Torn Apart This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   I often referred to it as my "escape" from the complexities that surround the aspiring teenager. My "escape" can simply be described as the game of soccer, but, if it were truly that simple, then it couldn't possibly serve as a way to retreat from the perplexing world. As this sometimes seemingly cruel and demanding world fills my mind with sorrow, stress, and anger, I often called upon my "escape" to pull me through. This allowed me to "cool my jets" avoiding an explosion of anger and thus, allowing my mind to overcome the dreadful thoughts that once controlled my concentration. It was a healthy outlet to drain my inner tensions.

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Playing soccer puts me in a separate world where I can relax, putting aside any troubles. It's a passion I have for touching the ball in which I become so engrossed that every

bit of my concentration is soaked up. I remain enthralled in watching the ball move and react to the many ways it is caressed by my foot. As I fluently glide across an area of land, the ball flows with me, becoming an extension of my foot. The ball belongs to me as I belong to it. As the ball reacts differently to my touch I study it, trying to predict its every turn and spin. The number of possibilities continuously amazes me, keeping my interest in dancing with it.

On this earth I have learned that I sincerely love only a few things: my family, my best friend, and the activity that has absorbed a large portion of my life: soccer. It's a sacred feeling to realize that you have what you love in your life. I subconsciously treasure having all three in my life, never daring to imagine a life without one of them.

One-third of a second in my life was all it took to wipe out one-third of what I loved. Due to my irregular landing from a jump, I completely tore a ligament in my knee in the opening seconds of the season opener. The initial pain was tremendous, the worst pain I have experienced in my short seventeen years. But if I realized the emotional pain I would soon encounter, I would not have noticed this pain.

The freak incident stripped me of what I positively loved. After second and third opinions from doctors, I was running out of hope. I faced surgery, and a painful, strenuous road back through therapy which would last up to a year. Even then my leg might not fully recover.

Now, as I am forced to watch my fellow Grey Ghosts battle the opposing teams without me. I feel an inner sickness from the thought that I may never enjoy the game I love. This sickness travels with me everywhere. It has wiped out much of what I have dreamed about doing since I was a child. Goals I thought I was close to achieving now seem closer to impossible. Reading articles alone on my porch about my team's success fills my eyes with tears, realizing that my achievements may forever be a fantasy.

Although I had treasured what I had in soccer, I also took it for granted. Now that I have lost this love of my life, I understand even more how fortunate one is to have a love. Not a second goes by that I do not have that sickness within me constantly reminding me to appreciate what I love. Being "Torn Apart" from the ability to dance with a soccer ball helps me cherish what I still have left to love with even more intensity, knowing that nothing in this world is definite and forever. c


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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