My narrative took place when I was 12 years old. The story happened in Malaysia while I was playing football for my school when something unexpected happened. This taught me a valuable lesson that I still cherish to this day. Enjoy.
An Eye for an Eye
As I stepped past the metal detector, my heart started to race. Just like inside my head, the airport wasn’t crowded but sure as hell wasn’t quiet. The floors were polished and cleansed that you could see your reflection. Everyone was nervous about this trip including me. I paced around nervously, staring at my reflection. This tournament meant a lot to me. FOBISIA was the biggest tournament for us and I wanted the win. You know how when you were 12 years old, especially if you had a sibling, you were hungry for victory? Always trying to prove you are the best, the center of the universe. We all grow out of it eventually.
As soon as we boarded the plane, I turned to my friend and asked, “Do you think we have a shot this year? This is probably as strong as our team is going to get, with all these new guys coming in, we can win, can’t we?”, “I can’t say for sure man, I hope we win, but don’t get your hopes up too high.” he said in a disappointed tone. “Do you not want us to win? Come on man have some faith in our team, I saw the game schedule, we are not going to play the two strongest teams until the semi-finals, if no one gets injured in our team, this is our year!”.
As I have been playing the same position for the past 2 years, I was the goalkeeper for my team. We won our first game 2:0 and were feeling confident. During the second match, my opponent dribbled past our defenders and was headed my way. He came in fast, so without hesitation, I rushed forward, trying to minimize his angles of shots. I slid forward, trying to grab the ball before he could take a shot. It worked, but before I got back up and kicked the ball back forward, I felt something warm, sliding down my face. I reached up, trying to wipe it off but when I took a look to see what it was, I panicked. I was bleeding.
Now before you read on, let me just say this clearly did not go according to plan, my dream of coming first crashed to the ground and got stomped to a million pieces. I don’t think I have ever bled so much, I fell on my back and tried to cover where ever the blood was coming from. My friends rushed in to check on me. I was so terrified that I couldn’t speak, and the pain finally came in. It felt like if someone smashed your head on the tip of a desk and kept banging and banging and just wouldn’t stop. The nurse got to me along came my coach and a few staff, they lifted me up and carried me under a tent. The nurse washed my face to see my wound, the water stung really bad, but I didn’t want to cry in front of my friends. She then gave me a piece of gauze and told me to put pressure on it. Everyone left by that point and the pain still got me, but I wasn’t panicking anymore, I soon drifted off…
I can’t recall what exactly happened, and I ended up lying in a hospital bed. I know I got stitches because there was a patch. I soon realized what was going on. I came here with the goal of winning with my friends, now I am lying on a bed while they fight for our victory, I couldn’t be more ashamed of myself.
The nurse came in with dinner and I got a chance to deal with the problem. “You’re such a dumbass”, I yelled at myself, “not only have you lost the only chance you are going to get to win, but you have let your friends down”. I knew I had to do something, so I could get back with my friends, I cleared my mind and laid back on my bed. I stared at the ceiling, squeezing every last braincell in my head, trying to think of a plan. Lying there on the bed soon got me sleepy again so I decided to get up and walk around, see if that would get my brain working again. I saw my bag lying by the wall, so I tried looking through it. I found a water bottle, a pair of trainers and a deck of cards that I was planning on playing with at the hotel with my friends. I can’t decide what to do, it felt like I had two rubber bands on each ends of my hands, the longer I waited to let go, the more painful it was going to get, on one end I faced my friends and the other was my parents and my coach. So, I decided I wouldn’t choose, I will pick out a random card from the deck and that will tell me what to do, so I assigned red to my friends and black to my parents, I shuffled the cards over and over, I eventually stopped and fanned out the cards. My hand moved back and forth, uncertain about which one to pick. I said to myself don’t hesitate, just pick one. I reached for the card on the end, flipped it around as fast as I could, it was the 7 of clubs.
“Alright, a black card, I guess I am listening to my parents.” I said, hoping that this was the right thing to do… I called in the nurse and told her I wanted to call my parents.
“Yes sweetie? Oh my god how is your injury? Does it hurt? I told you to be careful, I had a feeling you were going to get injured, oh I am so worried for you.”
“Yes… Anyways… I was wondering, if emm, I could play… Again, for my frie, I mean my school.”
“WHAT!? What are you thinking? What if you get kicked again? I warned you before about playing football, these things are dangerous, you could get seriously hurt playing again!”
“I know! But, I just want to play with my friends, I, I don’t want to let them down, I love, love my team, they mean the world to me. Please, I don’t…”
“Ok… sweetie… Let’s not cry, we can work this out, couldn’t we? Now, let me tell you something, if your “friends” are truly your friends, they should be more concern about your health then expecting you to play football with them when you are injured already. Now, not being able to play does not mean you can’t support them in other ways, I promise you, once you are healed, I will let you go and watch on the side alright?”
“Really? Will you talk to the coach then?”
“Sure, I promise, now get some rest, don’t worry about this anymore. Love you.”
I didn’t go through with the plan, but now I know what I truly want, I want to be out there standing next to my friends. Now I can only hope my mom would keep her promise.
A few days later, I was released from the hospital. They removed my eye cover. Turns out wasn’t that bad after all, they gave me a couple of stitches on my right but nothing serious. I cheered for my friends, they made it into the semi-finals without me anyways but lost 1-3. At the gala dinner, I was embarrassed to stand up there along with my team because I missed out the tournament, I sat back down in the crowd, holding my tears back. “Come on up.” The music was playing, and the crowd was noisy, but I still recognized his voice. “Come on up, don’t tell me you are shy now Adli, you should be up here with us.”, I didn’t know what to say or do other than smile, “Thanks, I am really sorry I wasn’t out there playing with you, Thanks.”. Now, this is where my story ends, I could write about what happens next like how my parents still gave me a whole lecture when I got home, but that isn’t important, what is important is this changed how I thought friends were, a true friend would never guilt you or force you to do anything that could be dangerous, even till this day, I still remember to watch out for these when I am choosing my friends.
This happened when I was 12 years old playing soccer for my school, when something terrible happened which no one expected. However, it taught me a valuable lesson that I will never forget.
To better characterize myself in the narrative, I used words like “spoiled”, “hungry for victory”, “terrified” and “panicking” to show my characteristics and thoughts. Also, to help the reader understand my internal-conflict, I used words like “ashamed”, “uncertain” and “embarrassed” to express my conflicted struggle against myself. I also used some literary techniques to enhance or express some ideas in the story. I firstly used repetition by the constant mentioning of me wanting to play in the match with my friends and when describing my feelings with them to highlight their importance to my character. I also used metaphor at the beginning to express how nervous I was waiting at the airport. “Just like inside my head…… Wasn’t quiet.”, I wrote this to show the reader how anxious my character was about the tournament, so the reader understands how important it was to me. I also used dialogues to help characterize myself, the tone of my character is very excited and entirely focused on winning the game, “we can win, can’t we?”. I did this to show at the start of my narrative, my character only cared about winning the game, but later on in the dialogue between me and my mother, my character’s focus changed from winning the tournament for myself to winning and playing for my friends, “I just want to play with my friends…… they mean the world to me.”. This change in my character is the focus of my narrative and in my conclusion, I used the phrase “even till this day, I still remember……” to show how valuable this lesson is to me.