Amy had experienced her fair share of life by the time that she reached her college graduation. It was thanks to a car accident that she had lost her parents days before her college graduation, and had been forced to plan their funerals. She had been their one and only child. It was as a parent-less adult that she accepted a part time job as the girls basketball coach at a New York City high school, and a job where she would work thirty hours a week as a secretary in an office in the world trade center. Moving to New York City was a challenge for Amy. She was moving away from her hometown in Virginia, and was hours away from her high school and college friends. It was in this new, unfamiliar city that Amy knew she would need to make friends, and that she would find those friends in the small, unknown spots that only the locals knew about. The first day of her job in the world trade center comes, and Amy found herself standing there, amazed at the height of the buildings. She couldn’t help but wonder how people had figured out how to build buildings this tall. The amount of engineering it took to make these buildings to stay upright amazed Amy, who could never understand engineering.
Standing in the elevator, Amy was surrounded by business men and women. She felt as if these people were smarter than her, and that this wasn’t going to be a place where she would fit in or make friends. At least this was a place that would allow her to support a life in this big city. In the office, Amy finds Julie, the CEO of the financial institution, sitting at a desk in the front of the office.
“You must be Amy.” Says Julie
“I am.” Replies Amy
“Let me show you around the office.”
Having met the brokers, Amy and Julie head back to the front desk. It is there that Amy sits down and begins to work on answering general questions for their customers over the phone and through email, answering the phone, setting up appointments, and directing their customers to the right broker. Amy works alone throughout the day, and quickly comes to realize that, other than the CEO, she was the only female that worked in this office. At lunchtime, Amy heads to the break room to eat. Sitting in the office, the fact that she was working in a world of testosterone settles in. All of these guys wanted to talk about business, sports, and sex. Amy knew that these guys were the type who always got their way, and that she needed to find a way to deal with them. Maybe she wouldn’t make any friends in this office. With her lunch in hand, Amy heads back towards the front desk where she would be safe from the world of men who didn’t understand what it was like for a woman to have to eat lunch while listening to conversations about things she didn’t care about. It was as she walks past Julie’s office that Amy hears Julie calling her name. Amy heads into Julie’s office.
“Take a load off your feet.” Says Julie, “The guys can be jerks.”
It was a relief to know that Julie understood what it was like in the break room. Julie and Amy sit in Julie’s private office, eating their lunches together.
“How’s the city treating you?” asks Julie
“I’m still figuring out where everything is, and I may not be fully settled into my apartment, but I think I’m going to like it here.” Replies Amy
“That’s good to hear. It’s hard to adjust to a new city sometimes.”
“You can say that again. How long have you lived here?”
“Nearly twenty years.”
One of the brokers knocks on the door frame and walks into Julie’s office.
“What’s up Jack?” asks Julie
“Jameson is here asking if we can refund that fee I was telling you about earlier.” Says Jack
“Go ahead and do it Jack.” Replies Julie
“You found a good one in this secretary.”
“She isn’t for you to fuck Jack. She’s the secretary.”
With that Jack leaves Julie’s office.
“He’s the worst of the guys in the office when it comes to thinking and talking about sex.” Says Julie to Amy
“If he tries anything, I’ll punch him in the mouth.” Replies Julie
“I won’t be mad if you do that.”
Having finished her lunch, Amy stands up to head back to her desk.
“We should do lunch again.” Says Julie
“We should.” Replies Amy
“Same time and place tomorrow?”
With that, Amy heads back to her desk to finish her work for the day. Throughout the rest of her first week of work, Amy and Julie eat lunch in Julie’s office. It was during their lunches spent together that a friendship develops. The brokers had noticed that Amy and Julie spent every lunch together, and seemed to think that Julie favored Amy. What the brokers hadn’t realized was that Julie wasn’t favoring anyone, and that Julie and Amy enjoyed not having to deal with listening to the guys conversations. Instead, they were able to talk about the things that they wanted to and not have to compete with the guys to hear each other. By Friday evening Amy just wanted a drink, yet she had to stay at work late to finish up some work. Everyone except for Amy and Julie had left the office early that day. The moment that Amy finishes her work, she heads over to Julie’s office to see how she was doing.
