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    Krista
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Standing In Shadows - 35. Chapter 35

SIS 35

After stopping in and ordering some milkshakes we all got back in the cars. Jenny wanted to put as much space between us and town as possible, so she kept driving. When she turned down the crooked road that led to the lake I looked over from the passenger seat. What Andy and Keith said kept coming to me when I wasn’t worrying about Dad back in his small office just off the locker room by the gym. He had a separate office for meetings about History assignments on the second floor in the main building of the high school.

Watching Jenny sip her strawberry shake, the sun making her red hair shimmer. The windows were down, drowning out any attempt at conversation. When she noticed me staring she smiled and glanced over at me.

“It will be okay Corey,” she yelled over the roar of the air.

“What?” Clinton asked from the back seat behind me.

“She said it will be okay,” I said, turning my head to look at him.

“What will?” He asked then he frowned as he remembered the phone call Richard got from Dad. We didn’t have time to really talk about it, just waiting for our milkshakes and for Keith to decide which burger he wanted. I frowned when all four of them offered to pay for mine, but I shook my head and paid for my own milkshake. It was sitting half empty in the cup holder, it didn’t help ease my mind that Jenny and I had both chosen strawberry. I had to elbow Andy after he tried to stifle a laugh by coughing loudly, but she shot him a confused look anyway.

“Come on, who would give up on being on the best team in school?” Jenny asked, picking up her cup to take another sip.

“Their parents might make them,” I countered then jumped when Clinton appeared between the seats, leaning against the side of mine. He had unbuckled his seatbelt, tired of not being part of the conversation. I had thought about sitting back there with him, but I didn’t want to have Jenny watching us through the rearview mirror, the thought made me blush. Not that we would get up to anything, it was still strange for me to be close to him around other people. The matching hickies didn’t go unnoticed either. Every time I found myself looking at it, caused the night before to come rushing back to mind. The stirring in my pants and the rush of blood to my cheeks caused me to squirm in my seat and look away.

“I don’t think many of them will,” Clinton countered, “you football guys seem pretty tight.”

“I guess so,” I said smiling. Most of the guys, like Andy, Cameron, and Keith, I had known since little league, when the jerseys and helmets were too large and we were scared to take hits. When the scores weren’t really kept and we just played until the parents got tired of sitting around watching.

When the road split to go to the marina and the parking lot to the lake, Jenny slowly pulled into the parking lot. After killing the engine, we all watched Andy park beside us, the large truck wheezing after Andy turned it off and got out.

“Not many more miles left on her,” Andy said patting the hood grimacing.

“Has to last until Graduation,” Keith said walking around the front of it. Looking at the two-toned red and white bench cab truck I couldn’t help smiling. Andy, Keith, and I drank our first beers in it, even though Dad had tried to get me to try it in front of him many times before. I had only taken a drink before the other two finished the case off in a chugging competition. They had both ended up doubled over in the grass puking thirty minutes later. Then to and from football practice. I had learned to drive in it, in an abandoned farmer’s field between lessons with Dad, who made me too nervous to really get the hang of it.

“Better clean it up before prom,” Jenny said peeking through the window wrinkling her nose. “Can’t get lucky if your date chokes to death on a fly.”

“It’s a man’s car,” Andy said, puffing out his chest. “We’re doing a limo or a fucking fire truck this year.”

“Really?” Jenny asked, turning back to us. I couldn’t help but notice the brief frown that crossed her face before she looked out towards the lake. It had an open sandy beach, being a summer weekday, it was crowded, but not as bad as it would be during the weekend.

“Yeah,” Keith answered, reaching up to scratch the back of his head. “Which would you prefer by the way?”

“Neither,” Jenny answered shrugging. “I mean limos are the safe choice and fire trucks are overdone for shock value.”

“What would you want?” Andy asked before Keith could. I watched as both of them edged closer to her. She glanced over at me and I shrugged rolling my eyes.

