Round 1 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

September 15, 2009
I fear this moment will be my last. I am all alone. Everyone has vanished. It’s just me. I can hear my heart pounding in my chest. At any moment I am sure I will throw it up. I have waited for this moment. I have feared it. It has come like a roaring train, picking up speed as it approaches. It’s here now, and I can get on or let it pass me by.

I tell them my name. They hand me a red anklet. I drop to my knees to put it on. In the back of my head, fear is growing. At the same time, a wave of excitement overcomes me. Nothing in my life compares to this.

I count my footsteps as I walk to the mat; they feel like my last. My eyes meet his. He is just like me. He has prepared for this ­moment. I study the blank expression on his face; I know behind it lies fear – a fear I will bring to the surface.

“Are you ready?” the ref asks. I nod, trying hard to conceal my fear.

When my opponent shakes his head, I know it’s about to begin. The whistle blows. My heart skips a beat. It’s on.

I study his footsteps. Each is carefully placed. As I shift direction, he makes a mistake. I pounce on it and sweep up his leg. I drive as hard as I can, and hold onto that leg like it’s a million dollars.

We both hit the mat hard; I’m on top. He crawls away fast, but I hold on tight. I’m not about to let him slip away. My hand is squeezing his head and ankle. I push with all my might – so hard my body aches.

Now it’s all over. He is rolled on his back like a dead roach. I keep him down with all my strength. I can feel the blood rushing through my body, from my head to my toes. I hear the count: 1 … 2 … 3 ….

Finally, after what seems an eternity, his hand hits the mat.

I stand and look into his eyes. I can see the tears he is trying to hold back. He has come all this way and I have ended his dream. I can’t hold back my smile. My hand is raised; I am on top of the world. I have just won the first round in the state wrestling meet.

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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mcelronej said...
Oct. 8, 2009 at 8:45 pm
I really enjoyed reading this article, because it kept me interested from beggining to end. You did a good job by making the reader guess about what your topic was until around the third paragraph. I just kept guessing and it kept me interested to read more and find out, and when i did find out the description you used kept me interested the rest the way, how you described the fight. This was a well-written article about your fight. keep it up.
asdfadsf said...
Sept. 29, 2009 at 1:26 pm
this was a very well written piece. i loved the description in it.
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