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Realization by htflatnc

by htflatnc
This story is a continuation of
Punished Twice by BaldSurfer
(find it here: index.php?mode=2&storyid=619)
I'm a big fan and hope he will not mind.
Timmy realized he now had a bigger problem than before. He had reaped revenge upon Billy by shaving his head. But Billy was miserable. And if Billy was miserable, it was likely to be a long, miserable season of football. Timmy was glad his older brother, Jay, was coming home for the weekend. Jay was four years older than Timmy, had played football in high school, was a good athlete just as Timmy was, and was now off at college. The boys had their share of arguments and fights, as all brothers will, but they were always friends. And Jay was smart. People smart. Book smart. Smart smart. Timmy would see whether Jay couldn't help him out of his dilemma.

Timmy showered, got dressed, and was walking out of the locker room when he saw Billy sitting despondent, the locker room look of a quarterback at the end of an O-and-9 season. And not a single game had been played. Billy was also sitting alone. Billy was never alone. Billy was always with other people because he radiated both happiness and a sense of control though not always the best judgment. When you were with Billy, you were ok. Or at least that was how it was before Billy was shamed and shaved. Timmy knew he had to get most of the old Billy back while hopefully the last day would have honed Billy's judgment.

Timmy went over to Billy and asked Billy if he was ok. Billy just began audibly sobbing and Timmy said he was really sorry for everything that had happened. Timmy said if he could he would roll the clock backwards and these events never would have happened. That made Billy angry. "But you can't, can you? You can't set the clock backwards. We are where we are. So don't give me that clock crap. I'm going to have to deal with this.” Timmy realized there was nothing he could say at the moment to make anything better, so he left Billy pushing the door to the locker room open and heading out into the sunshine.

Timmy walked home with Billy's words "We are where we are and we're going to have to deal with it” running around in his head. It was true. But it didn't mean they had to stay there. Timmy's job was clear. He had to get Billy to a different place if any of them – the entire team – was going to have a good season. While Timmy knew the final destination he had to get to, he had very little idea of how to get there.

Hopefully Jay would.

When Timmy got to within two blocks of his house, he began to notice that some of the people passing by in cars were slowing down and were staring at him. At first he was puzzled and then he remembered he could be a scarecrow standing out in a field with his blond hair – what was left of it – sticking out in all directions and different lengths. That was the least of his problems at the moment. He knew he had a problem, but he was wondering where the opportunity lay. If he had heard it once, he had heard it a thousand times from his father: "For every problem, there is an opportunity.” Hackneyed. But true? Time would tell.

Timmy saw Jay's car in the driveway, causing his mood to lighten, putting a spring in his step, and a smile on his face. Timmy came in through the side door into the kitchen, where Jay was sitting talking to his mother. Jay's jaw dropped open when he saw his little brother. "I heard what happened to you, but until I saw you I had no idea. You look like somebody took a weed whacker to your hair. It's almost like an abstract artist was cutting your hair. Performance art you are.”

"It's great to see you too, Jay,” Timmy said, taking the wind out of Jay's sails.

Monday morning came around and Billy's father checked that Billy had gotten his head smooth before heading out the door. Billy was better than he had been on Friday, but still not his usual carefree, laughing, joking self. Billy's father saw the difference and wasn't sure he had done the right thing. No time for regrets, however, and regrets never got you anything. Billy and his father headed out the door together and they drove to school in silence.

Monday's practice wasn't only flat, it was a disaster. Billy kept getting sacked as the offensive linemen didn't give him the protection they had given him before. Billy also threw as many interceptions as he did complete passes during practice. Timmy would throw off his defender, but Billy would never find him. Actually, Billy never looked for him the entire practice. It was embarrassing.

Timmy ran up to Coach towards the end of practice and asked him if he could see him at the end of practice for a couple of minutes. Coach said, of course he would see him.

After about a five minute conversation, Coach and Timmy walked through the locker room. Coach said, "Listen up, guys. Timmy's got somethin' to say. Go get everybody out of the showers. Billy,” Coach says motioning over to him, "come on up here.”

Timmy steps forward and is obviously nervous, not only about what he's got to say, but what he's about to do. "Billy, will you shave my head for me?”