“I don’t know, it’s too early,” Jenny answered, smiling she stepped around them and started walking towards the beach.

“Smooth,” I whispered as we fell in step a few feet behind her.

“Shut up, hickey neck,” Keith countered elbowing me in the stomach. I grunted, taking a step back shaking my head.

“Do you think a lot of guys will quit the team?” I asked as we stepped off the paved parking lot to the gravel trail to the beach.

“A few of them will,” Andy answered, “that Crawley guy started this shit, so his son will have to.”

“Who is his son?” I asked, “Is he a freshman?”

“Incoming freshman, we know his older brother, we were sophomores,” Keith said, “back when we sucked.”

“Yeah, before Dad became head coach,” I said, remembering how bad the football teams were. We had only won two games in two seasons, against a small catholic school that barely had enough to fill a team on both sides of the ball.

“I don’t think his older son would agree, throwing you off the team,” Andy said, “Thomas Crawley, ring a bell?”

“Yeah, quarterback before me,” I answered and I felt Clinton’s hand brush mine. When I glanced over he offered me a smile.

“It looked like we would put a big assed zero on the win column that season,” Keith said, “when you played some wide receiver and were on special teams with us.”

“I remember,” I said smiling, “I returned a punt to tie the game shortly after half-time, then caught a late touchdown pass from Thomas.”

“Yeah, your old man made me watch that game tape a few times,” Andy said rolling his eyes. “Coach wanted to give you the game ball.”

“And I told him to give it to Thomas,” I added as we caught up to Jenny. She was sitting a few feet away from the waves coming in from the boats. “I think I said, because it was a great pass.”

“If that Crawley fuck knew that, he’d change his mind about you,” Keith said as I sat down beside Jenny.

“Talking about football?” Jenny asked frowning as she took my hand and started massaging my fingers just above my cast.

“The dark years,” Andy answered, feigning a shudder.

“That’s another thing that makes this whole thing shitty,” Jenny said, “your Dad took you from winning one game a season to losing only one or two a season.”

“We know,” Keith said, “he kicks our asses every time we lose.”

“So we made a habit of not losing,” Andy added, Jenny giggled glancing over at me.

“I’m sorry people are so stupid,” she offered smiling.

“Fucking idiots,” Andy grumbled, “to hell with them, we won’t be here much longer.”

“What if school is just like that?” I asked, “I wasn’t really worried about it until today.”

“You’ll have us though,” Clinton said, “you won’t be the only one either, everyone knows about me too.”

“Cj is an asshole,” Keith hissed, punching the palm of his hand. “I wish I could get hold of him.”

“Probably laughing his ass off,” Andy added, “or he’s locked in his room until his Daddy let’s him out.”

“Probably after his nose heals,” Clinton said, smirking briefly before frowning. I wanted to reach over and touch him, but didn’t think he would like it out in a public place like this.

“I’m sorry you lost your best friend,” Jenny said leaning over me to look at him. “Even if he turned out to be an asshole.”

“I don’t really miss him,” he said and I looked over at him. He smiled before he turned to look straight ahead.

“It will just be hard to ignore, if it gets bad,” I said, feeling the sun beating down on my face and shoulders. I wished I didn’t have the bulky cast, so I could get into the water. Remembering the first time I came here earlier this year, the water was still cold. I didn’t have a cast and despite the cold water it had been fun. Remembering that moment with Greg caused me to blush and feel a little guilty. It had been a turning point though, I think if he didn’t come into town for the wedding, I never would have had the balls to try something like this. Then finding Clinton seemed like luck, even though I didn’t like or trust him at the time.

“You’re staring at me,” Clinton said, glancing at me from the corner of his eye. When I blinked and looked down I heard him snicker. Everyone seemed to be lost in their own thoughts, probably dreading the new school year. Our last one in this town. Some of us would never leave it, but most of us longed for the chance to. Now that I had a busted up arm, I knew my chances for a football scholarship was over. I’d have to get a tutor. I also needed to start filling out applications. Knowing Clinton was already getting some back made me realize just how much I’ve put on hold for football. By not having to play, you put things on a list that didn’t even exist a few weeks ago. Things I needed to start thinking about. Like where I would like to go to college, what I wanted to study. Football had always been a looming roadblock for all that, but it wasn’t anymore.

