Chapter One

Sunday, November 3

 

“I’m missing my jersey!” I call out to Mom.

“Again? Well, at least we know that nothing’s new!”

That’s my mom for you. Always making jokes out of serious things. I guess she doesn’t realize that Coach won’t let me play without my jersey. Not that she cares, since she’s not into sports at all.

No, my mom likes sewing, photography, and knitting – oh, and did I mention embroidering? Whatever.

I’m looking through my room, and my mathbook is lying on the floor surrounded by three other textbooks, two T-shirts, and a bunch of moldy looking socks. As I bend down to pick up the books, I notice my jersey under my bed.

Ok, I give up.

I’m admitting it.

I’m a first-class slob. More on that later.

I don’t like talking about my bad character traits.

“Sweetie, I found your jersey!” Mom calls, coming up the stairs.

“No, sorry, I did!” I yell back.

“No need to yell; I’m right here” she says, holding out a red jersey with yellow-gold flames.

“G-d, Mom! Can’t you tell that’s Stevie’s?”

“Oh, well they both say ‘Reldan'” she says.

Duh. Stevie is my older brother, so we have the same last name. I guess I’ll be nice and talk about him whether I want to or not. I don’t.

Stevie is sixteen. He’s a Junior at Pitts High School, and he’s probably the most popular student there. He’s on the football team, basketball team, honor roll; he’s student body president; you name it, that’s Stevie.

Oh, don’t get me wrong, I’m also on the football and basketball teams. That doesn’t mean I’m good, though.

Stevie is captain on both teams, leads them to the playoffs every year…yup, he’s an amazing athlete.

AND he’s the class goody-goody. Surprisingly, he is popular and nice.

With blonde hair, blue eyes, massive shoulders and even larger muscles, Stevie is the stereotypical Prince Charming. All the girls flock like vultures. Whatever.

Meanwhile, I, Jake, his nerdy 13-year-old brother am tall, and just a tad too skinny to be considered “slim”. I have dark skin, dark brown eyes, and light brown hair. As for my shoulders…they don’t exist. And like I said, I don’t play sports well. I take after my mom.

I’m also the class trouble maker. Don’t get me wrong; I like that position. What I don’t like is when teachers sigh and say,

“I wish you’d be more like Steven.”

I guess I hate him.

 

Sunday Night

After football practise, I finish dinner and escape to my room just in time to see Stevie filching my new sweatshirt. Or trying to.

I jump him, and although I am usually no match for him, I have an advantage the element of surprise. The fight is pretty rough, but I come out on top!

Only because my brother is holding me up – he’s pretty strong – and squeezing me.

The results aren’t too bad, only six bruises and one slightly sprained finger (I don’t count the black eye or the bleeding nose.)

I yell at Stevie that I’m gonna get him back, but he just laughs, his mega-truck size shoulders shaking, and leaves with my sweatshirt.

 

Monday, November 4

I get kicked off the football team. Not that I care. Seriously. I mean, OK, my rep is like, gone, but the actual thought of not having to wear shoulder pads that make me look like an ill-balanced freak is a pretty good thought.

I never saw the point in the game; a bunch of guys running after a ball, with two second plays that go by so fast by the time you actually get what’s going on, it’s all over.

I like basketball a little bit better.

I’m only on the football team – whoops, it’s past tense time – I was only on the football team because my best friend Tyler said I should join. She’s sports crazy; I call her a jockette, but she takes it as a compliment.

Tyler plays girls’ basketball and volleyball. She says I’ll never be popular if I don’t play sports. Well, I was on two teams, and I’m still not popular.

Oren Colbert is one prime example of that. The guy hates me with a passion. Well, you know what? I hate him too.

Anyways, in history class today, everyone is talking, and the bell rings.

Miss Gulcher comes in. She’s like – how does one describe her?- an old, shrivelled prune. She wheezes and wobbles and teaches (or tries to) in this quavery voice. She looks like she’s about to break. She must be nearing 152 years by now.

Well, she walks in, so we all get up respectfully and start reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. (Isn’t that like, old-fashioned?) So, whatever, I switch the words around.

Ray Clemons, who sits next to me, starts laughing. People start looking, so I say it a little louder. I won’t repeat the words, but put it this way Miss Gulcher isn’t too happy.

She glares at me, and if the look gets any stronger, I swear she’ll topple. She doesn’t say anything, and we start learning World History.

One word to describe it? Boring. So I start playing catch with Kennedy Lawrence’s headband.

She sits directly in front of me, so it’s like, easy access. When all the guys are in the game, Gulcher finally notices. She screams, at me of course.

While her quavery voice fills the room, Kennedy begins screeching about how I pulled her hair. Then she winks, so I guess she wants to make trouble for Miss Gulcher.

I’m sent to the office. I get two detentions.

 

Next class, I’m accused of putting window cleaner in Mr. McGee’s coffee cup. I swear that guy would die without it. The coffee, I mean, but come to think of it, the window cleaner, too!

It’s about time they caught on, I think to myself as I’m written out for yet another detention.

So, two classes and two detentions after that, I’m in the office and Wilkins, the principal, goes,

“That’s it boy, you’re off.”

“Off what? Off the hook?” I venture.

“NO!” he thunders. I check the ceiling. “OFF THE FOOTBALL TEAM!” He watches me closely.

What, does he expect me to start crying? Jeez! I grin and go,

“Thanks. Dude, now I have time to…” I almost give away my secret.

“To what?” I see a vein throbbing in his neck.

“To…do homework” I say, deciding to play it safe.

