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Volleyball is all what matters to him. Getting through several tournaments and winning the championship are the most fulfilling things he just did in his simple life. He was an idiot after all, he thought. He was getting jested by his former team mates long way back in his high school on how stupid and lame he was somethimes, but that is just the other shell of connecting with him. Through time though, some things had gone rough, his high school are just the piece of his past.
It is still fresh in his memory those days, the smell of the volleyball gym, the voices of his friends and his coach, the cheers of people from the bleacher of the gymnasium during tournament, the shouts of their opponents during a game play and a lot more.
People call him, the little giant. That was his name tag, not only in the field of volleyball sport, but across his entire personal life. But for him, being called by his name, Tom Dylan is more than enough, especially for those who were by his side on the cross roads of their team's volleyball journey. Though he is already in last year of college, his historical influence never left him since he won the national tournament and their team consistently becoming unbeatable champions.
Crowfire High School regained their honor as a powerhouse school since that spring tournament. Believe it or not, they were held over all champions. It was all because of him, with the aid of his team mates of course.
They say, volleyball is a sport that requires high stature in order to block a ball and to kill it as well. As for Tom, his small height (174 cm) has never been of disadvantage especially at mid-air battles. Amongst his exceptional skills are his fast reflexes, speed and high jump. What remarked about him is his unique way of attack. He purposely aims the ball to the blockers' fingertips and ricochets the ball. From that special attack, his name, Little Giant emerged.
No one can beat him. Even the ace players he fought before, who had given him the bitterness of defeat, did not stand a chance.
The flightless chickens, the Crowfire High School became a powerhouse school again after few barren years, everyone thought ever since. During his last fight as the little giant, the whole world of sports looked upon him especially when he was granted the Ace of the Year, and his team as the champions. TV interviews and newspapers were bombarded by their faces of victory.
It was only but a memory now. He just can't help remembering and feeling those nostalgic moments. He felt the longing for those days to get back, but that is just what it is, bounded by his time. If only he could be there again. If only he can play again as the little giant in tournaments, nothing could make him happier.
It is his last year in college this year. In few months, he will graduate and earn a degree. His days in college are pretty rough. He had to study well to pass the spartan exams and comply all the death-defying requirements. For others, those things aren't really hard, but for him, he has to exert greater effort. Those tough times eventually pushed him over the edge. He had no choice but to focus on his studies. He has to do it. After all, the very reason he entered college is the scholarship grant for his title with a deal. He has to maintain his grades unless he will be forced to stop. He became stagnated in playing volleyball game and never been a regular player in the university's volleyball club. He knows, he is not as smart as Smoke, perhaps their smartest bet on the batch. Tom was even officially classified as one of the idiots, his way less intelligent than Toby, Brimstone and Coal, the most stupid among his team mates.
He smiled remembering his old team pals. For him, they meant a lot. After high school, they barely see each other. Some of them studied college while some got their jobs. He only knew in the latter that his former seniors, Thor and Scarlet got married. He had an invitation, but he was never able to come because of his studies.
He never blamed his college life for putting him on this or anyone for making him an idiot. No one made him like that, even himself. It was just things are rough that he cannot take it over his limitations. That is why he had to compromise. He only realized this time the worst thing, he had lost a spot to play with the national team for his age. It is simply because he never had a volleyball record in college. That thing made him cry for few nights. After college, he will be sent to the corporate world. No more school, but greater adult challenges. He doesn't even know if volleyball would still be a part of it. Probably not.
Even so, he still wanted to play volleyball. He wanted to play official matches again. The little giant never gets rusted, a thought struck his mind. He knew it is not too late for him before losing his dreams, though his biggest ones happened already. He knew he has to do something.
He stood from a bench seat where he was the entire time. He was at the University Park and walked towards the gate. He is still on his a white hoodie over black jersey while carrying his messenger bag. He walked while his head down while his hands are on his pockets. He never changed though, but his face had gone quite mature. His orange hair maintained its spikiness and of course, he never grew taller.
It was nearly dark. The sky is red-orange and the street lights are already lighted up.
Loneliness filled his face. Not a day he frowned at everyone. He has been silent and rarely interacts with anybody.