This is my disclaimer for 2009 folks! As you know, I change them, so please read and smile!

This is a fictional character. I'll say that until I'm blue in the face and yet, someone will write to me and tell me I've got something wrong, or he/she is that character, or they're going to sue me because their client has a family member with that name.

I can put disclaimers on a story all day long and still, I get someone who is just about nuts who will do the above paragraph. It makes no sense to me, but apparently, there are people who take themselves so seriously they want to be a fictional character. Well to those of you who choose to be that way, go read someone else's story and be a fuck-tional character.

By the way, if you're reading this to jack off (Adam Curtis). I'll smile and you hold it in your hand and read until the end. If you've spilled a load, I bet it wasn't reading a scene here! Everyone else who knows my writing is probably laughing their asses off right about now...I know I'm chuckling!

If you can hold it in your hand and type, then please BY ALL MEANS write me an email and send a photo of it. I want to see the man's appendage which can write, type, and just plain want to know it better!

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Notes From RettaMichaels:

PlayMaker is written as a period piece. The lead character is writing his memoirs at the end of his career in this day and time. Please read it as such as I've really got no time to correct people for what is obvious.


Chapter Two:

At the track, I had already dressed out in my shorts and KISS t-shirt. I figured if I was going to run and get sweaty, I may as well be in something other than my school clothes.

I'd ran a couple of laps and then saw the Principal come out with Holmes.

You were supposed to meet me in my office!”

My grandma didn't say anything about that and neither did you. I came out here and got to running.”

Holmes, you and Martin get to running and call it quits in an hour. Martin, your grandma said for you and Holmes to meet up on the tennis courts after your run. She said his father will be there or she'll have you over at their house showing the man how to put rocks through every window he owns.”

I smiled. “Grandma's upset.”

He chuckled, “Your grandma is an iron willed woman. I met her a few times and I'm surprised to see she's not changed.”

Did you date my mom too?”

Your mom never knew I existed. By the time I noticed her, she'd met your daddy.”

I would have liked to get to know them better.”

Good people. How old were you when they died?”


Man. There's not much I can say. It was a total waste them two dying so young.”

It wasn't an accident. They just couldn't prove who did it.”

What happened?”

Someone cut their brake lines and loosened all the lug nuts on their car. They left our house and went out to the junction. They couldn't stop and ran right out in front of a semi. I've got photos of the wreck and police investigative photos.”

How'd you get those?”

Grandma. She turned the world upside down looking for any clue as to who did it, but none showed.”

He shook his head. “Don't you boys run yourselves too hard.”

Jake catch!”

I turned just in time to see an incoming football. I caught it and then threw it back.”

You always throw that far?”

No, lots of times I throw a lot further.”

That was an impressive throw.”

We throw the ball back and forth quite a bit. Well, we better get to running.”

I turned to Holmes and said, “Let's get to moving. If my grandma comes by and sees we're not moving, we'll both be in hot water.”

Sounds like your grandma is a force to be reckoned with.” Holmes said smiling.

Yeah, this was a good day. If I'd been in deep trouble, I'll tell you now she'd had me in there bent over that desk telling the Principal to give me twice what he was going to give me.”


We started jogging. We'd made it a lap when Chris threw another, “Jake Catch!”

I caught it and then threw it again. All of a sudden, I heard the coach's whistle. I turned to Holmes and said, “Chris just got in trouble. I bet he doesn't throw it again.”

We made three quarters of a lap when the coach came out on the track. “You Martin?”


I need to speak to you.”

He threw the ball. It was either catch it and throw it back, or let him chase it.”

I'm not complaining about that. The second time, it was me who told him to throw it to you. Do you realize you're what our team needs?”


I need an arm like yours.”

What for?”


I don't even know how to play football.”

Do me a favor. Go out there where the team is and throw it a few.”


I want to see how far you throw.”

I can throw further than that. How about I just show you and then get back to running.”

Principal Jackson came over, “Jake, bear with us a moment. If your grandma sees you not running, I'll tell her we stopped you.”

You might want to put the team in between she and I when you do because that's smooth up me not doing what she said.”

I'll tell her we're having you show us a few things.”

Ok, but she's not going to like it.”

I went out on the field and Chris met me. “They want me to throw you some balls. You might head up that way so I can show them.”


I don't know. They said something about getting some change.”


Yeah. I don't owe them a thing.”

No idiot, that's a position on the field. They having you try out for it?”

I don't know. They want to see me throw you the ball.”

Ok, but you'll get it. You're better than any we've got.”

I don't know how to play.”

If you get it, I'll teach you.”

Thanks a lot.”

He smiled and said, “Come on dufus, throw me the ball.”

Take off running.”

He took off running and I ran back the other way. When I got to the track at the end, Chris was nearly to the other end. I threw it and he caught it. Everyone stopped and stared.

I ran over to the coach and said, “Ok, that's that. I need to get back to running.”

No, I need to see you do it again.”

Why? Didn't I do it right?”

You did it perfectly, but I need to see if you can do it out there on the field with everyone moving.”

Ok, but that's rather dumb. I don't even know how to play.”

We'll teach you.”

What do I do?”

Go out and find the guy who is the center. You give him the ball and tell him to hike it to you.”


