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 Category:  Romance Fiction
  Posted: August 15, 2021      Views: 175
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Mrs. Wilkey's first novel, Two Tattered Hearts, was published by G and J Publishers and can be found at It's a novel about how Anna, an abused spouse escapes, with her son, the man-made hell she lives in and finds love. < - more...

She is an accomplished novelist and is currently at the #5 spot on the rankings.

She is also an active reviewer and is holding the #7 spot on the top ranked reviewer list.

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Chapter 48 of the book Football - A Novel
Katherine has words with Gabriel over grades.
"Football Chapter 24 part 1" by barbara.wilkey

Katherine struggles raising her four sons by herself. Is Gabriel the father figure the boys never had and the husband she deserves?

Katherine and Gabriel have known each other for 27 days.


"Okay." Gabriel turned toward the Grandfather clock as it chimed. "It's eleven." He hesitated. "Are you going to be all right? I'll sleep on the couch if you need me."

"I'll be fine. That'd be all the ammunition my in-laws needed."

He chuckled. "We could leave the front door open, so the P.I. could see me."

"Really, I'll be fine."

"Since Reggie's already asleep, I'll leave him. Promise you'll wake him for our run. He'll sleep through it if he has his way."

"I promise."

He leaned over and kissed her cheek. "If you need me, I'm only a phone call away."

Katherine nodded and whispered, "I know."


Chapter 24 part 1

Thursday morning, when Katherine and Daisy joined Gabriel and Reggie for their early run, Gabriel asked, "Did you sleep any better than you did Tuesday night?"

She set her timer. "Considering I didn't sleep at all that night, yes. I got a few hours."

"I'd hoped speaking to the lawyer yesterday would help."

As they ran, she said, "It did. Maybe when we meet with him Saturday, I'll feel better."

"I hope so. With your schedule, you're going to crash if you don't get some sleep. Is there any way I can help?"

"Just be supportive and you're already doing that." Katherine released a deep breath. "Changing the subject, how's your dance coming for the pep rally?"

"Good, really good. My boys are all over this. We have quite a surprise planned."

The timer went off and they turned around. The dogs paused and growled. Gabriel stopped. "I wonder if I confronted the guy he'd stop."

She placed her hand on his arm. "Please don't. I'm sure it'll only make matters worse."

Eyeing her hand on his arm, Gabriel patted it. "You're right." They continued running. "You know, back in the day..."

"You would've already handled him," interrupted Katherine. "But this is the new you."

"Sometimes the old me had its advantages."

They stood outside her house. "You might be right."

"Don't worry. I won't do anything that could possibly put you and the boys in jeopardy."

"I know. I'll see you at school." She jogged to her steps and then turned and waved.

Gabriel petted his buddy's head. "Reggie, I'm in love with her. Now what?" He continued to the gym.

When Gabriel entered Katherine's classroom, he saw her head between her hands and asked, "Rough day?"

"No. It's going well. I'm just really tired. I hope I get some sleep tonight." Katherine pointed to a paper in his hand. "What's that?"

"I hope you get some sleep tonight, too." Gabriel glanced at the paper. "I need to speak to you about this. My starting center's failing geometry. He won't be able to play in Friday's game if you don't do something about it."

"It's not me that needs to do anything about it. It's your center. Are we talking about Jimmy Scott?"

After Gabriel nodded, Katherine opened her grade book. "We've had two assessments, one last week and one yesterday. He not only failed them, but he didn't get a single answer correct on either test. If he just needed a point or two, I'd give it to him. He's so low I can't do anything. I won't fix grades just so you can win a football game. That doesn't help the student. Athletes need to get the grades just like everybody else. You need to be concerned about the whole child."

"I am concerned about my teams' grades. That's why I'm here. I'm not surprised he didn't get any correct answers on a written test. I'm not asking you to fix his grades. I know he knows the material. He needs to be tested differently."

"What is he, a junior?" Gabriel nodded, and then she continued, "He should know by now how to take a test."

"He struggles with written tests. If you ask him the questions, he can verbally give you the correct answer. He can't read and write." Gabriel paused. "The purpose of math tests is to check the students' math knowledge, right? Not how well they read and write? He knows the answers."

Katherine stood. "Are you questioning my ability to assess my students?"

Gabriel released a deep breath. "With everything you have going on right now, it's not the time to discuss this." He turned to leave and said over his shoulder. "We'll talk later.

As he left the room, he noticed Jose wondering the hallway. "Jose, get to class."

"Yes, Coach. On my way."

Gabriel watched until Jose entered a classroom.

Katherine studied her geometry class as they entered the room. When Jimmy entered, her gaze followed him to his seat. Is Gabriel right? Does Jimmy really understand geometry?

