I am the GOAT

Author's notes: I would like to thank my friend who edited this story and also another friend who read a rough draft of it.

“I am the GOAT! I am the GOAT!” Lynn Stallworth screamed that statement in joy over and over again after his fallen foe left the game server. The GOAT is Greatest Of All Time and this bold assertion was not coming from the victor’s hubris or an overblown ego. How this gamer just crushed his faceless opponent to advance in the Madden ‘18 tournament was not far off from the truth.

One more online victory tomorrow and the self proclaimed GOAT would be in the final four. The final four meant the a trip to the Super Bowl. He would be able to take his father to the last game until September. They could only dream of going for it was the most expensive ticket in the country. With four kids, the Stallworth's could not be frivolous with money. Spending over $1,000 for each ticket just to see a battle of the pigskin could never just justified.

Of course Lynn was going to see himself as the GOAT, he had great hand/eye coordination and was a great tactician. The avid gamer got enjoyment from winning so he made sure he was adept at playing all the different styles of offense. His main strength was putting pressure on the other team. Making the other player take risks, and when a mistake was made, to capitalize on them.

The competitor’s mindset also came from his philosophy that the a contests had four outcomes. He actively won the game or lost the game, or his opponent actively won the game or lost the game. Lynn knew for the best results he needed to be captain of his own destiny, so he forced the game to fit how he wanted it to be played.

Lynn making sure that he was in charge of the outcome served him well as a professional gamer. His parents, Troy and Alana, were so proud of him making a little money with his hobby. That was also why he had free reign to connect his game systems to the big screen television when they were not home. They saw it as him honing his skills in a money making venture. His sister, Kaya, did not see that way. She saw it as them playing favorites.

To Kaya, her brother was a suck up. He never got in trouble, did more around the house than asked without asking for more of an allowance, and never question their parents. Meanwhile Kaya was the opposite, she was in her rebellious stage, staying out past curfew just by a little bit, needed to be begged to do more around the house, and demanded her allowance went up if she did, and always question her parents about their rules. Plus she was now not showing love and respect for her sibling.

Alana and Troy knew it was a stage of growing up, but wanted her not to be as immersed in it as she was. It was fine that she did not want to hang out with her brothers and sister, but she still needed to treat them like family. Talk with them like they were people when they were all home together. Staying out a little late once in awhile was fine and expected, but not every Friday and Saturday night. It might had been only 10 to 15 minutes late, but it was her way of saying they were not the boss of her. They understood that if she did more, then she should get more of an allowance. To a child, an allowance is a paycheck for what they did, but she had no right to get mad when they quit just giving her extra when she needed it. It was for how she did not ask for more, but demanded it.

Even with Kaya becoming a bigger than normal pain in the neck of a teenager, she was the oldest at 14 years old. That made her the defacto babysitter for her three younger siblings when they were out. Today, their parents having some time together in the guise of Christmas shopping, and her other two siblings, John and Lindsey, being at their grandparents, Kaya felt she should be able to have the family room to herself and her boyfriend, Rick Shell.

It would not hurt her brother, he could take his gaming console back up to his room. The girl who wanted everyone to get what she thought they wanted, was allowed to have Rick over without adult supervision, but not in her bedroom. They were missing out on some well needed makeout time. Her being able to kiss her man was more important that some stupid game.

Plus, even if their hormones were not raging, Rick did not like being in the same room as Lynn. The 18-year-old hated that he would lose to a 13-year-old in any video game they played. In Rick’s eyes, that pre-adolescent twerp, who just entered teenager-hood a couple of months ago, beating him was an affront to elder teen. Rick felt if he could not beat Lynn at a game, how could his girlfriend, that twerp’s sister, still want to be with him? Rick had nothing personal against Lynn, he hated how he felt inadequate just by losing video games to him.

Kaya made her demands known, “Hey Lynn, you've been on that game long enough. Quit playing it, for I want to watch some TV with Rick.”

Rick, wanting to insert his dominance over the little kid, said “Yeah twerp, you need to leave now.”

