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The Twin Wins
Colin opened his eyes, his pupils adjusting to the new world. Blurs of red, blue and green swirled around him. Face tasting the dirt, he tried to sit up. The swirls turned into people. The now worried face of his mother popped into view. Colin could feel his chest breathing heavily. Memories eluding him, he managed a weak “Where am I?” There was no response, only the pounding of blood in his hears. Eventually, the soft whispers turned into voices, one of which was his mother.
“Colin, Colin! Are you alright?” his mom repeated worriedly. Her eyes were red. She had been crying before. Colin sat up and everything came into place. The linebacker on the Manchester Knights was the last thing Colin saw before the shoulder collided at full speed into his helmet. Sweat falling down his face, Colin stood up, but just fell down once more.
“Ugh,” Colin groaned, head aching. The Orangeville Predators had only one game left in their regular season before the Round of 8 playoffs, then the Final Four, and then the Finals. Every single team in Delaware wanted to play on the team that goes to the Finals at the MetLife Stadium. For the past three years, the Memorial Scorpions had won the Finals easily, winning by 20 points or more each time. Their coach, Cody Sinner would stop at nothing to win, even cut his own son from his team. Colin’s team, the Predators, was beating the Manchester Knights by a field goal. Unfortunately, with their star running back out, the Predators were down by four points, for the Knights had just scored a touchdown. Colin looked at the score, and then blacked out again.
“Colin, Colin, are you alright? You passed out again!” Colin’s mother cried out, afraid that her son was permanently damaged. Colin didn’t wake up. His breathing was uneven and stressed. Colin’s mother cried, tears streaming. The doctor walked out, face as cold as ice. There was no good news to be spoken.
“Your son Colin is in a trauma coma. There is no sign of if and when he will come out. He is alive, but barely. His head is swelling far faster than we imagined. He will not be able to play for the rest of this season,” the doctor said flatly. As the words left the doctor’s mouth, Colin’s mother burst into tears.
“Who will take his place?” the coach asked, obviously worried about his team’s success. “We have nobody else who tried out, and all of the kids have no siblings at the right age!” he continued.
“Get a grip! My boy is in a coma and you should stop worrying about your stupid team!” Colin’s mom shouted, startling everyone and made some bystanders turn their head around. Colin’s brother, Jeff, stared his brother that shared his face. Colin and Jeff were identical twins. They were absolutely identical except for one thing. Colin played sports, Jeff didn’t. Colin would never show off, but Jeff always longed for the skills he possessed in everything he did. Jeff was the smart one and Colin was the athletic one. It was so strange that two as close as any person could be, would have so different qualities. Jeff just stared at Colin’s lifeless body. With the championship game the very next day, Jeff knew what he had to do. He was the only one that fit the needs.
With Colin safe in a hospital bed, Mrs. White checked how the fit of Colin’s uniform was on Jeff. Jeff felt the jersey. Where there used to be lean muscle was skinny bone. The jersey was barely fitting. Jeff did twenty pushups that day, trying to be prepared for the game, although he knew it couldn’t happen overnight. Jeff breathed heavily, begging his body not to fail him, but he collapsed at twenty without a breath to spare.
The next day, everyone was in their uniforms, ready to play. Luckily, the Orangeville Predators had won their playoff game the other day, with a field goal in overtime. Jeff breathed out, relaxing, and then walked onto the field. The other team, the National Skybreakers, were undefeated, their running back the best in the league. With a record of 11-0, the Skybreakers were a force to be reckoned with. The Skybreakers, with light blue uniforms, ran out onto the field and started their pregame warm-ups. Jeff looked at his thin arms and couldn’t believe the raw muscle of the other team. It seemed like every possible place for fat was replaced with pure power. One kid looked like he was on steroids. The game started with a blow of the whistle. The Eastern Region Championship had begun.
The game started off with Jeff, never playing before, fumbling the ball and giving the Skybreakers position on the Predators 20 yard line. Jeff got so depressed; he asked the coach if he could be taken out. Jeff, never experiencing failure in sports, got down after the first play.
“Coach, come on, I’m terrible, let Johnny play,” Jeff pleaded, knowing how much better Johnny was. There was eight minutes left in the quarter, and coach was not going to give up this early.
“Get a hold of yourself Jeff! You are as close to Colin as any other person can ever be. You are basically one. Now get out there and cut the attitude!” Coach yelled, both annoyed and encouraging at the same time. Jeff wondered how coaches in the NFL or colleges can be so motivational and seem angry at the same time. Now he knew what it felt like, and Jeff was sure that he was not going to let his coach down.
The game went on. Jeff still played worse than Colin, but he managed to hand it off to the running back, Sam, for a touchdown. Now the score was 21-17, as the kicker, Michael, had scored a field goal for three points in the first quarter. At the end of the half, the score stood the same, but the confidence in Jeff had increased dramatically. Jeff called hike with passion, and made sure that every pass count. With 30 seconds to play, it was all or nothing.
“Let’s go guys; we still got some game left,” Jeff said, “any ideas for a play?” Jeff knew that the coach had tried everything, and nothing else would penetrate the unstoppable defense of the Skybreakers. Jeff remembered a trick play Colin and Jeff had done before. It was the one play Jeff loved, because he got to throw the ball, but that was before. Before he became the quarterback. It was the “flea flicker’. Just like in their backyard, Jeff called it. The team formed their positions. Jeff closed his eyes.
“Hike!” he called, stepping back as he said so. He tossed the ball to Johnny, who took the place as running back instead of his normal quarterback slot. Johnny had to come off the bench. Fortunately, Johnny looked like a running back, so nothing was suspected. Jeff took a deep breath and tossed the ball right into Johnny’s arms. He watched as Johnny threw the ball. He threw it right into the hands. Too bad the hands were of the other team’s safety. Hope was a bubble bursting. Jeff ran after the ball half-heartedly. Before he knew it, the safety of the other team, a broad shouldered wall of a kid, was charging into Jeff’s face. Jeff tried to tackle him. He saw a flash of light blue, and then everything went black.
“Jeff, Jeff! Jeff! Wake up!” a voice said. Jeff groaned. He was on the ground face first. Slowly, he got up.
“What happened?” Jeff asked, and fell down again. He knew his mom must be going insane with worry. Two sons hurt in a week. “Did we win?” he questioned.
He saw his whole team in front of him, saying “Yes!” He asked how, still groaning with pain.
“You stripped the ball from that big safety, and I picked it up. I ran to the touchdown right before the clock ended!” Johnny said. He was holding the golden trophy of the championship. It had three tiers with a giant football on top. Jeff turned around and gasped. There was his brother, Colin. He was out of his coma.
“Nice job champ,” Colin said.
“Thanks,” Jeff replied, shocked. The moment couldn’t have been more perfect. It was time for them to celebrate. Jeff would never forget that instant. Everything was perfect. Now he, Jeff, was the hero. No one would ever be able to tell him otherwise.