“You are so going to lose this game.”
“Yeah! This game is ours!”
Scowling at the students from the other school, I walked into the indoor basketball court with my head held high. We were going to win this and I knew it. And being the captain of the girl’s basketball team this year, I’m not going to be the weakling. I gathered my team together and starting saying the usual speech all team captain’s say before the start of a game.
“Okay, first thing’s first. It isn’t a big deal if we lose against this team but that doesn’t mean we should play in a “sucky” way either. So we might as well save all that for later so let’s win this!”
“Yeah!” They yelled and that sound echoed through the court.
“Okay practice layups, now.”
As they formed a line to make layups, I thought to myself about this whole basketball match and what it meant. We had fought our way up to getting to this position in the tournament for basketball between the international schools in our area. This game was the finals! If we win this, sorry…when we win this, we’d be going into the state championship!!
Taking a break from my deep thinking, I looked at the clock which read 3:55. Only 5 more minutes till the start of the game! Shouting at my team to come over, I went over the strategy of the game with them. After that, it was up to us weather we won or not.
“You can do this Filomena! Just calm down and make the two foul shots and we’ll go into overtime!”
I nodded at Andrea and wiped the beads of sweat off my forehead. The game had flew right past my eyes! It’s so intense and a really good competition! But right now, we were losing by 2 points, 42-40. If I made both of the foul shots, we’d be able to go overtime where we’ll definitely be able to beat the other team! There were only 2 seconds of the game left and I just had to do this!
Taking the basketball in my hands, I bounced it a few times, then taking a deep breath, took the shot. Swish! Screams erupted around the court and echoed off the court and echoed off the white painted walls of the indoor stadium. Grinning to myself, I took the basketball again and said to myself in my head, “Get ready for the state championship!”
But right as the basketball slipped out of my hands, I heard a voice yell, “Finally!”
The echoing of the basketball bouncing off the backboard and flying away to the side shocked me. The shouts of happiness from the other team finally made me realize what had just happened. We had lost, that’s what. And it’s all thanks to me.
Turning my back on the team, I walked out the court. I refused to see the anger and disappointment on their faces. It would completely break me down and I didn’t want to experience a feeling worse then how I felt now.
As I found a seat in the back of the bus, I remembered the reason why I couldn’t make that shot. Some idiot had yelled something out loud right as I made my shot! And because of that, my concentration had gone down and I missed! When I find that ass----, I swear to god I’ll pummel him to death!
The sound of the bus door being opened struck me and I quickly looked away from the entrance and out the window. They were all talking loudly about something as they came in, but after taking one look at me, none said a word. I could feel someone sit beside me and a quick glance to my left; I saw bushy long brown hair and recognized Andrea.
Feeling humiliated, I ignored the rest of my team’s existence as we drove away.
“Look, Filomena…please don’t feel too bad about this. I mean, it isn’t your fault that we lost. The rest of us didn’t rebound.”
Snorting, and still keeping my eyes out the window, I said, “Rebound? We had two seconds left. None of you guys could’ve made a shot in two seconds, especially if the ball flew out the court. That foul shot was way off.”
Silence followed after what I had said and then I heard her voice again.
“You shouldn’t feel too bad though…we lost by one point!! That’s better then last year!! Last year, we didn’t even get to the finals! We lost the second game and we couldn’t make it to this stage! But haven’t you noticed that once you became team captain we did way better compared to the previous years?”
My eyes flickered over to Andrea and the rest of my team. They were all looking at me intensely and waited for me to say a word…which I didn’t.
“Plus,” started Joyce, “you’re the one who always told us before a game that even if we lost, we shouldn’t feel too bad about it and just take it coolly. We all are taking it coolly but you’re the only one who seems to be heated up about everything at the moment.”
Everyone else muttered their agreements. I felt even guiltier about my behavior after what Joyce had said.
“Well…I could’ve made that foul shot if it wasn’t for that idiot!” I said, loudly.
“What idiot?” They all asked in unison.
“The idiot that had yelled something quite loudly right as I made my foul shot!” I said, irritably, my temper starting to rise again.
However, the rest of the team stared at me blankly. It was clear by the looks on their faces that they thought I was crazy or just didn’t understand a word I had just said.
“Filomena…no one had yelled anything when you made that foul shot.”
I glared at my team and argued back, “You guys! I heard him! Some idiotic guy had yelled out “Finally!” right as I made that second foul shot and I just lost my concentration because of that!”
“Filomena…there hadn’t been a single sound as you made that foul shot. We’re telling you,” Jamie said, looking at me with concern.
As I looked around my team, everyone else had the same look on their faces. They must be thinking that I had gone mad…but I had heard it, so clearly. A voice, so loud that had yelled the word, “finally” right as I made that shot. It couldn’t have been my imagination. My forehead creased in frustration, I heaved my bag over my shoulder as I noticed that the bus was getting closer to my apartment complex.
“Fine,” I muttered, “I must’ve just imagined everything. Sorry about losing the game again but one thing’s for sure, I won’t be trying out for captain next year.”
Yells of disagreement shouted back at me but I ran out the bus, headed for my room. I had some serious thinking to do…