“Hut!” the quarterback shouted, quickly followed by the sound of the ball snapping into his hands and the sound of human bodies hitting each other as the offense and defense collided. The running back ran through the hole that the linemen created only to be met by Ryan, the middle linebacker, who quickly ended his journey forward. A whistle sounded followed by a shout from the head coach, “That’s enough boys, hit the showers. Nice hit, Ryan! You did really well today.”
“Thanks, coach,” Ryan said as he jogged off the field and into the locker room.
James, one of the linemen, pulled his practice jersey off. “Hey Ryan, that was a nice hit out there. What are you doing after this?”
Ryan put his helmet into his locker. “I’m going to study with Jordan tonight, I have a big test at the end of the week, so I need some help to study for it. Why, what do you have planned?”
“There’s going to be a party tonight in Stew’s dorm. You should come, she’s going to be there,.”
“Kari’s going to be there?” Ryan started to take his practice pads off as he thought about it. “Well, the test is at the end of the week, I have plenty of time to study for it, especially if I just pop in for a little bit. Yeah, I’ll be there. And boys, let me tell you: tonight is the night.”
Stew, walked up with a towel wrapped around his waist. “The night for what? For you to get shot down again?”
James bumped his fist up against Stews fist. “Oh, burn.”
Ryan glared at Stew. “It’s going to be different this time; I think I’m finally starting to wear her down. She has to say yes one of these times, at least to get me to shut up about it. And then when we’re on our first date my natural charm and good looks will convince her that I am actually the man of her dreams.”
Kevin, one of the team’s safeties, was drying off his hair and called over from his locker, “Keep dreaming the dream, man. Kari has her reasons for not going out with you, and they’re not going to change no matter how many times you ask.”
“Yeah, well we’ll just see now, won’t we?” Ryan said, grabbing his towel and walking into the showers. After a half an hour of good-natured boy’s locker room shenanigans, Ryan was walking across the street to the dorms with James, Stew, Kevin, and several other football players.
Ryan pulled out his cell phone and called Jordan. After a few rings, Ryan heard Jordan answer, “Hey, what’s up Ryan? Want me to order some pizza for when we study tonight?”
“Um, actually I’m not sure what time I’m getting back tonight, you see…”
“Let me guess, football player party and she’s going to be there; and this is going to be your big chance, and, of course, I’m going to be invited to the wedding right?”
“How did you know?”
“Please Ryan, there is only one person at this school that is more important to you than me, and that’s just because she can give you something that I can’t. It’s not like it’s the first time that you’ve pulled this stunt on me. Just remember, it’s not my grade that is in jeopardy on Friday. I’ll just invite Jeff and Justin over to play some games I guess. Talk to you later,” Jordan said, hanging up.
“I knew he would understand. Okay boys, it’s time to party,” Ryan said, entering the building behind Stew and James. The three boys walked up several flights of stairs before arriving at Stew’s dorm.
The three entered the party, Stew and James mingling with the crowd while Ryan stopped in the doorway and looked the room over to see if he could spot Kari. Then he saw her, the most beautiful girl in the room, talking to three of her friends in the corner. Ryan made his way through the room to where they were standing.
“Hey girls. You mind if I talk to your friend alone for a little while?” Ryan asked.
A girl named Kristi smirked at Ryan. “Here to try again? I can speed things up for you if you want. She’s going to say no, just like last time you tried.”
Another girl, Janine giggled. “Oh let him try, it’s not every day that a hot football player like him gets shot down. This might be good for him and he might take notice of some other girls for once,” Kristi joined in Janine’s giggling and the girls walked away.
Ryan ran his hand over his brown hair. “So Kari, are you free this weekend?”
“It just so happens that I am. Why do you want to know?”
A smile crossed Ryan’s face, and he said as smoothly as he could, “How would you like to go to see a movie with me this Saturday? I’ll even let you pick it out. What do you say?”
“Well that all depends, are you a Christian yet?”
“No, why would I want to be tied down with all those rules just because of a stupid religion?”
“Because I won’t date any guy that’s not a Christian and you know it. And it’s not a religion; it’s a relationship. I’ll make you a deal: it’s obvious that you won’t leave me alone until I say yes, and I’ll never say yes until you become a Christian. So, I’ll let you take me on a date as long as you go to my Bible study with me. Sound fair?”
“You’re kidding, right? Why would I want to go to something that boring and pointless? You’ll give in eventually, and I can wait. See ya around Kari,” Ryan turned and walked away, mingling with the crowd.
Tears formed in Kari’s eyes and she whispered to herself, “I really do like you, Ryan. Why won’t you just give it a try, you big idiot?”
Ryan walked up to Stew. “Hey, great party but I have to get going, I have a test to study for.”
“Got shot down already, huh? I told you it wouldn’t work. Good luck with the test, man, and I’ll see you in practice tomorrow.”
“Thanks, Stew. See ya later. And it will happen someday; I know it will.” Ryan walked out of the room and down the stairs to the second floor where he shared a room with Jordan, his best friend from high school.
James watched Ryan walk out the door.“He’s persistent, I’ll give him that. Do you really think that he’ll out-wait her?”
Stew shrugged. “Dunno; he’s waited this long. We’ll just have to see how much patience he has.”
Ryan dropped his keys on the counter as he walked through the door. “Jordan, I’m back,” Jordan turned and looked at Ryan, a controller in his hand and a giggling girl on either side of him. “You’re back sooner than I thought you would be. You know Nikki and Laura from down a floor, right?”
