Chapter Description: Images for this story can be found at the following web...... https://sites.google.com/view/comedy-ars-characters/home
I got dressed and ran to the gym locker room. I was really anxious to get on the field. This was the whole reason for my coming back to middle school and I didn’t want to blow the opportuanity.
Probably the last thing I would have thought about when I got on the school bus this morning was that I was going to be sexually molested my one of my teachers … albeit the cutest teacher in the school.
And why did I allow myself to go through with it anyway? I didn’t have to. I could have just walked out of the classroom … and what would she have done? Maybe give me more detentions? Maybe complain to the principal that I wasn’t cooperating in my own molestation?
I could see the field through one of the hallway windows and observed that my teammates were wearing helmets, jerseys with shoulder pads, and regular gym shorts … so this was not going to be a full-contact practice.
I quickly entered the boys’ locker room and turned my head left and right at each set of locker units. One bench had two sets of equipment. There were last names written on the backs of the two helmets … Adams and Pantz. I kind of figured that Randy wouldn’t be able to practice with bloody hands and fingers.
So I took off all my clothes again. Didn’t I just do this? Couldn’t I have just run naked from Spanish class to the gym?
There was no one to assist me as I tried on the shoulder pads. They seemed big on me. Then I unfolded my jersey … I was pleased that I was assigned number 28 which I found somewhat ironic since that was my real age.
So much for happy thoughts. When I tried to put my jersey over my head and shoulder pads, I pulled and stretched as hard as I could, but the best I could do was one shoulder only … and I was ready to cry again. How stupid was I not to practice this ahead of time?
Staying in the locker room may have been the lesser of two evils, but I had to show myself. I had to get on the field. My team needed bodies, even if mine happened to look pretty sloppy.
I tried the white helmet … except that seemed big too. (Oh man, I felt like a first class dork. What was I thinking? I had never worn a football uniform before … I was like a turtle putting on his shell.)
And how am I supposed to see out of this helmet? I can’t just move my eyes when I want to look left and right. The helmet obscures peripheral vision. I had to turn my entire head. I should have tried this out a week ago. Too late now.
I bolted out the gym doors and ran to the field. The first person I passed was sitting on the bench. It was Randy Pantz and he issued me an early warning.
“Coach is in a bad mood, Derrek.”
I looked at his hands. “Randy, didn’t you go to the nurse’s station?”
“Nah, I wanted to make sure Coach saw the bloody mess. Somebody should bring an ambulance or a casket to school tomorrow after Coach kills Scary Harry. We should sell tickets to that fight.”
“That’s terrible,” I replied.
“Don’t worry about it, Derrek. For now, Coach will just take his anger out on you.”
“Maybe so, but I can’t help that, Randy. I have to face the music … See’ya later.”
I sprinted toward the center of the field. I was about half way to the fifty yard line when Coach Icy Parker noticed me. That’s as far as I got. I tried to speak first. “Sorry I’m late, Coach, but I …”
“I don’t give a fuck where you’ve been, Adams!” he yelled at me. “And what the hell is this?!” he said, pointing at my disheveled jersey. “You’ve got a lot of fuckin’ nerve showing up here like this. You look like a god damn stripper on a cat-walk. Haven’t you got any pride in yourself, Adams? … your team? … your school?”
I stood stiffly and answered. “Yes sir, sorry sir, what would you like me to do now, sir?”
“Adams, if this team weren’t so shorthanded, I would tell you to get the hell off my field … But for time being … Yeah, do that … Get the hell off this field and run laps till you drop dead from exhaustion.”
“Yes, sir.” (What else could I say?)
“Exxxxxxxxxxx!!” the coach bellowed, referring to the team captain, Dillinger X VonChampion. “Your job tomorrow is to teach this rookie how to properly put on a god damn football uniform.”
“Yes, sir,” The captain responded.
“That is,” the coach added, “if Mr. Adams chooses to grace us with his presence at the appointed hour.”
Even though I was only on the track for half of the practice time, I was exhausted. I didn’t remember how many laps I ran, but it was not the most ideal way to launch my seventh grade sports career.
As I ran, I began to formulate the words I would use in my locker room speech. There was no way around it. I had to make my teammates aware of my ‘problem’. I just hoped they would take me seriously.
When the coach yelled ‘Showers!’, I removed my poorly adorned jersey and shoulder pads and ran to catch up with out team captain.
When we entered the locker room, I had to make sure he knew that I wasn’t a wimp. I tapped his shoulder and forcefully stated, “Hey X.”
