Posts Tagged ‘young adult’

Montgomery Lake High #1: The Right Person

padDaily, teenagers enter into the war between being true to themselves and fitting in with their peers. One such troubled teen is Chris Dunkin, who has been a substance abuser since age twelve. Now fifteen, he is drinking alcohol more often and using heavy drugs to keep himself high.

His grades, relationships, and dream of becoming a professional football player are quickly slipping through his fingers. Starved for strength and willpower, Chris knows that he is in over his head.

One evening, a ray of hope shines into his dark world in an unexpected form. Fed with the food of encouragement, Chris sets out on a quest to find the true meaning of freedom.

This story of teenage acceptance and the battle over moral convictions will hit home with many teens looking for answers.

On sale today at Barnes & Noble

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To my readers:

Tonight, I am feeling very thankful and honored to be 1 of the 4 authors selected, out of 5,000, to be featured on the home page of my publisher’s website. To be chosen as a face of the company that has helped so many authors make their dreams come true and to know that the team you work with believes in you/your mission is incredible. Thank you SBPRA for encouraging me in my endeavors! I am very excited to continue writing books that inspire young adults to not only find their place in this world but also achieve personal fulfillment.  –Stacy 

http://sbpra.net/

An inmate in an Atlanta prison read Montgomery Lake High #2: When Darkness Tries to Hide. Although this book falls in the young adult genre, the man had this to say:

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More of the Montgomery Lake High books were read in an Atlanta prison. Here is the review of The Right Person:
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Chapter 2

 

“Jessie? Hello? Are you even listening to me?” Sarah Gleeson exclaimed and snapped her fingers in front of Jessie Robin’s face.

Jessie turned toward her best friend. “Sorry. What were you saying?”

Sarah sighed. “I swear you only wanted to come to this game because he would be here.”

Jessie dropped her jaw. “How could you say that? I don’t even know him, and he certainly doesn’t know me!”

“He’s a jerk!” Sarah exclaimed as she glanced at the group of freshmen boys standing behind the cheerleaders.

“Don’t be judgmental,” Jessie said and blushed slightly. “You don’t even know him.”

“Um, okay, sorry to be sinful—or whatever—but, seriously, have you ever listened to him talk? He’s not a nice person!” Sarah cried out defensively. “I know your dad’s a pastor, but how can you not judge someone like that?”

Jessie rolled her eyes and turned away from Sarah. As she glanced toward the field, a magnetic-like force captivated her eyes and planted them upon him. Dressed as nicely as usual, in a pair of khakis and a loose blue sweater, he stood out from his crowd of beautiful people. Doing some sort of jig—most likely making fun of someone nearby—he had his friends in hysterics.

“I’m sorry, Jessie. I don’t want to discourage you. I’m just trying to look out for you,” Sarah said apologetically. “I know that you think he’s cute, but he’s bad news. You don’t even want to go there! Plus, he’s dating Cathy Kagelli. She’s the last person anyone should cross. She and her friends would rip you apart.”

Jessie’s heart sank at the sound of Cathy’s name. It was hard to believe that Cathy had once sung alongside her in church and slept over her house. “I’m not afraid of Cathy,” Jessie stated sternly. “And it’s not that I think Jason’s cute. It’s nothing like that at all! I’ve told you a million times; God is drawing me toward him.”

Sarah laughed. “Why in the world would God draw you toward someone like him? Did you tell your father? He’ll straighten you out. Listen to me, Jessie. There is no way God wants you to have anything to do with Jason Davids. He’s like the Satan of our grade.”

“God’s ways are not our ways,” Jessie replied as she glanced again in Jason’s direction. “I know God’s voice, Sarah. Just pray for me.”

Walking in front of the bleachers toward a large group of juniors, Jason pulled his vibrating cell phone out of his pocket. For the fifteenth time that night, he sent Cathy’s call to voicemail. What does she not understand about a break? It’s not a breakup, so there is no need to freak out!

Their “break” had taken place five days prior. Since then, she had called him over fifty times and refused to speak to anyone except her closest friends, Lisa Ankerman and Julianna Camen. It bothered Jason to see Cathy hurt, but he knew that he could not help her, unfortunately, until he found help for himself.

