Focus On a Cloud

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“I need to find my focus, I have to fight for this last game”, Becca murmured to herself as she sunk into her seat in deep thought. As she occupied the last seat on the bus, alone, she rested her head against the window of the shaking vehicle. She looked towards the front of the bus and all she saw were her team mates, each sitting alone, starring off into space as they mentally prepared themselves for this game. Her coach stood up, “find your place and start preparing your game now”, he spoke his reoccurring words, “where are we, what time is it?” “HERE, NOW” the team chanted back. It was right after the sound of those words that Becca faded from “here” as her attention was drawn outside the window. “Man I could really use a wish right now” she thought as she spotted a cloud in the sky. Becca focused in on this cloud, she tilter her head, squinted and took a nice long stare. As if it were some work of magic, the cloud slowly shifted into a figure that eventually grew to resemble a trophy. Becca pulled back in a state of surprise, not quite sure what had just happened. “Am I crazy or did that cloud actually just change its shape entirely?” Becca whispered to herself. She pressed her face against the window to re assess the situation, but this time she didn’t even need to squint to see the cloud clearly. There it was, opaque as a cloud could be with the image of a trophy that couldn’t be clearer. “I must be thinking too hard, it’s nothing” Becca reassured herself as she pushed her headphones back in her ears and turn the volume up to max. She sank back into the leather box; the bus company called a seat, and tried to relax. She closed her eyes and tried to imagine herself in the game, but she quickly found herself coming back to the image of the cloud. “Why a trophy?” she asked herself, as if she thought someone would answer. Click, she shuffled to the next song on her playlist in hopes to find her focus again. Becca still found herself recreating the image of the cloud in her head, this time she gave in. She focused in real close on the cloud and examined the figure of the trophy. She followed the curves of its handles and stroked the belly of the cup as if it were a Buddha. Her eyes became her hands as they felt the shiny metal glisten in the sun. The sound of a whistle woke her from this focus, but when she opened her eyes, it was not the back of a leather seat she found, but back of a fellow team mate. She didn’t recognize the jersey her team mate was wearing at first, until she looked down and realized she was wearing the same one. It was her first soccer jersey she had ever owned. Becca finally looked up to see that everyone around her was not much taller than 4 feet. In somewhat of a panic Becca spun her head around to try and understand where she was. To the left she spotted her family alongside many others, sitting in their lawn chairs waving. To the right she saw her best friend’s father, standing next to a group of girls wearing the same jersey as she was. Next to, who she assumed were her fellow team mates, Becca noticed a table supporting an arrangement of curvy, shiny metal trophies. Becca finally realized where she was. An avalanche of emotions rushed back to her as she understood the meaning of those trophies. She felt the aching desire to receive a trophy. She felt the extreme excitement as her team stood to her side and cheered their team name, “Go Strikers!” All of the sudden Becca lost all sense of reality and fell into the role of her five year old self. Her coach patted her on the head and told her she would be playing defense today. With so much excitement under her feet, Becca shot out there like a frightened horse. She looked around the field and found comfort in her friends faces as they all too were anxiously grinning. “Our team has to win, we have to. I need that trophy!” Becca iterated to herself as the ref got ready to blow his whistle. She had never felt so energetic and eager to play soccer in her life; she felt no need to impress anyone but herself. She knew that if her team won they would take home a trophy. She was ready for her trophy. She could hear her family cheering her on, “BECCA! BECCA! BECCA!” in fact that is all she heard. The ref blew his whistle but its sound grew faint. “BECCA! BECCA!” repeated in her head, but this time it was followed by, “Wake up!” Becca opened her eyes to the back of the seat this time. She was back to reality; everyone had risen from their seat and was beginning to exit the bus. In somewhat of a fluster Becca reached the bus door. As she exited the bus and stepped out onto the grass, she looked up in the sky and found her trophy shaped cloud hovering over her. Her coach came up from behind and patted her on the head. “Are you ready?” he asked. “More than ever coach!” she replied as she spotted the curvy, shiny metal WIAA Girl’s Soccer State Champions trophy sitting on the official’s table.





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