Reorientation by Colin Kelly

Jason announces to his family that he’s gay. His sisters and his father tell him that it doesn’t make any difference, they love him regardless of whether he’s gay or straight or whatever. But what about his mother? Can she come to accept that her son is gay?

Chapter 28 Basketball Practice      Story Index >>

Jason woke at nine o’clock Thursday morning to Bruno Mars’ Grenade, the same playlist as the day before, but today he woke immediately and got up. He wanted to be up when Steven Graff phoned. Of course, that’s if Steven Graff phoned. He showered and dressed in jeans and a maroon Hillcrest High T.

“Hi, Mom!” he said as he entered the kitchen.

“Morning, Jase. What would you like for breakfast?”

“I don’t know. What’s on the menu?”

Betty laughed. “You’ll find the ‘menu’ at this house is quite limited compared to the menu at a restaurant. We have a small selection of cold cereal, bread and bagels for toast, and eggs and sausage patties if you want something more substantial.”

“May I have scrambled eggs, sausage patties, and sourdough toast?”

“Yes, you may. I’ll get the eggs and sausage started. You can get orange or tomato juice and make the sourdough toast yourself.”

“Thanks, Mom.”

As Jason sat eating his breakfast he asked about the lunch for the Tennis and Pool Get-Together.

“Mom, do you want me to go with you to the store when you get the food for tomorrow?”

“Don’t you have something to do this afternoon?”

“Yeah, Ron and I are going to the basketball practice. It’s at two, so we need to leave by one thirty. I was planning to go to his house early, be there about ten, then we’d work on our English project. His mom’s going to make lunch for us, then we’d go to school to watch the practice for our game against Cathedral on Saturday. But if you want, I could go shopping with you instead of going to Ron’s, then I could go to his house when we get back.”

“I can handle the grocery buying. You go to Ron’s and do your homework then go to the basketball practice.” Betty looked at her son. “You are certainly watching a lot of basketball this week.”

“Even more than that, we’re playing a lot of basketball too. I forgot to tell you about the two-on-two and three-on-three pick-up games we played yesterday.” So for his mom Jason started relaying a summary of the basketball games they played the day before.

“We went to the courts at Hillcrest and planned to play horse. When we got there Greg Derringer and his cousin Adam Lee were there already, so we decided to play two-on-two, them against me and Ron. Later these two girls came over and stood watching us. They asked if they could join us and that way we could play three-on-three, and the first team that scored 50 points would win the game. Greg seemed sort of reluctant, I guess because they were girls. They figured that out and told us they were on the Hillcrest girls’ varsity basketball team. So we agreed, and the taller one, Linda Gayner, played with me and Ron, and the other girl, Bev Martin, played with Greg and Adam.

“So after the game, which,” Jason boasted with a big grin, “my team won 51 to 47, Linda and Bev gave us guys a lot of pointers to improve our game and even practiced with us to show us how to make some moves on offense and on defense. What was so great is when they said the four of us should go out for basketball, even if it’s just intramural. They told us that our ball handling and shooting are good. She said Ron’s three-point shooting is great. He made four out of five three-point shots in our game, even though he’s shorter than both Bev and Greg on the other team which should have given them an advantage on defense.”

“Do I know those two boys, Greg and Adam? Do they go to Hillcrest?”

“Greg goes to Hillcrest and he’s a freshman. Ron and I know him from Lomita, but he’s not in any of my classes this year, and I don’t know whether he’s in any of Ron’s. Adam is Greg’s cousin and is a freshman. His family is visiting from Bellingham, Washington during spring break. He goes to Sehome High School there.”

“Are the two girls who are on the girls’ basketball team in your grade?”

“No, they’re juniors. And they’re cousins, too.”

“What do you do, search out kids who are cousins so you can play basketball with them?” Jason’s mom kidded.

“Nope. It’s never happened before yesterday. If we only played basketball with cousins, I don’t think we’d play basketball very often.” Jason grinned at his little joke.

