"Let The Drummer Kick"
As Citizen Cope gracefully soothed her mind, she stood companionless in the middle of the empty community college gymnasium right in the middle of the faint halfway line of the basketball court, looking pleasant and light-hearted on the outside, but feeling nervous and disgruntled on the inside.
With the ball trapped just between the fat on her bicep and ribcage, she looked up at the horribly painted red and white walls and read the different banners and pennants from previous years and even before her time that hung there decorating the walls. There were plenty for her to go through.
A quick indrawn breath escaped her lips.
"I hate transferring.." she mumbled under her breath.
Because her music was so loud, she wasn't able to hear the sound of a whistle being blown from the coaches lips as he trudged in front of his team of varsity senior boys. As the screeching sound came to an end it was replaced by the squeak of twelve different pairs of sneakers pacing against the freshly waxed wood floors of the gymnasium.
In single file they ran behind one another. The vibration coming from the floors underneath her feet is what snapped at her attention. She turned to her left and in time she caught sight of the team running laps around her. She met eyes with their feet until she met with the last pair and brought her eyes up to the face of the owner.
Josiah jogged at a good pace behind his team making sure no one fell behind and everyone stayed in line, but every few seconds his attention was pulled over to the girl standing in the middle of the court. His eyes didn't want to stay on her for long, but something wouldn't let him pull away. Her presence was like a gravitational pull. He couldn't see her face for a while until he came around the front end of the court to catch her staring at the ground by his feet, he wanted a better look though, so he kept his eyes locked on her face for as long as he could and as if she felt his burning stare, she finally looked up from his traveling shoes, to his eyes.
They were locked on one another.
She wasn't sure why she felt the need to stare, her mother had taught her better than that.
A tap on her shoulder had her snap out of her mind and around to face the person whom the finger belonged to. The coach stared down at her with questioning eyes, causing her to squint in confusion before she removed a bud from her ear.
"I said I'm sorry, this is a closed practice. No spectators miss..." Asked the well built man in all Adidas wear.
"J-Jade..Vice." She stuttered, nerves getting the upper hand.
"Ahh, from the Wakelin Community College Hornets varsity team, right?" Asked the coach. Jade nodded shortly before letting her eyes dart over to the jogging team, coincidently landing on Josiah's once again.
"I heard through the grapevine that you'd be joining us soon. I'm Coach Mack. It's nice to meet you." Said the coach holding out his hand for her to shake.
She tore her eyes away once she saw that he was looking right back at her. She wondered if he were staring at her, or the conversation between her and his coach. Looking out in front of her she joined hands with Coach Mack and smiled small.
"Nice to meet you too, Coach." She replied softly.
"You trying out tomorrow afternoon? My girls varsity could really use a good point guard. Emphasis on the "good" part." He asked with a brow raised. Jade smirked dryly. She wasn't so sure she wanted to go through the whole process of joining a team again. She had been snatched right out of her comfort zone and dropped into a brand new life that she knew nothing about.
"I'm not sure I want to this time around..too much I gotta do right now with classes and catching up and what not..I don't know.." She answered with a simple shrug of her shoulders.
"Give it some thought, and if you decide it's what you want..then I'll see you here tomorrow at 2:30pm sharp." He rested a comforting hand on her shoulder, patting it gently. Jade offered him a smiled and nodded.
"Transition's always tough but, you're gonna like it here..and I'd love to have you on our team Miss. Vice." He encouraged. Jade, feeling very conflicted at the moment, only smirked at his words.
"Thanks Coach.." She spoke lowly, almost instantly falling into a depression over the matter. She'd have a new coach, a new team even. Building relationships with people was never her strong point.
Josiah had managed to perfect the art of not seeming like a creep in the time he'd been running laps with his team. His teammate for a year, Ryder, spun around on his heels and began jogging backwards, grabbing Josiah's attention.
