Chapter Four: The New Team

Chapter Four: The New Team

A Chapter by Lonnie Paul Johnson

Vivian is trying to adjust to the challenges of campus life


Sunlight breaking through the darkness, revealing timeworn structures of the school in its morning glory.  In the center of the complex St. Mary cathedral stands tall its slender bell tower guards over the campus.  The sun raised from the horizon as the bells begin to chime.  It’s a school tradition ringing the bells on the first day of classes. The rich, deep sound fills the morning air with its song.  A few nuns dress in their habits exit the old church to stand in front of the tower to feel the bells vibration sound as they prayed. 


Vivian slowly opens an eye as her ears pick up the muffled sound of the church bells ringing.  She stretches out from her cradle position in her bed, still clinging to her cell phone from the evening before.    She flexes her limbs in one direction to another, swing her arms sitting up in an effort to completely wake herself.  Brushing her hair with her hand, yarning wanting to keep sleeping, but she knows to get up.  Glancing at her phone wondering why the alarm did not sound off, realizing that she forgot to set it.  Placing her feet on the floor, she peek over to Pat bed, she not there, assuming she is in the bathroom.  For Vivian this a good excuse lay back down to get a couple more winks of sleep till Pat vacate the bathroom. 


“Hey sleepy, you are up!”  Spoke Pat strolling to her bed, Vivian nodded, standing to her feet stretching her arms up trying to touch the ceiling.  “Did you know you talked in your sleep?”


“What!”  Vivian is surprised.


“Yeah, I heard you earlier this morning, so who Zac-ka-ry?


Vivian shrugs her shoulders with a surprising grin on her face shock that she is talking in her sleep, “He was my first boyfriend.”


Pat spins with girlish excitement, eyes wide mouth open, “Ohhh, I know your current boyfriend is Jack, but you are dreaming of Zack, that is juicy, tell me more.”


“There nothing to tell,” Vivian sigh, “He was my boyfriend for only two weeks, I don’t know why I dreamed about him.  The breakup wasn’t good, I regret that.”


“So you still have feeling for him, huh.”


“No!  We are just friends,” Vivian turned step inside the bathroom shutting the door glancing at her reflection. “Me and Zack are only friends.” she spoke out loud.




The start of the first day school is exciting hundreds of mostly women scramble between buildings in an effort to make their classes on time.  Returning students are calm walking full of assurance and confidence to their destination, younger and newer students are lost and unsure to which classes to what building they are going into, but teams of staffer are eager to guide them. 


Inside the classroom teachers and professors summarize to all the students of extra material they will need to complete the semester.  The campus bookstore is overrun by crowds of students eager to pick up books, software and other materials for their classes.  Vivian fine it overwhelming on her first day, learning what’s expected from each class and the abundance of reading and homework. 


That afternoon she made it to basketball practice located in campus Arena, viewing the basketball court surrounded by thousands of empty seats.  Hearing multiple basketballs bouncing on the hardwood, hitting the backboards and swishing into nets, Vivian felt at home. 


She spots a group huddle together viewing the practice from the edge of the court.  She figures this group is the freshman recruits, like herself.  Strolling over she recognizes a few girls that she played against, one individual recognize she strolled over.  She is tall and wide, staring at her.


“I know you,” she said with her husky southern accented.  Vivian did not know where she has seen her before, then in an instant she figured out she is big Jess the center that played her so tough from New Hope Christian Academy. 


“I know you too,” said Vivian with caution.


Jess smiled, showing her golden tooth, “I am glad we are on the same team,” she lightly slaps Vivian shoulder almost knocking her to the floor.  Jess did not realize her strength quickly caught Vivian they both giggle.  Then a coaching whistles loud ring fill the arena, everyone heard turned to see, a tall middle age man is blowing and waving everyone over to him. 


“Ok gather around, for the ones who don’t know me, I am assistant head coach Josiah Thompson,” as he is talking, he scan the young faces until his eyes fell on Vivian.  He stared a few moments, then continues to view everyone, but he kept spotting Vivian as he talked.  Vivian did not realize Coach Thompson was staring at her, but the other women on the floor notices it.  “Everyone will need to go into the locker room to sign forms and check out your uniforms.  When that’s all done make your way to the conference room.”


All the ladies left the floor entering into the locker room where staff members had each student sign off release forms, code of conduct and many other papers.  Picking up their uniforms and trying them on making sure they fit right, an hour later the young athletes enter into the conference room where the head coach Mrs. Bobbi Cook, a gray hair average height woman greets every player.  She explains school history of the basketball program, how the last twenty years, it had ownership of last place in the conference and last year it finish ninth place just missing the conference tournament by one game.  “This season I believe we can make the tournament for the first time in school history…”  She spoke confidently.


Vivian is trill and hopeful she picks the right school to attend and be part of making history, a couple of months away from the first game there is plenty of time to practice.  She is encouraged by all of her teammate’s attitudes they all are eager to practice hard, she made friends quickly. 