I ran out and said, “Whoever is the center, here's the ball. You're supposed to hike it to me.”

The guy gave me a look like yesterday's leftover tuna casserole. “You the new quarterback?”

I have no clue. The coach wants me to throw the ball.”

TJ's going to be pissed.”

Who's TJ?”

That guy over there.”

Is he the guy who's supposed to be out here?”


Well, he can come back out here as soon as they realize I'm no good.”

We lined up and then the guy said, “I bend over and you get up here behind me. I'll pass it off to you from between my legs.”

What the hell for!”

That's the way it's done.”

You a fag?”

No, that's the way they do it.”

Don't you feel funny doing it that way?”


Dude, if I bent over like that and then told you to grab my balls, I'd be a fag for sure. Why don't you just hand me the ball and we forget all that.”

Just do it.”

I don't even know your name.”

Read it off my jersey.”

As I lick your ear!”

Keep your mouth away from my ear and just take the ball.”

Ok, but that's your issue...not mine.”

He bent over and I dropped down on my knee and stared at him between his legs. He started laughing and said, “Stand up.”


Because if you don't, you'll get ran over when these guys come after you.”

Why are they coming after me?”

Because once this ball goes into play, it's like a game of keep away. You get it and see to it one of these guys in the blue jerseys gets it. Whatever you do, don't let one of those black jerseys get it.”

So, it's nothing but a game of keep away.”

Something like that.”

Ok, so why all the gay stuff?”


Ok, whatever your preference. I'll do it. You could have just asked.”

I did. Now take the ball. HIKE!”

He handed me the ball and ran forward. I took it and ran back. Several guys in black ran towards me and I saw a blue jersey down at the end. I threw it to him and the guys in the black jersey ran on by me.

I ran off the field and said, “Ok, I did it.”

That was real good. Now, what I need to do is have you go out there and tell Bates 28 left.”

Ok, he's a real strange guy.”

He'll protect you.”

I went out and saw Bates. “The coach said to tell you 28 left.”

Ok, that's you running the ball to the left.”

I kind of figured that out when he said he wanted to see me running.”

What you do is you go over there and you run between 79 and 85. You run down the field and once again, don't let those black jerseys touch you.”

When do I stop?”

When you get to the end. You see that upright post?”


Run in between them.”

Ok. You do realize this is stupid. Don't you?”

Yeah, that's why it's called a game.”

Never played it so I couldn't tell you.”

Did you grow up under a rock or something?”

No, just never felt the need to grab a ball from between a guy's legs.”

He bent over and yelled, “TWENTY EIGHT LEFT. HIKE!”

He slammed the ball into my hands and I ran back a bit as someone pushed the guys in front of me back. I ran in between the two guys I was supposed to and just about the time I saw a black jersey, I put it into haul and got on down in between the posts.

I ran back to the coach and said, “Ok, that was that. I really need to get to running laps.”

Son, go back out and do it through the middle. Tell Bates to tell the guys to change it to touch football.”

Ok, but if my grandma....”

Your grandma has been told. She's already been out here.”

Where's she at?”

Up there in the stands.”

She mad?”


Lucky you.”

I ran out on the field and said, “You're supposed to tell the guys this is touch football and I'm to go up the middle.”

He's trying to see where your weak points are.”

My weak points are I don't know how to play this game.”

Could've fooled me. You're doing pretty good.”

At least I'm not getting beat to death now.”

He yelled, “DOUBLE HUDDLE!”

Everyone gathered around him and bent over. I looked at all the guys and didn't see one worth looking at. I looked off the field and saw Chris talking to some real hot looking guy. I waved and he waved back.

The guys got done doing their thing and Bates came over. “Listen up dick breath, the guys don't like the idea of playing touch football. I told them it was coach's orders and they're doing it, but they don't like it.”

I looked at him and said, “What ever you say Mr. I'll-bend-over-in-front-of-you-and-say-I'm-playing-a-game. You want to call people names you don't know, I can make it just as bad for you as I can.”

You have no idea how bad it can get.” he said trying to intimidate me.

I do. Your breath is enough to knock down a bunch of dicks.”

Just get up here and do this. You're holding up our practice.”

Must like it.”

WE're doing a 71 down. That means you're going through the middle. Don't let them touch you.”

You getting your big ass out of my way?”

I'll be clear, you just get there.”

I'll believe it when I see it. I kind of think you like bending over in front of guys.”

He grabbed me and said, “Hey butt munch, I'm not pissed off yet, but I can get that way.”

Oh really! You out of all these guys want someone to stand behind you. IF everyone wanted the job, wouldn't they have applied for it? I think you sort of wanted it real bad. Now, get your meat hooks off me because I'm not giving you no dick!”

He set me down rather forcibly and said, “The next one is going to be touch alright, they're going to crush you.”

Whatever you say amigo. They gotta catch me first.”

He and the guys all line up and he hiked it into my hands. Two big black jerseys ran in my way and I hurdled them. I came down running just in time to see another black jersey dodge at me with his hands outstretched. I ran behind him and then on down the field. When I got through the uprights, I turned around and ran up to the coach.

We done yet?”

I need to see you throw it one more time. Your grandma didn't get to see that.”

Ok, that's cool.”

Tell Bates to keep his hands off you.”

