Split Decision

Free Split Decision by Belle Payton

Book: Split Decision by Belle Payton Read Free Book Online
Authors: Belle Payton
his friends weren’t the only ones blaming Coach. Everyone—even the teachers—seemed to think that innocent PJ had been forced out by Coach.
    She wanted to stand on the table and yell that PJ and his father were lying, that they weretraitors. But would anyone believe her? Or would they just think she was defending her father? She scanned the room for Alex. She needed her twin.
    But Alex wasn’t there.

    Ava did the mature thing. She ignored Andy Baker and his friends. She said nothing to all the kids in her afternoon classes who wrongly speculated about why PJ had left the Tigers. She knew that Alex would tell her to keep it together and not overreact. But if she heard one more snarky comment about Coach, she’d surely burst.
    She hated doing the mature thing.
    â€œWhere’s Alex?” she’d asked all their friends. No one knew. She finally cornered Emily before eighth period.
    Emily shrugged. “Maybe still at student council? She ran off during lunch.”
    Had Alex been upset about PJ and Coach too?She wasn’t still so mad at Ava that she wouldn’t come talk to her about it . . . was she?
    â€œThe girls’ basketball team will have an early dismissal today for an away game. All players please report to the bus now.” The announcement crackled over the loudspeaker. Ava realized she’d have to wait until tonight for a chance to talk to Alex.
    As Ava stepped onto the team bus, Callie called out, “We need to beat them. We have to show them that even with PJ, they’re still losers! Am I right?”
    All the girls cheered.
    â€œWho are we playing?” Ava asked.
    â€œSaint Francis Prep,” Madison said with a grimace.
    Ava groaned. Of all the teams to be playing today!
    She moved down the aisle past Tamara. Tamara stared out the window, lost in her own thoughts. Seeing her made Ava think about PJ, and that made her angry all over again. Tension on the court was already bad between them. How would they ever be able to play together now?
    Ava took a seat beside Madison. She poppedin her earbuds, pretending to listen to music, and texted Coach.
    how are you??? is it bad there? on bus to game now.
    Don’t worry about me, pumpkin. Play hard.
    aren’t you coming?
    Coach had promised he’d watch her game today, since he’d missed the others.
    Sorry. Lots to deal with here & not the best place for me to be seen right now.
    Of course, Ava suddenly realized. Coach couldn’t very well walk into the Saint Francis gym today. PJ had ruined Coach’s team, andnow he’d messed up Coach coming to watch her play!
    When they reached the end of the long, winding driveway leading to the red-roofed school, a huge purple-and-white banner greeted them. FIGHTING FALCONS WELCOME PJ KELLY!
    Ava hated seeing PJ’s name up on the Saint Francis sign.
    â€œWow. They had that made fast,” Madison commented. “Didn’t he just decide today?”
    Ava knew PJ hadn’t just decided today. This move had been in the works for a while. This was crazy. She wished she’d been able to find Alex earlier. What good was keeping this a secret?
    â€œWe should pull it down. That’ll show them!” Callie rallied the group.
    â€œNo! Don’t do that.” Coach Rader stood even though the bus hadn’t stopped. “No vandalism. Got it? We’re going into that school with our heads held high.”
    â€œWho’d want to go to this stupid school anyway?” Callie asked, as they filed through the halls and into the gym. “I’d hate to have to wear a uniform.”
    â€œTheir dark-purple shirts aren’t so bad,” Tamara pointed out.
    â€œPersonally, I am never wearing purple again. As a protest,” Madison declared. “Saint Francis stole PJ from us.”
    â€œThe way I heard it, PJ left us.” Jane waved her hand at the shiny gym floors and digital scoreboard. “He

Similar Books

The Fifth Elephant

Terry Pratchett

Great Plains

Ian Frazier


Paul Butler


Paul Doiron

Edith Wharton - Novel 15

Old New York (v2.1)