This book is a work of fiction. Any references to historical events, real people, or real locales are used fictitiously. Other names, characters, places, and incidents, are products of the author's imagination, and any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.


Varsity Commitment


Chapter 1. Different dreams for Different teams 


Summer was over.

No more staying up late. Going to visit other family members out of town. No more freedom of responsibilities, and homework. My new worries come as: Grades, tests, and quizzes.

Summer always meant: I didn't have to worry about what teachers hated me, or who was giving me a bad grade just because they didn't like me. Summer was an indication that I no longer had to put up with some of the ignorant students that roamed the halls, and the drama that came with them.

The couple of months given to me to get a break from all the hard studies, and the long eight hours of being held in school. Those couple of months I never had to deal with lames and losers. Not deal with half the people in school who didn't like me. The fake, the fraud and the ugly, were the ones that wasn't around for my summer. Those kinds of people were at bay.

That's until...August comes back around. Then I have problems. Not many problems at the beginning but small stressing factors. Things that hit me, giving me a wake up call, saying:

Summer is over.

Get your school supplies,

Get you school clothes,

Get new shoes,

Set the alarm clock for 6:00am,

Get to bed early,

New classes,

New teachers,

Homework every night,

Report cards,

Not feeling like getting out of bed,

Not getting all my hours of sleep,

Trying to fit my favorite TV shows in my schedule, and mainly; who all has changed over the summer, and new students...' the list goes on.

It never hits me until my last Sunday of summer. It hits me right before the next day. making me anxious, and exasperated all in one. It makes my last day of summer dry with worry. Almost to the point where it makes me feel like there is no day between the end of summer and the start of school.

I wonder why school had to start at the end of the month. Which is August 23rd. A Monday when most parents like mine didn't have much money. Things tend to get hard at the end of the month. My mom, my little six year old sister and I manage to pull through somehow.

My little sister may be six, but she is the worst thing on the planet. I don't know what possess her to do the bad things she does. My mom and the rest of our family think we look alike. But I strongly disagree!

We have the toasty almond skin color, people can't help but feel attracted to, in common. Other than that there are so many differences.

She is a six year old kid, which makes her little. I'm in the tenth grade, and sixteen years old, in fact. Where she is short, I am 5'10. She wears her hair in long plaits, where I have shortly nice trimmed hair on my head. Where she likes to write on the walls, I like to talk on the phone, while she's jumping in mom's bed, I'm somewhere making fun of somebody.

Once again, I don't know why people think we favor?

Even my mom's best friend from her highschool days said it. Her name is Linda. She is Levi's mom. They live on the other street a little further from mine.

Anyway, when his mom and my mom get together it is a big mess! They cackle at things that aren't funny. Then they start talking about how hard life is, men, embarrassing pictures, and bills, bills, bills.

Levi and I have grown up hearing our moms chat about problems everyday, all day. That's how we became close friends. Levi is about six foot. Taller than most students at our school. His hair is blond, with a face of soft features. From the nose, to the little pink lips, and bubbly blue eyes.

He is my partner in crime. We hang out in school together. He is so awesome. I say that because he is the only one beside myself who makes fun of other people. We can't help it, criticizing people is in our nature.

This is how it is, we see something we don't like (talk about it), see someone we don't like (talk about them). Some of our friends like Shelby, Laura, and Melissa, gave us the title `The Critics'. Everyone knows you will be talked about if we don't like you, or if we just feel the need to criticize.

Too bad Levi, and those few girls may be my only friends this year.

Last year in Ninth grade around April, Everything went from fresh water, to swamp water, fast.

It all started when Levi came up to me talking about cheerleading. Shelby and Laura were on the Varsity cheerleading squad. They saw my flexibility, my muscles (which are toned) and my tumbling. Each of the girls worked with me teaching me cheers, chants, routines, and jumps. I surprised myself with how much I learned.

They were even shocked with how quick I caught on. Levi got super excited about it. He was already on Varsity because how talented of a cheerleader he was. I saw him at some of the games.

The whole squad after seeing my progress begged me to join them. So when the time came I signed up to try out. During this time, my other close friend Bram Hails, wanted me to try out for football with him. I didn't want to seem like a wimp.  So I never told him football scared me a little. I certainly didn't tell him that the cheerleaders from varsity wanted me to try out.

So to keep my hair clean for the time being, I told Bram `I would tryout football with him.' sad thing was, Bram hadn't played football since the seventh grade. He didn't want to go into an unfamiliar team of guys alone.

When tryouts for both dates came, I failed him. I had been secretly training with the varsity cheerleaders in my spare time. The tryouts for cheerleading came, I went in front of the three judges and tried my best.

Meanwhile, Bram was at football tryouts. Doing whatever they made him do. Later he came up to me asking me `what position did I tryout for?' I lied to him saying the first thing that came to mind, `Running back'.

I really don't know much about football but he bought it, saying `Oh, no wonder I didn't see you.'