I think he's rather sweet on me.”

Tell him I said to leave his hands to himself unless he wants to run laps in your place.”


I ran out and said, “I'm supposed to throw it again. The coach said to keep your mitts off me or you'll be running laps until your hole quivers.”

Forget you dude.”

Nope, I'm not giving you a turn. You'd do nothing but get off on it and that's not in my repertoire.”

He started to move towards me and when he got in front of me, my knee came up and caught him in his groin. It hit something real solid and Bates went down in a heap.

You want to act tough, you need to bring more to the fight than what you brought. Only a pussy would wear something protecting the nuts.”

The coach ran out and said, “Bates, you're sidelined. I said to keep your hands off him and I meant it. Riefsdel, get in here and center for him!”

Riefsdel came in and the name sounded familiar in a way. Soon, I saw the hot looking guy who was speaking to Chris come running. He smiled and I instantly felt weak.

He ran over and said, “Hi”

Hi yourself. What's your first name?”


Oh man, I've gotta go.”

You remember me, don't you!”

I looked up at him with tears in my eyes and asked, “Where'd you go?”

You went. I've been here.”

I had no choice.”

I know.” He looked around and said, “I want to speak with you later. Right now, we've got to play.”

I don't feel well.”

I'll be here for you.” He reached out and put his hand upon my chest. I looked up into his eyes and saw a calming presence there.

Ok, I'm supposed to throw it. You want me to do you too?”

He smiled and said, “That's the way the game's played.”

You going to want a turn?”

He looked momentarily shocked and said, “Not here.”

I reached out and put my hand on his chest. “Ok, but we've got to stop this. I've got too many memories coming in.”

I know. I do too.”

DO you remember?”

My first kiss? Yeah.”

Oh man, I do too.”

I think you were owing me one. I'll collect later.”

I looked up at him and said, “Are you?”

For you. I don't think it ever stopped.” He said giving me a wink.

My world went woozy. I reached out and started to stagger into him. He said, “Only for you.”

Oh man.”

He hugged me close and then said, “We've got to get this play over.”

Hang on a moment. I don't want to lose you again.”

You won't.”

I REALLY need to talk with you.”

I know.”

I let go from him and said, “Let's play this play and then I've got to get away. Too many memories...”

I'm sorry about your parents.”

It wasn't you. You were a baby like me.”

He turned and went over to the line. I went over and he yelled “HIKE!”

I got handed the ball and saw a whole army of black jerseys come screaming towards me. I ran back wards and they came at me. I ran back further and saw one of our guys going towards the end zone. I sent it upwards sailing and then turned around and ran like a scalded rat away from all the black jerseys.

Before I even got turned, I heard the coach's whistle.

I ran towards him and he went on past me, “WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT!”

Someone said, “Their whole line didn't block coach. We thought it was our turn to practice a blitz.”


The coach turned around to me and said, “Martin, I want to see you in my office tomorrow morning.”


You're on the team.”


We need you. I'll get you a play book.”

Ok, but I've got a question.”

What's that?”

If this is nothing but a big game of keep away, then why do they have to dress in all those get ups and be so rough with each other?”

That's the game. Don't ask me why, but someone decided to do it this way.”

It's rather dumb, you know that, right?”

Yeah, men make millions playing the game and you think it's dumb.”


You'd think it's dumb. You've got more talent than most of all the players I've seen and you think it's dumb.”

No. What's that about people making money doing this?”

You really don't know. Do you?”

No clue, that's why I'm asking you.”

Son, you've got more talent than any of these guys will ever see except on a television. You can throw it and run it and do more things than anyone would ever imagine. You move like a streak of lightning and about the time I swear you're going to get flattened, you put it into overdrive like someone gave you a shot of nitrous. Do you realize how fast you are?”


Let me tell you. That run you just did backwards was faster than them going forward. And yet, you got off a perfect shot and then turned around. A whole lot of men of lesser ability would have ran forwards and then looked back to throw it.”

Is that what I was supposed to do?”

No, you did it perfectly. Keep doing what you're doing.”

But I don't know what I'm doing!”

You will. You will. Now, what I've got to do is go talk with your grandma and beg her to let me have you play.”


You're that good. Now, do you want to play and puh-leaze tell me you do.”

I can make millions doing this?”



He smiled and ruffled my hair. Chris came running over to me and asked, “Are you on?”

He wants me to play.”

Then say yes!”

We gotta talk to grandma and see if she'll let me do it.”

He looked down and said, “Oh.”

Yeah, hopefully she doesn't think I can get hurt doing this because if she does, you and I both know that answer.”

She's not going to let you.”

Do you want me to play?”

It think it'd be cool.”

Why didn't you tell me you knew Jared?”

We've known each other since forever. I didn't know you knew him.”

You remember me telling you about that little boy I keep seeing and wondering where he went?”


It's him.”

Oh man, you ok?”

A whole lot of memories. I can see my mama and daddy and his parents real clear. It's a bit much.”

You miss them, don't you?”

It's weird, but I miss them but not as much as I'm happy he's back.”

He smiled and said, “Jared thinks you're hot.”

How do you know?”

When he saw me wave, he said, 'Sweet mother of Jesus, he grew up and he's better looking than I remember.'”

