Font size: - +
"I have been watching your team since you won from nationals the first time." the man furthered talking.
Tom gripped the magazine books on his hand. He looked at the man sharply. He studied his face. He felt he knew this man for quite a long time, much longer than his old Coach Emberbright. The man wears his red shirt uniform and brown pants. His yellow hair was tied by a head band stretching around his head. He looked like a younger version of Coach Emberbright.
A short breath came out of Tom's mouth.
"You know how my grandfather exerted great efforts to raise high school boys into great volleyball players. Then next year, he'll be off. Man, that was pretty tiring." the man looked at Tom with his smiles.
He seemed did not notice Tom's startled face.
The man darted his eyes away and crossed his arms. He said, "You know, I was thinking one day, one of the Crowfire club advisers will come and ask me to be the team's coach. Of course I will refuse but eventually convinced probably with a practice match with Lion King. Maybe."
Tom's breath started to constrict. The traffic of air in his nostrils stopped the moment he heard the man. He staggered back, having a tight grip on the books and looked at the man, who still didn't seem to notice him startle.
The door of the bookstore opened. A gust of air entered, along with a taller young man, probably at Tom's age, having brown hair wiped on the right side of this head.
"Emberbright." the man raised his hand and passed walking through Tom. He walked to the counter.
"Smoke. We have new volumes today." the counter man said.
The young man replied, "Man, in a couple of years, my brother, Ash will be in Crowfire. I hope he'll be fond of reading our story. Though I didn't contribute much of the climax. It was always the little giant."
The older man whispered at the young man, "He's behind you."
The young man slowly turned his head. He saw Tom, nailing an eye on him with his mouth wide open.
"Tom! I barely recognize you." Smoke spread his arms and embraced Tom. Tom was just as high as Smoke's chest. He added, "You never grew taller. That is what makes you the Little Giant."
"Sm-Smoke." Tom stammered. Tom looked at the man behind them, crossing his arms, with a slit smile left on his face.
Smoke let go and grabbed the books on the counter. Tom still stood from where he is, still holding the pack of magazine on his hand.
He didn't understand what is happening to him right now.
His eyes turned on the clock at the bookstore. It has been passed 9 am that time. His eyes bulged out when the thought rose up his head. He was so late. His morning class was 8 am. And he has to present his research paper to his professor. It was the only thing left for him to pass the semester and go for the requisite courses on the next and last semester in the scary college.
But he missed the first hour. What in the world he was doing? He protested in himself. Without his mind, he just saw himself running with full speed. His legs moved all by itself, and he can't see it moving. He was on the street crowded with a lot of people while the traffic light is green. All the buses and huge vehicles are crossing. Tom can't stop. He can't command his feet, until he was to reach a bus crossing.
That is when the traffic light turned red. The bus stopped in front on his way. Still, he can't force himself to stop. He will crash on it. Then.
He flew. His feet pushed himself up above and landed on the other side of the road. He rolled on the street, then his head bumped on the street light post. He quickly stood, without minding the pain all over his body. His forehead gushes out blood. He just wiped it with his arm.
Everyone was looking at him. He doesn't know it.
Then he ran through the gate of the university, until he reached his class hall. He held the door post with his bloody hands. His face was covered by his drying blood and his clothes were all filthy with dust, blood and sweat.
He was catching his breath when his old professor shot an eye on him. It was 9: 30 am that time. The old man’s eyes followed him as he walks towards his seat.
He forgot he was the first presenter of the class for that morning.
Obviously, he failed. That will mark him a failing grade.
"You will have another year here Tom. For missing this crucial report, you will not be allowed to take the subjects next semester. You have to wait another year to graduate. I hope your scholarship will not bust you out." the rasping voice of his professor brought chills through his spine.
Tom's muscle began to stand stiff. The pain he ignored earlier chased him. His body started to crump. As the thoughts slowly sinking unto him, his head started to blow. The blood pressure suddenly increased. The blood runs down his face very fast, until he felt his head feeling cold.