Chap. 8

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Adam Watson

"Can you tell me what happened out on that field yesterday?" Coach Mason asked me, his hands laced on his desk as he studied me.

I ran my hand across my face, shaking my head as I did so.

A shitshow is what happened out on that field yesterday.

I blinked a few times, bringing Coach Mason into focus. I'd had more than just my usual shot this morning in my orange juice, and I was starting to feel the after effects.

But it was nothing that I couldn't handle.

"I don't know sir," I said, my voice deep and gravelly, as though I'd just woken up. "I honestly just don't know."

"That's not good enough!" He slammed his palms on his desk, causing me to jump back a bit. He stood up from back behind his desk, taking to pacing the floor behind me. "What the hell happened out there Watson?"

I failed. Plain and simple.

You know it's bad when the coach pulls his starting Quarterback against an upper level team. And I was out before the second half came around. And then given a second chance, and yanked again before I could complete the third quarter.

I couldn't complete a pass to save my life, hell I couldn't have hit the broadside of a barn if you'd asked me to. I couldn't complete a play, I couldn't communicate with my team. It was the worst game of my career to-date, high school included.

And it proved to the rest of the college football nation that I was a true rookie, just as they'd predicted.

"I'm sorry," I muttered, quietly. "I can do better."

"I know that you can Watson or you wouldn't be on my damn team."

A tense silence stretched between us as I continued to sit in the office chair, Coach Mason pacing the open floor.

"As of right now, you're not on my starting lineup for next week."

My head whipped around to face him, my eyes widening.

"Prove me wrong."

~*~

I was vaguely aware that someone was shaking me, but I wasn't conscious enough to have to acknowledge it.

So I just burrowed deeper into my covers, too exhausted to give a shit.

And then there was pain across my face.

"Fucking hell," I muttered, my eyes flickering open as my hands grabbed my stinging right cheek.

Terrence was standing above me, gripping my bedframe.

"Am I on my futon?" I muttered, blinking a few times. "Jesus, it's really fucking comfortable for an IKEA futon."

"I bought a bottle of rum after the game last night and it's gone."

"So you automatically assume it's me?"

"Actually no." His eyes flickered over me, a hardened look on his face. "But I know I'm not crazy. I went out after the game last night and bought a bottle. And it's fucking gone."

"I can't help you in remembering where you put your damn alcohol."

"Funny because last I remember you were out as of yesterday morning. Said you'd go with me last night, but not so much after the game."

I lowered my eyes at him as he mentioned last night's game, to which Terrence just brushed off.

He was on his high horse. I'd been on the receiving end of enough of his lectures to know that there was no talking him back down.

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