“Hows it going?” asks Amy as she enters Julie’s office without knocking
“I finally finished what I was working on.” Replies Julie
“That’s good to hear.”
Amy sits down on the couch in Julie’s office. Julie walks over to couch and sits down on it, next to Amy.
“You handled your first week here very well.” Says Julie
“Thanks. You made it easy for me.” Replies Amy
Sitting there on the couch, Julie leans into Amy and plants a kiss on Amy’s lips. This surprises Amy, yet as soon as she realizes what has just happened, she kisses Julie in return. As their lips do a dance with each other, Amy’s hands caress Julie’s face.
“We shouldn’t be doing this.” Whispers Julie between kisses
“Why is it that the things the feel good are things that we really shouldn’t be doing.” Whispers Amy in reply
They pull away from each other.
“If the brokers knew about this, they’d have enough to talk about to last them for years to come.” Giggles Julie
“Why is it that I can imagine how they’d react?” says Amy with a smirk on her face
They sit together on the couch, imagining how the brokers that they worked with would have reacted if they had seen what had just happened.
“I should get going.” Says Amy
“So should I.” Replies Julie
Both women stand up and grab their things before leaving the office together. It was on the street that they head their separate ways. Amy and Julie’s lunchtime routine of eating together in Julie’s private office became a routine, and Amy found herself getting a little nervous, but excited about her first season as a professional basketball coach, even if it was only at the high school level. The day of tryouts for the girls basketball team came, and Amy found herself watching as a massive number of girls enter the gym having changed into cloths that they could move freely in and sweat all over without ruining. If she chose the right group of girls, she might just prove that she had what it took to pick the players that would play well together, and that she could coach a basketball team. If she chose wrong, the road to becoming a coach in the WNBA or NBA would be much harder. As the girls trying out ran drills, Amy watched with a keen eye and pushed each of the girls trying out to move faster, make better shots, and make better passes. Throughout the tryouts there were two girls that stuck out to Amy. One of the two stuck out to Amy because she was so arrogant. The other stuck out because she reminded Amy of herself in high school. The arrogant player had talent, yet her talent had gone to her head. It was because of the arrogance of that particular player that Amy knew that this was a girl that wouldn’t make the team. There were quite a few girls trying out who were reasonably talented, and who clearly would be team players.
After the tryouts were over and the team roster had been made official, Amy held her first practice. The girls on the team began with a warm up, then began running drills with Amy pushing them to their limits, and encouraging them. Just as they begin running drills, the girl who had been so arrogant during try outs shows up, dressed as if she was there for practice.
“Keep going girls.” Calls out Amy as she walks towards the arrogant young woman, “What are you doing?”
“I’m here for practice.” Replies Kathy, the young woman who was so arrogant
“Did you not see the team roster?”
“Then you know that you didn’t make the team.”
“I though that you had left my name off by accident.”
“That wasn’t an accident. You didn’t make the team.”
“You’ve got to be kidding me.”
“I’m not kidding. You didn’t make the team. I need you to leave the gym.”
“You can’t be serious.”
“I am serious.”
“Fine. You’re going to regret this.”
Kathy walks out of the gym and Amy heads back to leading the practice. Amy was glad that Kathy had left the gym, yet knew that this wasn’t the last time she would have to deal with Kathy. The very next day, as Amy sits in her tiny coat closet of an office at the school preparing for that days practice, she gets a phone call. Kathy and her parents wanted to meet that afternoon before practice began. Amy agrees to meet with them, knowing that this was about the fact that Kathy hadn’t made the team. The moment the school day was over, Amy makes her way too the principles office for this meeting. The principle had agreed that having him in the meeting would be helpful. With everyone sitting down Amy notices a look of happiness over having her parents, the principle, and Amy all in a meeting about how she hadn’t made the team.
