Open Your Eyes

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Joseph POV


"Alright boys huddle up," Dean said to the players as practice was over.

Everyone tiredly walked up to him and knelt down. It was hot today and I was tired myself. Sweating like crazy I wiped the my forehead. I could hear the pants and gasps of the boys as they tried to find ways to comfortable in this heat.

I threw my water bottle to a kid that looked like he was just about ready to pass out. "Thanks Coach," he croaked out as he gratefully caught the bottle and drank the water as his life depended on it. 

Dean started, "So the first game is coming up this Sunday. You all have worked hard these passed few weeks and now that school has started I am also very pleased with the your performance. You have definitely proved to me that you want to be here. Now the team we are going against this week should be easy to beat. Think of them as your appetizer before we got bigger fish to deal with. No excuses. Work as a unit and go at there and act as if every play is your last. We want people to be afraid of us."

"Y'all heard him. Now tomorrow everybody has to wear formal attire as it is tradition to do so before game day. The game is on Sunday but you need to be dressed tomorrow. Show the rest of the student body that you are to be respected as you are representing Georgia Tech on game day. Now get inside and hit the showers. Good job today," I said to them.

Everyone got up and grabbed their belongings and headed towards the locker room.  

I walked in my office and sat down sighing.

The air conditioner felt so damn good against my sweating skin. I thought we were gonna die out there of heat exhaustion. I looked at the paper on my desk, shuffling them by priority.

Between the papers I have to grade for the health class I am teaching and this coaching job, I'm pretty busy. It's not much that I can't handle but it's just the first time I have real responsibilities. Better get on top of things so I don't get behind.

The door opened and Dean walked in and sat down on the chair in front of my desk. " Alright Joe I gotta run something by your real quick, you're not gonna like it but it has to be done."

I leaned back in my seat and nodded waiting for him to continue. " Well I cleared Whitmore for the game this Sunday-"

"Hold up you what?" I asked him already not liking where this conversation was going.

" I cleared him for the game this Sunday. He has stepped up in practice and even you can't deny the talent the kid has? Just let go of whatever grudge you have-"

"Who the hell said I had a grudge on him?" I swear Dean was starting to piss me off.

"Look its clear that you don't like him for some reason other than football. I have already talked to him about his attitude and he said he would work on it," Dean replied.

I just looked at him shaking my head.

"So your just going to be making these types of decisions without talking to me first? I am the co-coach here. What happened to that?"

" I knew you would freak out like this that's why I went ahead and talked to him before hand. Both of you in the same room is just a problem waiting to happen."

I tried to calm myself as I responded, " That's not the point Dean. My opinion matters here too you know? I know what I'm talking about here I have experience in this!"

" Yeah but your just the assistant and I'm the Head Coach Joe!" he yelled back at me. He then sighed and looked at me, regret already evident in his eyes.

I was not only pissed but kinda hurt he only thought of me as the assistant. I thought he would think I was just as important as him. I slowly nodded. " You're right. I'm just the assistant here to help you out. " Then I went back to the work that was on my desk.

I was done with this conversation.

"Hey man listen, I didn't mean that I swear. I'm just stressed a bit." I nodded still focused on my work.

There was no point in him continuing this conversation knowing that he had hit below the belt.

He got up and left.

He was right though.

I was just the assistant.

I love football.

Always have. Me being a coach where I used to play is me in some way holding on to the game that I used to pursue as a passion. It's my last hope of still being involved in the sport rather than watching it. I miss the rush I used to get in playing the sport. The adrenaline, and the pressure. It was the best high I felt. I was alive in that moment.

Now I am a teacher and Coach. This isn't how things were supposed to be. I'm bout to be 28 years old and I'm just now starting my life. I sighed as I finished grading most of the papers. I will just have to finish the rest at home.

I leaned back and looked through the window and saw the players through the open blinds joking around and getting ready to leave. I miss those days.

Then I saw Ryan pass by the window looking through smirking at me. I clenched my fists under the table and just watched him looking at me with a smug look on his face.

Son of bitch.

I got up and started packing my things to go home.

The door opened once again and the kid from earlier came in with my water bottle, " Thank you coach, I almost died out there, " he said jokingly. " No problem, see you Sunday." he nodded and left without opening the door. I just shook it off because I was leaving soon anyways.

"Yeah well there is this hot chick I been trying to get at for a while now," I heard Ryan say.

Of course this boy has nothing else to be doing at this moment. I shook my head getting the rest of my things together. "She's always covered up pretty good but I can tell that she's definitely working with something. She's a tough one to crack though," he continued on.

"What's her name bro?" Somebody asked him.

"Um... what.. Oh yeah! Robin! She is in one of my classes."

I froze on the spot.

I felt my heart racing.

Who the fuck does he think he is?

I marched towards the door ready to confront him but then I stopped at the door way.

I can't do this.

What the hell am I going to say?

I can't punch him or anything considering he hasn't done anything wrong. I was beyond angry right now. He wanted to use Robin. Something in me just switched and she was my top priority.

I have to go home before I bash one of these idiots head against the damn wall.

"Coach Anoai' are you okay?" I heard.

I blinked and saw that I was still at the doorway, hands clenched, and facing the group Ryan was talking to.

I nodded and looked at Ryan's unbothered face before going back the the office to grab my things.

I could hear the boys laughing at the weird encounter but I couldn't be bothered by that right now. I have to talk to Robin and warn her about Ryan.

There is no way, and I mean no chance in hell I am letting her getting played by that asshole.

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