Game Changer | Teen Ink

Game Changer

January 24, 2018
By FizzPop BRONZE, Dove Creek, Colorado
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FizzPop BRONZE, Dove Creek, Colorado
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Author's note:

I was inspired to right this story because I love basketball. I was starting A this year, and I tried to see it from another girls perspective, sometimes it really isn't easy. So I wrote about this girl having to work so hard just even get a spot on the bench.

The author's comments:

This is just when she first started playing basketball and how she gave up trying because of one little thing.

Life never goes the way you want to, one day you are at the top and the next you’re back on the ground fighting to get back up. That is the story of my life. I have loved the game basketball for my entire life, only sport I’ve played. I was great at it, catch that, “was.” I remembered when it all ended, second grade. I had a great steal, and was dribbling down the court. I could feel the air blow on my sweaty face. I am five, four, oh no. I dribbled the ball off my toe and it rolled out of bounds. The worst part is that that shot would’ve won the game, the championship game. I know it was only second grade, but for some reason I haven’t played “great” since.

The author's comments:

School was always a time that she really didn't enjoy and this is an example of why.

School always was a time that made my day grey, in fact I made this song,
“I don’t want to go to school no more, more, more.
There’s a big fat teacher at the door, door, door.
He grabbed me by my neck,
Made me say oh heck,
I don’t want to go to school no more, more, more.”
To make matters worse there is this girl named, Anna Freckle Spark. Oh man, she ticks me off. She was always acting like a prim, perfect, little princess. In my mind, she was a ungrateful, smelly witch. Sometimes I think her broomstick makes her uncomfortable, that’s why she’s always grouchy.

“Hey bench warmer!” I hear the little witch yell from down the hall.
“What does she want now…” I mumble from under my breath.
“Does your butt ever get sore? Mine would but maybe It’s because I actually don’t have cushion because I am always playing.” she yells.
“Oh screw you! Do you realize that no one likes you. Maybe you should seal those lips every once in awhile.” I reply.
We are sitting in class patiently waiting for the bell to signal lunch time. When all of a sudden a paper rolled into a ball flies across the room and hits me directly in the back of the head. I hear that little witches voice crackle when she laughed, indicating that it was her. I turned around to do something I probably should’ve not done, I flipped the bird. As soon as my teacher stands up to yell at me, the bell rings. I still have to stay and talk to the teacher.
“You know what you just did Miss MacEdee.” he shouts.
Man someone had too much coffee this morning.
“Well if you would me to be specific, I used the middle finger to indicate that…”
“That will be enough, Miss. This is the paper you have to give to the office. I hope you learn you lesson.” he seems to growl.

As I am making my way down the hall I see all the posters of the great basketball players in our school, and oh man did I wish I was up there. Anna Spark was up on a banner. Seeming to almost glare down at me with her evil eyes. I eventually make it to the office. I smile at “The Women at the Desk”, and she returns it with a glimpse of her green teeth. She was a plump lady, no doubt, but that is not the reason no one liked her. She was like a troll staring at your soul, wanting you to be gone.

The author's comments:

This is what she really want to happen.

The rest of the day went like the morning. Nothing good and nothing bad really. When I got home my mom was sitting in the living room talking to the coach of middle school basketball. She, in her hand, held the flyer of basketball tryouts. I smile at my mom and she says to come there. When I sit down on the couch she tells me that she wants me to start on A team. I ask her who will be team captain and she yells me. I see flowers falling from the ceiling with a bright disco ball spinning above my head. I see my dad and brother enter the room, they lift me and are spinning me around and around.
“We always knew you be a star, Chloe, Chloe, Chloe,”

The author's comments:

Although, dreams don't always come true. She is stuck with the cold truth and has to deal with it. Dodging every punch that may now come her way.

