The Boyfriend Whisperer
Principal Cho calls my teammates out one by one at the pep rally. He announces my name last, and I dribble across the court, through a tunnel made up of the cheer squad as well as both the boys’ and girls’ teams, and stop at the top of the key to throw Chris an alley-oop.
He sails toward the basket, his muscles rippling as he reaches out, snatches the ball out of the air, transfers it from one hand to the other, and stuffs it through the rim. Magnificent.
I remember the precise moment I fell in love with Christian Broder. It was this past October when a bunch of us decided to play a pick-up game at the courts down at Claymore Park. It was a warm day, and Chris took off his shirt. I vaguely wondered when he’d developed pecs. I tried to defend against him on a drive to the basket, but it seemed he’d gained six inches on me overnight. He swerved around, up, and past me, and … wham. His first dunk shot.
It was perhaps the most beautiful move I’d ever seen on a basketball court. Or anywhere. Ever. I could barely breathe. Had to fake a cramp in my leg and take myself out of the game. Now, watching him soar through the air again, I have that same gut reaction. I struggle to pull myself together as he runs up and gives me a high-five.
“Nice toss, Malloy.”
“Nice tip in, Broder.”
He laughs. “Yeah, right. Tip in. I hear you.” He drapes his arm across my shoulder. “I have a great feeling about this weekend.”
I nod, unable to form words, and the rest of the pep rally swirls by in a whirlwind of pompoms and victory chants.