Paper Football MAG

June 8, 2010
By StevenG SILVER, Wexford, Pennsylvania
StevenG SILVER, Wexford, Pennsylvania
9 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The distance between insanity and genius is measured only by success..." - Bruce Feirstein


The thing of it is, it didn't happen like in the movies. It wasn't a dark and stormy night; it didn't happen in the middle of a deserted woods where no one could hear you scream. It was a balmy Carolina day, and we were in Tim's backyard. Tim's mom had just brought us a pitcher of lemonade and some sliced apples. She always was one for eating healthy. A regular kid would have asked for chips or corn dogs, but Tim's mom always brought sliced apples. The air was spiced with a mixture of pollen and the fertilizer Tim's dad had just laid in the garden by the compost pile. Just a balmy Carolina day in a balmy Carolina summer.

But any trace of the temperate weather is lost in this stuffy air. It's cold in here. I think somebody left the A/C on too high. And the inside of a church can be pretty vast; body heat dissipates quickly. I learned that in physics. I sat next to Tim.

It seems like the entire planet is silent at this moment. Nowhere in the world are there kids playing backyard football, or middle-aged husbands sitting on the couch drinking beer. Nope, everyone on Earth is here in this aisle with me, watching as I walk between the pews with the tiny slip of paper clutched in my white-knuckled hand. I never realized how difficult it is to sum up life in a few words. And everyone's eyes are on me right now – especially Tim's mom's.

I used to have a crush on her, and she knew it, I think. She always thought I was such a nice kid – and I really was. In my youth I was shy around her; I think that's what tipped her off about my secret crush. Of course, that was back when we were kids, when we were innocent. Back in those balmy Carolina summers, filled with balmy Carolina days. I don't think I can have another one. Not anymore.

I can see his dad, too. He's really into gardening, but don't make anything of it or you'll be in for a fight – he's one tough SOB when it suits him. He was a linebacker in high school, and ate like one long after college. His robust corpulence looks out of place next to his frail, bird-like wife. But the look on his face is unmistakable, and his arms are crossed. He used to like me too. He was the one who taught me how to throw a pass, after my dad left when I was three. Pretty much took me in. I was as much his son as Tim. But that was back in those balmy Carolina summers.

I approach the altar. The smooth, curved wood of the casket is beautiful. I've always thought of it as an art, casket-making. Course it would take guts to do – spend all your time and effort crafting beautiful boxes, only to have someone bury them under hundreds of pounds of dirt and worms. I wouldn't be able to do it. Takes guts.

I put the tiny paper on Tim's folded hands. The cliché says the dead always look like they're sleeping, and I'd be hard pressed to find a better truth. Guess it's a cliché for a reason.

I swallow hard as I turn. The entire congregation is on its feet, watching me silently. Judging me. They don't know anything. We just wanted to have a good time. It was a balmy Carolina summer.

It's difficult to sum up life in a few words, but I managed it in seven. And on that small scrap of college-rule torn from my binder, folded into our eternal pastime of paper football, were those words.

“I really didn't know it was loaded.”


The author's comments:
The thing of it is, it didn't happen like it does in the movies...

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This article has 10 comments.


on Jan. 20 2013 at 3:36 pm
In_Love_with_Writing GOLD, Easton, Pennsylvania
12 articles 0 photos 389 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Phillipians 4:13

Nice. Very very powerful and deep. This was a very well-written piece that I'm sure you're proud of. Good job :) Can you comment and rate some of my work? You honestly don't realize how much it would mean to me.

on Feb. 1 2012 at 8:30 pm
M.A.Author BRONZE, Rolla, Missouri
4 articles 0 photos 4 comments

Favorite Quote:
"You keep using that word. I don't think it means what you think it means." -- Inigo Montoya

"...Ideas are bulletproof." -- V

"Adventures make one late for dinner." -- Bilbo Baggins

I liked this one. Sad, but very well written. I liked the repetition of certain phrases, I think it worked well here. And I liked how you built everything up before finally revealing exactly what was going on, and what had happened.

on Feb. 1 2012 at 5:27 am
IrritableTree BRONZE, Evans, Georgia
2 articles 0 photos 6 comments

Favorite Quote:
The past is a ghost, the future a dream, and all we ever have is now. --Bill Cosby

whoops, though it only posted once.

on Feb. 1 2012 at 5:26 am
IrritableTree BRONZE, Evans, Georgia
2 articles 0 photos 6 comments

Favorite Quote:
The past is a ghost, the future a dream, and all we ever have is now. --Bill Cosby

This is such a powerful piece! You did an amazing job.

on Feb. 1 2012 at 5:25 am
IrritableTree BRONZE, Evans, Georgia
2 articles 0 photos 6 comments

Favorite Quote:
The past is a ghost, the future a dream, and all we ever have is now. --Bill Cosby

This story was so tragic and powerful, really great job!

on Mar. 15 2011 at 9:06 pm
SplashOfImaginatiion BRONZE, Brooklyn, New York
2 articles 0 photos 4 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Just a reminder to all of you...we're all the same.
No matter what someone may think or what your opinion is, or what someone else's opinion is of you... We are all equal, we all cry, we all bleed, we all get lost sometimes, we all wish we were someone else, wish we could be somewhere else and dream of the perfect life.
The role of a human is to go day by day to make a better life for themself to acheive their goals and make their dreams come true. So I accept each and every one of you out there. NO MATTER WHO OR WHAT YOU ARE."
-Drew Ryan Scott

...

This was a great story! :) I liked the ending the most. It was just... kind of surprising, I guess? AMAZING ENDING<3

on Mar. 9 2011 at 10:27 am
Parantan BRONZE, Mars, Pennsylvania
2 articles 0 photos 20 comments

Favorite Quote:
Giving up doesn't always mean you are weak; sometimes it means that you are strong enough to let go.

It's so sad that these kind of things actually happen nowadays. I think you wrote this perfectly, which is probably why it was published. I was so suprised (I know it was obvious, but I hadn't guessed it yet) when the note said, "I really didn't know it was loaded." it was like a millisecond of blankness and then my brain took off.

Great story!


on Mar. 8 2011 at 7:55 am
Auburn-Morrow PLATINUM, Canton, Georgia
22 articles 0 photos 19 comments

Favorite Quote:
Life Takes its toll, please have exact change.

sorry, I forgot to put "time," "the entire time..." Fail.

on Mar. 8 2011 at 7:53 am
Auburn-Morrow PLATINUM, Canton, Georgia
22 articles 0 photos 19 comments

Favorite Quote:
Life Takes its toll, please have exact change.

Wow, I was so in-tune and interested the entire. It's so fluid and crazy easy to read. It's so sad but still very great. Thank you.

on Mar. 5 2011 at 8:32 pm
lovelycheese GOLD, Cupertino, California
11 articles 0 photos 136 comments

Favorite Quote:
"If you have something to do, then do it. You can't get wasted time back." ~Ben Carson.

Wow... This is really deep and intriguing. The last sentence sums the whole thing so tragically and so beautifully. I love this, keep writing.




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