Kaya laughed with Rick putting down her brother. To her, having him was more important than looking out for the emotions of her brother. She felt that she would always have her brother’s love, while she had to make sure she kept Rick’s. Plus, her brother would get over any hurt feelings which came from the teasing.

What Rick did was exclusive towards Lynn, so Kaya’s laughter would have a long lasting effect on her relationship with her brother if she did not change her ways. Jokes and laughter, even in good nature, which come from someone being put down would make a division between the people involved. Also, even with it being a joke, calling, or hearing someone being called a demeaning name often enough, it was human nature to start to see that person in that way. It was the same as the concept of telling the same lie often enough, people will start to believe it.

“Kaya, you know I am allowed to play on the big screen when M & D are not home.

Rick, don’t tell me what to do, you have no say.” Lynn responded.

Kaya did not care what rules her parents made, she wanted to use the family room, so she was kicking her brother out. “Yeah they said that, but they also said I am in charge, so I am changing the rules. You need to quit playing the game right now.

Also, new rule, you have to listen to My Rick when Mom and Dad are not home.”

Rick was pleased that his girlfriend said that, and to show Lynn who was in charge, ordered the twerp to go get him a drink. Rick liked that, for he was not even thirsty, and would not drink it. The command was about showing who was better, who had to wait on whom.

“Kaya, you can’t change the rules M & D made. You know that. Also punk, you want a drink you go get it yourself!”, Lynn responded.

Kaya was frustrated that her little brother was talking back to her, he listened to their parents, so he should listen to her. It got under her skin that he pointed out what she wanted to do was beyond her authority, and she knew it. Lastly, her little twerp of a brother had no right to talk to Rick, his elder, how he did. The ill mannered sister said, “Now, apologize to My Rick immediately!”

Rick had to chirp in to build up his ego, “Yeah, say you're sorry, and if you ever play me in Madden again I will let you win. Like I always do.”

Lynn took pride in being good at Madden. It was how the boy was going to take his dad to the Superbowl. Having that chance to do so made him feel important, and, if Lynn won, he will have earned the nickname his dad gave him, the 'Big Guy'. The aspiring Big Guy knew going to the final four would be something he could do for his dad, the man who has done so much for him. It would also help them bond, for even with his love of football, Lynn did not play. He was small for his age, and broke his collarbone bad last year.

Lynn knew how much his dad loved the game, Troy Stallworth had big dreams of playing in the NFL. Even with him being the number one offensive line recruit coming out of high school, he knew it was a dream when he went to Penn State. Troy also knew the dream was over, when at practice he heard his knee pop, and he went down like a lead filled sack screaming in pain.

The man who saw his future fade away, had blown his ACL and PCL. He could have rehabilitated from that, if that was the only issue his right knee had. It was also missing 80% of the cartilage. The doctors, in good faith, could not clear him to play after rehab.

At first Troy was depressed, for his dream was over, but one of the physical therapist interns helped him realize that his life was not over. She took interest in him as a person, this was the first friend he'd made in years that did not care about him being a football player. She taught him an important lesson in life; to dream a new dream when a dream was over. He got a new dream, to spend the rest of his life and raise a family with that wonderful woman, Alana, and he did.

Lynn knew his dad’s story, but did not understand he was happier with this dream being fulfilled than if he got to play professional football in the shield. His skill in Madden was going to at least let his dad go to the Superbowl.

“Punk, you do not let me win, for I am the GOAT.” Lynn crowed.

Rick was not going to take any lip from his girlfriend’s younger brother. So he went with the misogynistic put down, “Yeah, you are the Girliest Of All Time. You cannot get the best of me twerp, so just quit while you are ahead, apologize, and quit calling me punk.”

Lynn was not going to back down, his dad taught him to stand up for himself. With a devil may care grin, Lynn said “Ok, sorry, I will not call you punk. If I am the girliest of all time, then what does that say about your manhood, if I beat you at all the videogames, Dick?”

“Don’t call My Rick a dick, twerp.”

“Kaya, I’m just using a nickname for him. I think Dick fits him better than Rick.”

Rick did not like being bested by that twerp in a battle of wits. Lynn had no reason to impress Kaya, they were brother and sister. That kid should just let him win. “It is fine Kaya, twerp is just upset that he was so girly when he was born, that he was given a girl’s name.”