“Why are you so interested in watching the team practice? You’re going to the game on Saturday, isn’t going to the practice a bit redundant?”

“Not really. But the reason we’re going is there’s going to be tryouts for next year’s basketball team. Some friends are going to try out.”

“Which friends are those?”

“Greg, and maybe Ron, and another guy from school, Todd. I don’t think you know him.”

“Do you think they’ll make the team?”

“Todd is tall for a freshman, six foot three, perfect for basketball and I’ll bet he’ll be a lot taller by the time he’s a sophomore. If he can handle the ball he might even make this year’s team if they have a slot open. Greg is tall too, he’s maybe five eleven or six feet. I told you what Lynn and Bev said about Ron’s three-point shooting. He’s amazing. They said he takes the time to study his shots and that’s unusual because most guys shoot before they are ready. But I have no idea if any of them will make next year’s team. You’ll have to ask me after we get back from the practice this afternoon. Uh, Jen said something about going to the practice with Tom. Do you know if she’s going to go? And by the way, where is Jen?”

“She came down earlier and had breakfast. Right now she’s studying for an Algebra 2 test she has on Monday. Later this morning she’s going to Farah’s and they are going to quiz each other. She said Tom is going to meet her at Farah’s and she and Tom will go to lunch and then to the practice. Jen said that Tom is going to help out his dad.”

“Okay.” Jason returned to his breakfast. He hoped Steve Graff would call before he left to go to Ron’s. He finished eating and put his dishes in the dishwasher.

“Mom, I’m going upstairs to get ready to go to Ron’s.”

“Alright. Be sure you tell me when you’re going to leave.”

“Will do.” As Jason went upstairs he heard his cell ringtone. He looked at the caller ID which read ‘Unknown’ but swiped the screen and answered the call anyway.


“Uh… is this Jason Phillips?”

“Yeah, hi. Is this Steven Graff?”

“Yeah, it is. Um… my dad said to call you. He said you invited me to go to your house tomorrow.”

“Yeah…,” Jason started laughing. “That’s a lot of ‘yeahs’ in a row isn’t it? Anyway, we’re having some friends over to my house to play tennis and go swimming. We’re going to have pizza and wings and a do-it-yourself salad for lunch. There’s going to be eight of us including you, if you can join us.”

“Yeah… oh god, I’m doing the yeah thing too. Anyway, if it’s okay with you I’d like to come to your house and play some tennis and go swimming. Dad gave me your address. What time should I get there?”

“We figured ten o’clock would be good time to get here. Everyone’s bringing a six-pack of whatever soda they like to drink. The only other things you need to bring are your swimsuit and a beach towel, and your tennis racquet. Oh, and flip flops or something like that to wear around the pool and on the grass. If you’re going to play tennis you’ll need tennis shoes too. Anyway, we’ve got everything else for lunch.”

“Do you need me to bring some balls?”

Jason started to laugh, and after a couple seconds so did Steven.

“I don’t believe I said that,” Steven said.

“It was very funny, though,” Jason added. “But to answer your question, you only have to bring two.” He waited for Steven’s response, but he had to wait until the laughter on the other end of the line subsided.

“That I can handle.” Steven giggled.

Jason busted up laughing, then responded, “Are you sure you’re not a stand-up comedian?”

“I’m definitely not a comedian, standing up or sitting down. It’s just that you’re easy to talk to and joke with, Jason.”

“Thanks, you’re also easy to talk to. By the way, my friends call me Jase. So, can you be here at ten?”

“Yes. My mom can drive me. And please call me Steve. My folks call me Steven, but I prefer Steve.”

“Steve it is, then. I can’t think of anything else to tell you about tomorrow. Do you have any questions?”

“Uh… I have kind of a personal question, if that’s okay.”

Jason figured that he knew what Steve meant when he said he had a personal question. Jason heard him take a deep breath.

“My dad told me that you’re gay.”

Jason waited for Steven to say something more, but when he didn’t Jason replied. “Yes, I’m gay. Your dad told me and Ron Cantham, he’s my boyfriend, that you’re gay too.”

