The Game That Never Fades

December 10, 2008
"Whooomp." The buzzer went off. Halftime was officially over. The score was 30-35, and we were losing. Coming out of the locker room, everyone was exhausted and hope seemed lost. No one was ready for the second half, except for our team rival, the Chapelle Chipmunks. They just happened to be sitting across from us when I reached the huddle; I took a quick glance at the scoreboard, and it still read 30-35. Only a five-point difference, but all the Cubs had given up. Coach realized this because she said the one thing that would get everyone pumped again, “Let’s kick some Chipmunk a**! This basketball game isn’t over!” That’s right, our coach just said “a**;” we were officially ready to get back in the game. The entire team was laughing and ready to play. We were not quitting until the final buzzer sounded. The referee yelled, “White’s ball,” and the second half was on its way.

Two minutes were left to play and the game was now a one-point difference. Both teams were fighting hard to score, knowing that it would lead to the winner of the game. Chapelle had the ball, and I was guarding a stocky, blonde-headed girl with the number three printed on her dark, green jersey. As I defended her, the ball went flying into the air as the Chipmunks made a desperate attempt to score. Lucky for us the ball bounced off the rim and was up for grabs. Of course, the ball came rolling in my direction, so I made the dive to gain possession. Unfortunately for me, number three wanted the ball just as badly as I did and slid straight for me.

Everything went black, and I could not see the hand in front of my face. Lying on the ground, I felt sick and dizzy. All I could remember at that moment was the fact that I needed to be back on offense. Ready to play again, I made the slow attempt to get back on my feet but my head felt like a ton of bricks. The reason for this feeling would be the head on collision with my dear Chipmunk friend number three. I grabbed my forehead hoping to regain focus, but my dizziness seemed to worsen. At that moment, the referee stopped the game, and I could hear my coach yell, “Hold your head up, cover your eye, and PLEASE get off of the court!” Right as I lifted my head, I saw a red stain on my jersey and realized my head was bleeding.

As I was rushed off the court, people were immediately fooling with my head. I could see my parents hovering over the team doctor trying to figure out what had just happened and what needed to be done next. The doctor said, “I’ll patch it for now, but she’ll definitely need stitches.” My mother nodded in agreement while my father was incapable of moving and on the verge of fainting. That’s right the man of the house, Mr. Macho himself, was ready to pass out while my dear mother was ready to dirty her hands up and do whatever was necessary to help (thank God my mom was at the game).

The game had to continue without me, but I was still straining to hear the game go on to see who was winning. Most people stopped watching the game and were now watching their own little version of Grey’s Anatomy down on the bench. I was no longer paying attention to what needed to be done with my head; I already knew I was getting stitches, so what else was there to talk about. The conversation took a slight turn when the team doctor said one remark that gave me new curiosity, “It looks like a clean cut. The only problem is that it’s about two inches and leads straight up to her eyebrow.” My mom responded, “So her eyebrow is in the way?” Of course, I was not ready for the doctor’s answer when he said, “Yep, they might have to shave it.” My parents seemed so indifferent about his answer, but I was in disbelief. I was shocked. This might seem a bit vain, but how could a sixteen-year-old girl possibly walk around with one eyebrow? As the game ended, I walked out to the car with my parents and started begging, “PLEASE make sure I leave the emergency room with two eyebrows and if possible without know how much I hate needles!” Their response to my desperate plea was disappointing because they just laughed. My parents sure do know how to make a bad situation entertaining.

We soon arrived at East Jefferson After Hours Clinic on Veterans Boulevard. I signed in and was immediately taken to a room while my mom filled out paper work and discussed the situation with the doctor. Sitting in silence, I could feel my heart beating out of my chest. Not knowing what was about to happen scared the living daylights out of me. Footsteps were getting closer, and when the door finally opened, my mom and doctor stood in the doorway discussing another option rather than stitches. This new option involved glue, and there was no need to shave my eyebrow. Obviously, my mom had never heard of this technique before because she asked about one-hundred questions to see if it would heal my cut (as if the doctor had no idea what he was doing and in fact, he was really lying and using Elmer’s glue). Nevertheless, it was my decision to make, and clearly I wanted the glue because it was not a needle, and I could leave the room with two eyebrows. After the doctor fixed up my two-inch cut, I resembled a boxer who just left a fight wanting to pull the popular Nelly band-aid look, but I did not care; I was free to leave the clinic and finally go home.

The next day at school, I felt like a celebrity. Throughout the day, I received cookies with a note that read, “I took a beating from a Chapelle skank” from my sister, cards from my friends, and not to mention the stares from every single person walking in the hallways. People I had never seen before approached me and asked me how I was, wanting to hear my story. Since my whole childhood was devoted to basketball, I suppose it is fitting that when I look in the mirror I have a reminder of the last time I played the sport that I love. I now have my own version of a battle scar that takes me back to my last official basketball game.

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