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“This is fucking bullshit,” I hissed. “Who the fuck does she think she is? Fucking getting all up in my face and talking to me like that. If only I hadn’t blown out my knee. Where the hell would I be right now?”
I shook my head as I looked at the road and the green light at the intersection. “Fuck me,” I hissed.
I glanced to the left and saw the headlights. There was no time to do anything. Bang! The crunching of metal and the glass breaking surrounded me before I woke up with a thud. I had shaken myself out of bed and found myself on the floor next to the bed.
“Fucking son of a bitch!” I croaked as the surprise of hitting the floor stunned me for a moment.
“Jacob?” Teagan cried. “What the hell is going on?”
“Dammit,” I hissed. “That fucking hurt.”
She reached over and clicked the light on next to the bed before rolling all the way over to my side of the bed.
“What the hell are you doing on the floor?” she asked with a slight giggle. That went away when she saw the disturbed look on my face. “Are you ok baby?”
I sat there in a daze for a moment before I answered. “No.”
“The car accident,” I croaked. “I just had a nightmare about the car accident.”
“Are you ok?”
I breathed hard before I pushed myself from the floor to the bed. I sat on the edge and rested my face in my hands for a second.
“That was fucked up,” I sighed.
She was rubbing my back to comfort me. “How the hell did you end up on the floor?”
“I must have fallen out of bed,” I cried.
“Are you ok? Do you want to tell me about it?”
“What is there to say,” I sighed. “It was just a bad dream about the car accident. I’m just a little shook up about it.”
“Are you ok?” she asked again.
“No, my ass is going to have a bruise on it,” I joked.
She giggled a little.
“I need a drink,” I sighed. “I’ll be right back.”
“I could use some water too,” she said sweetly.
“Yes master,” I teased.
I headed downstairs and got a glass of water. I took a few sips and thought about the whole thing. It was the first time I had had a dream about the event. It still left me a little rattled but I tried to shake it off. I got another glass and returned to the bed.
“Here you are sweet cheeks.”
“I guess I have to get used to being the waiter, you being pregnant and all.”
She giggled a little before taking a sip. I settled back into bed as she drank a little then clicked the light off. She turned and pulled her body closer to mine.
“You ok baby?”
“Yeah,” I said after some thought. “I’m glad I woke up on the floor this time and not someplace else.”
“You and me both.”
I sat in my office later that morning and continued on with my busy work. I had finished the list of cold calls and was given another set that the previous week had compiled. I hadn’t started them yet, I was busy putting data into a spread sheet from another assignment I was given. I had been calling and sending out email surveys to see what sort of features people we looking for in the vehicles they were interested in buying. If there was a common pattern, and there were several, we would order more vehicles with those features so we could have them on site.
“Hey baby,” Teagan said as she walked into my office.
“Hey momma,” I teased.
“Shh!” she hissed. “Keep your voice down.”
“Relax,” I sighed. “There ain’t nobody around to hear me.”
“Still,” she smiled. “I don’t want to let the cat out of the bag yet.”
“I know baby. My lips are sealed until you say so.”
“How is your morning going?”
“I woke up next to you, that’s always a good start.”
“It brings a smile to my face these days too,” she smiled back.
“I don’t know,” I sighed. “I’m just crunching surveys and doing my thing.”
“Need any help?”
“Naw, I got it.”
“Are we still going to lunch together?”
“It’s 9 o’clock, how can you be thinking about lunch already?”
“Well,” she said touching her tummy.
“I’ll come get you when it’s time baby.”
“Ok,” she smiled again. “See you then.”
She leaned over the desk and gave me a soft kiss before she turned and left my office. Back to work I thought.
“Can you come to the sales floor?”
“A customer is waiting on you.”
“For me? Did he say what he needed?”
“You called her last week and she is here to take another look at some cars.”
“She? And she wants me to show her? I guess I’ll be up in a minute.”
“I’ll let her know you are coming.”
I left my office and headed to the floor. I had been requested by a couple of the cold calls over the past few weeks so it wasn’t my first time. I didn’t like selling the cars to be honest. It took away from the sales people and their commission they made when they sold them. But we were here to make the customer happy so if they wanted me, they got me.