“Humph. You will remain off of the team until you can show me that you’re improving.” Wilkins says, gritting his teeth and smirking at the same time.

“OK”. I say. Fat chance. I’m happy to be off.  But improve at what? I’m not going to ask.

I’m out of the office in a minute, with Wilkins beaming on one side of the door, and me on the other.

So, I walk down the hallway, whistling, glad that Wilkins didn’t find out my secret- that I like to write- when suddenly I see Oren. The Oren.

“Yo, Reldan!” he says. I look at him, and the smile slips off my face like slime.

 

Monday Night

I don’t even want to say  what happened with Oren. Mainly because I like leaving people practically dying with suspense, but there were enough near death experiences today, so I’ll let you live.

First, though, let me describe Oren. What kind of name is “Oren” anyways?

Ok, I won’t discriminate.

Oren Colbert is in my grade, but he’s a year older than me; he’s fourteen. He moved here to Indiana from L.A., so he thinks he’s cool or something.

But Crawfordsville’s school standards are obviously higher than his old school, because he wasn’t accepted into C.H.S. or Pitts, so he got held back in eighth grade.

I wish his IQ was higher, that way Stevie would have to deal with him. But no, little Jake has to deal with big Oren. And when I say big, boy, do I mean big. Oren is 5″10 at least, over 200 pounds, and pretty darn strong.

He’s on the football team, obviously, which is one of the reasons why I’m so glad to be off of it. He has one or two friends – more like twenty one or twenty two friends, though I don’t like to admit it.

He’s kind of popular, not for his wits or brains, naturally, but because he’s a junior Stevie, with the exception that he likes to brag just a little more than Stevie does, which is saying something.

In a nutshell, Oren Colbert loves himself. And hates me. I don’t know why – yet. Oren probably doesn’t either. Funny, I never hear him talk, besides for some grunts and his #1 most used word, “I”.

But today, I heard him talk. He walked towards me in the hallway, and none of his friends were around. Or mine.

Just the two of us, alone in the hall – the dismissal bell hadn’t rung yet, you see.

“Yo, Reldan” Oren said. I froze, than forced myself to look him in the eye.

“I heard you got kicked off of the team.” He smirked. I smirked right back- the first time I hadn’t peed my pants and ran. I don’t know what got into me. I was feeling brave. My mistake, of course.

He wasn’t suspecting that smirk – looked surprised, but continued, “And you got like, six detentions!”

Just rub it in, baby.

“I didn’t know you could count!” I said, sounding surprised. “How did you know about it, though?”

“Hard not to, with Wilkins’ vocals” he said, stepping forward. I stood my ground. He came closer.

“So.” He said. “Think you’re gonna keep a rep as this school’s bad boy?” He leered in my face. Is that why he hates me? He wants to be the “Bad Boy?”

At this point, sorry to say, I had taken a step back.

“Not so brave, are you?” he called me a name I won’t repeat. Out of self control, or maybe it was fear, I didn’t answer, so he punched me. I was pretty fired up by then, and I didn’t care that this was Oren. I lunged, plunged, and landed on the floor, squashed under 200 pounds of flailing muscles with no brain to conduct them.

After 20 seconds of quiet being-beaten-up agony, I managed to roll on top of him and started punching and pinching, going for whatever I  could get.

I then yelled a string of the nastiest, filthiest words I could think of, and believe me, I have quite an imagination.

Like I said, I was pretty mad, and Oren was looking scared. I didn’t notice Wilkins untill he lifted me in the air.

“Just what do you think you’re doing?” He whisper-yelled.

Oren winked at me, then said to the principal,

“He started up!”

I glared at him.

“Did not” My eyes threw another curse word at him, but I didn’t dare say it with Wilkins’ hands around my neck.

“Yeah, you did.”

“I DON’T CARE WHO STARTED IT!” Wilkins yelled. Oren looked kinda surprised, but I was used to it by then.

“YOU’RE BOTH OFF THE FOOTBALL TEAM! AND THREE DETENTIONS EACH!”

Allow me the liberty of saying here that Wilkins suffered from short-term memory loss.

“But, sir…” Oren started to say; probably that I was already off of the team.

“SHUT UP!” Wilkins lost it. “ENOUGH! GET OUT!”

He threw us out of school. And Oren lunged on me.

“You are so dead, Reldan,” he hissed.

Forget that he punched me first. This was all my fault, that we both got kicked out, right? And I thought he wanted to be the school “Bad Boy”; what could be more “bad”?

Well, my mom grounded me and my dad canceled our trip to Chicago. As if Oren didn’t punish me enough.

 

Stevie, seeing my scratched, bruised and bleeding body, said,

“Whoa, man. That wasn’t from me!” He was sympathetic when he heard the story, and said he’d see about Oren. OK, my hate for Stevie goes down a couple of notches. Not too much, though. He still has my sweatshirt.

 

 

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Tehila
    Jul 01, 2011 @ 17:11:38

    Omg Unravel I was seriously rolling when I read this, it’s so different than any of the things I’ve seen that you wrote and some of the descriptions and stuff are hilarious! Like “the smile slips off my face like slime” I was cracking up when I read that one! 😛 And I don’t know if you want suggestions or what but I’m pretty bad at that kinda thing, so yeah, I really like it – you should definitely continue! 🙂

    Reply

  2. goodlookin'
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 05:20:08

    I want more!!!

    Reply

  3. Tamara!!
    Jan 10, 2012 @ 05:33:31

    Okay, wow! Thats good writing!

    Reply

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