Getting It Wrong
Chapter 14: March Madness
Copyright© 2016 by G Younger
Time Travel Sex Story: Chapter 14: March Madness - Hunter Jacobs is a lonely old man with a checkered past sitting in a nursing home waiting to die when a woman from his past walks in and makes him an offer. WTF? Do your worst... Hunter should have thought this one through.
Since I last met with Ms. Howard, I’d felt that I should do something more productive in this timeline. Something in the back of my mind nagged at me. It was like that itch you had in the middle of your back and you just couldn’t seem to reach it. A few times I’d woken up in a cold sweat, breathing hard. For a moment, I knew something important; and then, like many dreams, it faded away. This feeling had just about driven me crazy, recently. Something would happen, soon. It felt just like right before a big storm would come through, and all the birds went quiet. Something bad lurked out there. I just wished I knew what it was.
On the home front things started to turn around. Zoey seemed better. Her doctor’s visits appeared to be helping. I still caught her as she would watch me as though she was afraid I would leave; but Dave had finally convinced her to go out on a date, with just the two of them. He confided in me that she had a little breakdown halfway through their first alone date, but he told her how proud I was that she had tried. She’d gotten it together, and they’d ended up having fun.
My cousin Jennifer had ceased to be a total bitch, as well. She still ignored us, but the snide comments and evil plans against Zoey and me had seemed to stop. She even offered to take me and the Wilson sisters to the mall, one Saturday. Of course, she ditched us, but we tracked her down relatively easily when it was time to go home.
Word had gotten out that Janet liked me. Poor Gary didn’t take it well and broke up with her. He and I had a long talk and I assured him I’d never made a move on her while they dated. I had a good reputation as a straight shooter, so he accepted I told him the truth.
Of course that didn’t stop the speculation that I started to date both of them, even when I denied it. Teenage kids like to pick on stuff that was different. Teenage kids also learned to fear for their lives when one Hunter Jacobs flattened a senior at lunch. I made sure it was spectacular, so no one else would make any more smart comments. I also didn’t really hurt him, but the hold I put him into was painful and the point was made. I knew if they got started, Terry would have ended up breaking up with me, so I figured I had nothing to lose. The best part was the celebratory blowjob I received for being a badass who took on a big scary senior for his woman ... at least, that was what Terry had told me, so I went along with it.
On a personal note, I was now five-ten and weighed 155 pounds. That was a nine-inch gain in height, and forty pounds since the accident. It was a serious growth spurt. The good news was my shoe size, now a 14, had not gotten any bigger recently. I’d been afraid that my true career would have involved a Shriner’s hat, and very small cars. I wouldn’t have needed prostheses for those big red shoes that the clowns always wore. Now it was just a matter of time for my body to catch up to my hands and feet.
After my breakout basketball game, we lost the next four. Coach Elliot had seen improvements in practice, and assured us we would see the results soon on the basketball court. Our bigs, Tyler, Rocco and Cooper, with me at guard had worked hard on the pick-and-roll. In our last three games it was as if something finally came together. We were unstoppable. We ran off three straight wins to finish the season at 4 and 16.
The next day, U-High had parent/teacher conferences. The girls took advantage of the day off and went to the mall. I parked my butt on the couch, and was watching The Price is Right, when Aunt Marcy came home. She walked in and stared at me, and I saw her eyebrows go together. That was never a good sign. I turned off the TV.
“I didn’t do it,” I blurted out.
She dropped her head and rubbed her forehead. I could tell I wasn’t really in trouble, but she made a decision on something, and looked back up.
“Get dressed, you’re coming to work with me,” she announced and then left the room.
Something told me I needed to dress a little nicer than just jeans and a t-shirt. I had just bought a new t-shirt that showed AC/DC High Voltage, which was the band’s first album that had come out in February. Zoey hated them, but I knew that in 1980 their album Back in Black would come out and they would become a household name. It was fun to be one of the first on the bandwagon, so to speak. I decided I didn’t want to go overboard, so I put on jeans and my balloon shirt I wore to Homecoming.
I walked with my aunt to her office in Stevenson Hall on the ISU campus. It was still chilly out, but a nice day otherwise. As we got closer to campus the foot traffic picked up as students walked to classes. My aunt waited until we reached the quad to tell me what she had in mind.