It was all left at that. I liked that it was left at that...until May came. Which meant the list for football players were out. What caught me from a blindside was the cheerleading list for JV, and Varsity squad happen to be out too, and both lists were beside each other.

I had to hurry. I was trying to see if I made the cheerleading team. When I got to the list I read through it and I didn't see my name anywhere. I started feeling bad because if I had tried out for football like I pretended to, maybe I would have earned a position.

Bram came beside me, searching through the football list. His sincere auburn brown eyes looked almost heart broken. Then as he narrowed down the list he saw his name. He almost jumped but contained his excitement. He was exuberant stepping over to where I stood.

He grabbed me by the shoulders, and shook me. "I made the team! I made the team, man!" he spun around and joined the crowd of other talkative, celebrating football players who made the team. I could hear him cheering loud "I made the team!"

Everyone was having a bash. Roar and whooping went off in the hall like dynamite. I looked like I was lost among the cheers and chatter. I still was hurt about not making the cheerleading team. After all those practices, jumps, flips... The judges thought I wasn't good enough?

Bram was in the crowd of guys. It was so much noise in their crowd that you couldn't hear anything they were saying.

Then right next to me I heard girls running away crying. Next thing I knew Shelby came up. Laura followed her with thick brown curls all over her head. They saw my unpleasant expression. "You didn't make the team?" they asked concerned and worried. "Oh my god!"

"I'm sorry." They both figured the answer out on their own when I didn't answer.

"Maybe next year." They patted me and tried to comfort me. I think they already know their names were up there because they didn't bother checking the list.

I know they felt sorry for me, but I wanted them to stop talking about it because Bram was headed our way. If he finds out I tried out for...

"What's wrong Brice?" he said turning me to face away from Shelby and Laura, "You didn't make the team?"

"No!" I quickly answered. I knew Laura and Shelby were probably looking confused. Wondering why a varsity football guy was asking a person who tried out for cheerleading, this question.

"I'll check for your name again. Hold on, ok?" he told me, Slowly loosening his hold on me, turning to the football list.

As he ran his finger down the list. Laura came up to me. Her eyes were big, confused shade of blue. "What's he checking that list for?" she whispered pointing his direction. Shelby stood beside her wondering the same thing, while twirling a lock of her straight pressed brown hair.

"He thinks that..." Before I could answer Laura. Two things happened at once, and it all was so off!

First, Bram had ended his search and he was right back in my face. Staring honestly at me with his auburn eyes. Little did he know, I lied to him.

"I checked for your name." he mumbled, not sure what to tell me. "I didn't see it." he didn't know how to give me the news. "I checked twice... just in case," he said looking down. "Maybe it was a mistake..."

The second thing happened. All I could hear before he finished was Levi screaming,

"Dude, I made varsity! Oh my God!" he was in high spirits. His tall body jumped high almost touching the ceiling.

"Why aren't you happy?" Levi stopped his celebration suddenly noticing what my face read. Then he looked at Laura and Shelby who were still confused. Then he looked at Bram, who looked down again.

"Brice!" Levi called "Why aren't you happy?" he said, sternly leaning down to get a closer look at my face.

"I didn't make the team." I tried to mutter it because I was caught in a web of problems, between cheerleading and football. Bram and the lies I told him.

"What?" Levi smiled getting louder now. "Dude look!" he pulled me passed Laura and Shelby in front of the list. His finger scrolled through the names on the paper. "There's your name." he poked the paper enthusiastically. His blue eyes glowed. "You made varsity!" then his arms sucked me into a cheerful hug.

Laura, Shelby, and Melissa, all came over to me celebrating. It felt so right! Lights turned on. Mini explosions went off inside me, and my heart fluttered. I couldn't suppress my happiness. I joined my friends around me jumping up and down in enthusiasm. The sadness had left. In its place came joy, an anthem of screams and a glorious feeling of victory.

Finally, I get to do something I liked, something that interested me.

I don't know what happened to me after that. My mind shifted into a dizzy hazy state. I was having so much fun that when I turned behind me and looked around. Bram was giving this under eyed stare.

I forgot he was standing there during the whole celebration!

I calmly said his name, but he didn't answer me back. I tried to yell his name again. He angrily spun off down the hall, never turning around to see why I called his name. Never giving me the chance to explain to him why I lied about trying out for football.

Ever since that day, in May. I haven't heard from him. We were really good friends before all of that happened. May, June, July and up until today. He hasn't said a word to me, or tried to call me.

I don't know what to say about it. At first I felt bad. Now I just say `we wanted two separate things'.

Oh well. At this rate, I know I will never have Bram as a friend again.

I sit here waiting for my first day of school. Putting paper in my notebooks, opening my pencils stuffing my back pack, and picking out clothes for tomorrow. I can't get the things that happened out of my head. I keep thinking about it.

I have to stop worrying about losing friends over things that I want to do.

The funny thing I have to start thinking about is, going to cheer practice for the first time in my life.



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