I wake up in a cold sweat. To bad that was all a dream. I take a shower and I remember seeing all of the basketball tryout flyers in the hall for a shot at starting A or at least sitting the bench on A. I get out and brush my teeth, then I took a deep breath, I think I’m going to try out. I walk into the gym and automatically feel different. The girls are all ripped wearing tight elastic leggings and tank tops. Then you have me, in spandex and a t-shirt. The door opens and they all look at me with surprise. I walk to the coach, she has basketball shorts on and a tight t-shirt that shows her abs, biceps, and every vein popping out of her ripped body. The whistle drops out of her mouth right along with a whole bunch of slobber.
“Well if ain’t Miss. MacEdee. What do you think you are doin’ on me court.” she slobbers at me.
“I’m coming to tryout for the team.” I say.
“You can’t you don’t got no permission slip.” she replies.
“Actually, I’ve got it all right here.” she looks at me and grunts.
“Well then get on the line.” her whistle blows signaling to run up and down the court eighteen times.
The first ten to pass will be the ones brought unto the next section of the tryouts. Turns out I was the person in fifth place. So, I went on. I could see the witch  talking to one of her friends. Letting those wet words slip out of her mouth to hurt my feelings. I wish I had a bucket of water right now, I would poor the water on her and watch her melt like a witch she is. Then we had to do a jump test, the last eight will go. I jumped to my max and took eighth, which was just enough to go on. Coach told us to add up the two places we had got and to find the closest to ourselves. I did the math, 8+5=13. Okay so had thirteen. I look over and see this girl. She must be new here.
“What is your score?” she asked
“I got thirteen.” I replied.
“Twelve.” she said, “So do you want to be partners?” she asked faintly.
And I replied with a sure. We were all standing next to our partners and she told us that it was a one on one game. First one to twelve would win and from there she will  decide. All of the girls either really lost or really won. We were called to go third. We walk out there and we play rock paper scissors to decide who will go first. She wins, so I check the ball to her and get in my defense position. I take deep breath and tell myself that it could be me standing out on that court, astonishing all who lay their eyes upon me. I look up and the next thing I know she drains a half court. Leaving her at three and me at zero. She checks the ball to me and I dribble into make a lay up. I end up missing, but I got the rebound. So I shoot again and it goes in. I give the ball to her and there is something gleaming in her eye. I look up again and she shoots a three and once again drains it, making the score six to two. I get the ball and decide I need to catch up, I take the risky shot and shoot a three. I miss it. The game goes on and on, until it comes to the last round she could when if she makes the shot. Right now the score is nine to nine. It’s her ball and I check it to her. She knows I know that she is going to shoot the three. So she dribbles around the three point line and beats me to a spot. She shoots the three and I get a bad feeling in my heart, as the ball is falling I see the hoop directly under it. It goes in. She jumps for joy, I walk off the court back to the side lines. She follows close behind me and then sits down right beside me.
“You really put up a good fight out there, in fact you’re the hardest competition I’ve had in awhile.” she says softly.
“Ya well I’m used to losing. Everything I do anymore is a fail.” I reply
“Because your a failure and now you are also a bench warmer, hey new girl I think you’ll be starting A. Oh, and by the way, I’m throwing this huge A team party. You should come.” Anna Sparks tells her.
“Um, that’s if I make A team.” new girl replies.
“I know your making A.” she says.
She walks off with that smirk on her face.
“Hey listen, as I was saying,” I cut her off before she can talk.
“Oh I know plenty well now where you are going to be. With them. And in two weeks you won’t even remember me. In fact in two weeks you’ll be like her, calling me benchwarmer. Goodbye.” I reply.
“Where are you going to go, tryouts isn’t over.” she says.
“Um, to he bleachers.” I stomp off and look back at her. Just to make matters worst I trip, over thin air.
It’s time to see who is the bench and who is starters on A team.
“Parakeets, I have came with results. The starters on A are, Anna Sparks, Lillian Rose, Peckle McCarthy, Luklian Anliker, and Savannah Almond.” Coach says
So that’s the new girl’s name, Savannah Almond. Well guess what Miss. Almond…. I’m gonna crack your shell, if almonds have shells. Do almonds have shells?
“Then for my new bench people I have Chloe, Alex, Kassidy Hetzel, and Chala McCarthy,” Coach groans. Well at least I made bench. And I’m really upset that I have to sit the bench with Salty Pretzel, and if you don’t know who that is that is that Kassidy chick.
I’m walking home from school, just walking, it was fall which meant its was super cold. In fact the concrete was almost so cold that I could feel the chill from my toes to my nose. Then guess what else made my day even better? A huge leaf fell on my face causing me to panic and idiotically trip on the curb and face plant. I get home and my mom almost seems to scream my name.
“Well how was tryouts?” my mom patiently asks.
“Well I made….” I start to say.
“YOU MADE STARTING A. Oh I always knew that you would. Let’s go get you the best pair of basketball shoes we can find then…” I cut her off.
“Mom I made the bench.” I say.
“Well I guess that will work won’t it?” she replies.
“ Mom it won’t work. I already look like a loser do to the fact that I trip and fall with everything that I do.”

