Taj looked up at his teammate Karl-Anthony Towns, then looked away in annoyance. “Hey.”
“Listen, I’m sorry I emasculated you in front of the whole team by bragging about how I, you know, with that cheerleader you like.” Karl-Anthony said apologetically, his hands clasped behind his back. “I forgot her name now.”
Karl-Anthony nodded. “Yeah. That’s right. Brianna. Anyway, I shouldn’t have done that to you. It wasn’t nice and I’m sorry. I also shouldn’t have read your personal diary out to the locker room.”
Taj still wasn’t really in the mood to receive apologies. The memory of his humiliation at the hands of Karl-Anthony still made his cheeks burn in shame. “Okay.”
“So I got you a little something to make it up to you,” Karl-Anthony continued, bringing a leather-covered binder out from behind his back. “It’s a photo album with some of the pictures I had of us hanging out over the summer. Maybe sometime soon we can hang out again and take some more pictures to put in it?”
Surprised by the kind gesture, Taj took the offering from his teammate. “That’s…that’s really nice of you, man.”
“Go ahead. Open it,” Karl-Anthony urged.
Taj opened the book to the first page of photos, excited to see some good memories of the fun times he had shared with his teammates in his first Minnesota summer.
That’s not what Taj saw, however. Instead, he saw a collection of graphic pictures featuring Karl-Anthony in sexual congress with none other than his cheerleader crush Brianna. Slamming the book shut, Taj slumped back into his locker in defeat.
“Oops! Those pictures weren’t meant to be in there! I don’t know where those came from!” Karl-Anthony gloated, feigning surprise. “Man, that must hurt you real deep to see me porking Brianna from every angle and in every position, when you’ve been lovingly writing her poems and waiting for the right chance to woo her!”
“Go away Karl,” Taj whispered, his eyes closed and the photo album ignored in his lap.
“If you go to page four you’ll see how your pure princess Brianna likes to be punished and degraded!” Karl-Anthony added. “Don’t worry though, I’m sure one of your crappy poems will work on her eventually!”
Karl-Anthony left the locker room triumphantly. Meanwhile, Taj swept the album to the floor in anger, then wept silently to himself.