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King Of The Ramp - a short story by A.B.King

   Once upon a time in a place called Alabama, there lived a 16 year old dude named Tony. He was a handsome Puerto - Rican dude who was guilty of making every girl within a 30 mile radius from where he lived swoon.
   Now to be popular, handsome and cool is a deadly combination in Alabama. Only a few possessed all three weapons of social conquests.
   If you are a teen and you want to be cool, you would have to pick a sport and excel in that sport. You also have to play the sport in a way that makes you look cool because in every sport you play, there are always girls sitting by the side and watching the athletes. Always passing side comments to one another about which athletic they are admiring now as the athlete plays the sport the girls don’t even understand. So it was not just about winning. It was about winning with style – looking good while winning - looking cool while winning. That is the secret formula for a teenage boy to be cool.
   Tony was so good at being cool that he made the word cool grab a pen and a paper and start to take notes.
   One day a new kid moved into his neighbourhood. Word on the street was that the new kid was the skateboard champ in his former neighbourhood (Like that was supposed to scare Tony). Tony was the bomb – the best skater in his neighbourhood. Aint nobody gonna take his spot.
   One week later while Tony was showing off some skills to some guys, actually he was showing of his skills to the girls who sat on a bench in the skate park. They were skilfully pretending as though they didn’t come there to see Tony. The sun would turn blue first before they would walk up to him and say “Hi”, even though they wanted to. They could only dream that he would say “Hi” first someday.
   Tony knew why they came. He loved the attention. He wasn’t promiscuous or anything, as a matter of fact he was a virgin and he didn’t intend to cross over to the other side until he gets married; which is a time way up there in the future. However, there was a thrill – a joy he received from girls admiring him that he found most pleasing.
   As he was almost through skating for the day, the new kid showed up. One thing led to another and the other skaters pressured them into a one on one challenge.
   To everyone’s surprise the new kid won. The focus of the girls shifted from Tony and rested on the new kid.
   Tony hated not being admired by girls anymore. The more he saw girls swooning and drooling over the new kid, the more jealous he got.
   The only girl who seemed to remember his name now was Brenda, a childhood friend of his and there was nothing romantic going on between them.
   Brenda told him that just because he wasn’t ‘King of the Ramp’ in his neighbourhood anymore wasn’t a reason for him to wear a gloomy face.  Brenda had always been good at reading Tony. She could get answer from him only by looking at him. Answers, that wouldn’t have been gotten even after 2 years of probing by the FBI. Brenda could see that it wasn’t really losing the title that got him upset; it was losing the female attention that the title got him that had him upset. Brenda was the first person to point that out to him, as a matter of fact, she was the only one to point that out to him.    
   Brenda told him that she knew that he was not technically committing a sin by what he was doing but that it was just plain wrong for a Christian to desire such things. A Christian shouldn’t desire that mass numbers of members of the opposite sex should lust over him or her even though the Christian is this case is not given to lust ( therefore not sinning ). By desiring others lust after us, we are desiring others sin on account of us; all because we want to savour in the joy of being admired.
   It is one thing to be glad that people think that we are good looking as that’s what God created us to be, and it’s another thing to be glad that people are lusting after us and thinking lots of immoral thoughts about us.
   In spite of Brenda’s advice, Tony still challenged the new kid to a face off on the biggest ramp in their neighbourhood skate park. The date and time was set. Word spread around the neighbourhood. Lots of people who don’t have the habit of having important things to do would be there. If Tony was going to have to take back his title lots of people would see him do it – lots of girls would see him do it.
   Tony planned to do a triple somersault while in the air during the challenge. He told Brenda his plan, it was sure to be the winning move.
   “It could also be your last move”, Brenda told him.
   She knew how difficult that move was, as a matter of fact, probably, nobody in their neighbourhood has ever known anybody who has done that skate move before. The closest they had come to it was seeing it done in a video game.
   Towards the day of the competition: a Thursday, the Pastor of Tony’s church called him up along with some other regular members of the teenage group, to help with the preparations for the big teenage conference that would be holding the coming Sunday.
   Tony didn’t want to go. He had a skating challenge to take care of. If he didn’t show up at the ramp, he would look like a chicken. If he tried to postpone the challenge now he would still look like a chicken. Either way the reputation he’s trying to get back would get worse than it currently is. The only way out was to be at that challenge and the way for his life to return to the way it had been was for him to win when he gets there. No matter what happened, he couldn’t afford to not be at that challenge even though his parents would skin him alive if he doesn’t go to church for the preparations.
   What made the matter worse was that that special triple somersault skate move that nobody had ever seen before – He could do it. He had done it before. He had practiced it until he had perfected it when nobody was looking. There can’t be a better time to showcase the move than at the challenge. Matter of fact, if he doesn’t show off that move at the challenge, he might never get the chance to do it this big again.
   On ‘D’ day, after Tony’s parents dropped him off at the church, he waited a little at the church then snuck out to the skate park. His heart was beating loud the whole time. He felt bad. He wasn’t used to disobeying his parents and didn’t like to do so.
   When the time came for him to do the triple somersault skate trick, he slipped and ended up with a few joints out of place.
   20 minutes later as he lay on a hospital bed, he promised himself he would never desire girls swooning and lusting over him. He just almost died trying to get them to do so.

                                                              THE END.

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