I stormed up stairs and layed in my bed. As I was looking at the ceiling my dad knocks on my door.
“Mom told me what happened. I just wanted to talk to you, so can you show me some words?” he gently says.
“Okay I’m listening.” I reply
“When I was a sophomore, I was really, really good. In fact I think I was the top person on the team, not trying to brag. And guess what? I sat the bench, best player and I sat the bench. The coach didn’t like me and I PAID. So, trust me I know how it feels, but don’t worry. There will come a day when you are the star, you are out on that court showing all of them up.”
“Thanks dad.” I give him a big hug.
“Why don’t you go take a shower then come down for dinner?” he says.
“Okay, I’ll be there.”

When I get out of the shower I walk downstairs to the kitchen. My mom has made breakfast for dinner, which included bacon, waffles, and fried eggs. I sit at the dinner table and silently eat my food. When I am done eating I come up with a solution.
`“Dad will you teach me basketball?” I say.
Everyone’s faces at the table instantly dropped.

The author's comments:

Me and my dad have a really good relationship and so do me and my mom, so I really wanted to resemble them in this chapter.

After dinner my dad comes and talks to me. He asked me why I yelled at him to teach me basketball. I saw a flyer in the hall that said assistant coach needed. And he said that he had basketball experience.
“I’m old!” he tells me.
“And that matters?” I reply.
“I’ll sleep on it.” he tells me.
As he walks down stairs the whole time I’m just praying that he will decide to take the job. It pays and I would have him by my side twenty four seven. I don’t think that I can take all of these people at basketball on by myself. I finally doze off to sleep but, when I wake up it is three in the morning I have thousands of butterflies floating around in my stomach. So I decide to get up for a cold glass of water. I walk into the kitchen and am startled. I see my older brother. He was just sitting on a stool holding his phone in his hand. He was a sophomore with the name of Braden. He looks at me in surprise and asks what I’m doing up. I tell him that I could not sleep.
“What’s wrong with you?” he asks.
“I’m worried sick.” I tell him.
“About?” he slowly asks me.
“Everything.” I reply. I could feel the tears well up in my eyes.
“Just look at me and school and basketball, between all of those things no one likes me.” I sob towards him.
“Can I tell you a secret? I am not really liked either family is really all we need, and that’s what we got, I got you and you got me, nothing will ever come between us, is that clear?” he exclaims to me.
“Ya.” are the only words I could reply with.
I walk back up stairs and fall asleep, that night I also prayed for a fresh start.
When I wake up I wrap myself in my robe and walk downstairs. The kitchen has a thousands scents in like, one second. I smell pancake batter, chocolate, and syrup. I sit at the table and before me sits a glorious, perfect, circulure, pancake. It has chocolate chips in it and the syrup makes it look like a basketball.
“Dad? Does this mean your taking the job?” I say.
“I believe so.” he replied.
I jump for a joy and give him a big bear hug. He turns and smiles at me.
“Meet me outside after breakfast okay. And be ready to work.” he says.
I nearly inhale my food so that I can get outside and get to work. When I finally finish, I bolt up the stairs.I put on a lose teacher and find a pair of basketball shorts. Then I pull my hair into a french braid and run outside. As I’m walking outside, I glance over to him and the court, I watched him drain a three. My mouth drops in awe.
“Hey sweety, ready to get to work.” he says.
“Ya.” I reply.
He hands me the basketball and tells me to just shoot, don’t think just shoot. I do as he says and make very few out of everything that I had shot, although he tells me that that was a good start.
“When shooting you want to have one hand lined up in the middle of the ball, just barely leaving a gap, and the other one there just for balance. When I was looking your left hand is the problem.” he explains.
He lifts the ball and puts it in my hands he, then positions my hands to hold correct.
“You see, you were pushing the ball with your left hand, don’t do that and shoot.” he says.
I shoot and it goes in.
“Just like that.” he high fives me and works with me the rest of the day until the sun goes down. As we are walking inside he grabs me shoulder and tells me that he is a proud father knowing that he has a little girl who is as dedicated as the sun to learn. Tomorrow is my first game and to be quite honest, I’m scared. I go to sleep no problem but, then I have the weirdest dream. There was this guy it was too dark to see any and all details. He laughs and then he says that naive people taste the best. That dream made me wander. It probably had no meaning other than to scare the light out of me.

