Life with an Angel (Chapter 6, page 1 of 19)

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Chapter 6

"In Heaven there is no ugliness, anger, shame, or embarrassment..." MM We were getting used to the long periods that we didn't hear from MM, and that was okay, although we truly missed her and those wonderful views she provided. But we went on with our lives as normal kids would.

Amy and I were now in the tenth grade. I had a growing spurt and was tall for my age, and I loved playing basketball. I wasn't that good, but I loved being on the junior varsity team. Because of my size, I was able to get a lot of rebounds.

Mitch, on the other hand, enjoyed being the manager of the team with his friend, Dave Teeter. Mitch and Dave were in the eighth grade, and I think they enjoyed being around the upper classmen. They made sure that the players had plenty of towels and orange juice during halftime. I enjoyed giving Mitch orders and calling him "water boy." He also played the saxophone in the band and was really talented. Plus, Mitch had the good looks. Looking back, I was jealous of Mitch because as he was getting older he was becoming superior to me in everything. Only my being the oldest gave me an edge.

Amy was cute but by no means a knockout. Everyone assumed that she and I were boyfriend and girlfriend, and although I liked her very much, I didn't feel that we were boyfriend and girlfriend. I tried to convince everyone that I was unattached. Maybe I was just fooling myself.

It was a fun time for us. Mitch and I were on the basketball team and Amy was a cheerleader. One thing about Shelbyville - they loved their basketball and the fans would fill up the big gym every Friday and Saturday night.

Now bear with me on this chapter. Amy said I spent too much time talking about the basketball game and less time on the point of this story. But I felt it was important, at least to me.

We all have those days that we feel are the best days of our lives, and then we have those days that we think are the worst days of our lives. This day was both for me.

It was Thursday night and I was home in bed. I liked talking to my Angel, Michael, at bedtime. It wasn't until later in life that I realized this was a time to reflect on the day and it helped relieve the daily anxiety. Of course, Michael never responded to me, but I knew that was the way it was, and that was okay. I would continue talking to him as if he were my best friend. Friday night was going to be a big game against the undefeated Columbus Bulldogs. Our senior center for Shelbyville was out with the flu, and the coach told me to be ready to start the game at center. I couldn't believe it. Not only was I going to be playing varsity center, but I was going to start the game. Man, I couldn't think about anything else. I somehow felt the whole game rested on my shoulders. I was nervous about playing in front of all those people. It was amazing. After all that Mitch, Amy, and I had been through, this simple basketball game seemed to mean everything in the world to me. I was hoping that somehow Michael could help me play better. I didn't think that was asking too much. Although in the scheme of life, this basketball game was no big deal. Well, it was a big deal to me.

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