Hey guys! I am completely ecstatic to be bringing you my newest fanfic, "Wild Cards!" Yes, it's a romance of course, but I'm excited this is going to be a fanfic under Remember the Titans and not Titanic. :) This time however, things are going to be a little different. Instead of writing the entire story and uploading it all at once, I'm going to write it chapter by chapter so I can get feedback! So please, REVIEWS ARE LOVE. The more reviews I get, the sooner I'll upload the chapters! So here I give you the Prologue to "Wild Cards." Enjoy, laugh, cry, smile, and review!
How fickle my heart and how woozy my eyes
I struggle to find any truth in your lies
And now my heart stumbles on things I don't know
My weakness I feel I must finally show
-"Awake My Soul" by Mumford & Sons
"...And with the new federal desegregation order in act, T.C. Williams will be the first integrated school in Alexandria. The school board has issued a statement saying that are currently in the process of integrating the staff as well to help relieve tensions among incoming students this school year. The new head football coach, Herman Boone, has recently commented that he is in the process of making last year's head coach, Bill Yoast, assistant head coach this year in order to help encourage students of both races to join the team-"
"June, could you shut that off? It's time for dinner!"
June Simmons sighed as her mother's shrill voice cut off the reporter. She shut off the TV on her dresser and walked downstairs, a scowl evident on her face. When she walked into the kitchen, her mother was setting the table, her dark curls pinned away from her face as if she was going out. Her brother, Ken, sat at his spot at the table, drool nearly coming out of his mouth as he watched their mother set a steaming bowl of mashed potatoes on the table.
"I've got meatloaf in the oven," her mother said, lightly smacking her brother's hand away from the potatoes. "Hurry up and wash up before your brother eats the table."
The thirteen year-old frowned, sticking his tongue out at her as she turned around to get the meatloaf. June smiled to herself and washed her hands, moving out of the way as her mother literally waltzed past her with the main course. The meal was a quiet one, not unusual with their family though. The only sound that could be heard was the clinking of silverware and her brother's loud chewing from the other side of the table.
"Ken," her mother scolded, "For heaven's sake, try to have some manners!"
He stopped, rolling his eyes and taking a sip of his iced tea. Her mother's gaze wandered to June, who was playing with her peas on her fork. She sighed and let them plop back onto her plate.
"Nervous about school?" her mother asked. "You've still got another couple of weeks or so before it starts up again."
"I guess so," June mumbled, throwing her napkin on her plate and leaning back in her chair. "I'm just nervous about... well..."
Her mother nodded, immediately understanding what she was talking about. The school district had finally been pressured into integrating the high school. They'd held off as long as they could, but it was rumored that the head of the school board would be arrested if they waited any longer, so they finally broke down and announced at the end of the school year last year they'd be letting the colored school down the street into the senior high. It was a pain in the butt, especially since they had decided to integrate the two schools her senior year. There would be protests for weeks from angry parents and staff outside the school grounds, just like the ones she'd seen on the news from other integrations around the area.
"Things will turn out alright," her mother said, pouring herself another glass of iced tea.
"Yeah, but we'll have no football team!" Ken blurted out. They both turned towards him, taken aback by his harsh tone. "You know," he continued, his voice softer, "There being a colored coach and all. None of the boys are going to want to join!"
Her mother coughed lightly. "Well, let's just be thankful no one in this family is on the team."
"Momma," June said, "Integration doesn't just affect classes and sports. There will be colored girls on the squad now too. And a colored girl may end up as captain."
"See?" Ken said, shoving another spoonful of mashed potatoes into his mouth. "There won't even be cheerleaders!"
"Don't talk with your mouth full," her mother scolded. "You've only got one year of high school left, June. Just keep your distance and I'm sure everything will be fine!"
The table fell silent again and Ken shoveled the last of his dinner into his mouth before running out the door to play football with the neighborhood boys. Her mother began to clear the table while June shuffled to the sink to wash the dishes. A late summer breeze blew through the open screen doors, warming the room with its smell of late evening barbeques and campfires. She patted her blonde hair, hoping the humidity outside wouldn't make it frizz. Her mother plopped tonight's dishes into the soapy water below her, interrupting her thoughts. She began scrubbing, glad to have something to keep her mind off the upcoming school year.
The phone rang on the other side of the room, making her jump and splash water on the floor. As she grabbed a towel to clean it up, her mother answered it.
"Hello? Oh yes... yep... yes, she's right here."
Her mother held the phone out to her. "It's Emma."
Emma Hoyt had been June's best friend since the seventh grade. She was editor-in-chief of the school newspaper, won homecoming queen two years in a row, and was dating All-American football star, Gerry Bertier, which turned many of the girls in their grade green with envy.
"Hello?" June said, putting the phone to her ear.
"June!" Emma's voice said excitedly, "Did you hear the news?"
"About what?" she asked, twirling the phone cord in her hand and leaning against the kitchen wall.
"Coach Yoast had a big dinner with the boys tonight announcing that he was going to take a year off-"
"Hush up, June! Let me finish! He was in the middle of explaining he was going to take a year off because of the demotion, when the boys announced they weren't going to play if he left!"
"But these boys love football! I bet you at least half are counting on this season to get college scholarships!"
"No, listen! Coach Yoast agreed to stay! There's rumors he may get the position of assistant head coach!"
June's face lit up. "That's great! Oh gosh, Emma, you have no idea how much all of this has been worrying me! If we don't have a football team, that's it for cheerleading season!"
"Don't worry about it. Gerry and the boys will run these colored players right off the field and the team will be just like it was last year. And with no colored guys on the team, what colored girl is going to want to join the cheerleading squad?"
She has a point, June thought.
"Yeah, I suppose you're right. So when does Gerry head off to football camp?"
"A couple days or so... I'm scared for him! All those colored folk hate us and who knows what they'll do to him!"
She laughed. "Emma, you really don't have anything to worry about. With his size and strength, he could take any one of those black boys down in a second!"
She heard relief in her friend's voice as she said, "Yeah, I suppose you're right. Anyway, since we're on the topic of sports, how's Walker doing? Still wrestling this year?"
"Yeah, he's alright. He's been at the beach for the past couple of weeks with his family. My mailbox has been flooded with postcards!" June said, smiling as she glanced at the postcard currently sitting on the kitchen counter.
Walter Jones and June had been going steady for nearly eight months. He was the captain of the wrestling team and brought the team all the way to the regional's championship last year. They were crazy about each other, and this beach trip was the longest they'd been away from each other since they'd started dating.
"How adorable!" Emma's voice exclaimed from the other line. "You two are cutest thing ever! You guys will definitely get a nomination for homecoming court!"
"That's sweet, but we both know you and Gerry are going to win."
"You never know," her friend said, but she was only saying that to be polite. There was a short pause, both of them not knowing what to say before Emma spoke up again. "Well, I gotta go. I'm meeting Gerry for a picnic. But before I go, are you doing anything next Friday? Kelly, Paula, and I were going to have a sleepover at my house!"
"Sounds like fun! Yeah, I'll be there."
"Awesome! See you then! Bye June!"
"Bye, Emma," she said, cut off by the receiver on the other end. She glanced up at her mother by the sink, eager to hear what Emma had to say.
As she hung up the phone, she sighed heavily and ran her fingers through her hair, worrying about the frizz again.
It was going to be a long year.