Return of Miles 1B

Coach Dan was the only person who recognized the young man who walked abruptly into the room, his arms extended wide and towards the ceiling, eyes beaming and smile glistening but both nearly hidden under a thick, bushy, uneven beard. When Coach Dan called out to him, “Miles!”, he noticed Annie’s eyes widen, her head jerking forward and mouth open in disbelief.

Miles lowered his arms, clapped twice quickly, loudly. “And how does BB High’s fencing team look this year?” He stopped several feet before the line of fencers, everyone still staring at him in surprise. “Rex, Double-J — ” he nodded firmly as he called out each boys’ name, then smirked — “Annie.” He pointed to the boy on her right. “What was it, Ben?”

“Bernie.”

“Yes yes, Bernie. We called you Biscuit, didn’t we?” Bernie rolled his eyes, as a nervous giggle percolated through the team. Miles looked quickly at Kassie, Butch. “Roped in a couple freshman, I see.” Butch opened his mouth, but Miles addressed him before he could speak. “Not sure if you remember who I am.”

Butch’s eyes widened. “You — you used to be Miles, right?”

Miles laughed, shot a quick glance over at Coach Dan. “I’m glad to see this one at least pays attention to you!” He turned back to Butch. “And let me assure you that I am still Miles. Just not the clean-cut Miles you remember as your quarterback, point guard, starting pitcher — and captain of this motley crew of fencers the past two years.” Miles looked back at Coach Dan. “Your team knows how to take a joke, right? That I use the term motley as one of endearment, right?”

Coach Dan blinked, nodded. He did not often respond silently like this, and the team knew him well enough to recognize that it meant something was wrong.

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