“That’s right, I’m gay. I didn’t know that there were any other guys at Hillcrest who are gay. My dad said all the guys who’ll be at your place tomorrow are gay. Is that true?”

“Most of them are gay. The two who aren’t gay know that the rest of us are gay and are fine with it. They go to Alcosta High, Art and Larry Grant. They’re twins.”

“I know them!” Steve exclaimed. “We lived in the Alcosta school district when I went to elementary school. Art and Larry were in the same class as me, and we were friends. That’s really a coincidence. I wonder if we’ll recognize each other.”

“It should be a lot of fun for you and Art and Larry to meet up after not seeing each other for such a long time.”

“Who else will be there?”

“Me and Ron Cantham, of course. The others from Hillcrest are Marcus Benson, Leshawn Cross, and Kevin Cross.”

“I have classes with those other guys. You said they’re all gay? Wow. I’d never have guessed that any of them were gay. Or you and Ron, either. You guys all look so straight.”

“Steve, you look so straight too.”

“You’ve gotta be kidding!”

“No, I’m not kidding. Trust me, I see you in English every day and you don’t look gay at all. And what’s ‘looking gay’ mean anyway? The kind of guy who looks sort of effeminate or who is emo? Those guys could be either gay or straight. The kind of guy who flounces around like they’re in the Gay Pride Parade? Maybe, but I haven’t seen anyone like that at Hillcrest. Guys who look straight? Based on present company you know they could be either gay or straight. That includes you and me and the other guys you’ll meet tomorrow. I think we need to sit down and have a talk with you about what it means to be gay.”

“That sounds okay as long as it’s not like ‘the talk’ my dad had with me. Talk about being embarrassed!”

Jason laughed. “I know exactly what you mean, and it won’t be anything like that.”

“About the talk you want to have with me. When can we do that?”

“How about after our get-together tomorrow? Maybe if my mom says it’s okay, you could stay for dinner and the three of us can get to know each other before we eat, and we can have the talk after.”

“That sounds good to me. I’ll check with my mom and I’m sure it’ll be okay with her. She’ll want to know if it’s okay with your mom. When will you be able to check with her?”

“Hang on, and I’ll ask my mom now.”

“Okay, I’ll do the same,” Steven replied.

Jason set his cell on hold and went downstairs. “Mom, I’m talking to Steve Graff. After our tennis and pool thing is over tomorrow I want me and Ron to meet with him and talk about what it’s like being a gay guy in our high school, and why being a guy who’s gay is mostly like being a guy who’s straight, with some important things that are different. So we have enough time to talk, could Steve and Ron stay over for dinner with us?”

“That’s fine. He’ll need to get his mom’s okay.”

“What are we having for dinner?”

“I planned to have leftovers, but since you’re having guests I’ll look for something when I go to the store today. Is there anything that Steven doesn’t like?”

“Lemme ask. And one thing, he wants to be called Steve.”

Jason got back on the line.

“Steve, it’s okay with my mom.”

“Great! I asked my mom and she said that’s okay for me to have dinner with your family. She’d like to meet your mom when she drives me to your house tomorrow.”

“Is there anything you don’t like to eat?”

“Nah. I like everything. Oh, except liver, I don’t like that. But I like everything else, including vegetables like broccoli and Brussels Sprouts.”

“You won’t have to worry about liver. I don’t like it either, so Mom doesn’t fix it.”

“Okay. I’ll see you tomorrow. Oh, wait! Uh, my swimsuit is a Speedo. Is that okay?”

Jason chuckled. “Yeah, that’s more than okay. And be prepared to be surprised when you get here.”

“I’ll be surprised? About what?”

“No hints. Like I said, it’s a surprise. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“Okay. Bye, Jase.”

“Bye, Steve.”

Jason ended the call and checked the time on his cell, then put it in his pocket. He went upstairs and grabbed his backpack, took out the textbooks he brought home on the last day of school, and put in a lightweight hoodie, jeans, and a long sleeve shirt to wear to the basketball practice. He figured it might be cool in the gym and on the walk home. He added his notebook computer and his paper notes for the English project so he could work on it at Ron’s house, then zipped the backpack closed. He returned to the kitchen.

