Three seconds left, and he was double teamed. "Pass over here!" Danny screamed. But the ball never came. Jordan needed to prove to himself that nothing could change his game so he took it all the way and went up to take the last shot. Two seconds left; he was in the air. The buzzer sounded as the ball bounced off the rim and flew backwards. The crowd went wild screaming and cheering for the rival team, the Faretown Eagles. All the boys had their heads down as they moped back into the locker room. Jordan cursed and scuffed his sneaker on the gym floor as he angrily stomped his way to the locker room behind the rest of the team. Usually, he'd be in front. Usually, he'd be cheering. on any other usual day he'd have just made the winning shot. But, not anymore; and that was Julia's fault. "If she wasn't such a-," he mumbled. "Dude, you can't blame this on her, too," Danny cut him off. Jordan cursed again. He didn't mean to say that out loud. And now his annoying brother would probably go tell his girlfriend that he was talking about her. He would just get more pissed off and even might lose a second basketball game. And that would definitely not fly by his father. "Dan, don't go run and tell her I was talking about her like you did last time. It's not going to make her fall in love with you. She doesn't like you. Get over it." They were driving home from the game and Jordan was in a horrible mood. He was taking it out on his brother because that's what he always did. His brother was younger, smaller, and a lot less good looking than he was. He was the inferior. And of course, he was the worse of the two at basketball. "Well, she obviously doesn't like you that much either," Danny replied. "Your gonna shut your mouth right now before I have to shut it for you," he screamed back as he reached over his seat belt and punched his brother in the arm. Danny lifted his arm to strike back, but Jordan was smart enough to remind him that dad would get pretty angry if someone punched him when he was driving. When they got home 20 minutes later, they both had to brace themselves for what was about to come out of their father's mouth; Jordan especially. "How dare you guys lose a basketball game!" he screamed, "How dare you put your future on the line like that! Jordan, you are going nowhere! Nowhere I tell you." There was a long pause and when neither of the boys' faces seemed to be affected by the yelling, their dad got even angrier. His face turned red and there was steam fuming out of his ears. He raised his voice even louder. "Look who the big shot is now, putting your girlfriend in the hospital Monday, losing a basketball game Tuesday, at this rate you'll probably drop out of high school by the weekend!" Neither boy even bothered to say anything back. There was no use. Their dad would win the argument and that was definite. "So," Danny said when they were back in their room, "how did you manage to put Julia in the hospital?" Jordan picked up a pillow from his bed and chucked it at his brother. "Get a life," he replied. So what if he got in a stupid fight with his girlfriend and accidentally ran his car into her as he was leaving her house. It's not like he meant to break her leg in three places and give her a minor concussion. "I'll be right back," he said to his brother as he walked out of the bedroom. He went downstairs and made his way to the front door. He went outside and closed the door behind him. He wanted to take a walk. He needed the fresh air. He was longing for a peaceful minute to think. He closed his eyes in thought and when he opened them up he was standing in the doorway of Julia's hospital room. Seeing Julia lying there with scratches on her clear, beautiful face made him want to break down. Her once shiny brown hair was thrown up in a ratty bun, her big blue eyes were closed and her long seductive legs were in massive casts. He could not believe it was him who forced this pain upon Julia. "I'm sorry," he said, and stood waiting for a response, even though she was asleep. All of a sudden he heard loud beeping noises and saw doctors sprinting into Julia's room. "Clear the way! Everyone out!" they screamed. Jordan wondered what was going on and if Julia was going to be alright. After all, she was his first true love. He walked out with his head down, and aimlessly wandered to the lobby of the hospital. If Julia wasn't okay, how would he focus on his next few basketball games? How would his life go on? As he left the hospital, he couldn't stop the tears from swimming down his face. He did not know who he became in these past few days, but one thing was certain, something needed to change.
One More Shot
June 8, 2009