It was quite the upset, I tell you. A crushing blow.
You see, people don’t see things like that often. We’re good ordinary folks here. Real ordinary. I’m sure you get that from every yokel in every small town but it’s true in our neck of the woods. Things like this just don’t happen.
I get the creeps just thinking about it. He was a good kid. I saw him grow up. Knew his folks. My nieces even went to the same school, for Pete’s sake.
Darren liked to help old Marigold with her lawn during the summers. Got straight As and was the pride of our high school’s football team. He was going somewhere. He was going to be something. Everyone could see it.
What can I say?
Guess he didn’t really feel he could fit in. I don’t suppose they all can. Some people lack–oh, what’cha call it–grit? Yeah, that’s the word.
The boy couldn’t cut it, you see. And he got crushed under the weight. A heavy weight it was too.
These coaches at the high school usually have one kid every year. They push and push and push until…well, you know how the story ends.
They dragged him into the field for the ritual. The white lights making the green as bright as day. We all circled him and demanded his glory for his glory was our own.
That boy had promise. You could see it in the halo above his head as the storm surged around him. He took off and we chanted his name. Giving him power.
But in those last seconds, he croaked. Broke clean in two unable to bear that weight.
It’s a shame. Real shame. But what can you do?
Not all of them can be winners.