THE IMPORTANCE OF GOOD GRADES
Justin fingered the buttons on Leonie’s skin-tight jeans.
With an eighteen year old’s impatience, he cursed the stiff, unyielding material. With one hand busy in the button factory, he slid his other across the contours of her bum. It felt like his firmest basketball.
“I’ll do it” she whispered.
Relieved, he pulled his hand away, and with a magician’s deftness, she accomplished in seconds what he’d been fumbling for minutes to do.
He recalled the conversation with his dad earlier that evening...
“You’re not going out tonight are you son?
“Well yeah…training. Is there a problem?”
“You should be studying”
“What for?” His father’s face reddened. “Your HSC Justin. Because you’re failing…that’s what FOR!!
“Dad I’m not failing. It’s just…”
“It’s just that you’re conjoined at the palm to a damn basketball. How do you expect to become an architect when you spend so much useless time and energy in pursuit of a bloody bouncing ball. Weekend carnivals, training nearly every night. You have no time for study. No wonder your grades have slipped to an all-time low”
“And frankly son, I’m incredibly pissed off that I’m paying three thousand dollars a term for you to flunk everything except sport! You can’t expect to make a decent living out of chasing a bloody basketball!”
Oh yeah? Well what about Michael Jordan and Shaq…? Phil Smythe? What about Shane Heal and Andrew Gaze? What about them huh?
“But dad, I’m good at it. Coach says I’m really gonna go somewhere”
“Well I’ve got news for Coach. You’ll go nowhere unless you realise the importance of good grades.”
It was the same old thing. His father trumpeting threats, Justin promising that he would work on his grades…only this time his father had blown his whistle clean off, and it had hit Justin fair and square in the face, leaving an ugly big ultimatum right between his eyes.
No more carnivals. Practice slashed to once a week till his grades improved in Maths, English and Science by the end of term. A big ask indeed if he was to improve his grades in two months, and be in top shape for the National Private Schools Basketball Championships in Sydney.
He’d been working hard almost all his life for the chance to make the cut for the NPSBC’s . The chance to be number one point guard for the Canberra Flyers.was all he’d ever dreamed of.
Something he hadn’t dreamed of however, was going to fucking architect school. The thought of having the NPSBC’s pulled out from under him and replaced with the glossy notion that he should go off and learn how to build fifty- storey concrete monoliths filled him with revulsion.
Still, Justin McGregor was a playmaker. He knew how to set up and control the game. And most importantly, how to win the game.
The offending denims undone, he slid his hands under Leonie’s t-shirt and discovered she was bra-less. Driven by instinct, he cupped his hands over her breasts, trying not to grope. She’d whispered once in the back seat of her Subaru…
“Girls don’t like to kneaded like a lump of playdoh Justin”
Leonie stood on her tiptoes and murmered in his ear.
“Oh God Justin, you turn me on”…
She wrapped her arms around his neck and nuzzled his ear with her lips. His huge hand almost entirely covered her smooth, round bum as he slipped it down the back of her jeans. Because of the difference in their height, he had to lift her slightly as he drew her to him. He knew that making the wrong move now would be tantamount to missing the game winning free-throw.
Justin kissed her. Not the full-tongued writhing, thrusting kiss he’d used on her the first time. She’d soon set him straight on that.
“Girls like to be kissed passionately, but gently Justin. You’re not prodding a dying fire here. Don’t use your tongue like a poker. Suck and tease”
What a great teacher she was.
So he kissed her gently, yet with as much passion as he could. He was really working that back dribble – and heading for the ring. She moaned softly and Justin felt it was time to speed things up. You could only do so many warm-ups before it was time to start the game.
He eased her jeans down to her ankles and gently lowered her onto the bed.
His game plan involved soft, slow, swirling motions with his fingers, on the inside of her thighs. He positioned and repositioned the guard, tracing circles around her bellybutton. Then with his tongue he made some moves he was certain Coach hadn’t taught him at practice.
He felt an implosion of pleasure in his groin area as her legs parted. This was what he’d been waiting for. The uncomfortable pressure around his crotch area made him wish he could free himself.
With one hand, he slowly worked his way into the curly thatch of hair and with the other, unzipped his own jeans. Justin was amazed at his success, and at the relief of being freed from his confines.
He knew he was doing things right…because she hadn’t told him otherwise.
He’d trimmed his fingernails and softened his skin with his mother’s best handcream.
“Girls don’t like rough hands and long scratchy nails Justin”
He’d gargled and brushed his teeth twice
“Girls hate bad breath Justin”
Yes, he’d done everything right. And nothing was going to spoil this for him. As coach always said… Savour the pleasure of being awarded the penalty Justin, but remember, the point’s not yours till you make the shot”.