The author's comments:

This is where she starts getting what she wants, she's now got a guy and, has got to play A team basketball.

When I wake up to my alarm I am pumped. I stand in front of my long skinny mirror and pull my hair up into a tight ponytail. Wrapping the band around and around. I slip on a pair of my joggers and my team shirt. The quote on our shirt kind of made me wonder, it says this, “The only shot worth making is your’s.” That doesn’t remind me of a team. I run downstairs and pour myself a glass of orange juice,then chop into an apple. I run outside and hop in the bus. I ignore the glares, the ones that look like devil eyes. But then all of a sudden I hear a voice.
“Well look at dat.” this person says. He was darker in skin, had his hat on backwards, and had a gold chain necklace around his neck. He had tattoos all over his body. For some reason he made me feel something I haven’t felt ever.
“Look at what?” I say. He runs his fingers down my spine.
“You shirt. I haven’t played basketball in a long time. I ran into a situation that didn’t allow me to play basketball anymore.”
“Ya, well I got to go I’ll see you this afternoon.” I say.
When I hop off the bus I feel slightly confused but excited for what the future may hold. I go through school like I would with a bag of chips. The first class of the day was always math. MY LEAST favorite subject in school. Although I was in advanced math. We were take sophomore math because me and a few other people needed to be pushed ahead by at least a year. Of course today it had to be a math test. The first question was simplify 2n+67+-853=122x=346-999. The bell finally rang. I go through the rest of the classes all day just thinking of the basketball game today. When it was finally lunch time I went up to get my food. They were serving the worst food of all time, mandarin chicken, rice, and stir fry. I decide not to eat. As I am walking to go sit down I fall. Anna had stuck out her foot and tripped me. The lunch ladies look at me and give me a glare like it is my fault that Anna had sent my flying across the floor. I stand up and am automatically ready to fight.
“What the heck dude. Just because your fricken six foot tall does not mean you can just toss me around like that. If you want to fight let’s fight.” I scream at her.
The whole entire lunchroom stops to stare and see if we will actually throw down.
“Oh ya. Let’s go.” she yells back.
I put up my fists and the principal walks in. He grabs us both by the arm and drags up to his office.
“Are you serious?” the principal gargles at us.
“Mr. Sir, she threatened me to a fight, and I didn’t know what to do then curl in a ball. I mean what if….” she fakes to him.
“OMG! Are you going to believe that. She stuck out her foot and tripped me.” I angrily say to him.
“Chloe, stay here, and Anna play well.” he smiles at her.
“By Mr.” she gleams gently back at him.
“This is the second time you’ve been here in two weeks. Chloe you got to straighten up you act.”
“Are you kidding me. If the teachers here even had eyes they see how ruff I have it. I am constantly worried that I might not make it through school. Oh, and what do you say? That school is supposed to be a place where you feel safe and you can get through a day without a problem? Well that’s not the case. In fact I believe that this school could use a little TLC.”
I storm out of his office not waiting for a response. I look up at the clock and it’s time to get ready for our game. So I march off to the locker room. I open my locker and a girl slams it shut nearly getting my fingers. I tell all of them to screw off and open my locker again. Anna approaches me and slams it shut.
“What’s your deal? Are you having an emotional breakdown. Wait, I know the problem, you are so nervous that I’ll replace you that you have to put me down to lift yourself up. Well guess what little witch, I can live without you, in fact I’ve got something better than you do, I’ve got a heart.”
The rest of the time I’m trying to get dressed it is silent. I go to the other side of the locker room to change because I’m really uncomfortable with my body. The rest of the girls are all ripped and gorgeous, but me, I scrawny and little. I walk out of the locker room and find my dad. He gives me a hug and tells me to warm up. We did lots of drills, that included passing, shooting, and everything else. As we are passing I just happen to get the partner Anna. She throws the balls as hard as she could at me and jammed my finger. Excruciating pain shot thru my finger. I look at it and I already is colored with purple and blue and is swelling fast. The buzzer beeps and we all run in to coach. She is explaining to us all of the plays, but then out of the corner of my eye, I see that guy from the bus. He smiles and waves, this left me wondering how he knew. I snap back to reality and coach is yelling.
“Kay, let us do this! Wooo. 1,2,3 BULLDOGS!” she once again slobbers at us. We got the jump off and are dribbling down the court. And I’m not going to lie, the girls on the court swing that ball like the world swing dancing. They pass it to Miss. Almond and she shoots a three, makes it and they are back to defense. It goes on like this forever, just back and forth and back and forth. It hits second quarter with five minutes remaining. We are dribbling down the court and Anna gets passed to, she’s dribbling in for the lay up and her ankle gets caught on someone’s foot. She falls with the worst sound of bones snapping. The next thing I know, she is laying on the floor screaming. I see her parent’s run down and sit beside her, then coach, then paramedics. They put her on a stretcher and carry her away.
“Chloe, you ready?” she asks.
“Ya coach.” I smile back.
“Then get out there.” she yells back at me.
I go and check in. I walk on the court and all of the girls faces drop. I don’t get passed to the whole entire game. I was upset at the most but, at least I was on the court.
After the game there was the guy again. He told me that he wishes I would've played the whole game as he scans his eyes up and down my body.
“Ya well. What can you do.” I reply.
“Give me your number?” he says. I slightly smile at him and slip the piece of paper into his hand. While doing this I wondered if I should’ve, but I he seemed like a nice guy. When I give him my number he gives me his.
“I’ll see you later, Alligator.” he says.
“After awhile crocodile.” I reply.

