By the end of seventh grade, Javan had failed in every athletic quest he had embarked on to get Julianne’s attention.  She simply didn’t talk to smart, quiet guys like Javan.  She was more interested in dumb jocks like that idiot Gavin.

Gavin was tall and muscular and played football.  So Javan was going to learn how to play football, too.

The only position Javan had any interest in learning was quarterback.  Every other position required too much running or kicking or physical contact.  He was just a stick of a guy.  Trying to tackle anyone would be an exercise in futility.

He was smart enough to be able to understand the strategy involved in football plays and strong enough to be able to throw a football a long way with incredible accuracy.  He knew he could become a great quarterback, and if he became a great quarterback, Julianne would finally want to talk to him.

Javan therefore spent his summer days between seventh and eighth grade studying films of football games and throwing at targets he had set up in the field where he used to practice soccer.

The day before tryouts for his middle school team, he took a ride through the mountains on Storm.  He shared with his horse how excited he was about the opportunity to play and throw the football at real people rather than just targets.  Javan was so caught up in his vision that he wasn’t paying attention to the trail.  And didn’t notice the snake slithering his way.

Storm did, though.  It spooked the horse, causing him to rear up and toss the unsuspecting Javan to the ground.  His felt his right shinbone snap the instant it collided with a tree root.  The physical pain wasn’t nearly as devastating as the emotional pain.

He wouldn’t be able to play football this year and would have to wait til high school to win Julianne’s heart. fff