Jamie woke up to someone pouncing on top of his sleeping form. He rolled over, and pulled his legs up to his chest. He heard someone jump again, and opened one eye in time to see his little brother come down on his left side.
He jumped again, landing on his left leg.
“You little – !”
The sounds of running feet echoed the scream, and the seven year old tore down the stairs, screeching to a halt in front of his mother.
“What’s the matter, baby?”
“I didn’t do nothing, he just yelled, and..”
“I did not!” Came Jamie’s cry from upstairs. “Tell the truth, you little brat.”
He slammed his bedroom door shut, and limped over to his bed. Wincing, he reached down, and pulled up a box that was hidden beneath the box spring. His nimble fingers worked quickly, untying the string that held the lid to the base.
His head jerked up quickly at the sound of his name being called, and he moved swiftly towards the door. Reaching out, he twisted the lock until it caught, ensuring him privacy until he was ready to face his mother.
Sitting down again, the pain in his leg pulsating even more from his sudden movement, he picked the box up again. Lifting its lid off, he shuffled through the randomness that had accumulated inside until he found what he was looking for.
His fingertips grazed something smooth, hard, and plastic. He picked up the bottle, and stared at it. He unscrewed the cap, and shook two tablets into the palm of his hand. He hadn’t taken these pills in a long time.
Absentmindedly rubbing his knee, he brought his hand to his mouth and swallowed. Ignoring the pounding on his door, he lay down, allowing himself to fall asleep again.
“I’m talking to you!”
Jamie continued walking, banging his way out of the locker room. He made a beeline for the parking lot, and almost made it to the other side of the street when he felt a hand on his shoulder.
“I’m talking to you. Where the hell do you get off walking away from me like that? I’m your coach, damn it.”
Shrugging him off, “Leave me alone!”
“You show at practice completely out of it, how else am I supposed to talk to you?”
Jamie turned to face Coach O’dell, his eyes flashing.
“You’re certainly were acting like it.”
“I don’t care if don’t you believe me.”
“You haven’t given me a reason to believe otherwise.”
Jamie shook his head, turned to face the street, and continued his way home.