I headed by Sally’s desk and picked up the paperwork that went with the customer ataşehir escort from the previous visit before finding her looking at a little sports car.
“Good morning,” I said as I reached her side. “I’m Jake Tillman. How are we doing this morning?” I reached out to shake her hand softly.
“Interested,” she smiled. “I’m Krissy.”
“That’s good to hear, Krissy. Refresh my memory on which vehicle you were looking at.”
“I looked at a red minivan out front,” she replied.
“Ah, a soccer mom. Have you taken it for a test drive yet?”
“Not a soccer mommy just yet,” she smiled. “My babies are still a little too young for that.”
“How old?” I asked.
“My twins are five months, my oldest is four. And the four legged one is eight.”
“Sounds like you have your hands full.”
“I do,” she smiled. “But I wouldn’t trade them for anything. You know what I mean?”
“Well…not yet. Mine is still cooking in the oven. Shhhh.”
She tilted her head and questioned me.
“You are the first person I’ve told,” I smiled. “Don’t say nothing. We have been trying for a while now so we don’t want to get our hopes up. We just found out.”
“Ohhh,” she smiled. “I’ll keep my lips sealed then and congratulations.”
“Thank you,” I replied.
“So, have you taken the van for a test drive yet?” I questioned.
“No, not yet.”
“Let me get the keys.”
I checked the five digit on the van before heading to the desk where Sally kept the keys. She was busy on the phone again.
“Sally, I need the keys for the van,” I said softly. “Here’s the five digit.”
She smiled and slid them across the counter.
“You’re fast,” I smiled.
“I’ve been around,” she giggled.
I walked with the customer to the van in the lot. We took a short ride as I talked about the van and the features it had. I went a little bit into the extras she could buy for it but I didn’t get too deep into it. We returned and parked the van before we got out and looked it over once again. We stood there for a while and talked a little about her and her life. I listened with interest as she talked and asked questions. I had never been shy about meeting new people so the small talk was easy for me.
“So what kind of deal can you get me?” she asked.
“Let’s go inside and sit in my office if you have the time,” I said. “I’ll run back and get the invoice from my wife and we can go from there.”
“I’d like that,” she said.
“Right this way then.”
I led her to my office then went to see Teagan.
“Yes?” she smiled.
“I need the invoice on this van.” I handed her the paper with the VIN on it.
“Selling another one?” she asked.
“I don’t know,” I smiled. “Maybe. She seems interested.”
She stood and headed to the filing cabinet. She started thumbing through it until she found the one I was looking for.
“You keep this up and you will be salesman of the month.”
“Not my intentions but if it happens then it happens.”
I left her office and went to see Thom.
“What’s the bottom line for this van?” I asked.
“This one?” he said looking at the paper. “A thousand over invoice, throw in a free maintenance package if she won’t bite on that. That’s the last of this year’s model. The 2017s will be here soon so let’s get it out of here.”
“I’ll just give her the keys then,” I joked.
“Hey,” he chuckled. “Do what you have to do.”
I walked back to my office with the invoice and sat down.
“Here’s the bottom line,” I said. “I’m not going to play the pricing game and go back and forth with this and that. I don’t get anything for selling so I’d rather give you the price and get the games out of the way.”
“Yeah right,” she said sarcastically. “I’ve heard that one before.”
“I’ve been right there with you,” I smiled softly. “I’m not the typical salesman though. I’m on salary so I don’t get anything for selling the car. I’m the research and development guy normally so I usually don’t get into selling cars.”
“Oh,” she said but still had a skeptical look. “Why didn’t you pass me off to someone else?”
“You called and ask for me so you got me. You are my responsibility now and I’d like to see you leave the dealership happy.”
“What’s the bottom line?” she giggled.
“A thousand over invoice, plus a free maintenance package and the assurance that I’ll make sure you are happy with the van after you buy it. If anything is wrong, if you need something else for it, you just give me a call and I’ll make you happy.”
“Well,” she sighed. “My husband might kill me but go ahead and get the paperwork started.”
“We can hold off until he is able to come down here with you,” I offered.
“Well,” she paused. “That’s a little difficult at the moment. He’s deployed overseas.”
