Part II Chapter 3 Its Not as Bad as You Remember It….its Worse UTSA Book II chapter 3 section 1 You mean he was abused!
As Stephen walked to school that morning Lt.Col saw him. He looked at Stephen "You did the right thing....you are" Stephen nodded "I gotta rush these negatives get them handled before first bell." The retired Lt.Col nodded. The actions had in the weekend had reverberated beyond the team. Brad saw Stephen. Stephen had handled the detail in an acceptable manner not stellar he kept the cadets out of trouble they did their job. The viability for extra duty was somewhat limited but he had multiple jobs. Brad told Stephen "I never thought." Stephen cut him off "He was drunk he almost hurt or killed two people...if it had been a JROTC cadet or a hot volleyball player I would have done the same thing." Stephen walked a bit faster clip away. Brad was Stephen's cadet commander who had been surprised at the the way things had gone. The fact Stephen was rushing to get more work done was also surprising to Brad didn't Stephen realize who his mother was.. Brad knew Stephen knew as he paused. Stephen King was on a war path and now unstoppable.
The 2 rolls of football negatives had the higher priority to be processed and contacted. The work load meant no public lunch if, Stephen wanted to do the workouts. The team itself was frayed and Stephen had to be there. Stephen methodically with a bit slowness got the 2 rolls of football keeping his crosscountry negatives in the camera at his house. Finally in the tank Susan Dalshaw said "Trouble seems to find you." Stephen responded "Yeah." She asked "You getting the stuff done so you can run with the team last class?" Stephen replied “Yep.” Stephen was working on the film. Susan was reading a different Stephen. "You seem to be on a mission." Stephen replied "That I am." She then said "I can't believe you got Special arrested." Stephen responded "I can't believe he was that stupid...sad he was something tells me people here are not surprised about the booze but surprised it ended that way it did." Susan said "You are not going to win any popularity contests with that attitude." Stephen responded "Do you think I care?" Susan was reading Stephen. The more she saw of Stephen Mark III the more he terrorized her. He had power through his mom that many lusted for. Stephen had refused to use it and he hardly acknowledged his family ties. He then asked "Susan where was I 7th and 8th grade years?" Stephen heard the silence "Winston School San Antonio...remember I am in AP English I am a dyspraxic and proud the pilot’s license I have is in the hands of a dyspraxic." The statement was matter of fact. Susan asked "What is your agenda?" Stephen replied "There is a line between innocence and naiveté this town is shamefully naive. Purity can be reborn after the loss of innocence and knowing that truth is far more beautiful then naiveté.” The conversation happened again from the previous week. He continued "I know Leisha talks about Denton fondly she is right in more ways then she is wrong." His face showed some love and something less then his hard edged sarcastic self. The developer was poured out to be reused and the fix was poured into the tank. In 8 minutes the negatives had been fixed now it was time to wash. The fix was dumped out to be reused then water was used gently. Stephen lost to 4 exposures but thankfully they were not good ones. The negatives were placed in the dryer as the bell rang. Lunch would bring two contact sheets and a meal that cleared Stephen up to run that Monday afternoon. Susan then said "You are taking on more then a little extra duty." Stephen replied quoting a Luling crosscountry 1990 T-shirt saying "Go hard or Go home.....I believe in the blue and white for truth and right watch out I am spreading mutagen with my work ethic." In his mind Stephen was thinking Christ washing his disciples feet. There was the hint of idealism in the exchange.
Back at the year book lab. Stephen had an interesting lunch. He shoved a meal in his face with all the grace of a drunk elephant yet he had two contact sheets done. Ace was pushing things. Lunch the following day would be the first of those prints and contacting the smaller roll of film for cross-country. The good news was Stephen could make athletics last period and go directly there from the previous class.
Stephen was handed the sheet with times. He had is own gripes about the race he could have accelerated sooner and split the blockade sooner. The move on the hood was showy fancy effective but as wasteful as a severe surge it cost places off the high end. It was preventable and should have been prevented. Coach Bob told Stephen first about the run and he made clear where Walnut was to be crossed they were to run in front of Seele Elementary turn left go behind the North office complex and the bank. A rough map was drawn on the board. It was time for the group to walk to the locker room.
