”

“Sorry Jase.” Darryl shook his head. “He’s the same jackass I always knew.”

“Anyway,” Jason wanted to change topics, he always did when Darryl tried to bad mouth Jordan. “What are you doing tonight?”

“Got a date with Emily.” Darryl’s mood improved as soon as they stopped talking about Jordan. “What are you gonna do?”

“Study some and sleep.” Jason downshifted as they neared their campus-owned apartment complex.

“Lame, dude.” Darryl snorted. “It’s Saturday night Jase, aren’t you even going out and try to hook up?”

He knew his friend was only trying to be encouraging, but Jason cringed inwardly every time Darryl raised the topic of his sex life. “Nah, not feeling it tonight. Don’t worry, I won’t be visible when you get back. Which is what you really want to know right?”

Jason shot his best friend a quick look then focused on parking.

“Ha, am I that obvious?” Darryl didn’t sound the least bit embarrassed.

“Yeah but it’s all good.” He answered.

“I could see if Emily has a cute friend she . . . .” Darryl began.

“Stop right there D.” Jason pulled the parking break up for emphasis. “A blind date? And you are going to trust your girlfriend to decide if her friend is cute? What girl in the history of the world ever said one of her girl friends wasn’t good looking?”

Darryl held up both hands laughing. “OK, you have a point. I was just trying to be helpful. You’re the one who said you were going through a dry spell.”

“And I’ll work my way through it.” Jason added quickly. “Thanks for thinking of me, but I’m fine.”

Sitting on his bed, Jason put the psychology book down, unable to absorb another fact. Next to him, his silver MacBook sat charging, connected to the outlet by the white power cord. Lifting the lid, he watched the screen come to life, ready for him to go wherever he chose.

Clicking the Firefox icon, his home page popped open allowing him to scan the headlines. Skipping from site to site, he avoiding going where he really wanted to check out. He knew it was stupid for so many reasons so he resisted. Finally, knowing it would keep pulling him, he clicked over to Craigslist and looked in the Missed Connections section.

Why did he care? Even if he saw what he thought he saw after the game, what were the odds Peter would post it? Worse still, what if there was a post? There was no way Jason could respond. What would happen if that got out?

No harm in satisfying his curiosity he concluded. Besides, once there was no post, he could put it to rest. Sure there would be nothing there he opened the “M4M” option. Just as when he scanned this section before, there were only a handful of ads for any given day. At least there wouldn’t be a lot to read, he though when his heart started pounding.

“Graydon Field House, today around 5 p.m.” The headline read.

Despite a sense of doom that he might be found out, he couldn't help being excited. Surprised it was there, he just stared at the screen. It had to be from Peter to him, didn’t it? The coincidence if it wasn’t was too great. Should he open it and see or just let it go? This made it harder. Had there been no ad, he could easily have dismissed what he thought happened as a figment of his imagination. If, however, this was about him and Peter earlier today, he would need to confront what he didn’t want to deal with.

Although he could barely say it even silently to himself, Jason knew he was gay. The problem was he didn’t want to be and he resisted acting on it as hard as he could. The consequences of being outed scared the shit out of him. His soccer career would be over. There was no way his teammates would want to play with him.

Then there was his mother, she who was one step removed from being Pope. A gay son, her eldest son, was not something that fit into her perfect suburban world. If she didn’t approve, dad wouldn’t either, she would see to that. Without them, Jason could kiss his car, his monthly allowance, all the things he was used to doing without a thought to the cost, goodbye. Without the ‘rents to finance his college years, he would go from well heeled, carefree soccer jock to needing to find a way to pay for things. Right now he didn’t worry about money. Tuition, room, spending money, car insurance, the impromptu ski trips, spring break with the team, everything, was covered. Get cut off, and even if he managed to stay in school - somehow - he wouldn’t recognize his life.

He lost track of how long he stared at the screen, cursor hovering over the heading waiting for him to click it. Finally he got the nerve to open the link.

“Total long shot but figured it was worth a try. U tall, blonde, drop dead cute leaving the field house With Ur friend around 5 p.m. We made eye contact earlier, then I ran into u when U and Ur friend were goofing around. U backed into me & I dropped my bag U helped me pick up my stuff. It might be wishful thinking on my part but I thought our eyes locked and I saw interest. If I am right and U see this, would love to get coffee and chat. Tell me what team I am on so I know it is U.”

