- Zahaan Bhappu
Updated: Mar 15, 2022
It was Tuesday which meant it was Oliver's basketball class. He normally walked there and he did that today. It was pretty cool and wet because of the rain last night. There were puddles everywhere Oliver looked and he almost fell because of it 6 times. As Oliver was walking into the court he smelt the stinky poop that no one cleaned up, it was a mess. From a distance, he heard a loud and deep scream. He knew it was from his bossy coach.Oliver heard the coach say “When Oliver comes, he’d better score or he will be in deep trouble.” Oliver knew that the coach would make him run around the court 20 times which sucked the life out of him if he did not score. Because he heard his name, Oliver knew he must have been late for his basketball class and that the coach would be very mad at him.
The next thing Oliver knew he was dribbling his basketball to the net, just like how he had learnt it in the class three weeks ago. Thump, thump, thump. Oliver tried to smack the basketball over and over again, careful about keeping control of the ball. He knew that if he fails this part, all of his efforts will be useless. He was getting closer and closer. He knew he should be 4 feet away until he jumped. Thump, thump. He was 5 feet away. He saw the free throw line. Thump, thump. Oliver’s feet were on the edge of the circle . He was close enough to shoot. He bent his legs and pushed them against the cement. He leapt in the air.
“Hurry up!” said a deep voice.
Oliver was so startled, he dropped the ball. It bounced on the court and rolled to the side.
Following the momentum of his jump, Oliver got his hands tangled in the net.
He was scared that he would fall and break a bone so he clutched on tightly. His knuckles started turning white He started swinging. Soon it came quicker and quicker. Suddenly he got very scared. His hands came loose. He was sweating a lot. He thought that he would definitely fall. HE saw that if he fell he would injure himself badly. Before he knew it he was crying like a baby. He felt tears coming down his cheeks.
Then he saw his coach coming with a pair of scissors. He was holding a ladder. He placed the ladder and climbed it. He started to cut the net. Rip, Rip, Rip. Oliver fell to the ground. He saw everyone on the floor laughing uncontrollably. He heard some people saying “ Oliver, that was hilarious.”
When Oliver was walking back to his house he saw Alfie Martinez and Ethan Roberts whispering something in each other's ear. When he tried to get close. He was curious about what they were saying. They ran away. He tried following but they shoved him away. He fell on his hand. He thought at least I have an excuse to stop playing sports.
When Oliver was back at his house he went to his Mum and said “ Can you let me stop playing basketball I hurt my hand”
His Mum Said “ Maybe, Oliver but you will need to somehow exercise. Oliver walked away and prayed that she would not remember
Seven weeks later Oliver had failed in football because he always kicked the ball it always went out of the field when he kicked it hard. When he kicked it softer it went only 2 meters. He could never find the right amount of strength to kick the ball properly and the ball always went in a different direction. He also got tackled and could never keep the ball close to him for over 3 seconds. When they played games his team would always try and trade him. After he quit football he tried swimming. Oliver thought, swimming had different movements and that it was for a single person, I would never have to tried and be traded to a different team
Seven weeks after that he failed swimming because he could never do somersaults whilst diving from the 5m board. He also got tired very easily and he was always panting. One time, he did a belly flop. All the other people were laughing when he smacked the water. He could never navigate his backstroke, he always hit his head against a wall . Water always went up his nose. It always sounded like a blocked drain in his ear. Oliver spent so much time slapping his ears and tilting them to one side. Following his failure in swimming, Oliver felt that he would never become good at any sports. Until one day, his mum asked him if he wanted to try taekwondo. Oliver considered taekwondo, he thought that if he had gotten injured, his mum would stop forcing him to play sports!
So Oliver agreed to go to a taekwondo class.
When Oliver went to his taekwondo class he saw lots of kids sitting properly on the floor and staring at the teacher waiting for her to say something. The kids looked like they were deadly serious and really loyal. The instructor called out loudly across the room, “ You there, what is your name?”
