Working Progress | Teen Ink

Working Progress

January 24, 2020
By Anonymous

It’s the fourth quarter, we’re down by 3 with 15 seconds left on the clock. On the opponents, 10-yard line and time is ticking down. The coach decides to leave the final play call up to me. With the time winding down I decided to call a read-option, I noticed the defensive end played close to the line instead of out wide. I was confident that I could beat him to the outside and score our game-winning touchdown, with 5 seconds left on the clock I snap the ball. I lightly place the ball in my running backs hand, selling the fake, knowing the defensive end would fall for it, I take off running to the outside as fast as I can, seeing nothing but the back of the end zone.

 Thinking to myself that this was my first-ever state championship win and I called the game-winning play, so caught up in my own thoughts I didn’t see a 280-pound linebacker coming from my left side. He hit me so hard I think I blacked out for a couple of seconds, finally coming to after those few seconds I noticed that I fumbled the ball and the other team had fallen on it and recovered it. Even after I saw the clock had hit 0 and the game was over, I continued to lay there looking at the sky knowing that I just cost us the game, realizing that if I just called a different play and not have been so selfish we could’ve won that game. Walking back to the locker room with tears in my eyes and my head down, I could hear my teammates telling me to keep my head up, and fans saying we’ll win it next year. Disregarding all these comments I just continued to walk to the locker room, I didn’t feel like speaking to anyone after the game, so I just changed my shoes, took my equipment off and headed home.

 While walking through the parking lot to get to my car I could hear footsteps getting closer, and the person walking behind me began to walk faster and faster, at the last moment I heard the person yell “Yo Rodg”. Hearing this I knew this person must have known me and when I turned around I saw my knuckle-head younger brother Mark behind me. Seeing him I asked 

“What are you doing here? And did mom and dad come with you?”

“I came to see my big bro win the state chip, and Tiara dropped me off”. Mark replied

“Well, you could’ve just stayed home,” said Rodger.

Still feeling the pain of losing the game, the drive home was silent for the most part, Rodger really wasn’t in the talking mood. Mark finally became tired of it and decided to finally let his brother know that he was hungry, no matter how angry or sad Rodger was he could never turn down some food. After sitting in the car and eating for a while, Mark decided to break the silence

“Hey rodg, you remember the first time you tried out for the football team”? Mark asked

“Yea, and right after I tried out the coach asked me if I was ready to take this team to a state chip”. Rodger answered with a smirk

“I told him I was, but I guess I was wrong” . Rodger said with a glum look on his face

After Mark’s final attempt didn’t work he decided to just stop trying, they finished eating and Rodger continued driving home. While nearing his parents home, he could hear cop cars and firetrucks nearby, and more were speeding by him as he was driving, his heart began to race now, knowing that his parents home was one of a hand full of homes that could be reached by this back road. Rodger floored the gas and sped down the road in a rush to reach his parent’s home, slowing down so he didn’t crash into the cop cars surrounding his parents burning home. Rodger threw his car door open and tried to run into the house, police officers ran after him and grabbed him right before he reached the steps of the burning house. He fought hard trying to pull away from the officers, punching one officer in the face, and throwing the other to the ground, seeing this, more officers came to pull Rodger away from the home. 

Minutes after the officers were finally able to calm Rodger and get him away from the house, the burning home collapsed and all that was left was a burning pile of wood. Rodger dropped to his knees and began to cry, after sitting there, closing and opening his eyes over and over again, realizing that it wasn’t a dream. Slowly walking over to his distraught brother, Mark helped his brother to his feet and hugged him, while patting his back he whispered to Rodger

“It’s gonna be ok, they’re in a better place now”.

Police walked over to the brothers after the firefighters finally put the last of the flames out, asking them if they could take a ride to the station with them because they had some questions to ask them. They drove to the police station when they arrived Mark told the police he would talk to them stating

“My brother is still very shaken up and I don’t think he wants to talk right now, but I’ll answer any questions”.

After coming out of the officer’s office, Mark walked over to Rodger and told him they could leave. During the ride back home, Rodger called his best friend Tiara and told her the horrible news, she told him she was coming to his house right away. Curiosity getting the best of him, Rodger finally asked Mark

“So, what did they ask you”?

“Nothing really, they just wanted to know where we were at during the time of the fire, and what was our relation to them”. Mark replied

Hearing this Rodger began to think to himself, asking himself

“ Why would they ask where we were? Those types of questions are asked when they think people were involved in the crime, but I thought the fire just happened on accident”.

Tiara reached the house around the same time as Rodger and Mark did, with tears in her eyes she darted out of her car to console her heartbroken friend. She grabbed both of them and hugged them, tears streaming down her face and the only words she could say to them was

“I’m so sorry this happened”.

Rodger and Tiara are sitting in the dining room in silence, Tiara is just processing everything she was told over the phone, but Rodger was being so silent because now that he actually sat down to think about the questions the cops were asking Mark. He knew there had to be a police report on the crime, right in the middle of his thought Mark asked

“Where the washcloths, I need a shower. I just wanna wash this day off of me”.

Rodger went to his closet, grabbed the cloths and gave them to Mark. Before letting Mark go  towards the bathroom, Rodger asked him

“Wait, at the police station, did they give you a police report or anything”?

“No, they didn’t give me anything”. Mark replied

With a look of disbelief, Rodger left the topic alone and went back to the dining room with Tiara, but he knew his brother was lying he just wasn’t sure. Rodger decided to go back to the police station and ask them, he told Tiara to make sure she kept an eye on Mark while he was gone. Rodger drove back to the police station. When he walked in the station he saw the cop who was questioning his brother, he was in a disarray, Rodger walked in front of him to get his attention. The cop then looked up and asked

“So do you think you figured out who could have set the fire”?

Hearing those words made Rodger’s heart drop, thinking, who could have possibly wanted to kill his parents. Rodger stood there with a lost look on his face, then he finally started to put the pieces together. Who wanted to answer the questions to get the police off of them? Who literally showed no emotion throughout this whole situation? Who lied about there even being a police report? In his mind, only one name kept coming up, Mark. Becoming irritated with Rodger the cop nudged him out of his way saying

“If you aren’t gonna say anything at least move out of my way while I look for my gun, I don’t know how I lost it”.

Once Rodger figured everything out, and now knowing Mark could possibly have a gun he darted out of the police station and jumped into his car. He pulled his phone out and dialed Tiara’s number, it rang twice then the phone clicked on and Rodger yelled


Then a familiar voice spoke in an evil tone

“You couldn’t just leave it alone, could you Rodg? Now you brought this on yourself”

Then the phone clicked and they hung up.

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