There it was on the screen, staring him in the face. What now? It wasn’t just an ad, it was his whole life digitally reduced to a few lines. If he replied . . . he caught himself. If he replied? That wasn’t an option. Of course he wouldn’t respond. How could he?

On the other hand, Peter was really cute and he a student athlete. There couldn't be many of those, especially at a small college like Graydon.

No, he told himself. What the hell was he thinking? He couldn't risk it. His whole life was at stake.

His whole lie of a life, he reminded himself. It’s not like he hadn’t hooked up before, just that those times he did, he made sure it wasn’t around home or campus. He didn’t want to run into the guy accidently. This held entirely too many dangers he always tried to avoid. In fact, this violated just about every rule he had concerning his sexuality: don’t meet guys who you might see again; don’t give out your email address or phone number so you could be tracked down later; don’t find someone you might totally fall for.

Clicking the link to get email address to reply, he looked blankly at the security code wondering what he should do next. What he wanted and what he knew he should do were at war like never before. There had been a spark when their ‘eyes locked,’ he felt it too. This time he WANTED to reply; wanted to see how it felt to meet someone he might have something more than an hour or two with.

Despite Darryl’s snide remark about Peter being sweet on Jason, Peter didn’t seem like the stereotypical gay man. He was masculine, athletic, dressed like the other guys on campus, had no feminine mannerisms. If there had been no ad, Jason wouldn’t be sure he was gay. If they were seen hanging out together no one would talk would they?

Checking the security words again, he typed in “blue Heron,” revealing the reply to address. Jerking his hands off the keyboard, he shook his head. He all but replied.

“I should close the window.” He said aloud.

If that was the case, why hadn’t he done it already? Because he really wanted to reply he told himself.

Copying the address, he logged onto the ‘anonymous’ email account he created in high school. Pasting it in the send to line, he still argued with himself over whether to reply or not.

Nothing good would come from this, he knew it with every cell in his body. He would end up outed for sure. Try as he might, he would never be able to hide having a boyfriend, especially one from campus.

Yet all Peter suggested was coffee, what could be the harm in that? What if he made it clear in his reply he was not out, but thought Peter was cute and just wanted to be friends?

“Right, that’s a great response.” He muttered. “I think you’re hot but I’m a closet case so all I want to be is friends. Why did I mention you were hot you ask? Because I wanna fuck around with you - but just as friends of course.”

He typed as he spoke. Snorting, he highlighted what he wrote, then hit delete. Either do it or don’t.

Trying to weigh the pros and cons, he started to type them out as he thought of them. Pros, he is cute, seems nice, is a student, not a queen, did I say cute, likes soccer - or is it just soccer players, would be good in a fight. Cons, if people found out his life would be ruined and he would end up living in a cardboard box digging food scrapes from a dumpster until he died of exposure.

“Ok that’s a bit dramatic.” He deleted that and started over.

Cons, he would be outed for sure, he would be off the soccer team, his parents would be pissed, he might get cut off.

“Damn!” Jason almost tossed his computer onto the floor, but dropped it on the bed instead. Why did it have to be so difficult? No matter what he did he wasn’t going to be happy.

Over and over he read his lists, hoping for some insight that would help him make a decision. Finally he closed the window and pulled the top down. Sending a response left a trail, a trail he couldn't erase. Rather than reply, he would see if he could figure out a way to become friends with Peter without revealing he saw the ad, that he was gay or that he knew Peter was gay. By not responding he could pretend not to know about Peter and see what happened. Maybe once he met him and spent time with him he wouldn’t like him. Better the cautious approach than risking too much on so little.

Content with his decision, he picked up his text book. Slamming it shut he threw it on the ground, glad to finally toss something in frustration.

No witty end notes until the old chapters are up.

Again, please all comments on the e-ficition topic found here:

http://www.gayauthors.org/forums/topic/28907-second-shot/

That way I won't lose them when we switch over.

Thanks

Andy

Copyright © 2011 Andrew Q Gordon; All Rights Reserved.
If you enjoyed what you have read, please leave a reaction and/or comment for the author!

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Chapter Comments



“I know you have played together since you were ten, it is what makes you so good together

 

I almost think in dialogue that you'd be better served using contractions, like 'you've' as opposed to 'you have' and it's as opposed to 'it is'. Other than that, of course, I've no useful insights into this chapter. I love the name Jordan--it's really cute.