The author's comments:

This is one of the most saddest parts of this story. It's heart wrenching.

I go home and hear the beep on my phone. I look down and see it is him, the guy from the basketball game. I type his name in as Lil’ Thug. I walk in the door and my mom is sitting on the couch along with my dad. They are holding each other tightly and seemed worried.
“What’s wrong?” I ask.
“Your grandma was sent to the hospital today, seems like she isn’t doing so swell.” they reply with the slightest bit of fear.
“Not Grandma Ellis? Right?” I ask.
“Yes, Grandma Ellis.” they reply.
I run upstairs and get a knot in my stomach. What is she leaves us. My Grandma Ellis has always been the one who made me smile, even with those bullies at school. I’m going to miss school tomorrow, and go visit her. With tears in my eyes I walk back downstairs and ask my mom if I can go see her tomorrow. She replies with a simple yes.
“She’ll be okay, I promise.” she says.
He texted me all night asking and asking when I could get meet him at the park. I tell him tomorrow after basketball practice. We text each other goodnight and I lay my phone to rest. That night I had a dream were I was at the park alone. It was dark, I couldn’t see in details. The one thing I did notice was that voice again. The one who said the stuff about being naive. I wake up in the morning and feel like a slug. I put on some jeans and a t-shirt. Leave my hair down, and just go. I did not sleep well once again. The dream just kept scratching at the back of my head. Then I come to a huge realization stage, that voice I was hearing was the guy I had met. But, he would never perform a kidnapping. Would he?
“Hey honey.” my mom says softly.
“Hi.” I answer back.
I pour myself some cereal and milk. Then eat, quietly, without a word. When I’m done I slip on a hoodie and hop in the car.  Turn on the heater and sit there waiting for my mom to take me to the hospital and see the moment of truth. My mom hops in a gives my knee a little squeeze.
“It’ll be okay, I promise.”
We are driving to the hospital, and see three car crashes on the way. Why can’t this world be better? That is the only question of life I have anymore, the rest is to difficult to figure out.
When we arrive at the hospital, we hop in the elevator and go to my Grandma’s room. When we get there she is pain, and thinner than a twig.
“So honey, Grandma here has cancer, so…” my mom says through tears.
Grandma Ellis is my mom’s mom, and I know that that would be hard, because I couldn’t imagine my mom getting cancer. My mom walks out for a little and I go sit by my grandma.
“Oh, don’t worry about me.” she says with a slight smile.
“Grandma, right now that’s nearly impossible.” I reply.
“I’m glad that you came today, because I don’t know how much longer I’ll be around. I wanted to tell you something that is very important.” she says.
“Like what, Granny.” I reply.
“I wanted you to know that if I do go I’ll be okay, I’m going to heaven. I prayed and prayed that you’d come and you did. So, now I know that he is there and I will have somewhere to go.” she says with her smile fading.
“Grandma, you aren’t going away.” I say with tears. “You can’t, I mean you’ve got at least another twenty years of life to live.”
I hear a beeping noise and nurses run into the room. They tell me to step outside. I walk out the door crying with no thoughts other than my grandma is gone. Just gone. My mom comes to me.
“What’s wrong? Chloe?” she runs into the room. Almost instantly a doctor walks out with her. My mom curls into a ball on the floor and sobs.
“I’m sorry, she’s gone.” the doctor says.
At this point I don’t know if I should cry or be angry. We go back down the elevator and hop in the car. The whole way my mom is crying. In fact I’m surprised my mom can see the road. We stop at a red light.
“So mom, what did you say about everything being okay? Because nothing seems to be okay.” I say. I could feel the anger in my eyes.
