When It Rains, It Pours

Submitted into Contest #112 in response to: End your story with a character standing in the rain.... view prompt

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High School Teens & Young Adult African American

     The smell of autumn filled Memphis’ nose as he ran around the football field. “Come on boys, pick up the speed.” A coach yelled at them. Memphis gained his speed a little while thinking about how he hoped the football season to go. The boys ran around for a bit and a coach blew his whistle and the boys started their walk towards the coaches. The coaches started their daily speeches, while the boys were awaiting the lineup for the season. Memphis felt he did pretty good but he just knew he didn’t beat Zion Williams, last year’s quarterback. “Ok, now quarterback…” the coach started, Zion’s posture straightened and he smiled. “Memphis Jones.” Memphis looked up at the coaches from his feet, “Congratulations on your new spot, “Mr. Jones.” “Thank you.” Memphis said with a smile. “Don’t thank us. That was all on you.” Coach Phillips replied back. “Okay, take 5 and then we will start practicing plays.” Coach Jackson yelled at everyone. Everyone split up and Memphis went to his friend, Devon. “Congrats M!” Devon said, raising his arm for a high five. Memphis connected his hand to Devon’s. “I knew you had it in the bag, M.” “You too, Mr. Running Back” “Two years in a row, I knew I had it down.” They laughed and joked more until Zion and his friends came up. “You know coaches only gave you that spot because your dad died, it’s a pity vote.” “Zion, shut the f*ck up, you know I’m better than you.” Memphis said while walking up to Zion and looking him in his eyes. “Don’t fight him, you’ll lose your spot, M” Devon said, pulling Memphis away. Memphis walked backwards still looking in Zion’s eyes. “You can’t let him get you like that. You got a whole season to worry about.” Devon said angrily looking up at Memphis. Memphis looked down at Devon and softened his face. The coach blew his whistle and everyone gathered around. The coaches told everyone what they’d be doing and they started to practice. They practiced a few plays and tried some new stuff.

     “Okay guys, that was a good practice.” Coach Phillips said. “Tomorow, is our first game. Memphis, you’ve practiced this whole time as a quarterback, use what you learned.” Coach Phillips said, looking at Memphis. “Ok, you’re all dismissed,” he added. Everyone began their walk to the locker room and Memphis walked up to Devon and they started to talk about how their classes are going and how their gonna win the game tomorrow. Once they were changed out of their uniforms they walked to Memphis’ car, “So where to, Dev?” “Maybe some food first, practice got my stomach doing flips.” They laughed and went to get food and then to Memphis’ house. “Hey mom,” Memphis said and kissed his mom on the cheek. “Hey sweetheart, don’t forget to put those clothes up on your bed.” “Yes ma’am, Devon and I are about to play games and watch tv.” “Hey Devon” “Hey, Mrs. Jones.” he smiled. Memphis went to his room and Devon followed Memphis. As Memphis closed his door his mom yelled, “Don’t forget those clothes.” Memphis whispered, “Crack the window” to Devon as he put his clothes up.  Devon cracked the window and Memphis started to roll a blunt and they smoked it. They put eye drops into their eyes and let the room clear out some more before closing the window and spraying air freshener. There was a knock at the door “Come in” Memphis yelled. Brandon walked in and sniffed the air and closed the door. “You might wanna open that window again.” He sat down and looked around as Memphis opened the window, “What do you want?” “Can you take me somewhere Saturday? But don’t tell mom.” “You know I have practice and work on Saturdays” “It’s in between both, I checked and my friends are close to your job so you won’t be late.” “Okay, but what’s the money looking like because mom is right outside the door.” “The money is me not telling her to come smell y’all” They both were quiet as they stared with annoyance in both their faces. “Okay, fine B.” “Thank you!” he started for the door. “What street?” “64 South St.” “Why are you going over there?” “I have friends in the neighborhood.” “Better not be gang related.” “It’s not.” “ Ok, I’ll take you” “Thank you” Brandon said then left the room. Memphis started the game,closed his window and passed Devon a controller and they played until it was time for Devon to leave. 

     The next morning Memphis was awakened by his mom yelling at the boys to get up, because they were running late. He shot up and quickly started to get his stuff together for school. “B hurry up, in there. I have to brush my teeth.” “Hold on” he heard from the other side of the door. Soon after Brandon walked out and Memphis went in, washed his face and brushed his teeth. “Come on, Memphis,” his brother yelled from the front door. Memphis grabbed his stuff, kissed his mom’s cheek and went out the door. Memphis threw his car keys at Brandon, “let’s get the practice in, B” Brandon caught the keys and ran to the driver’s side. They started their journey to school. This was Memphis’ last year of school so he tried to stay on his A game. Memphis tried to stay away from all distractions but the head cheerleader had his eye. “Nash!” he yelled at the cheerleader. “Boy, what do you want now?” “You’re looking pretty today.” “Thank you” she said blushing and playing in her hair. “So,when can I take you out?” Memphis asked, smiling at her. “Ring” the bell rang, “I’ve got to go to class, but we’ll talk later.” she said, rubbing her hand across his arm and walking away. “Memphis, leave her alone”, a voice behind him yelled. He turned around to see his friend, Devon. “Yo Dev!” He said dabbing up his friend. “I’ve got a date with her.” “For real? When?” “Well, she said she’d talk to me later but I’ve got a date.” “You don’t have a date. You put in a request and she denied you.” Devon said laughing at his friend “She’s gonna accept it, so shut up.” They laughed and walked to their class. 