“A military man, that’s awesome. I tell you what, Thom is going to chew my ass out but I’ll wave the dealer fee and give it to you at invoice. Just show me his military ID and we can get kadıköy escort bayan things started.”
“Really?” she cheered. “Thank you so much.”
“Just a small thing I can do to say thank you for having him serve.”
Three hours later I walked her to her new van and gave her the keys. “Call me if you need anything for it,” I reminded her.
“Thank you. I will make sure I do if I need anything. And thank you for not being pushy. I was turned off the last time by a pushy salesman.”
“Hey,” I smiled. “You got me out of my office, I should be thanking you.”
She giggled again before I closed the door and waved bye to her.
I turned and saw Thom standing in the doorway. “Sold another one,” he smiled.
“Yeah,” I smiled.
“My salesman of the month,” he chuckled.
“Shit,” I laughed. “That was the last thing I expected.”
“You’re good at it son. Maybe you should consider making this a more permanent thing.”
“I’ve only sold five cars, dad,” I laughed. “And I didn’t make you anything on this one either.”
“Jake,” he smiled. “You made the customer happy. You may not realize it but over the next few months, she might bring ten of her friends down here because of the way you treated her.”
“And,” he pointed to me before I could speak. “I don’t have to pay a commission to the salesman. You made me money.”
“So, you’re buying dinner then?” I joked.
“You know where I live,” he chuckled. “Dinner is always at six.”
I laughed with him before he wrapped his arm around me. “Come on son, your wife is waiting for you to take her to lunch.”
Teagan and I went to lunch before we came back to work. I went back into my office and resumed my work. I had a sticky note on my desk from Sally that said there was another customer possibly coming down tomorrow morning to have a look at a car. She was recommended by the lady I had just sold the van to.
I worked for a little while longer before asking Thom if it was ok for me to leave early. I still had to review the game film from last night’s game. He told me to get lost and that dinner was at six. I thanked him before finding Teagan and telling her I was on my way home. She would join me in the gym for practice.
I sat in the exercise room and looked over the film once I got home. It was barely a one point win over a team that wasn’t really that good. Taylor had shined once again and got us that win in the closing seconds by shear will and determination. She called her own number in the closing seconds, drove the lane around two defenders and shot over a third as time expired. The ball went right on through as a foul was called. She sunk the free throw and gave us the one point victory and, once again, set the single game scoring record with forty two.
It had been like this for the past few games. If Taylor hadn’t taken over the games, we wouldn’t have but one win to our credit. We blew out the team in our second game of the season. Since then, it was always very close. One or two calls towards the end of the game that would go our way would give us the victory. This was not the way I had envisioned the season going thus far. Sure we were winning but we weren’t winning in a way that we needed to be winning. If you took Taylor away, we sucked.
We were eleven and zero but we wouldn’t stay that way for much longer. We had a few district games upcoming and the harder second half of the season would start after the Christmas break. We had a game on Friday against the Preparatory Academy, the same team that had beaten us in the state playoff game last season. They hadn’t lost in two seasons now. If things stayed the way they were, we would lose this one too.
I watched them play for a while. It became very clear what the problem was. Jamie and Cali. They would start the play and look to find Taylor. She would get the ball and look to score. If it wasn’t there she was disciplined and would bring it back for a reset. Jamie or Cali would start the play and were sloppy while they ran it. It messed the timing of the play up and made getting a good look just that much harder. It was that or they would force things that weren’t there and cause a turnover.
I hated to think about what I needed to do but I might just have to do it. I needed to start Lane and maybe Eva. I wasn’t against starting them, I just liked to give the upperclassmen the slight advantage since they had put in the time the previous year. They didn’t see the big picture though. They just saw the wins and figured they were against hard teams so the games were close. One last try and it was time for a change.
I arrived at the gym as the guys were still practicing. They had about a half an hour left before they would clear out and my girls would start. I joined them for the last twenty minutes of their full court scrimmage that they normally did at the end of their practices. It was good for them to face somebody with an elevated skill level like me, not that I’m bragging, and a good way for me to stay in shape and relive my past.
They thanked me for helping then cleared escort maltepe out for my girls to have the floor. We warmed up as a group by stretching before I let them shoot around for ten minutes. Then we went to work with free throws and conditioning drills. Once they were warm and a little tired I switched them to Georgia and watched them run the play. The results from the film were the same on the floor now. They were sloppy and unorganized again.