“It’s not my fault, okay.” my mom yells at me. She slams on the gas and drives not knowing that it was a red light. Have you ever had that feeling where everything is in slow-mo. Ya, well that’s what happened. The side of our car hit. The car rolled. Then I was what I thought was asleep and had a dream. One that still left me with the same question.
“So, mom after basketball I’m going to the park with the new girl and I’ll be home around eight. If that is okay?” I say staying alert of any feedback that might not be okay.
“I don’t care just make sure to call me when you need a ride.” she answers.
Woah! I got around it. I walk to school today. When I get there everyone stares, but guess what I don’t care. It comes to seventh hour and the bell rings. I’m exhilarated see my new friend. I change out for basketball practice but, that’s not even what I’m excited for. I blow through basketball practice like it meant nothing to me, because it did. My dad snapped at me a few times telling me to pull my head out. It meant nothing to me. When I finally get done I run to the locker room. I make sure no one else is in their and then I get to work. I change into this belly shirt with a pair of tight skinny jeans. Then I slip my high heels on.
I make it the park, and he is almost wearing the same things as yesterday. Out of nowhere he comes at a full sprint and grabs me around the waist. I go spinning in the air until he gently sits me down on the park bench. When he does this he grabs me again, except this time closer. I can feel his hands slip up my shirt. Then he leans in, and puts his lips on mine. I ask him if we should be doing this and he reply that he doesn’t care what the world thinks and that it will forever be me and him. We keep doing this kiss, then chat things for till eight o’clock.
“When is yo next basketball game?” he asked me.
“Tomorrow at five.” I reply.
“Okay I’ll be there.”
“Just steer clear of my parents.”
“K homie.” he says.
He slips his fingers through my hair as he walks away. I call my mom and she comes and picks me up. She gives me the evil eye and I wonder if she knows that that wasn’t it a friend. If it was a friend, it was a friend with benefits. As we are in the car my mom asked why I was wearing what I was wearing, and who was the friend I was hanging out with. I reply to her with this, because mom I’m a freshman and I do have friends. I get home and my dad looks at me in despite.
“Well do feel proud?” he says.
“About what?” I reply.
“A friend of mine was driving home from work and saw you at the park with someone other than a friend. He told me what you were doing, and to believe you are my daughter.” he says with his head down low.
“You know what dad, I want to do that every night. It is more than anything you mean to me.” I yell.
I stomp up stairs and cry myself to sleep. Maybe he can be better than my dad, maybe, just maybe, he could be mine. I wake up at three in the morning and grab my uniform, clothes for school, and my alarm, stuff it in a bag and sneak out. I walk to the park and sat at the bench we were sitting out when we were together. I remember his cold hands against my face. His lips pressed against mine. 
When I wake I’m in a hospital bed. I have a few minor cuts but nothing to serious. I hear a knock on the door and in walks that guy I was supposed to meet, at the park. He walks in with flowers in his hand. He smiles.
“How is my Little Miss. Tigeriss?” he asked.
“Just as good as, I’ll ever be.” I reply.
He kisses my forehead and tells me that he’ll see me as soon as he can. And leaves. And just like that the people come flooding in. Hugs and everything are shared but, then I remember, my Mom.
“Is my Mom, okay?” I say worried. “Please someone answer me? You know I’m sick of being sheltered from the world I just want the truth.” I say while getting light headed.
“Your mom will be fine she had three stitches on her arm and a hurt leg, but she’ll be fine.” my dad says.
I stand up and rip off all the machines.
“Dad, I want to go home.”

