“Maybe I’ll just destroy them and never do it again,” Kyle said, “Just one final win, and I’m done.” He paced back and forth down the narrow hallway while I watched him, silent and composed, leaning against the brick wall.

“I’ll show them this was a mistake, they should never have doubted me, I can run circles around every single one of them,” he continued, throwing his hands up occasionally and aggressively turning his body after getting just beyond earshot of where I stood, just to march past me again and continue his rant.

“Every single time they try to replace my spot on the relay team, the entire team pays the price, remember last year when Ben ran anchor and we … even the crowd was begging me to come back” he continued, turning yet again to come back for another pass. He grew closer, as he approached I caught him, putting my hands on both his shoulders, and looked him in his enraged eyes. “So do it,” I said.

“Do what?” he replied, clearly shocked by my sudden change in demeanor.

“Beat all their times, and then leave, be done, go to a team that would appreciate you.”

“Yeahhhhh, that would be cool,” he said, not meeting my eye line. “But the coach said I had real potential, and I am the best runner for the position…” he went on, releasing himself from my grasp and continuing his march. I took my place on the wall again, silently watching him knowing there was nothing that would make him actually leave the team.