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| Category: || General Fiction |
Posted:|| November 15, 2020 Views: 79|
Chapter 9 of the book Football - A Novel
Rodney Frost makes a move.
"Football Chapter 4 part 3"
Katherine struggles raising her four sons by herself.
At the office door, they paused. Gabriel opened it. "You want to come inside?"
Katherine chewed on her lower lip. "I think I'll return to my meeting."
Grinning, Gabriel asked, "You want an escort?"
"Thank you, but I can do it." Katherine continued down the hall.
Gabriel watched her walk. That's one strong lady.
As she entered Angie's room, everybody clapped, and Frank said, "We're glad you're back. Don't let that crazy old fool get to you. We don't believe a word he said."
Angie hugged her. "Nobody does."
The team meeting continued throughout the afternoon.
About ten minutes before four o'clock, Jordan knocked on the door. "Excuse me. Mom, I need to get to practice."
Katherine glanced at her watch. "Call when you're finished and I'll come get you. Have fun."
Chapter 4 part 3
After the meeting, Katherine scanned the classroom. I'll never be ready. I only have a few days. I need to pick up Joshua and then start dinner. I'm sure Mom's ready for a break. Thank heavens she's willing to help.
Once home, Katherine discussed with her mom how the boys' day went.
After her mom left, Katherine changed into some sweats and a T-shirt. She made sure her phone was in her pocket for when Jordan called for a ride. While dinner was in the oven, she played a couple games of Dominos with the boys.
When Jordan called the boys went out back to play. After Katherine reminded Joshua to watch his brothers, she said to Jordan, "I'm walking out the door. I'll be there in a few minutes." She hung up.
As Katherine opened the SUV's door, a tan sedan pulled sideways in front of her driveway. She walked to the car. "Excuse me but I need to leave. Would you please move?"
Mr. Frost rolled down his window and had his phone taping the conversation. "You're not going anywhere until you admit you slept your way into this teaching job."
"I don't know what you're talking about. You need to leave."
He repeatedly honked the horn as he yelled, "You're a slut! Admit it!"
Joshua, Joel, and Jeremy opened the front door. "Mom, are you all right?"
She turned her head. "Everything's all right. Go back inside." She held up her phone. "I'm calling the police."
Laying on the horn, Mr. Frost said, "Go ahead, you should be arrested for prostitution."
After twenty minutes, Jordan went back into the locker room. "Excuse me, Coach, can I call Mom again? She said she was walking out the door. She should've been here by now."
"Sure." Gabriel watched Jordan dial and listened as the phone rang and rang. When nobody answered, he said to Coach Brooks, "I'm taking Riley home. I'm sure this isn't like his mom." He turned to Jordan. "Come on. Let's go."
When they arrived at the Riley house, a police officer was already on the scene.
As Gabriel got out of his pick-up, he noticed the boys peering out the window. "Jordan, go inside and get your brothers away from the window." He opened the back door, waited for Reggie, and then walked over to the officer. "Brad, what's going on?"
"Hey Coach, it seems Mr. Frost won't allow Mrs. Riley to back out of her driveway unless she admits the truth about how she traded favors to get a job."
Katherine exhaled a deep breath. "I've told him numerous times that these accusations are false."
Gabriel raised his cap, ran his hand through his hair, then replaced it. "There isn't an ounce of truth to these accusations."
Frost stepped from his car. Thud! His fist hit the car's roof. "He's lying and he's one of the men she slept with."
Brad's eyes widened. "Coach?"
"I have never slept with this lady. I just met her a few days ago. How could I?"
"You and Edwards slept with her when she interviewed for the teaching job. That's why she was hired," yelled Frost.
Coach took a step closer to Frost. "I wasn't anywhere around when she interviewed for the job. I didn't even know Edwards was interviewing for anything. He doesn't confide staffing information with me. I'm a football coach."
Katherine tilted her head. "That would be impossible. I was in New York City and interviewed through Skype. I already had the job when I arrived. All I needed to do was sign the contract. I did that Monday morning. I've only been in town five days. I arrived last Thursday."
Frost thought for a minute. "You're lying. How did you buy this house? You had to be here earlier to purchase it."
"How do you know I own my house?" She shook her head. "My mom made the arrangements. She sent me photographs as did the realtor, and I remembered the house from when I grew up. My girlfriend, Paula, lived here." She paused. "My boys and I got in town Thursday. Our furniture won't arrive till Friday. My husband left me a large sum of money. I paid cash for it. None of this is any of your business." She glanced at the officer. "I want this man off my property."
"Mr. Frost, your car needs to be to moved. You're coming down to the station." The officer's eyes met Katherine's. "Do you want to press charges?"
She glanced at Gabriel, before she said, "At least I want an order of protection. I don't want this man anywhere around my family or me. He needs to stay away from us. What do I need to do to make that happen?"
"You'll need to come down to the station and fill out paperwork. They'll be filed with the court and you'll need to make a court appearance. A temporary one lasts for twenty days."
Katherine sighed. "I really can't take-off school right now."
Gabriel stepped closer. "You've had your life disrupted by Frost. Now he came to your home. Who knows what he'll do next. Paul will understand and give you the needed time."
"I'm already taking Friday afternoon off for my household goods delivery."
Gabriel removed his phone and spoke with Paul. After the conversation, he said, "Paul will go with you tomorrow to file the complaint. He wants the court clerk to know how this came about. He has inside information."
She nodded. "Okay." She faced the officer. "When will he be released? Will I need to worry about him returning tonight?"
"We can hold him until the morning. You'll be safe tonight."
Frost glared at Katherine. "You haven't heard the last of this."
Gabriel walked to Frost's car. "That sounds like a threat to me, don't you think, Brad?"
"It sure does."