“I talked to your teachers, this morning. They tell me you are getting straight A’s, but hardly pay any attention in class,” she said, and before I could defend myself she continued. “I did learn one thing that is interesting. I hear you have a new nickname: Tutor Boy. Your teachers tell me you even help people in classes you haven’t taken yet.”
She paused to see what I had to say for myself. I just shrugged.
“Miss Howard tells me you have been offered a chance to test out of your senior year and go to college, where you would be challenged academically. Why is this the first time I’m hearing this?” she asked.
“Because I like going to U-High, and I don’t really want to go to college where I’ll be the youngest one there. Plus, I don’t want to leave Zoey.”
“Have you talked to Zoey about this?”
“No, I really didn’t see the point,” I said. “Plus, I still have a lot to learn here.”
“I know you have a deal with Dale to tell him the truth. For today, I want the same deal. I want you to tutor some of my students, and I want you to do your best. When the day is done, I want to talk to you and Dale about your education. Will you do that for me?” she asked.
Miss Howard had worked me into a corner and my aunt had decided to force the issue. I was surprised I was okay with this. Something told me I needed to take this next step. I agreed, and she handed me a text book. The cover said Economic Reasoning using Statistics and I read the blurb on the back.
An introduction to descriptive and inferential statistics with applications in economics.
What the hell was that?
“I’ll order lunch in and you can read the chapter we are working on. I have office hours from one to four today. We should be busy because I gave my students a project where they have to use statistics to prove an example of an economic theory. This should be a real test for you,” she said.
I was put into a small office and left to read the chapter in question. The first thing I noticed was it was very heavy on math. Now I could see how Dave’s calculus was used in real-world applications. I made a mental leap, and discovered that if you understood mathematical functions well, you could predict the nature of almost anything. I was suddenly eager to see what my aunt’s students would try to do with their projects.
My first victim was a nerdy guy who hadn’t showered in several days, if his body odor was any indicator. He explained his project was to show the applications of game theory to help make managerial decisions in competitive markets. I admit I was lost at first, but as he went into more detail I started to make the connections necessary to understand what he would try to prove in his project. Game theory was the study of strategic decisions made, that used the study of mathematical models of conflict and cooperation between intelligent, rational decision-makers. Basically it meant that you could forecast behavior, which would help you predict what would happen as long as everyone acted normally. I then looked at how he tried to prove some of his concepts and he had the math wrong. I thought I could see where his thinking was muddled though. The two of us argued about the best way to do it, until I realized that we were both wrong.
What I discovered was that the information in my brain was only half the answer. I needed to be challenged with exercises like this, to make that information usable. What was really fun was that I saw that the use of game theory could be used in many different fields of study, not just economics.
When we finally figured out an approach, he left and my aunt came in.
“How did it go?” she asked.
I told her what we accomplished and she just nodded and sent in my next victim. She was a cute girl but when she explained her project I quickly saw she was in way over her head. She didn’t have the math for this class.
“I think you should drop this class,” I suggested.
I then explained the prerequisite math she needed, she admitted she didn’t have it. I was afraid she would be mad at me, but she just smiled and left. I ended up seeing seven students, and there was a line of three more waiting when four o’clock finally came.
“Would you be willing to work with the ones in line, or do you want to call it a day?” Aunt Marcy asked.
“Want to split them up so it goes faster?” I asked.
“Nope, they want to work with you,” she said, which shocked me.
“Roy put out the word you actually knew what you were talking about,” she said and saw my confusion. “He was the first one you worked with. Roy is one of our rising stars, and is respected by his peers. It’s not easy getting his approval, believe me.”
I got the impression she had had a few run-ins with him. I decided to help the last three. She gave me a key to the room, and told me to lock up when I had finished.
My day as a tutor for Aunt Marcy had been eye opening. Several things came together to make me realize I was just marking time at U-High. I had been given an opportunity when Nancy sent me back to relive my life. There was a part of me that feared I might mess up the future, but I had come to believe that maybe I could help craft a better future. I just knew I couldn’t do it alone.
When I got home Uncle Dale, Aunt Marcy and Zoey talked to me about going to college early like Miss Howard had suggested. I’d let too many things slip through to be able to deny I hadn’t learned anything. I admitted that working with Roy today had challenged me and I enjoyed it. We agreed we would talk to Dr. Tolliver and see what was involved.
