As soon as James pulled into the driveway he noticed that his dads BMW was missing, not that he had expected it to be there. He let out a heaving sigh, he didn’t know how to cook and he was starving from wrestling practice. He didn’t have enough energy to stand up so he just sat in his car for a minute. He studied his right eye that was just visible in the rear view mirror. His piercing blue eyes looked dull and bloodshot and dark circle were starting to form underneath his eyes. After sitting there for several minutes he finally mustered enough energy to get up.
James closed the door of his black Mercedes convertible and slowly half-limped up the cobblestone path that led to his house. As soon as he opened the door to the house, he tossed his black Adidas back pack onto the couch and plopped down next to it. He was really tired, he had a lot of schoolwork and he almost died in wrestling practice. The house was dead quiet and it was already 6 o’clock.
James stood up and walked over to the mirror that was hanging on the wall in the foyer and gazed at his appearance. His naturally healthy looking skin looked blotchy and irritated. He ruffled his brown floppy hair so it didn’t settle in his eyes.
James stepped away from the mirror and walked into the kitchen. He opened the stainless steel refrigerator and pulled out a can of diet coke. Recently he had been under a lot of pressure. He was captain of the wrestling team and state finals were coming up. He had gained eight pounds from eating out so much; lately his dad has been pulling over time at the office so that left James to fend for himself. Since his dad fired the cook and he had no idea how to work an oven, he just ate out everyday. James was getting tired to he walked into his bedroom and turned on his Sony plasma screen TV and sprawled himself on his bed. He was starting to fall asleep then he felt his sidekick vibrate in his pocket. “ Dad” flashed up on the brightly-lit screen.
“Hey Buddy, how’s it goin’ ” Trevor’s voiced boomed over the phone. Trevor, James dad, was a CEO at an oil company that had just stuck it big in the South. “ Hi dad, where are you” James asked, even though he already knew the answer. “Oh you know, working late at the office, I just had some news to tell you” Trevor replied. “Oh, what is it?” James asked, even though he was not remotely interested in what his father had to say. “Something came up at work and we have to take a short trip to Texas, were leaving tomorrow.”
“I can’t go” James replied coolly. Just as he was about to shut his phone his father started talking again. “ You really don’t have a choice, you have to come, I can’t leave you alone your only 16!” “Dad you’re being ridiculous, I’m not missing the state finals to go to Texas with you” James shouted into the phone. “I’m coming in an hour, be ready to go, our flight leaves at 10:45.” With that Trevor clicked off the phone.
James pushed his head into his 500-thread count pillow and screamed! How was he going to explain to the coach that he couldn’t be at the state finals? The team was depending on his and he was going to let them down. James slid off his bed and grabbed the suitcase that had been shoved in the back of his closet. He pulled the heavy black suitcase over to the side of his bed. He just stood there and looked at it for a moment. The last time he had used this suitcase was when his mother was alive. She had taken him and his dad on a surprised vacation to Mexico. James grabbed the side of the suitcase and noticed that the neon yellow airplane tag was still connected to the handle.
As soon as James finished packing his suitcase he decided that is was time to call the coach. He picked up his sidekick and scrolled down to the contact that read “Coach Mike” and pressed the call button. After only one ring Coach Mike picked up his phone. “Hey Coach it’s me, James.” “ Oh, hey James how are ya?” Coach Mikes deep voiced echoed in the phone. “ Actually Coach, I’m not doing too good, I just got a call from my dad and he told me that we were going to take a trip to Texas” James said, with a little fear in his voice. “ Well son there is nothing wrong with a little vacation” Coach Mike said. “ Coach you don’t understand, I’m leaving today, I’m not going to make the finals”. “What do you mean your not going to make the finals?” Coach yelled over the phone. “ I’m really sorry but I don’t have a choice, I have to go my dad is making me.” “James you better have your ass at the finals or you’re off the team” Coach cried into the phone. James couldn’t bear to talk to Coach anymore and hung up the phone. James knew that he didn’t have a choice, he was going to be off the team.
Trevor arrived home around 7:15 and started packing his suitcase. It was beginning to snow as they loaded the suitcases into the back of his dads BMW. James and Trevor drove to the airport in silence. As soon as they arrived at the terminal Trevor looked over at James. “What has gotten into you” Trevor asked, trying not to sound so hurt. “ Dad, my state finals are this weekend, and because of you and your job I’m going to miss it, which means I’m off the team.”
James and Trevor didn’t talk for the whole weekend in Texas. Trevor was working all the time and James was busy with homework and catching up on his sleep. As the plane was about to take off Trevor grabbed James shoulder. “I’m sorry buddy I had to come, I didn’t have a choice.” “Yeah I know dad, besides I don’t think that I want to wrestle anymore.” “ Why not, you love wrestling” Trevor asked, sounding genuinely concerned. “ Over the past week I realized how much easier my life would be without the extra pressure of the team. I want to focus on my grades and get into a good college and maybe start wrestling again once I’m settled into a good university” James said, trying not to look at his dad. Trevor stood up and gave James a huge, heart-warming hug.
Oh come on. This gets more laughable every time you post it. 500 count cotton sheets? Do we really need to know that? You missed out on a good product placement there – they could have been Ralph Lauren’s. No. This is not working for me. Not at all.
They’re, Their, There – Three Different Words.
Careful or you may wind up in my next novel.
Pax – C