I threw the ball hard. It sailed through the air, spiraling perfectly. “Nice throw, ” Nick, our Wide Receiver, said. “Thanks Nick, I’ve been workin’ on it.” “I can tell bro.” I scanned the stands that had seen so many games – victories and losses. A girl was sitting there, watching us practice. “Who’s she?” I asked. “No idea.” Nick said, shrugging. The girl blushed and looked away. “Hey coach?!” I yelled over to Coach Lenard. “What’s up, Eli?” “Who’s that? ” I asked, nodding my head to the girl. She was bent over her book but I could tell she was watching us. “That’s my niece, Teresa Renaldo.” I nodded my head. “Oh…” Didn’t see that one coming. I walked back to the line of scrimmage. Better get crackin’. “Alright let’s go through the drills.” Defensive Coach Collon said. Here we go.
I came out from the locker room showered and changed. Teresa was still there but was talking to her uncle. I waited down at the bottom of the bleachers not really wanting to come in contact with Teresa. Finally, after what felt like ages (but was actually only five minutes), Coach Lenard and Teresa made their way down. “Hey Eli,” Coach said. I nodded at him. “Game’s Saturday, right?” “Yup, so don’t come on Sunday.” I nodded, sneaking a quick looked at Teresa before jogging off to Nick’s car.
“Bro, Eli!” Nick shouted, jogging down the hall to catch up with me. He eased his pace as he came up beside me, panting. “You looked like you were gonna explode yesterday. What was that all about?” I shrugged. “Bro, c’mon,” Nick pried. “Nick, it was nothing. I was just mad about how I messed up that pass.” Nick gave me ‘The look’ (aka, ‘The Stink Eye meets Cross- Examination Face’). “Yeah sure. You looked like you were mad at Coach or that girl or something.” I shook my head. “Naw, dude, that pass could have been way better.” Nick smiled, resting his case. “Really though, it could have.” Nick opened his mouth to say something else then quickly shut it, looking like a fish out of water. I followed his gaze, heat climbing up my neck as I watched. Someone had written “ONE LEG FREAK!” in big, black sharpie all over the front of Teresa’s locker. “Dude what?” Nick said, squinting. I yanked his hood. “Let’s go, Nick.” Nick didn’t move, he just stood there. I probably should have done something or said something… but I didn’t. All I could do was stare.