This is about the pitfalls of a superstar athlete who is trying to remain true to himself.
| The situation came to a head one night at the bowling ally. A.J. and Teddy had been on a summer league and they had a tournament one Friday night. Of course that same night Ashley and her pathetic excuse for a boyfriend, James, were there with some of their friends.
There was a break in between the second and third game and Teddy was hungry as usual. They walked up to the snack bar and the line was a mile long. About half way to the counter A.J. needed to use the bathroom so he told Teddy to order him something and he would see him back at the lane.
Teddy got the snacks and returned to the lane. After several minutes he began to worry because A.J. had not returned. Sure the bowling ally was busy but he should have been back by now so he went to investigate. When he entered the bathroom there were 2 porky linemen holding A.J. by each arm while James was slapping him in the face. As James cocked his arm back in preparation for another blow Teddy grabbed him and tossed him into a stall.
“Let him go meatheads or you’ll end up in the same position as your sorry excuse of a leader!” bellowed Teddy.
At that moment the manager walked into the restroom and demanded sternly, “What the hell is going on in here”?
Meathead # 1, who was standing on the right, obviously had all the brains because he was able to respond while meathead # 2 stood with a void look on his face.
"He slipped on your crappy floor and we were just helping him up. Isn’t that right pal"?
"Ya. I slipped and lost my balance".
"How did this guy wind up in the stall"?
"When I fell I tried to regain my balance and he tried to help but he lost his footing also. You should have someone clean up in here more often! Someone could get hurt".
"Don’t smart mouth me boy! I don’t believe a word of what you just said. And if I catch you cutting up in my lavatory again I’ll ban you from the facility and I’ll call your parents".The manager looked at Teddy and A.J. and said, “You boys get out of here”.
James quickly piped in,”Yeah we’ll catch up with you later fellas”.
After that A.J. and Teddy slowly walked out of the restroom making sure that they did not appear to be in a rush or frightened in the least bit. They went back to their lane, where their opponents were waiting impatiently, and completed the match. They didn’t win but it was close and came down to the last 2 balls thrown. A.J. and Teddy stayed afterwards and played around in the arcade room and when they headed towards the exit it was almost 9:30 pm. They reached the bike rack and discovered the chains they used to lock up their bikes were cut and the bikes were gone. The boys were mad but they had a pretty good idea who took them. Their houses weren’t too far so they decided to walk and they would confront their foes tomorrow.
Teddy suggested they cut through the park to save time and at the time it seemed like a good idea. About halfway into the park they questioned this decision. The camouflage of the trees covered the park in a cloak of darkness that made it difficult to see. The boys had to walk extremely slowly and every little sound was amplified. At one point they even thought they heard someone giggling. With their nerves on edge they were startled at the sound a voice being projected from the wood line. “You boys lost?” the unknown voice questioned. Suddenly the owner appeared from the shadows and now A.J. was certain that using the cut through was a bad idea. From out of the gloom came James Spencer and his posse of goons. The boys were stumbling a bit and they were drenched with an odor that was a mix of alcohol and cheap colon.
"What do you want James"?
"We have unfinished business Smith"?
"Look I don’t want any trouble".
"You should of thought of that when you began messing with my girlfriend".
Teddy interrupted, “If you can’t keep your girl’s eyes from wandering then that is your fault Spencer”!
"Shut him up boys"! And with that 2 of the larger idiots grabbed Teddy’s arms and another punched him in the gut causing him to bend over at the waist.
"Let him go James"!
"Or what? You’ll beat me up"?
"In case you haven’t noticed we outnumber you". As he spoke 4 of his paid thugs appeared, as if by magic, from the woods and A.J. got a queasy feeling in his stomach.
"What do you want you jerk"?
"To kick your ASS all over this park"!
Spencer delivered a hook that connected with the left side of A.J.’s head. Then he stepped back and the hoodlums engulfed A.J. with punches and kicks. Still trying to catch his breath from the first punch Teddy tried to wrench free from his sentinels and received another shot to the gut. This time Teddy dropped to one knee and clutched his midsection. The goons holding Teddy by the arms began laughing and relaxed their grip. Teddy saw this as his one and only chance to help his best friend. He inhaled as much as possible, which was very little to say the least, and made his move. He curled both hands into fist and thrust them upward into the groins of his captures. Their voices raised three octaves as they screamed like little girls and fell to the ground. Their hands were buried between their legs and with any luck they would remain that way long enough for Teddy and A.J. to make their escape.
Teddy looked over where his friend had been and all he saw was the backside of a dog pile. Arms and legs were flailing around like an octopus. Adrenaline took over and Teddy leaped to his feet. Teddy sprinted towards the pile and started grabbing any body part he could find. He yanked one guy by the arm and a second by the hair. He dragged them away from the pile and this allowed him to catch a glimpse of his pal. A.J. was curled up in a ball like a roly-poly trying to protect as much of his body as possible. Teddy reached for another goon when he was jumped from behind and struck again in the gut.
As Teddy dropped to his knees yet again a thought ran through his head,” I wish they would stop hitting me in the stomach! They could hit me in the face or even pick me up and drop me on my head but, for the love of god, just quit hitting my stomach!” Teddy would have busted out laughing if he had any breath in his lungs. The goons commenced to giving Teddy the same treatment as A.J. and it seemed as if there was no help anywhere in site.