Chapter One – The Jock
The whistle rang through the field, signaling practice was over. Sweat was dripping down my face, soaking my clothes. It had to be at least 100 degrees out in the summer heat.
Football was my life – so was baseball – but I needed a scholarship, a big one.
“Great job Collins,” I felt Coach Reed pat my back.
“Really…?” I asked him.
His head nodded, “Yep, scouts are going to be at Friday night’s game boy, better keep some energy in you,”
I nodded my head to him, and bounded off to the showers, ready for a relaxing night with my girlfriend at home… or what I call home.
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I pushed my key into the lock, twisting it to the right, and hearing a click, telling me the door was open.
I walked into my mom’s and I’s 2 bedroom 1 bath apartment. My dad left us when I was 5, saying he was going to come back for me… did he show up? Damn right he didn’t. He left us for some blonde headed bimbo that was half his age with a chest bigger than cantaloupes.
It was just me, my mom and my little sister.
Abigail Collins… my 14 year old bratty sister, which I absolutely love to death. She still hasn’t quite reached the fact that money is a major issue for us… she wants all the latest. I phone’s, designer jeans, and makeup to her perfection.
I felt my phone vibrating in my pocket, and I pulled it out with a grin on my face, already knowing who it was.
Jenny Johansen – or JJ – is my 4 year long girl friend, who I happily admit I love. She knew everything about my life, my past, and the money issues we struggle through. Her family is rich, so she helps out a lot with us, no matter how much mom and I refuse. She’s an aspiring singer, and I know for a fact… she’ll make it big in this world.
Her hair was blonde, curly. Her face was cute, with her milky skin color and her baby blue eyes that would shine in the sunlight.
Another thing I will be honest about, I was totally whipped. But I don’t mind… I’m not like all guys, I promised myself to treat girl’s right when I learned about my father. And growing up with my mom, she taught me well to never break a girl’s heart.
“Hey baby,” I said into the phone, the grin still plastered onto my face, my eyes twinkling with excitement.
“Hey,” She happily said back. “There’s a movie tonight, you want to go?” She asked me.
I hesitated for a moment, worrying about money and who will watch Abby. She must have sensed my hesitation, because she continued, “Abby can come, and I’ll pay,”
JJ wasn’t like every other girl either… she was incredibly sweet and treated Abby just like her own sister. JJ is an only child, well she wasn’t always one… he older brother was hit by a drunk driver, 3 years ago. She was 14 at the time, while I was 16, and it hit her hard, because her brother was her best friend, and she didn’t care he was 22.
“That sounds great,” I chirped. “I’ll go tell Abby and I’ll come pick you up?” I asked.
“Sounds good, love,” I sensed a smile in her voice.
We said our goodbyes, and eventually hung up.
I walked down the hallway and into Abby and I’s shared room, but she’d get it in a year’s time. I knocked on the door, not wanting to walk in on her dressing. I heard a faint, come in, so I welcomed myself into our room.
“Hey Abby,” I nodded towards her.
“Hey Jared,” She said flatly.
Abby turned around from her desk, putting down her pencil in the process. “What’s up?” She asked me.
“We’re going to the movies,” I stated to her, the beam appearing on my face again.
“With JJ…?” She asked, I nodded and she squealed.
Abby absolutely loved JJ, almost as much as I do.
I walked out of the room, after being shooed out by Abby. I waited in the living room, leaning against the wall with my arms crossed against my chest. Abby appeared from the hallway 5 minutes later, dressed in different clothing than before. I smiled at her, and she smiled back as she jumped on my back and we ventured for my old Chevy pick-up truck.
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“Hey JJ,” I said to her, pecking her on the lips briefly as she sat in the car.
“Jared,” She smiled back at me, and then wrapped her arms around Abby’s shoulders, giving her a tight squeeze. “Abby,” She squealed. “I love your boots,”
“Thanks,” Abby beamed happily, as she examined her boot clad feet. “I got them at Salvation Army for 5 bucks,”
“Great deal, even better,” JJ’s smiled brightened.
Another thing about JJ, she didn’t flaunt her money like a normal rich girl would.
“What movie are we seeing?” I asked her.
“I was thinking of Bad Teacher… I know its rated R… but it’s supposed to be so good. Plus, Jared’s 18.” She teased me, sending me a wink at the same time.
“Sound good to me,” Abby and I agreed.
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“My God, that movie was so good!” Abby and JJ said, after the movie ended and we were walking back to my truck.
We all got settled into the truck, and our first stop was JJ’s house. We talked of random topics on the way home. When I was out with the two of them, it was like life was perfect, and money was never an issue.
JJ opened the car door, and shutting it gently, before walking around to my window. I glanced at Abby to notice her sound asleep, her head resting on the window, as her breath created a slight fog on the window. I smiled at her, glad to see her asleep with a smile planted on her own face.
“Thanks JJ, you really don’t have to do this you know,” I thanked her.
She rolled her eyes at me and leaned in for a needing kiss. “I know I don’t have to, but I want to. I love you with all my heart Jared; I’ll always be here for you,”
I smiled slightly at her. “And I love you too; you know Abby looks up to you so much. I don’t know how she would have ended up if I never met you. I don’t know how I would have ended up without you,”
“Jared,” She groaned, making this the thousandth time we’ve gone over this. “Even If you never met me, you’re a very talented person, and you can do so much in this world. I know you can,”
I leaned my forehead on her, closing my eyes to savor the moment, inhaling her fruity scent. “I love you so much,” I mumbled, my fingers tracing her cheek before softly kissing her.
She kissed my back, one filled with passion and love. We pulled away seconds later, saying our good-byes, and me driving off.
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I walked into our apartment building, Abby cradled in my arms and she continued her sleep, her soft snores filling the silent night. I noticed my mom’s old Ford Explorer also parked in the lot, meaning she was home for the night.
I silently opened the door, hoping to not wake my sleeping mom. But it surprised me when I found her awake with a coffee in hand, and a newspaper directly in front of her eyes. Her eyes held black bags under them, telling me she wasn’t getting enough sleep.
My mom was actually an Anesthesiologist, well was. She hasn’t worked as one since dad left. She’s been mainly working at a café down the street. A 24 hour one actually, and she worked all the shifts they would give her.
I laid Abby down on the couch for a brief second, wanting to talk to mom to make sure she was okay.
“Mom,” I said softly, sitting down next to her. “You okay?”
She shook her head in a ‘no’ way. “I’ve lost my job…” She sighed.
Welcome to my not so beautiful life.
“But, I’ve decided to go back to the hospital,” She concluded.
A smile broke its way on my face, as I lifted mom up and spun her around, hugging her like no tomorrow.
But even the worst of lives, can turn good.