Thursday was an easy football day. We dressed in shorts and helmets, ran through our plays, and practiced special teams. Frank Kutcher was in my face when Coach Mills allowed me to run a few plays with the varsity first team. I became more determined than ever to get his job. Coach Gilbert didn't think too much of his ability so it seemed like with a little hard work, I might take his job. There was a good chance he'd go ballistic.
I'd managed to put off the sophomore class meeting until next week so it had been one thing I didn't have to worry about. Football Friday's were always a big day. We had an assembly where all the JV and varsity players were introduced. Andy got a big hand and a few boos. Someone yelled, "fag" from the stands and was quickly escorted out of the gym. The JV team gave Andy a high-five. I got a big cheer when I was introduced. I'm not sure what they would have done if they knew Andy and I were fucking each other.
Randy and Thomas got some boos when they were introduced, but after the other guy was escorted out of the gym, no one yelled, "fag". The JV team "high-fived" them like they did Andy.
Guys bumped all four of us in the halls and at practice. They made a few snide remarks, but nothing to fight over. Thomas and Randy got more of it than we did, but by Friday, things were getting better. Just as it seemed life would get back to normal, news spread around the school that Dillon Burke's trial date had been set, and all his buddies started in on us again. It was game day so the four of us agreed not to react because we didn't want to give anyone a reason to bench us.
The varsity always sits in the stands the first half to watch the JV team. Andy was awesome. He completed two long passes and took the team down the field for two touchdowns. You could see the confidence in how tall he stood and the way he change the play when he saw a defense that would stop the play called in the huddle. The other team scored twice and the game was 14 to 14 at half time when the varsity headed to the locker room. I gave Andy a thumbs up as we passed each other. He did the same.
Kutcher located me in the locker room and said, "You'll be lucky if you get thirty seconds on the field."
I was afraid he was right. Coach Mills had already expressed his concerns. Jackass Barnes nudged me as we got dressed. "I guess you heard Dillon's going to trial. Can't wait to hear his side of your rape. I bet you led him on."
"Fuck you, Barnes."
He grinned. "I bet you'd like too."
I grinned back. "Sorry. I don't fuck jackasses."
He shoved me. "Fuck you, fag."
I stepped back. "Do you want to? Maybe you're the fag."
He moved in close so his spit hit me in the face when he talked. "You may think you're a smartass. But I'm not the only one on this team who wants to see you fail. Your time is coming." He shoved me again.
I grabbed my helmet and walked way. I turned back. "Maybe you don't care if you play, but I do, so I'm not going to get into it with you."
"Don't hold your breath, fag. You're going to be riding the pine for the rest of the season."
"We'll see." I put my helmet on. "Seems you're not seeing much playing time either. Guess we'll be sitting together. God does work in mysterious ways."
All his talking kept him from getting dressed, so he didn't follow me. He just flipped me off.
The scoreboard showed Edison High 28 and Jefferson High 17 as the JV game ended and we came out for warm-ups. Andy gave me a high-five as they went off and we came on the field. I held my hand up so all the JVs could hand slap mine. Looking back, I guess I was always kind of a politician.
What a game. I felt so in my element. It was as if I'd never left the job. But there was something else. I had changed. God only knows how cocky I've always been. It kind of irritated the guys when I was QB before. But after breaking my leg and not playing basketball, I'd mellowed and was a better leader. The only distraction was seeing Randy and Thomas in those tight pants and the image of our weekend sex, if not after the game. But it was all secondary to the game. I've got to tell you, if I'd been given the opportunity to choose between being quarterback that night or fucking Thomas and Randy. I wasn't sure which I'd choose.
There were times I thought we weren't going to win. Both teams scored twice the first half, but at halftime, Coach Gilbert told us what we had to do to win. It was mostly about defense. Matt already told you the outcome.
Randy joined up with me after the game.
We watched the varsity game.
The varsity was behind late in the fourth quarter and ended up losing the game. Gordon Thompson was a nice guy, but he sure wasn't Dillon Burke. The best thing that could be said about Frank Kutcher was that he had great potential to be a complete asshole. Ironically, he'd already achieved his full potential.
Jealously grew in me when I saw Matt do so well the few plays he was in. He didn't get his full ten minutes, but he looked good for the time he was out there. It surprised me that the varsity players would follow him. Why he did so well, was beyond me at the time.
Thomas and Randy suggested we go out for pizza after the game. It seemed odd that they'd suggest we do something so normal. If they'd have waited for me to say anything, we'd have been on our way to my house. But I figured that could come later. Of course, I was also thinking about Matt and how he'd react, so at the time, pizza seemed like a good idea.
I couldn't believe it when Coach Mills put me in the game. I figured he'd put Kutcher in before me. But there I was on the field staring into the faces of ten junior and senior starters. The huddle was silent as they waited. Coach Mills had sent me in with a play so I called two running plays. Kealan Williams, an African American wide receiver, spoke in a strong confident voice. "Block or I'll kick your asses, understand?" Everyone nodded. He was tall and thin, but he looked like he could do the job. Coach Mills had me run two running plays. We made about seven yards before we got a holding penalty that marched us back fifteen yards. Everyone's ragging on the guy that got us the penalty and I would have normally said in the JV huddle, "no talking in the huddle," but didn't have that much confidence yet. Kealan told them to knock the crap off. They quieted and I called a pass play on third and long. "Give Matt pass protection," Kealan instructed. They nodded, we broke from the huddle, I gave the count, and they blocked. I completed my first varsity pass for twenty-five yards and a first down. You'd think Coach Mills would have left me in, but he sent Thompson in. I was disappointed, but filled with confidence.
