August 30th 2011
The sound of teenage emotion filled the halls of the high school, as everyone excitedly crowded around the glass trophy case. Todd pressed his face up to the glass comically as he pretended to be shocked when he read the perfectly inscribed letters on the MVP plaque hanging in the trophy case.
“Ronald Yare and Skyler Ottawa, MVP Football, 2011.” Todd mouthed the words dramatically, as he turned and grinned at his friend who stood beside him. The mass of teenage hormones slowly sifted away from the case and into their classrooms as the bell rang.
Sky stood, tight lipped, nary a sentiment shown on his face. Todd scrunched his face and raised an eyebrow. “Dude, I have no idea why the hell you’re never excited for this stuff. I never win anything. This is like the third time you’ve won this and we’re on the same team.” Todd sighed and slung his backpack over his shoulder. “I’ll see you after school for practice, your dad still giving me a ride?” Sky jerked his head in agreement, eyed absorbed in the cheap wood plaque and small metal ticket with the name.
He could hear Todd walking down the hall, shuffling his feet lazily as he made his headed home before football. Sky’s heart flipped in his chest seeing the two names.
‘There are two names’, he thought, ‘two people tied for MVP.’
Sky was the MVP running the last 3 years. He was first pick for every college football team in the state, and there were scouts at every game. His coach called him Houdini, because he always somehow escaped tackles to score the touchdowns. He was untouchable.
This year there were two names. Sky swallowed hard and took his time walking to his car.
“Yeah that guy always does 110% at everything he does,” Todd was chatting to a bunch of cheerleaders, sitting on the benches waiting for the players to arrive, “he has suffered concussions, broken bones, black eyes, and bruises everywhere practicing.” The girls cooed; Todd used Sky’s stories to get in with the girls. After all, who doesn’t love a quarterback? “One time, Sky tackled a dummy so hard he dislocated his shoulder. He hits like a brick!” Todd leaned back on his hand smiling at the girls until he saw the familiar van pull up. “Coach is here, let’s rumble.” He grabbed his helmet, winked at the girls and ran up to the men coming out of the van.
“Hey coach.” Todd waved as the coach walked straight-faced towards the field. “What was that all about?”
“He’s pissed because I hurt my hand practicing this afternoon.” Skyler said, motioning to his gloved hand.
“How the hell did you do that? I just saw you!” Todd took Sky’s wrist and started to examine it until Sky pulled away.
“It’s fine- just swollen, I closed it in the car door by accident. I’ll still be able to throw; it’s just my left hand.” Sky walked past Todd, leaving him standing in the parking lot. “Let’s go, I don’t want him to be more pissed.” Todd shrugged and ran to catch up.
“Oh dear Sky, what did you do to your hand?” Sky’s mom glanced down at the tensor-wrapped hand which was swollen and purple, as she put the casserole dish on the table, beckoning for her husband and daughter to join the table for dinner.
“He’s a klutz, didn’t wrap his wrist right before training this afternoon. He must have bent it the wrong way.” Sky’s dad looked at him.
“I forgot my wraps at the gym” Sky looked at his plate.
“Oh lord Sky it’s a good thing that wasn’t your right hand, how lucky was that, honestly!”
The family ate in silence until Sky and his sister went to their rooms. Sky’s father helped clear the dishes, grabbed something off the counter and headed for the garage.
“Now where on earth are you going, Paul?” She peaked out from the kitchen door, drying her hands on a dishcloth, dishes submerged in soapy sink water.
“Just have to put something back I grabbed earlier. I’ll be right out to help you with those.”
Paul opened the garage door with his right hand.
In his left hand was a hammer.