“You’re dwelling on bad things,” Jenny said, causing me to jump. I felt Clinton tense beside me when I looked over at her.

“How do you know?” I asked, wanting her to let my hand go, but she kept massaging it.

“You narrow your eyes and you clench your jaw muscles,” Andy answered and I smirked, not surprised that he knew as well.

“I just don’t want to be the reason our best year of high school might suck,” I said, “I think if people hate the idea so much maybe you guys…”

“We’re not leavin’,” Keith growled, “we’ve already made our promise and we’ll see it through.”

“It’s just high school anyway,” Clinton said, “it has sucked so far, why can’t it keep sucking?”

“Let’s not talk about it,” Jenny said and I reached over and searched out Clinton’s hand. When I found it he opened his fingers and I laced mine with his. Then he pulled my hand to the space between our legs so no one passing by could see.

“Maybe I should quit,” I said ignoring her. “Everyone will blame me and it’s not like I can play. I’d rather Dad have a team.”

“Corey your Dad will rather cancel the season then to see you quit something you don’t wanna quit,” Andy countered. “You’re our captain, you should go out like that.”

“But I have a broken arm,” I argued, “if I didn’t, it would be a different story, I’d fight for it…”

“Shut up Corey,” Keith growled, “If they quit, then fuck them. It will suck not being able to play our senior year, but we’ll get over it, we’ve had fun and nothing lasts forever.”

“You know how people are around here anyway,” Andy said leaning forward to look at me. “They’re like a virgin, all talk.”

“Andy,” Jenny laughed, “that’s why you two don’t have girlfriends.”

“I’m going to go hit the water,” Keith said standing. He took off his shirt and threw it at Andy, who caught it and stood as well.

“Me too, my balls are gettin’ sweaty,'' Andy added and threw Keith’s shirt to the side and took off his own shirt. Then both of them raced to the lake, people stopping what they were doing to watch.

“So much muscle wasted,” Jenny whispered, nudging my shoulder.

“They’ll grow up,” I said hoping they never really would.

“How did you get to be friends with them anyway?” Jenny asked as we all watched Keith pick Andy up and dunk him under the water. Moms were yelling for their smaller children to stay closer to the beach. Kids were running all over the place, some in the water, some building sand castles. It was a nice summer day here, not too humid, but hot. It didn’t seem fitting for the whirlwind going on inside my head, but it was a nice distraction.

“They sat at my table in kindergarten,” I answered shrugging.

“Cute,” she said standing. She pulled off her shirt and her shorts. She was wearing a green bikini that probably needed a few more inches of fabric. She waved and walked down to the beach and I looked around to see that Andy was smacking Keith’s elbow trying to get his attention. Hearing Clinton snicker I turned to look at him.

“They have no game,” he said, “how come gay men have more game than straight guys?”

“It’s because we’re not trying to get them naked,” I answered smirking.

“Jenny’s given them a headstart,” Clinton said, his eyebrows rising.

“Do you think she’s still in love with me?” I asked and I felt his hand tense under mine. He looked down at his lap, a tight smile playing on his lips.

“Probably not,” he finally answered. “She’s smart enough to know there’s not much of a chance.”

I nodded knowing that Jenny was smart enough to know better. She was the first person to confront me about it, and it wasn’t even a question. She already had me figured out and the confidence in her voice that night caused me not to deny it. I knew that if I did, I’d be ending a friendship. A friendship I wanted to have, even if I was afraid of hurting her again.

“Anyway, you’re too likable,” Clinton said, smirking.

“Not anymore,” I said, “one little thing and I’m not worth a damn.”

“One big thing,” he said frowning, “to some people. Don’t worry about it though, they’ll remember why they like you soon enough.”