Stephen had memories of that building being a Green Stamp grocery store that HEB had out competed with and killed back in the early 1980s. They were to cross Walnut at Pit Stop Texaco. Tom quipped "Did you get the dents out." Stephen replied "Yep I had help Tara's dad has the tools mom was not upset.” Coach Bob asked “When will the pictures be ready?” Stephen replied "Hopefully by Wednesday I am missing lunch all three days I had to separate the football and the crosscountry rolls football negs were developed and contacted today." Thomas and Mike were quiet. Stephen Ray looked with a frown on his face. The run was going to be long. Coach Bob asked "Why is that?" Stephen replied "Football negatives are underexposed big time for the film so we push process it by having it sit in the developer a longer period of time to compensate there is a push chart so we just have mildly underexposed stuff crosscountry is straight forward 400 ISO nothing fancy." Tom was lost in the technical aspects. Classic too much information. It was a dyspraxic oddity that manifested itself. What Stephen had just spoken was all greek to him. The team noticed the oddity. Stephen quickly changed. Stephen joked Monday long slow distance. Coach Bob said we are doing speed workout Wednesday night. Stephen said that will take the pressure off my schedule.
There is nothing fun about long slow distance. It was something that had to be done. The stretching was a formality and soon enough the take off. Tara had been selected with Linda and Amanda even Leisha got to join the fun of the Golf course plus Encino. Stephen knew it had to be done. Long slow distance built carbohydrate capacity and stroke volume. Thomas said "Now you are going to bust your butt to show you..." Coach Bob said" Cut that out I told you Stephen had no options." Serg then said "I would have taken a fall for a teammate" Coach Bob said "Then Stephen would have been expelled." Stephen said "Special did it to himself I know he has family issues there is stuff that has occurred in my house that is best left unsaid." The news was a bomb shell. The delivery had hints of sinister stuff. No one had known the inner dynamic. It also went to explain the hostility that came out of nowhere. Stephen had endured his mom going psycho on him she trying to hold him rammed her hand on this Adams apple. She also on a few occasions with pinches left quarter sized bruises on him. In 7th grade she was about to do likewise Stephen had grabbed her on her pressure points. Stephen growled "Special's family does not provide him an excuse for being a fool." The tone and look on his face killed argument.
The hostility and anger in the voice explained somethings to Tom and Bo about Stephen's freshman year. Aero was rattled. It was warm to hot. The warm up was eerily quiet. The start of the run offered more then a little shade Ohio to California and down Lakeview was far from totally sun exposed. The speed was a bit faster then a jog. Raul was a bit faster and Bo along with Aero was at the lead. Distance running the triumph of will over boredom and heat. Stephen was smart enough he had to be seen busting his butt he also knew he had to time his surge to oblivion well lest he cross the line between bravery and stupidity. That territory was infamous for being not too well charted. Stephen was not going to push it. That hill of Laurel Lane while not being the steepest road up the Balcones Escarpment still was a first class pain.
Panther Canyon had the gentlest way up the escarpment. That is why it was one end point. Stephen knew this as he continued trekking running leaving the high school behind. The trail was slowly getting marked at the end. The group was tight together. Stephen had earned the hoof and heart award his freshman year before he accepted Christ. Fear and ambition were an incredible potion. Now being an instrument of grace and showing the truth brought a different motivation to being on a team. He had shaken the team now he had reconcile after the big blast. He could not allow his team to be let down. Step by step in the heat sweat soon joining the endeavor progress was being made. The area familar and therefore not thought of much technique wise. A deer was seen early on in Panther Canyon. The view on Lakeview was nice but the monotony of each stride and the five miles being ticked down created its own struggle with will. Stephen's handling of the descent of Lakeview followed by the turn did do him some good it put him further away from the girls and closer to Tom. Stephen was put behind down that tree lined segment of the neighborhood that went by the Island. The left turn swung my entrance to field that was the employee parking lot of Schlitterbahn.
The wooden trestle of the KATY line had been abandoned. Stephen smiled as he crossed one again the channel of the original Comal River. The long around the golf course by Wurstfest had left the pack strung out. Inevitably this was there the struggle against self was its most intense. The flame left in the valley despair. Stephen King remembered May 1 1991 and its afternoon in detail. Stephen Ray's mother had been along for the drive. The two years that had passed had put a different view on the Wursthalle and Circle Arts theatre. The curve was long and wide. It went past a historical marker across by the Olympic pool parking lot down the backside of the playground Stephen wound. Seele elementary emerged in sight. The solitary nature of the run filled Stephen. There were teamates in the distance ahead and in the distance behind. With its appearance memories emerged and the call to be a Unicorn emerged. Stephen crossed Fredericksburg he adjusted his form to make what amounted to a near Hollywood pass the way he had seen crosscountry runners make when he was a student in the early 1983-1987. He was there 2nd-5th grade. The sight of the school flagged decreasing enthusiasm the school was just short of dismissal time. Stephen went down Lockner as directed and then a right on Wood in front of the house of a family friend's. His body had long been soaked with sweat and sweat in his eyes was now becoming a companion as he timed his crossing of walnut. The option of taking the first phase of the ascent of Laurel was a choice of poison.
