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There is a few scars in my mouth. I feel them everyday as I run my tongue over them everyday. All from one incident and it was less than twenty seconds.
Last year I was the starting second basemen for the softball team at my school. I was never afraid of the ball and I was quick on me feet. I knew that I could do anything as long as I was with my team and I had my dark brown, MacGregor on my left hand.
My friend Megan, got a chance to experience a college tour. No one would like to turn that opportunity down, so she went. She was our starting shortstop, and I can play everywhere, because I just love the game and I love the feel of being out there on the field.
At practice the day before one of our biggest games, and the game that Megan was just so happening to miss… my coach said, “Cressey, you’ll be playing shortstop for tomorrows game.” I was nervous, because I had never played the position before. I mean, it was fine, but I was nervous. I looked at her and nodded my head, and she smiled and said. ”You’ll do fine. Just be confident, and don’t worry about it.” I looked up to my coach, so I did what she said, and I did alright at practice.
That night I came home to tell my dad that I would being playing shortstop and he thought it would be a new challenge for me, and he said I would be and that I just needed to see it as if I were playing second base. I looked at it in the ways of both my dad and my coach.
Before I went to sleep, longing the morning I would wake up, and it be game day… I imagined myself doing a horrible job, making error after error, and everyone being disappointed. I just shook my head and rolled over on my right side, and went to bed.
The next morning, I woke up and put on my long-sleeved, black underarmer, and then grabbed my jersey and pulled it over my underarmer. I was nervous for the game, but I was ready.
School was a blur. That was pretty normal, but I had my mind focused on the game. It was like I couldn’t hear anything going on around me. My teachers would be talking to me, but I just simply, couldn’t listen, or comprehend, because my mind was on the game.
The time finally came when we were released early for the game. Our team was quiet. We were all focused, because we knew this game was the biggest game of our whole season. Ticonderoga was one of the best teams around.
I was sitting with my friend Danyka. She knew how much this game meant to me because I was going to have to prove all my skills and everything that I knew.
Arriving at the school parking lot, you could hear the sounds of girls hitting the ball hitting the bat and probably soaring into the outfield.
Looking beyond the large hill on the side of the school, you could see he team warming up. Everything inside me was nervous, but I didn’t let anyone notice my feelings. My inimitable emotions weren’t going to stop me. I could never explain how I felt that game, but I knew that it was my adrenaline building up.
Something was going to happen this game.
We all warmed up, and we were ready to go. Being the away team, we were up to bat first. My hitting was better than usual so I was up first. I was nervous because I thought it would be a lot fast than it was. I psyched myself out, so I struck out.
It’s vague in my mind who was after me and ho the innings went on. I hit a double and single before the third inning.
I was warming up in the infield after three errors at shortstop and I thought it couldn’t get any worse than it was, because we were also losing. The first girl got up to bat and as I called out the play. The girl up to bat hit a foul ball and it was a long one, so I instructed the outfield to move back. The ground uneven in areas, pot holes, random patches of grass that I hadn’t noticed before. I was in my down-and-ready position and the ball was hit right to me. I was ready to field the ball then all of a sudden I felt something hit me in the face… it was like yellow softball. I went to pick up the ball and throw it to first, but it’s didn’t exactly work out that way.
I left the ball on the ground and dropped my glove. It felt like everything was in slow motion… the stinging sensation coming from my mouth was indescribable. I was in so much pain. I didn’t think I was bleeding at first, but when I put my head down, blood came pouring from my mouth. I could hear two things coming form my coaches mouth, “Pick up the ball.” followed by a “OH MY GOD!” She heard it hit my mouth, but she didn’t know it hit so hard it split my whole bottom lip open.
My dad was at my side before I could even walk off the field. He said, ”Let me see. Open your mouth. Do you feel your teeth?” I just shook my head yes, while mumbling, “Dad, it’s split. Dad’ it’s split.” coach grabbed at least five gauze pads and told me to hold them over my mouth. The coach of the other team came over with a bag of ice bigger than my head. I just needed a little bag of ice, not this huge bag of ice for my lip… although it was very nice of her to bring me ice.
My dad knew where the hospital was so he asked his friend, Tim, if he could borrow his car. We drove the ten minutes to the hospital and I was lucky because I was there was no one in the emergency room. They got me right in and I was crying at this point, because the pain was reluctantly increasing. I just wanted my drugs so the pain would go away.