Just like every other one of Rick’s attempt to belittle her brother, Kaya laughed again. This time the wiser Stallworth in the room shook his head at her. Lynn’s namesake was Pappy Greene, their maternal grandfather, and her laughing at his name was also laughing at their Pappy’s name.

“Kaya, you shouldn’t be laughing, you know who I was named after, so you think Pappy is girly also? You need to start showing respect to your family.”

Kaya was getting more irritated with her brother. He was giving her and her boyfriend lip, yet he was saying she was the one not showing her esteem to people. “No Lynn, I think only you are girly. In fact, with me in charge, I think I should show you how to do your makeup, you girly boy.”

Rick was so happy that his sweety was helping him pile on that twerp. To add to the joke, he went over to Lynn and put his hands on his shoulders to hold him down. “This girl isn't going anywhere, go get your make up, dear.”

Kaya played along, and started to leave the room. She thought that maybe her brother would leave after she told Rick to let him go. The last thing a 13 year old boy wanted was to have his sister make him pretty.

Kaya then started to see the flaw in her logic. Lynn was taught by their dad to not let anyone put a hand on him. So Lynn defending himself, swung his arms up to get Dick off of him. He then got off the couch and told Rick in no uncertain terms to leave his house right now.

Kaya quickly started to try to do damage control, while still trying to stay on Rick’s side. She was trying to walk the delicate line of not telling her boyfriend he was wrong, yet making sure her brother did not tell their parents what happened. If he did, the worst case scenario would be her man would not be allowed over anymore, and she would have to sneak around to see him, for they would forbid her to be with him. “Quit being a baby, we were joking. If you only would do what I said while I am in charge, we wouldn't have to do so.

Now just go to your room and we will forget this happened. I will not tell mom and dad you would not listen to me.”

Lynn was mad, and was not playing around. “No Rick has to leave. He put his hands on me and Mom and Dad will hear all about this. You are wrong. I have an important game tomorrow. I need to win it.”

Rick knew he would be in trouble if her parents heard what Lynn would say. They would not hear him out about the truth, that he was not serious about holding down the twerp. With him already being in for a dime, he was going in for the dollar, and punched Lynn in the solar plexus. It was not a hard punch, but it made Lynn fold over like a new dress shirt on a display counter.

Kaya screamed no. Lynn knew he could not win a fight against Rick, the older boy had a half foot on him, and 40 pounds of muscle. Even knowing he was going to lose the fight, the stubborn boy was not going to back down.

“Fuck you Rick, and fuck you Kaya! You better leave Rick, now!”

Rick grinned, “Sweety, go get your makeup and a dress. We are going to make Lynn the girl she is. It is the only way he will not rat us out. We will take some pictures of him, and then blackmail him into not saying anything. Plus he will listen to you from now on when you are in charge.”

Kaya wanted to get her brother’s silence, but did not like her boyfriend’s plan. It was mean. Her brother was being a pain, but she knew he was right. It might not be fair that he was treated better than her, but she was not going to do this to him. “No stud, drag him upstairs to my room. I will do it there.”

Rick was more than happy to comply to his sweety’s change in plans. He did not care how it would occur, but putting that twerp in a dress while in makeup would do wonders to Rick's injured ego. Rick knew that he could hold those pictures over Lynn from now on.

Kaya led the way to her room. On there way up, Rick threatened to really hurt Lynn if he did not go along with the punishment. Lynn could tell by the anger in Rick’s voice it was not an idle threat.

Kaya figured out how to get out of this mess. She was going to tell Rick to go home, for he was not allowed in her room. Once both she and her brother were in her room, she would say sorry and tell him he could go back to playing his game. It was a foolproof plan in her eyes, too bad she was acting stupider than a fool.

She told her brother to wait in her room, as she escorted her stud to the door. Even with her not liking that he punched her brother, she liked how more confident her Rick was acting. The punch was not that bad, plus Lynn was being a pain. Her kid brother was asking for it. She also knew that once she told Rick to never do that again, the lovable oaf would listen.