“I hope so,” I said wincing when my voice sounded strained. Clinton squeezed my hand and leaned against my shoulder. I glanced around to see if anyone was looking at us, but most of the people were too preoccupied with what they were doing.

“I’m sure of it,” he said, “it’s why Cj hated you so much, he couldn’t understand you.”

“How so?” I asked, feeling my face get hot. I didn’t like talking about Cj, knowing that Clinton was his best friend. I tried not to link them together anymore, but I couldn’t help it at times.

“You walked down the halls at school only smiling when you caught someone’s eye,” Clinton started then fell silent. I could tell he wanted to keep talking, but I could see his face flushing, I was about to tell him not to worry about it when he turned to face me completely. “Like you didn’t even know how good you were, how much people wanted to get your attention. Every time someone would say something to you about a game or a pass you’d smile and thank them then afterwards shake your head and seem surprised by it.”

“It’s just football,” I offered and he smiled.

“The only time you really let go was around Andy and Keith, but even then you’d look over your shoulder to make sure a teacher wasn’t about to haul you off to detention,” Clinton continued shaking his head. “I guess Cj thought you should have walked the halls like you owned the place, but I think he would have hated you worse if you did.”

“Probably,” I said rolling my eyes.

“It was on the football field though that I noticed the biggest difference,” Clinton said and I knew we were no longer talking about Cj. That we were getting into deeper more confusing feelings. I felt my stomach twist with anticipation. “It’s where you seemed the most comfortable.”

“Well it is where I spent most of my life,” I countered gently.

“It’s different, I’m not explaining it right,” he added looking down at his other hand resting in his lap.

“So you watched me play?” I asked nudging him with my shoulder.

“Most of the town watched you play,” he answered smiling. “And I’m not really a football fan, but I couldn’t help watching, even if Cj had me convinced that I didn’t like you. I could see that you at least had a passion for something and I couldn’t help thinking that if you loved people like you did playing football that the person would be pretty damn lucky.”

“Do you feel lucky?” I asked my heart hammering in my chest.

“Yes,” he answered and before I stopped myself I leaned forward and kissed him. I felt him go tense against my lips, but then he relaxed enough to kiss me back as I closed my eyes.

“Boys!” Someone behind us said causing us to jump and separate. When I looked up squinting against the brightness of the sun. I saw a woman bundled down with a beach towel, a book, and a small bucket full of plastic shovels. Her two boys were standing shyly beside her.

“Sorry,” I said, swallowing. I felt Clinton’s hand slide out of my grasp between us, but I kept my attention on her.

“Go play, don’t go in the water until I’m down there with you,” the woman said, handing the bucket of plastic shovels to the kids. They didn’t take a second glance at us before they ran down the sandy beach. “I’m sorry that I disturbed your moment, they were poking at one another I didn’t mean you dear.”

“It shouldn’t have happened anyway,” Clinton offered, but the woman shook her head.

“Why not?” She said smiling. “You make a cute couple.”

“Got caught up in a moment,” I said thinking my face couldn’t get any redder.

“Just be careful,” she said glancing around at everyone else on the beach. “Anyway, I better get down there before they sneak off into the water.”

“Thank you,” I said and she smiled and started walking towards the small area her two boys picked out to start building a sand castle. After she spread the towel out and sat on it I turned back to Clinton to see him smiling.

“Sorry,” I said, “got carried away.”

“If we got our asses chased out of here, it would have been worth it,” he said, his smile brighter taking my hand and like before pulling it between us so no one could see.

“It’s getting late,” I said, “it must be, right?”

