It’s surprising how bad things can go.
It was a beautiful sunny day. Light shined through the windows onto the indoor tennis court, where I was playing a match with my good friend and biggest tennis rival, Brandon. Brandon was always making my friends and I laugh and always appreciated our jokes, but when he stepped foot on the tennis court, he was all business. He drove me to become a more competitive tennis player whenever I played with him.
The match was exhausting. Everyone’s eyes were glued to the ball as it soared back and forth, back and forth. Brandon was like a brick wall; I could not break his momentum or pierce through his defense. He would not falter.
After two excruciating hours, the match was finally coming to a close. The scores of the previous sets were 7-6, 7-6. He had claimed one and I had claimed the other. Now, we were entering the tiebreaker. The score was 9-8 in my favor, and Brandon was up to serve match-point. Both Brandon and I were drenched with sweat and suffused with grime. I breathed hard, and I noticed the lights in my peripheral vision. I contemplated how the lights seemed to hang lower than usual. Brandon lifted his racket. My senses sharpened as I watched him toss the ball into the air. In the blink of an eye, the ball ricocheted off my racket. My friend dashed forward and slammed the ball down with an overhand shot. I dove for the ball and smashed it back upwards. The impact of the ball against my racket jarred my bones. Tremors ran across my hand. The ball whizzed through the air. The world slowed down as I watched the ball head in the direction of the ceiling. There was a big claaaang as the ball connected with the lights. Suddenly, all the power in the courts winked out. Time froze. I realized I was in big trouble.
The coach raged and charged towards me like a bull. His face was as red as the sky during sunset. His nostrils flared.
“You come here right this minute, mister!” He screamed.
I turned around to run away, but he grabbed a handful of my shirt.
“Get on the line and start running!”
After five two-court suicides and 30 minutes of pure torture sprinting alone in the dark, the lights finally came back on. I jumped with happiness. This was my opportunity to escape! Before my coach could say anything, I rushed out the door. I hopped into the passenger seat of my getaway car, and I laughed as I sped away from the tennis courts.
All in all, ladies, gentlemen, kids, adults, teenagers, or whatever you are-- always remember that it’s okay to make mistakes, and don’t forget the getaway car.