Everyone stood there inside the perimeter surprised. The ball rolled away but no one bothered to get it or even look at it.
Nathan looked at Lance while being speechless.
Out of everyone in the court, it was Chris who was shocked the most. Who wouldn't be? He was blocked out of nowhere, after all.
Lance looked at his hands while having his own fair share of shock as well. He also did not expect to reach the ball at all-what more to block it and even slap it away.
Then the two players marking Allan and Nathan felt like something is going to happen.
'I hope he won't lash out!'
For some reason, they seem to feel like Chris does not like it when he is blocked.
"I did not expect that."
Chris looked at Lance.
"I forgot you were there."
Allan decided not to waste time anymore and walk to get the ball by himself. He took one last look at everyone in the scene thinking about what is so special about the block earlier.
In his way to get the ball, Chris suddenly started to chuckle. Then his soft chuckles turned into laughter that gradually became louder.
'What's wrong with this punk?'
Allan thought without sparing Chris a glance.
Chris's teammates, on the other hand, felt like Chris broke and snapped. They can only imagine what would happen next.
Lance frowned as he watched Chris laugh and began to feel chills on his skin.
He is not the only one though, Nathan also had goosebumps.
'Talk about an overreaction.'
Nathan began to disdainfully stare at Chris and careless. In his defense, getting block doesn't really mean anything. Though it really hurts one's confidence, overreaction is a little too much.
Chris's teammate noticed Nathan's reaction and thought, 'They don't understand.'
Allan passed the ball to Chris nonchalantly.
As soon as Chris caught the ball he stopped laughing. He looked strange and crazy but the air felt heavier when he looked at everyone.
"I am makin' sure y'all gonna go home naked!"
A maniacal smile appeared on Chris's face.
"That's it! Stop the game."
Everyone looked at who clapped and spoke. It was a fairly tall guy with long hair and glasses on. He looked slim and has an aura of a fashion model.
"Who do you think- !?"
Chris was irritated and almost shouted but when he got a good look on who spoke he immediately swallowed his words in and cut them short.
"Who do you think, what?"
"Marc! You came!"
Chris's teammates also recognized Mark and left the court to approach him and to greet him.
Chris stared at Marc and Marc smiled at him softly. With a frown, Chris began to drop the ball in his possession and slowly leave the court.
Allan, Nathan, and Lance looked at the scene while not understanding anything that is happening.
Nathan decided to speak up, "Aren't you going to play anymore?"
Chris's teammate who played as the center earlier looked at Nathan while looking a little troubled.
He looked at the everlasting smile of Marc if they can continue the game.
Marc looked at Lance and the others with a smile. Then he looked at Allan and sized him up.
A small surprise appeared in his face while looking at the tall high schooler. It is rare to see 7-foot tall high school players in the state so he couldn't help but appreciate it.
Then Marc chuckled a little, "I am sorry for killing the fun but we still have to return home. As you can probably tell, we aren't from this city. Maybe next time we can play."
Marc took one last look at Allan before leaving with his company. Behind him, Chris did not look back and just followed along with his teammates.
Looking at their departing backs, Lance and the others could not help but get disappointed. The game was just about to get heated up when Marc came to stop it.
Lance looked at the ball that has rolled near the perimeter line. His mind can't help but remember Chris's finesse.
The guy has good skill sets and leaping power. He also has the handles to make his guards unable to keep.
And above all, Chris is strong enough to easily snatch a point from the gigantic center, Allan.
"What to do?"
At the end of the day, the three played against a different group and finally went home.
Lance arrived in his apartment and saw Liza reading a magazine casually on the couch. When he entered the room Liza immediately noticed him and smiled.
"Did you play?"
Lance nodded as he dropped his bag on the floor.
"Are you hungry?"
"I haven't eaten since lunch."
Liza stared at him while being surprised, "You haven't eaten yet?"
Lance nodded and went straight to his room.
Liza sighed and slowly walked towards the kitchen to prepare a meal for two.
As the sun began to set, the clouds began to cloak it. Rains started to shower and play a soft rhythmic beat on the glass windows.
Lance looked over it while eating and remembered that it rains a lot in the city.
"Now that I think of it, does it rain a lot here in Welcity?"
Liza took a sip of water before looking at Lance to reply, "You didn't know."
She looked outside and saw the outstanding view of a rainy sunset. She continued, "It rains every now and then here in Welcity state... All year long, except in winter."
Lance finished his meal and drank a half a glass of water. He put aside his fork and knife before leaning on his chair to relax. He took a deep breath and remembered the game against Chris and his crew once again.
Liza played on the last piece of broccoli on her plate and asked, "So hows the club today?"
"We didn't do anything... No activities for the day."
"Why did you come home late, then?"
Lance looked at Liza and smiled while saying, "We played basketball in a public court."
"Hoh... We? Who did you played with?"
"Classmates of mine..."
"You have friends already?"
Allan and Nathan flashed in his mind.
Lance smiled as he looked outside the window.
Looking at him, his aunt, Liza couldn't help but chuckle. Lance was disturbed and somewhat embarrassed, for some reason his aunt is laughing at him.
"Why are you laughing?"
Liza looked at her nephew and gave a wide smile.
"You are looking brighter than before."
"Brighter? Are you telling me I am not bright!?"
Lance looked at his aunt as if he was being wronged. He misunderstood Liza's words and thought she was kidding with him.
"No! That's not what I meant... Well nevermind, It's not like your doing well at school either!"
"What!? I can't believe you just said that!"
"What? Are you denying it?"
"Of course I would!"
"Grade school... Last of the class."
Liza laughed and watched Lance act like a child again. She is happy that her nephew is looking better now.
After his mother died, Lance left home and was picked up by his father's younger sister, Liza. Since then, Liza took care of him even though, she is still studying. That was also the time he began hate his Father.
Liza saw him and how he lived in hate.
She couldn't help but worry for him.
When Michael died, she knew it would be a great blow to Lance.
Today, She could see the changes in Lance. He was brighter and better than before.
When he speaks, it isn't lifeless or heavy anymore.
But most of all, he can now smile.
He doesn't live in hate anymore.
'It seems like I do not have to worry anymore...'
She is very thankful.
Lance looked at Liza with irritation.
"Nothing." Liza smiled widely at Lance.
"!? Stop teasing me!"
'... Let's play...'
Lance woke up from his dream and looked at the clock beside his bed. He stopped the ringing alarm and got out of bed.
He looked at his youthful self while standing in front of a mirror and recalled his vague dream. It was an image of someone he knew before his rebirth.
He shifted his eyes towards the ball displayed on his shelf.
That someone is one of the biggest reasons, apart from his father, that pushed him to play again and to start a new (A/N: Not new as in his current life but his new leaf before he died in his previous life.)
It was someone... dear to him...
No excuses... I am sorry that I couldn't update for so long... This chapter has been sitting kn my drafts for months but I couldn't bring myself to publish it.
Please switch to the pop-up to complete the payment.
This's an experimental test for reading assistance in case.
We highly recommend you to enjoy the beauty of the original words.