Distraction(2)

By: Angela McPherson



"Um..."

Coach walked into the locker room, cutting me off. "Suit up and get on the field, ladies." Coach turned and looked at me. "Daniels, in my office."

"Yes, sir," I said, ignoring the curious glances from my teammates, especially Dan's.

Fuck me. My girlfriend, Kellie, talked me into applying for Tech and their football team back in October. I only went along to appease her. When I didn't get a response letter, I figured they'd turned me down, not that I cared, really.

Standing in front of the closed door, I took a few extra breaths before going in. When I did, coach looked up and waved a hand for me to sit down in the chair in front of his desk. I did.

"You wanted to see me, coach."

He sat back in his chair, hands across his stomach, and stared at me. "Anything you want to tell me, son?"

Fuck.

"Um, I'm not really sure, sir." I gulped. Normally I didn't get nervous, but the calm expression he showed never proved to be a good sign.

He sighed. "I've been arguing with the head of Tech's football department." He paused, giving me enough time for his words to sink in. "I've been informed you're transferring and will be playing for them next season." He leaned forward with a deep scowl.

"I asked for a transfer, but never thought I'd be approved."

"I see." Coach shook his head. "In all my years of coaching, I've never seen this sort of thing happen." He pushed back from his desk. The hair on the back of my neck rose from the sound of his chair scraping along the linoleum floor as he stood. "No need in suiting up. Turn your practice uniform in on your way out."

Still in shock, I continued to sit.

"I'm sorry," I finally admitted and stood, not knowing what else to say.

He moved around his desk and headed for the door. "What's done is done. Good luck next year." Before leaving, he circled back around. "You're a good player, Daniels. But a piece of advice, don't get mixed up in politics. Just play the game God gifted you with playing."

"Yes, sir."

When he left his office, I went back to my locker. I couldn't believe I wouldn't be playing football for him next year. I mean, when Kellie asked me to apply I laughed, but filled out the forms anyway.

Kellie wanted us going to the same school in the fall. She'd taken a year off to intern at a high-end PR firm here in Austin, but would be starting the fall semester at Tech.

I gave the locker room one final look before heading out. Two years I'd played ball with this team and next year I'd be against them. There were no words to describe what I felt: uncertainty, doubt, surrealism.

Kellie would be happy about my transfer, but another name filtered in my thoughts. My stomach twisted. I could call my parents, though I had no desire to clue them in just yet, or more so my dad.

My dad refused to watch any of my games. The bastard was still pissed I'd turned down Tech's offer at the last minute, but how could I accept after what I'd found out. He could be ruthless, but after hearing his deal with the dean at Tech, I refused to play by his rules.

Dad despised my best friend, Elle, and her family. Elle and I had planned to go to Tech after graduating high school. But when I learned my dad's deal to keep Elle from getting her scholarship, if I signed to play with them that fall, I backed out. I never told Elle why I changed my mind at the last minute. I could see the hurt hidden in her bright green eyes, but I'd do it over again. I'd do anything to protect her. Besides, what better way to get back at my dad than play for the school he despised most. Such a sweet victory when I made my official announcement back in high school.

My phone buzzed, snapping me out of the past. Kellie texted: Babe, I'm heading over to your apartment. See you when you get there.

Looked like Kellie would be the first to hear my big news. I didn't know how or what to tell Elle anyway, and my parents could wait.

I walked out to my cherry red,‘69 Chevy Camaro z28. A smile tugged at the corner of my mouth. I got in and roared the engine to life. Driving home, another memory of Elle surfaced from my subconscious. Elle's car, in my opinion, classified as a piece of shit, and on several occasions she'd threatened to steal my baby. I laughed knowing she could barely shift my car into gear before the engine died. I never let her drive my car, or even think about driving after her first attempt. Oddly enough, my dad and I shared a mutual love and respect for expensive cars. She was the only gift I'd accepted with appreciation.

Pulling up to my apartment, I parked my car next to Kellie's then headed inside. She stood in my kitchen when I walked in.

She smiled. "Baby, I'm so glad you're here."

I shut the front door. "You're never gonna believe what happened today."

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