After seeing Rick off, when she went into her room, her plan to get out of doing what was threatening started to unravel.

Lynn was not going to go down passively, he was going to make sure his big sister knew exactly what he thought of her. Before Kaya could tell what only she and Rick would see as good news to her brother, he screamed in her face. “Fuck you, you whore! Fuck you, you bitch! Fuck you, you CUNT!”

Kaya could not believe her brother would use those words towards her. Those words were as hurtful as 1,000 punches to her solar plexus. The lady blinded with pain, did not realize her brother still thought she was really going to put him in a dress and makeup. Her aloofness towards her family made that cruel act believable in his eyes. How she laughed with her boyfriend putting him down also made Lynn see the worst in her.

The pain in her heart made Kaya want to inflect the same pain to the person she believed caused it, Lynn. Kaya wanted to make sure the victim knew it was all his doing, “I was about to tell you I was not going to do the makeover, but with what you called me, you deserve that and the pictures we will be taking!”

“Bullshit, you are mad for you did not get your way. Also, your boyfriend Dick wanted it. You so crave his approval, and you will do anything for him. Now just get it over with. I said what I wanted to say and made sure you know you are nothing but a fucking whore, bitch, CUNT!”

After that outburst Lynn sat there quietly as his sister threw him a plain white cotton bra and panties and a pink jersey dress. She choose the undergarments and dress for they were the least feminine choice she had. The dress in her eyes was more like just an oversize shirt, and the panties were just very tight tighty whities. What she was doing was not that bad.

Lynn got his calmness back after the second outburst. He was used to having to hold in his emotions while playing against SNERTs and trolls. The semi-professional gamer had to always stay calm to play his best against them. If he was not so hurt from how his sister and Dick had been treating him, and upset that he lost out on valuable practice time to win his dad a trip to the Super Bowl, there would not had been two, let alone one outburst. Lynn knew how to stay in control. The irate sister instructed the perceived cause of her anger to put it on and she turned her back.

Before she turned back around Kaya had a change of heart. She loved her brother and wanted to let him get out of this. He was mad about the roughhousing Rick did and she said “Lynn just say you’re sorry. You can change back to your clothes and go down and play your precious video game. I would not see you in a dress and it would never be spoken of.”

The stubborn boy was not going to back down. He also was not going to lie to get himself out of this. In fact, he wanted her to put the makeup on him so Kaya would get into trouble. Right now she might not know it, but she was abusing her younger brother and their parents needed to know.

“No thank you. Now you can just keep your word and doll me up. Remember, you are in charge now.”

That ungrateful twerp egged her on. There was no way she would back down now, for she would have egg on her face. “Fine, I know you want it anyway.”

Kaya’s anger did not cloud her thinking enough for her to not know what she was doing was wrong. The girl with a guilty conscience was getting some success in easing that guilt by telling herself this would lead to peace between her and Lynn. That Lynn would not question her authority over him anymore.

Kaya did mock her brother while doing his makeup. The girl who was trying to make a point did not mean what she said, but the heartbroken brother took them to heart. Kaya was done, and wanted this over with. She was not going to take his picture and told her brother to go to the bathroom and she would help take the makeup off. Lynn put his devious smirk on his face and said, “You forgot to take my pictures.”

Kaya hated what she was going to do next, take the pictures. The young lady who was trying to save face was going to delete them as soon as she could, but knew that she went too far. Kaya knew she had another choice of just not taking it, but then, what she had done, would be for naught. Lynn would tell their parents about Rick horseplaying with Lynn, but say it was a punch, and then she would have to break up with her man.

Two things snapped when she took those pictures, the flash on her camera and, her brother. Lynn believed that his sister would always use the picture to get her way from him. Kaya was not prepared for the unleashing of the blizzard of rage from her brother.

Lynn picked up the bottle of perfume she put on him and threw it against the wall. Kaya stood frozen from being terrified at what she has done. She caused a rift between her and her brother which she thought might never be repaired. The boy who was emotionally away from his sister said, “I fucking hate you, you bitch! Putting me in a dress to blackmail me! I fucking hate you!”