Chris made it look so easy. Chris had been worse into drugs than Jason, and he had practically given them up overnight. Chris had even admitted that getting sober had been easy for him. Most importantly, he had said that he would help Jason. Dating Cathy pulled Jason away from Chris and into everything detrimental to his life.

 

Chapter 3

 

“I’m going to get hot chocolate,” Jessie stated and rose from the bleachers. “Do you want to come?”

“Of course,” Sarah replied and stood up beside her friend. “I’m all set with sitting here by myself. I don’t even care that we’re winning.”

Jessie laughed. “Well thanks for coming with me. My dad said that he has a ‘friend’ on the team that he’d like me to cheer on,” she said, walking across the bleachers toward the concession stand.

“Who’s your dad’s friend?” Sarah asked with a short laugh. “No one from youth group is on the team.”

“You’re going to laugh when I tell you,” Jessie replied. “You’ll think I’m making it up.”

Sarah rolled her eyes. “Try me.”

“Number 85—Chris Dunkin,” Jessie said and widened her eyes.

Sarah laughed. “Okay, you’re kidding right? How does your father know Chris Dunkin?”

“You haven’t noticed a change in Chris?” Jessie questioned her as she stepped down the stairs toward the field. “He comes to church now. He’s been coming since September.”

“I saw him at Andy’s prayer service, but I also saw Jason, Lisa Ankerman, and Leslie Lucus. I just figured Chris was there to support Chantal, like the rest of them,” Sarah replied.

“I don’t think I’m supposed to tell you this, but you probably won’t believe me anyway,” Jessie said as she stopped on one of the steps and turned toward Sarah. “Chris and Jason came up with the idea for Andy’s prayer service.”

A perplexed expression coated Sarah’s face—the exact reaction Jessie had expected. “I’m not budging. Jason’s still evil,” Sarah stated and stepped past Jessie down the remaining steps.

Jason and Bryan walked to the right of the bleachers where Luke and his friends were gathered. Luke was standing with his girlfriend against the chain-linked fence near the concession stand.

“Sup, Jay?” Luke called and waved Jason over to him.

“We’re ready to leave when you are,” Jason replied as he walked toward Luke with Bryan. “Hi, Missy.”

“Hey, Jay,” Missy said. She flipped her long blonde hair over her shoulder and smiled brightly. “Your friend’s playing really well out there tonight.”

“Yeah,” Jason agreed and glanced back at the field. “Chris is sick!”

“I’m down to the last beer I brought in,” Luke stated as he patted down the cargo pockets of his khakis. “I’m good to leave in a few. Why don’t you guys go get us some pizza?”

“Dude, what are we? Your slaves?” Jason asked and rolled his eyes.

“Hey! You owe me,” Luke said and pushed Jason toward the concession stand. “I’m about to take you to the sickest party you’ve ever seen. Saddle up, cowboy.”

Jason sighed and reluctantly turned back toward the bleachers. “Yo, at the party, I’m staying clear of any blunts that get passed around,” Jason said quietly to Bryan as they walked toward the concession stand. “You can do whatever you want, but I’m good with it.”

“Is your brother still going to give us those painkillers?” Bryan asked.

“Yeah, he’ll give us whatever we want,” Jason replied and shrugged carelessly.

Bryan smiled. “Don’t worry, dude. I won’t be smoking up either. I can’t lie to Courtney, and I know that she’ll ask if I smoked anything.”

Jason patted Bryan on the back appreciatively and then stepped into the food line. He leaned to his left to read the wooden menu above the ordering window. As he turned to suggest pepperoni pizza to Bryan, he felt his eyes grow abnormally large and his cheeks begin to burn.

Jessie was standing in line at the concession stand with Sarah when a group of sophomore boys approached them. From the scents on their breaths and the hazy looks in their eyes, Jessie could tell that the boys were intoxicated.

“Hey, girls. How’s your night going?” one of the boys asked as he leaned in closely to Sarah.

Sarah turned away and rolled her eyes at Jessie. Jessie continued to stare straight ahead.

“Oh, what, you don’t have any love for my boy?” another one taunted and stepped beside the first boy.

“Can you just leave us alone, please?” Sarah retorted sternly.

“That’s tough with two cute girls,” a third one laughed as he walked around to the other side of Jessie. “Why don’t you come chill with us?”

“Because you’re annoying,” Sarah rebuked and latched onto Jessie’s arm.

