The Perfect Combination
A short story
With the proper guidance, we can end up in destinations we never even considered going. — Henery X
The Perfect Combination
2022, Henery X ©
Seventeen-year-old Owen Robertson was a tennis phenom. What makes his story that much more special is the fact he didn’t even want to play until he met Teddy Davis, who was once an outstanding tennis player himself.
Ten-year-old Owen was on a local tennis court, hitting tennis balls across the net to an imaginary player. This was something he did every day. It was his way to relieve frustration. You may wonder what a ten-year-old has to be frustrated about. Well, plenty. I’ll let your imagination give you some answers.
“How’s it going, young fellow?” Twenty-five-year-old Teddy Davis said. He had just stepped onto the court, and now stood on the side where the tennis balls were landing.
“What do you want, man?” Owen’s tone was laced with irritation.
“Well, one thing I don’t want is any trouble. I just noticed you are out here every day. Practicing, huh?”
“Naw, just gettin’ rid of some frustration.” Owen hit a ball across the net.
“Wow! That’s some serious power you got there. What are you, about eight or nine?”
“I’m ten. Look, man, I like bein' alone at this time.”
“I hear you, I hear you. One last question and I’ll leave you alone. Have you ever considered playing tennis for real?”
“Naw. My older brotha was into it when he was younger, and until track and field grabbed his attention. This is his old racket and tennis balls. He taught me a little, but he never had time to teach me enough.”
“So, you wanted to play at some point?’”
“I just really loved spendin' time with my big brotha. I guess if he would have had more time for me… maybe.”
“What if I told you I can help you be an awesome tennis player?”
“You?” Owen chuckled.
“I’ll have you know they once considered me a big deal.”
Owen started laughing.
“So, since you think what I said is so funny. You wouldn’t mind me showing you a thing or two?”
“Not at all. Here, take the racket.”
“No. I mean tomorrow, when I’ll have my racket and I’m properly dressed.”
“Alright. Hey, what’s yo’ name?”
“Teddy, Teddy Anderson.”
“I’m Owen. But everybody callz me Big O.”
Now it was Teddy’s turn to laugh. “Big O? What are you, all of five-foot nothing?” he resumed laughing.
“See you tomorrow…. funny man.”
The next day, Teddy appeared at the tennis court as if it were Wimbledon.
“Greetings, Big O,” Teddy said cheerfully.
“What’z good, Teddy?”
“I’m going to call every place I’ll return the ball, after your serve.”
“Alright, magic man. Let’z go.”
As Teddy had claimed, his return serve landed every place he said it would. He had young Owen’s attention.
“How did you do that? That was amazing.”
“It’s called supreme focus, Big O. See, I saw everything unfolding in my mind, and I never doubted what I saw. I can teach you. With your power, combined with supreme focus, you’d be unstoppable.”
“I’ll let you train me under one condition?”
“Name it, Big O.”
“Tell me what happened with your tennis career?”
“I went into this one match, overconfident, which made me underestimate my challenger.
That loss left me devastated, so much so that I quit.”
“So, you’re a loser?”
“Yes. I guess I am a loser. But, it won’t be a total loss if I can help you. So, what do you say…. let’s win together.”
“Let’z do it!”
Every day of the week and for three hours, Teddy showed Owen everything he felt he needed to know about the game of tennis. And with each session, Owen couldn’t wait for the next one to begin. The better he got, the more he fell in love with the game.
On his high school varsity tennis team, eighteen-year-old Owen Robertson was hands down the best player. He had increased his power, had laser focus, and now stood just over six-foot tall. His reputation and mere presence intimidated opponents, so much so that many came in doubting their abilities. Several major colleges reached out to him, all offering athletic scholarships. But he had become so good, he was considering going pro, shortly after graduation.
He was about to begin a match on the court of a rival high school. Many people he held in high regard were in the stands, two of which being his older brother and Teddy Anderson, who was seated next to his parents. He ran over in their direction.
“Thank you, Teddy, “ Owen said cheerfully.
“You’re welcome, Big O. Hey, now you really live up to that nicked name,” Teddy said cheerfully. He and Owen laughed.
“Yeah. And the O is for Outstanding.” Owen gave Teddy a fist bump and then ran back over to his side of the court. He was ready to do what he loved, which was to win and entertain the crowd while doing so.
What are you willing to sacrifice to live your dreams? If it’s not everything that has nothing to do with the journey, then your dreams will more than likely remain just that… dreams.
This is the fifth of ten short stories I’m writing and that will make up a book meant to inspire the inner child in us all. The main characters will all be under the age of eighteen, showing that there’s no age requirement when it comes to living dreams. I want the stories of these youngsters to encourage the elders who happen to read them because again, there’s no age requirement when it comes to living dreams.
Thank you for taking the time to acknowledge my offering.
Remember. I’m not here to convince you to believe. I’m here to offer you something else to consider.
May we never lose our desire to outdo what we’ve already done.
Peace, Love, and the utmost Respect.