Lynn looked in the vanity mirror and saw a reflection of a clown looking back at him. He grabbed his sister’s curling iron and smashed the mirror.

“I HATE YOU! I needed that time to practice so I could win dad a trip to the the Super Bowl! You put me in a dress so you and your boyfriend DICK could hold it over me! He fucking punched me! He said there would be more if I didn't do what you said.”

************

Troy and Alana came home early from their time together. They knew that Kaya was young and had better things to do on a Saturday than stay at home with her kid brother. Even with her being trouble at this age, she was a good daughter, and they were thankful she did not protest too much today about doing the extra chore. When they heard Lynn screaming his grievances against his sister, and the breaking things, their warm thoughts for their daughter were also shattered.

It made no sense to both of them, and the same questions ran through their heads. Lynn was trying to win a trip to the Super Bowl? That bastard touched their son? How could Kaya have been mean enough to do what Lynn was accusing her of? Then again, it had to be true, for they never heard so much anger and rage from anyone before in their life.

Lynn had this anger and rage for he was emotionally abused by his sister. The pain he was given by his sister’s thoughtless acts were manifesting into his actions. Lynn had to release the pain. it could not be denied. If Lynn tried to hold it in, then it would have started to destroy his soul. There were more constructive and better ways to release the pain, but a 13-year-old in this much pain usually went for the quickest, without thinking of the results.

The concerned and loving parents arrived at ground zero of the anger bomb, while Lynn was was in the process of shoving off all of Kaya’s beauty supplies from her vanity. They were both disappointed that their eyes confirmed what they knew was true. The boy in a dress looked up and saw his parents and was mortified. Lynn hated that his dad saw his eldest son in a dress. To Lynn it was bad enough that he had to give up playing football, now he was dressed like he wanted to be a cheerleader in front of his main male role model. Tears started to go down the boy's face thinking his dad would now never see him as a man.

Kaya knew that the look of true fear and the tears on her brother’s face was not a good sign. She turned to see what was in Lynn’s line of sight which drove the anger and fear away. Her heart dropped to the ground when the girl who was going to be grounded for life saw her parents, and she nervously said, “Mom and Dad I can explain. It all got out of hand, and if Lynn just listened to me, this would not have happened!”

Troy coldly said, “Kaya, no need to explain, we heard everything that your brother said.”

Alana went and hugged her son, whispering in his ear that everything was going to be fine as she wiped the ears from his face. Then Momma Stallworth gave her eldest daughter a look full of disillusionment as she grabbed her son's clothes and gently requested he follow her. As Lynn walked out of the room, Kaya mumbled sorry. The sadness in Lynn’s face reverted back to wrath, and his voice sounded like the low growl of a demon dog as he said: “I hate you.“

The intensity of those three words made the pain of Lynn saying them earlier feel like a mere paper cut. When the girl who now had only two siblings heard the tone of those three words, she knew all the memories, good, bad and indifferent, Lynn had of them together, were gone. In there place was the events of today. Kaya’s pain made her think of only herself.

“Aren’t you going to make him take back those words, Dad?”

“No, I do not blame him for feeling that way.”

“Dad, I am sorry. I messed up! Don’t worry, I know I have to break up with My Rick.”

Troy shook his head, “Kaya, stop. Like I said, you do not have to explain. If it is up to me, you do not have to break up with that boy. He is not welcome in this house ever again. You can do what you want, you've shown you have only disregard for your family with what you did today.

This is only me speaking, but until I see differently from you, I am done trying to raise you. I will do the bare minimum as a parent. I am hurt, not by your actions but by the fact I did not do a better job at showing you right and wrong. I am hurt that I let you down.

Now give me your phone so, I can take those pictures off of it.”

Kaya’s dad's response was worse than any punishment he could have given her. It was for Kaya knew what he said hurt him more than it did her. She hated that she caused her father to lose his faith in her. Her dad did all he could for her, and she could not believe that was how she repaid him.

As she handed her dad the phone she said, “I was not even going to take the picture, but Lynn reminded me I'd said I would. It was going to get deleted as soon as he could not see me doing it.