Beverly was slightly longer it had some gravel in it possible snake hazard but the initial ascent was void of the fun of a 90 decree turn accompanied by a radical shift in terrain upwards.
(photo Esteban Erik Stipnieks Laurel Lane base above Beverly Lane)
Stephen took the option of Beverly. Each stride a statement of commitment. The team had to succeed or at least get individual glory. Each step chasing a dream. This was his hometown and as he ran he realized how much more it meant to him. There was anger there was also love he was running the run right around six minutes a mile.
He continued as the hill grew steep near at stucco house and sight of four white tails crossing the road startled Stephen. His strides were a bit longer he decided he could probably do some higher speed so as by the abandoned tennis court on the other side he accelerated a hair and kept the higher speed up passed houses he knew including that of a teammate.
The last burn of lactic acid occurred the big crest. The heat continued. He made it up the point of the dip and finally he realized he was looking at his last real hard ascent of the run. The tree lined Encino was welcome. Stephen darted near his home across the mini-mart store parking lot and across Walnut where he saw Stephen Ray taking a right turn by Shwaumkrugs. Stephen shook his head. Stephen then decided he could if he played his cards right use the descent of Ohio to buy just enough speed to catch the two and cut loose a sarcastic comment or two. Stephen Ray's move was both incredibly stupid because the road was narrow the speed limit was 45 and there were no places to really avoid becoming road pizza through a healthy section of it. Stephen was angry and he found it almost so insane it was also down right funny. Something had to be done about it. Sarcasm came easy for a dyspraxic and the line would emerge in due time.
Stephen accelerated surging and extending his stride he was on the hunt in pursuit. He thought of the zinger through his runner’s high induced mind finally as he caught them he then said "You might as well go straight through the shortcut you wus!" Stephen King had referenced a trail to school. He continued to make the pass and he hung a right on Canyon then a left on Kentucky he forced himself up the backside of the dip and finally over the curb. Stephen he fired his long legs well beyond the lactic acid threshold to cross the last bit of distance to the fence where Coach West had his team practicing. As he did he heard the words "Way to finish strong Stephen!" from of all people Tara's dad.
The girl's stuck on the run had their own sensations. It would be their own battle. Amanda knew the route. She had done it before. She was upset about being behind Linda some of the race. They took off. Stephen was a bit fast yet ultimately this was about themselves. The sun was blazing and the distance had to be done. The Sunday time had allowed her to process. She was being introduced to the concept of Lex Rex as she ran Stephen pushing things just a bit hard. He was freakish at times abrasive relishing his role of this force of innocence lost. As she ran down California she realized how much tradition gripped her soul. She loved. Stephen appeared to enjoy tweaking it and at times mocking it. She loved the team. Stephen at time felt content to break it and relished applying pressure. The run to her was about things that she loved. The names of the run had been passed down. The house was a good family an orthopedic surgeon who had helped many. His two twins had been upperclassman loved before they graduated. Eden Home as a retirement home that was old New Braunfels lots of old Germans with their stories resided there. Tara was just beyond. Amanda liked the solitary nature of the run. It gave her time to think she worked on an English paper pre-wrote some segments as she turned on a road that went by both the gravel pits and a by the island that was in Landa Lake. Schlitterbahn to the left was distinctly New Braunfels and had grown steadily popular. This was beautiful this was calm this was her home town. Stephen from time to time seemed now hell bent to destroy it. He was driving himself hard his love for the team could not be questioned all these thoughts filled her mind as she continued running her talent facing the simple fact she was stuck doing six miles that she could not whimp out on. She turned onto the road that went in front of the golf course complete with its low water crossing then up by Wursthalle a venue of a great event Wurstfest and the Circle Arts theatre all the freaks did plays but they were cool. The building once held a rifle range that JROTC shot at in the late sixties and early 1970s. Where a big parking lot was tennis courts used to stand. They had been moved to Prince Solm's Park and were just beyond the course that they had run. She crossed bridge over the river near a park pavilion she remembered when bumper cars had been. Where she ran she ran passed the site of a tilt a whirl and roller coaster. Coach Bob was still a new comer. He was norse like Stephen King's father. The thought of distant ancestors of Coach Bob and Stephen King on the same long boat was funny. The play ground to her right had memories of their own. As she descended and approached Fredericksburg road she was in site of the school she went to Elementary at. As she got in view she made minor corrections in her form and sped up just a notch to inspire the students like Coach Bingham had done. It was he whose crippled form went to church with her that had first got her interested in long distance running. She passed the field where her first real steps as a crosscountry runner occurred pride welled up as she went passed the buildings that she once attended 2nd, 3rd and later fifth grade. Dreams had been fulfilled and that thought motivated her through the 200 yard stretch. The memories remained as she turned left on Lockner and right on Wood. She decided to use Beverly to ease the approach up to Laurel Lane. As she did the sweat had long soaked her. She attacked the hill there were others far worse one that they were forbidden because they could not attack it with enough speed. She ran up slightly smaller strides bounding forward. As she did so she heard a familar voice "Way to go Amanda keep it up." Anna’s mom had decided to cheer the team on. It felt good. It was the thing fueled her final assault as the rest of Encino rolled ahead one last ascent a dip and decent uphill. She had to build her base. Linda was just behind her. She shoved it down Encino she could see Stephens house and down Kerlick. She could see Stephen in a bit of surge ahead of her. She ran down Ohio Ridge view finally the big dip of Kentucky and she was at school she jogged the rest of the way in to be greeted by Stephen and Stephen with Exceed. Linda, Tara and Leisha were behind her the four cups of Exceed were appreciated at that point she wanted to feel this third incarnation of Stephen.
