The One That Got Away This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   The noise level got higher and higher as the intensity of our truth or dare game increased. Finally my best friend turned and asked me, "What's the most embarrassing thing you ever did?"

Everyone quieted as I began to tell the story:

"I was about seven years old and playing in the town soccer league. Since I wasn't very good, I was stuck on defense, where there wasn't much action. My only companion was the equally bored goalie, so we passed the time by making up stupid nicknames for the opposing team members.

"In the midst of a heated battle over what to christen the other team's hairy, gorilla-like forward, I saw the soccer ball begin to roll toward me. I remember hiking up my oversized Umbros in preparation for the task before me. I stepped out of my relaxed position and began to chase down my enemy, the ball. As I began, the wind changed, blowing the ball toward me. The wind picked up the ball and carried it past the other players toward the goal. With each running step I took toward the target, the ball rolled faster.

"Back in the goal, my teammate began to relax his tensed stance, sure that I had the situation under control.

"As I reached out to give the ball a powerful kick that would send it soaring away from reach of the goal, my left foot slipped on the dew-stained grass. My sneakered toe just barely nudged the ball as I tumbled to the ground. The greedy wind continued to carry the ball toward the goal, where it easily rolled past the goalie and into the net.

"I was stunned and mortified from my position on the cold ground. Goal for the other team, and I had been the last one to touch the ball! Obviously, soccer never had much appeal for me after that."

As I finished my heart-wrenching story, my friends began to laugh uproariously. I gave them all my most-fierce look. "It's really not funny, you know!" l


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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