Ryan Grinned at Jordan“I thought it was Jeff and Justin that were coming over to play games with you.”
“Well, it turns out they went to Stew’s party too, and these two happened to be in the hall so I asked if they wanted to play.”
Ryan frowned. “Are you using my console to pick up chicks?” .
Jordan looked away, avoiding Ryan’s eyes. “Maybe.”
Ryan walked over and jumped onto the couch. “I’m so proud of you. Move over; I want in”
“Actually, since you’re back, I think we should work on studying which means the girls should leave.”
Nikki, the blond with short hair pouted. “Already? But we just got here.”
Laura, the brunette ran her hand over Jordan’s thigh. “Yeah Jordan, don’t be such a drag; let’s have some fun,”
Jordan jumped a little and his voice cracked when he said,“I really think it’s time you girls leave.” He cleared his throat and continued in a deeper voice, “ Maybe we can do this again sometime.”
Ryan crossed his arms across his chest as the girls got up and left. “You are such a party pooper, Jordan.”
“You’re the one that’s pooping this party; I thought you were going to be gone all night.”
“Well I would have been if Kari had said yes. So I guess you could say that Kari is the real party pooper. You should go and yell at her for me,” Ryan smiled at Jordan.
“Yeah, I’m sure that will work well; if you can’t get her to go out with you, the football player that you are, how would I, a mere science geek, be able to get Kari to even talk to me?”
“Come on. Things like that only happen in high school; this is college, my friend. This is a new beginning, you can talk to girls like that as easily as I could, and the only difference is confidence. If you had more confidence in yourself and worried less about your test tubes, then you could talk to anyone you wanted to.”
“Right, well we have some studying to do. So let’s get to it, huh? Hey, are you going to be able to help me out with my little project this weekend?”
“Yeah, of course man, as long as we do it after the game. Now can you explain mitosis to me? I didn’t really understand it when the professor went over it in class.” Ryan reached over onto the coffee table and grabbed his notebook and opened it up to a section labeled “Mitosis”. Jordan spent the next four hours tutoring Ryan on biology and helping him to prepare for the biggest test he would face until Midterms.
- ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●
Jordan and Ryan walked across a parking lot in front of the science building. Jordan was carrying the green and blue pennant with the university of Leforn’s logo on it. “That was a good game, Ryan. You absolutely killed that team. If you keep this up, you should make MVP no problem.”
Ryan flexed his arms. “Well of course; football is what got me into college in the first place. You know that. It certainly wasn’t my academic skills,”
“You don’t give yourself enough credit Ryan; you just have to work a little harder than most people and there’s nothing wrong with that. I wouldn’t want anyone else to be my lab assistant.”
“Thanks. What exactly am I helping you with again?” Ryan threw a football into the air and caught it.
Jordan smiled and cleared his throat. “Ah yes, well I believe that I have figured out a process to make fabric completely indestructible. If it works, I should get all kinds of deals with the military and the police, and it should make me rich.”
“Wow, that’s really amazing. After that, will you finally get that internship you have been hoping for?”
“I should. Scientists should want to get to know everything they can about me after I invent something like that. But first we have to test it out and see if it works.” Jordan opened a door to let him into the school. Jordan and Ryan walked down the hall and into the science lab. “I already have the formula made up so I just have some prep work with the machine to do first. Try not to break anything, okay?”
“Don’t worry, I won’t break anything,” Ryan said, walking over to a counter that had a shelf filled with beakers, one of them containing a purple liquid. Ryan picked up one of the empty test tubes and walked around the room pouring random chemicals into it, laughing at the small little reactions they would make: some changing color, some making fizzling bubbles in the compound.
“Ryan, could you stop messing around for a sec? I need your help with this machine for a sec.” Ryan walked back over to the beaker rack and put the test tube with a blue liquid inside of it then walked over the help Jordan. He didn’t notice the color randomly change from blue to purple.
“What do you need, Jordan?”
“Can you pick this up for me quick? Just set it on that tripod please.” Ryan walked over and picked up the machine and put it on the tripod. Jordan picked up one of the beakers and walked over to the machine and poured the liquid inside. “I don’t remember making more than one sample. Oh well. Now we just have to set up the fabric, and we’re ready to go.” Jordan set up a sheet of cloth and walked over and pushed a button on the machine. A laser shot inside the chamber, a shutter closing behind it as it did. The laser bounced around the chamber, reacting with the chemical inside of it, absorbing it until there was no liquid, just a fast moving gas traveling in a wave pattern.
“Here it goes.” Jordan pushed another button and the machine stopped. “What’s going on?” Jordan looked around for what could have gone wrong. “Over there, the machine got unplugged. Could you plug it in again for me?”
Ryan walked over in front of the machine over to the wall where it was plugged in. Ryan plugged it in and began to walk over to where Jordan was. If Jordan hadn’t pushed the button before the machine lost power, everything would have been fine and there would have been no story. But he did push it, and the shutter opened just as Ryan walked in front of it. Ryan put his hands up in front of the chemical. His hands were completely covered in it, and his entire body began to glow neon blue. Some of the chemical passed through his body and hit the cloth behind him.
Ryan took a few steps back and then fell, putting his hand out behind him to catch himself on the ground. As soon as his hand touched the concrete floor of the lab a big hole appeared underneath him and he fell through, his body turned into stone and an audible thump was heard when he hit the floor underneath.