Billy blinks and looks up at him. "What?” he asks.

"Will you shave my head?” There is a pause. "The only way I can see that we can begin to put this team back together is if you shave my head for me. You are the team leader, and always have been, and should continue to be. But since you got your head shaved under the circumstances you did, you have felt humiliated. That's got to end. Not only for your sake does it have to end. It needs to end for the sake of everyone on the team.”

"I'm the new guy on the team. I expected a certain amount of ribbing from you and the rest of the team because I am the new guy. The obvious target for the ribbing was my long hair and thus supposed femininity among a group of guys with high adrenaline and high testosterone. If that was all there was too this, you would have been in the wrong for doing what you did to me. But that wasn't it.”

"My long hair became a weapon that could be used against me, against the team, and against you. Because you were team leader you weren't going to allow that to happen – and shouldn't allow that to happen. Not to you, and not to the team. You were right about that. You gave me a choice, and selfishly I didn't take it. The next step you took was a step too far, but you were basically in the right, but went about it the wrong way. I now realize that. What happened to you was wrong. You should not have been punished the way you were punished. However, you were. I don't want that punishment to destroy your confidence in yourself, in your ability to lead our team, to lead us. And certainly I do not want to destroy you. You played like s**t today.”

The team suddenly seemed to turn on Timmy after he said this with some jeering and more than a few obscenities. Billy held up his hand and turned towards his team mates. "He's right. I did play like s**t today.” Billy fully understood what Timmy was doing – what he was doing for him and the team. He was being honest and not trying to sugar coat everything. Billy knew how good he was. Billy knew how good Timmy was. Billy knew how good his team mates were. They had limits. They weren't supermen. But they were damned good athletes who could go far competing against others. Billy seemed to be out of his stupor and back to the old Billy.

"So you want me to shave your head, do ya? Well, I may have played like s**t today, but you look like s**t. A head shave would be a definite improvement. Joe, hand me that stool.” Joe handed over the stool and Timmy sat down. Coach had plugged in the clippers and handed them to Billy. The adrenaline and the testosterone were once again flowing in the locker room. And there was enormous anticipation to see Timmy get his head shaved. Timmy's reaction had been one of resignation to his fate as a soon-to-be-bald receiver who would hopefully have a bald quarterback to connect him with completed passes. Now, with the hyper-masculinity around him, he was looking forward to his fate. He did not have long to wait.

With the click of clippers, Timmy bellowed "Let the shaving begin.”

Billy plowed the clippers beginning at the hairline of Timmy's forehead. The clippers ran back easily denuding Timmy's noggin of it patches of blond hair. The team mates were huddled around alternating chants of "Timmy” and "Billy” as Billy made short work of Timmy's scarecrow do. A bowl of water, shaving cream, and a razor had appeared in the nick of time. As soon as the clippers were turned off, Billy lathered Timmy's head making a small spiral pyramid on top.

"Timmy the ice cream cone,” someone shouted.

"Not for long he's not,” Billy said as he plunged the razor into the shaving cream, running the razor from front to back on top of Billy's head. After Billy finished clearing off the shaving cream with the razor, Timmy tried to stand up, but Billy pushed him back down. "Where do you think you're going? We haven't finished.” With that Billy re-lathered Timmy's head. "Now we get it smooth like I have to every day. If I don't pass inspection in the morning, my father takes me back in the bathroom to take care of any rough spots. So all of you will need to remember that when you come for inspection right before practice.”

"Huh?” "What?” was the reaction from the team mates.

"You don't think it's just going to be Timmy and me who are bald for the season. This is part of the dedication you show to our team, to the success of our team.” Billy just smiled at his team mates. Some of the team mates were psyched by the thought of getting their heads shaved, some were resigned, and some protested. But everyone finally wound up under the clippers and the razor. Billy continued with the clippers while Timmy, Joe and Tyler took razors to their team mates' heads. Thus the team bonded as no other team Coach had to that point in his ten years of coaching.

The undefeated regular season was the source of the publicity for the team, but the clean shaved heads gave it the exclamation point. The one game the team lost was the state championship – and to a team of seniors who had lost their final game last year. Timmy and Billy knew what would happen after their first practice next season.

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