One with nature
I jogged over to Carson after practice the next day. We were both covered in sweat, and out hair was tossed around messily. I breathed heavily.
“You never told me how much running was involved in basketball.”
He laughed. “If I had told you, you probably wouldn’t have joined the team!”
“Well, that’s probably true.”
“Are you staying for the game tomorrow?”
“Yeah. I don’t know if I’ll get off the bench though. I really suck!”
He scoffed. “Do not!”
“Have you seen me play? I look like a three year old trying to play ping pong!”
We both laughed.
Carson said, “You know, I didn’t get off the bench very much my first year.”
I was shocked. “But you’re so good!”
“Well, I guess. But only because I practiced. A lot! If you work hard, I’m sure you’ll get really good.”
“Thanks. Hey, do you want to come over tonight? My parents said it would be fine. You could have dinner with us, then we could shoot some hoops. I could use the practice before the game tomorrow.”
“I’d love to! But I’d better check with my parents first. I’ll let you know after we shower and get changed. Deal?”
After changing, I texted Carson.
“Where ya at?”
He replied quickly.
“Grabbing my books from my locker.”
“What did your parents say?”
He sent me a emoticon thumbs up. I responded with a smiley face. Then I typed, “My mom’s here. Meet me in the parking lot.”
“K” was the response.
By the time we got home, I was starving. I was thrilled to see the pot roast my Mom had put on that morning. Everybody sat down at the dining room table and dug in. It was delicious! I was lucky to have parents that could cook.
After dinner, Mikey went up to his room to do homework, and Kelly, Carson and I went outside. The night atmosphere took my breath away. Millions of stars sparkled against the dark blanket of the sky. We stood, transfixed, gazing up at them, until Kelly switched on the garage light.
“All right, you two. We got lots of practicing to do. Get to work!”
We laughed. “How about a game of HORSE?” asked Carson.
“What? I thought we were playing basketball?” said Kelly, confused.
“We are. HORSE is were the players take turns shooting. If you make a shot, the next person has to shoot from there. If they miss, they get a letter. The first person to spell HORSE with their letters loses.”
“OHHHHHHHHHHHH, that makes so much more sense. Carson, you’re first.”
I lost the first game, and the second game. After that, we just shot around a little. Then Carson said he had to go home and study, so we all said goodbye. My mom offered to drive him home and he accepted. As she walked back inside to grab her keys, Carson pulled me aside.
“Hey, thanks for having me over. It was a lot of fun. We should do this again some time. Maybe at my house?”
“That would be great,” I said. We gazed at each other’s eyes for a moment, then Carson pulled me into a hug. We stood there, wrapped in each other’s arms, feeling each other’s warmth. But he couldn’t stay forever. We had to let go. I stepped back. “See you tomorrow, Carson.”
“Bye,” he said.
My mom walked out and they climbed into the Toyota van. “I’ll be back in just a few minutes, Lilly,” called my mom as the shut the door. I waved till the car was out of sight, then slowly walked inside and shut the door behind me.
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