I remember him too and think he's just awesome looking.”

You think you two could hook up?”

I don't know. We're going to talk.”

The coach yelled, “Martin, come here!”

I looked at Chris, “Well, I need to go find out the verdict.”

I ran over and grandma didn't look unhappy. She asked, “Do you want to play?”

They say I'm good.”

Have you played before?”

No. All I've done is thrown the ball with Chris.”

She turned to the coach and asked, “Can you teach him how to play?”

Yeah, it'll take some studying on his part, but I can do it.”

She turned back to me and asked, “Do you WANT to play?”

Yeah, he says I could make millions playing.”

I'll tell you now he's filling you full of it. No one gets millions playing this game.”

The coach said, “Ma'am, they do. With his talent, I'll tell you now they'll be bidding on him to play for them and he'll get whatever the highest figure turns out to be.”


He's that good.”

You think so?”


All I saw was him running away from people.”

The coach smiled and said, “I saw him not getting caught. Those who have no talent get caught. He's able to run and throw that ball with amazing accuracy.”

Well, do what you want with him, but if he gets hurt, it's your ass! Now, he and I have a date to teach a man a lesson on a tennis court.”

What's that about?”

You see that kid over there?”

Yeah, that's Holmes.”

His dad is a real asshole. Jake beat him at a tennis tournament and his dad beat him within an inch of his life because he didn't win. I heard and now the man's going to be subjected to what his son went through. IF he can beat Jake, he gets to beat his son. IF he doesn't, the second he ever so much as raises another hand towards that boy again, I'll be over there beating the tar out of the man. I'll wager that using Jake because I know he can beat the man.”

Could you stall it? I want to see what you're talking about.”

I turned and did a hawk screech. The coach did a whiplash turn and said, “ You're the Hawk!”


Oh man! I've heard about you playing. I even read some of the sports articles on you but didn't recognize you!”

They say I'm good at that too.”

Son, you've got talents people dream of possessing.”

Grandma chuckled. “He's a normal kid.”

Normal! I have a coach who teaches tennis who is looking high and low for 'the Hawk' because he said the kid is amazing to watch playing tennis. Have you seen him ma'am?”

I went and watched once. It's not my cup of tea.”

He's beaten everyone out there. I've heard he has moves on the tennis court which rival Jimmy Conners years ago.”

He might be good, but he's still a kid.”

The coach smiled and said, “Please wait for me to come witness the showdown.”

Ok, I'll wait, but don't you be giving him no big headed ideas.” Grandma put her arm around me, “We've got to go, where are your school clothes?”

In my duffel bag. I didn't want to get them sweaty.”

Good. I'm glad you thought about that. I see the man over there, so we need to give him a dose of medicine.”

What'd you say to him earlier?”

He works up in the automotive section at JC Penny's. I made a few phone calls and found out where he works. As soon as I found out, I went up there and cornered him. That's when I gave the low down fool a piece of my mind loud enough to have everyone knowing his business.

His problem is he thought he could yell back. I'll tell you now no man is ever going to yell at me with that many things laying around for me to grab. I grabbed a tool and went at him with it. I got him knocked down and then as I stood over him, I told him the deal. He nodded and said he'd be there and that was that.”

Do you think he's going to do what you say?”

Honey, you don't know your grandma. I know his grandma and I know his mama. I know they got told if he ever so much as raises a hand to that child again, I'd be there to rip his arm off and if I ever heard he did it and didn't get called, they'd stand to take a share of that beatin' with him.”

But you spank me!”

I spanked you when you were a child. How long has it been since I laid tar to your ass?”

A long time, but I ain't messed up.”

No, you haven't, but I told myself the day you reached eight years old there were other ways to handle a growing boy. I did it and that man still wants to treat his like a fool.”

You never told me you stopped!”

No, and the second I had, was the day you turned into an idiot. You just remember the second you turn into one, I can change back into one myself. You got me!”

Yes ma'am.”

Good. Now, let's get over there and whatever you do, you make that man look like a complete ass.”

How bad?”

Show him what you can do. Make him feel like he's three inches tall and his son got beaten by someone who is skilled with a racket.”

Can I do some trick shots?”

Do whatever you feel. You just make it good.”

Ok, I'll need to get my duffel bag to do it.”

I ran out to my car and got my bag. I grabbed a couple extra cans of balls and then ran to the court. Up there, I saw the coach standing and talking with a man rather excitedly.

Jake, this is Coach Lindley.”

Hi coach.”

Coach Lindley is the coach for the tennis team.”


Coach Lindley said, “I hear you're 'the Hawk'”


You're real good playing.”

They say that.”

You don't think you are?”

The day I learn that one trick, I'll know I got good.”

Which one's that?”

Let me show you.”


I went out and stacked three cans on top of each other. “That there is a tree.”

He looked at it and said, “Ok”

Now, these here are balls.”


I serve like this and as you can see, I can hit the tree.”

I hit the ball and it did it.

I went over and stacked the cans again.

I can do it like this and it hits them.”

I served it again and it hit the cans.

Now, when I serve it this way, it won't hit the tree. I've tried and I've tried, but it doesn't matter what I do, but I can't hit the tree. If I spin it a little too much, it misses to the front.”

I hit the ball and it went in front.