“I want to call a team meeting … right now. It’s important.” (Since the matter was between me and my teammates, I was not going to involve the coach. He might have said ‘no’ to me anyway with the mood he was in.)
X stopped and looked at me. He studied the seriousness of my facial expression.
Rather than telling me ‘yes’ or ‘no’, he called out in a loud voice, “Everyone move up front now for a team meeting. Derrek has the floor. He’s got something important he wants to tell us.”
All of my teammates came forward without comment. Dilinger X VonChompion was a prototype team captain. Physically, he wasn’t very tall, but his words carried weight and he was the unquestioned leader of his team. Coach Parker heard the announcement, but wisely remained in his office, respecting the tradition of a ‘players-only meeting.’
“It’s all yours now, Derrek,” he told me.
(I knew that my speech would be a major roll-playing test in determining how I would fit in as a teammate. This wasn’t just a 28 year old man talking to a group of twelve-year-old boys. If they knew the truth, they wouldn’t take kindly to my deception, and would likely pummel me into ‘flatbread’.)
I tried to speak up with an authoritative voice. “First, I want to apologize for my late arrival today. Detentions are no excuse for letting down my teammates. I’ll make sure that it doesn’t happen going forward.”
I continued, “The real reason for this meeting is to explain why the school is giving me an accommodation for a medical condition that I have … and don’t worry, it’s not contagious. You’re not going to catch anything by being around me.”
“I was born with a rare disease called Aquagenic Urticaria. It’s an allergy to ordinary tap water. Any contact with my skin makes it break out in extremely painful hives and swelling. So I can’t use the showers. When I wash up, I use soap with some other liquid like ginger ale … which I’ll keep in my locker.”
I boldly stated, “And I’ll expect my teammates to back me up on this. You won’t tell other classmates about my medical problem … and you won’t prank me with squirt guns and wet towels. If you do, then it’ll be obvious that I don’t belong on this team.”
“I’m here to do three things … run fast, hit hard, and win games. That’s all I got to say.”
Then Captain X shouted, “Okay, you heard the man! Anyone who doesn’t back up our teammate answers to me! Power clap on three … one, two, three … Go NADS!”
((( CLAP !!!)))
And that was it. I don’t think I’ve ever met a better young leader than X. He had the maturity of a college level quarterback and made my transition onto this team seamless … even though I hadn’t exactly endeared myself to the head coach.
As noted in my speech, I washed up with ginger ale and soap at my locker and no one bothered me. Big-O came by and pointed his thumb out the door. “Late bus is here,” he reminded me.
The 4:15 pm late bus for students involved in extracurricular activites drove the reverse route from this morning. Everyone was too tired to say much, and as expected, since I was the last one picked up, I would be the last one dropped off.
Sammantha was waiting anxiously for me at the guard shack of our apartment complex. She greeted me as if I were a returning soldier or some kind of conquering hero.
“Mom, you can stop squeezing me. I can hardly breathe.”
She gushed, “Oh, sweety, I have been on pins and needles the entire day, following your class schedule minute by minute … and worried sick that you might step off the bus as a little blonde two-year-old. You’ve got to tell me everything.”
“Everything would take a while, Mom, but let’s go inside first. I feel like I’ve been gone for a month.”
“But overall, how do you think your first day went?”
I looked up at her. “Overall, it was very interesting … but if every day is like today, I’m not sure I’ll survive my first week of middle school, let alone a whole school year.”
“Did something bad happen?” she asked hesitantly.
“Not really. ‘Bad’ would be like if someone got injured. Today was mostly working through some unexpected rough spots.”
“How rough?” she inquired.
I replied, “Two detentions and a spanking.”
Sammantha put on her ‘military response’ face. I saw it the other day when she went after the superindendent.
“What?! My sweet little boy? I want to know who spanked you.”
“Mom, it’s fine,” I tried to reassure her. “This is something I can handle on my own.”
When we entered the apartment, I dropped my backpack on the floor and undid my belt buckle, soon exposing my buttocks.
Being a smartass, I told her, “Check me out. I just want to make sure I have matching shades of red on each cheek.”
She looked. “Sweety, that’s terrible. I thought schools weren’t supposed to administer corporal punishment anymore.”
“Well, yeah, they’re not ‘suppose’ to. Another juicy tidbit you might be interested in is that your favorite wrestling coach, Norton Bimbo, is now my health teacher.”
“And HE spanked you?!”
Before I could correct her notion, Sammantha made a mad dash to her bedroom and dashed back wielding her 17 inch fishing knife.
“Stay home till I get back,” she ordered me.