Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: START (02/25/16)
- TITLE: Getting in the Game
By Don Buschert
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Their season was over.
Another year of missing the playoffs. It hurt. He hated that sinking, demoralizing feeling of losing much more than the elation of victory.
The rest of the players had quietly dressed and left. The team captain; Rob still remained, seated half-dressed in his corner stall, surrounded by the media, patiently answering each question with a smile. Rob was a class act despite their dismal season, flawlessly performing his leadership duties all season long.
Cory still had his skates on.
This could have been his last professional game. His contract was up July 1st, and at age 33 who would sign him? This season his playing time was down, and seemed always a half-step behind the play. His only strength was working with the kids, teaching them tricks only pros understand.
In the end, this city deserves a winner, and he’s not pegged into that rebuild.
A fifty-million-dollar career, spanning fifteen seasons, suddenly slamming to a screeching halt. And with no championships; or awards, not even a sip out of Lord Stanley's mug. He was lucky to have played almost a thousand games.
A few weeks ago, his girlfriend Lindsey sat him down. Three things were on her sharp mind. Lindsay wasn't typically this direct with him; so he paid careful attention. He thought it was bad news; someone else in her life. He looked into her sincere, wide brown eyes.
Lindsay told him she was a porn star in college. Cory was stunned, but not overly surprised; somewhat amused actually. Lindsay was an athletic trainer, and had the body to match. He could see it happening. Then Lindsay got very emotional and apologized for not telling him sooner; when they first settled down. At two-hundred dollars a scene, it helped pay her way through college, though she deeply regrets it now. Cory didn't know what to say. He gave her a hug, she held on tightly, weeping deeply with heaving sobs. Cory was still speechless, but more interested what the other two agenda items might be. He wanted to hurry her along but couldn't.
Next, after Lindsay composed herself, she told him of her recent decision to follow Jesus Christ. Cory sat back in the couch. Coming from Lindsey that was unexpected; she was always disparaging the Judea-Christian ethos - dismissing it as, "The angry Hebrew God with its pacifist Jesus." Her forte was to dabble in various eastern religions. One of her clients had been testifying this faith with her. Lindsey was so intrigued, she attended a church service. Impressed beyond belief with her experience; she converted. Again, Cory was astounded; being indifferent to all religions. Beer and the odd scotch got him through, he could care less about religion.
And finally, Lindsay grabbed both Cory's hands, told him how much she loved him and that they should get married. "Good gawd!" he exclaimed, this was too much! At that, he got up and made a stiff drink. Lindsay told Cory she would follow him anywhere; "Whatever you decide; you have my support," she said with those big brown eyes. Wow. After that Lindsay backed off and let him be. And now here he was.
Thing is, Lindsay was changing; metamorphosing, as if becoming a new person. Her sharing a shameful, private past to him was huge. He admired that in her. He respected her settling down on a faith, even if for reasons that only mattered to her. She seemed happier; more loving. Her incessant nagging stopped; they fought less. She appeared more mature. Sure, Lindsay would still challenge him; that’s in her DNA, but how she did it was different. He liked it. Fact was, he had a beautiful woman who was the mother of their two girls. She will fully support him in anything.
Despite the changes in her life, Cory was silently hoping this Jesus thing will play itself out; like the rest of Lindsay's Eastern religion trysts. Of course, Cory could not bring himself to tell her that. Whatever it was she had, it seemed real.
Cory envied Lindsay, coveting what she had, a new start to her life. He had many doubts and misgivings about God. He was at a crossroads in his own life, decisions needed to be made. He wanted a fresh start. With that he unlaced his skates for the last time.
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