- Football Chapter 2 part 1by barbara.wilkey
This work has reached the exceptional level
Katherine is introduced to the gentleman.
Football - A Novel
: Football Chapter 2 part 1 by barbara.wilkey
Book of the Month contest entry

Katherine struggles raising her four sons by herself.


After they left, Katherine sat for a few seconds. I can't believe I just allowed Jordan to drive away with a complete stranger. She glanced at her watch. "At six-eleven, I'll call this number." She set the alarm on her phone.

As she pulled into her driveway, her alarm sounded. She grabbed the phone and punched in the number.

After two rings she heard a female voice, "Hello, Welcome to the Bears' Cave. Juliet Harper, the athletic trainer, speaking. How can I help?"

"Hello, this is Katherine Riley. We had a difficult morning, and I'm checking to make sure my son, Jordan Riley made it to football practice. Could you tell me if he arrived?"

"Yes, Ma'am. I was told to expect your call. Riley, your mom's on the phone."

The next voice Katherine heard was her son's, "Mom, I knew you'd call, but I wish you didn't. I'll be teased for being the new kid and now a mommy's boy. Great start to a new school. I got to go."


Chapter 2 part 1

Katherine accepted the offered classroom keys. "Thank you, Mr. Edwards. I go straight down the hall and then turn right. My room number is 103. Correct?"

"Yes, Ma'am. That's our math hallway. All seven teachers surrounding you teach math. If you have any questions, please come see me or any of them. Please know my door's always open." Paul Edwards opened the office door leading to the hallway.

As Katherine walked through, a person slammed into her and caused her to fall back into her principal's arms. He kept her from landing on the floor.

"Great catch," sounded a male voice from down the hallway.

"Mom!" Jordan leaned over and helped her stand. "Are you okay?"

Katherine straightened herself, took a deep breath, and then studied the football her son held. "I'm fine, but this is exactly the reason for rules about playing ball inside. I think school hallways count as inside."

Jogging toward them, the man said, "I'm sorry. This is my fault."

Her eyes glared into his. "I should've known you'd be involved somehow."

Mr. Edwards grinned. "I see you two have met."

With an offered hand, he said, "Not officially. I'm Coach Gabriel Hudson. I'm glad to meet you."

The principal tried to hide his smile. "Gabe, I'd like to introduce Katherine Riley. She's new to our staff and will be teaching math."

Katherine accepted the offered hand but avoided eye contact. "Nice to meet you." She glanced at her son. "Your ride this morning was with the coach." She searched through her purse and then handed her son the SUV keys. "His vehicle registration and driver's license are in the glove-box. Please get them. I'll meet you in room 103." She hesitated. "Jordan will return your documents." She left.

Paul slapped Gabriel's back. "I can't wait to hear this story. You've made a really bad impression on Mrs. Riley. What happened?"

Gabriel relayed everything that had happened from Reggie scaring her Saturday morning to dumping coffee on her this morning. As he stared down the hallway, he asked, "What's her story?"

Mr. Edwards pointed to his office. "Come in and have a seat. It's long, and you knew or know most the people involved."

Paul poured two cups of coffee and passed one to Gabriel before he sat. "I graduated a year ahead of you. He's probably a year or two behind you. Do you remember George Riley?"

He shook his head. "Should I?"

The principal turned around in his chair and grabbed a year book. He searched until he found the page. "This guy."

"Oh yeah, he was a math geek and captain of the chess club. A real nerd."

"Well. That math geek/nerd graduated with honors and went to Harvard Business School with all-expenses paid. He became a CEO of a huge stock broker firm on Wall Street."

"It pays to be smart."

"Sure does, but it can have its downside. He died six months, ago."

"What does that have to do with Mrs. Riley?" Gabriel took a sip of coffee.

"He was her husband. He left her with four boys. Jordan's the oldest." Paul grinned. "I guess you met Jeremy, the youngest, in the grocery store."

"A typical little guy, full of energy and mischievousness." Gabriel took a long drink of coffee. "I'd think him being a CEO, she wouldn't have to work. I'm sure he left her with plenty of money."

"He did. Let me tell the story." After they both chuckled, Paul continued, "Since George had a prepaid ticket to Harvard, Katherine and he got married the week after she graduated. Literally nine months later, Jordan was born."

"So he was still in school? How'd she get an education?"

"The first three kids, all boys, came one right after another." He paused. "George was never home, so she and the boys were always alone. He traveled literally all over the world."

"She was a trophy wife to be kept on the shelf until needed." After Paul nodded, Gabriel added, "Her life had to be pretty boring, especially since her husband was a world traveler."

"After Joel, her third son was born; Katherine decided to get an education. George knew nothing about it until after Jeremy was born. Three weeks after he was born, she graduated. George was not happy. This is her first teaching experience."

"How do you know all of this?"

"I'm a close friend with her mom. Matter-of-fact, you know her mom and knew her dad." Gabriel's eyes widened, as Paul continued, "Her mom's sweet Ms. Sarah, our favorite volunteer and baker. You knew her dad, Coach Beck."

"Wow, talk about a small world. I remember a young girl following coach around. So that's Ms. Riley. Didn't she run cross country?"

"She did. Still holds a state record. She played softball too."

"That explains her good running form."

"No, you and Reggie scared her. She was running for her life."

"That's true."

They laughed.

After Jordan handed Coach his license and registration and left, Gabriel asked, "Think she can handle discipline?"

"That we'll have to wait and see. I'm wondering if we can talk her into restarting a girls' cross country team. We haven't had one for three years."

"That's a good idea. You'd better ask. She hates me."

"I'm sure with time you can win her over, you usually do."

We have a four day weekend, so my husband and I are traveling to Victoria, Texas and visit with our youngest son. He got his first job there in August and moved. He's on his own and still learning the area. I'm sure before long he won't want his parents around. LOL Anyway, the reason I'm sharing this is I might not post until Monday.


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.

Paul Edwards: High School principal and Gabriel's friend.


Author Notes
Thank you google images for a photo of a high school. This novel is not actually about football, but there is mention of High School football. High School football is a national past-time in Texas. Raising four sons myself, I can promise you my rear-end graced many bleachers on Friday nights. This post is a little over 900 words. I don't want to reveal too much until it's time.


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