“Woah! That’s bold!” the first one laughed. “I like the little feisty one.”

“Why don’t you girls come sit with us for the rest of the game?” the third one suggested and placed his arm around Jessie’s shoulders.

“Please don’t touch me,” Jessie said calmly.

“I don’t think these broads like us very much,” the third one said to his friends as he tightened his grip on Jessie. “That’s just because they don’t know how satisfying we are.”

Jessie dropped her jaw and turned to push the boy off of her. Before she was able to lift a finger, the boy went flying off of her and onto the ground. Jessie’s heart pounded heavily inside of her chest.

“Stay the #$@% away from her!” Jason Davids screamed at the sophomore on the ground. “Don’t either of you look in their direction!” he cried out as he turned to face the other two boys. He grabbed hold of his fist that had sent Jessie’s perpetrator to the ground and turned toward Bryan Sartelli. Bryan’s eyes were wide and confusion was plastered all over his attractive face.

“Oh, what, do you think you’re tough or something, Davids?” the boy on the ground called out as he wiped blood off his lip.

A large crowd began gathering around them as people started chanting, “Fight! Fight!”

Suddenly, the boy on the ground jumped up and lunged at Jason, thrusting him into the chain link fence nearby. Immediately, Jason wrestled him to the ground. The sophomore’s two drunken friends jumped in, dragging Jason off of their friend and pinning him up against the fence. Without hesitation, Bryan lunged at the sophomores, grabbing one of them by the throat and punching him across the face.

Luke Davids, the most handsome boy at Montgomery Lake High, appeared through the crowd. His normally-at-ease-disposition turned angry once he caught sight of Jason being choked up against the fence by two of the boys. Without a second of hesitation, Luke tore the boys off of his younger brother. “What the hell is going on here?!” he screamed as he thrust the two boys into the crowd and then separated Bryan from the other one.

Gasping for air, Jason leaned against the fence with his eyes closed.

“Don’t you know enough to stay away from my brother?” Luke yelled at the bloody sophomores who were fleeing the scene.

“I started it,” Jason huffed, gasping for breath as he opened his aquamarine eyes.

Jessie stood frozen, trying to process the scene before her.

“What was the heck was that about?” Bryan asked as he eyed Jason warily. “Dude, you sucker-punched O’Leary for no reason. What the hell?”

Luke and Bryan stared expectantly at Jason as he slowly stepped away from the fence. He began walking toward Jessie, brushing dirt off his sweater. “Are you okay?” he asked, panting and eyeing her with concern.

Jessie swallowed deeply and nodded, gazing hesitantly into Jason’s glassy eyes.

“All right. I have to get out of here before the principal shows up, but I’ll see you around, Jessie,” Jason stated and smiled at her before hustling off through the crowd.

Jessie stared blankly ahead as the world spun around her. She blinked, half expecting to find herself sitting on the bleachers beside Sarah, realizing the fiasco had been a mere daydream. That, however, was not the case. Jason not only knew who she was but also felt the need to protect her—two things she had never expected. “I’m not even thirsty anymore,” she stated. She let out a short laugh, realizing that she had underestimated God.

 

Chapter 4

 

“Okay, you need to run that by me one more time. Who is that girl?” Bryan asked as he jogged beside Jason toward Luke’s car.

“Her name is Jessie Robins,” Jason replied, stopping short at his brother’s BMW 650i black convertible. “I really don’t want to get into it. She’s just a girl in our grade. O’Leary was being an idiot. No one should treat a girl like that.”

Bryan stared at Jason skeptically, recalling the many times one of their friends had mistreated a girl and Jason had done nothing but laugh. Clearly, Jason had some ulterior motive for fighting O’Leary. “Well, I think she’s pretty cute,” Bryan said.

“She’s do-able,” Jason stated flatly.

Bryan laughed. “You’re going to have to explain this a lot better to Luke. He seemed pretty heated,” Bryan said as he noticed Luke and Missy heading toward them.

Jason rolled his eyes and touched the small cut on his cheek. “Good thing I planned on popping Vicodin tonight,” he said as he twisted his bruised wrist. “It’s eight o’clock, and I’m already banged up. God help me.”

“What are you doing to celebrate tonight?” Justin Knight, the captain of the team, asked Chris Dunkin inside the locker room.

