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I grabbed a breakfast bar, yelled goodbye to my mom and older brother Jason, and ran out the front door, slamming it behind me. Jason of course was too cool for the bus. I jogged to the bus stop and got there just as the big yellow bus was coming around the corner. I plopped down in a seat next to my best friend Erin and reviewed my science homework. Sliding into my homeroom just before Mrs. Margella closed the door, I sat in my normal front row seat as my last name, Bradley was called for attendance. “I think the devil teachers like to watch me,” I whispered to Abby, who sits behind me.
“How do you know?”
“Because I sit front and center in every one of my classes,” I answered. But on the bright side, homeroom was probably the best part of the day. I was soon startled by the principal, Mr. Carlson shouting over the loud speaker.
“Good Morning Brewster Bears! It’s a beautiful day! Don’t forget about drama rehearsals from 3-4 in the auditorium. Also, a reminder that soccer try outs are next Wednesday after school. Results will be posted on Friday. Have nice day!”
“Wednesday?! Today was Thursday. Only a week to prepare, but I can do it!” Then
Abby leaned in and said,
“Hey Maggie, can u come over today? I have a killer lab report I need help with.”
“As tempting as that is, I have plans. Sorry,” I said.
So I rushed home after school and started running, then sprinting around my house. After an hour and a half, I went up to my room and got out my diary.
Dear diary, I have been training so hard for soccer tryouts next Wednesday. I just hope I make it. Love, Maggie
The weekend came and went quickly, and before I knew it, Wednesday had come. As soon as the last bell rang, I quickly changed clothes and power walked out to the field. I was disappointed, that the coach was Mr. Berkovitch. (Also known as Mr. Berkowitch) No biggie, he was just the toughest person who ever walked the Earth! But all I could do now was try my best. I thought I did well during the fitness part of the test, but completely flopped the dribbling and the passing. My absolute favorite part was the game. With my caramel brown hair swaying in my pony tail, and my emerald eyes focused on the ball, I scored three times. When Mr. Berkovitch blew his whistle, I left the field feeling extraordinary.
Thursday was a drag. I had to listen to everyone talking about try outs and how they couldn’t wait until the next day. Secretly, I couldn’t wait either. The next day came, slow as a snail, but it came. By third period, people could barely stay in their seats.
When the lunch bell rang, I ran into the cafeteria, almost trampled by all the other screaming girls. What seemed like hundreds of people were cluttered around the bulletin board. This could only mean one thing, the results were in. This is the moment that holds my future. “After all this time and hard work, I deserve this. I deserve to be on the team.” I thought. With wiggly legs and sweaty palms, I pushed through the crowd and stopped in front of the list. Everyone was staring at me, I didn’t know why. Small giggles escaped from the crowd. I was pretty sure some of them came from Jason and even one from Erin and Abby. I scanned the list many times. When I spotted Margaret Bradley at the bottom of the list, I followed it across the paper to where it read . . . . . team mascot. It can’t be. It just can’t! “I will now be known as Brewster Middle school’s very own Billy the Bear,” I thought. And that was it; my life had officially gone down the toilet. That evening, after I had trudged home from school I was lying on my bed writing in my diary.
Dear Diary, It’s me again. I’m talking to you because no one can talk to me without laughing. I didn’t make the team and I’m never going to show my face in school again. Love, Maggie (a.k.a. Billy the Bear.)
Then I heard Jason knock on the door. “Go away, I’m never coming out!” But he walked in anyway.
“Hey, sorry I laughed at you today. You know, being Billy the Bear isn’t all that bad.” He tried to keep a straight face but I knew he was cracking up inside.
“Yes it is. Have you ever heard of the school’s popular queen dressed up in a bear suit?”
“Well, you may not be popular, anymore but you can be a proud supporter of your school.” Jason answered. “It doesn’t matter what your friends think. You should be the better person by being a positive mascot! Only you can decide if you want to happy about this or not.” All I could do was sit there in astonishment. When has my brother ever given me words of wisdom, let alone and inspiring speech?! This made me think. Maybe Jason was right. I guess I did kind of overreact. I got out my journal and crossed out the last entry. I replaced it with another one.
Dear diary, I may have only made team mascot……. but this is my life, and I’m going to make the best of it. And so the next week, I went to the first soccer game. I cheered my hardest and my friends laughed at me, but it didn’t matter what my friends thought of me because real friends wouldn’t care. I guess Jason is a special person inside of me. It only mattered what I thought of myself, and I felt pretty spectacular!