John Jackson woke with a fright. He swung his feet over the edge of his bed and held his head in his hands. He finally stood up and looked out the window. The glowing lights of the city seemed distant, more distant than usual. He checked his iHome. 2:18 AM. He was wondering what she was doing as he was sitting here, with his mind going a million miles a minute.
John went up the stairs to the kitchen. He grabbed a glass and turned the faucet on. He filled his glass and took a long, refreshing drink. The cold water felt like winter on his dry lips. It was a warm March night, much warmer than usual. John then walked outside and stood in the cool night air. The moonlight shone on his sandy blond hair and strong jaw. His t-shirt rippled, barely covering his muscular body. John was an attractive kid, but that was a second thought to the girls. John was nice, attractive, and a 4.0 student. Not to mention, he was the best baseball player in the state. He could hit a baseball a country mile and throw out runners at home from his position in centerfield. He was fast, too. He drew comparisons to Jose Reyes, the Miami Marlins newly acquired shortstop for his speed.
John eventually fell asleep. He woke up to his alarm clock beeping that annoying beep. He hit the snooze button and got up. He put on a pair of black Jordan gym shorts and a Century Canyon baseball shirt. He grabbed his Pirates hat and pulled it down low. He ate his usual Apple Jacks in silence, since nobody else was up yet and his dad left for work a while ago. He slipped on a pair of black Nikes, grabbed his backpack, and hopped into his white pickup truck. It was a beautiful Friday in Flagstaff, but that was the last thing on John’s mind.
When John got to school, he parked his truck and hopped out. With his backpack slung over one shoulder, he started walking to class. Just as he started to walk, he heard his best friend, Taylor Harper, yelling his name. “John! John! John!”
“Oh, hey Taylor,” John said sullenly.
“Still got the blues, eh? Long night, big boy?”
John shot him a dirty look. “Do you really have to ask?”
“Stupid question, J. Anyway, I just saw Sarah with Luke.”
John stopped dead in his tracks. He turned and faced Taylor and almost yelled, “She was with Luke?!?!” Taylor nodded and said “And she was beaming. Kinda like a brand new baseball, all nice and awesome looking.”
“You know what, Taylor, you really suck ass at breaking bad news.” John said coldly.
“I know, that’s why I’m shutting the hell up.”
Sarah was John’s old girlfriend. She dumped him a week ago and John felt like his world came crashing down. And she left him for Luke? John was dumbfounded. Luke was John’s archrival. Luke was a wannabe, he thought that John was over rated as a baseball player and was the most popular kid in school. Luke had been after Sarah for years, and now he finally got her. John didn’t know where he went wrong, but he couldn’t get the image of Luke and Sarah out of his mind.
John and Taylor walked to class together and John tried not to look miserable. His first class was math, a subject he had always liked. Taylor, on the other hand, could barely stay awake. Unlike John, Taylor wasn’t a good student and was always barely getting by, only thanks to John. Taylor and John had known each other since kindergarten and were instant best friends. Taylor was the catcher for the Century Canyon Lions and was a good ball player in his own right. He reaped the rewards of hard work on the ball field, but not so much in the classroom. Taylor had a strong body and dark hair that was cut short. He was handsome, but was a big flirt. He was the one who introduced John to Sarah in the first place.
After math, John headed to his advanced placement English class, when he heard his voice again. “Hey, Johnny boy!!” This time, it was Nelson Aparicio, one of John’s good friends and the shortstop for the Lions. Nelson’s parents were from Venezuela and Nelson became a shortstop just like his dad, who played for the national team. Nelson was the second best player on the team, but was always in John’s shadow. Nelson didn’t seem to mind; he loved being overlooked. He had dark skin and black hair. He was tall and skinny, but had a cannon for an arm.
“What’s up, Nelson?” John said casually.
“Just going to class with ya. Heard about you and Sarah, man. That must sting.”
“Yeah, it sucks ass. What did I do wrong, Nelson?”
Nelson looked over his shoulder. He then leaned in and whispered in John’s ear, “Well buddy, it wasn’t you. She was cheating on you for about two weeks before she broke up with you.”
“Don’t tell me it was with Luke Melbourne.” John was praying that Nelson was wrong, even though he knew Nelson never lied about anything. All Nelson could do was nod. John cursed under his breath and kept walking to class.
© Copyright 2016 Hunter Anderson. All rights reserved.