Failed Triumph

October 13, 2017
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Most people think of going outside on a hot day. Throw a ball around, take your dog for a walk, and hey maybe if your mom will let you, you can go in the pool or hang out with your friends. Not me. The feel of the pages in a book can satisfy my heat. Watching the words go by on my computer screen can make me happier than any friend could. Dropping the pencil after writing a chapter gives me the refreshing feeling as if you just jumped in a freezing cold pool. But, not the freezing you can’t stand. It was the freezing you get when you're in shock. After shock. The shock you’d get after receiving a bullet between the ribs. Shock that fades away after you get that slight heating pain after each breath. That changes into bitter cold as your eyes start to close from losing more liquid than the body can handle. Just after getting that small taste of salt in your mouth as if you have just sucked on a warm penny but still can't stop yourself from drowning in the pool of blood you were swimming in.  Or in my case the frozen moment when embassament takes over. I had to try out for softball. I would rather die then throw around a ball that I can’t even catch. But no, my dad sees this opportunity to make more friends! Get myself out there! I see it as a great way to ruin my childhood. Don’t get me wrong I love sports! I use to be on the track team and can run really fast but when it comes to coordinations and anything with a ball, i'm not your girl.

         

BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! 6:00 a.m. Tryouts are at 7. Here we go. I get up get changed into leggings and a t-shirt, grab my softball bag and head downstairs for breakfast. I wasn't really hungry but my mom said have to eat so I grabbed a granola bar. I continue to make my way into the living room. It was quiet. Me and my mom were the only ones up considering it was still really early. I feel my leg start to feel warm. I look down and see my cat Maddie.


“Hey Maddie” I pick her up and put her on the couch where I was sitting. She lets out a small weak meow when getting set down. She was still just a baby so she couldn't make that much noise or do certain things on her own. So I had to help her sometimes. Most of the time. All the time. Which was fine with me. I love feeding her hunger of attention. It's actually quite enjoyable. She’s the only thing in this crazy world I have patience for. Most people on this earth make me agitated or just plain annoyed.


“Erin it's time to leave” my mom calls from the kitchen just loud enough for me to hear. The clock read 6:45. I finish taking in maddie's bright yellow eyes and place her on the ground in her bed because if I left her on the couch she would definitely be coming down with a broken paw. “Wish me luck maddie!” I say to her as she starts to close her white lids and drift off to sleep.

     

My heart started to beat as loud as a loose bolt on a trampoline. I was so nervous, I didn't want to go even if I did have a chance of making it. Which I didn't. 1,000,000 people were going and I had no clue what we were going to do. It’s not like a test where you study a little and hope it's multiple choice. It’s an area where you pray you don’t get hit.

       

We arrived at the fieldhouse already 3 minutes late. Great first impression Erin. I run to the door and take a look back at my mom as she drives away.


“Please come back” I mutter to myself watching her zoom out of the parking lot. I walk in and see the field house was empty until I heard yelling.
“LET'S GO MADISON” and “PICK UP THE PACE RILEY!” .My heart stops. They started warm ups. I can’t walk in there with everyone else  doing something and me not even unpacked yet. I had to think of something fast as I start to hear the squeaking wheels of a janitor's cart. Squeakkkkk Squeak Squeakkkkk Squeak my ears cringe at the sound. But I cringe harder at the thought of being caught,I quickly grab my things that I had placed on the ground and threw them in a tight corner that me myself couldn't even fit in. My heart was racing, It’s either work up the courage to go in the room and most likely get hit with a ball with an impact of 30mph or face the janitor. Well you only live once. I bust open the doors and not only get trampled by 4,000,000 kids but I notice that I know nearly everyone there. I mean sure I don’t know all of them personally but I do know there names. “Hey this may not be that bad” I say to myself as I start to make eye contact with the coach. It was a female with brown eyes and long dirty blonde hair mostly brown put in a ponytail. She was tall, well built, and very pretty. While wearing a pink hoodie with gray sweatpants. She seems nice I thought until I feel a tap on my shoulder
“She is colder than ice” a girl I recognize from my spanish class last year says to me.
“Her heart is as black as a moon hidden in the night sky” another girl I recognize says walking over to where she must have placed her bag.