Chris smirked. “I am, first and foremost, thanking God for our victory and then chilling with my girlfriend at the Kagellis’ house,” Chris replied as he stood up from the bench.

“No crazy booze-fest?” Justin asked and stared at Chris strangely.

“Nope,” Chris laughed, wondering if his old reputation was going to haunt him for the remainder of high school. He patted Justin on the shoulder and walked toward the exit.

“Wow, you really do take more after Marc than Jordan and Taylor,” Justin said with a short laugh, referring to Chris’s older cousins, Montgomery Lake High football legends. “Ha, well good game, bro. See ya at practice.”

“Later,” Chris called as he tossed his gym bag over his shoulder and exited the locker room.

It would be so nice to see you smile, Katherine Rossi thought as she watched her boyfriend, Bobby, walk out of the locker room. She had been waiting for him in the gym with her close friends Lisa Ankerman, Leslie Lucus, Jeff Brooke, and Adam Case for fifteen minutes. She knew that everyone was trying to pretend Andy was outside, or just in the bathroom, or on the bleachers with Chantal. Sometimes, the mind game actually worked, the self-trickery, the delusion of it all. That’s not really an empty seat at our lunch table. Andy is just in line, getting a drink. But he wasn’t. He was in a hospital bed across Montgomery, hooked up to machines, fighting for his life.

“Hey, guys,” Bobby greeted them. He let out a loud sigh once he reached his friends. “I’m exhausted.”

“Good game, hunny!” Katherine exclaimed, hoping that her excitement would somehow be contagious and steal Bobby out of his sullen mood. She jumped up and threw her arms around him without hesitation.

“Yeah, Dunkin carried the team—again,” Bobby said. He dropped his gym bag to the floor and squeezed Katherine tightly. “That kid’s unstoppable.”

“You made some good passes, man,” Jeff said from behind Katherine. “We were watching.”

“Any word on Andy?” Bobby asked as he set Katherine free from their embrace.

“Sorry, dude,” Adam said and shook his head. “We haven’t heard anything.”

“We’ll go visit him tomorrow,” Lisa assured Bobby and placed a supportive hand on his shoulder. Katherine leaned against Bobby’s other shoulder and took hold of his arm as they began walking out of the gym.

 

Coming to Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and other retailers this month

 

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Tonight in Weymouth, MA, author Stacy Padula will be speaking to the ninth grade confirmation class at St. Francis with John from His Kids Ministry. Stacy will be sharing about her young adult books and her faith. She will also share bits of her own personal testimony. 

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The Aftermath On sale today at Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com

The Aftermath follows Jason Davids’ journey of self-discovery, as he tries to overcome a destructive lifestyle. Jason, a high school freshman, has been caught up in drug use for the past two years. After a natural disaster strikes his town and lands one of his classmates in a coma, Jason feels responsible for the tragedy, attributing the magnitude of the accident to his own drug problem. As he tries to navigate through his mixed emotions, struggle with faith, and the influences of his older brothers and peers, Jason finds himself entangled in an enigmatic situation with a mysterious girl from his school. She appears to hold the secret to the freedom that Jason so desperately desires. As a series of unexpected events entwine their paths, Jason begins seeing his life from a new perspective.

The Aftermath, a redemption story, encourages teenagers to be true to their moral convictions, even when that entails swimming against the current.

Stacy A. Padula, a native of Pembroke, Massachusetts, is the director of operations at JBG Educational Group, a company that works closely with young adults and their families on everything under the academic blanket. She mentors her students and guides them through not only academic, but also social and emotional hardships. She wrote The Aftermath in the hopes of helping teens triumph over the “war zone” that is high school. She is also the author of the Montgomery Lake High book series, which addresses social issues such as bullying, substance abuse, faith, and self-acceptance. Available at Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com

Read more about “The Aftermath” at Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com

The Aftermath follows Jason Davids’ journey of self-discovery, as he tries to overcome a destructive lifestyle. Jason, a high school freshman, has been caught up in drug use for the past two years. After a natural disaster strikes his town and lands one of his classmates in a coma, Jason feels responsible for the tragedy, attributing the magnitude of the accident to his own drug problem. As he tries to navigate through his mixed emotions, struggle with faith, and the influences of his older brothers and peers, Jason finds himself entangled in an enigmatic situation with a mysterious girl from his school. She appears to hold the secret to the freedom that Jason so desperately desires. As a series of unexpected events entwines their paths, Jason begins seeing his life from a new perspective.

