#SOL18 – WIP Chapter 6

It’s 7th grade and I have the whole school to myself now that Jacob is a 9th grader at the high school.

I am ready to make my mark and be seen, again.

First day.

I go through all of my classes and not one teacher mentions him.

They just say, “You must be Jack.”

“Nice to meet you.”

“Welcome to class.”

My classmates don’t mention him either.

I’m feeling like my luck has finally turned.

At lunch, I sit with Alanna and a few new-to-the-table girls who I recognize from elementary school but had not really talked with before. Another fresh start.

We all talk about our summer and which teachers we have.

It turns out that I have the rest of my classes with two of the girls: Lindsey and Kiera. They seem nice and smile as I talk.

I moved to a smaller house over the summer in the same school system. Lindsey says it sounds great to share a room with my brother. Kiera says it’s unfair that I lost my own room.

I actually feel both ways. I missed talking with Jacob at night before falling asleep. But, I also liked having a space to go to be alone. Our new house is a bit too small for that.

7th graders get to do more after-school activities.

The first one I pick to join is cross-country.

It’s athletic, without being a team sport in the same way that soccer and football are.

I started running over the summer because Jacob was running 5Ks to keep in shape for cross-country at the high school. He actually had a running log to fill out and needed to run over 250 miles. It seemed fun, so I tagged along.

To be completely honest, it was horrible at first. I was in pain. My shins hurt. I couldn’t run more than 50 steps without a sharp pain in my side. Slowly, I started to increase how long I could run without walking, and I could tell that I was getting stronger.

I’m excited to join the middle school team.

In the locker room after school, I was really glad to see a few guys that I knew, that I could possibly run with. I wasn’t going to be alone.

As we joined our coach outside the football stadium, I noticed that the team was big – about 30 boys and girls. The coach started to give us instructions. Next, we began to warm-up and stretch.

Then, some taller boys walked up to the team.

Wait a second! Jacob was with them.

What was going on?

I moved closer to him and whispered, “What are you doing here?”

“The varsity coach cut us all on the first day. I can run with this team for one more year,” Jacob explained.

Coach started to introduce the older boys who had run for him for the past two years. He announced that they would be this year’s team captains, as the most experienced runners.

Are you kidding me? He’s at the high school. Why can’t he just stay there and not be doing my stuff?

Back to being “the captain’s” little brother.

10 thoughts on “#SOL18 – WIP Chapter 6

  1. Aileen, I love this story. Jack is so real to me. I feel his conflict. And the back story too. Why did the family move? Can’t wait to read more!

      1. Oh, I thought Jack was going to have a chance to shine here! I was so surprised when I learned Jacob was going to be on the team. Cannot wait for the next story! You write in your son’s voice with empathy and accuracy. So authentic and believable – it is as if Jack is composing here. I think it could be a middle school novel with short chapters….yes?

  2. Just when I thought Jack was going to have a fresh start and not be in the shadows of his older brother! Was so excited to have him join cross-country. Classes without mention of his brother. His older brother is always there! Poor Jack!

  3. I love the struggle of Jack here. In one day he went from missing talking to his brother and actually feeling a bit happy about being able to talk to him in their room at night in the new house. Yet, a few hours later… annoyed that his brother was there at Track and that it wasn’t going to be “his” thing anymore, but now something that his brother would overshadow him in. Such an honest conflict.

  4. Jack is really a true middle schooler! Socializing and trying to find his spot to shine in, only to have his brother shadow it once again. Yet, you can tell the undertone of his reverence for his brother. Perhaps he looks up to him, but has the struggle of competing with him, so the struggles overshadow the look-up? Regardless of his motivation and conflict, I cannot wait to keep understanding who Jack reveals himself to be!

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