As the last bell of the school day goes off, I walk down the hallway with my soccer ball tucked under my arm. I've been carrying it around all day in my backpack because today is the tryouts for the school soccer team.
Amy, Camilla, and Elliot had left already; they were probably already home, or making their way there. Finally, I spot the doors of the back of the school. I'd decided earlier that it would be easier to go to the field through the back doors, rather than going out the front doors and walking around the entire outside of the school.
Reaching the doors, I lean against the push bar so that it'd open. With a bit of force, it swings open and I stumble forward, almost landing face-first on the ground. Luckily, I catch my balance before I completely fall over.
"Sanderson!" A rough, deep voice yells my last name. It's the coach. He's got medium length, blonde hair that's spiked up at the front. I think his eyes are blue, but I can't see from here. He's standing in the middle of the field with a whistle in his hand.
I half jog, half run over to him. "Hi," I say, panting heavily by the time I reach him.
"You're out of shape," he gives me a disapproving stare as he states this. "I hope for your sake that you play better than you run."
"Sorry," I mumble, my cheeks turning a shameful color of red. "I don't really run well, sir. I usually play goalie."
He nods, his look of disapproval lightening a bit. Blowing his whistle, he calls the rest of the kids over and we begin.
By the time we're done with tryouts, I'm beat. Sweat trickles down my face and I breathe heavily.
"Line up," the coach says roughly.
We do as we're told and I find myself at the end of the line, standing next to a skinny guy with long black hair that hangs in his face. Silently, I wonder if he can even see.
"There's 23 of you," coach begins, pacing the line and giving us all a not-so-gentle poke in the ribs. "I only need 11 of you for my team. That means 12 of you will not be chosen. Got it?"
We nod, not daring to move out of line or even speak.
"Good," he growls, finally stopping his pacing. His eyes meet mine and I force myself to look away.
He starts naming off people that made it on the team and what their positions will be, but I don't recognize any of the people. Realizing he's stated 10 names already, I swallow hard. 'I'm not going to make it...'
"Lastly, Sanderson as goalie," he announces. I snap back to attention, my eyes sparking with happiness. "Get the hell over here. The rest of you, get off my field."
The people that weren't chosen shuffle off and leave through the back door of the school, leaving the rest of us alone.
"Our practice starts tomorrow. 3:15. Don't be late," coach says, looking each of us in the eyes. "Got it?"
We nod excitedly.
"Alright. Get going, now. I don't want your folks worried about you being home late," he says, shooing us away.
Without another word, I turn and walk off towards the back door of the school to get my belongings. It didn't really matter if I was home late or not, because my dad didn't care. He always makes dinner and eats it without me anyway.