It's dark and cold. The overwhelming quiet nearly sent me into a panic attack. Where the hell am I? I squint to try and see anything in front of me but I can't. I hold my hand out in front of me but I can't even see it.
"Hello?" I call out like one of those dumb girls in a horror movie, as if whoever or whatever is going to reply back like "hey yeah I'm over here, Gotcha!"
I'm vulnerable. My voice was shaky and my heart was thudding loudly. I could hear it echoing in my ears. I nervously sat down, feeling the ground around me. If I can't see, I'm not going to walk around and fall off a cliff or something. The floor beneath me felt smooth like concrete. Seriously, what's going on? I nearly started crying when I heard a noise.
"What the fuck?!" I exclaimed, not being able to hold back my vulgar language.
Click, click, click.
The noise grew louder as it seemed to get closer to me. I lifted my knees up to my chest and put my head down just waiting for this to be over. I heard what sounded like a match being lit. I lifted my head up and looked around hoping to see a light somewhere and sure enough a small flicker of light was coming from my left. I squinted, trying to see in what little light I had. The light was a relief but it wasn't until I realized that someone was there with me, that it really seemed as if I had met my death. The figure holding the match was hard to make out, it looked like a tall built male, hunched over as if he had been that way his whole life. I caught a glimpse of the man's face in the light. His mouth was red with blood and his eyes looked pitch black and angry. He was wearing dirty black clothing that looked like a robe and he had a hood on over his head. My heart was hammering and I felt like if this man wasn't going to kill me, my heart was certainly going to do the trick.
"You're finally here." the man said in a distorted, harsh, agitated tone that would make anyone want to hold a gun against their temple and pull the trigger, just to escape.
I feel an abrupt movement against my shoulder and my eyes shot open. It was a dream. I slowly start to relax while a stranger is staring at me with concern on her face, she must be my roommate.
"Hi, excuse me can you please tell me what you are doing here," she said, sounding concerned.
I was a little disoriented from being awoken so suddenly. I stood up so I could face her. Why on earth did I have a nightmare and what did it mean? Refocusing, I try to smile at her. "This is my dorm; I'm assuming you're my new roommate. Hi I'm Elizabeth." I extended my hand out for a handshake like I see in all the movies; this is what they do right? I hope she doesn't think I'm weird.
"Hi I'm Izabella, but you can call me Izzy." she shakes my hand. Maybe I did the right thing.
"It's nice to meet you." I relax and sit back down on my new bed.
My new roommate Izzy starts to ramble on and I can barely keep my eyes open.
"I didn't mean to wake you, well I did but that's just because I thought you were some random person sleeping in my room. I didn't expect you to come till 3......."
What is she talking about? Geez I really hope she isn't the talkative type. I'm really no good with holding up conversations unless I know the person really well. She must think I'm weird because I'm not saying anything, just letting her go on and on about what? I don't even know. I don't want to make a bad first impression but I'm just so exhausted from the flight that I can't figure out something to say as she continues.
"Oh gosh you must be so tired you can go back to sleep till practice I completely forgot you flew all the way here from hungry you must be exhausted and here I am rambling on and on like I'm doing right now. Please go to sleep before we have practice."
Oh thank goodness. I nod my head towards her and lay back resting my head and closing my eyes. It didn't take long for me to go right back to sleep. Normally I would have been too frightened to go back to sleep after the dream I just had but, the dream didn't really cross my mind with Izzy talking to me. This time I dreamt about playing soccer with my old team and it was bittersweet.
I was awoken by Izzy's alarmed voice telling me it was time to wake up for practice. I quickly jumped out of bed trying to remember where I had put my soccer gear. I go to one of the drawers and pull out some black soccer shorts, a black sports bra, and black spandex. I would have stayed in my sweats but it was hot outside. However, I wasn't going to change my shirt. I wanted people to know who I was and what I was doing here. I rushed to the bathroom with my clothes and put them on after using the restroom. Realizing I haven't eaten anything since I left home I curse under my breath. "Damn." I really hope that I'm not going to pass out or faint during practice, what would the coach think of me then? I brush out my hair and pull it into a bun, exiting the bathroom.
Feeling refreshed, I pick up my cleats and smile at Izzy. "I'm ready."
We leave and I follow Izzy out. By the time we get to the field my new coach beckons everyone over to him so the team could meet me. How embarrassing, I hate when people look at me or give me any type of attention, I feel self conscious.
"Everyone listens up!" he says over the whispering. "This is Elizabeth. She will be our new starting Right Defender. She is a sophomore coming from Hungary so I want you all to make her feel welcomed. Today we are going to start with our normal Warm up and get into some 1v1 drills which I will explain when we get to it alright?" everyone nods their head in agreement.
"Thanks for the introduction coach," I said smiling, trying to give off a good impression. He nods towards me in appreciation and gives me a kind smile back.
"Okay ladies, do our normal warm up so we can begin." he says to us.