If I spin it like this, it goes behind.”

I hit it and it went behind.

I went over and I laid out a can with it's mouth open. I went back towards where he was standing and laid out a ball. Then I went over and stood at the line.

I can do trick shots like this all over the court”

I hit the ball and it hit the other ball and rolled it into the can.

But I can't hit that tree from that one side.”

The coach was standing there with his mouth open. “Do you realize you've shown me more curves applied to a tennis ball than I've ever seen?”

So you can't help me with that one shot?”

Son, you're better than what I can tell you to do. I imagine if you had someone film it with a high speed camera, you'd find it's mathematically impossible to do that shot. You seem to have all the other shots perfected.”

Then I'm no good until I can figure it out.”

Have you tried going a little wide?”

No, I've tried forward and backwards, but not out to the side.”

Give it a try. Maybe it's needing to have the deflection a little wider.”

I tried and it didn't hit.

Hang on a second. Let me go over and stand and look down at where you're hitting.”

Ok, but I'll need to use this other ball. If I don't, you won't be able to see the spin on it.”


This ball here. I marked it with a magic marker so I could see the spin on it. It took a long time, but I got it marked so when I serve it, I can see the spin.”

I hit the ball and he looked shocked. The ball went behind the cans.

That's amazing! I saw it spin!”

Yeah, it looks dumb but normal squares don't let you see it spin. Only that pattern there allows you to see it.”

Do you realize you could sell that ball and make a fortune with it?”

Do you realize how long it'd take me to mark up a bunch of balls to make that fortune?”

He chuckled, “I'm talking to the manufacturers. They could make it. All you have to do is just let them see that and they'd fall all over themselves to do it.”

Ok, but I imagine that costs a lot of money.”

Do you know any other tricks with it?”

I said, “Oh yeah, I was just warming up and showing you the impossible shot. When I get that shot made, I'll be good. Until then, I'm so-so.”

He smiled and turned to Coach Williamson. “He's just so-so! You sure could have fooled me!”

He says that about football too. If you saw him play that, you'd be amazed.”

Coach Lindley thought for a second and I could see his brain working, “I can see it. It's the same muscles. I bet you he throws missiles because the ability to turn that racket at the split second the ball is released would cause a football to spiral faster and be more accurate. It'd probably fly further.”

Further! He throws three hundred yards like it's nothing!”

Coach Lindley looked surprised. “How fast are your serves?”

I've never measured. I know I can wear out a normal racket in no time.”

What's that racket you're using made of?”


No! I mean the strings?”

Weedeater line. It's thicker than an average line and does a real good job of not breaking so easily.”

They let you play in competition with it that way?”

Yeah, they only care about the weight. One guy measured the line once at a tournament and said it comes into guidelines for whatever they wanted, so he wasn't complaining.”

How many normal strings did you go through before you went to that?”

A spool.”

Five hundred feet!”

Yeah, it got expensive. That's when I decided to try the Weedeater line. You'd be amazed at how many feet it takes to string up one of these.”

I know. So, you're telling me you strung that up yourself?”

Yeah, no one else was offerin'!”

Let's see some of your other trick shots.”

I turned around and served it backwards. It hit the cans.

I threw another up and served it. It hit in front of him. I threw my last one up and it went behind him.

How'd you do that?”


How'd you know where it was going to hit?”


So you're telling me you perfected all these shots and you're serving with that much speed backwards and you consider yourself so-so?”

Yeah, I can't even do that one shot backwards. As you can see, I can do it the other way, but not that one. Believe me, I've tried.”

Would you be on our team?”

I don't know. There's not much money in it.”

You could go to Wimbleton with your talent!”

Yeah, and I probably could.”

You don't want that!”

That's for good players. They probably could do that shot.”

Son, they probably can't do half the stuff you can do with it.”

Well, let me think on it. He says I can make millions playing football.”

Is that what you want?”

I entered my first tournament and won money. That got me to entering the other tournaments. It made me more money.

Yeah, I could go out there and probably do good, but the second I went to a place like Wimbleton, they'd cream me and I'd have to find another way to make money.”

What are you going to do when you graduate?”

I don't know. I've not gotten that far.”

Do you want to go to college?”

There's no money for it.”

Son, you could go to college on a tennis scholarship! They'd pay for it.”


What are your grades like?”

A's. They have to be. If I brought home a B, grandma would wonder what I was doing with all my time.”

Grandma said, “Don't let him fool you. He's got a photographic memory. He reads a book three times in like fifteen minutes and can tell you things about the thing which would totally amaze you.”

Like what?”

What they did right. What they did wrong. Where the errors are...spelling, grammatical, and all the way down to where they've got things wrong. Usually, that's on the second time through, but the last time, he goes through just to check himself.”

He did that swivel head thing again looking at me like he was surprised. “So you have a perfect grade average and you don't think you can't get to college?”

That's for smart people. I make good grades because I'm smart enough not to get grounded over bad ones. I'm smart enough to not let everyone else not know I'm that smart because they'd treat me like a geek if I did.”

He smiled and said, “So, why are we here?”

Ask grandma.”

She came over and said, “That man over there beat his son because he lost to Jake at a tournament. I told the ignorant so and so if he could come out here and beat Jake, he could beat his son and I'd mind my own business. IF Jake beats him, then he's to never touch his son again.”

