Dunk

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic


Coming soon: Bug deals with a broken heart and Brian struggles with what's really important to him in life.



Teaser posted.

Chapter 13 (v.1) - Starter

Submitted: July 20, 2019

Reads: 52

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Submitted: July 20, 2019

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Chapter 12

Starter

“Brian, package” Carolyn yelled up the stairs. Brian came half-way down and stopped. His mom handed the Amazon carton to him over the hand rail. “What’s in the box?” she asked.

“Clothes” he answered and turned to head up the steps.

“Oh yes, Missy and Angela told me about your shopping experience. I guess it’s only natural that a teenage boy would start to care about his clothes, especially if they are trying to catch the attention of a teenage girl.”

Brian stopped and turned back to his mom. “I don’t believe that clothes make the man, mom. Missy and Angela kinda dragged me to the store.”

“What’s that in your hand then?’ she said, smiling. “Look, Brian, there is nothing wrong with dressing nice and there is nothing wrong with being interested in someone else. Your dad and I are glad you’re expanding your interests. That’s why we signed the permission slip for you to play basketball. But basketball was supposed to be an addition to the other things that are important to you. It wasn’t supposed to take their place.”

“I know mom and it hasn’t, I promise. But basketball is very demanding, and after this season, I’ll probably never play organized basketball again. On the other hand, science will always be there, will always be my life.”

“As long as you know your dad and I love you and support you, and your sister for that matter, in any way you chose to live your lives.”

Brian came down the steps and hugged his mom, who held on before letting go.

“And, I give Missy and Angela credit. You are a handsome young man.”

Brian blushed. “Thanks mom” and he turned to head back to his room. He set the UPS box on his bed and grabbed a utility knife then, seeing the “do not open with utility knife” sticker, tore the tape off with his hands instead, opening the flaps and pulling out a pair of navy-blue dress pants. He walked to the mirror and held the pants up.

“I can’t say I agree with all the changes you’ve made, Brian, but ditching those khaki pants, that, I gotta say, was a great idea.”

“Hey Bug” Brian said, turning to look at her. He turned back to the mirror.

“I haven’t had much of a chance to talk to you lately” she continued. “I kinda miss it.”

“Missy was right, Bug. When you play high school basketball it’s your life for 6 months. But then it will be over, and things will be back to normal.”

“I am not sure anything will ever be back to normal” she answered him, sounding down. “I don’t even know what normal is anymore. I thought I did. Then you made all these changes and now, I’m not sure of anything anymore.”

“You and I will always be friends, Bug. No matter what.”

“Like I told you Brian, you are going to go on to live a fantastic life, and I’ll just be this dorky girl who used to follow you around” she said and looked down at the floor.

Brian turned and walked over to her. He lifted her head, then took both her hands.

“You are not dorky, Bug” he said, smiling and looking into her eyes.

“I never thought I was, at least, I never felt like it around you. You always made me feel so interesting. I loved talking to you.”

“We will still talk, Bug. I just don’t know where all this is leading me, but I have to follow it.”

“I know you do, I know you do. I just miss you, Brian. The team is doing great and you’re the reason why.”

“I’m just one part of the team.”

“Oh no, oh no” she said, shaking her head as she looked into his eyes.  I hear them cheering. I hear them chanting your name.”

Brian smiled slightly.

“But remember this, Brian Ferco. I have been and always will be your biggest fan.”

She reached up and kissed him, then turned away.

She was gone.

Brian set the pants down just as his dad walked into the room. “Was that Bug I just saw leaving?’

“Yes, dad” Brian answered without turning around.

“She doesn’t come around much anymore.”

“Well, we are both very busy.”

“You know, the day you brought home that permission slip to play basketball, your mother and I didn’t sleep that night, trying to decide what to do.”

“Why?” Brian asked, finally turning to face his dad.

“Because we want the best for you, and we weren’t sure that high school basketball was the best thing for you, based on what you always thought was important.”

“Why did you sign it then?”

“It was the right thing to do. We have to let you make your own choices, your own decisions, whether your mom and I agree with them or not. We support basketball just like we supported your science research, even if you’ve fallen away from it.”

“I’m still getting straight A’s, dad.”

“I know, I know.  But there is more to life than straight A’s. There is fulfillment. Are you sure playing basketball fulfills you?

Brian didn’t answer.

“Well, I’ll leave you be. Good luck in tonight’s game. We’ll see you there.” He turned and left the room. Brian walked over to his lab computer. The equation for his formula was still on the screen, unchanged from that night he first made his discovery. He looked at his lonely trumpet case sitting by the closet. Brian remembered how disappointed the music teacher, Mr. Kent, was when Brian told him he would be playing basketball instead of participating with the band. Despite what he had told Bug, he hadn’t done any research or tests on his discovery. He certainly wasn’t in any position to prepare a scientific paper for publishing. In fact, the last couple months of school were a complete blur, Brian’s natural abilities alone keeping his grades up. He picked up his gym bag and set it on the bed. He put his mouthpiece, warmups, and water bottle inside, then zipped it shut. Tonight’s game was against Greenville’s arch-rival, Valley High, and Brian would have to be at his best, as they all would. The coach had given more and more playing time to Brian, driven by his increasing contributions. Brian now led the league in offensive and defensive rebounding and was 26th in the league in scoring despite his limited playing time in the early games of the season. A copy of the local paper caught Brian’s eye and he picked it up.

Prof Solves Problem of Greenville Offense!

“…substituted in for the entire second half, Brian Ferco, known as The Prof to the home team faithful, led the Dragon’s to a comeback win by pulling down 13 rebounds, 7 of them on the offensive end, resulting in 14 of his 17 points. The 5’ 10” forward could not be stopped as he outjumped the gym, skying over opponents in a dazzling display of aerial acrobatics. His scorecard also included 6 blocked shots.  Looks like Brian Ferco will be a force to be reckoned with in the upcoming playoffs.”

Brian couldn’t help but see the irony in how a nickname that was once used to jeer him, professor, was now, as The Prof, used to cheer him. Brian set the paper down, turned off his bedroom light and headed to the school.

 


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