Our varsity basketball team had squeaked out enough wins to slip into the last slot in our sectional tournament. I was surprised when I was called into the AD’s office, and Coach Elliot told me they had expanded the roster from twelve to fifteen. Two other JV players and I had been promoted. It seemed they needed another point guard to round out the roster. Coach Elliot told me I would probably not play, but he was happy they picked three of his players. I didn’t know that they even watched us.
At lunch, I’d been minding my own business when I suddenly had a carton of milk poured on my head. I jumped up and found a smiling Max daring me to do something. I’d held back and not retaliated for several months now. I probably would’ve walked away if Zoey hadn’t jumped up and pushed him. Max slipped in the milk on the floor and as he went down reached out to stabilize himself, but pulled Zoey down with him, instead. Her head hit the floor, and I saw blood.
Something inside of me snapped. Dave jumped up and checked on Zoey. She looked to be okay, but Max was as good as dead. The old me knew now was not the time or place, but it would happen soon and no one would know I did it. By now we had teachers surrounding us, and Max and I were carted off to the office while Zoey went to see the nurse.
We found ourselves in Vice-Principal Elliot’s office.
“Why am I seeing you two in here? I thought we had gotten past this,” Coach Elliot said.
“It was an accident. I spilled my milk and Hunter and his sister took offense,” Max said with a smirk.
“Oh, Max, pouring a carton of milk on my head wasn’t an accident. You’re a bully and I was the weak link when the season started. Me being put on varsity was just too much for you, wasn’t it?” I asked and watched as he turned scarlet.
“Max, I’m very disappointed in you. Hunter has taken the high road at every turn. I’ve seen how you torment him. I’ve stayed out of it until now, because I thought you would finally see he wasn’t your enemy,” Coach Elliot said and then took a deep breath. “Max, I’m giving you a week’s suspension. I understand that what happened to Zoey could be looked at as an accident, but you created the situation where a girl was hurt. Furthermore, if your attitude doesn’t improve, there will be further consequences.
“Hunter, I expect you to be the better man, and not retaliate. I know you could take Max apart. I’ve heard what happened when you fought John. Please just walk away,” Coach Elliot said.
That would not happen, but I nodded, anyway. I was let go while Max was forced to wait for a parent to come and pick him up. I skipped a class when I’d been sent to the office; so, during the last half of that class period, I went to see if Zoey was still with the nurse. She was seated on one of the exam tables, with an ice pack on her forehead. She gave me a weak smile when I walked in. I reached out to take her other hand to let her know we were now to be totally honest with each other.
“Are you okay?” I asked.
“It’s nothing serious, Little Brother, just a bump on my head.”
“While I appreciate you standing up for me, I can take care of myself,” I said.
“Really? Every time that jerk does something you just let him. I wasn’t going to allow it to happen again.”
“Do you mind if I teach him a lesson in manners?” I asked.
She got a worried look.
“Please don’t get hurt. Hunter, I know you’re mad he pulled me down. Maybe you were right, before, and you should just let it go,” she almost pleaded.
“It’s gone on too long, and he went too far today. He got suspended for a week for what he did, but I think he needs to understand that this stops here. I’ll not allow him to hurt you or anyone else,” I said and then smiled at her. “I promise not to get hurt or in trouble.”
I could tell she was still worried, but she let me go to class.
I saw Miss Howard and she gave me a knowing smirk when I walked in. I smiled back and began to clap.
“Nicely done,” I said. “You got my aunt to force the issue about college. Let Dr. Tolliver know you were successful.”
“You’re not mad?” she asked.
“No. I just hope he can deliver. Could we discuss this over the weekend or one evening? I want my sister, and aunt and uncle to be there.”
“I’ll find out and let you know,” she said and then got serious. “Hunter, this was done with the best of intentions. I’ve come to like you and I think you are wasting your time in high school.”
We got to work on my journal.
Our first basketball tournament game was against Mahomet-Seymour, who had spanked our varsity in the first game of the year. We would play at Mahomet, because they were the #1 seed in the sectional pairings. It was towards the end of the third quarter with us down 34 – 23 when I was put into the game. Their star point guard had four fouls and I was instructed to make him foul me.
On our first possession I brought the ball up and our big power forward, Les Wilks, came to the top of the key to set a pick. I swung from left to right and let their point guard get rubbed off by Les. Their power forward jumped out and kept me from being able to drive the lane. Les broke for the basket and I did a pretty bounce pass as he went up for the layup. Their center helped out and had to foul Les. Les made his two free throws, which inched us closer at 34 – 25. We had finally cut the score to less than ten.