Opening Frost's car door, Gabriel said, "Good. The keys are in it. I'm taking it to the school parking lot. You can get it there." He glanced at Katherine. "I'll be back. Reggie, stay." He got inside.
Before Gabriel left he watched Brad pat-down Frost. Once Rodney was inside the patrol car, and they left, Gabriel drove away.
Katherine went inside and smiled. Jordan had finished dinner and the boys were eating. "Thank you. I don't know what I'd do without you."
Jordan placed a plate in front of her. "Mom, what was that all about?"
She patted her son's hand. "Nothing for you to worry about. Mr. Frost has some problems he's trying to work out. Everything's fine."
After she finished eating, she sent Jeremy and Joel up to take their baths. "After your baths, I'll be up to read a story."
Reggie was the first to answer the door. Daisy stood next to him. As Katherine opened the door, Gabriel smiled and petted both dogs. "I see nobody's getting inside without approval." His eyes met Katherine's. "How you holding up?"
"I'm fine. Thank you for asking."
Jeremy stood at the top of stairs. "Mom, story time."
She glanced at her youngest son. "I'm being paged."
"A mom's job's never done." Gabriel sat on a folding chair. "I'll wait. I'm not leaving until I'm assured you're fine."
"You're pushing your way in again."
He chuckled. "I've told you, it's my specialty."
When Katherine returned after putting the two younger boys to bed, Jordan, Joshua, and Coach were having a discussion about who were the all-time best quarterbacks.
"I see you three have a lot in common." She smiled.
Coach stood and offered the chair. "Please have a seat."
"No, the guest should sit. Sorry about the lack of furniture. I really do have some."
"I'm sure you do, but a gentleman always gives the lady his seat."
Jordan laughed. "Do you argue every time you're together?"
Coach nodded. "Most times." He glanced at Katherine. "Do we agree on that?"
"Probably." She swallowed. "Boys, could you go upstairs? I know it's a little early for bed, but..."
Jordan stood. "Sure Mom. Joshua, come on."
After the boys were out of hearing range, Gabriel said, "Jordan's a good kid."
"He is. I rely on him a lot. Probably more than I should. He's still young."
"You've done a great job with them." He petted Reggie's head. "Now, how are you really doing?"
"You mean about Mr. Frost?" After he nodded, Katherine continued, "I'm okay." She bit her lower lip.
"I'm not a great conversationalist, but I'm not sure you have anybody to talk with. How about your mom?"
"I don't want to upset her with this. She has enough to worry about taking care of the boys until school starts."
Gabriel ran his fingers through his short hair. "I guess you're stuck with me. Should I go buy a gallon of ice cream? What flavor?" He stood.
"I've heard when women have problems they eat a gallon of ice cream."
Katherine smiled. "That's when they have relationship problems. Mr. Frost and I don't have a relationship."
"Oh, then what should I do?"
She reached over and took his hand. "Just be here, and you're doing a great job."
"So my pushiness came in handy?"
"I guess." Katherine petted Daisy's head. "Why aren't you in bed with Jeremy?"
Still having his hand on Reggie, Gabriel said, "Because she knows you're not really fine. Dogs have an extra sense."
"I'm not sure what you want from me. Do you want me to break down in tears?"
"Please don't. I have no experience with tears."
"We agree on something else. I don't usually cry. But I don't know what I'm feeling." Katherine paused. "I guess I'm angry. I don't understand why this is happening. If I've done something wrong, I don't understand what it is."
"You haven't done anything wrong. Frost's the one with the problem. You just happened to come along at the wrong time. He's taking it out on you. He'd be angry with anybody, unless it was his son who Paul hired."
"I don't understand why he keeps accusing me of me of sleeping with everybody."
"Because you're a beautiful lady and that's all he can come up with."
She smiled. "He could be a little more creative."
"I hope to see you smile more often. It brightens the room." Gabriel cleared his throat and stood. "I'd better get going. Morning comes early."
"It sure does." She paused. "I'm curious how Frost knew I bought the house."
Gabriel shrugged his shoulders. "Good question. Even for a small town that news got out fast."
Katherine followed him to the door. "Very true. I'd think they'd have other things to talk about." She opened the door. "Thank you for being concerned."
After Gabriel and Reggie left, Katherine leaned against the door. Does he really think I'm beautiful? Of course not, I'm a mother of four children. He's being kind. Don't let that fool you, he's ultimately a jock and always will be. He's arrogant and his wants will always come before all else.
Jordan came partly down the stairs. "Mom, is everything all right?"
"Yes. Let's get some sleep. Four-thirty's early."
Katherine Riley: age 33 - widowed: husband died 6 months ago. She moved to Texas from NYC with her four sons.
Daisy: Katherine's yellow Labrador
Gabriel Hudson: more information later, owner of a very large English Mastiff
Reggie: a very large English Mastiff
Jeremy: Katherine's six year old son. He's in first grade.
Jordan: Katherine's fifteen year old son. He's a sophomore.
Joshua Katherine's thirteen year old son. He's in 8th grade
Joel Katherine's eleven year old son. He's in 6th grade.
Paul Edwards: High School principal and Gabriel's friend.
Rodney Frost: Math department head, at least for now.
Angie Brooks Math teacher and Katherine's friend.
Frank Collins Math teacher.
Rebecca and Harold Hudson Gabriel's parents
Sarah and Bob Beck Katherine's parents, Bob is deceased
Frank Collins math teacher
Alan Green an Assistant Principal
Book of the Month contest entry
Thank you google images for a photo of a car blocking a driveway. I also want to thank everybody for the wonderful reviews on this novel. This novel is not actually about football, but is part of the background. High School football is a national past-time in Texas. Raising four sons myself, I can promise you my rear-end graced many bleachers under the Friday night stadium lights. This post is a little over 1000 words.
and 2 member cents.
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