“When our daughter told us that she hadn’t made the varsity team, and was on the JV team, we were a little confused.” Says Kathy’s lawyer of a mother, “We’ve seen the rest of the girls that made the team play over the past several years, and very few of them are as good of players as our daughter is. We’re confused as to why Kathy isn’t on the team.”
“There are a number of things that Amy has to consider when putting the varsity team together. I’ll let her explain why Kathy didn’t make the varsity team.” Says the principle.
“Kathy is a good player, I’ll admit that. When I was deciding who would make the varsity team I had to think about which of the girls that tried out were the best players and would also play well as part of a team. The girls that made the team are team players who have reasonable skills. They are girls who I can coach and help them to become better players. Kathy has more talent, but she is not a team player. I won’t sacrifice the team for one girl who believes that she is the coach and star player.” Says Amy
“Our daughter is extremely talented and is in line for a basketball scholarship at several schools. She lead the varsity team last season, and could lead your team into the playoffs if not to the championship game. Why don’t you want such a talented player on the team?” asks Kathy’s chemist of a father
“She has the talent. But she isn’t a team player. I want girls on the varsity team to be team players at all times. Your daughter is also arrogant because of her talent, and talked to the girls trying out as if she was better than them.” Replies Amy
“It’s unfair to our daughter to have to play on the junior varsity team, and could lead to her not getting a basketball scholarship that she deserves.” Says Kathy’s father
“Amy already explained why Kathy didn’t make the varsity team. Her reasons for not putting her on the varsity team are good.” Says the principle, “There isn’t anything that the two of you can do to get Kathy onto the varsity team.”
“If one of the girls of the varsity team gets hurt, and Kathy is proving that she’s willing and able to play as a team player on a consistent basis, I’ll pull her up to varsity.”
“If this gets out, the two of you will lose your jobs.” Says Kathy’s mother
“Believe what you want, but nothing about what either of of us have done will cause us to loose our jobs.” Says the principle.
Kathy’s parents stomp out of the office, and Kathy follows.
“You’ll never be a good coach.” Growls Kathy before leaving the office
With Kathy and her parents gone, the principle says “You handled that well. Don’t let them get to you.”
“I won’t.” Replies Amy
Amy heads off to run a practice. What nobody expected was what would happen that basketball season. During the warm ups for the first game of the season, Amy watched her girls warm up, knowing that the team that they were playing that evening was the team who had won the championship the season before. As she watches the warm ups, she realizes that Jenny, one of her players was missing. Amy walks into the locker room, where she finds Jenny sitting on a bench in front of her locker.
“What’s up?” asks Amy quietly as she sits down next to Jenny.
“How are you so sure of yourself?” asks Jenny
“I’m not that sure of myself. The only thing that I am sure of is that I am here for a reason. I don’t know the reason.”
“I hate feeling so different. It’s like I’m a fish out of water.”
“I’ve felt the same way on numerous occasions.”
“How did you deal with it?”
“People found me and helped me to see that I wasn’t that different.”
“You seem so normal.”
“I am normal. It doesn’t always feel like I’m normal, but I have to remind myself on a regular basis that I am.”
“Nobody will ever accept me if they find out why I feel different.”
“How can you be so sure?”
“Nobody likes people who are gay.”
In that moment, Amy realizes that she has a chance to impact one girl, showing her that her sexuality doesn’t change a thing.
“What you don’t realize is that I’m gay, and people don’t hate me.” Says Amy
Jenny’s head jerks towards Amy, clearly surprised at what she had just been told.
“Please don’t tell anyone.” Whispers Jenny
“I won’t.” Replies Amy, “We should get out there.”
Amy and Jenny head out onto the basketball court for the game. Knowing what she now knew about Jenny, Amy keeps a close eye on her. Amy knew that Jenny was going to need as much support as she could get to get through the process of accepting herself for who she had always been. Days after the first game of the season, Jenny walks into Amy’s office after a practice. The rest of the team had already headed home for the night, leaving Amy and Jenny alone.