Tara knew the distance it had been measured right at six miles. She was eating like a pig recently and her scale has remained static. She took off what seemed like a slow pace. She knew better the start of the run was familar at least at the start. She trucked away dealing with the boredom. Using topography was making things just a bit easier for her. She was learning the techniques quickly that Stephen was still mastering. They did work in getting speed. It was long and hot the turn to Lakeview was pretty but drudgery. The descent to Lakeview was fast her dense body mass propelled her she had used the longer stride to her advantage and just a series of quick pushes. The one thing about this run was that it was prettier then Pit Stop. The run was going to be long hot and sweaty. She had cruised in her Suzuki Samurai this area so she knew where to go. The place was pretty. She crossed where a spring went under the road the area was dated back to the 1970s it was still pretty. The wear had been taken care of. She continued running. The trees were welcome as always she made a way round the golf course the steep dip. The dip through to the creek was severe and it shook the reverie quickly for a while. She could see Amanda and Linda just ahead but she felt alone and once again her drive was pushing her forward. She cut a bit aggressively through the area that the park train would run through as she shaved through the parking lot. Linda and Amanda had done that as Stephen did. They crossed a bridge over the river she followed. She took the straight line between the fence that marked an old power plant and electric substation from the park. The elementary school she passed had no memories for her. She hung a left as directed and a right. This run was long and slowly shrinking. She crossed Walnut. She could see Linda taking a turn early so she decided to follow her. Laurel was not the steepest distance but was long. It was one huge ascent an empty tennis court then another cheer one her loneliness was ended by the cheering of a teammates mother...it was a nice touch. It fueled her final big ascent of the major hill. She felt a drive from deep inside that she was unfamiliar she had accepted Christ and Kuk a couple years ago and the vision and goal was a backbeat that when she was struggling but there was strength that drove her. She made it through the dip and finally through tree lined Encino to Kerlick cutting across the parking lot she surged across walnut and started using the descent of Ohio to pick up speed she was tiring but as she made a left on the other street she realized how little of the run she had left. She surged down that section of the road and finally Kentucky then back up through the high school. Her father cheered her on. She was actually surprised to see Stephen Ray and Stephen King with Exceed for all 4. She was exhausted sweat soaked but happy.
For Ace the end of the run was relief. The Exceed was not to cool that meant it could be consumed faster. Coach Bob greeted him "Whoose voice did I hear you cheer you on?" Stephen nodded "Tara's dad." As he said that Stephen Ray came into view. Thomas and Mike said "Good run!" They could tell Stephen was tired. Stephen said to Steven Ray "Do you want Bo to know?" The grin was malicious. Stephen Ray looked at him. Dr. King's son was not happy. The look on his face indicated he would not. Coach Noel suspected what was going on he saw them as he passed on Walnut. He listened to the exchange and figured someone on the run had gotten sarcasm at full measure. He also knew that Stephen had no intention of ratting out the two. The Senior had just done one of his jobs on the team. Stephen drank deep he got two more cups as Linda Amanda and Tara coming into view. He looked at Stephen "Get two more lets be good Unicorns." Stephen's voice was warmer but it implied a threat. The cups were poured and as the girls arrived they were greeted with the Exceed and the congratulations from both Stephens and Troy. There was warmth in the greeting of the girls. Amanda asked Stephen King "Where is your car?" Stephen replied in my driveway. She said "I'm giving you a ride home." She lived near the Rays just further south and west of one of the English Teacher's house. The Stephens and the girls made their way backside of the high school to the back doors of their respective dressing rooms. Stephen had absorbed a bunch of Noel Scott. He simply said Bo does not need to know you know you let down the team. It was as if the VP had just chewed Ray and was making clear this was over.
