You’re gonna be replacing Joseph tonight. He tore one of his pecs during practice, so he’s gone for the rest of the season. Reese is gonna slide up on the depth chart into halfback. You’ll be playing both fullback and halfback, so be ready.
I stared blankly at Coach Martz. I could hear him, but I was lightyears away. The only thing that was on my mind was what happened back in Tuscaloosa.
Life’s too short to even care at all, oh.
I’m losing my mind, losing my mind, losing control.
These fishes in the sea, they’re staring at me, oh.
A wet world longs for the beat of a drum, oh.
This is a nice song, don’t you think? It’s really…indie, hahaha.
I looked at her at tried to focus my vision. I was seeing two of her and it was hard trying to keep my balance. She took off the jersey.
#30…I’d never wear #30. I want #32 or I’m not playing.
My mind suddenly turned off the memory and I was back in the tunnel. Marshall was standing next to me and with Anne’s dad going through the playbook. I think I was supposed to be paying attention, but I was lost in my own thoughts. Coach Ventura looked at me and gave me a thumbs up.
Hell yeah, you tell them that! Be like, “Hay y’all, I want #32 or y’all ain’t gettin’ no awesome prospective football player to play your tailback!”.
She danced around in her denim shorts and her royal blue push-up bra. She was going on and on about how I should make some demands before I sign the letter, but I saw nothing but this half-naked hot girl. I took a step towards the bed and tripped over my own feet. Luckily, I was close enough to face plant onto the bed.
Oh man, I’m definitely drunk. C’m’ere Ventura.
She gladly fell onto the bed and began to giggle. She definitely had to be drunk too.
If I could find a way to see this straight,
I’d run away to some fortune that I should have found by now.
Don’t you think this is worth a shot? Don’t you want to be my boyfriend?
I was on the field now. The play was a screen and I was set to protect in the pocket. Marshall called for the snap and the play was underway…but instead of going for a five-step dropback, he handed the ball off to me. I could see him screaming through his helmet “RUN!”. I began running right, not knowing what had happened. I was sure that the play was a screen…
When I saw that all of my options on the right side of the field were sealed off, I cut back and began towards the left of the field. I found a hole and the safeties were beginning to drop in their coverage. Shit…left or right? St. Raphael’s boasted the #1 defense in the country and their safeties had already signed their letters of intent. They were both going to be Buckeyes.
Look! The Archangels do have a weak point in their defense! David Gateway tore the ACL in his right knee two years ago! He has no lateral quickness. Bet you could beat him on the run if you ever got the chance to.
Anne loved to sit and watch game film with me. It was something I would do if I ever felt like I played a really bad game. It was kinda like my way of punishing myself and my way of soothing myself all at once. Seeing as she’d be around football and football coaches all her life, she really knew what she was talking about.
I don’t know, Annie. He might not be able to move left and right as quickly as he used to, but he’s not stupid. He would never drop in coverage if the linesmen can’t make the tackles. I think he’d wait it out in the backfield until he absolutely has to tackle.
He wouldn’t be dumb enough to allow a team to gain more yards. A smart safety would close the gap and nail the carrier right away.
She had her hand on my thigh. I was about to say something, but she beat me to it.
What? Does this make you uncomfortable?
I was a little too gone to be able to try anything at that point in the night. My eyes scanned her body from top to bottom. This is it. Now I can finally be with Anne. Before I could say or do anything, she beat me to it (as usual). She rolled onto me and laid her head on my shoulder.
Let’s date. Let’s be together and see how it goes. We can have you sign the letter now and I can apply to ‘Bama myself. I’ll be a cheerleader or something stupid and we can be roommates too. We could finally be together without that stupid ex-girlfriend of yours lurking in the background.
Sure, I was drunk. But they always say that a drunk mind speaks a sober heart…or something like that.
I got up and I started flipping out. I can’t be dating Anne…I can’t be committing myself to anything right now, let alone a girl. Why the hell would I want to sign a letter of intent to some football program? I don’t even know if I wanna play football as a professional. I don’t even know if I wanna be with Anne. I can’t do any of this.
Little did I know, I had actually said all of that aloud.
I ran left. Gateway noticed the change and slowed himself down. He began to shift to his right. By the time he began to run again, I was well past his zone. I was about to score for the first time as a starting running back and the person I had to thank for that success didn’t even want to watch the game.
You can’t commit to Alabama, that’s fine. You can’t commit to playing football professionally, I can understand that. But are you really going to try throwing away your talent? It’s something that is worth a try. And I guess I’m not worth a shot either. But the fact that you can just toss me aside is just…shitty. You’re an asshole. You’re just afraid of commitment. And what for? So you can be available if Catherine comes running back? To be available so you can just screw whoever you please without getting in trouble with me?
She was about to say more, but she struggled to stand up. I went over to help her up and she kicked me. Of course, since we were both fairly intoxicated from the moonshine, she essentially kicked me in the crotch. I tried to help her anyway, but when I was able to stand again, she had locked herself in the bathroom.
And the Majors have done it again, improving to 4-4 on the season. The final score is 35-6. #32 ran all over the Archangels defense. He had 132 yards with two touchdowns. Marshall Morris threw for 411 yards and and three touchdowns. Looks like the Majors are poised to make a push for the playoffs.
I sat in the locker room and took my helmet off. I reached underneath my jersey and began unlocking all the straps attached to my pads. Still, the win and the monster game I had felt stupidly pointless.
Annie, I didn’t mean it.
But my body had begun to shut down on me. I fell asleep at the bathroom door.
Of course you would fall asleep. Go figure.
Maybe that’s why we stopped talking. It seems a little juvenile, but for some reason, it all bothers me so much now. I’ve also come to realize that a lot of my memories end with me falling asleep. Like she put it…go figure.