The Aftermath, a redemption story, encourages teenagers to be true to their moral convictions even when that entails swimming against the current.

Below is a preview of “The Aftermath” – to be released this fall:

Prologue

Jason Davids glanced at his bedroom clock. Seven nineteen. Twenty-four hours had passed since one of the darkest moments of his life. He sighed and fell back on his unmade bed. He curled into the fetal position and tried with all of his might to will the horrifying image out of his mind.

He had not slept a wink in thirty-seven hours. He glanced at his clock again. Seven twenty. You can do this Jason, he urged himself silently. Just get up and go. Go tell them the truth. Tell everyone at Alyssa’s party that you found Andy’s body. Tell them that he looked dead. Tell them about the horror in Chantal’s eyes when she came rushing up the stairs. Make sure you tell them that it is entirely your fault.

Jason heard a loud knock on his bedroom door. “Jay-Dawg, you ready?” Luke’s voice cried out. “We have to pick up Laurelle and Missy on the way,” he added as he whipped open the door.

Jason sat up in his bed and rested his head in his hands. “Yeah,” he replied to his older brother. “I’m good.”

“You’re going to Alyssa’s party in a t-shirt and sweat pants?” Luke asked as he sat down at Jason’s desk and stared at him with amusement.

“Oh,” Jason said and glanced down at his attire. The thought of getting dressed had not even occurred to him. “No, I guess I’m not.”

Luke laughed. “What drug are you on right now?” he questioned him.

“None,” Jason stated flatly and stared blankly at his feet.

“Then what the heck is wrong with you?” Luke asked.

Jason shrugged.

“All right, well, get dressed and come downstairs when you’re ready,” Luke said, eyeing Jason with a look of concern.

Jason nodded slightly.

“Did you sleep last night?” Luke pressed him.

“No,” Jason admitted quietly.

 “You and Cathy all right?” Luke asked, holding his stare on Jason.

Jason shrugged.

“Well, freshen up. I’ll see you in a few,” Luke stated. He tossed something at Jason as he exited the room.

Lifelessly, Jason glanced at the minuscule bag that had landed beside him on his bed. If he had the energy, his eyes would have protruded from his face in horror. “You have got to be kidding me, Luke,” he heaved, shaking his head in dismay. He flung the bag onto his floor, fell back on his bed, and closed his eyes. You can do this, Jason. Just get dressed and get out the door, right now. Bring out the charm and the plastic smile. Forget what Cathy said. Just get up and face the facts. You’ve made a mess of a good person’s life. You have to tell them the truth. It doesn’t matter what Cathy wants. Andy is all that matters now.

 

 

Chapter 1

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(Three Weeks Later)

It sounded like a train coming toward him, but there was not a train in sight. A flash of light shot through the room—the capsule. Was this a time warp? Or, perhaps, a flashback?  Running—more running without getting anywhere. “No, Chantal! Stop!” he screamed. His words froze in the air.

She could not hear him. Time was running out. She was running toward the staircase with her long auburn hair flowing into Jason’s face. Watching, he knew that she was not going to make it before the trembling began. She fell over before he could reach her. Once again, he had let her down.

The light flickered, and he struggled to remain standing. He reached the stairs, but did not stop by Chantal’s side. The door ahead looked like a castle wall—a barricade. The other side held the destruction. The other side possessed the danger. This door—his enemy—was keeping them safe.

“Jason, don’t!” Cathy’s voice cried out. She did not sound like his fifteen year old girlfriend; she sounded like a hissing demon.

He latched onto the doorknob as it transformed into a vault. It looked like his locker. His mind was blank. I can make this right, he thought. He pressed his hand to the door. It was a glacier. Water began trickling through his fingertips. He felt completely alone. A crackling sound above caught his attention. Wake up, Jason! he screamed at himself. Wake up before you see him. Not again.

In an instant, Andy’s pale face appeared through the water. Jason’s heart pounded. “Trade places with me!” Jason pleaded as he reached out toward Andy. There was a crash, and then Andy was gone.

Breathing heavily, with sweat dripping down his forehead, Jason shot his large blue eyes wide open. “Again? Really?” he said aloud in the stillness of his dark bedroom. He brought his hand to his chest and breathed in deeply. He turned toward his alarm clock. Three thirty-three a.m. It had been three weeks since the storm had struck Montgomery, since Andy had slipped into a coma and since Jason had realized that he was living in a cloud of darkness.