“It’s probably about that time, yeah,” Clinton said, knowing what I was really wondering. That it was getting close to the time when Dad would be closing his office for the evening. Not knowing if he had a team, I grimaced picturing boxes filled with jerseys. Seniors got to buy them so we could put our names on them. A sort of right of passage. Dad had made it clear that he wanted them to turn in their jerseys and I wondered if any of them threw all that away. It would be more than just a uniform. It would be a history, a legacy of sorts in this desolate little town. A way to be remembered and take something with you as you went away. Mine was hanging in my closet, it had a small C on the front an inch or so from the collar. Most of the town probably thinks I didn’t really earn the role of captain. I had always been in Dad’s shadow, but at least I had been good enough on the field to keep them from saying it to my face. Thinking about the jersey hanging in my closet now though, I knew I wouldn’t give it up. Not even with my broken arm, knowing I wouldn’t be playing. Dad wouldn’t let me keep it unless I saw it to the end and that’s what I was going to do. I just hoped we had enough guys on the team to play. I would know soon enough anyway.

Standing up I helped Clinton to his feet before we let our hands fall to our sides. Then when I noticed Jenny looking up towards us I waved my hand and she nodded. I saw her get Andy’s attention. He had been holding Keith’s head under the water. Not knowing that we were getting ready to leave Keith surfaced and tackled Andy. I heard Clinton laugh and I saw Jenny shaking her head saying something neither of us could hear over the noise on the beach.

When they were all back, Andy and Keith used their shirts to dry themselves off as best they could. Jenny pulled her shirt over her bikini top as we walked back up the gravel walkway to the parking lot.

“I have towels in the trunk,” Jenny said, pulling out her car keys when our vehicles came into view. She popped the trunk when we were a few feet away and pulled out a towel and started drying her legs off. I elbowed Andy when his mouth fell open and heard Keith stifle a laugh. “Do you want a towel guys?”

“We’re good,” Keith said, “water’s not gonna hurt the truck.”

“Might improve it a little bit,” Andy added as he slid his shirt back on.

“Ready to go?” I asked after Jenny pulled her shorts back on and tossed the damp towel back into the trunk.

“Where are you meeting your old man?” Keith asked, running his hand through his hair trying to get it to lay down.

“Home, Mom is picking him up after work,” I answered then Jenny closed the trunk and unlocked the doors.

“Do you want us to wait with you?” Jenny asked, opening her door.

“Better not,” I answered frowning, “if it went bad, he’ll be pretty upset.”

“Okay,” she said, “if you’re sure.”

“Probably best,” I said and Clinton reached up and put his hand on my shoulder.

“Well we better get home then,” Andy said turning to Keith, “Mom hates when I’m late for dinner.”

“And I hate being late for dinner,” Keith added smiling as he roughly hugged me, Clinton’s hand sliding off my shoulder then he pushed me away.

“See you soon,” Andy said and they both walked around Jenny’s car to the truck. Rolling my eyes I stepped around the front of the car and opened the door as Clinton slid into the back and Jenny got in and started the car.

“So I saw you two kissing on the beach,” Jenny said as she pulled out of the parking spot following Andy’s truck. I felt my face flush looking through the rearview mirror at Clinton. He didn’t seem as embarrassed about being caught as I was.

“He was sweet talking me,” I said and I saw that Clinton squirmed in his seat a little, but smiled.

“What did that woman say?” Jenny asked, “I was going to come see, but you two didn’t seem that upset.”

“She told us that we were a cute couple,” I answered wanting to shrink down in my seat and change the subject. “But to be careful.”

“Awe,” Jenny squeaked, glancing at me as she tried to keep up with Andy on the curvy road. Andy probably drove too fast for the old truck, no wonder it was suffering from the long trips. He was probably lucky it still ran at all. “But it’s good knowing that there are some people out there that don’t care.”

“Yeah,” I offered and jumped slightly when Clinton appeared between the front seats again.

“So what moves were you putting on Corey?” Jenny asked, glancing at Clinton.

“I was just telling him the truth,” Clinton answered, shrugging.

