Story:Standing Tall: ch.1
Standing Tall: ch.1
Written by Wolfnumber9
September 17, 2016: The start to something beautiful
On the day before the draft, a busy day at that, Shandra was in full control as she took her client, Tia, and her mother through numerous interviews and meetings to make sure her draft night was a memorable one. It took a lot out of the three of them, but finally they ended the day buy eating dinner at a nice five star restaurant. Tia was feeling very relaxed herself and so was Shandra once she knew that this was the last thing she had to do today. Although, Tia’s mother, Veronica, did not share the same feelings. During the whole day it had seemed like something was bothering her and it didn’t seem to go away during dinner.
“Okay, Let’s see what we have here.” Said Shandra as she flipped through the menu. “I want steak...and I don’t see any meat on here.” Complained Veronica.
Tia had a playful smile as she looked through the menu.
“This all looks good.” She said.
“I wish I had your wishful eyes baby girl.” Replied Veronica.
Shandra could sense her distress and quickly made an attempt to help her. “How bout a burger miss Terra” Asked Shandra.
“I don’t want no fancy burger.” She answered back with a little attitude. “After this crazy run around you had us doing all day, all I want is a steak and a damn bear. Is that too much to ask for?”
Tia placed her hand on her mother’s shoulder.
“You alright mama?” She asked in concern.
Veronica started to notice her attitude and took in a deep breath.
“I’m sorry....I’m sorry. I guess I just ain’t as happy as the rest of ya.”
The three were silent for a while. Tia looked at her mother and then looked down at her legs in shyness, not knowing what to do. Suddenly, the waiter came to the table.
“Hello there. Welcome to....uh, welcome to the golden grill. How are all of you today?” He said. ￼ He had to pause for a moment as he noticed the very tall opossum in front of him. His ears perked a bit once he saw her.
“Hey, I hope you don’t mind me asking, but you’re one the FBA draftees right?”
Tia was still a bit shy so she only nodded her head yes.
“Oh! I knew I saw you from somewhere!” He said excitedly. “So, how do you feel about it? Where do you want to go play? Tallahassee? Lorain? Edmonton? Albany? Bangor?”
“Oh lord and heaven, can we just order already?!” Asked Veronica.
Suddenly, Shandra began to pick up on what was bothering Veronica. So, she quickly sprung into action.
“Excuse me?” She said as she stood up in front of the waiter, slightly towering over him. “I would like to talk to you about your menu. Can I talk to the chef?”
“Um...sure. I guess you...” Before he could say anything else, Shandra was moving him away from the table and following behind.
“You two can just talk for a while. I’ll be back.” Said Shandra as she rushed the waiter and herself out of the picture. The two opossums just sat there in silence barely looking at each other. Tia was too nervous to say anything and Veronica didn’t know where to start. Finally, Tia spoke.
“Mama?” She asked and that was the only words she could muster up.
“You know...” Started Veronica with a smile on her face. “I remember the night you were born....most painful night of my life.....but it was also the best because I had you in my arms. All little and innocent. After that, I thought you would always be with me....not like your father and wherever hole he crawled into....through all the bullies, the school work, the stupid doctors, and all those clothes you ripped because you grew like a weed.....no matter what happened, I knew you would grow up to be a smart and talented young woman.....then basketball came into your life.....I loved seeing you so happy....but once I saw how....really good you were....I know that this was the way you would leave me and....and...”
Veronica paused. She couldn’t bring herself to say anything else as she looked down at the table. The two were silent as they sat there not knowing what to do next. Then...Tia placed her hand on her mother’s shoulder. Veronica looked towards Tia.
“You’re still my mama right?” Tia asked.
Veronica nodded her head yes.
“Well.” Tia continued. “Then...nothing is going to change that....no matter where I go, you’ll still be my mama.”
Veronica quickly covered her eyes to avoid any potential tears. Tia leaned down to hug her and Veronica hugged back.
“I know you’ll do good baby girl.” Said Veronica. “No matter what happens, you don’t quit. Ya hear me?”
“Yes mama.” Tia answered with a smile.
Meanwhile Shandra watched the whole scene from the kitchen on the other side of the restaurant. She also smiled.
“Um miss?” Said a waiter standing right next to her. “You’ve been standing here for a half hour now and....”
“Shhhhhhh.” Shandra said. “Don’tcha worry boy. I’ll be with ya in a second. Can’t ya see me watchin’ dis family moment.”
“With the 11th pick of the 2016 FBA draft.” Said the announcer. “The Bangor Tides select....Tia Terra, an Opossum center from Vanderbarn University. Congratulations to you Tia.”