"Ey dawg, who's that talkin' with coach? I ain't never seen him so nice, even with girls." He asked eyeing the two bodies in the middle of the court as his face twisted up in confusion. Josiah only shook his head and looked back over to her, thinking that since Ryder was doing it, there was no way he'd look weird doing it as well. He couldn't see her face anymore, only her back and the outline of her small frame. She was tall, but not freakishly tall in his opinion. He judged by the ball tucked underneath her arm that she was a baller, which immediately caught his attention when he first laid eyes on her.
"I don't even know man. Look like she a baller though." He breathed trying to pace himself and speak to his friend, who shrugged and returned to his jog, spinning on his feet to face the front once again.
Jade locked eyes with him for what must had been the fourth time now. She couldn't deny that from where he was he looked absolutely gorgeous. His glistening caramel complexion and tattoos really did wonders for him. His toned legs and defined biceps really had her taking second looks. He had almost all of her attention.
"Give it some thought..you still gotta go though. It's still a closed practice." Smiled Coach Mack. Jade pulled her eyes off of the boy and focused on the man, delivering a light hearted chuckle and a nod.
"See you around Coach." She paid one last look at the team and then the last runner, catching his eyes yet again before she turned on the heels of her shoes and trailed out of the gym at a smooth pace.
From what she could gather the coach was a cool and down to earth man. He was young, and vibrant with every word he spoke. She liked that.
Josiah watched as she retreated out of the gym. Her long flowing dark hair sweeping her cheeks as she moved with a calm he hadn't seen anyone walk with in a while. He wondered what her story was, knowing by the way she looked at him, that she has one.
"Ey Coach can we stop man?!" Yelled a tired Ryder. The coach laughed and blew on his whistle, signaling for them to stop and meet in the middle of the court to do some stretching.
"Ey Coach who was that fine piece of tail you was talkin' to?" Asked another of Josiah's of teammates and friend, Dev. Coach Mack threw him a look.
"A piece of tail you will never get to Devon, so hush." He told him. The gym was then filled with laughter. Josiah had to laugh himself.
"I see you Coach.." Muttered Dev with a sour look.
"Nah but for real though Coach..who she be?" asked Josiah with curiosity written in the creases of his forehead. Coach Mack looked over at the captain of the senior varsity team and smirked.
"I'm surprised you don't already know." He said. The boys all looked at one another with confusion.
"Jade Vice. Former point guard for the Wakelin Community College Hornets. She transferred from there last week. She's well known back where she's from." He told them, watching as they switched stretches.
"Which is?" Asked Ryder.
"Brooklyn." He replied.
"Woo..damn! Shorty came a long way dawg. From Brooklyn to Atlanta?" Spoke Dev. Josiah's eyebrows raised in slight surprise. That was quite a random change in scenery. Shaking his head, he also shook her out of his thoughts knowing he had better things to worry about.
"Aight, aight enough with that talk. Let's go everybody to the base line! I want suicides let's go!" Said the coach as he blew his whistle and watched the boys jog to the base line, ready to work hard.
"We got our first game of the school year on Friday! Exactly one week! First game of the semester! And I want a win! So we gon' work! Let me see y'all put in work!" His yells echoed throughout the gym as he strolled along the half way line with his hands behind his back. The teams feet pounded against the wooden floors leaving skid marks at every line.
As Jade stood outside the gym she was immediately met with the fresh air of the day, the breeze was calm and sun was bright and high in the afternoon sky. The campus was flooded with students mingling and horse playing with each other in their groups. Jade stood there, alone and in her own world as she looked over everything in front of her. This was the view of her life now. Things were so different from her city life.
Digging into her pants pocket, she pulled out the folded paper with the directions to her dorm room and the blueprint to the college campus. She read over the title at the top of the page.
Welcome to University of Atlanta!
Groaning internally, she began to move in the direction which she hoped was right and would take her to her dormitory.
"Let the drummer kick, let the drummer kick that.."