“Oliver.” said Oliver
“ Ok, class, please welcome Oliver. We will start with the front kick.”
The teacher shows them a back kick. Oliver tried but failed. He forgot to spin around. Instead of kicking the air he hit a boy in the stomach. The boy looked mad; he raised his hand and smacked him in the face.
Next, he tried to punch him back but he missed. The teacher saw him try and punch the boy and scolded him
At the end of one the class there was some fighting. He watched two girls fight and kick each other. They looked like their kicks were hard. He heard them scream multiple times. Oliver knew his turn was next. He was fighting against the kid who he had by mistake kicked at his first lesson. He was staring at him with his fists clenched. His eyebrows were low, he was peering at him through his eyelashes. It looked like he did not forgive him yet. He tried a back kick and missed. The kid tried to kick him in the chest. Oliver tried to duck but he made it worse because the kick went straight into his face. Oliver fell straight onto the floor. Oliver heard the other kids gasp and cover their mouths while pointing at him. After that the teacher said “ Do not duck, Oliver and now please move off and go to the side. We do not want more injuries for you.”
7 weeks after that he failed taekwondo because he could not punch. He always forgot how to block and he always lost the fights. He could never name the kicks and never did the correct kick. He was getting sick and tired of being beaten in fights, it was getting embarrassing to go through without being teased. He feared that the same thing with basketball would happen and he would be laughed at all the time.
He needed a reason to quit. Oliver came up with a brilliant plan.
Oliver said “ Can I go to the bathroom? Also, I can put my kit on in there.”
In the bathroom he stuffed lots of clothes that he had hidden in his bag under his uniform. He was planning to get hurt so he could finally stop going to taekwondo classes. He tucked his shirt in his pants and taped his pants onto his socks. He walked out of the bathroom and into his class.
In his class he said, “ Can I have a challenge and fight with someone good?”
The teacher said “ Okay” He heard screams of “ He is not good enough.” and “ He is not worthy.”
During the fight Oliver ran straight to his opponent. She raised her legs and kicked him hard. He screamed. It hurt a lot. He felt like he broke a bone.
When he went home he told his Mum what happened. She said “ We should go to the doctor. I will call him.”
His Mum called the doctor and he said they could go. His mom drove him there.
At the doctor’s the doctor examined Oliver and said “ It is nothing serious but you will have to stop playing sports for 3 weeks until your leg heals. ”
As Oliver and his mum exited the doctor’s office, his mum whispered “ Since you cannot settle with any sport you will have to do some exercise everyday
Even though Oliver was hurt, his mum still made him do PE at school. It was Tuesday again and this meant it was PE class once again. He was trying to throw a ball at a target. On his first try missed by three feet. The class bully Daniel Lopez saw him. He saw Daniel talking to one of his minions while pointing at Oliver.
Oliver was worried about being bullied by Daniel. He heard that he and his minion’s punches were harder than the kick that the girl in taekwondo did. Oliver asked to change teams to do his best to avoid them. He knew something was being planned to happen to him and that he would do his best to avoid it.
In the corridor he heard Daniel scream to him “ Hey super thrower” while one of his minions patted him on the back.
He said “ Thanks Daniel” And ran away.
After school he made a plan of what to do if he got bullied. He knew he would have to learn a sport. He thought of sports. Football he had failed. Swimming he had also failed. Then he thought maybe basketball. Then he knew he would have to ask someone to teach him Basketball. Then it came to his head. Jack White. He was great at basketball and when Oliver helped him study he said he would do one thing for him.
Three months ago
Oliver was walking through the corridor to his locker when he saw Jack running and he saw a paper in his hand. He saw a circle with a D in it. Jack walked up to him and said “ Please can you tutor me/ Oliver. My grades are dropping and you are the smartest kid who I think could agree.
Oliver was not busy and he knew Jack’s dad would ask one of his parents why Oliver had said no.
