Chapter Ten

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"I got my leg adjusted, I got new socks, "I'm ready to go!" Cheven said and she fist pumped onto the bus.

            "You are way too excited for how early it is," Laura grumbled and followed her onto the bus.

            We all climbed onto the bus to drive to Greencastle University. The sun hadn't even risen yet to announce that it was Saturday morning. Cheven and I piled into the back seat together. I looked out the window as the bus began to move, a thin layer of mist hung above the cornfields, and on the horizon the sky was just barely starting to lighten. Cheven handed me an ear bud and we listened to music for the first hour of the bus ride. 

            Just as we all began to wake up, Kendal stood in her seat and faced all of us. "Hey guys. I need to say something."

            No response.

            "YO, WESTWOOD, WAKE UP!" Kendal clapped twice.

            Cheven and I took our ear buds out and sat up.

            "That's better. I have something to say, and it's going to be confusing, but it will be ok. I think," Kendal connected eyes with me.

            I nodded in encouragement.

            Cheven leaned to me and whispered, "What the Hell is going on?"

            "You'll see," I replied.

            "For the past two years, I have been very vocally anti-LGBT." She paused to take a deep breath. She looked at her hands. "I have to apologize, because what I've said about Hanna and about Alecia do not represent my true feelings. The truth is-" She stopped again and looked up, "The truth is, I have a girlfriend, her name is Alex. We're going to play against her today at the tournament."

            The bus erupted, "What the Hell?" Meg said.

            Cheven turned to me, "Is she serious?"

            I pressed my lips together and nodded.

            Cheven pushed me, "Why didn't you tell me!?"

            I shrugged and gestured for her to listen to Kendal.

            Kendal quieted everyone down, "OK, ok," She said holding her hands out. "I could explain myself, but honestly I don't want to get into it. What's important is that Alecia and I worked it out."

            Ari raised her hand, "Does that have anything to do with the hand-shaped welt on your face?"

            I clapped, "Great question Ari. The answer is yes! That is my hand imprinted on her face."

            "That's beautiful," Ari said.

            "Alecia. Dude. You're hijacking my speech."

            "Sorry," I said. I winked at Ari when Kendal wasn't looking.

            "I know this may surprise and confuse many of you, but I'm not answering any questions. If you'd like to talk about it sometime, we can talk privately. Otherwise I am relying on you to give me the respect and empathy that you gave Alecia. Thanks. I'm going to go talk to coach now." Kendal walked towards the front of the bus where coach sat.

            Cheven's mouth gaped open.

            "Is your mind blown?" I asked, starting to laugh.

            Cheven stared at me. She nodded violently, "Um, ya."

            I got up, starting to walk down the aisle way. "I couldn't tell you, I'm sorry!" I said to Cheven as I walked backwards towards the front of the bus. I leaned to Kendal, "You memorized that whole speech, didn't you?"

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