Hero From El Salvador

April 10, 2012
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My name is Nathan. The year is 1983, I live in south central Los Angeles with my grandma and grandpa. Despite where we live, my grandparents are decently wealthy. we live in a two story house with four bedrooms. I’ve only lived with them for about a year now. I’m sixteen and I’m a sophmore at Crenshaw High School. I literally am the only person from El Salvador here. I have no friends here, besides my books from the schools library and the books my mom and dad send me from back home, oh how I missed them, I often feel the guilt of having to leave them to come to the states. But I have a job here though, I have a paper route that gives me very little money and every penny I earn I send to my parents back home. If I’m not working or at school learning, I’m at home reading. I love reading, back in El Salvador there were little amounts of books in english, my teachers helped me read and learn how to spell words and things like that. Everyone of my books are about some sport they have in America called “Football”. When I first found out about it, I thought it was the worst sport god has ever created. I then found out they had a team here, at my school. And that’s how my story starts.

I had been reading about this “Football” for quite sometime now. I actually started to like it, only because I found out that there was contact and hitting in it. I’m not that big but I liked the sound of getting to hit people. I saw flyers hung up on the hallway walls about football. Our team was in the state championship last season but lost apparently . This made me want to play even more but at the same time I didn’t want to devote all of my time on a sport that I might not be good at. There was also going to be a meeting for those who wanted to play tomorrow during lunch. I decided that I would go. The next day during lunch I walked in the room where the meeting was and all the coaches and a lot of other players saw me and looked surprised, I paused for a moment then proceeded to find a spot to sit. Twenty minutes into the meeting the head coach, Coach Thompson was talking about when practices would start, training camps and fees. As soon as I heard him say the word fees, I wanted to cry. Would my grandparents help me cover this stuff?, I thought to myself. After the meeting I thought to myself whether or not I could afford to pay, for the rest of the day. I went home after school and my grandparents told me that my mom called. I sprinted to the phone. I called mom, but I only had 15 minutes though. As soon as she answered I said “Mom, mom I want to play football!”At first she had no clue that that word had even existed, after I explained to her what it is she was happy for me, but then she burst into tears. “What’s wrong mama?”. I asked her. For a little bit there was a pause. “Your dad was killed this morning...”, I clenched my fist. My dad was in the guerillas resistance force. He was a well respected man and always had a sense of justice in him. I asked my mom how he was killed. She said he was ambushed by the military. “Son, be strong, I must go now. I love you, be strong.” She hung up. I put the phone down, I said to myself: I’m going to help Crenshaw High School win a state championship. I went to the living room as saw my grandparents sitting down, “I’m sorry son. if you want to play football. we will cover the expenses.” grandpa said. “Ok, thanks” I said. Grandpa nodded. I cried myself to sleep that night. I was offered to take time off school if I wanted too, but I didn’t want too. I had nothing to lose. The next day, I went to school before classes started. Before I entered the front doors someone from school talked to me, for the first time. “Hey you’re Nathan right?” I looked behind me. I saw a short, but very muscular kid, same age as me. “Yes, I’m Nathan” “I’m Eric” he said, “so you want to play football?” “How did you know” I asked him. “I was sitting right behind you yesterday during the meeting”. “Oh yeah I remember” I laughed. He asked me what position I wanted to play, “I’m not sure, what do you play?” “running back” he said. I knew what that was. He asked me if I could throw. I said, “I don’t know.” H ran back and said, “Quarterback.” I looked at him and said, “I will play Quarterback.”

e took me to the football field and gave me a football, I looked at it, and I thought of dad and of how proud he would have been to see me pursue my dreams. I told Eric to run in front of me down field, he was about 45 yards away. I threw the ball, he ran after it like it were his child. He caught it, ran back and said, “Quarterback.” I looked at him and said, “I will play quarterback.”

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