“Mom, it’s time for me to head over to Ron’s.”

“Alright. When will you be home?”

“I’m not sure. Doug said the practices usually run about two hours, but they’ll be followed by the tryouts and I don’t know how long that’ll take. I’ll call you when tryouts start and when they end.”

“Alright. Have fun. Say hello to Ron’s mom for me.”

“Will do.”


When Jason arrived at Ron’s house he checked the time on his cell. He was a few minutes early; better than being late. He rang the doorbell. After a few minutes Tammy Cantham opened the door.

“Hi, Jason. Go on back to Ron’s bedroom. He’s working on his English project. At least that’s what he should be doing. You might remind him that he needs to finish it so he can turn it in on Monday.” She grinned and Jason grinned as well, and he slipped off his shoes and left them in the entry hall.

“Okay, I’ll make sure he gets to work in case he’s dodging it. By the way, my mom said to say hi to you for her.”

“Thank you, Jason. I’ll say hi to your mom when I see her tomorrow.”

“Okay, thanks Mrs. Cantham.”

“You’re welcome, Jason.”

Jason walked down the hall to Ron’s bedroom. The door was opened so he walked in.


“Hey, Jase.” Ron stood and stretched, then yawned. “I need a break. This English project is turning my brain into something resembling chocolate pudding.”

“Why? It seems straightforward.”

“I’m just not into it today.” Ron yawned again.

“What, you didn’t get enough sleep last night?”

Ron lowered his voice. “After I went to bed I kept thinking about what we did yesterday. I’ll just say that it kept me up for a long time.” Ron grinned and wiggled his eyebrows.

“Like I always say you’re a horndog, Ronald Cantham.”

“And I never deny it do I, Jason Phillips?”

“Nope. There’s no denying what’s obviously true. But that’s one of the reasons I love you. But it’s time to ignore all that and get back to work. I promised your mom that I will, like my granddad says, get your nose back to the grindstone.”

“I still need a break. I need a Coke. The caffeine will help wake me up.”

“Okay, let’s get our Cokes then get back to our English project.”

They went to the kitchen and Ron got three Cokes out of the refrigerator.

“One for you, two for me,” he told Jason.

“How’s it going, boys?” Tammy asked.

“I need a break,” Ron replied. “I didn’t get to sleep until real late, so I’m tired. I think a Coke will help wake me up.”

“What kept you awake?”

“Thinking of things, like those idiots who attacked us when we were at school the other day.”

“Well, don’t worry about them. It’s in the hands of the police, the District Attorney, and our attorneys. Now, don’t you think you should get back to your English project?”

“I guess you’re right about those guys, Mom. Come on, Jase, we better get back to our English project to avoid the wrath of Mom.”

“Ron, you finish your English project and you won’t have to worry about any wrath of Mom. Your lunch will be at twelve thirty. I’ll let you know when it’s ready,” Tammy told them.

“Thanks, Mom.”

“Thanks, Mrs. Cantham,” Jason added as the two boys left the kitchen.

“Smooth, Ron!” Jason said when they returned to Ron’s bedroom.

“Huh? What do you mean?” Ron asked.

“When your mom asked why you couldn’t get to sleep you told her it was because you were thinking of those three guys who attacked us. You told me it was because you kept thinking of what you and I did yesterday morning. You also told me that it was because you kept it up.” Jason grinned and pointed at Ron’s crotch.

“I could have told her that part but then she’d tell your mom and we’d be grounded until we’re twenty-one.”

“Yeah, you’re right. You did tell your mom that you were kept awake thinking about what happened with those three guys. Is that bothering you?”

“No, not at all. I told her that because I had to come up quick with something to tell her, and that’s the first thing I thought of.”

“Okay. If it does start to bother you, please let me know? I’m here to help you, Ron. You’re my boyfriend and that’s what boyfriends do. They help each other especially when there’s something serious bothering one of them.”

