I slept poorly, worrying about Karyn, the rock, and life in general. So, by the time we got to first period the next day, the last thing I wanted it to be was gym. Sadly for me, you don't often get what you want, so I was forced out to play some basketball and run some laps of the gym with my male classmates while most of the girls did cheerleading practice in the other half of the room. Karyn wasn't in my class for gym, and I probably wouldn't see her until lunchtime at best.
The rock was stuffed in my shorts pocket. I didn't want to risk leaving it in the changing rooms in case someone went snooping around--there had been cases of things going missing from the lockers before.
My tiredness meant that I was soon flagging somewhat, and I missed a sitter from an excellent pass, jumping a fraction too late to push the ball over the rim into the hoop. I landed slightly awkwardly and jolted my leg, at which point, to my dismay, the rock jumped loose and skidded across the floor into the midst of the cheerleaders.
The coach looked at me. "Don't you know it's dangerous to play with hard objects in your pockets? you could fall on it and do yourself some real damage."
I hung my head, "Sorry, coach." In the meantime, the girls' attention had been drawn and one of them, a leggy brunette called Nicole, had picked up the rock.
"What are you doing with that anyway?" asked the coach.
"Um, I didn't want to lose it and I didn't have anywhere else to put it."
Before the coach could say more, Nicole chipped in: "Count yourself lucky! You should try being a girl! None of our clothes ever have any pockets! It's impossible to carry anything around safely! I wish all you boys realized how easy you have it!"
I was about to protest, before I realised that Nicole had used the word 'wish' while holding the rock and I slumped my shoulders and closed by eyes, not wanting to know what was going to happen next.