Chap. 10

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Adam Watson

"Good practice Watson," Coach Dobson said, slapping me on the back. "You're making real gains in the weight room."

"Thanks Coach."

I headed into the weight room to shower off, ready to climb back into my bed for another couple of hours.

Friday morning conditioning was always a rough one.

"My office Watson!" Coach Mason called through the locker room. And then his office door clicked shut.

Fucking great.

I'd been competing with the backup QB, coincidentally also named Adam, for my starting position all week. Coach Mason had remained true to his word, refusing to hand the position over to me.

And I'm sure today was the day I was going to find out if my ass was going to be on the bench or not.

I took a quick shower before joining Coach Mason in his office.

"I heard you showed up strong today," Coach Mason said, glancing up from his desk.

"Yes sir."

He leaned back in his chair, letting the silence settle around the room.

I ran my fingers through my wet hair, my eyes flickering to the wall and then back to him.

To say I was nervous would be an understatement. I couldn't imagine having to explain to my dad that I'd lost my starting position, the disappointment in his voice.

I was already enough of a fuck up as it is.

"You came in here ready to fight this week, but you're still not acting as yourself Adam."

I could feel my heartbeat picking up in my chest as Coach Mason leaned forward, resting his forearms on his desk.

"What do you mean?" I asked, keeping my voice level.

"You're going through the motions. And doing a damn good job at it. But that's not the Quarterback I put my ass on the line for. Tomorrow's game against Auburn is a big game for us, and I need a Quarterback that I know is going to give me his all."

"I don't understand what you want from me."

"I want heart Watson. I want passion. I want the guy who came to my office door and wouldn't take no for an answer, wouldn't leave until I gave him a chance."

I cleared my throat as I remembered that whole debacle.

Vanderbilt had been the only school still willing to consider me after I'd been admitted to rehab. I'd already signed with Louisiana State University and they'd called my parents while I was away to recede. As did every other school that had recruited me to play for them.

But for some reason Vanderbilt University re-extended their bid. Coach Mason had admitted to me that he didn't remember doing so, that it had probably been a mistake. But I wasn't going to let the only opportunity I had to still play Division One football disappear. So I'd begged him to give me a chance, and promised that he wouldn't be disappointed.

Now almost a year later I was riding a full-scholarship with a starting position. And I could see it all slipping away.

"I'm still that same person Coach," I said. "I'm still that same guy."

"I've been waiting for him to show up on my field. And so far I haven't been impressed."

I felt as though there was a weight pressing against my chest. Football was all that I had left. Without it I'm not sure what I'd do, what reason I'd have to continue getting out of bed in the mornings.

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