Eric Taylor sat on his bed, waiting for his father to come storming into his room. Eric had just lost a football game. To be fair, the whole team lost the football game not just Eric Taylor, but his father Paul never saw it that way. His was first-string quarterback and the leader, so if the game was lost, then he was to blame.
Though, if a coach doesn't put Eric into the game, it could never be Eric's fault. Paul blamed the coach instead. At least for a brief moment, Eric was off the hook. (He was convinced that his father's angry ranting about how much of a jackass Paul was for not putting Eric was on the team was some sort of torture in itself, but that was a different story.)
Eric thought about all the possible punishments he could receive. Sometimes, his dad made him run up and down the biggest hill in all of Dillion. Other times, Eric was forced to do push ups or jumping jacks until he passed out. Other times Paul beat Eric until he couldn't see. If Eric was given the choice, he'd rather run twenty miles and do ten thousand jumping jacks. Nothing was worse than getting beat.
Eric really, really hoped that wasn't the case. He heard his father's large boots. He cringed, getting ready for the punishment he was about to get. The door swung open.
"Get up son. We are going for a ride," ordered Paul, swiftly walking out of his son's room. Paul left the door wide open.
Eric quickly got up and ran after his father. He didn't wanting a screaming match because of not listening to directions.
He saw his mother looked worriedly at the pair as they left the house. Georgia Taylor was a sweet woman, incredibly timid woman. She couldn't and wouldn't ever speak out against Paul.
The only time Eric heard his mom comment on the way his dad raised him was when he overheard her say, "What are you going to do if Eric doesn't get into the NFL?"
Eric left before he heard his father's reply because he couldn't find the desire to know. He sort of hoped that his father would leave him alone if he doesn't get into the NFL.
Maybe his father wouldn't ever forgive him. Maybe he'd be disowned. Maybe…
Eric snaps out of his thoughts when he heard Paul shout, "Get into the truck, and stop daydreaming! Only winners get to daydream."
Eric fought a groan as he jumped into his father's truck. He swore at that moment that, if he ever had son or daughter, he'll never push them like this. Eric just couldn't repeat what his father did to him to his future kids.
They drove straight for the hill. Well, at least I won't get belted, Eric thought.
When Paul stops the car, Eric got out and started running up and down the hill. It was an instinct at this point.
"Keep on running until I tell you to stop!" screamed Paul, even though he knew that Eric knew the rules of this specific punishment.
Eric ran up and down for hours until he heard his father yell, "Stop!"
He collapsed onto the ground the minute his father yelled the order. Eric struggled to regain his stance. He didn't have enough energy to do so. He felt his father pull him up onto his feet and help him into the truck.
Right before Paul closed the door, Eric heard him say, "I do this because I want you to be successful in life. I care about you."
Eric wasn't sure how he felt about what his father said. At least his dad cared about him enough to force to run up and down a hill until he collapsed of exhaustion? …How did that even make sense?
The Quarterback decided that he was going to win the next ten games so this didn't happen. If Eric could help it he would never run and up and down this hill again.