 

As always, amazing writing.:2thumbs:

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On 12/20/2010 09:30 AM, Kavrik said:
“I know you have played together since you were ten, it is what makes you so good together

 

I almost think in dialogue that you'd be better served using contractions, like 'you've' as opposed to 'you have' and it's as opposed to 'it is'. Other than that, of course, I've no useful insights into this chapter. I love the name Jordan--it's really cute.

 

As always, amazing writing.:2thumbs:

Yeah, Anyta has been working with me on this, you will likely see as chapter's progress I do more of the contractions in dialogue. Which is weird because I went back and tried to catch them in the pre-Antya hitting me over the head chapters - guess I missed those :/ [sorry Antya :P ]
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Hehe I was going to say the same thing, but then I wondered if maybe the people who were speaking weren't from around where I've lived. Different people speak w/ different dialects, use different contractions, etc . . . although a complete lack of contractions always makes me think of Data :P

 

I started reading this on the old site when I was in lurk mode, and now I'm happy to get into it again and delurk myself. Really love the scene w/ Jason in front of his computer at the end of this chap. :)

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On 12/25/2010 07:47 AM, Sara Alva said:
Hehe I was going to say the same thing, but then I wondered if maybe the people who were speaking weren't from around where I've lived. Different people speak w/ different dialects, use different contractions, etc . . . although a complete lack of contractions always makes me think of Data :P

 

I started reading this on the old site when I was in lurk mode, and now I'm happy to get into it again and delurk myself. Really love the scene w/ Jason in front of his computer at the end of this chap. :)

It's funny, when I started writing this, I had a terrible formal style, next to no contractions. I have been trying to keep the dialogue more 'natural.' I know I often forget. Thanks again for commenting. I tinkered with that last scene for a while, glad to hear it worked for you. Andy
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Andy that was well written :) i particularly though the music CD scene was funny. Haha you listen to girly music :P

 

The end scene was quite effective to show his conflicting reasoning. Looking forward to chapter 2

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On 01/05/2011 04:29 AM, mr.chris said:
Andy that was well written :) i particularly though the music CD scene was funny. Haha you listen to girly music :P

 

The end scene was quite effective to show his conflicting reasoning. Looking forward to chapter 2

Thanks Chris, glad you enjoyed it after how much I busted on you for not reading it. Hopefully I can keep you interested for a few more chapters.
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On 01/20/2011 06:04 AM, Frostina said:
Did i mention I totally LOVE Jason for using Firefox.. :P
Chapter 1 ?!?!? LOL okay so I use firefox, what can I say. Other than the soccer, the martial arts, the scene with mom coming around AND the use of Firefox, I am NOTHING like Jason :P
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On 01/21/2011 03:59 AM, TrevorTime said:
Jason has short blond hair and uses hair gel. Can I say that I am officially in love now? thumbsupsmileyanim.gif
Trevor you crack me up :funny: Yes, you can be officially in love if you like ;)
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It's a cute start :) I've always wished someone would post of one of those missed connection ads about me hahaAs a bit of advice: in your dialogue you might want to write "I'm going" for example, instead of "I am going" as no one really talks like that. Another example would be "We've been friends" instead of "We have been friends".I look forward to reading the other chapters!

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On 02/06/2011 10:19 AM, Devereaux said:
It's a cute start :) I've always wished someone would post of one of those missed connection ads about me hahaAs a bit of advice: in your dialogue you might want to write "I'm going" for example, instead of "I am going" as no one really talks like that. Another example would be "We've been friends" instead of "We have been friends".I look forward to reading the other chapters!
Yep, got that one about the contractions should get better in the later chapters - the ones I posted in the new system at some point - maybe, yeah right - I will revise it, the contractions aren't the only issue, comas, speech tags etc, all need fixing. I've been the subject of a couple Missed Connections which is awkward when you are taken. Thanks for reading. Andy
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Like I said - need to go back and ad reviews and words of appreciation - I don't write so I won't attempt to offer any words of 'encouragement 'about the writing but sure want to offer thanks and encouragement about this opening chapter. I’m enjoying the characters you have started to sketch to life.