He said to Jack “ Come to my house at 3 o’clock ”
At 3 o’clock Jack rang Oliver’s doorbell. Oliver opened the door. Jack walked in and said “ Hi. Oliver, where should we go?
Oliver said “ follow me”
They walked to his room and Jack said “ Can you help me with calculating the area of this triangle.”
Oliver said “Easy. First we look at the base and divide that in half. Over here the base is 6 so we divide that in half which is 3. The length of the side is 5. The formula is a2 + b2 = c2. 5 is c so we multiply that by 5 which is 25. Right now we know a2 + b2 = 25. 3 is a so we multiply that by 3 which is 9. Now we know 9 + b2 = 25. We need to find the height so we find the missing number. So we do 25 - 9 = 16. Now our equation is 9 + 16 = 25. We now have to change the numbers to their square roots. We know that B is 4 and that is the height. Now we change 3 back to 6. Now we do 6 x 4 = 24 divided by 2 equals the area of the triangle. 12 is the answer so 12 is the area. Do you understand?
Jack said quietly “ I do not. Can you explain less quickly? It is very confusing.
Oliver grabbed a piece of paper and a pencil. He started to draw how he did it. As he was drawing, Oliver was explaining at the same time. By the end, Jack felt confident that he could answer the question.
Jack said “ Okay, that is what I need for now. I will come back later with my test results.“ Jack walked out of Oliver’s room and went home.
A week later, When Oliver was putting some homework in his locker he heard a teacher scream “ No running” He looked up and saw Jack running to him with a piece of paper. He went to Oliver and said “Thanks! Your teaching helped a lot. Look. I got an A.”
Oliver said “ You're welcome.”
Jack said “ Now that my parents will stop shouting at me. I owe you something, ask me for anything and I will try and give it to you.”
At school Oliver waited for Jack to walk to his locker. When Jack was there Oliver asked him ”Remember when I helped you with math?”
Jack said “ Yes.”
Oliver said “ You told me you would do me a favor and I want you to teach me basketball.”
Jack knew that Oliver was terrible at sports but he could not say no. So he said “ Ok. Come to my house I have a hoop where I can shoot balls.”
Oliver said “ Okay.”
Later in the afternoon Oliver went to Jack’s house and saw Jack holding a basketball.
Jack said “Let’s start with passing. First the bounce pass. “
Jack threw the ball and it bounced on the floor. Oliver tried it but he used too much force and it hit Jack in the stomach. Jack looked annoyed but he threw it back. This time Oliver did not use enough force and it bounced one the ground. Jack threw it back. This time Oliver got it right. Jack said “ Now the chest pass.”
Jack put the ball to his chest and shoved it. Oliver caught it but it hit his hands too hard and they slammed into him. He threw it back. It was a good pass. Jack threw it back. This time Oliver caught it. He threw it back. Jack said “Now an overhead pass.”
Jack threw the ball high into the air. Oliver thought it would hit him so he ran.. Jack ran to the ball and caught it. He threw it back. Oliver caught it but the force was so hard that he stumbled and fell back. He threw it to Jack. Jack caught it and gave him a thumbs up. He threw it to Oliver. He finally caught it. Then Jack said “ Let’s shoot now. “
Jack showed him to bend his hands and shoved the ball into the air while jumping. The ball went straight into the hoop. Oliver's eyes widened. His mouth dropped open. He was so far away and he hit it. Oliver tried but it flew in the air and then straight down. He tried again but it went too low. He tried again and it hit the board and bounced off?. He tried again and it bounced on the board and into the hoop. Jack said “ Each time you hit, go back 2 feet.”
Oliver tried the next spot. It took 5 tries. The next spot took 8 tries. The next took 11. The last spot took 20 tries.It was annoying. He had to run ten meters each time. Soon he was walking as slow as a snail. He was very sweaty. He thought he would drown in a pit of salty water. When he was done Jack said “ Well done. Try and beat your record of taking 2 hours. I can give you a hoop. Jack went into the house and got a hoop. He said “ stick it to your garage door. He said, “ Practice when you can.”