“Does it bother you, Jase?”

“No, not at all.” Jason grinned, and so did Ron who lightly punched his bicep. “It really hasn’t bothered me. I haven’t dreamed about it, but I have to admit I usually don’t remember my dreams, so I guess it would be better to say I don’t remember dreaming about it.”

“I guess that if you can’t remember a dream then it’s like not dreaming at all. That kind of dream doesn’t count.”

“Hmm… I don’t know about that. What about a dream that you sort of remember when you start to wake up but then you can’t recall when you’re fully awake? Does that count or not?”

“In my opinion it doesn’t count. Only dreams that you can remember count.”

“How much of a dream do you have to remember?”

“There’s no way to know if the dream was longer than the part you remember. So whatever you remember is enough.”

Jason took a deep breath. “Yeah, I guess that’s true.” He stopped, squinted his eyes, bit his bottom lip, and appeared confused. “What were we talking about?” Then, before Ron could reply, he continued, “Oh, yeah, about whether I can remember having any dreams about the three guys who tried to beat us up. No, I can’t.”

“Okay, we’ve dumped a bunch of our English project time down the crapper and it’s time we get back to our homework or we won’t have it ready to turn in on Monday.”

“You’re right. Let’s get to work.” And they did.


To Jason and Ron it didn’t seem like much time had passed when they heard Tammy Cantham walk in and tell them to come to the kitchen for lunch. In fact, they’d been working on their English projects for almost two hours.

Ron stood up and stretched. “Okay, Mom. We’ll wash up and be there in a few minutes.” Tammy returned to the kitchen.

“Well, Jase, I’m ninety percent finished. Where are you on your project?”

“I’m finished. I’ve started reviewing it from the beginning, and I’ll finish that when I get home tonight.”

“I’ll be able to finish mine tonight too. Let’s get our hands washed and have some lunch.”

“Sounds like a plan!”

After lunch they returned to Ron’s bedroom.

Jason opened his backpack. “The gym gets real cold so I brought some warmer clothes with me. I’m going to change.” He removed them and, without closing the door changed from his shorts and T to his maroon long sleeve shirt and jeans, and tied the sleeves of his yellow hoodie around his shoulders. He finished by putting away his notebook computer and project notes and zipped his backpack closed.

“Okay, I’m ready to go,” he announced to Ron who’d been sitting on his bed watching Jason partially strip and get dressed. “So, are you going the way you’re dressed or are you going to get up off your butt and put on something warmer?”

“Well, I’d planned to go the way I’m currently dressed but I forgot how cold that gym can be. So,” Ron said pulling himself up off his bed, “I’ll change.” He stripped off his T and shorts, then pulled a pair of jeans and a maroon long sleeve shirt from his closet, and put them on. Jason stood and watched this little show, grinning.

“We look like twins, since we’re dressed the same,” Jason said.

“You and I sure don’t look like twins, though. You have dark brown hair and I have red hair, you’re taller than me, I’m bigger than you.”

“Still, dressed like this we at least look like brothers. Say, can I leave my backpack here?” Jason asked.

“Sure, no need to ask. You can pick it up on your way home from the gym.”

“Well, that’s about it. You ready to go?”

“Sure, let’s do it!”

On their way to Hillcrest High School Ron noticed that Jason didn’t say much, and he wondered why.

“You’re awfully quiet, Jase. Is there something wrong?”

Jason looked at his boyfriend. “Let’s stop for a minute.” He saw a bus bench up ahead. “We can sit there. I have something to ask you.” He saw that Ron started to look worried. “It’s a good thing, I think.”

They sat down, and Jason reached across and held Ron’s shoulder.

“I’ve been thinking about something and I want to tell you about it. You remember when we played basketball with the two girls, and after they gave us a lot of great tips. Bev said you are a great three-point shooter and you should try out for the team. We’re going to be there this afternoon and they’re going to have tryouts after the practice is over. Linda and Bev are going to be there, and I know they’re going to bug you about trying out. I think you should…”

Ron interrupted. “I’d never make the team. I’m too short. Fugget it.”

