“He has no nickname,” I said to my coach. “He needs no nickname. His name is Johnson and that’s what he goes by.” I tried to stay defiant and firm in my stance. Coach was an intimidating man and was used to getting his way. But Johnson was my friend and he deserved my support. He hadn’t had an easy life and I knew Coach was on the verge of pushing him around. Johnson took pride in his name and even though he had corrected Coach several times in the past, he obviously wasn’t taking Johnson seriously.
“I will decide what he needs. Not you. I do not need any advice from a pissant like you.” Coach turned on his heel and went back to his office. I knew my fight was far from over, but I was determined. Coach had pushed my buttons one too many times. I began plotting what I would say and what I would do when Coach started coming down on Johnson because I knew it was coming.
I knew if I prepared what I would say, it would be better than nothing. I hated confrontations and avoided Coach because he would harass and intimidate all day, every day. I practiced my speech and comebacks in the bathroom mirror until I had them down pat. The one thing I wasn’t expecting was to be kicked off the team before I could even get started. This only made my plan even more important. And sinister.