Stephen quickly got his bag it had homework lots of it he would be typing that night slung it on his shoulder and headed out where Amanda met him. Stephen was tired he had bluebell home made vanilla on his mind as the post workout munchies were starting to hit. Stephen had always considered her cute. She had some country music playing. Stephen felt sarcasm coming on yet knew better as the car drove the reverse what they had just run. She asked what it is with you and Tara. Stephen said matter of factly she is my adopted sister my protégé gotta leave heritage. She knows the vision she will carry it on after I leave the cancer free gene of Unicorn spirit. Amanda was surprised she was still putting the pieces together. Stephen seemed to be more about a vision then himself. Stephen was gentle and appreciative of the ride. She looked at the car "The dents are gone!" Stephen nodded "Tara's dad is cool we pulled them out." Amanda drove away.
Stephen headed for food he had half pound of ground beef to cook with cheese bacon and mayo. It was a lot of food but the run had been over five miles. The night was AP English, Algebra II, and goverment homework. Stephen marveled at the team. It was nice for guys to be winning.
Amanda was surprised to hear Stephen considered Tara as a sister and was leaving her as legacy for a new form Unicorn pride. Stephen had a vision in his voice she heard of a love for Unicorn. Stephen was obviously tired as all get out. Stephen appeared to be human as he thanked her sincerely for the ride. The surprise was about the dent free car. Stephen smiled he told that story.
That night Coach Bob called Coach Noel Scott. "You never told me that Stephen had been abused." Coach Noel Scott replied "He probably was back when he was in elementary school." There was a pause "So my team was his....." Coach Bob asked. Coach Noel Scott replied "family." That confirmed what Stephen said and what Coach had suspected about the freshman year. Coach Noel continued "He is grieving about the death of his classmate and is angry about some things." Coach Bob replied "That's obvious." Both men agreed that all the complaint's Stephen King had were legit. Coach Bob could even grasp his own hypocrisy on school issues. He pushed that to the side. They too had sniped about the double standards in the high school. Coach Noel replied "He has shot off his mouth like everybody else does usually with reason." Coach Bob replied "That’s true the one time he was way out of line you nailed him." Stephen in the presence of team always showed respect for the authority of Coach Bob. The one time otherwise if Stephen's mother had heard what Coach Bob had said he would not have a job. He was aware of that aside from the verbal back hand he faced fear. Coach Noel with a smile in his voice said "I see what's going on." Coach Bob asked "What?" Coach Noel Scott replied pulling a line from the movie 2010 that seemed appropriate quoting Bowman in inflexion as well. "Something wonderful." The limit's of Noel Scott's imagination had been stretched by God. "Can you stop it?" Coach Bob asked. Coach Noel replied "Why would I want to I just here to help you. Trust me you like where this is heading you just don't know it yet Two squads at UTSA competing" The phone line went dead. Noel Scott hung up. Coach Bob was irritated he felt that control of his team had been taken away. The abuse allegations had to be provable they were not. The incidents were long gone. Furthermore Coach Bob had seen Noel Scott save the team now twice. The talk of getting to the regional meet was what Coach Bob liked. The work ethic had threatened to kick the guys into a higher gear. His years of running forced him to for once allow the situation to play out and see what happens.
Coach Noel Scott started grumbling to himself a bit....he knew Coach Bob was stressing and this town was accurately described. He gave his read pen a workout and grumbled more. That night he read in James "Rejoice in Trials.” The Bible stood in his face and its authority was final in his life. He saw his weakness. Faithful were the wounds of the friend he recalled a proverb. There was no greater friend then Christ. He acknowledged the faithfulness of the friend who just wounded him. The abuse had never been told to Noel Scott directly but rather hinted it at. He could not take action on a hint.
Coach Bob decided to leave well enough alone the worst day had been salvaged by the man from Plano. He was upset at he graded papers. He read the essays about the causes of the American Revolution. He wondered what Revolution was going on. The Jesusfreaks from Denton seemed to be waging a guerrilla war against the White Anglo Saxon Protestant principal. When push come to shove the superintendents son seemed to know what he was doing on publications staff. Coach Bob wanted district glory and Stephen seemed to want it as much if not more then he did. The quote from 2010 and Dave Bowman pulled by his assistant seemed rather surgically aimed. Well he was forced to trust him.
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