Shenanigans Part 3

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I'm sure nobody will be shocked to discover that I handily defeated Keisha in our one-on one matchup 18-16. It was never really close. And this presented a good news-bad news scenario for me. The good news is, by winning I kept the team together and was now solely responsible for leading a group of 13 year old girls. The bad news is, by winning, I kept the team together and was now solely responsible for leading a group of 13 year-old girls. Look, they're great kids and I get the sense that they really do want to learn and get better. It's just that Keisha may not have been completely off the mark about their attitudes. It's like they sometimes have a hard time keeping off-the-court issues from showing up on the court.

Jeff paces the sideline during the team's fourth game since he brought Keisha in to join the team. They managed to win two of the three and with a win today will qualify for a huge regional tournament this coming weekend. And from where they were when Jeff was one of their players, earning that spot will feel like an NCCA March Madness Tournament bid.

On the court, Maddie sees a wide open Keisha under the basket, but rather than passing it to her, she takes a tough contested shot that barely grazes the rim and bounces out of bounds.

"Maddie, no! She was wide open!" Jeff turns around, muttering to himself. 'Why will she not pass the ball?"

"Coach," Justine's attempt to get Jeff's attention from the bench draws a quick harsh glare from him. Sorry....Jeff."

Jeff does not want to be called coach. He feels being called coach would make it seem like he's taken on the job permanently and that is something he has outright refused. He's just holding down the fort until their real coach arrives. So by being called Jeff, it keeps that non-committal aspect at the forefront.

"Yes Justine?"

"You know why Maddie never passes to Keisha, right?"

"I have no idea."

"One day after practice a bunch of us went to the mall and Dylan was there. He's a guy that she's majorly crushing on. We're all shipping them huge. Anyway, later on Maddie saw Keisha being all friendly with Dylan and that was it for her."

Jeff processes this for a few seconds before coming to an horrifying realization. "My point guard won't pass to our best forward because she saw her talking to a boy in the mall?"

"Pretty much."

Jeff spins around, looking for the referee. "TIMEOUT!"

The girls gather round.

"Maddie, five times you had Keisha wide open and didn't make the pass. When you see an open teammate under the basket, I don't care if she stole your favorite Backstreet Boys CD, pass her the damn ball."

"What are Backstreet Boys?"

"What's a CD?"

Jeff is incredulous. "Maddie, are you hearing me? Pass the ball!"

"Oh. My. God. If you tell me to pass the ball one more time, I'm literally going to kill myself," Maddie says with full drama-queen flare.

"That might be a bit of an over-reaction," Jeff says.

"Well duh, Einstein. I wasn't really going to do it. I was being ironic."

"No, you were being hyperbolic. It's ironic that you don't know the difference."

Wow. Where did that come from? Clearly, I'm spending too much time around Niko.

***********************************************************

Only after Niko swore on his ability to get an erection that Richard had no money issues or miserly tendencies did Ashley agree to go on yet another setup. But after her previous two experiences, she was going to exercise extreme caution. At first, everything about Richard seems perfectly fine. In his mid to late 40's, Richard had a distinguished attractiveness to him. He was impeccably dressed and was incredibly charming and when he picked the perfect red wine to go with her New York strip steak, Ashley was beginning to regain actual hope. But that's exactly when everything fell apart for her before, she reminded herself.

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