Chapter 11:

Family

Would You Paint My Dunk


After walking for a few minutes, I arrived at my house’s doorstep. It’s a two-story house with a small garden, a garage on the right, and the front door in the middle.

“I’m home!”

I opened the door in front of me, and the first sound I heard was the muffled sound of the television and my dad's laughter.

Ah, Dad is watching some comedy show again.

And I was right. In the distance, Dad is watching the television while resting on the couch. On my left, I could see my mom cooking dinner in the kitchen. Sniffing the aroma of the food made me feel quite hungry.

“Welcome back, son!” My dad greeted me, still looking at the tv.

I took off my shoes, putting them aside in the small shoe rack beside me.

“You are pretty late. Did you want to avoid basketball practice with your dad that badly?”

I scratched the back of my head before continuing. After all, I should have gone home early. I looked at the clock hanging in the living room, showing eight o’clock.

“Nah Dad! I asked my basketball seniors for advices. It was my first day as I got accepted in the team, so...”

“Oh! How was the practice? Did you fare well?”

My dad took a glass of water, still watching the tv.

“Well, I managed to enter as a reserve, so….”

My dad spurted the water in his mouth, looked at me, and said, “What!?! Oh, come on! You were trained by someone who was a university ace and you only got a reserve position?”

“Yeah. Well… it can’t be helped, I guess?” I shrugged. “I need to train myself some more...”

My dad stood up from the couch and turned the television off. He walked toward me and tapped my shoulder.

“Son, let’s go outside. This old man of yours will train you. Even if I didn’t make it to the draft, I still know a few tricks…”

Clang!

It was the sound of my mom slamming down an empty pan in the kitchen. She turned her head, showing her angry face at my dad.

“Honey! Are you out of your mind?! Your son must be hungry and tired from his day at his university, and you are asking him to play some basketball?! Look at the clock!”

My dad had a scared look on his face. He turned around to face his angry wife.

“W-Well, h-he can’t practice with a full stomach, s-so….”

“I don't care! I made dinner for both of you, and you wanted to let the food get cold? Use your brain for once, honey!”

Facing her fiery wrath, my dad was trembling in fear. Deciding to save his life, he nodded in agreement, hoping that it would quench her fury.

Exuding a heavy breath, my mom looked at me as she continued.

“My boy, ignore your foolish dad. Let’s eat together.”

“Sure, Mom.”

I went into the kitchen, washing my hands. After my hand had been rinsed, I quickly sat at the dining table. With the smell of the food getting thicker, I'm getting impatient as I wait for my food.

Shortly, my mom put a big plate of whole roasted chicken and three dishes of mashed potatoes on the table. But, before I could eat my dinner, my mom nagged about my smell.

“Oh, my goodness! Keith! You are so smelly! You didn’t take a shower yet? I thought you took a shower already.”

“No, Mom. I went straight home. I didn’t take a shower in my club room.”

My mom shook her head, letting out a heavy sigh.

“Keith, you must take a shower after this.”

“Yes, Mom!”

My dad and my mom took their seating as I looked at the hearty meal in front of me.

“Mom, thank you for the meal.”

Rubbing my hands in front of the dishes before me, I took my fork in my left hand and dinner knife in my right hand. Using both utensils, I cut my portion of the chicken and took a bite. While we were eating, my mom started asking me about my day.

“So, my beloved Keith, how’s your day?”

“Eh, not much. There are only boring ceremonial speeches and classes, nothing more interesting than today’s evening basketball clubs, Mom.”

“Seriously, is your head filled with basketball? How about friends? You should have made some friends on your first day, right?”

“Oh, I met some basketball buddies. One of them named Carlos, he….”

“Ah… Basketball again… Ha-ah…” Facepalming, my mom shook her head, letting out a heavy sigh. “You two are such basketball maniacs. You should have talked to your classmates, made some friends, asked about their hobbies, and…”

She shrugged, with her expression telling me she didn’t care anymore.

“Sigh… Well, whatever… Like they said, like father, like son. I give up.”

My mom turned silent, followed by a disappointed look. Looking at my mom’s frustration, I decided to apologize.

“Mom, sorry, I’m just….”

“Son, look, what Mom said is for your good. You should make more friends and pay more attention to your surroundings. Keith, having such a passion for basketball is good, but you should not neglect everything else. It’s a problem if you only focus on basketball and nothing else.”

Hearing my mom, I thought to myself.

Was I wrong?

Should I pay attention to the rowdy classmates earlier?

Should I mingle with other students like everyone else?

Despite being at the bottom of the rotation, should I spend my time socializing with people instead of practicing basketball?

No! I can’t waste my time! I need to train harder so I can move up in the rotation.

Whatever! I’ll stay silent and just agree with my mom.

“Yeah, Mom. Sorry.”

I nodded, and we continued eating in silence. After we finished our food, I took my plates to the kitchen sink and ascended the stairs to the second floor.

With my body emitting a sweaty odor, I quickly bathed in the only bathroom in the house. While slowly washing my body, I realized I had forgotten to text her.

Ahh!!! How could I forget!!! I need to text her ASAP!

I quickly rinsed my body, blazing like a sports car drifting through a turn, grabbing my phone at the finish line.

Buck-naked and drenched, I typed a message to her in a flash.

“Hey, Jessica, Sorry for the delay. I just took a bath after dinner.”

I took a white towel and started wiping my body, but I heard my phone’s notification sound before I could completely dry myself.

Casually wrapped the towel around my hips, I went to my room. With the phone in my right hand, I walked toward the bed and sat on it, checking my phone for her replies.

“What? You just took a bath? This late?”

As I thought she didn’t believe in me, I took a selfie to prove it. The picture covers half my body, with the towel covering my hips at the bottom. I sent her the image with the following message:

“Do you believe me now?”

After I sent that message, I took sporty boxershorts, a T-shirt, and shorts from my wardrobe. It’s my usual sleepwear after all.

While I was wearing them, my phone notification sound popped again. Startled, I fell to the floor before I could completely pull up my pants. I quickly wore my shorts and T-shirt before throwing myself onto the bed, picking up the phone to look at her reply.

“Oh my gosh! Why are you sending me this? You are almost buck-naked! Asdasdasd”

I quickly realized that I just made a big mistake: I sent her my selfie, half-naked!

What have I done?!

She is a girl, Goddammit!

Oh my God! I’ll die from embarrassment.

God, if you exist, please erase her memory of this. I don’t think I can look her in the eyes if I meet her tomorrow.

And that’s… The beginning of the most embarrassing night in my life.

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