* * *

Later that evening, Jason sat upon the bleachers behind Montgomery Lake High School, leaning back comfortably and paying little attention to the JV football game in front of him. Surrounded by the popular MLH underclassmen, Jason continuously yelled obscenities at everyone who was not his friend. As usual, this caused obnoxious laughter to erupt from the crowd and embarrassment to burn within the innocent passerby.  Each time Jason got a reaction out of someone, his friends gave him props, which only egged on his tactless behavior. 

“Yo, dude! Is Luke really dating Missy Kent?” Nick Chandler, a sophomore, asked Jason. “I’ve heard some things.”

Jason shrugged carelessly. “I have no idea, dude,” he replied after taking a sip of vodka and Sprite from his soda bottle.

“Your brother’s the man, dude. Seriously,” Nick stated and slapped Jason’s hand before walking over to a group of junior girls.

Jason glanced toward the field. Where’s my boy? he thought as he shot his eyes from left to right, looking for Chris Dunkin. Coach Mitchell wouldn’t rest his star running back—not against Lincoln North. Jason looked toward the scoreboard. 7 to 3, us. Glancing back at the field, he saw Bobby Ryan throw a long pass toward the end zone. There he is. He catches; he runs; he scores! “Woot! Woot!!” Jason yelled loudly as the band began playing MLH’s touchdown song. Jason turned to slap hands with Bryan Sartelli. “If Chris had gotten sober before tryouts then he probably would have made varsity,” Jason commented beneath his breath as he turned back toward the field. “My brother should pull him up.”

“Let’s go back to Luke’s car. I need a refill,” Bryan said. He waved his empty coke bottle in the air, stealing Jason’s attention away from the field. “I don’t get many nights like this, without ‘you-know-who’,” he added and rolled his hazel-brown eyes. Jason assumed that Bryan was referring to his overbearing girlfriend—the mayor’s daughter—Courtney Angeletti.

“Ha!” Jason laughed as he rose from the bleachers. “Let’s peace-out. Luke wanted to go to Samson’s anyway. You can do a lot more than booze out of a soda bottle with that crew.”

“All right. See you guys later,” Bryan called loudly and nodded toward the large group that they had been sitting with.

“Yeah, later,” Jason said as he glanced at the field before descending the bleachers. 

“Let’s grab Anderson,” Bryan suggested.

“Where is that kid? I haven’t seen him since we got here,” Jason asked as he paused to peer through the crowd.

“There he is!” Bryan called out.

Jason followed Bryan’s gaze and spotted Jon standing behind the cheerleaders with Katherine Rossi. “Ha! Of course he’s talking to type-A-quality. He never lets us down.”

 “He’s so sweating that girl,” Bryan said with a laugh as he stepped in front of Jason.

“He’s ridiculous to think that he has a chance with her,” Jason stated. “She’s here trying to watch her boyfriend play, and Jon’s here trying to score points of his own.”

Bryan shook his head and laughed. “He’s the champ! I wouldn’t discredit the possibility.”

“Tru-dat,” Jason sang and flicked the visor of Alyssa Kelly’s baseball hat as he passed by her.

“Hey, guys!” she cried out with a bright smile. “Where are you headed?” She was sitting beside Marielle Kayne, who was wearing Chris’ football sweatshirt.

“Oh, hey,” Bryan said as he turned to face the girls. “I didn’t see you there.”

“Hi,” Marielle said quietly. Jason noted the suspicious expression on her face as she glanced at Bryan’s empty soda bottle.

“We’re grabbing Jon and then heading out with my brother,” Jason stated and nodded toward Jon. “What are you ladies up to tonight?”

“You’re not staying to watch the game?” Marielle asked. “Chris is playing so hard out there!”

 “Obviously!” Jason exclaimed. “He’s winning the game for us. I don’t need to watch the whole thing. I have faith my boy will pull through.” Jason turned away from Marielle and took a sip of his drink.

“We’ll catch you girls later,” Bryan said as he jumped down a row of bleachers. “Have a good one.”

Jason waved goodbye, without making eye contact with either of the girls, and followed Bryan down the rest of the bleachers.