“As I was saying, I think you should try out because you’re three-point shooting, even with Linda and Greg, who are a lot taller than you, guarding you, you still made eighty percent of your three-point shots, four out of five. Maybe you’re short now, like me, but we’re only fourteen and we’re going to have a growth spurt in the next couple years. They’d probably put you on the freshmen or JV team next year, and by then you’ll have grown a few inches.” Jason grinned and wiggled his eyebrows, “In more than one part of your body, too!”

Ron laughed, then poked Jason in his chest.

“Now who’s the horndog?”

“Me,” Jason replied with a grin, “because I’ll be growing in the same places, too. I hope. Anyway, you know that Linda and Bev are going to give you a hard time if you’re not in the tryouts.”

“Okay, what about you trying out too?”

“I’m the pits at basketball. Give me a racquet and I’m at home on the tennis court. You, on the other hand Mr. Cantham, are at home on the basketball court. So, you are going to try out?”

“Yes, yes, alright! I won’t make the team, any of the teams, but I like to play basketball so I will enter the tryouts.”

“Then let’s get going so you can sign up for the tryouts and we can get a good seat and look for Linda and Bev so they can sit with us.”

When they got to the Hillcrest High gym there were a couple dozen people in the stands. One of the coaches, Mr. DeSino, sat the official’s table with a clipboard.

“I’m going to see if Mr. DeSino is checking guys in for the tryouts,” Ron said. “I’ll find you wherever you’re sitting when I’m finished.”

“Okay, see you in a few.”

Jason didn’t see anyone he knew in the stands, but some of the guys on the basketball team that he knew were standing around on the court. He saw Doug Lin, and his brother was talking with him and some of the other team members. Jason joined them.

“Hey,” he said to Doug and Darryl. “You ready for today’s practice?”

“Hi, Jase. Yes, I’m ready. I’m eager to get the session underway so I can get warmed up. It’s feakin’ cold in the locker room and not much better in here.”

“You want to borrow my hoodie?”

“Uh… actually, yeah. If you don’t mind.”

“Doug, Jase offered it to you so why would he mind?” Darryl told his brother.

Jason grinned and handed his hoodie to Doug. “Siblings are all alike, I think. I have two, and they’re girls, and Darryl sounds like he could fit right into my family.”

“Oh, my god, this is the first offer I’ve ever heard anyone make for him.” Doug grabbed Darryl’s arm and pushed him into Jason. “Here, take him, he’s yours.”

Darryl stood in front of Jason and grabbed his shoulders. “Take me, pleeeez! I’ll be your slave and do all the stuff you’d normally do, like taking the trash cans out to the curb on Thursday night.” He started shaking Jason and continued, “Please, please, rescue me from Douglas the Horrible!”

“Darryl, you’ll have to talk to my mother. She’s our personnel manager, and conducts all of the interviews for slave boys.”

Darryl and Doug both laughed.

“Slave boys, ‘eh?” Doug asked. “You know, I think we should have one slave boy position at our house.”

“I guess I’ll just have to run away, again,” Darryl said. “It’s so sad, they never come looking for me!”

“It’s so sad, he always comes back, and usually the same day, just before dinner,” Doug said.

“Hey, there’s Mike,” Doug said. He waved his hand. “Hey, Mike, come on down!”

Mike Nakamura joined them and the talk turned to basketball and the game with Cathedral Saturday. Jason saw Linda and Bev walk into the gym. He waved and they joined the group.

Tom Lessing, one of the juniors on the team, grinned when he saw the two girls and walked over.

“Hi, Bev. Hi, Linda. You looking to workout with the boys’ team this afternoon?”

“If you need us, we’re here to help out,” Bev responded.

“Hey, Bev, could you play on the boys’ team if they needed you?” Darryl asked.