Who's his son?”

Aaron Holmes.”

The coach turned around and said, “He's my best player!”

Grandma said, “Well, Jake beat him at a tournament and the kid got beat by his dad over it.”

The coach turned to me and said, “Jake, Aaron already has a tennis scholarship on his abilities. I know that. You should know now you'd have a scholarship coming. Would you please play and let me get you one?”

Grandma said, “He'll play. I think it's the uniforms he doesn't like.”

He can wear what he likes!”

I asked, “You mean to tell me I don't have to be a friggin' clone?”

Wear what you want. Why do you think they look like clones?”

Look at them! They're either clones wearing all the same thing or they're orderlies for some sportin' loony bin all dressed in that white!”

The coach chuckled and asked, “So it's the uniforms you don't like.”

No. People will think I'm a Tic-Tac when I get on the bus too!”

He laughed and said, “Is that what they really say!”

Yeah, can't you see it?”

I guess I've never thought about it.”

That and they all ride the short bus when they go to their meets. You're not doing them any favors by getting them on that short bus.”

He chuckled and said, “No one's ever said anything.”

I've got to live around here. I'm sure they've heard the remarks.”

What would you want to wear when you play?”

I wear this.”

Grandma said, “If I got him some material at Wal-Mart, could I make him some uniforms like theirs except in some colors?”

Yeah, do whatever makes him feel good. It's not a written rule we've got to play dressed in white.”

I nodded, “Good”

Grandma said, “Then that's decided. Now will his tennis interfere with the football?”

No ma'am” both coaches said at once.

Coach Lindley looked over at Coach Williamson and nodded. Coach Williamson said, “Our games are on Friday nights. We practice during the days after school and the tennis team practices in the mornings. It's cooler for them during the mornings and their meets are during the week after school. The only requirement both of them have is he keep his grades up which sounds like there's no difficulties.”

I nodded, “There's no problem there.”

The coach said, “I think if Coach Lindley has any difficulties, it'd be with the track coach.”

Grandma turned to me and said, “Track?!”

It's the first I've heard of it grandma!”

She turned and looked that the coach. “What's this about the track coach?”

Coach Williamson said, “With his speed in running, I think we could get him on the track team. You don't realize it, but we filmed him practicing and he's got the speed in some of his runs which would probably be state record level.”

Grandma said, “So you want him on the track team? Will he get a scholarship for that too?”

He should. I know he's already faster than a lot of kids out there.”

Is this going to be a hindrance to the other sports?”

Coach Lindley said, “It could be with my tennis team. I can check the schedule and see. If it is, we can see about what we can do to get him scheduled around those.”

Will it affect his scholarship potential?”

It shouldn't.”

Grandma said, “It's up to him. I'll tell you now he's never expressed an interest to me in college, but he's got enough money put back for him it could be paid for without a scholarship.”

I looked surprised and she said, “Don't be giving me that look. I told you there was money for when you turned eighteen, so now you know. I didn't want you thinking you were some rich kid.”

I shrugged and said, “Well, there'd be more if I got it paid for, right?”

You wouldn't need to spend it on school, so you'd have just as much as the investments returned.”


Your parents had life insurance. We sold their house and there was money from that. Then, there's the money from the social security, so all that went into an account which got invested. You've got quite a bit in there.”


Don't thank me. Thank your parents for being smart enough to insure themselves.”

I asked, “Can we get the show on the road with this game?”

She nodded, “Sure.”

How many games is it to be? Do you want an entire match, or just one game?”

Ask the idiot over there how much it'll take him to learn to keep his hands off his son.”

I turned and pointed with my racket. “Sir, you're to stand over there in order to play.”

I don't need to play you.”

I need to play you. My grandma didn't set this up for the fun of it. She did it to make a point.”

I don't know how to play tennis.”

Ok, so you stand there and I'll show you what your son went through when I played him. As you've probably heard, I'm pretty good with this here racket and these here balls. Where your son had issues was he played me and I had to beat him in order to advance in the bracket. He thought he was good and he probably is, but I had to beat him in order to win that money.”

I served the ball and it ricocheted off the top of his head.

I imagine that gave you a headache. That's what your son had happen for his first delay in the game. I did it to demonstrate I could make the ball go where I wanted. Now, if you'll stand back, I'll show you what I did to make him forfeit the game.”

I waited and the dummy stepped back.

You need to step over to the right about three feet.”

He moved and that's when I served the ball and it did the low curve up to his nuts. It connected and he went down. I walked around the net and said, “That's what caused him to forfeit the match. With the lip he was giving me, the next one would have went to his mouth, so he was pretty smart. IF you'd like to continue, I can demonstrate that...if you'd like.””

We've got to continue. You've not yet told my grandma the deal is set for you to not beat Aaron anymore. I'll tell you now my grandma will probably beat the tar out of you and not feel one bit sorry when she did it. I'll tell you now if you make that deal, the second you walk out of the hospital from that beatin', I'm going to be there serving some baseballs like I did these tennis balls. That's what I used to use to practice. As you can see, if you can get a baseball to go over the net, you've got some hard serves. Would you say?”


You're not talking. I think we need to just save ourselves some time and let me go get the baseballs. Grandma shouldn't have to go to jail over you being a fool.”