The nurse held my hand as the doctor slide the two inch needle with Novocain. The pain felt like this irritating pinch that was just digging deeper into my skin. I closed my eyes trying not to cry harder than I already was… I was trying to find something to think about something that would make feel like I was in a peaceful state-of-mind. All I could think about was not seeing the ball coming at my face. If had kept my head down, instead of my lip getting stitches, it would have been my nose. I was thankful for that.
After the needle came out of my mouth, I couldn’t feel a thing. The Novocain had taking it’s rightful course in making my pain go away. The doctor then talked me through what he was going to do, so that way I wouldn’t panic or wonder what he was doing, seeing how I had never had stitches before that point. I was terrified listening to the metal clang together four or five times.
I just relaxed and then he said, “Alright… you’re all done.” as I sat up in the chair I noticed that I didn’t know how to place my lip.
“Would you like to rinse out your mouth?”
I wanted to say â€˜Yes, please.’, but instead it sounded something like, “Shwess, prease.” he handed me a cup of water and as I went to spit, the water went out the other side of my mouth, all over my Beekmantown jersey. I was embarrassed because I didn’t know that was going to happen. He stared at me for a second and I was uncertain what to say so I apologized with a simply, “Sorry.” He didn’t really seem to mind, because it must happen with lip/mouth injuries.
He left the room as I heard a familiar voice coming from the hallway. It was my friend Nikki… she is such a sweetheart she brought me all of my bags that I left at the field. I was just sitting there clapping my feet together like Dorothy in the â€˜Wizard of Oz’.
“Hey Shell-Bell! How are you doing?”
“Fine, I guess. Is my lip big?”
“Well, it’s just a little bigger than usual, but that’s okay.” Nikki looked at me and laughed. “You’ll be fine. Can you feel your lip yet?”
The factor of not being able to feel my lip really was effecting my speech because I replied, “Not phreally, but tat’s okay.” Nikki understood me.
Laying my brown Hollister bag and Nike softball bag down by the door, she slowly walked towards the hospital bed, I was now laying in. It was obvious, that she was taking an even closer look at my puffy lip. She smiled and told me the swelling would go down. I believed her, because I knew it was true, but it didn’t feel like I was ever going to be able to find the right placement for my lip.
She helped me off the bed, making sure I didn’t slip with my cleats on the white tied floor. We walked out into the small hallway, where my dad was accompanied by the doctor. My dad shook the doctor’s hand, then grabbed my bags as we went out to Tim’s car. Tim and his daughter Megan were following behind us. I must have missed seeing them as I was walking out of the hospital. My dad had made plans to ride with Tim the day before, so we were going to have to ride home with them. It’s not that I didn’t want to… it’s just the fact that I didn’t want to cry in front of them when Novocain wore off.
Sliding into the backseat of the Toyota, we decided to head over to McDonald’s to grab a bite to eat, but it sucked for me because I couldn’t really open my mouth. When we arrived at McDonald’s, the varsity and junior varsity were there… at least the ones who were riding the bus home. When they saw my dad walk in they immediately asked where I was and if I was okay. I walked in right behind Megan with an ice pack attached to my face. Courtney, the varsity catcher, walked up and said, “Oh Cressey.” Tears couldn’t help but form in my eyes. It was as if for one moment, they cared… I knew Courtney from basketball, and I looked up to her. She was one of my secret heroes, so it felt pretty good having her be one of the first people to come see me.
My dad handed me my vanilla milkshake, “If you want, you can go sit down while we wait for our food.” He gripped my shoulder and smiled. I thought it would be a pretty good idea, so I went and sat down in a booth near the doors. The varsity softball coach came over to me and said, “Let me see.” I took the ice pack away from my face, and looked at him. He then saw my lip and sympathetically said, “Well it must have been a hard hit… way to take it like a champ.” He smiled and patted my back, then I smiled… well, attempted.
My dad was walking towards me with Megan, Tim, and my softball coach, Mrs.Pelkey. She looked at me and told me that I wouldn’t be playing in tomorrow’s game… As much as I wanted to play, I knew I couldn’t, because my lip was the size of Angelina Jolie’s lips. It was amazing how I could have her lips, and not have to go through twenty million surgeries to get her lips. I had been given the privilege of having her lips for a week or two.
As we proceeded to the car, I tried drinking my milkshake out of the corner of my mouth and I was imagining the reaction of my mom when I walked into the house with a busted lip. I didn’t want to go to school tomorrow either, because I would have to face everyone telling me I should have kept my eye on the ball. It wasn’t my fault it hit a patch of grass and hit me in the face… there was nothing I could do. It was an accident… a freak, softball accident.