After school was football training. Some of my close friends did it, like Heidi and Ellie, most were just random girls who came more for the fun we had than the football, like all of us. All we did was laugh, with Miss Davis becoming one of us.
Football practice was the only place I ever felt that I belonged because we were all so close and anything could be said without you being judged. Or so I thought. This practice was different.
It started off normally. We changed and were busy laughing at my jokes and impressions when Miss Davis would walk up to us, a net of half-flat school footballs slung across her back. Then we would pair up and do some drills. Once we were bored, we set up a five-a-side match. I was with Heidi, we would never be separated and everyone knew that.
"Chip it, Sarah, chip it!" I yelled, within range of the goal.
A lot of things happened at once then.
Sarah chipped the ball towards me. I lined up for the shot. Just as the ball came towards me, Miss Davis called my name. Heidi sprinted up to me, I presumed to knock the ball away from me. But she was too slow. I headed the ball into the back of the net. The goalie didn't even move. When I looked around, everyone was staring at me, their mouths open and eyes wide.
"Your head?" Heidi squealed.
"What about it?" I looked around warily as everyone came rushing over, including Miss Davis. Suddenly, I clicked onto to what they were on about and frowned angrily.
"I'm not fragile." I said, close to shouting, "I'm still me, I still play. And until I can't stand up any longer, I will always play. Trust me, it doesn't hurt. You don't have to protect me anymore." I didn't know where this sudden bout of rage came from, I couldn't seem to get my emotions in check recently.
"We're sorry, it's just, we don't really know how to deal with you." Miss Davis didn't know how to word it, "We're not used to thinking of you as... damaged. We all care about you it's kind of hard for us to still see you as normal."
"Just because I'm going to die doesn't make me incapable."
"To us, it does. We don't want to loose you any quicker than we have to." Everyone offered me small smiles and I smiled too. It was great knowing that there were people who cared.