     After school, Memphis made his way to the locker room and started to get ready before the game. Everyone slowly entered the locker room and started to get hyped. They played music and talked until the coaches came into the locker room and started to talk to the boys about the game that was about to happen. Devon started chanting “We ready, We ready, We ready, We ready for y’all.” The team joined and got ready to win their first game. They ran out to the field and through the cheerleader’s sign. Memphis turned around and ran backwards to blow a kiss to Nash. She waved and smiled back at him. He turned back around and ran to the middle of the field for the coin toss. His team won, so it’s their ball to start off with. The boys got in position and Memphis threw the ball to Devon. Devon runs to the endzone and gets tackles. Devon gets up and runs back to get into position. They run the same play but Devon scores this time. The crowd turns from awakening looks into an uproar in cheers. Devon dances in the endzone when he makes the touchdown and runs back to his teammates. After 4 quarters of tackling and trying to keep the other team from scoring, Memphis and his team won. They felt pretty good about the win. Memphis knew he wanted to celebrate but he had practice in the morning. He took Devon home and started home hisself. He got home and heard his brother playing games. He got into the shower then went to bed shortly after. 

     He woke up to his phone ringing, he looked to see who it was and it’s Devon. “Hello?” he answered sleepily “Practice is cancelled.” Memphis started to wake up more and look around. He noticed it was raining. “But can you still pick me up, I don’t want to be at home right now.” “Yea,let me get dressed. Don’t forget your work shirt.” “Okay, I’ll get everything.” “I’ll be there in 15.” Memphis said disconnecting the phone. He looked around and heard the rain falling hard. He thought about the last time it rained this hard, he got news that his dad died. He had a bad feeling about today and the way the rain hit his roof. But he got up and got dressed. Before leaving he grabbed his hoodie and locked the front door. When he picked up Devon he waved at Devon’s brother through the rain washed window. “I don’t know what my brothers are doing, but I’m not trying to be a part of it.” “What do you mean?” Memphis said, turning his attention to his friend. “They’re talking about making some young dude rob someone.” Devon said while Memphis put his car into drive and pulled out. They went to Memphis’ house and went into his room. “My mom’s not home, wanna smoke?” “Yea, I got some stuff right now.” They rolled up and started to smoke. Memphis got up and opened the window. They smoked and played the game, until Brandon walked into the room. “I’m ready.” For?” “I’m ready for you to take me to my friend’s house.” “Play against Devon while I get ready for work.” Memphis passed Brandon the controller and got his clothes for work. He changed behind the boys. “Brandon shoot that guy.” Memphis yelled from behind them. Brandon shot the dude, which resulted in Devon and him winning. “Ok,turn off the game and let’s go. Dev, you got your work shirt?” Dev pulls out his work shirt and puts it on. “Ok, let’s go.”Memphis says and gets everything together and Devon turns off the game. “Brandon, I would let you drive but it’s raining hard outside.” “We can get more practice when the rain slows down or stops completely.” They walk outside, lock the front door and run to the car. Memphis started the car and started the drive with Brandon giving him instructions. When they got to the location, Memphis looked confused and turned to look at his brother in the passenger seat. “This house is the right house. It looks beat up.” “Yes, it's the right house.” “Ok, be safe.” They dabbed each other up and Brandon got out  and ran to the house. Devon got in the passenger’s seat and the boys started the drive to work. 

     When they got to work, they saw their favorite manager. They started their long daunting shift. Nash came in and Memphis saw her. He went to the register and took her order. Before he gave her the food, “So what about that date.” “If you guys win the game Friday, then Saturday.” “I’ll take you out to eat, your choice so be ready.” He smiled and gave her the food. She left and Memphis went to tell Devon about what just happened. “Good for you!” “I know and I thought today was gonna be a bad day, looks like things are looking up.” Just as Memphis finished his sentence a loud gunshot was heard outside the building. People inside the fast-food place all went outside. “What happened?” Memphis asked while he and Devon walked to the front. “Some guy just got shot.” Memphis and Devon went outside, they both looked at the person laid out on the ground. Memphis walked a little closer and he saw Brandon laying there. “BRANDON!” he yelled and ran to his brother. He held his brother as he died. “Call 911” he cried out. Devon got his phone and dailed the number. Memphis felt his brother was taking his last breath and felt as the rain wet his brother’s clothes more. Memphis closed his brother’s eyes and let his brother lay on the cold,wet cement. He stood up beside his brother awaiting the ambulance’s arrival as his tears and the rain wet his face. He knew the rain would bring a bad day, but he hoped for a change.

September 24, 2021 20:25

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1 comment

Lisa Van Galen
01:51 Sep 30, 2021

Mari, I liked the premise of the story but I struggled to follow the dialogue as it was all mashed together. This seemed to be a portrait of a day in the life of a young man who is hoping to be the star quarterback and just being real at the same time. At times, the purpose of the story got lost in the portrayal of that day. It left me feeling disconnected from Memphis right before he was about to find out about Brandon being shot. I would like to see more of the relationship between the brothers to make his death more meaningful.

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