“We need to do something before school starts back,” Jenny said, changing the subject. She was smiling though, so I didn’t think she was uncomfortable. I was still hoping what Clinton said about her was true. That she had gotten over me. That she just didn’t like Andy and Keith. I could live with that, mostly because I would be more shocked if girls actually did find their antics worthwhile. Most of the time they’re lucky not to get slapped. So I wasn’t surprised that their poor attempts at flirting never got Jenny to do more than roll her eyes or fuss at them. They both had dated girls, went to prom last year. I was pretty sure Andy had already had sex a couple of times, probably less than he claimed, but still, Keith and I had busted his ass over finding a couple of open condom wrappers in the truck. He had left them there on purpose hoping that we stumbled across them, if his mom was brave enough to get into the truck she probably would have found them too. They hadn’t been hidden all that well, in fact the truck had been cleaner so they had less trash to cover them. Keith had said that he planted them so we would think he was getting some, when he really wasn’t.

“Like what?” Clinton asked and she shrugged.

“A short road trip or something,” she said, “nothing big, I mean I doubt our parents would let us.”

“We still have about a month of summer,” I said looking out the window. Only a month before I stepped back into the high school, part of me felt I would be for the first time. I doubt I would be treated the same. Maybe my glory days were long gone and I would just have to cope with this year, but it was only a year. If I could keep some friends it wouldn’t be so bad. Cj wouldn’t try too much around Andy and Keith, the both of them were looking for a reason to kick his ass as it was. They probably could make up a few if they caught him off guard or alone.

“And there’s football camp soon right?” Clinton asked, looking over at me. “Do you think your Dad will make you go?”

“Yeah,” I said, “I’ll be designated bitch duty for two weeks, getting water and shit, but I’ll have to be there, especially now.”

“That sucks,” Jenny said, but she seemed to understand now.

“Well if we have a camp this year anyway,” I said as we entered the town limits. Andy and Keith turned down the side road where Keith lived, Andy would be dropping him off before going home himself. Jenny kept driving through main street and I turned to look at the apartment as we passed it. Mom’s car wasn’t in the parking lot yet, but I felt my stomach turn anyway.

“You’ll have a team, bet on it,” Jenny said, reaching over and taking my hand. I turned to see Clinton glance down at our hands, but he didn’t say anything.

“You better drop me off,” Clinton said, “I hope Mom has forgotten that I’m grounded.”

“Will she?” Jenny asked, trying not to laugh.

“Not likely,” he answered, “probably be worse off for it, but Dad might have worked his magic on her.”

“Well try to be good just in case,” Jenny said as Clinton’s house came into view. Jenny drove past it to park in her driveway and killed the engine.

“Thanks for the distraction Jenny,” I said smiling as she leaned over and kissed me on the cheek.

“Anytime,” she said, “love you.”

“Love you too,” I said, feeling my face flush. She got out of the car and Clinton and I slid out of our seats closing the doors behind us. She gave us a quick wave before jogging up to her front porch and into the house.

“How long have you two been doing that?” Clinton asked, his eyebrow cocked.

“We sort of fell into it, I guess,” I answered shrugging, “I don’t really know when.”

“You don’t tell Andy and Keith you love them,” Clinton said nudging my shoulder.

“I do too,” I said smiling, “special occasions only.”

“Really?” He said laughing. “When do I get to?”

“I guess when you feel that you do,” I answered, “I won’t stop you.”

“Would you say it back as easily as you did with Jenny?” He asked the lightness of his voice suddenly dying away.

“It would mean more if I were to say it to you,” I said whispering even though we were alone in the yard by the car, standing barely a foot apart.

“Okay,” he said looking towards Jenny’s house before he leaned forward and kissed me. I reached up with my left hand and pulled him against me. I heard him grunt as I returned the kiss.

“Goodnight,” I said after breaking the kiss. I saw him smile and look towards his house.

“Goodnight,” he said, “I hope the fuckers didn’t turn in their jerseys.”

