Ryan made his way through the crowded hall to the place where Kari had a locker on campus. He couldn’t believe he was going to be the one to break down first. He thought for sure that Kari wouldn’t be able to resist his good looks, but he knew that Kari was the girl he wanted, and he had to make his move before some other guy got her attention. He knew that Kari wouldn’t like to have the kind of fun that Becky liked to have with him, and he was going to miss that. Did he dare try to keep up a relationship with Becky on the side? He sighed and shook his head. Life was complicated enough without trying to have two girlfriends at the same time.
Ryan forced his way between two guys walking the opposite way as him, and he saw her. There she was, her beautiful brown hair cascading down her shoulders and onto her back, and when she turned and flashed her beautiful smile at Ryan, his heart beat faster in his chest. Yeah, this was definitely the girl for him. “I haven’t seen you around much lately, Ryan.”
Ryan smiled back. “I’ve been a little busy. I hope you aren’t too busy this week, because I’m finally going to be taking you out on a date.”
Kari looked confused at Ryan and shook her head. “You know that I’ll only go out with you if you agree to go to a bible study with me. Wait, does this mean you’ll go to a bible study with me?”
Ryan nodded his head. “Yes, I’m willing to give one of your bible studies a try because I like you that much. When do you want to go out?”
Kari jumped up and down excitedly while clapping her hands. “I’ve been waiting for this for so long!” Kari noticed that she was drawing the attention of everyone in the hall, and stopped bouncing. “My bible study is on Tuesdays, so our date wouldn’t be until after the study, unless you wanted to do study prep with me on Monday night?”
Ryan frowned. “Study prep wouldn’t count as our date, would it?”
Kari smiled, “No, I wouldn’t do that to you. I’ll make you take me out for dinner instead.” Kari’s forehead furrowed as her smile turned into a frown. “I thought that you and Becky were dating though?”
Ryan sighed and ran his hand through his hair. “Things haven’t been going very well between Becky and I lately. I’m going to be breaking up with her very soon, I just need to find the right time to do it, so you don’t have to worry about that. Besides, I’ll have a new girlfriend soon.”
Kari hesitantly said, “I don’t think I’m ready to be your girlfriend yet.”
Ryan flinched as if she had slapped him in the face. “What? But you said that if I went to one of your bible studies with you, you would be my girlfriend. I thought Christians weren’t supposed to lie?”
Kari shook her head. “I said that I would go out on a date with you if you went to a bible study with me, but I never said that it would be as your girlfriend. I will only date Christians, so if you want to be my boyfriend, you will have to become a Christian first.”
Ryan shook his head. “I don’t believe it, I finally break down and agree to your silly conditions, and you go ahead and move the goal posts on me? This isn’t fair!”
“I’m sorry if it seems as if I tricked you, Ryan. Do you still want to go to the bible study with me?”
Ryan crossed his arms and sighed. “Yes, I will still give this bible study thing a try. For you. How long do they usually last?”
Kari smiled, “The study itself usually only lasts about half an hour, but the group usually hangs out for while before and after. It normally doesn’t go much longer than two hours. Don’t worry, there’ll be snacks there too.”
Ryan groaned. “Two hours? I suppose if there are going to be snacks there, I will survive. These other people that you meet with, they aren’t going to try laying their hands on me or force me to join a cult, are they?”
Kari smacked Ryan in the chest. “That’s not what Christianity is, Ryan. We’ll only lay on hands and pray for you if you want us to. It’s just a group of normal people getting together to discuss the teachings of Jesus. You don’t have anything to worry about.” Kari’s phone started to beep and she started to panic. “I’ve got to go, my next class starts in ten minutes.”
Kari started to hurry away, and Ryan called after her, “Hey, where should I meet you on Monday to prep for this bible study?”
Kari turned around, and scribbled something onto a piece of paper as she hurried back over to Ryan. She tore the piece of paper she had been scribbling on out of her notebook and handed it to Ryan. “Text me later and we can talk about it. I really need to get going now.” Ryan smiled and watched Kari hurry back into the crowd.
An tall, thin, bald man wearing a blue polo with a whistle hanging around his neck stepped up next to Ryan and watched Kari’s retreating form. “Enjoying the scenery, Ryan?”
Ryan jumped in surprise and looked at the man standing next to him. “Coach? I haven’t seen you in a while.”
