Game! by Martha Murphy, Scituate, MAThe bell rings and I quickly run out of Mr. Morley's Biology class and into the high school parking lot. I sprint past the smokers lingering in the lot and dash by the skateboarders on my way to my brother's car. Hurriedly, I open the back door and grab my field hockey stick and uniform. My adrenaline is pumping. As I rush into the girl's locker room, I realize that I must be beaming. When someone yells out, "Hey, why are you so happy?" I quickly reply, "I have a game."Finding my usual dressing room, I slip into my uniform. Anxiously, I search for others and together we hustle to the vending machine on our way to the bus. With back packs, sticks and bags flying, we run to the bus in a flurry of anticipation. As the bus passes the hockey field, we bang on the sides of the bus to wish our big sisters good luck in their game.It seems like forever, but after a half an hour, we arrive at our opponent's field. Again, bags and sticks are flying as we run out to the field. Pam, our coach, instructs us to take a lap and practice our corners. I am having a good day. My drives are strong. The game is about to begin and Pam tells me I'm starting. Now I know I am really having a good day! The action starts, the first pass back is made and the ball comes rushing toward me. I stop it and go to drive. Missing the ball, I swing my stick again - and slam! The ball shoots all the way to the 50-yard line. It is retrieved by the opposing team, who gets a fast break toward me. I rush towards the ball and miss. They pass my fellow defensemen and have a shot on goal. They fake out the goalie and score. Disappointed and now not playing my best, I am taken out. Soon, though, we gain back the goal and the game is over. It's a tie - a stinkin' tie.On the bus ride home, everyone is subdued. My mom picks me up at school and I sulk until we get home. I realize that a tie isn't as bad as it seems. We tried our hardest and we are a team. That's what counts. Pam is proud of us and our hard work, and we should be proud of ourselves also. I am! l
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.