“Me too,” I said stepping backward towards the truck letting my hands fall to my sides. Clinton nodded his head and I watched him walk around the fence. He only stopped to wave before he disappeared around his truck in his driveway. I sighed feeling an odd rush of feelings, most of them I didn’t understand, some of them I didn’t want to feel at all. And some I wished I never would stop feeling. It all depended on what happened when I got back to the apartment.

Not wanting to go home, but not having anywhere else to go I drove slowly. It would be better if I just went to the school and got it over with, like a bandaid being ripped from my skin. I wanted it over and done with as quickly as possible. Dad would kick my ass if I showed up there though he had made it clear that I wasn’t welcome there. I hoped Phil was able to calm him down before anyone stepped foot inside his office.

Finally getting home my stomach lurched when I saw Mom’s car parked in the drive though. I pulled the truck in beside it and got out. Looking up I saw the door closed and I started up them as calmly as I could.

When I entered the house I smelled supper cooking. Dad was sitting at the kitchen table watching Mom hover by the stove stirring what smelled like chicken taco mix in a pan. My stomach growled despite the tension in my body, the only thing I really had today was that strawberry milkshake and I was starving. Then Dad looked up when I closed the door behind me louder than I intended to.

“Only seven of them quit,” Dad said knowing that I would want to know. “Only one senior.”

“Who?” I asked feeling angry, but relieved at the same time.

“Dillon Soyer, he’s the baptist preacher’s son, so,” Dad said, “looked like it wasn’t his decision, but what could he do. I let him keep his jersey.”

“That’s good,” I said frowning.

“Are you okay Corey?” Mom asked, offering me a careful smile.

“Yeah, I think I will be,” I answered shrugging as I entered the kitchen and sat down across from Dad. He offered me a smile and I returned it.

“Well I have good news,” Mom said, “I talked to Andy’s Mom and she said you boys could stay at the cabin for a few days.”

“Really?” I asked and she nodded.

“No girls,” she answered then squinted, “or alcohol, and know that we’re only a short drive so we can check on you.”

“And you better keep it in your damn pants Corey,” Dad said grimacing. “No more of that funny business.”

“So you’re letting me invite Clinton?” I asked squirming when Dad shot me a glare.

“Maybe someone should chaperone so it doesn’t feel like I’m sending my son off to,” Mom started then shook her head, “I can’t even say it.”

“Hell if he was dating a girl we’d not let him,” Dad said, “but if he was dating a girl I think he’d sneak her down there if we did.”

“I knew this day would come,” Mom said, “the day where I regret watching you walk out the door, knowing you’re no longer a little boy.”

“Mom,” I said, “I’ll behave myself as best as I can.”

“All I can ask,” she said as she turned the stove off and lifted the pan, dumping the chicken taco mix into a bowl for us to fill our tacos with. Dad stood and helped her set the table with an uneasy smile playing on his lips, but his face was still flushed from the turn our conversation took. I knew then they would do anything for me. That I had them in my corner, along with the friends that I never doubted. It made facing the rest of it seem like less of a challenge. Even if it was, it was only a year and with them I knew I could see it through.

 
Copyright © 2014 Krista; All Rights Reserved.
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Chapter Comments

Wow. What a shocker. Dad came through! Kudos for him. He seems almost human again. But then again, school is just ahead. What will happen then. A great story. loving every minute of it. Thanks for sharing your wonderful gift of story-telling.

I can't wait for the next installment.

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B) .....Another 'nice' chapter, I was a bit surprised that Corey's dad only mentioned 7 players quitting, one (understandably the preachers son) but no direct mention of CJ. I guess you have other plans for him (sinister laugh, LOL). Looking forward to more, thanks Krista for another 2-fer!
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On 08/22/2014 06:51 AM, Benji said:
B) .....Another 'nice' chapter, I was a bit surprised that Corey's dad only mentioned 7 players quitting, one (understandably the preachers son) but no direct mention of CJ. I guess you have other plans for him (sinister laugh, LOL). Looking forward to more, thanks Krista for another 2-fer!
Cj doesn't play football. :P So he's not on the team. Thanks for reading Benji! :D
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On 08/21/2014 05:03 PM, ricky said:
Wow. What a shocker. Dad came through! Kudos for him. He seems almost human again. But then again, school is just ahead. What will happen then. A great story. loving every minute of it. Thanks for sharing your wonderful gift of story-telling.