Unfortunately, we lost the game. A few guys came up to me after the game, patted me on the back, and said, "Nice job." I beamed. This was better than sex. Or at least it was for the moment.
I rushed into the locker room. "Matt, you didn't get your ten minutes, but you did pretty well for the time you were in there." He said thanks and invited me to join Gina and him and the others for pizza. He told me to bring Thomas and Randy. I figured that should be a unique experience.
Gina, Matt, Allan, Emily, Ernie, and Carmen were already at the pizza parlor when we got there. Matt waved us over. They'd saved places for us. Sam's Pizza was filled with varsity players who gave us a look every now and then. A couple of them came over to congratulate Matt on his few minutes of playing time. Kealan Williams stopped at our table. "Nice pass. You made me look good." He nodded at everyone else before heading over to sit with other varsity players.
Our table was quiet at first. No one seemed to know what to talk about. Finally, I spoke up, "Matt, nice few minutes."
Thomas jabbed him in the ribs. "Matt, I thought you were awesome. Both those varsity quarterbacks gotta be scared."
Matt smiled. "Thanks Thomas. I appreciate your vote of confidence. I couldn't have done it with out Kealan's help."
Gina leaned over and kissed Matt just under his chin. "I don't know much about football, but I agree with Thomas."
It was just enough to get everyone at the table telling Matt how great he was. My whole game got lost in the shuffle. You'd think we lost the game and the varsity won. "What about me?" I begged.
Ernie and Allan got the hint. "Yeah, what about us? We won," Ernie said. "The varsity lost."
"And I caught two passes from our new and very awesome JV quarterback, Andy Gibson," Alan exclaimed.
I beamed. I waited for Matt to say something big, but all he said was, "Yeah, Andy, nice game."
We ordered pizza, talked about school and the game and decided to go bowling. I looked at Thomas and Randy to see if they might have other things in mind, but they nodded in agreement and off we went to the bowling alley.
It was getting close to when we were done and everyone said they had to be home. I turned to Thomas and Randy, "You could stay at my house."
They shook their heads. "We already have plans," Randy said.
I thought, "I bet they'll be fucking."
"Ok, but don't forget we have a basketball game at , you and Randy against me and Matt."
Randy grinned. "No way we'll forget. We're planning on kicking your butts in more ways than one."
With that, we all headed out.
I hadn't played my fifteen minutes, but I have to tell you, I felt like a football hero. Everyone talked as if I'd won the game. Andy seemed a bit pissed that he didn't get more attention. But it's not every day a sophomore gets to be the varsity quarterback, even if it was only for a few minutes.
He invited Randy and Thomas over and I had visions of what that would mean, but they said they had other plans. I grabbed Gina's hand and walked her home. She looked up at me. "You did great tonight. I can't believe I'm dating a varsity quarterback."
"I can't believe it either."
We were passing the park when she suggested we head in and find a bench to sit on.
"Aren't you afraid?"
She smiled. "No, I'm with the varsity quarterback. I feel safe."
We found a bench in a quiet semi-dark spot and she kissed me. I was surprised when I felt my dick move. I kissed her back and gave her a deep tongue lashing. She responded in kind. Her hands traveled over my chest and abs as I put my hand behind her head and pulled her in close. I was getting turned on and wanted to take her clothes off, nibble on her breasts, and put my finger in her wet pussy. I think, if given the chance, I'd have fucked her right there. None of that would have entered my mind before Andy. But now the thoughts were there, and I was surprised. I hadn't expected those feelings. But along with them, came feelings of guilt. I'd never thought about having sex with Gina before. She's not that way. But right then, at that moment in the park, sex was on my mind. My few minutes of glory on the football field soon faded into the past, but the memory of my dream rushed into the present. There I was dragging a huge ball of knots behind me as I tried to climb a hill. I ignored the thought because I didn't want to stop.
I put my hand on her leg and moved it toward her love spot when she put her hand on mine and moved it. "I really like you, Matt. But I'm not ready."
"Me either," I lied. "I like you too." Suddenly, it felt like my I became two people. There was the guy who wanted Gina and the guy who wanted Andy, Thomas, and Randy. All I managed to say was, "Things are complicated right now."
She gave me a questioning look. "What do you mean complicated?"
I wanted to cry. "I can't tell you. You'd hate me." And while I'm saying this, I'm thinking about Saturday with Thomas, Randy, and Andy.
She brushed her hand down my cheek. "I could never hate you."
I moved away from her, leaving a couple feet between us on the bench. "I'm not willing to take that chance."
Gina gave me a pleading look. "You'll tell me when you're ready, won't you?"
"Yeah, if I'm ever ready." She moved in next to me and laid her head on my shoulder. I put my arm around her and sat there savoring her warmth. "It would be easier if I didn't care for you so much. But I do." She didn't say anything, fear got the best of me, and I heard myself say, "I think we'd better get home."
Chapter Quote 2: E. W. Howe
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