General Fiction posted November 8, 2020 Chapters:  ...6 7 -8- 9... 

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Gabriel talks with Katherine.

A chapter in the book Football - A Novel

Football Chapter 4 part 2

by barbara.wilkey

Katherine struggles raising her four sons by herself.

Mr. Green raised his hand. "Stop it. This is totally..." His glare followed Katherine out the door. "Unprofessional." He used his walkie-talkie and notified Mr. Edwards. He stood in the door watching Katherine and then turned. "Mr. Frost, Human Resources will hear about this. I'm going to recommend a suspension."

"You can't do that. I spoke the truth."

"You better have evidence to back up your accusations."

Coach Hudson was the first to show up. Mr. Edwards was right behind him.

After hearing verbatim what had happened, Gabriel glared at Frost. "The venom you're spouting is even low for you." He left the room. "I'm searching for Mrs. Riley. You better hope she's not working on her resignation."

Paul checked his watch. "Mr. Frost, you need to be in my office in twenty minutes. I'll be on the phone to H.R." He left.

Gabriel checked the security cameras and discovered Katherine went toward the football field. Both he and Paul headed that direction spouting choice words about Frost.


Chapter 4 part 2

They spotted Katherine sitting halfway up in the center of the stadium.

Gabriel's eyes met Paul's. "Any idea how we proceed?"

"Nope, I was hoping you did."

"At least you're married. My longest relationship lasted almost two months."

"Between seasons?"

"Yep." Gabriel studied Katherine. "We'd better do something. We can't let her sit there all day. You'd better go first. She's probably crying. I don't do tears."

"Think I do?"

"You have a wife and a daughter. You have to do tears."

Shaking his head, Paul said, "Remind me again why we're friends." He went up the stadium stairs toward Katherine. Gabriel followed.

Katherine used the back of her hand to wipe tears from her cheeks. "I see you found me."

Gabriel offered her a handkerchief. "It wasn't hard."

She accepted it and blew her nose. "Thank you. I'll wash and return it." She studied the field. "Does Mr. Frost actually believe I've slept with both of you? If he does, how many other people believe that?" She hesitated. "What have I done to him? When I signed my contract, I remember a morality clause. Are you here to fire me?"

Paul sat beside her. "To ease your fears, I'm not here to fire you. Yes, there's a morality clause and no we haven't slept together. I'm confident you and Gabe haven't either. I have no clue what Mr. Frost believes or how many people he's shared his lies with. I promise you, I'll handle the situation."

"Thank you."

Mr. Edwards checked his watch. "I have a meeting I need to attend in seven minutes." He glanced at Gabriel. "Can you stay until she's ready to return?" Paul stood and patted her shoulder as he left. "It'll work out."

Gabriel moved closer. "Do you want to talk or sit in silence?"

She wiped an escaped tear. "Sit in silence."

"Sounds good."

After releasing a deep breath, Katherine said, "I'm sure you have strategic planning to discuss for this football season. You don't need to sit with me. I'll be all right."

He shielded his eyes from the sun as he surveyed the football field. "It's been a difficult lesson, and one I fought all the way, but I've come to realize football isn't the most important part of life."

"I bet that was a hard lesson. Dad never learned it."

Gabriel searched his pockets. "I still slip back to my old ways, especially during the season." He took a tube from his pocket. "Here it is." Handing it to her, he continued, "Put this on. You'll sunburn. I'm pretty sure since living in New York; you're not used to the Texas sun."

Accepting it and rubbing it on her arms, she said, "Thank you."

Taking off his cap, he placed it on her head. "Your scalp will burn."

She gave a partial smile. "Now yours will."

He took the sunscreen from her, squeezed some on his hand, and rubbed his scalp. "It won't."

After a few moments of silence, he asked, "What are you thinking about? Paul, Mr. Edwards, is worried you're going to resign."

"I know you and Mr. Edwards are friends. You don't need to correct yourself around me." As he grinned, Katherine continued, "My welcome back to Silver Cove hasn't been exactly warm. I don't know what I'm going to do. I don't think I can face my team. I know there's a strong rumor mill, and I'm sure by now it's traveled through the school."

"I wouldn't worry about it."

"How can you say that?" interrupted Katherine as she glared at him. "It's not only my personal reputation; it's my professional one. He's implied I can't get a job on my own merits."

"He's wrong, isn't he?"

"Of course he is. You're not a very good cheerleader."

"You're probably right." Gabriel chuckled. "I told Paul that I wasn't the right person for this job." He paused. "My suggestion would be to prove him wrong. All you need to do is be yourself." He hesitated. "Some Faulkner guy said, 'You can't swim for new horizons until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore'."

"It was William Faulkner. Do you believe that?"

He stood and offered his hand. "I do. You ready?"

Standing she ignored his hand. "If we walk in together, everybody will think we were together."

He blinked. "We are together. Paul and I searched for you."

"Right, but..."

"But nothing," he interrupted as they walked toward the school.

As they passed the locker room, Gabriel ran in, grabbed two water bottles, and handed Katherine one. "You were in the sun, you need to drink this."

She took a drink. "Thank you."

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."

This is a bridge post. Not a lot happening, but is necessary to the story. I can promise more action very soon.


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.

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


Thank you google images for a photo of an empty high school football stadium. I also want to thank everybody for the wonderful reviews on this novel. 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 under the Friday night stadium lights. This post is a little over 900 words.
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