I started to walk away and I saw Aaron looking at me shocked. Grandma smiled and said, “Hon, go get baseballs, softballs, or whatever you need. He'll be begging me to make that deal in a moment.”

I started to walk away and he yelled, “I'll make the deal!”

I turned around and said, “You DO realize you just bet the family jewels, right?”


Now, do you realize your son had no alternative here?”


Then my suggestion is to apologize to him for the beating and then apologize to my grandma and then you can think about apologizing to me for wasting my time.”

I went over and sat by Aaron. “He's going to be hoppin' mad when he gets up. I'll sit here so he knows I mean what we just agreed to.”

You really served baseballs!”

Yeah. As little as I am, I had to do something to figure out how to hit that lighter ball harder.”


Don't think bad about your playing. Not one person this summer got by me. You were just the first game I ever played.”

Your first game?”

Yeah, until then, I'd done nothing but practice. I knew I had to serve Aces in order to win.”

But you won all those other games?”

Yeah, and when they serve, the key to it is to get myself into the position where I could hit it and get that spin on the ball. Once I did, the thing went skittering across the floor and I could get up to serve.”

You do know you're good, right?”

Don't know a thing of such. If I could get that one trick down, I'd be good.”

You've got way more skill than me.”

The coach says you're the best he's got. I don't really want to get on the team to make you the second best he's got. That's not what I'm trying to do.”

You do realize in order for there to be a winner, there's got to be a loser, right?”

Yeah, but...”

I don't think about the loser when I play. I concentrate on winning.”

I know. That's what matters to me too.”

When we're on the team together, we'll not have to play against each other except in practice. You'd not have to worry about me until we went to college. Then, we'd be playing against each other if we were on opposing teams.”

I'll tell you now, if I get a chance to go pro with football, I'm doing it. The money is better and I could do the same Hawk screech there.”

Why do you do that?”

You know when everyone else does that grunt when they serve?”


It bugs me. I do the screech to make fun of them. What's neat is little kids like it and they don't run around doing that grunting noise.”

That's cool. I sort of like the Hawk thing.”

It's just something we thought up. Chris and I.”

You didn't do it when you played me the first time.”

No, we thought it up right after I played you. That's when I showed him the trick shots and we thought it'd be cool to make fun of all those other guys when they grunted.”

He smiled. “My dad sort of did that grunt.”

Yeah, and you took less time to get up off the floor than him. Can I give you a suggestion?”


Don't put your water bottle in your shorts again. They went transparent and I saw everything you had.”


Yeah, it was sort of x rated out there for a moment. If you'd went up, I definitely would have been distracted.”

You gay?”


Don't let my dad know. He'd beat me all over again for getting beaten by a gay guy.”

Look at him. You could say the same thing.”

He chuckled. “I should feel bad about that, but he's the one who stood there. Why'd you do that to me?”

You made a face when you saw the clothes I was wearing. Until then, I thought you were sort of nice looking.”

You did!”

Yeah, but then you scrunched up your face and ruined all that.”


I know already.”

You do?”


How? I've never told anyone!”

I could tell.”

Don't tell anyone.”

I won't.”

Do you like me?”

Not in that way. I've sort of got my eye on someone.”


Can't say. That wouldn't be cool at all.”

No, I guess it wouldn't.”

Does he know?”

He should if he remembers.”

What's that mean?”

I can't describe it but we bonded when we were babies. It was like we were destined to be together. Now, I've got to see if he remembers.”

Man, that'd be weird.”

What's weird is getting moved away from him and having that bond and seeing that other person in the back of my mind from that long ago and feeling those feelings.”

What do you mean?”

It's like he was a twin to me and we got split apart. We're not twins, but we were together from like birth until my parents died and then they split us apart.”

Oh man, that had to be sad.”

Yeah. It's like I lost three people that day instead of my parents. The only difference is I've got a chance of having him back.”

That'd be cool. How long have you known where he is?”

About an hour ago.”

He's a football player!”


Oh man!”

And he's better looking than I would ever imagine.”

So he's lived here all along and you never knew?”

He might've been in our school and everything, but I'll tell you now I never allowed myself to look at people. I didn't want to get turned on and sure didn't want to get beaten up. I'm not real big and some of them could do a number on me.”

I know. But you bring everyone down to size with your abilities.”

I don't mean to.”

I can tell. I forgive you for beating me on the court. I would've done it to you if I'd had the chance.”

I know.”

His dad got up and looked over at us. “You could've helped me up.”

I said, “You didn't help him up when it happened to him. Instead, you knocked him down when he got home. How about we make that happen and see if you feel good towards yourself afterward?”

He gave me a look and I stood up. “Go back over there and stand. I'll get the baseballs. I can see you really learned your lesson.”

He looked at me and said, “You're really her son, aren't you?”

What does that mean!”

That look you just gave me. That's the look she gave me the night she broke up with me.”

I'm glad she did. You're a jerk. Your son is cool, but you're a real asshole.”

I'll try to change.”

You should be saying that to your son. Do you realize in order to win, there has to be a loser? And do you realize you just laid out there longer than your son did? The only difference is he was smart enough to forfeit the game and you want to get up and challenge me to show you I would have did what it took to bring him down. THAT next show would have been his mouth and the next shot at you will be YOUR mouth. The only difference is a tennis ball wouldn't have knocked out his teeth like the baseball will you.”

