Practice was most definitely a workout. The practice before a game was always intense.
Lester had stopped by to apologize on his way home. Grant was a little shocked, by pleased nonetheless. For the most part Grant enjoyed his team. Even if they were a stubborn, ruthless bunch.
Phillip, the blunt, tough one, Bobby, the most courageous and Lester, the one with more bark than bite. But, he cared very much for them all.
Grant was already over the incident from today. He believed that before this season was over, he would have at the least taught them one valuable thing.
Grant put the keys in the door in sync with the phone’s sudden cry. By the time he reached it, the answering machine picked up. He didn’t stop it. He waited to see who was calling. He was screening his calls this week anyway. Tonia couldn’t take no for an answer. It had been two years since their break up and she was still calling trying to figure out why. He didn’t even know how she kept getting his unlisted numbers.
“Grant. I know you’re there. Why don’t you pick up? I’ve been calling you all week.” Grant had been right. It was her and she seemed to have been crying.
“Why won’t you talk to me? I love you and you know I do. Why are you doing this to me? If this is about the flat tires on your car, - I’m sorry about that. I was just a little angry. But, I’m better now.”
Grant blew out air. Was this chick really that loopy?
Tonia paused for a second. Grant thought she had hung up. He turned toward his bedroom.
Tonia’s voice had climbed five octaves. “Grant Maurice Jackson, I know you’re there, I just saw you walk up the stairs. Don’t make me-“. The answering machine clicked off.
First thing in the morning he would go get another restraining order. “This woman is crazy,” Grant spoke out, “I shoulda listened to Willie all those times she told me to watch myself.”
His thoughts drifted to Willie and the last time he’d seen her. She had simply said that she was leaving with no explanation as to why. And then she drove away. Was it just inevitable that every woman he put trust in would one day get in a car a roll away from him?
He couldn’t believe that it had been three years. He missed her like mad but would not chase her any longer.
Grant spent countless days, weeks, months, trying to pry information from the people who knew them best. No one would tell him where she was or why she’d left. As her best friend, why was he the only one in the dark? He’d done something and wasn’t sure what.
He needed to know. He still loved her and it wasn’t going away. That was the reason he’d ended it with Tonia. After Willie left, everything in Grant’s life seemed blasé. His stayed with Tonia so long for sake of some familiarity. Willie’s leaving had left a hole in his heart. He needed her. But, obviously she didn’t feel the same about him.
He wanted to let it all go, but not even the three months overseas or the basketball he played there had helped him get over it and nothing back in this place was helping either.
Grant thumbed through his mail. Nothing pressing. He’d look through them later, the shower was calling him.
Grant started the shower with warm water. Mid-shower he adjusted the temperature to cold. His thoughts of holding Willie in his arms and kissing her ever so passionately were aggravating his private parts.
“When will you come back, Willie?” Grant spoke out into the atmosphere. “When my chance presents itself again, I will not let you leave without you knowing how much I love you.”
Grant let the cool water slide down his body wondering if he’d ever get the opportunity to tell her the truth of his feelings.
If only you will really have the courage.