I can't wait for the next installment.

Thanks for reading! :) Yeah.. he stood up for his son, like a father should. Maybe early on if this happened he wouldn't.. but he's grown a bit. I like that you are enjoying the story.
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I couln't be happier with this chapter. I had a nice feeling about Andy and Keith, and they didn't let me down (and by they I mean you, of course). They're the best friends Corey could ask for. And Jenny, supportive as always, because we know our "cute couple" are going to need that when the school year starts. Two thumbs up for Couch. He may be a hard bone to pick, but it seems that bone has a heart too. I'll be waiting patiently (yeah, right!) for the next chapter.

P.S.: I hope the dynamic duo get their hands on CJ any time soon.

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On 08/22/2014 10:12 AM, bignick said:
I couln't be happier with this chapter. I had a nice feeling about Andy and Keith, and they didn't let me down (and by they I mean you, of course). They're the best friends Corey could ask for. And Jenny, supportive as always, because we know our "cute couple" are going to need that when the school year starts. Two thumbs up for Couch. He may be a hard bone to pick, but it seems that bone has a heart too. I'll be waiting patiently (yeah, right!) for the next chapter.

P.S.: I hope the dynamic duo get their hands on CJ any time soon.

Aww thanks. The two goofballs do have Corey's back. :) They won't allow anyone to hassle him, unless they do it themselves, of course. His father, was backed into a corner and came out fighting for Corey, which is a good feeling. :)
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A great story Krista! I was really hating Corey's dad until the past two chapters...I wondered if he loved his son, and was sure he didn't, but I'm glad came around.

I am glad Clinton stood up for himself at last--not just because of Corey...I was hoping he would turn out to be worth it in the end. I can't wait for the next chapters, and to find out if Corey and Clinton can get to the same college!

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On 08/24/2014 08:15 AM, ColumbusGuy said:
A great story Krista! I was really hating Corey's dad until the past two chapters...I wondered if he loved his son, and was sure he didn't, but I'm glad came around.

I am glad Clinton stood up for himself at last--not just because of Corey...I was hoping he would turn out to be worth it in the end. I can't wait for the next chapters, and to find out if Corey and Clinton can get to the same college!

Thanks for reading and liking the story. :) Corey's father has always loved him, he just didn't do a good job of showing it. :) As far as Corey/Clinton going to the same college... that's well over a year away... I'm sure they'll give it a go to make that work out. :)
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Great chapter, Krista! :)

 

I'm glad the whole team didn't quit. I'm sure of the kids that did quit, like the preacher's son, they were probably forced to by their ignorant parents.

 

I'm also happy Corey's dad seems to have turned a new leaf. :) It's about time. lol

 

And good for C&C for kissing on the beach! :D And good for that mom for encouraging them! :P

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On 08/25/2014 01:54 PM, Lisa said:
Great chapter, Krista! :)

 

I'm glad the whole team didn't quit. I'm sure of the kids that did quit, like the preacher's son, they were probably forced to by their ignorant parents.

 

I'm also happy Corey's dad seems to have turned a new leaf. :) It's about time. lol

 

And good for C&C for kissing on the beach! :D And good for that mom for encouraging them! :P

Lol. Since I have Chapters 36 and 37 written, I have to make sure I don't give anything away or spoil stuff when I go to reply to these comments. Because I already know what's going on.. for the most part. Yes, the Senior got to keep his jersey, it sucks that his last year of High School may suck too..

 

The Kiss on the beach, was a good scene. I like.. "lost in the moment" moments myself.. where the world fades away and you're so entranced with the people you're will.. it's a little slice of bliss. So when those happen they shouldn't be rained on, I couldn't bring myself to it. lol.

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