“I can answer that question.” Coach Larsen walked up and joined our group. “In our league the answer is ‘yes’ with some constraints. While we don’t need you at this time, Bev, I have no problem including one or more girls on our team. Now, however, I need these members of the boys’ team to get to work. I’d appreciate it if the rest of you have a seat and enjoy the show. Remember, we’re having tryouts immediately following our practice. Anyone interested in trying out with a possibility of playing on the JV or varsity Hillcrest basketball team next spring is welcome. If you don’t make a team, we have a great intramural program that you’ll find is a lot of fun. Just go to the table in the front of the bleachers and sign up for today’s tryout.”

Jason got his hoodie back from Doug before the practice started, and the group took their seats to watch. Jason found it wasn’t as boring as he thought it would be. It looked like a combination of an actual basketball game with special emphasis for each of the team members. Some practiced free throws others shooting from beyond the three-point line, and eventually they all worked on defense and offense which is where it looked more like an actual game.


When the practice finished the tryouts started. Basketball team members worked with the twenty-seven guys who’d signed up, including Ron, Greg, Todd, and to his surprise, Doug Lin’s brother Darryl. Jason decided that Darryl wanted to let the coaches know him so he’d have a better opportunity to get on the JV basketball team when he graduated middle school and went to Hillcrest next year. Coach Larsen and Coach DiSeno went around and took notes and talked with each of the guys. They demonstrated dribbling, passing, and shooting. There were nine guys who looked especially good to Jason, and that group included Ron, Todd, and Greg.

When the tryouts were over there were twenty-one guys left. Six had either decided, or were told, they wouldn’t make it. Coach Larsen told those who were left that he and Coach DiSeno would review their notes and talk with the team members who helped out and would personally contact each of them by phone.

Jason waited for Ron to get dressed. He’d brought his basketball shorts and shirt with him, and Jason realized that he’d planned on trying out all along.

“Great shooting, Ron!” Jason exclaimed as Ron walked up. “You made seventeen three-point baskets out of twenty tries. I could see that Coach Larsen was impressed. I think you and Todd are the two best guys out there, with Greg and that seven-foot hulk close behind. Who is that big guy, anyway?”

“His name is Porter Nash. He just transferred here from Coronado Christian in Southern Cal. He’s a sophomore and was a starter on their team. He looks like he’s seven feet tall, but he’s six foot seven inches and he weighs two hundred and five pounds. And he’s only fifteen years old!”

“I saw Coach Larsen talking to him during the tryouts. I’ll bet he’s going to see if he can be eligible to be on our team for the rest of the season. Can you imagine how great we’ll be with a guy that big and tall who’s coordinated and smooth on the court? The only thing I saw is he can’t shoot free throws any better than I can, and that’s bad.”

“We’d better get going,” Ron said. “It’s after six and I’ve gotta get home. I have a major case of the hungries.”

“Oh, shit, I told my mom that I’d phone her when the tryouts started and I forgot. Lemme give her a call now.”

Jason called home.

“Hi, Mom. Sorry I forgot to call. The practice and the tryouts sort of merged together and I was watching Ron and a few of the other guys.”

“That’s okay, Jase. Dinner will be at six thirty. And after I want to get a head start on the do-it-yourself salad by cutting up things that will hold up in the refrigerator overnight. I’ll want your help on that.”

“Sure. Ron and I are on our way now. I should be home in twenty minutes or so.”

“Carter Allen called your dad this evening. We have some very important and interesting news about those three guys who attacked you. We’ll fill you in at dinner.”

They said their goodbyes and Jason put his cell in his pocket.

“My mom said our lawyer called with some news about the three guys who attacked us. Mom said it’s important and interesting. They’re going to tell me about it at dinner. I’d guess that your folks were told by their lawyer too. Let’s talk after dinner and compare notes, okay?”

“Yeah. I wonder what they found out?”

“Probably that they claim they weren’t there or something just as stupid.”

They chuckled about that, then talked about the tryouts and tomorrow’s tennis and swimming get-together and lunch, and their matchmaking attempt to get Marcus and Leshawn together, and helping Steve Graff accept that he’s gay as they headed home.


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