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Run For Your Life
When you hear New York City, I bet you think shopping, sports, and colossal buildings. Well, if you do then you’re totally wrong. Don’t get me wrong, not everyone is dire like my friend, Rodrigo. He’s from the same place as me. Ever since we we’re little we’ve been inseparable. But since Friday, everything changed.
“Yo Rodrigo, can you come play some basketball today?” I asked, but forced.
“Nah, got to do chores, maybe some other time Francisco.”
“Who cares about chores, we need one more person for five on five,” I explained, “and you’re the only person who can come.”
So, while Rodrigo was storming off back to his home, I was all alone walking to the courts. When I got to the courts, I saw a new guy standing particularly confidently.
“Hey Gonzalez, who’s the new guy?” I thought happily because he was probably a foot shorter than me.
“Don’t laugh he’s got game,” alleged Freddy with wide eyes. And this was coming from Freddy, the best of all of us. I was getting anxious to play the new kid and I’m 6’ 6”.
“Show me I don’t believe you!” I exclaimed with an astonished look on my face, there is no way so as to that mini kid is as good as the star player on our high school basketball team. That day, I got skooled by a 5 foot 6 inch point guard at my favorite sport, basketball. This kid was crazy good. The next day at school, I had to tell Rodrigo. But, sitting right next to him was Ben, the basketball prodigy.
“So Ben, did you already tell Rodrigo about your game?” I inquired looking jealous that my best friend was sitting right next to the new kid like they’d been friends forever.
“No, does it matter?” he solicited in a calm voice.
“What game?” questioned Rodrigo?
“He whooped everybody and made me look like a five-year old just learning how to play basketball,” I explained feeling embarrassed about how bad I looked compared to this little guy. I stormed off not wanting to even glare at my new found opponent.
Later that day, Rodrigo said good bye to Ben and then Rodrigo and I walked to our small apartments climbing the stairs to the sixth floor.
“Francisco what was that outburst all about?” questioned Rodrigo, like he was still wondering why.
“Where does Ben live anyway? He went the opposite direction as us,” I requested, trying to change the topic.
“Well I really don’t know. All I’ve heard is that it’s like five times worse there than over here. He told me to never come over there. I still don’t know why, but he seems serious, so I’m gonna take his word for it.” Rodrigo claimed very earnestly.
The next day Rodrigo couldn’t play again, apparently he wasn’t done with his “chores.” So what do you think happened? Yep, Ben was there once again.
“Hey Gonzalez, you get new shoes?” I asked with a very envious look on my face. He always got new shoes. I guess having a huge house wasn’t enough for him. He had to have all the best stuff also.
“Yeah, I found them in our house, and they were my size, so I guessed they were for me. After all, I usually get new shoes every week.” Gonzalez wasn’t from my neighborhood. He was in the wealthiest area that I knew. I heard it was still just as far from the courts as the rest of us. It seemed that I was covetous of a lot of people that I hung around with. The only person I wasn’t jealous of was Rodrigo. Maybe that’s because I can relate to him.
The teams for today’s game were: Me, Gonzalez, Freddy (6 feet 10 inches), Al (5 feet 8 inches), and Damarcus (5 feet 11 inches). The other team was Ben, Samari (6 feet 8 inches), Big Joe (7 feet), Rasheed (5 feet 11 inches), and Magee, he was stockier, butt man could he shoot. Every day, he was lights out. Overall, I thought the teams were equal.
After a hard fought game, the score was 10-9 in favor of us. We were about to win when Ben stole the ball. He flew down the court and with no one in sight he popped a three instead of shooting an easy layup for the tie. Swoosh! 11-10 with street ball scoring, we lost. (2 point baskets count as one and three pointers count as two.) Gonzalez was furious. This was probably the most angry I’ve ever seen him. His face was as red as a ripe tomato. I could see the veins in his eyes bulging out of his head. He was like a volcano ready to erupt.
“Come on! We’re terrible; you call that ball-handling Rasheed? You just handed him the ball. Why don’t you just leave? You’re no help to us!” exploded Gonzalez.
“Chill man, we just messed up a little bit. Ben’s a good ball player. Don’t take him easy,” said Damarcus calmly.
“That’s stupid” yelled Gonzalez, “You’re just trying to cover up for how bad you really are.” Then Gonzalez pushed Gonzalez to the ground. It looked like he was gonna beat him so hard that he would become part of the pavement. Luckily, Big Joe was right on it. Damarcus only walked away with a bloody nose. After that, Gonzalez did something even more unexpected. He threw away his new shoes.