 

“She can’t be that bad…” I get cut off by the coach making an announcement. Please don’t be about me” I think. Please don’t be about-...


“You're late” she says as everyone starts to turn there head to face, yep you guessed it me. Great.


“Ya I know i'm sorry” I say holding my arm close to my side. She takes in a breath and sighs.


“Don’t let it happen again” she says softly looking down and check marking a red “X” under what looks like my name on her clipboard, “let’s get to batting” she says putting down her clipboard on the desk near her waiting for everyone to grab their bats and helmets. I go to the place I put my bag and realize I forgot my bat. Wonderful. Just wonderful.


                                     *************
 

I jog back over to where the girls were and pull the coach to the side. She puts her hand on her hip, “what's up?” I start to get butterflies in my stomach. What if she gets mad? “Well um I forgot-” “You forgot your bat?” she questioned not affected. I nod. “Do you know anyone who would let you borrow theirs” she replied with a sigh and after taking quite some time to think. I run over to megan with her watching my every move.


“Hey Megan” I look back at the coach. Still watching.

“Can I borrow your bat?” I asked quite antsy not wanting to make the coach annoyed.

“Ya of course” she replied with a nice tone as always.

“Thank you so much!” I thank her and start to run off to the coach.

“Wait erin!” I jolt around and nod to question her.

“Use the small pink one” she yells back.

“Got it thanks.”
                                        *****************
      

I get over to the coach and tell her Megan said its ok to use hers. “Great” she says and tells me to get ready.
“Wait i’m batting first?!” I say shocked and terrified at the same time. She nods ands walk over to the group. Breathe erin breathe.
“OK GIRLS WE WILL BE DOING SATIONS ONCE YOU FINISH BATTING MOVE TO THE BACK TO PRACTICE THROWING, GOT IT?” “YES!” everyone answers except me because I was too busy thinking about the consequences if I miss the ball.
“Got it?” she looks at me and waits for a reply.

“Ya” I say clinging onto my finger with my teeth resembling the last bit of hope I may have left. I step up to the small white padding they used as a base and clenched on to the small pink bat megan let me borrow. Anna from art last year was pitching, she is really good at softball and volleyball. Yet again now that I think about it she was great at every sport. Anna was friends with a lot of people and always talked in art but  still got average grades, maybe even better. My train of thought chugs away as the softball hit the padded tile with a loud thud .


“PAY ATTENTION!” I was about to say sorry but anna said “there aren't any sorrys in sports” out of the blue. Anna got in her stance and so did I. Here goes nothing. I decide to count. If it was over 2 seconds  I missed it. I had 2 shots. She pitched it. 1...2...3..I swung, missed it. Everyone was staring. She pitched again. 1...2..3 I swung and missed. Again. I was done. “SWITCH” the coach yelled. I run over to the station 2 and there's already a group there. I see one of my best friends ashley and run over to where see is. “Hey ash!” I yell to her while giving her a quick hug. “Hey erin goose!’ we laugh at my stupid yet catchy nickname. “What's this group I ask?” confused as all I see is balls everywhere. “Oh we just have to pick these up” she replied with a grin. “Oh ok” I say and start picking them up while humming a old Big Time Rush song.


About 30 minutes passed and we were at the 3rd out of the 4 stations that were back there. Everything was going good so far except I was starting to feel sick as in worried sick and my catching was becoming off. Ashley and I had gotten split up in the 2nd sation and I don’t know where she is now but it's not that big of a back so she probably didn’t go far. I hope we are going to be in the last station together because I was starting to feel nervous. But I couldn't tell why. The worst part was already over.


“SWITCH” I hear the coach call from the other side and then see ashley running to the 4th station. I go over to meet her there but she stops me.

     

“No Erin you're with that girl” I now know why I was nervous. My stomach starts to feel weird as I go up and greet the girl. This was actually someone I didn't know but I have seen her around the school a lot. “Hi i’m- she cuts me off. “Let's get started” I can already tell this is going to be bad. She hands me the ball and I throw it to her and she catches it. “Good job” I say. She shrugs. Ok then. When she threw it to me and almost got knocked off my feet. I threw it she catched it. She threw it I almost fell. It was just a repeat of that cycle until she picked up the pace and I almost got hit.


