He was about to walk forward when he felt a hand land on his shoulder. Turning about he could see Brady staring at him hard as he had a certain look in his eye that he hadn’t seen in a while. It was regret, but Titus couldn’t understand what it meant.
“It’s not you that it’s about this time buddy,” Brady said with a weak grin, “It’s me.”
“Brady, what do you mean?” Angie asked, coming stand beside Titus.
Brady sighed, “I remember Jerry, I didn’t know his name back then but we were kids when we met in Ocean Park when I was visiting someone. He wandered onto the basketball court outside of Ocean Park Elementary. He started acting all tough and thought he was a whiz kid, saying that he could play, that he was pretty good.”
“He stunk when he was younger,” Titus said quietly, “I used to beat him regularly.”
“And we used to beat you all the time, so he must’ve really been terrible,” Mike said with a smile. Titus just shook his head as Brady went on.
“He wasn’t good, not at all. But he didn’t shut up, even when he decided to challenge me one on one. I was the only one that bothered to take him on. I was trying to be nice and just let him play, but he was horrible.
“Anyway, he started getting physical after a while since he couldn’t score on me and he was obviously embarrassed that I was getting around him so easily. He fouled me hard, just once, but it sent me falling hard to the ground and I had to keep the other guys back so they wouldn’t beat his ass. But I decided I’d had enough and I started really playing hard, enough so that he couldn’t even dribble without me taking the ball away. He couldn’t shoot, couldn’t move, and he couldn’t stop me.”
“You humiliated him,” Katy said, “That’s got to be it.”
Brady nodded, “I think so. Back in the day I sent him off nearly crying I beat him so bad. I felt like shit for doing it, but I was angry.”
“Well,” Angie sighed, “That’s why we’re here then.”
“Yeah,” Brady said, looking at Titus, “Is there a ball in the house do you think?”
No one had to ask what he wanted a ball for, but it was Titus that spoke first, “I’ll go check the garage.”
(to be continued)