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Chapter 2: Codenames

Sometimes a classroom can tell you a lot about a teacher and this teacher has no flavor, I’m not a rude guy but I sometimes notice things and I don’t think she loves her job if I’m being real. When the bell rang I didn’t get to finish writing down the rest of the notes before she erased the board, I couldn’t even ask a question because how fast she was speed walking towards the door.

“Remember”, said Mrs. Lowe. “Ya’ll be having a quiz next week.”

I got up and then recalled we had a TA, she was looking at folders in the back of the class when I approached. She was alone, but the majority of people seemed to have dropped, guess they had no trouble. Now that I got a good look at her, she was Asian, her hair was pulled into a ponytail, she was wearing pink sport shorts, a white shirt and white sneakers.

“Excuse me”, I said.

She spun around. "Yes?”

I half smiled. “I wasn’t able to write down the rest of the formula, could you help me out?”

“Of course”, she began writing something down on a piece of paper.

"Whats your name?" I said as she handed me the paper.

"Rhya", she said.

"So is this fun?" I shrugged.

She tilted her head. "No, but the pay is okay."

I walked with her. "I'm Marvin."

"How old are you?" asked Rhya.

I adjusted my glasses. "I'm 19".

"21", she drank from her water bottle.

Trying not to let the conversation slip into awkward silence I put my hands in my hoodie. "Are you in any clubs?."

"Chorus", Rhya smiled. "I've always loved singing ever since I was a kid, I listened and watched a ton of artists on Tv; not just the new even the old. And when I dance its not graceful let me just say."

"What about siblings?" I ask.

She rolled her eyes in a playful way. "I have 2 younger ones and they use to bug the hell out of me, now I miss all their pranks. What about you?"

Shifting my weight. "I'm an only child, but I wasn't lonely I had friends and even though my parents worked a lot they still made time for me."

The sky was getting pink with a few clouds shattered. "What type of car you drive?"

Rhya was typing something on her phone. 'It looks like an oversized bug."

I smiled at her. "Mine is a jeep."

When we got to the hockey rink she looked caught off guard. "Ya, I'm a player."

"That's an intense sport", she started walking backwards towards the parking lot. "I bet you wrecked a lot of glasses."

When I got inside the hockey rink I went straight to the bathroom and took out my contacts. I made my way to rink where I saw a few people on the ice. The place was huge with blue seats circling around and that’s when I noticed two guys sitting in the second row, I looked up and saw a big banner I didn’t see before, it read, Home Of The Snow Foxes. Coach Booker spotted me coming down the ramp, he had on black sweatpants and a black short sleeve sweatshirt, his skin was dark with white patches, his hair was cut with a fade, he had dark eyes and his ears were pierced.

“Troy!” yelled coach. “What took ya so long? Get on the ice.”

I lined up beside everyone else, there were 10 of us and only 6 would be on the team. Some were in shorts, but the majority were wearing warm gear, I had my favorite green hoodie on with a belt and black cargo pants.

The coach skated onto the ice with a green duffel bag. “As you know try outs were last week and as far as you know you all did great, lots of raw potential. Unfortunately, it comes down to whoever stood out, I’ll be calling out your names and if you didn’t get chosen you didn’t make the cut”.

Coach Booker unzipped the bag and threw an object. “Bradley, your number 10!”

“Quincey!” said coach. “Your number 4.”

“Carrington!” coach boomed. “Your number 17.”

“Troy!” coach Booker tossed me a jersey. “Your number 21!”

The guy next to me was Quincey and he scoffed. “Druid, what’s that supposed to mean?”

“I hear he’s magical on the ice”, coach seemed to have overheard our conversation. “Troy, I’ll be using you as an example. That’s it for the numbers.”

“But coach Booker”, someone spoke. “That’s only 4.”

The coach blew his whistle and the two guys from the bleachers skated onto the ice. The tall guy looked African American, he had dreads and freckles across his nose and cheeks; he was wearing a jersey. The shorter guy looked Mexican, the back of his hair was shaved while the front is black and hanging just below his eyes; he was also wearing a jersey. The other six guys started skating out the rink.

“This is Tyeberius ‘Solar Eclipse’ Slader, said coach Booker. “And this is X.D. ‘The Wrangler’ Javier. Solar is your team captain and center; Wrangler is your right defense.”

“Call me Tye”, said the guy with dreads. “And you do not want to go up against me cause you won’t see it coming.”

“Your positions!”, said X.D. “Gregory Carrington your right wing and Elias Quincey your left defense.”

“Olson Bradley your the goalie and Marvin Troy your left wing”, said Tye.

“Paws in!” coach Booker raised his fist. “Some of you may not have a codename yet and some may not have gotten a full-ride, but you’re here now because your stood the test of time and persevered”.

Tye pounded his right hand on his chest. “Come on. Use those fangs and claws to climb higher, afterall a lil snow ain’t shit when you been through a blizzard”.

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