Romance Fiction posted December 27, 2020 Chapters:  ...13 14 -15- 16... 

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More school background.

A chapter in the book Football - A Novel

Football Chapter 8 part 1

by barbara.wilkey

Katherine struggles raising her four sons by herself.

"Don't get..." She stopped as Reggie turned and growled. "What does he hear?"

"I don't know." Gabriel turned and scanned the area.

"After you and Jordan left this morning, Daisy did the same thing. It's sort of spooky. Something's going on, but what?"

"I don't know." He put his hand on the small of her back. "Let's get inside. We're stuck in meetings all day."

Katherine checked her watch. "I have about thirty minutes to work in my room."

"You about done, or do you need some help?"

"It's getting down to the wire, but I think I'll be all right. Thank you for asking."

"Let me know if you need something. I can help or I'll get somebody in there."

"I know." She continued to her room, as Gabriel went into the office.


Chapter 8 part 1

Katherine smiled when she saw Gabriel jogging toward her house. She rechecked the door to ensure it was locked and then joined him. "Good morning."

"Good morning to you. I see you have your trusty jogging companion."

She petted Daisy's head. "Daisy and I have been at this since she was old enough to jog. What about Reggie?"

Gabriel chuckled. "He puts up with it, but would rather sleep all day." He paused as both dogs stood alert and growled toward the left.

"They hear it again, don't they?" asked Katherine.

"Sure do. My police buddy said Frost was locked up. So it's not him."

"Maybe he's hired somebody to do his dirty work."

Gabriel pointed down the sidewalk. "Let's get going."

Katherine set her alarm. "I have a busy day. I'll get your coffee, but we won't need a lunch. I'm taking a half-a-day off. My furniture arrives this afternoon."

"I bet you're excited."

"I can't wait to sleep in a real bed and not on air mattresses. Jeremy can't wait for his toys."

"I'm sure." Gabriel stopped and stared. "Not only did the dogs hear it, so did I. It was sort of a click, but I can't identify it."

"Should we go back?"

"No. They seem to remain a distance away. If they move closer, we'll take precautions."

Silence continued until Katherine's alarm sounded. As they turned, Gabriel paused and scanned the area. "I don't see a thing, but the dogs hear it."

In front of Katherine's house, Gabriel said, "I'll make sure you get inside safely."

"Thank you. Please be safe on the way back to school."

"I will. Besides who would bother me with Reggie? He may look like a big lug, but if crossed, he'll react."

At the door, Katherine waved. "I'll see you later."

After Jordan was at practice and reminded that Grandma would pick him up. Katherine returned home and prepared for her day. When her mom arrived, she left.

She stopped by the office, and dropped off Coach Hudson's coffee and breakfast, and went on to her classroom.

As she sipped her coffee, Angie walked in. "I hear you and Gabe are spending time together."

"Who'd you hear that from? He's just worried because I jog in the dark. Since he jogs the same route at the same time, we do it together. That's hardly spending time together."

"My husband, Bill. He's friends with Gabe. I guess Gabe mentioned it."

"I hope it doesn't get around. I'd hate to give Mr. Frost's allegations credibility. It's really nothing."

"Gabe's one of the good guys. He wouldn't let anything happen to damage your reputation." Angie scanned the room. "Is there anything I can help with?"

Katherine took a long drink of coffee. "Did Gabriel send you to help?"

"Huh? Why'd you ask?"

"Yesterday he asked about how I was coming and asked if I needed help."

"Gabriel didn't say anything, but Mr. Edwards dropped by and asked."

"And they're close friends. Hmm. Sounds fishy." Katherine paused. "I've mentioned to Gabriel that he has a bad habit of pushing his way into my business. So I guess he's decided not to make it obvious. Grrr." She laughed and turned a circle with her arms out. "How does it look? What do I need to work on?"

"I think you're close. You have posters, desks arranged." She glanced around the room. "Your targets? Where do you plan to put your targets?"


"Basically objectives for each subject you teach. They need to be posted."