“Hey coach.” Says Jenny
“Hey Jenny. Come on in.” Replies Amy
Jenny walks into the office and sits down in a chair across the desk from Amy.
“How are you doing?” asks Amy
“I’m hanging in there.” Replies Jenny, “I was wondering if I could ask you something personal.”
“Of course you can.”
“How did you deal with it when you realized that you’re gay?”
“It took me a while to realize that my sexuality wasn’t something I could change. Once I realized that, I went about life like normal. I had realized that I wasn’t any different from any of my peers. The only difference is who I fall in love with.”
“Have you ever dated anyone?”
“Yeah, I have.”
“Is it possible to fall in love with someone, and have a lasting relationship?”
“It is. It’s hard to make a long term relationship work because you have to work together. You won’t always get along, or see eye to eye. Yet, when you love someone whole heartedly, you’ll find that you’ll be willing to give up some things to make the relationship work.”
“My parents are never going to understand why I’m gay.”
“They might not. Know that even if they don’t accept you for who you are, they can’t understand what you’ve been through in coming out to yourself and to them.”
Over the course of the following month, Amy and Jenny spend one evening a week together, talking about life after practice was over while they wait for Jenny’s parents to pick her up from practice. During those weeks, Amy could see that Jenny’s confidence was growing. Amy was hoped that when Jenny did decide to come out to her parents that they accepted her for who she was and loved her unconditionally. Yet Amy knew that not all parents could handle finding out that their only child is gay, and love them the way that parents should love their children. It was during a practice after school one afternoon, that a social worker comes into the gym and pulls Jenny aside. Amy hadn’t had the chance to talk with Jenny yet, but could tell that Jenny was upset about something. Amy sense that Jenny had come out to her parents, and that they had reacted poorly to this revelation about their daughter. With the social worker and Jenny talking in the stands, Amy finishes practice. The rest of the team heads off into the locker room where they grab their bags before heading home for the night. With the rest of the girls gone, Amy heads over to Jenny and the social worker. Jenny’s head was resting in her hands. Climbing up into the stands to sit next to Jenny, Amy knew that this had to mean that something bad had happened. Sitting down next to Jenny, Amy wraps an arm around Jenny’s shoulders, pulling her close, wanting her to know that she wasn’t alone.
“Her parents have put her up for adoption.” Whispers the social worker
“I’m so sorry Jenny.” Moans Amy, understanding why Jenny was reacting like this.
“We’re waiting on a foster family to be found for her.” Says the social worker
“Can I talk to you for a moment?” asks Amy of the social worker
Amy and the social worker head to half court to talk.
“Is there any way that I could take her in?” asks Amy in a whisper not wanting Jenny to hear this discussion.
“Let me make a call. I think you should be able to, but I want to make sure that it’ll be okay.” Replies the social worker quietly
During the course of the social workers phone conversation, she is able to determine that Jenny could be placed in Amy’s care until she could be adopted, and makes the placement official.
“Can I tell her?” whispers Amy
“Of course.” Replies the social worker
They walk back to the stands where Jenny was still sitting, crying her eyes out.
“Jenny—I have some good news.” Says Amy kindly
Jenny pulls her face out of her hands to look at Amy who was sitting next to her.
“You’re coming home with me.” Says Amy
“I am?” replies Jenny, wanting confirmation from the social worker
“You are.” Replies the social worker with a smile on her face
Jenny jumps into Amy’s arms, making it clear to both Amy and the social worker that this was a placement that was going to be a positive one. It was as Amy holds Jenny close that she realizes that this was a child that she had fallen in love with since she started coaching. This wasn’t the love that teachers had for their students, but the love of a parent for their child.
“Are you done crying?” asks Amy as she tears up and starts laughing, “If you keep crying, I’m going to start crying.”
“I think so.” Replies Jenny who was also laughing
Having let go of Amy, Jenny wipes the tears from her face.