Alina Susani

Escape: Maurice Holmes

Heavy backpacks thud after being thrown against the faded bleachers, echoing across the fluorescently-lit gym. After warming up their arms and legs, the three lanky figures walk onto the court.

Step. Jump. Pass. Step. Run. Catch.

Fueled by candy and junk food, Maurice Holmes runs through his daily basketball practice with his team. 

His heartbeat pounds in his ears as his arms thrash about the airl, avoiding any teammates in his way. 

Step. Jump. Pass. Step. Run. Catch.

His sweat covered hands grip the ball. For him, these movements are as natural as breathing. 

As his subconscious takes over, there is no time to think, his practices are the perfect escape from the monotonous world of homework and college applications. 

Step. Jump. Pass. Step. Run. Catch.

Adrenaline courses through his brain and takes over as he sends the ball arcing through the air into the hoop from the middle of the court. 

Step. Jump. Pass. Step. Run. Catch.

His two enthusiastic teammates, Eli Frank and Kai Billups, cheer him on from behind and scream loudly as he makes the shot. Whoosh. The slapping of the ball against the rope of the net reverberates throughout the otherwise quiet gym.

Pause. Pant. Recover.

He wipes sweat off his brow, while his bouncy black hair envelops his face and excited expressions. 

He thanks his earlier self for consuming a package of sour Skittles on the way to the gym building, for without junk food he is a powered-down motor waiting for gas.

Though without the pounding of his heart and squeaks of his shoes, his thoughts of school return, and with them, the rest of the world.

Step. Jump. Pass. Step. Run. Catch.

Always moving, never given a second for contemplation, Maurice continues his practice.

Step. Jump. Pass. Step. Run. Catch.

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