Katherine studied each wall and then pointed. "I guess I could write them on the white board. They'll change almost daily, right?"

"Yes, you're teaching, what four different math classes?"

"Yes, AP Calculus, Calculus, AP Pre-calculus, Pre-calculus, and Geometry." Katherine's eyes widened. "That's five." She took a deep breath. "That's too many." She plopped in a chair. "I don't think I can do it. How many are you teaching?"

Gabriel walked in. "You're stressing. What's wrong?"

Angie shook her head. "She just realized she's teaching five different subjects. She thought it was four."

"Mr. Edwards is finalizing our schedule. We'll get them at the meeting." Gabriel glanced at his watch. "That starts in fifteen minutes. I came by to thank you for the coffee and breakfast." He glanced around the classroom. "Your room's looking good." He gestured toward the door. "Ladies, after you. I'll escort you two beautiful ladies to the cafeteria." He followed them out the door.

After everybody was seated and Mr. Edwards stood at the podium, a man from the back of the room called out. "We hear you have our final schedules. We heard our classes are growing. How many students? I might need more desks."

Paul grinned and shook his head. "I see you're ready to get right to business." After a short pause, he continued, "Texas Department of Education has increased the class size to twenty-six students from fifth grade to twelfth. The only department that this impacts is the math department. We're down one teacher. So we may not be allocated another math teacher. I'm working on that."

He rubbed his chin. "The Social Studies department has a lot of students signed up this year. I'm not sure why the increase, but we have a staff member, who can cover that. Coach Hudson, would you prefer to teach US History, or Government?"

Gabriel called out. "How long do I have to think about it?"

Mr. Edwards glanced at his watch. "Times up."

"Figured." He took a deep breath. "If it'll help, I'll do both, but I have one stipulation. Instead of taking one of the classrooms in the social studies hall, can I have that empty room close to the office? I think its room 101. Less travel time will be a huge help."

Paul glanced toward the Assistant Principals. After they nodded, he continued, "I don't see any reason why not. But remain flexible for a while. It could change. Thank you for agreeing to take both."

"Just helping."

Paul held up a stack of papers. "Here's your new schedules. Please understand they can change," he laughed, "up until the end of the first nine weeks. We normally don't make changes after mid-quarter progress reports go home. Department leads please come and get them."

Nobody from the math department got up.

Mr. Edwards stared at the papers for a few moments. "I guess I never assigned a new math department chair. Mr. Collins, would you do it?"

Frank stood. "Sure." He got the papers and passed them out.

The teachers studied their schedule.

Katherine released a breath. "Good, my AP Pre-calculus became a regular Pre-calculus class. So I only have four subjects. I can handle that."

Angie smiled. "I knew it'd work out."

After the staff meeting, Katherine went to her room and searched the planning documents and wrote the first week's objectives for each subject on the white board and divided them with colored magnetic strips. I think I'm almost ready. I have Monday to finish anything I've forgotten. I'm in good shape.

She turned her head when she heard, 'Knock, knock' at the door.

Katherine glanced up and smiled. "When did you learn to knock? I'm used to you just walking in."

Gabriel set down a large bag. "It's the new me. I told you that I'd work on a few things." He studied the bag. "I figured you wouldn't think about lunch with furniture being delivered. Mom and I decided to help. There should be enough for all the boys and Ms. Sarah."

Grinning, Katherine teased, "But not me."

Chuckling he realized his error. "Of course you. I'd never forget you." He avoided eye contact. "Hmm, I guess I'd better go."

She touched his arm. "Gabriel, thank you. It's very thoughtful."

"If you need any help, you have my number. It's on the school phone tree." He left.


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: 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 and Gabriel's friend.


Thank you google images for a photo of a math problem. I also want to thank everybody for the wonderful reviews. This novel is not actually about football, but is part of the background. High School football is a national past-time in Texas. This post is a little over 1300 words and is an information post. It gives the story background knowledge that will help understand future events. I'm sorry about the length.
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