I've been a jerk, haven't I?”

Man, let me give you a clue. It's people who act like you who get put in nursing homes and never visited when they're old. No one cares and no one wants to go be forced to remember all the “Happy” family times people like you put them through.”

He gave a shuddering look. I nodded and said, “You've got a son. He tried to be like you but I'm not a girl and I'm not my mom. I'm a guy and I could take him down in ways she couldn't. If he's smart, he'll grow up and not make our kids go through this in the next generation. Maybe, just maybe, we'll have kids and they'll get together and have a good family.”

I paused and said, “I can see what my mom saw in you. She was attracted to the looks and then got turned off by all that attractiveness scrunching itself up into a nice asshole. You might think of that and be happy your wife is still there. I bet she's dealt with you a lot longer than I would have.”

He gave me a weird look and said, “What are you trying to say?”

I'm trying to say is I see right through you and I know what you're trying to cover. If you don't think I do, then you're nuttier than a fruitcake.”

I'm not.”

Tell yourself that. I think we both know you're lying.”

He looked down and to the right...a sure sign someone's lying.

I smiled and said, “Don't bother saying it. We both know it's a lie. My mom probably read you too.”

You can read minds?!”

Something like that. Why don't you go home and be honest with yourself and your son. Maybe you'll get a little bit of a bond going on and I won't have to read you again.”

Would you practice with Aaron and teach him some of what you know?”

I'll practice with him, but I think you'd expect miracles. Aaron's his own person. He now knows the limits I had to go to in order to be good. He didn't do it because he's built different and he's not had to learn to find angles in order to be good. YOU should be thanking your lucky stars you've got a son who has that talent built in. I had to develop what I've got and I'll tell you now, if he and I practiced, he'd be way better than me.

My real question to you is this...if he practiced with me, would he ever be good enough for you? OR, would it be another thing you put in between you and him so he doesn't ever get to know the real you? I think you and I both know what that is...why don't you just get a little honest with yourself and him and maybe, just maybe, you'd find he'd accept you.”

Aaron said, “Dad, I've accepted him. Whenever you're ready, I'd accept you too.”

He looked up at Aaron and I saw him look down to the right. I interrupted real fast... “Don't let the next thing out of your mouth be a lie. He's telling you he's accepting you after all the rejection you've put out. This is the second you could put yourself in that nursing home to be forgotten.”

He looked at me and nervously said, “I'm not ready.”

That's good enough. When you're ready, here's my cell phone number. Give me a call and I'll talk with you about it. We'll go out and throw a football around and you and I both can pretend we're about something we're not.”

He gave another startled look and asked, “How are you going to make it with a football team?”

First of all, I'll be honest and let them deal with their feelings. If they give me guff, I'll demonstrate a football to their cup is just as painful as a tennis ball is to an unprotected set.”

He smiled and said, “That'd work.”

Yeah and if that doesn't work, I bet one will to their lower jaw. It'd get them unable to make weight and off the team.” I paused and said, “Yeah, I think ahead and use it all for my advantage.”

He came over and held out his hand to Aaron. “Son, will you forgive me?”

Yeah. Let's learn to talk through things. Ok dad?”

I'll try. I've got to learn how to do things differently.” He paused and said to me. “For what you said, I thank you. And, for what you said, I'd correct you in saying his mom left a long time ago. I now know why she left.”

Sir, don't put up barriers where you don't need to. Honesty is the best policy. When others know, it takes away the intimidation factor. Nothing gets held above you which you have to do things to protect. All that does is get you to regret what you are all the more.”

I'm not in a position to do that.”

Hang on, let's walk this way for a moment.”


Notes From Retta:

This story wouldn't be possible without a good person by the name of Wes. Fortunately, he downloaded it while it was still able to be gotten on the Google Groups site.

For those of you who know, my Google Groups site is shit. Please don't get that confused with “the shit”, but just plain shit.

It seems you can upload a chapter to the site and it will promptly lose the thing. When you go to click on it, you will get an error message which states the page you've navigated to is no longer available. Needless to say, I'm not please because their customer service sucks.

I'd lost the first twenty five chapters of the story, so without Wes having them, I'd be fucked. Thankfully, he had them, so he gets a great BIG HUGE Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

From My Keyboard To Your Heart,


Copyright Notice - Copyright © 2009 by RettaMichaels

The author, RettaMichaels copyrights this story and retains all rights. This work may not be edited, changed, or duplicated in any form, media [ known or unknown ], without the author's expressed permission. All applicable copyright laws apply. RettaMichaels does NOT give editorial consent in order for this to be published. If it is deemed unpublishable in it's context, permission much be granted before publication or changes occur.

Trademark Notice – 2009 by RettaMichaels

From My Keyboard To Your Heart”,”'Retta”,“RettaMichaels”.“Retta”,“Rhett”, and “Rhette” are all Trademark of RettaVonnMichaels L.L.C. None of these trademarks may be used, or authorized without consent.

Disclaimer: All individuals depicted are fictional, and any resemblance to real persons, locations, or incidents is purely coincidental.