“Hey can you slow down a bit” I say mid throw, voice shaking from fear of getting hit. She doesn't take mid of what I said and just keeps going still fast pace and getting faster. I don’t think of getting the teacher until I feel a hot liquid pouring down my nose into my mouth. I got hit. I see a burly vision of Ashley running to me as my eyes start to shut. My mind goes away as I start to think random thoughts.  Ashley jolts me up.  I can see she is flustered at what happened and continues to run over to grab the advisor watching us practice dragging me with her. I look at my hands trying desperately to stay awake and start focusing on the blood on my hand. It was so red, almost black. So thick almost a solid. I notice my tears slip into the pool on my hand. It becomes lighter. More enjoyable to look at. I smile and start to feel dizzy. I hear yelling and a small echo, it was the coach and everyone huddling around me. The coach grabs my arm and takes me to the bathroom. Dots of blood lead the way as I wipe my nose. She opens the door starts the water and starts to hand me some paper towels. A lot of paper towels. I look in the mirror and see my bloody, terribly muggy reflection. I had a blueish purple ring under my left eye and a swelling nose which was gushing blood. Looks like I got hit right between the eyebrows on the start of my nose right on the bone even though my vision was more than blurry.. I feel like i'm going to pass out as I start to break down crying. 


“I’m sorry”  The coach looks at me disgusted.
“For what?!” she practically yells.

“You did nothing wrong, your hurt and we're helping you” she says sympathetically putting here hand on my shoulder. My nose hurt so bad so her words went in one ear and out the other. I look in the mirror take in what happen, stop crying, and just take a minute to say sorry to myself.


“I'm sorry for putting you through this” I pause looking at my black sneakers scuffed up from running.
“I'm sorry that when I knew I wasn’t able for this I still went through with it, and i'm extra sorry for making you uglier than you already are” I laugh at my self mockery. The coach just smiled at my acceptance of pain and got her phone out so I could call my dad. I couldn't touch her phone considering my hands were covered in blood so I just gave her his phone number and she called him.


“Hi yes a have your daughter here and it looks like she got hit and may have broken her nose” she says to my dad and counties the conversation in the open room. I walk out of the bathroom with her with a white towel now soaked in red on my nose looking around at the faces people were giving me. It was pretty entertaining. I wanted to laugh so bad but my nose was in a lot of pain I Also wanted to cry even though I promised myself to stop.
The coach gets off the phone with my dad and walks over to me. “He is going to come pick you up and bring you to the hospital, looks like you may have broke it” she says filling me in. She walks me over to the corner by everyone's bags, hands me ice to put on my head and places a towel over my head so I couldn't’ see anything.
“Hey!” I call out looking left. Little did I know she was on the right side of the fieldhouse  walking away. Great now I just look like a complete idiot.

 

“Keep it on!” she calls to me. I just sit there looking at the white of the towel that was over my head until I hear a lot of voices all within the line of “are you ok?”. I answer with ‘i'm fine” even though the pain of my nose felt like I was going to die. My nose felt like a thousand hammers were just thrown at my head. I hear the door shut and knew it was my dad because I heard someone say “where is she?”. Hi dad I say looking at half towel half floor. “Let's go” he says “off to the hospital”. I reply with a simple “ok” as we head out into the hallway and off to the car.

     

My dad called my mom told her what happen. She was worried but he reassured her it was gonna be fine. We make it to the hospital and they scheduled us in right away. Due to the fact that my nose was turning into niagara falls all over there white tile. “Oops sorry” I thought in my head with a small chuckle. Me and my dad sit in the room waiting for my doctor when I start to examine the walls. They were covered in colorful fish. Big and small. Spiky and thin. So calm, so quiet. Until the doctor came I for x-rays she was loud and obnoxious. I already had a headache lady. How would you like it if I hit you with a hammer 500 times between the eyebrows? Anyway, she finishes the x-rays and confirms I have a broken nose, great. I already have a big nose now it's bigger. Just amazing. Hey at least I get to miss a few days of school!  We said our goodbyes and checked out. My dad called my mom and the coach and tell them what the doctor said. I just looked out the window and tried to sleep. As I close my heavy lids to have a heavy sleep and thought jolts me up but only 2 words come out.


“MEGAN’S BAT!”






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