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On 02/06/2011 04:49 PM, byboy said:
Like I said - need to go back and ad reviews and words of appreciation - I don't write so I won't attempt to offer any words of 'encouragement 'about the writing but sure want to offer thanks and encouragement about this opening chapter. I’m enjoying the characters you have started to sketch to life.
Thanks Mark, you have a ways to go on this - I think there will be 48 [maybe 49] chapters total, I am working on 45 now so pace yourself and give me time to finish it. I don't need anymore folks asking for the next chapter. :P Thanks for reading, appreciate hearing from you. Andy
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I’ve just started reading this story and so far I think it’s great. I love the detail from the game at the beginning of the chapter, I could really see the play in my mind’s eye.I laughed out loud when I read this line:“Jason almost pulled his shirt over his head before he ran towards his teammates, but stopped so he wouldn’t get a card.” It’s a rule that I really don’t get. Actually I do get why it’s a rule, advertising and all that. I just don’t agree with it. If a player wants to show some flesh after scoring, it should be his right. I for one wouldn’t complain :)Anyway, I’m looking forward to reading more chapters soon.

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On 02/09/2011 01:43 PM, Dandevdrew said:
I’ve just started reading this story and so far I think it’s great. I love the detail from the game at the beginning of the chapter, I could really see the play in my mind’s eye.I laughed out loud when I read this line:“Jason almost pulled his shirt over his head before he ran towards his teammates, but stopped so he wouldn’t get a card.” It’s a rule that I really don’t get. Actually I do get why it’s a rule, advertising and all that. I just don’t agree with it. If a player wants to show some flesh after scoring, it should be his right. I for one wouldn’t complain :)Anyway, I’m looking forward to reading more chapters soon.
Thanks Drew. I think the rule was written by a fat out of shape panel of ex players who are pissed they can't pull their shirts over their heads at all any more and if they could they would scare women and children. :P Actually the rule is classified as 'sportsmanship.' I referee. If they pull the shirt over their head they get a yellow card for unsporting behavior. Thanks for reading, I have a few more soccer/football scenes left in the story. Andy
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well, Quonus.

I will make a dissonant comment here. It is not you fault. It comes that I do not like any sports at all. Then, to me this characters look too superficial to love them.

Well, I had to confessed that I read about 1500 words from the start till the match ended,

and that is a sort of achievement for me. That amounts to nearly a 20%. of the chapter. I hope in the next chapters I would read more.

I wanted to learn what are the cues to be popular here. That is, I wanted to know where lay the roots to succeed in GA.

I know that Americans are crazy with sports. But where I live the fans of sports are not usually fond of literature. So, in a way, they live in separate worlds. You have probably touched a sensible fiber on the reader's heart.

 

With a reputation of 1079 points earned in just 253 days, you had earned 4.26 points per day.

And with this series you got 25,000 visits in 112 days, it makes an average of 223 visits per day. If I divide the nearly 295,000 words into the 25,000 visits, you had earned like a visit for every 11.75 words. A real hit, man.

 

I said in a chat today I wanted to learn from you to to be a popular writer. But in this case, it is a pity I do not like sports.

I will try other chapters to see if I can learn something else. I hope to be more lucky next time.

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On 04/11/2011 06:38 AM, John Galaor said:
well, Quonus.

I will make a dissonant comment here. It is not you fault. It comes that I do not like any sports at all. Then, to me this characters look too superficial to love them.

Well, I had to confessed that I read about 1500 words from the start till the match ended,

and that is a sort of achievement for me. That amounts to nearly a 20%. of the chapter. I hope in the next chapters I would read more.

I wanted to learn what are the cues to be popular here. That is, I wanted to know where lay the roots to succeed in GA.

I know that Americans are crazy with sports. But where I live the fans of sports are not usually fond of literature. So, in a way, they live in separate worlds. You have probably touched a sensible fiber on the reader's heart.

 

With a reputation of 1079 points earned in just 253 days, you had earned 4.26 points per day.

And with this series you got 25,000 visits in 112 days, it makes an average of 223 visits per day. If I divide the nearly 295,000 words into the 25,000 visits, you had earned like a visit for every 11.75 words. A real hit, man.

 

I said in a chat today I wanted to learn from you to to be a popular writer. But in this case, it is a pity I do not like sports.

I will try other chapters to see if I can learn something else. I hope to be more lucky next time.

