Face Off

 

“Hockey is tough, but life is tougher.”

 

Face Off  begins where Power Plays ends. The Xtreme girls have shifted from hockey to softball with an exciting summer looming before them.  Things are perfect for Jessie: high school, hockey and Mark.  Jessie thinks she has things under control. She can handle the new environment and the new pressure.

One party, one wrong choice and all that changes.

YouTube – her actions are everywhere.

And worst of all Mark is gone and doesn’t want to ever speak to her. How will she fix this?

Once again, hockey is the antidote to life’s mysteries and navigating the ice is a whole lot easier than high school. Jessie learns who her true friends are and maybe, just maybe, she can put things right for her and Mark.

I start to stand up, and that’s when I notice the cuts.

I’m looking down at her left leg in the water. Lines ripple along the top of her thigh. Some are thin and dark red, and some are wide and pink.

Why haven’t I noticed them before?

Because Kim’s never showered with the team this year. She’s always in a hurry to get out of the dressing room after practices and games. I thought it was because of the comments Cory and Brittni make about her dad.

“Kim, what happened to you?” I ask. “Did you get hurt?”

Kim’s reaction is instant. She swims for the ladder and starts to climb out, pulling down the hem of her T-shirt. I meet her over there.

“It looks like you cut yourself.”

“Never mind.” She pushes past me.

“Kim, what’s going on?”

She turns around and jams a finger in my face. “Don’t you tell anyone about this,” she hisses. “Not anyone, understand? Stay out of it!”

Silver Medal

Independent Publishers’ Moonbeam Award

Young Adult: Mature Issues, 2010.

Listen to Jesse Mac on crappy days