Dad let me explain! I just wanted the family room for me and Rick, but Lynn would not leave because he was playing his video game. He then talked back to us. If he only left, it would not have escalated! I was not serious when I said I was going to put him in a dress, but he called my bluff. I should not have done that, but how could you and mom go anywhere without us if Lynn knew I would not follow through with what I said?”

All Kaya’s excuse did was dig herself a deeper hole. That was why Troy did not want to hear any of it. Other than Kaya saying she was wrong, nothing would have made the situation better for her.

“Kaya, your brother had the right to play, he found a way to make some money doing what he loves. That is why we let him play on the big screen, it helps him get better. You knew he was allowed to and you should had respected the rules your mother and I gave you.

You do not have to worry about babysitting your brothers and sister again. I do not trust you with them. Lynn will be in charge of the John and Lindsey. You can do what you want as long as it is not illegal. I hope you make the right decision. I am going to see if the Big Guy is alright.”

As Troy somberly walked out of the room with Kaya’s phone in his hand, Kaya pleaded for her dad to punish her. Those words fell on deaf ears. Kaya knew she was in too deep, and all she could do was prove her dad wrong. No matter how long it took, and how much it hurt, she was going to prove to her dad that he did not let her down.

*********

Lynn was back in his clothes and his face was naked when Troy came into his son's room. The caring mother did a great job at comforting her son but he was still in pain. How Kaya try to coerce Lynn was more serious and damaging than she ever thought and now mom and dad had to clean up the mess.

Alana was the cornerstone for Lynn to start rebuilding his confidence. It was amazing, for Lynn’s mom was worried about her family. She wanted the the rift which was caused by the events of today to close. The matron of the family Stallworth knew that might never come to pass. The worse part of repairing the new status quo was that she had no power in it. Alana could not force Lynn to forgive his sister. Then there was Kaya, what to do about her? Alana could not force her to become a better person. Hell, she doubted that she could even try to show Kaya how to be one by example.

Lynn felt so small when his dad walked in, all he could think of was the look of disappointment on his dad’s face. Lynn let his dad down by no fault of his own. Troy's wife thought that all the hard work she had done was for naught, as tears started to roll down her son’s face again. “Dad, I'm sorry I let you down. I should had fought harder against Rick. I did swat his hands off of me. His punch really hurt, and I did not want to be hit by him again. I know you are disappointed in me, I saw the look on your face.”

Tears now started to go down Troy’s face, his son was hurting from what he thought his father thought of him. “Big Guy, I am proud of you. I know what happened and the disappointment in my face was not about you. My son made me proud. You stood up for yourself to him, and knew when to quit. I also know you were going to stand up again by making sure we knew what happened.

Plus, you are trying to win a trip to the big game for me. I know you think that I am not living my dream life, but I am. Blowing out my knee was the best thing which ever happened to me. If I had not, I would have never met your mom. I would not have my family. I know we are not perfect, and have a huge issue now, but I believe that we can work through it.

My son is becoming a man, and I cannot be more proud of you!”

Only some of those words were true, Troy did not believe that the schism could be repaired by the family. It was all in Kaya’s hands. He did not think that his daughter would be able to withstand how much resistance her peace offerings would receive from Lynn.

Troy also know he had to deal with that outburst Lynn did, but today was not the time. The experience which Lynn just had was extremely traumatic. His son was made to feel powerless by someone he trusted. His son had his fear and insecurities used against him by someone he loved. Thinking of why his son might need professional help made him a frustrated father. It was from Lynn's own flesh and blood, no one, let alone family, should treat someone else that way. Troy also felt powerless, for he could not do anything to help resolve the situation. He did not know if his daughter was just not thinking about her actions, or worse, she was that callous towards others when trying to get what she wanted. One cannot set things right if they do not know what they were trying to fix

As Troy was getting lost in the maze of concerns, he heard a noise which took him to a big clearing. His son had recovered his confidence. That confidence made the dad believe that his son would be able to one day forgive his sister. That his daughter just messed up big time, and she would take responsibility and clean up the mess she made.

Lynn strongly said, “Dad, it is not that I am trying to win a spot in the final four, it is I AM going to. This is for your Big Guy, is the GOAT!”



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