She assigned the class some problems to work in small groups and asked Jimmy to come to her desk. She set copies of the two tests she had already given in front of him. She pointed to the first test. "Jimmy, please read number one to me."

He struggled, but eventually stumbled through it.

When he finished, she asked, "What is it asking you to do?"

He stuttered and couldn't tell her.

"It's okay, Jimmy." After Katherine explained what he was to do, she asked, "Can you work the problem for me?"

He scribbled down a few numbers and gave her the correct answer.

Katherine smiled. "I have no idea how you did it, but that's correct." She continued reading and explaining what he was to do on both tests. Jimmy's grade-point-average rose to a 91 percent.

After class Katherine refilled out the eligibility form, took it to the office, and handed it to Nancy, Mr. Edwards' secretary.

Nancy glanced at it. "Is this a corrected eligibility form?" When Katherine acknowledged it was, she said, "Just a minute. Mr. Edwards needs to speak to you about it."

Katherine's eyebrows scrunched to together. "I've got cross country practice."

"I'm sorry, but the schools are being checked by the UIL (University Interscholastic League) to make sure we're keeping up with the student's academics."

By the time Katherine arrived at practice, the girls were already running the hill. Angie came up to her. "I figured this is what you wanted them to do. Thank you for texting me that you were hung up in the office."

"Sorry. Thank you for starting practice."

Angie grinned. "Your hunky coach was looking for you."

"I'm surprised. He's peeved with me. Our starting center was failing my class."

"You said was?"

"I retested him orally and he's getting an A. Nobody told me how poorly he reads."

"You must be talking about Jimmy." After Katherine nodded, Angie continued, "It's sad. He's been in all sorts of special programs, but for some reason nothing's worked."

"Now I know. So we shouldn't have any more problems."

Gabriel called the linemen together. "Tomorrow we perform our dance. Get in your lines." He waited. "Good. I'll ask the girls to line up across from you." He hesitated. "I don't want you to worry about who's lined up across from you. Just put up with it for a few minutes."

The rest of the team watched. Jose said, "Aren't you and Coach Riley supposed to start the dance?" After Gabriel agreed, Jose continued, "But she's angry with you. What if she refuses to dance?"

"Nothing's private here." He shook his head. "Yes, she's upset with me because I questioned some grades she gave one of you knuckle heads. One of you is failing and won't be able to play tomorrow. I asked her to retest him. She wasn't happy about it. We're both professionals, so I'm sure it'll work out."

After practice, Bill walked up to Gabriel. "Want me to go to the Quarterback Club meeting tonight so you can talk with Katherine?"

"I hadn't thought about that." Gabriel thought a moment. "No, I'd better do it. Katherine will do what she needs to do. I'll see her in the morning for our run."

As Katherine finished setting the table, Jordan walked through the front door. "Hi, Mom."

"Hello." She glanced around him. "Didn't Gabriel bring you home?"

"Nope, Coach Brooks did. He said he had a Quarterback Club meeting he needed to attend. Something about switching banks. He told me to remind you and he'd see you in the morning. He also said if you need anything call."

"Thank you. I'd forgotten that meeting was tonight. Let's eat."

Around nine o'clock, Jordan answered his mom's ringing phone. "Hello, Coach?"

"Jordan? Where's your mom?"

"She fell asleep on the couch. Do you want me to wake her?"

"No. She needs the sleep. Just let her know I called. Unless she wakes up on her own, don't wake her for our run, but in time to get to school, deal?"

"Deal. Thanks, Coach."

"For what?"

"Looking after her."

"You're welcome, bye."


Katherine Riley: age 33 - widowed: husband died 6 months ago. She moved to Texas from NYC with her four sons. She teaches high school math and also coaches girls cross country.

Daisy: Katherine's yellow Labrador

Gabriel Hudson: High School football coach and former NFL defensive lineman

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

Sandy Frost Rodney Frost's wife

Sam Auto repair shop owner

Bill Brooks Assistant football coach, Gabriel's friend, and Angie's husband.

Harold Hudson Gabriel's dad and football announcer.

Sandy Teenage girl on cross country team.

Judy Teenage girl on cross country team.

Rhonda Morgan Teenage girl on cross country team, and victim of dating violence.

Mr. and Mrs. Morgan Rhonda's parents.

Kenny Clark Teenager - Rhonda's boyfriend

Grace Former friend of Gabriel and featured in porn magazine

Janette & Jackson Riley Katherine's in-laws


The book continues with Football Chapter 25 part 1. We will provide a link to it when you review this below.

Author Notes
Thank you google images for an image of a geometry test. I also want to thank everybody for the helpful reviews. I made many changes as I posted. I hope it's okay. Again, I hope I didn't make it worse. This novel is not actually about football, but is part of the background. High football is a national pastime in Texas. This post is a little under 1,400 words. Sorry about the length. Thank you for having patience with me.

Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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