The next thing I knew we were heading to the parking lot to get in the car, and when we did my dad didn’t talk he just listened to all the feelings I have just riled up inside me. When we arrive home, I walk inside and wave my dad goodbye and he takes back off to work, leaving me home, alone, for now.

The author's comments:

Anything can change in a matter of seconds.

The next day I face reality and I have to go to school. No matter how hard this day may be, I still have a game and I need to play my heart out. I woke up before my alarm today, but when my alarm goes off, I get dressed. I put on my team shirt, and once again I despite the quote, but that’s the “GREAT TEAM” for you. After that I slip on my jeans and just leave the rest alone, really and honesty, I’m in the mood where I just do not care. I walk down stair and everyone who is awake is either depressed or not awake. I decide to skip breakfast and just walk to school. I kiss my mom goodbye as she brushes her fingers through my hair.
“Be safe.” mom says holding back a river.
“I will, promise.” is reply.
As I’m walking to school the thoughts in my head are conjuring if I have done the right thing. You know that guy seems great, but why hasn’t he told me his name? I am halfway to school and then is when I begin to get nervous. The guy was on the sidewalk and he decided to join me.
“So hey, since now we’re kinda like friends, what’s your name.” I say.
“Aw, tat notin.” he replies seeming guilty.
“Oh, come on.” I say to him in a joking matter.
“I said NOTIN!” he screams back.
When I finally make it to school and see the big BULLDOG sign outside our school. I walk in and everything seems to be in slow motion. First, second, third, and beyond hours seems to drag me along like a carrot on a string. In fact in first hour, I got tripped by Ms. Almond, second hour, a bunch of guys stared and just talked, and third hour, (only class I have with Anna Sparks) I end up being partnered up with the teacher. When sixth hour finally rolls around, I slug to the locker room. I change into my uniform and attempt to walk in the gym. My attempt failed do to the principal, stopping, talking, and bossing me around a little more, I mean did this guy not get enough yesterday. I finally walk into the just and think to myself, “today might be the day I get to play”. I walk to coach and shake her hand, she smiles at me and gives a gleam in her eye that lets me know that she is proud and takes pride in me. We warmup and mood changes to a ten, meaning good.
“Hey, Chloe?” my coach calls me.
“Yes coach?” I say back.
“I want you to play today so give me all you heart. OK?” she says, almost seaming to sound magical.
“Sure thing Coach.” I squeak back.
I get unto the bench and the games begins. We score the first point, 3. They score none. We score again, they score none. The game just seems to be going on like this forever. And the person making all the shot was the new Almond chick. In fact every time she scores she looks at me and gleams, she must be the understudy for a new witch. Hey maybe they should go play in the GREAT AND POWERFUL OZ. Then I hear the voice of my coach say, Chloe. Let’s do this! I stand up and jump in. We are dribbling down the court with thirty seconds left in the game and I get the ball passed to me. I dribble to the right then pass. The ball get passed to another player with eight seconds on the clock. Then the ball hits my hands. I dribble to half court and shoot, there is one second on the clock and my shot goes in. We beat them today with a score of 72 to 4. I run to the bench and all the girls hug me, even Anna. Anna then takes my arm and pulls me over to the side.
“Hey nice shot, All Star.” she says towards me.
“Thanks!” I whisper back at her.
Once most our team has done their celebrating, I look in the bleachers and see that boy. He waves at me as I walk to him and smile.
“Hey I gonna walk you home tonight.” he smiles at me. He kind of is acting like he is hiding something.
“Okay. My parents are in morning so, that will do just fine.” I smile back at him.
We walk out the door and I see a group of people that look exactly like him. Buy exactly looking like him I mean, gold chains, tattoos, ripped jeans, and no shirt. They all surround me. I do nothing other than scream and do not know how not a single person heard me.
“Maybe you shouldn’t jump into things so fast.”
The next thing I know it is black. Pitch black. I don’t know where I am until I finally start to wake up. I am in the back of what seems to be a van where it is cold and filled with cans, and trash, and what seems to me to look like lots of weapons. I wonder who got me tangled up in this mess.



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