“This isn’t happening. This is not happening,” Drew rambled under his breath as he drove his red XTerra aimlessly through the streets of Washingtonville. The sun poured down on the meticulously kept yards and the expensive cars parked in each and every driveway. A couple of middle school kids tossed a football outside their house and laughed. Drew tensed even further, his fingers gripping the steering wheel. Their happiness seemed to mock him. Those kids still had their whole lives ahead of them. There were still endless possibilities open for them. But for Drew, it was over. Just like that. Every last dream, gone.
Over the years he had invested so much time in dreaming of the day that he’d be out from under Trey’s shadow, gearing himself up for his one chance—his chance to show the world what he could do. His chance to get recruited and earn the accolades and be the one in the spotlight. But now it would never happen. All thanks to Samson.
And the worst part about it was his complete and total impotence. The lack of control he had over the most important thing in his life. He couldn’t stop Samson and his buddies from invading his school. He’d been forced to accept it. So he’d done that. He’d sucked it up and competed for a job that was supposed to be his from go. And he’d done his best. He’d left everything he had out on that field for the past few weeks. But it hadn’t been enough. The decision, in the end, was his coach’s decision. Drew was powerless to change it.
He just could not wrap his brain around Coach Davidson’s hypocrisy. All Drew had heard from the man in the last three years was how there was nothing more important to him than Eagles football. But now, in one fell swoop, he’d completely betrayed the entire Eagles team—handing it over to a pack of Corinth Lions. How could the man live with himself? The Corinth guys were ruining everything his team had ever stood for.
“Why did they have to come here?!” Drew said through his clenched teeth as he turned onto his street. “Why can’t they just go back to their sorry-ass town where they belong?”
He pulled up in front of his house, and his heart hit the floor. His father’s car was already in the driveway. Drew’s palms started to sweat. There was no way he was going in there. He couldn’t face his father right now, couldn’t even begin to conceive of how he would tell him this news. He saw something move at one of the kitchen windows and slammed on the gas, his heart pounding. That was going to have to wait. That particular torture could wait all night.
For a long time, Drew just drove without stopping. The moment his cell phone rang, he turned it off and shoved it into his glove compartment.
“Who the hell do these guys think they are?” Drew said to himself. “This was supposed to be my year. My time. They can’t just come in here and take that away from me.”
Right then, a precipitate idea came to mind. Drew knew exactly what he had to do. At the next light, he hooked a quick left and leaned on the gas. Fifteen minutes later, he was driving past the hackneyed, old street sign that read “Welcome to Corinth.”
The sun was just starting to dip below the horizon when Drew pulled into a strip mall parking lot. He left his engine running as he jumped out of the car and grabbed the phone book off the shelf under an old pay phone.