A short story written for my Year 12 English class
The boy sits motionless, framed by the large window out of which he stares. The wall of glass separates him from the hive of activity outside. It’s raining. Heavily. Not ideal for football, yet there are twenty-two rain drenched and mud soaked bodies battling for supremacy in the inclement weather. The boy sits. His hand twitches in unison with Brentford High’s keeper as he dives for the save. Screams of ecstasy and moans of lost chances echo through the filthy air. He is surprised by the feelings he still has for this game. This game which took everything from him. That Championship match which handed him glory with one hand and then snatched it away with the other before he had a chance to enjoy it. So he sits and watches with envy and regret. The ball is struck once again. High and to the left…
Everything slows. The screams, the chants, the shouts all dull to a muted, incoherent muffle. I can hear my heart beating- steady like a metronome. I see the sphere, a speck, launched at me with a blast of aggression and brute force. It climbs from his boot, like an ascending jet plane and just as fast. I follow its trajectory- over the wall of defenders. Pure poetry in motion as it curls, spins and climbs in one fluid movement. I make my move with cat like precision. Deftly diving at full stretch, my fingers caress the stitching of the spinning leather globe and like a god, I change its orbit. An inch over the crossbar. Then it’s all over. Gravity takes over and I fall. The muffled voices are now amplified and clear. My team-mates, once a slow motioned peripheral blur, run and pile themselves on top of me, their hero, their saviour. The weight of ten adolescent bodies hurts but only for a moment. I am Superman. I am invincible. I no longer feel the pain, but exhilaration.
The boy sits, filled with emotion. His face scarred by the damp tracks of sorrow as yet again he watches his team lose without him. He wonders why he puts himself through this torturous agony week after week. How dare they carry on without him? The disappointed consolatory voices die down and the solemn silence returns. The boy looks to the pile of Chemistry books on his lap. “C’est la vie” he sighs. The quiet is interrupted only by the hum of the electric wheelchair as he leaves the room.