Chapter 50 Tattling
We packed up pretty quickly; it didn't take long for all of us to pile in the car and head to their house.
"Wow. They're both home." Noah said after seeing both of their cars in the driveway. We had to park out on the street in front of their house.
All five of us hopped out and grabbed our bags. The older three left their baseball bags in the trunk, but Noah went and grabbed his.
"What are you doing with that?" Kyle raised an eyebrow.
"I need to take it inside. Jake's bat requires extra care and maintenance since it's wood. Plus I want dad to take us to O'Conners and get Jake some equipment. He can't keep using mine. It's not exactly a proper fit."
"Oh good! I want to go to O'Conners too!" Dave jumped in. "My batting gloves get torn so easily." He glanced at me. "I don't know how Jake can hit without a pair."
I flipped my hands and showed them my calluses.
"Dangggggg." The twins said at the same time.
"What are you boys doing just hanging out in the front yard?" A feminine voice called out to us. We looked towards the front door to see Mrs. Atkins staring us down, with her hands on her hips.
"Just admiring Jake's work ethic." Kyle replied.
"You're all back so early. Did something happen?" She frowned, examining all of us.
We all looked at Zeke. He stepped up first to head inside. "I called it early today. Jake made the team. But he's out of shape so we brought him home to rest. I'm going to shower first."
"Second!" The twins called out at the same time. They looked at one another and then raced to the house and probably up the stairs.
Noah and I brought up the rear. She looked us over. "Why is Jake all dirty and sweaty? You look like you didn't even practice."
Noah slapped me on the back. "It was a tryout mom. They wanted to see how he did. And then after he made the team, Zeke made us run ten laps each! Poor Jake couldn't last. He collapsed as soon as we finished."
"Oh, Jake is that true?" She looked me up and down. "You do look a bit exhausted. Come inside and sit down. Let's tell Wayne what happened and see how he wants to deal with Zeke."
We followed her in the house and found Mr. Atkins in the office. He was working on the computer, but quickly gave us his undivided attention. Even sitting down, he was as tall as me.
"Dad, Zeke made Jake and I run ten laps for no reason." Noah got right to the point and complained about his oldest brothers wrongdoings. "Jake had just finished his tryout, made the team, and didn't even meet with our teammates before we were sent on a run."
"Ten laps?" Mr. Atkins frowned. "That's only two miles. That shouldn't be too hard for you." He looked at me. "But for Jake...you feeing okay?"
I shrugged. I just felt tired and a little sore.
"Jake, do you mind if we give the boys some background on you? Nothing too detailed, I promise. I just don't want them pushing you too hard, too fast."
I shrugged once more. It didn't seem like a big deal, but maybe they were worried because I only left the rehab hospital last week.
"Noah said Jake collapsed after running. Do you think we should do a check-up or something?" Mrs. Atkins looked worried.
Mr. Atkins turned to Noah. "Is that true?"
"He just wanted to lie down on the grass because he was so tired. It wasn't like he passed out." Noah quickly corrected. "I told Zeke that he shouldn't make him run so much on his first day, but he said it was for endurance reasons."
I'm pretty sure he did that because you called him a negative Nancy. Noah sure had guts to tattle on Zeke. I'd be too scared to say anything at all.
"Okay, we'll discuss at dinner. We'll go to Da Vinci's to celebrate you making varsity. As a freshman, no less!" Mr. Atkins stood up. I took a few steps back to give him space. Alright, mostly to give me space to run since he still intimidated me. "Sorry, didn't mean to startle you. Why don't you boys hurry and shower?"
"Yep, yep!" Noah grabbed my arm and started to drag me past his mom. But he quickly stopped. "We need to go to O'Conners after dinner too! Jake has almost nothing. And my stuff is a bit big or baggy."
Both of his parents nodded and agreed. Not even showing a hint of displeasure. I wonder if all parents were this nice and caring, and it was just me that got unlucky?