Coach Time 7C

Coach Dan reached to his right, retrieved his water bottle. Still sitting, he opened the bottle, drank quickly. Lowering the bottle, he addressed Jimmy without turning to him.

“We’ve got the next four weeks off for the holidays. Practice resumes on the second Tuesday in January.”

Jimmy’s voice sounded even wearier than his body looked. “Wednesday’s my only day off, Daniel. These old bones need their rest.”

“Jimmy, I need a sabre coach.”

“You have six fencers, Daniel. I think you can find the time to work with everyone.”

“Seven, my friend. Confirmed with Dani that she’s coming back after the new year.”

“All right, seven — ”

“Double-J’s ready to quit.”

Jimmy turned quickly, stared at Coach Dan silently as he continued. “It’s this damn captain thing. You heard us talking about it at the party Saturday. Double-J thinks he should be captain, said he ‘deserves’ it, and he’s not happy with it going to Annie instead.”

“Wasn’t aware that being captain was such a big deal.”

“Agreed, it shouldn’t be. But it is to Double-J. He’s taking this very personally, like it’s a slap in the face. Broke the news to him a few days before the party, and though he didn’t come out and say it, I could tell he has this close — ” he squeezed the tips of his right thumb and index f finger together, held them up towards Jimmy — “from saying he was done with the team.”

Jimmy nodded, turned his gaze back towards the door through which Double-J and Rex had just exited. “I see.”

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