John, let me say this, I appreciate you telling me what you think, even if you don't like it. I will say that sports has a minor role in the story though there are at least three or four more soccer matches. I'll PM you about the other stuff. And I've never quite parsed out the reps and the visits and stuff like that. All I can is - um wow, never knew that. I mean I knew folks liked the story and all but ... never mind - thanks for reading and I will message you in a bit. --- Andy
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#50th review lol

 

I forget what chapter im up too so im reviewing this one :P

but its a really good story and I cant wait until i get to the end,

are you going to write a sequal or something? :P

Bee

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On 04/15/2011 04:30 PM, Bumblebee said:
#50th review lol

 

I forget what chapter im up too so im reviewing this one :P

but its a really good story and I cant wait until i get to the end,

are you going to write a sequal or something? :P

Bee

Haha, Chapter 1 has so few reviews anyway - its glad you chose it. Not planning a sequel, maybe a companion story where some of the characters are the same but it isn't about Jason and Peter. That is the plan but for now I am working on Purpose and an entry for the novella contest AND the fantasy story. Thank you for being Ms. 350 :worship: -- Andy
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I don’t know a whole heck of a lot about soccer, but you made it really easy to follow. However, I’m a HUGE martial arts fan and can’t wait to see this play out with Jason and Peter.

 

If Jason is still in the closet and can’t even admit to himself that he’s really the g-a-y word (hush) than how does Darryl know? His jabs are a tell-tale that he knows something is going on.

 

I downloaded the rest of this to my ebook so if I don’t get back to add reviews as I go, I’ll hit ‘em all up at once at the end. Good start, can’t wait to read more!

 

 

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On 06/02/2011 06:28 AM, K.C. said:
I don’t know a whole heck of a lot about soccer, but you made it really easy to follow. However, I’m a HUGE martial arts fan and can’t wait to see this play out with Jason and Peter.

 

If Jason is still in the closet and can’t even admit to himself that he’s really the g-a-y word (hush) than how does Darryl know? His jabs are a tell-tale that he knows something is going on.

 

I downloaded the rest of this to my ebook so if I don’t get back to add reviews as I go, I’ll hit ‘em all up at once at the end. Good start, can’t wait to read more!

 

Sadly the Martial Arts focus is a bit less than the soccer - this was written from Jason's perspective after all. I don't think at this point Darryl has an inkling jason is gay - but what do I know. Feel free to leave as many or a few reviews as you like, I read and love em all 0:)
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I love the opening sequence here, I get such a good visual of the game, and right from the get-go I feel anticipation. This is really helped by the way you show Jason's frustration at the three minutes of added time. I mean, jeez, that can seem forever so close to bagging a game. :P

 

Hmmm, it's funny, going through this again, I notice things I didn't pay particular attention to before, but which is really awesome writing--like mentioning Jordan right at the beginning. Subtelty like that goes a long way to giving a story 'ompf'. Oh, yeah, and this story has it in SPADES (okay, almost wrote Spandex there, haha, I'm typing in the dark :P)

 

Yeah, I can't believe how few reviews I have for this story here, hmmm, maybe some got messed up with the change over to the new system. Well, goodie for me (and you hopefully) I get to go through it again. And leave behind little subsequent thoughts...

 

Okay, till I get to the next chappy... :P

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On 06/03/2011 11:15 AM, AnytaSunday said:
I love the opening sequence here, I get such a good visual of the game, and right from the get-go I feel anticipation. This is really helped by the way you show Jason's frustration at the three minutes of added time. I mean, jeez, that can seem forever so close to bagging a game. :P

 

Hmmm, it's funny, going through this again, I notice things I didn't pay particular attention to before, but which is really awesome writing--like mentioning Jordan right at the beginning. Subtelty like that goes a long way to giving a story 'ompf'. Oh, yeah, and this story has it in SPADES (okay, almost wrote Spandex there, haha, I'm typing in the dark :P)

 

Yeah, I can't believe how few reviews I have for this story here, hmmm, maybe some got messed up with the change over to the new system. Well, goodie for me (and you hopefully) I get to go through it again. And leave behind little subsequent thoughts...

 

Okay, till I get to the next chappy... :P

I think this story got so much better when I had a bit of help. I think if you are going back over this, you will - hopefully - see a bit of improvement as the chapters pass. I know i felt like I learned a lot. I wonder if by reading again - you will think the hints dropped in are not so subtle anymore?
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I think in my first read I got to the eleventh chapter...

 

To be honest, I couldn't get in to the game description at the first read or the second read. For me it was too much. Yet I did appreciate the build up for making a point of just how important role the sports play at the boys life. Other than that, really good introduction to the characters. :)

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