If Only You Could See Me Now This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

   Either under the hot sweltering sun or covered with blankets of rain, softball ispart of my life. Nine years ago, I never thought sliding into home would makesuch a great impact on my life.

The first year I played I was taught howto throw a ball, a pretty basic thing young boys do with their fathers. As agirl, I never had the chance to share that experience with my father. After hemoved out when I was seven, I never saw much of him. But when I did, he sharedthe triumph of being a spectator at most of my games. I could tell that heenjoyed himself, because I sometimes noticed a certain grin on his face whichmeant to me that he had pride in what he was witnessing. This built my self-esteem and Isuddenly looked at softball in a different way, a way that would bond my fatherand me, more than we could do alone.

When my father moved away, the only"bonding" we did was with letters. I truly missed him, but I couldn'tdwell on the fact that he no longer watched me play. Still, the grin that onceappeared on his face is something I will never forget.

On one gloomy day,I looked at softball in yet another way. Puddles were scattered around the field,which made it slick. It was the last inning of the game. We had two outs and Iwas on third. One run was needed to tie the game. This meant the batter eitherhad to hit the ball or I had to steal. I had little experience with sliding, andmost likely I would have to. My eyes grew wide and alert as the pitcher drove thefirst pitch ... strike. My palms were sweaty as I swayed my arms back and forth.When the next pitch was thrown, my coach across the field signaled me to go. Atfirst I hesitated, but then sprinted toward the plate. When I was halfway, Inoticed the catcher had the ball and was waiting for me. I slid in and as my toereached the plate, the umpire yelled with a loud gasp, "oooouuutt." Myheart stopped. The team returned to their dugout as I sat there in mud. I slowlygot up, knowing I lost the game for my team.

From that day, I neverstopped thinking about that game, the way I felt and even the weather. That wasthe last game of my "old season." I was going to change my ways. Iwould have to put more than my heart into it. I would have to practice harder toplay better. I knew I wouldn't become the best player and that I would makeplenty of mistakes. If I got down on myself, I'd remember my father's face. Iwould never give up because all your life you are told the things you cannot do.They say you're the wrong height or the wrong weight or the wrong type to playthis or be this or achieve this. They tell you no, a thousand times no, until allthose no's become meaningless. And you will tell them yes. Yet, to be able totell them yes, I'll have to work for it, and do my best.

Now I'm extremelysatisfied with myself. I improved tremendously in softball and I'm not evenafraid to slide! Still, I wish my father could see me. I find myself thinkingsometimes, "Dad, if only you could see me now," and wonder what hewould be thinking if he could.

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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shreya756 said...
Sept. 25, 2010 at 3:42 pm
This is REALLY nice.
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