“You’re going to do great today,” I said, giving Brennan a hug.

“Of course,” he said, with a tentative smile.

I kissed him on the nose before hopping into my car. “Love you beautiful,” I called to Brennan, blowing him a kiss.

He rolled his eyes. “Goodbye Sam.”

I drove to Jake’s house, my radio blasting. I couldn’t keep the smile off of my face.

Jake came hobbling out to my car, a bright smile on his face. “Sam!” he yelled, hopping into the passenger seat. He wrapped his arms around me. “I’m so proud of you!”

“Can’t. Breathe.” I choked out, as he squeezed me.

“Sorry,” he said, letting go. “But I can’t believe you got the call!”

“And you’re going to go, right?”

“Dude, I wouldn’t miss it for the world! I’m just sorry your mom has to miss it.”

“She’s got hell to go through. I’m sure she’d rather be with us.”

“So what did he say?” Jake asked excitedly, bouncing in the passenger seat.

“He told me that he’s seen me play, and he wants me to come practice with the team.”

“So are you excited?” Jake asked, poking my arm.

“Excited does not begin to describe how I feel right now.” I took a deep breath and let it out. “Let’s talk about something else. I can’t work myself up right now.”

“So you ready for the game tomorrow night?”

“Depends, are you going to be on the field with me?”

He shrugged. “Cut this cast off my leg and I’ll be there.”

I shoved him and we both laughed.

“But seriously, your head is in the game?”

I nodded. “It’s the Baringer Cows, I’m definitely not worried.”

“How was Brennan this morning?”

“Upset, a bit overwhelmed. But I think he’s going to pull through alright.” I bit my lip, filling with worry. “I just hope he doesn’t let this get him down.”

“He’s been through a lot lately,” Jake commented.

We rode the rest of the school with only the radio to break the silence. My head was swimming with thoughts of Brennan.

“You might want to turn off the car,” Jake said.

I snapped back into reality, realizing that I’d made it to school.

“Want to talk about it?”

I grabbed my stuff and hopped out of my truck, slamming the car door behind me. I stood there for a minute, clutching my backpack, before I headed up towards the school.

“Hey,” Ryan called, jogging up to me. He slowly backed up when he saw my face. “Catch you later?”

I found a secluded spot where I could be alone. It was the known as the football team’s tree, or just simply “The Tree”. People didn’t come here except football team members, and if someone was here before you, you didn’t approach. It was the unspoken rule. I sighed with relief, taking a seat underneath the tree. I whipped out my cell phone and called Brennan.

“What?” Brennan asked, amusedly.

“Are you okay?”

“Am I okay? I’m not sure how to answer that question. I mean, physically no. But mentally? No, not really that either.” He let out a dry laugh.

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