o8 | panic and point guards

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Playing on an all boys varsity basketball team isn't exactly easy. Mackenzie darted around the sweaty bodies, her own forehead dripping with sweat. The sound of squeaky sneakers on the gym floor was causing her head to pound. She dodged past Kyle, stealing the ball from his grip. Slipping by Matthew, she struggled to get away from Brooklyn, who was wearing the opposite colored pinnie.

Being as short as she was, Brookyn hovered over her, stealing the ball from her grip and making a shot at the opposite basket.

"There you go, Bender! That's how you cover." Coach Martin yelled out, as Finn called a time out, and Mackenzie jogged over to her yellow pinnie wearing team.

Her eyes gazed over each of the players.

Finn Anderson. Shooting guard, he's got some height, kind of lanky. A little clumsy with the ball, but he's pretty good.

Anthony Baldwin. Power forward. Muscular, very tan, good ball handler, not as good as Nathan, but just as good as Mikey.

Logan Hannigan. Small forward, short, but can jump pretty high. Very good at dunking and blocking.

That left Nathan and Mackenzie, who were both point guards. Of course Nathan was an almost ten times better than Mackenzie, but he was also a good foot taller than she was.

"Okay, Finn is on Kyle, I'm on Mikey, and Logan's got Brooklyn." Anthony said, looking over towards Mackenzie. "Either you're on Brandon, or you sit out and we'll go find Nathan."

"I'll cover Brandon," Mackenzie spat, annoyed with the fact that Anthony gave her an option. She threw her hair over her head, pulling it up into a sloppy bun. Each boy rose their brows, but nodded along anyway. "Okay, let's go."

"Time in!" Finn shouted, as Brooklyn, Kyle, Brandon and Matt broke from their huddle, and jumped back into the court. Finn checked the ball against Kyle, and then dribbled down towards the basket.

Brandon hovered over Mackenzie, creating a shadow over her tiny body. His breath was hot, waving over her small face. She wiped a bead of sweat off of her forehead, zipping past him.

"Here, Finn!" She called out, her hands out in front of her. She watched as he shook his head, dodging past Brooklyn and Kyle, making a layup that bounced off the rim and onto the floor. He muttered a curse under his breath, and Mackenzie smiled to herself.

The game continued, each of the boys on her team completely ignoring her. Coach Martin had to call out, "Pass it to Smythe!" Before she could finally get her hands on the ball.

Anthony shrugged, bounce passing to Mackenzie. Her hands gripped the basketball, as she dribbled down the court. She stopped in front of the basket, getting into position. Her arms moved out in front of her, as her elbows bent and the ball was just at her fingertips. She bent her knees, and she was on her toes when-

"That's not even the correct form!"

The door slammed shut as the basketball slipped from Mackenzie's hands. Nathan stormed through the gym, stopping in front of Mackenzie.

"I play point guard." He spat, scooping up the basketball. The other boy's mouths gaped open, Brooklyn's eyes rolling.

"Not anymore." Mackenzie retorted, snatching the ball back from the stuck up junior. "Who gave you the right to just interrupt the game?"

"I did." Nathan scoffed, taking the ball back from Mackenzie's grip.

"You are acting as if you're five years old." Mackenzie frowned, slapping the ball from Nathan's hands.

"Oh shut up, and sit on the bench. This is my team, not yours."

Mackenzie's eyes widened at his blunt statement, and she shoved his shoulder.

"You're such a brat! Once something doesn't go your way, you complain! Could you just stop acting like a baby for 3 minutes?!" She was losing her breath, breathing through her nose angrily. "Last time I checked, there's no I in team."

"Yeah? Well there's an m and an e. And that spells me."

Mackenzie rolled her eyes, "see? You're a self-centered idiot." She turned back to the rest of the boys. "Is anyone going to back me up? Or are you just going to stand there and watch me make a fool out of myself? This is absolutely-" She was out of breath completely, coughing now. She did have asthma, but she had never had an attack.

She began huffing, wheezing almost. She put her hand behind her, sitting on the waxy gym floor. She broke into a panic attack, hardly breathing at all.

"She needs her inhaler!" Brooklyn called out, over the what's happening?'s and the what's going on?'s.

He jogged over to Mackenzie's backpack, unzipping nearly ever pocket until he found it. He picked it up, and slid across the gym floor, shoving the inhaler into her mouth.

Mackenzie huffed in, taking the inhaler out of her mouth. She took a few deep breaths, before looking back at Brooklyn. She whispered a "thank you," and pulled her best friend into a hug.

"I wanna go home." She muttered into his ear, her eyes welling up with tears.

x

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