The coach smiled. ‘Yes, it has been some time, but from what I hear we’ll be seeing a lot of you once more.”
Ryan looked at the coach in surprise. “Why do you say that?”
“Your parents gave me the good news! I want you to know that we understand that girls can distract us sometimes, but we are ready let you take your starter position back, though you may have to put a few extra hours of practice in to make up for lost time.”
Ryan sighed. “Did my parents tell you that I was going to be joining the team again?”
The coach nodded his head. “They sure did, and we were all very excited to hear the news. The team hasn’t quite been the same since you left it, and we have our conference championship game coming up, so we need you back more than ever.”
Ryan looked away. “I haven’t decided if I want to rejoin the team yet or not to be honest. I’m going through a lot of stuff right now, and I need to get that all sorted out before I can decide what’s best for me.”
The football coach frowned. “You do realize that if you don’t come back to the team, you’ll be throwing your whole life away, don’t you? I had a scout for the Botay Boars come up to me at the last game and ask about you. Do you understand what that means? You could be drafted to a professional team by the end of this season! Be smart about this, Ryan.”
Ryan’s gasped. “A pro scout came around looking for me?”
The coach smiled. “Yes, and I heard he’ll be coming to our next game as well. This is your chance to make something of yourself, to become a legend!”
Ryan smiled, and he saw his whole future ahead of him. With his abilities there wouldn’t be anyone in the league that could compete with him, and if he was injured in any of the games, he’d be able to be back on his feet and ready to go by the next week! He could become the greatest football player to ever play in the professional leagues! His smile turned into a frown. If he lived that life, he wouldn’t have time to protect this city. This crime surge was happening in response to him standing up to the gangs in the city. If he quit, a lot of people would get hurt.
The coach looked expectantly at Ryan, and when he didn’t answer he clapped him on the back. “Think about it, son. You’re a smart kid, I know you’ll make the right choice. I’ll be in my office if you need me.” The coach turned and made his way back down the hallway.
Ryan sighed and shook his head. Everything was getting so complicated! Did he stick with the life of a superhero, full of danger and lies, or did he go down the path of a star and become loved by everyone? He pounded his fist into the lockers he was standing next to and grunted. He needed to just go find someplace he could be alone for a little while and sort through everything.
He started down the hallway to do just that when a feminine voice called after him, “Ryan? Would you mind stepping into my office for a moment?”
Ryan groaned. Adding more onto his list of complications was the last thing that he needed right now! He turned around and smiled at Mrs. Camdon, the school’s guidance counselor. “Of course, Mrs. Camdon.” Ryan followed her into her office.
Once he was inside she closed the door and indicated the chair in front of her desk. “Please, have a seat.”
Ryan sat down in the chair and she sat down across from him. “What can I do for you?”
Mrs. Camdon smiled and shook her head. “That’s not how this works, Ryan. I’m here for you. I’ve heard that you have recently quit the football team, and I just wanted to know if everything is okay.”
Ryan nodded his head. “Everything is just fine, Mrs. Camdon. I just have a lot of people wanting me to do a lot of different things, and I’m just trying to figure out the best thing for me.”
Mrs. Camdon nodded her head. “This is a very difficult point in a person’s life, one where the decisions you make now could end up affecting the rest of your life. Do you want to talk through these things that are being expected of you?”
Ryan shook his head. “This is something I need to figure out for myself, but I appreciate the offer.”
Mrs. Camdon looked at Ryan with concern. “Are you sure, Ryan? You did leave a pretty nice dent in those lockers just now. That sure looked like the reaction of someone that needs to talk through their problems.”
Ryan shook his head and got up out of the chair. “These are more personal problems, and I’m not comfortable discussing them with anyone. Did you need anything else?”
Mrs. Camdon sighed. “No, you are free to go. Just remember that if you ever need to talk to anyone, my office is always open between the hours of eight and five.”
Ryan nodded his head. “I’ll keep that in mind, thanks.” Ryan turned and walked out of her office.
Thank you for checking out my story, if you liked this and want to see more of it, come back on Wednesday when I will publish part two, and check out the other stories I’m working on writing, here: Tales of the Imagination, check out my facebook page to connect with me and give me some feedback: Facebook, and follow me on Twitter here: @EJBorchardt. Please like, comment, and tell your friends if you like what you’ve read.