Nikola Jokic was extremely grateful that the Nuggets’ team plane had seats that were not only large enough to accommodate the size of NBA players, but were also able to be fully reclined. Nikola was currently taking advantage of that feature to its fullest. In addition, he had the air conditioning nozzles turned up to full blast, but also had a warm blanket on top of himself to create that snug, cozy feeling which was the only way he could truly relax.
While his teammates listened to music or watched videos on their various devices, Nikola laid back with nothing but his own thoughts to entertain him. Frankly, his thoughts weren’t much; after playing over a hundred combined minutes in the past two games, he was too tired to use his brain for anything but the most basic tasks of living: breathing, eating, and some more breathing.
So, when there was a light tapping noise which seemed to come from the nearby shuttered window, Nikola paid it no mind. It was only when the tapping noise was repeated, but louder, did Nikola bother to pull up the shade. Crabbily, he expected a misguided bird to be the culprit, but the true culprit was something that was both unexpected and completely expected at the same time.
“I HATING YOU NIKOLA!” Jusuf Nurkic yelled, his voice muffled to the point of near-unintelligibility by the thick glass which separated them. His grinning face was pressed up against the glass.
Nikola’s initial feeling of panic that a person had somehow stowed themselves away on the outside of the plane quickly gave way to exasperation. It seemed like his whole life was defined by these bizarre encounters with a man who should have been his friend, but was a foe instead. He peered out the window to try to see what was preventing Jusuf from simply being thrown off the plane and down back to the earth, but couldn’t see much. Jusuf seemed to be standing on the wing. Maybe he had magnets sewn into his clothes that held him to the aluminum body of the plane.
Nikola looked up the plane at his teammates. He didn’t want to disturb their collective reverie by yelling back at Jusuf through the window, so he looked back at Jusuf and shook his head.
“You is trapped, Nikola!” Jusuf proclaimed, sounding much happier than his present circumstances should have allowed. He then got buffeted by a small bout of turbulence, but when it subsided, he continued, “Once door mechanism is unlocking, then I come to beatings you up! No escape for smelly Serb Nikola!”
Thinking to himself that Jusuf was really the one who was trapped, given that he was several miles up in the air with no apparent parachute or other safety equipment, Nikola again shook his head. He desperately wanted get back to his comfy rest underneath his blanket, so he started closing the shade of the window.
“Nikola is fear of Jusuf!” Jusuf said, lowering his head to continue looking at Nikola through the window which was rapidly diminishing in size. “Is okay, no hidings possible from my hatred! Soon, time of fight will be here, and career of stupid Nikola will be the ruining in the same as career as beautiful bearded Jusuf.”
The yelling continued in this vein for some time, but Nikola put on his noise-cancelling headphones to ignore it. Overall, it was one of the easiest resolutions to their conflicts that he could remember, but he was still made uneasy by the whole thing. “Damn it, Jusuf,” he muttered while trying to pick music to listen to. “When will your one-sided vendetta finally end?”