I blew my whistle. “TT, step out and let Cali come in for a minute.”
They switched out and started again. It was much the same and it was annoying me. I blew the whistle again and gave some direction.
“Cali? Why are you going here? The ball rotates here, you need to dive down the lane here and cut through here. Why are you going here to there?”
“It’s an easier way to do things,” she offered.
“Easier isn’t the point, Cali. If it’s easy for you, it’s easy for your defender too.”
“Eva knows the play, coach,” she offered. “She knows where I’m going.”
“You should still get open,” I hissed. “You are just being lazy. I could get the janitor to guard you and you still wouldn’t get open with the way you are moving.”
“I’ll run through harder then,” she huffed.
“No Cali,” I barked. “That’s not the point I’m trying to make. The play is designed to be run this way. If you don’t want to run the play the way I’ve told you to run it then don’t play. It’s that simple. Run it or get off the floor.”
“Geez, sorry,” she hissed.
The ball I was holding in my hand slammed against the floor hard before it bounced high in the air. I started speaking my mind as the ball bounced behind me. “This team has no identity!”
The gym fell silent as everybody listened to my voice echo off the walls. “We are eleven games into this thing. Over a month and a half of practice and we still make the same damn mistakes we were making on day one. We should know how to run this play the way it’s meant to be run at this point.”
“The problem is simple. You girls look at Taylor and expect her to score every time she gets the ball in her hands. She can’t. It’s simply impossible for her to score every time. She’s averaging thirty seven points a game. That’s insane for a high school kid. That’s insane for a pro! You can’t rely on her to score. You have to help her out. She will not be able to sustain that type of play for the rest of this season.”
“One of you,” I barked and pointed at Cali, Jamie and Tracy, “needs to help her out and run this damn play the way it needs to be run. It starts at the top with one of you running the play the right way. It opens up everything else if you run it properly.”
“Fine,” Cali huffed. “I’ll run it the way I’m supposed to run it.”
Her tone infuriated me more.
“Everyone on the line. Let’s start running.”
I started running with them as we ran back and forth from baseline to baseline. We ran for a good five minutes before I brought them to a halt. I was still pissed off and I didn’t even feel tired as I continued on.
“This is how it’s going to go from here on out. Every bad pass you make, every time you run the play wrong, every time you come off as disrespectful, I’m going to have you girls running. I’m tired of it already. My rules are simple and some of you can’t seem to follow them.”
I looked at them as they stared back in shock that I had gone off.
“What, you girls think just because we haven’t lost a game this year that we are good? Wrong! I’ve watched film of every single game we have played in this season and we are so sloppy out there. Friday is going to be a big wakeup call for you girls. This is a private school that is very well coached and very well disciplined. They’ve got a game plan in place for Taylor, I can guarantee you that. Just like last season when we lost to them in the semifinals.”
“You girls have to move out there and run the offense. It’s a continues play with a lot of moving parts but it opens up a lot of opportunities to get good open looks and score points. You can’t run it once then hand the ball to Taylor and expect her to work miracles. You run it and work the ball around, if nothing opens up you reset and run it again and again.”
“Eva, set out for a minute. Cali, guard me. I’m going to prove a point to you. You know damn well where this play goes too. It ain’t just because Eva knows where you are going. It’s because you are being lazy.”
Teagan reluctantly bounced me the ball as I stood at the top to get the play running. I knew she was in a little shock that I had gone on a rant. I would hear about it after but for the time being I didn’t let it bother me.
I took the ball at the top and passed it off to Jamie on the wing. I drove hard to the lane cutting very close to Tessa as Cali tried to give chase. I cut hard around Tessa then rolled out to where the play was designed to go. Tessa set a perfect screen trapping Cali against her body. Bree rolled out to cover me like she was supposed to. I caught the ball and gave it a gentle toss into the post where Tessa caught it and sealed Cali out, making a clean layup.
“Let’s go,” I called as I started running. “Touch the baseline then run and touch the half court line. Sprint back and touch the baseline. Run all the way down and touch the baseline at the far end. When we get back we run it again.”
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