With one free hand, he fumbled in the back pocket of his now discarded jeans, and found the little cellophane packet.
“Don’t spoil things by forgetting the protection will you Justin”
He was a little surprised at her moistness as he stroked the warm, cloven area between her legs. This repetitive stroking made his shooting hand ache, but it produced a series of urgent moans from Leonie. He tried to open the well sealed foil and cellophane packet with his teeth. He wondered if he’d ever feel as comfortable with this operation as doing a head fake and draining a three pointer from the half way line.
Finally he eased the rubber sheath from the packet and managed to put it where it was meant to be.
Timing was crucial. Her moans of pleasure were coming in short sharp, high pitched bursts. Then abruptly her voice lowered to a soft whispering monotone.
“Oh Justin that’s right oh God Justin… yes just there don’t stop. Don’tmoveyour handoh… ohgoditfeels..sogooodoh oh ohoh…I’m going to …”
She sucked in a short sharp breath. She held it for a moment, then let go with a wail that took Justin quite by surprise. Her body arched and writhed, and her belly contorted. He was uncertain whether to keep doing the thing that was obviously causing this seizure.
He decided that until she directed him otherwise, he should keep it up, even though his poor shooting hand was almost numb.
A few moments later, she pushed his hand away, her body slack and still, arms above her head, eyes closed. Beads of sweat had formed on her top lip and she panted softly. Justin’s own level of excitement had diminished by now, and the rubber sheath plopped chastely onto the bed.
“Oh Justin, that was amazing….”
He watched in disbelief as she rolled over on her stomach and dozed off.
As he listened to her rhythmic breathing, he felt as though he’d missed out on the game’s High Scorer Award.
Leonie Carstairs walked between the rows of desks, distributing the marked, half-yearly Math test papers.
“I’m pleased to say that no-one failed”. Her bright smile beamed right in on Justin.
“And it also gives me much pleasure to announce that a former “D” student, Justin McGregor has earnt a very respectable B+. Good work Justin”
The class booed and hissed in mock scorn. Justin stood up and executed an exaggerated bow.
Marion Devine dismissed her English class.
“Except for you Justin. I’d like to see you afterwards for a moment.”
The class filed out. Justin stayed in his seat. When the last student had gone, Marion Devine closed the classroom door .
“I’ve always thought of you as a slightly lower than average student Justin.”
Her eyes gazed lustily into his.
“But after the other night, I don’t think I can ever look at you in quite the same way again”.
Justin feigned a shy smile.
“I’m glad I was able to please… ”
“Oh yes, you pleased me Justin. In fact I’d rate your performance an unbelievable “A”. But to avoid suspicion, I think a “B” would be more appropriate”
“Thanks.” He said. “ A “B” will do just nicely.”
Arthur McGregor stood in the doorway of his son’s bedroom and watched him pack.
“What time does your flight leave in the morning son?”
“Justin..I just wanted to say…well I’m proud of you. “
Justin knew his father didn’t mean proud of the fact that he was off to the NPSB Championships in Sydney…. as point guard for the Flyers. But after all, a deal had been struck …and Justin had more than fulfilled his side of the bargain.
“You’ve really changed your perspective. I can’t believe the improvement in your grades son. You’ve done a complete turn-around in almost every subject. And switching to Level 2 Science seems to have really brought you along. I always thought you struggled with that subject more than any other.”
“Well dad, it wasn’t the subject I had a problem with, just the teacher. Mr. Warburton really wasn’t very encouraging. That’s why I changed classes. Once I got into Miss Marconi’s class…well things just seemed so much easier…”
The crowd stamped their feet in unison. The Sydney Entertainment Centre, hosting the National Private Schools Basketball Championships shook with excitement. Justin did a little stutter step and spin dribbled the ball nimbly down the court. The championship final game had thirty seconds left on the clock. The Perth Panthers 100, Canberra Flyers 99.
Justin recalled for the millionth time his favourite NBA game of all , when Phil Smythe had won the final for the Canberra Cannons against North Melbourne. Every move in that game was impressed on the cortex of his brain.
Justin’s soaking yellow number 4 singlet stuck to his skin. Sweat stung his eyes. Fifteen seconds to go. Timing was everything. He threw an alley oop. The forward tore across the court into position, caught it beautifully and as Justin had intended, smashed it through the hoop.
Justin was dizzy with excitement as his team mates scooped him up and tossed him into the air. He’d scored 58 of his team’s 101 points.
At the podium later that evening, Justin accepted his trophy from his hero, and guest presenter Phil Smythe.
“…and I’d just like to say that I love this game. This has been one of the most exciting nights of my life and one day I hope to play for Australia. But while basketball is one of the most important things in my life…I wouldn’t be here tonight if I hadn’t taken some really good advice from my dad…about the importance of good grades….”