Some of her colleagues could not help noticing the interaction between Coach Thompson and Vivian.  They can see him giving extra vocal encouragement to Vivian, he would hand her bottled water while the rest have to go to the cooler for theirs, giving more pats on the back more than others and staring at her on and off the court.  As for Vivian she is clueless of the controversy that is brewing in the minds of her teammates.   




The small group entered into the diner across the street from the campus getting there double scoop ice cream top with all types of toppings.  They all sat at the same table having a conversation about everything, school, friends and boys.  Vivian is fully engaged feeling she belongs relating and having the same concerns with the rest of the team.   Joy a redheaded power forward eating and picking at her ice cream is silently viewing Vivian with the scrutiny, “Vivian, what up with you and Coach Thompson?”


With the spoon in her mouth Vivian is startled by the question, “What is what with, who?” answered Vivian making sure she heard it right.


“Yes, why are you getting extra major kudos from coach?”


Vivian laughs at the idea that she is getting special treatment from the coach, “I don’t know what you are talking about,” as she continues to laugh scanning the table for support, but all the others had the same question mark on their faces.  She kept posing with great effort to keep a smile on her face feeling the atmosphere in the room change.  No longer is there a happy light hearted conversation, now the spotlight is on her as everyone unloaded their opinion.  For Vivian the innocent jesters of encouragement that she thought everyone was receiving from coach have twisted into seductive signals of a secret disgraceful affair. 


The verbal daggers jabbing came with grinning faces and jovial voice tones, Vivian is feeling her stomach turning with anger as rage filling her mind.  She wants to pummel Joy in the face a few times and pimp slap everyone else while she storm out of the restaurant, but she knew she cannot do that or it would seem like she is guilty as charged.  ‘No!’  She must take this friendly fire by her teammates; grinning with gritted teeth.  Playing off every charge thrown at her, “Awl, come on guys you are exaggerating; that not true, that a bit too much.”


“Hey!  It’s getting late, I know we all have homework or some studying that we need to get too,” Spoke up Big Jess wanting the attacks to stop so Vivian can leave and save face in front of everyone.  Jess leans over to Vivian ear, “are you OK?”  She asks in a hush tone, Vivian only nodded responding to the question.  She left the diner immediately without saying goodbye, Jess watches her leave turn her attention to Joy frowning.  Joy noticing Jess stares just look away with her nose up in the air smirking.




Vivian sat at her desk in her dorm room, head down staring at the floor, her mind mulling over what was said and how disgusted she feel wanting to cry, ‘I will not let those witches make me cry,’ she thought to herself.  Pat sitting on her bed, glancing over to her roommate knowing something is not right.


“Hey, are you O-K?


Lifting up her head spotting Pat large warm eyes with the concern of a mother, but she did not want to talk about it, just sit alone in her own thoughts to sulk, she put on a grin.  “I’m fine,” tears stream down her cheeks, Pat sees those tears, threw the book aside and leap to her feet grabbing a chair placing next to Vivian.


“No it’s not fine, tell mommy all about it,” Pat reaches over touching Vivian shoulder, which trigger her emotion to overflow, slapping her head with her hand in utter disappointment and self-impose shame.


“Dang (sniff), dang I’m crying like a girl (sniff),” laments Vivian wiping tears and shakes her head.


“Vivian, you are a girl, it’s good to cry about things that upset you sometimes.  So did something happen in class?”  Vivian shaking her head no, “did your boyfriend did something stupid or are you homesick?”


“No, it some of my teammate’s,” responded Vivian


“Ok what did those muscles bound divas do this time?”


“They accuse me of have some kind of crude nasty affair with Coach Thompson (sniff), that’s horrible for them to think I would have anything to do with an old man.”


“Well he doesn’t look that old.”


“He is in his forty’s or something.”


“Oh that really old, but why would they say that?”


Vivian sigh, “Well those heifers said they notice he was staring at me a little too long and given me way too many compliments and other petty stuff that amount to nothing (sniff).  He doing what coaches does.”


“Maybe they have a point,” said Pat squeezing Vivian hand, she stops crying looking at Pat a little put off, “Now not saying you did anything wrong, but maybe Coach Thompson might be attractive to you for some reason.”


“No that cannot not be, I’m not that pretty.”


“Hey stop that!  Putting yourself down, you are beautiful, but I think maybe you remind the Coach of someone he knew and he doesn’t know what he doing.  I think is actions are totally innocent, so you should talk to him about this.”


Vivian shakes her head no vigorously, “No I’m not going to be embarrassed when he denies what he doing that would be too awkward.”  


Vivian did not confront Coach Thompson about this issue, she wanted it to blow over so she can enjoy basketball practice again.   She planned to avoid one on one contact with the coach as much as possible.   She tried not be animated on the floor, keeping the yelling and screaming to a minimum trying not to be noticed.   Keeping herself away from the line of sight with Coach hoping to defuse the situation with her teammates.   

© 2014 Lonnie Paul Johnson

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Added on September 2, 2014
Last Updated on September 2, 2014
Tags: romance, christian


Lonnie Paul Johnson
Lonnie Paul Johnson

fort Worth, TX

I loved writing stories, when I was young I wrote very simple and crude stories base off of TV shows and movies I seen at the time. An event happen when during that time I believe influence my writin.. more..