Troy drove past the road for his house. He couldn't bear the thought of actually calling it a home. What was actually there for him anyway? He needed to get away. He needed someplace to think.
Spying a gas station ahead Troy slowed and pulled in. Parking the truck in front of a payphone he got out and deposited a quarter. He would have preferred to use his cell, but it had been misplaced during the havoc of changing before the show, and there was no way he was going back.
"Hello?" Kelsi's voice asked nervously.
"Hey, it's me."
"Troy! Thank god. I was worried about you."
"Listen, I don't have much time to talk," he told her about the scholarship and the meeting the next day.
"Troy, that's great!"
"I'm glad someone thinks so," he sounded depressed.
"Don't let them get you down," Kelsi comforted.
"I'' try…" Troy began as a movement by the side of the dark road caught his eye. A deer silently edged her way onto the thoroughfare. Suddenly, her silhouette was illuminated by the searing brightness of two large headlights. An oil tanker was just rounding the sharp curve and the deer was frozen in its path. The driver swerved, but the jerk was too much for his heavy load. The truck flipped to its side, and came screeching towards the gas station.
Tory saw the sparks as the metal brushed the pavement and came closer towards the gas pumps. He dropped the phone and started running. The tanker was headed straight for his truck, and the pumps. If the two collided Troy wasn't sure what would happen.
He heard the terrifying crunch of his truck smashing and risked a glance backwards. The big rig had demolished Troy's vehicle and was still pushing it towards the pumps. As his truck slammed into the first set of pumps, Troy cringed. The bigger truck continued to smash through the next set of pumps where it finally planted its self, firmly wedged under the roof of the collapsing structure.
Fully expecting the entire crash to have exploded, Troy stood in shock as nothing happened. Then, from the midst of the wreckage, Troy heard a plea for help. He didn't stop to think. Instinct took over and he rushed forward to answer the call. Troy didn't care. Someone was hurt and he wasn't going to leave them.
But he never made it. Not even a few seconds later, a spark ignited the leaking fuel. Troy watched in horror as the small flame erupted into a looming evil cloud of pure intense, blistering inferno. It was too late to run. The blast came closer, and he felt the shock wave lift him from the ground and fling his body backwards into oblivion. His last thought was that at least he'd helped Kelsi get away from this good for nothing town.
Coach Bolton was furious. It was into the early morning light and his son had yet to return home. He didn't care what the boy's excuse was, there was going to be hell to pay. He was done with the kid. The boy had managed to destroy his life in less than one day, and there was no way he was going to let Troy drag him down as well. He had things he wanted to do with his life! He wanted to try coaching college level games, but that reckless son of his had ruined his chances of making good connections with university level reps.
A knock at the door interrupted Coach Bolton's thoughts. Angrily he threw the door open. He wasn't expecting the sight that greeted him. Two young police officers stood solemnly on the porch, their faces grave. He recognized them as previous students at his school.
"Coach Bolton?" the man on the right said.
"What is it? What did my stupid son do now?" The coach was positive that Troy had done something idiotic and managed to get himself arrested. Now he knew why the boy was so late getting home.
"Coach Bolton sir, we found your son's truck at a gas station about fifteen miles from here. There was an accident."
The older man inwardly moaned thinking about the rising price of his insurance. First thing in the morning he was calling the agency and getting Troy kicked off his policy. "How bad is the truck and what did he hit?"
The officers were puzzled. Usually when a parent had been told their child was in an accident the first response was 'how's my kid,' and not 'what's the damage.'
"Sir, around ten this evening, an oil tanker swerved into the parking lot of the Gas'n'go station. It destroyed two pumps and then caught fire. There was an explosion."
"Great, Troy pulled out in front of a truck and caused a gas station to blow up!" Coach Bolton was livid.
The surprised officers hurried their speech. "Sir, your son was parked in the gas station lot. The truck hit him and pushed his truck into the pumps. Sir, your son died in the explosion along with the other driver."
It took a minute for this information to sink in. "Dead? Troy is dead?" the man asked in disbelief.
"I'm sorry for you loss, coach. We didn't know it was Troy until we found his license plates in the wreckage," the younger officer told him.
Coach Bolton wasn't paying attention. He wondering back into the house and slumped into the first chair he found. His son was dead. All the interactions with Troy over the past week came slamming back into his mind. Suddenly he realized how wrong and over bearing he had been towards his son. But now it was all too late. He desperately wanted to tell his son how wrong he had been.
How was he going to tell his wife? She was in Ocala on business and had missed the last two weeks of her son's life. How was he going to explain that he had been an ass and that was the reason their baby boy was dead? More and more guilty thoughts poured into his mind, weighing him down so much that he was sure the pressure was going to kill him.
"Coach? Are you okay?" The officers had followed him into the house. The chief had told them to stay with the older man if he needed it.
"What am I going to do without him?" the coach looked up with pleading eyes. The officers didn't know what to say. How do you tell someone that just lost a loved one that everything will be all right?
A memorial service was planned a week after the accident. Kelsi dared the ones that had set up Troy to show their faces. She had heard the entire accident via the payphone that Troy had called her from. She woke every night screaming for him to run the other way, to no avail.
The college reps had still offered her the scholarship, but she'd refused. Kelsi could never attend there. It would be a reminder every day of what had happened. Though she made sure that the reps informed the Wildcats about their previous plans and how they had destroyed their own chances at scholarships and possible positions on the famous team.
Coach Bolton was slowly drinking himself into a stupor. His wife had left him after fully learning everything that been occurring in her absence. She blamed him, the school, Troy's supposed friends, and most of all herself. She felt that she had failed as mother for not realizing the extent of her husband's stupidity and cruelty towards their son. She transferred jobs and moved to Texas within six months of her son's demise.
Kelsi went to a highly acclaimed school of music and earned a powerful position as vice-president of a major recording label. The Evans's twins continued to flaunt their money and were despised by the nation in spite of their reality show. As for the rest of the wildcats, most ended up in dead end jobs, forever reminded of their part in effectively ending their chance at a career, and having to bare their share of the responsibility of the death of the best friend they had betrayed.