I took up my usual position as striker, with Heidi as my left wing, Julie my right and the rest of them behind me. It was only five a-side, but no bigger than we had ever played. As of then, we had not played another team. I suppose it showed, we weren't very good.
On the one shrill blast of Miss Davis' whistle, one of my team mates booted the ball towards us. Heidi darted around one of the midfielders, gaining possession of the ball and thus not earning her any record of foul play. My track record was good. I had never injured, accidentally or on purpose, anyone and I took pride in that. It summed me up in one pointless act of achievement. My heart surged as the ball made contact with my foot, seeming to mould to my form. Only times like those could I truly be one with the ball, the pitch, the players. Home. I laughed. Stumbling slightly, one of the other team slide tackled me and was up again before I could turn around.
Man, I was getting slow. When had that happened?
We played backwards and forwards for ten minutes, neither side scoring a goal, at least we were evenly matched.
"Cross it, Heidi, cross it!" I yelled as my friend fell into the perfect position.
She chipped it over the last defenders head in the perfect angle for me to header it into the goal.
Lots of things happened all at once then.
I jumped for the ball. Everyone gasped. Heidi screamed my name. Miss Davis was running towards me. But I noticed none of this at the time, all that mattered was the air filled ball and the awaiting net. I headed it perfectly and the ball swished in the goal. I cheered and only stopped when I realised the goalie had not moved and no one else was cheering.
Heidi was close to tears. Miss Davis had stopped a few feet from me and everyone else was staring in utter shock.
"What?" I asked, then I realised, "You think that would?" I stopped short, not knowing how to continue.
"I'm so stupid!" Heidi exhaled and trotted up to me, throwing her arms around my neck. Naturally I hugged her back, then I turned to face my team mates who had gathered around.
"Just because I have this thing," I began, "Does not mean I'm someone different. It doesn't hurt me. How can my passion hurst me?" I laughed, "I'm still Alli, I'm not going to change. And until I can no longer walk, I will always play football with you lot. Please, don't treat me any differently than you used to. None of you can ever damage me."
"We're sorry." Miss Davis put her hand on my shoulder, "I guess we just have to adjust to seeing you as breakable, but realising you know your own limits better than we do. Time to go home girls, see you next week."