Oliver walked home. He had to walk up a steep hill. He almost collapsed.
At his house Oliver stuck the net to his garage door. He walked inside. He remembered his basketball was in his room. He heard his Dad say “ Where have you been Oliver? Dinner is almost over. “ Oliver rushed to the table and sat down.
The next day Oliver went to school and saw Daniel and his gang. When he approached them Stanley shoved him. Then Nathan picked him up and ran to his locker and shoved him in. Oliver crawled out and ran. He felt humiliated. Being stuffed into your locker was the punishment for really wimpy and weak people. He prayed no one saw him.
Later at recess Oliver remembered Jack doing tricks with dribbling. He tried it but failed miserably. The ball rolled to Max. He picked it up and said “ Hey Oliver, here's your ball.” He passed it so hard that when Oliver caught it he fell to the ground. He kept on trying but kept on failing. He made sure to keep it away from Daniel and his gang.
He failed many times. Once he smacked the ball into his face. Another time he was trying to run with the ball but he smacked it in the air and into his stomach. He could never handle the ball when he was running.
After a week he could run while dribbling the ball. He could dribble between his legs and behind the back. He could also tackle and intercept the ball when people passed to each other. He knew it was time to show Daniel.He saw lots of people playing and they were great. He needed to know if he was good enough.
The next day he went to Jack’s locker and asked “ Can I play basketball with you? ”
Jack said “ I am sorry Oliver but I know that this is because Daniel is bullying you and I do not want to get bullied.” Jack tried to be nice but he was annoyed. He thought “why would Oliver ask for help when I could have been bullied.”
Oliver was depressed. He needed to play and compare to other people. He knew where to go.
At recess he walked up to the people who played basketball. He said “ Can I play?“
They said “ Ok. If you can beat Leo, our team captain. “
Oliver said “Fine. “
Leo walked up to him and started to dribble. Oliver ran to him. He leaped and smacked the ball out of his hands. He started to run to the basket. When he was there he bent his legs and leaped. When he was in mid air he threw the ball into the basketball net. He landed in his face. Leo stared at him with mad eyes. He said “ Welcome Oliver to the team. “
Oliver said “ Are we playing now?”
Leo said “ Yes. Oliver, Harry and Robert you are in the first team. Me, Tom and Jonathan you are in the second team. Let’s play.
Harry tackled the ball from Jonathan. He passed to Robert. Robert got tackled by Leo. Soon out of nowhere Oliver smacked the ball away from Leo and straight into Robert. Robert passed the ball to Harry while Oliver ran to the basket. He quickly passed to Oliver but Jonathan caught it. He tried to pass to Leo but Oliver intercepted it. He threw it into the basket. He looked at his watch and saw recess was over in ten minutes. He looked around for Daniel and saw him a few meters away. He screamed “ DANIEL! “
He saw Daniel run over to the court. He said, “ What do you want, super thrower?”
Oliver said “I’ll show you that I am a super thrower. Do you play? “
Daniel said “ Ok let’s play.”
He picked up the ball and dribbled but suddenly Oliver jumped and hit away into his other hand. He dribbled to the basket but Daniel blocked his way. He knew He would have to throw the ball. He bent his legs and flung the ball. It rolled around the basket and fell in. Oliver jumped in the air and screamed “ YES!”
He saw Daniel storming out of the court. He saw him mouth the words “ We can’t bully Oliver anymore. “
Oliver knew if he stopped playing there would be a repeat of this. He walked up to Leo and said “ Can I play everyday.”
Leo said “ Sure. ”
Since that day, Oliver continued to play basketball and improve more and more.Ever since Daniel lost against Oliver people stopped fearing him so much. Even when he walked through the corridor, people did not run and hide. Eventually, Daniel moved to the middle school and he was the youngest one there, he didn’t dare to bully a single person,