Being the new girl, I had no idea what I was doing so I watched everyone else get ready for the warm up, I stayed kind of close to Izzy because I knew her more than anyone else. I didn't stand too close because I didn't want her to think I was some obsessed freak or something.
We started running sprints after the laps we did and I tried to go my hardest so the coach knew I meant business, and wouldn't regret asking me to come play for his team. I dug my new cleats into the earth feeling them fitted perfectly to my feet. I felt as though I was floating on air. Halfway through the sprints, my chest started to feel tight and my breathing became uneven. I tried to focus on moving quicker and fighting through the pain. I focused on breathing in through my nose and out through my mouth. Izzy was the only one in front of me so I pushed even harder to try to be as fast as her. It got harder to breath but we were almost finished so I knew I couldn't give up. I ended up finishing at the same time as Izzy.
I looked at her and there was a wave of pain that flashed across her face. "Good job." she managed to tell me.
"You too," I said. Hopefully she hadn't noticed that I could barely make out the words from the pain I was in. I didn't want her or anyone else to find out about my heart condition because I was afraid that they would tell me not to play soccer. That was something I wouldn't be able to handle, because I can play and I prove it every time I step onto the field, ready to go as hard as possible.
The coach interrupted my thoughts "Okay we are gonna do 1 v 1. You have 3 chances to either make a goal for the offense player or keep her from scoring the defense player okay?! And first up are Elizabeth and Izzy."
I can't say I was surprised that he paired us together. I was glad because I wanted to know how she played. In my opinion, it's easier to tell what type of person you are by the way you play your game.
When we got to the center of the field, Izzy started with the ball and I played defense. I had no idea what to expect because I had never seen her, or anyone else on this team for that matter, play before. When coach blew the whistle, I stood there examining her body language waiting for her to begin her first movement but before I expected it she took off in a sprint. I tried my best to keep her in front of me, breaking down as I got close, but she faked me out to the left and pulled back to the right. She had got passed me and immediately without hesitation she wound up and shot the ball before I had the chance to put my body in front of it. The ball flew up into the upper 90 and I could hear the deafening sound of the ball against the net. I had been scored on. She wasn't what I expected. She jogged back to starting position and I could practically see the confidence dripping off of her. Coach blew the whistle again signaling that the play was over.
"1 point for Izzy" Coach Reed says. I felt a surge of defeat followed by determination to get her back. I didn't bother to think about the constant echoing of the ball hitting the back of the net that was in the back of my mind. I refocused and as soon as the coach blew the whistle, I was after her. I wasn't going to wait for her to make a move this time, my main objective was to get the ball and stop her from scoring a goal. I noticed she was about to do a trick again the way she shifted her body and when her foot was lifted up I quickly charged her up and knocked her off the ball obtaining possession.
"1 point for Elizabeth. Okay ladies, next point wins." coach says after he blew the whistle for us to stop.
I noticed Izzy looked irritated that I took the ball. I could tell she wasn't expecting me to be able to get the ball from her, especially after she was able to score the first time. She was enraged and so was I. I wasn't going to give up another goal so easily. Coach blew the whistle and Izzy started sprinting with the ball. I broke down in front of her prepared for anything she was about to throw in my direction. She rain bowed the ball over my head and I nearly lost my focus. I turned back and quickly sprinted to get back in front of the ball and as Izzy gets ready to volley it in I jump in front of her shot and I felt a sharp stinging pain in my stomach. It nearly knocked the breath out of me but I managed to control it. The ball bounced off and Izzy took off towards the ball and I chased after her. I was about to get this ball. Her body language told me exactly which way she was about to turn because she was fully committed to it. I had to count on this because if she faked me out again she might be able to score if I can't recover myself quickly enough. Before I was on top of her ready to body her off the ball, the coach blew the whistle signaling for us to stop. I was completely out of breath noticing a slight sharp pain in my chest; I really need to eat as soon as possible. I looked over at Izzy and she too was out of breath. She looked upset that we were interrupted and I understood why. She enjoyed the challenge just as much as I did.
"Okay you two, that's enough. We will just call it a tie," coach says, with a hint of humor in his voice. I could tell that he enjoyed our determination. Izzy let out a disappointed sigh and jogged off the field. I followed after her, hoping for some water. Coach called out two more people to go 1v1 and I grabbed some water and took a sip. I wanted to watch as the girls went against each other so I could get to know how more of my team played but I heard my name being said from somewhere behind me. I looked to see who it was. It was some skinny girl talking with her friends as if they were better than me. I didn't know how any of them played so they might have been but that didn't give them the right to be rude to me, they didn't even know me. I walked over to confront them and the main girl who looked like the "leader" of the group got a disgusted look on her face.
"Why are you even here? You obviously suck, and you talk really weird, where did you come from again? Oh yeah, hungry. The place obviously has the right name considering how big you are. The children over there must be hungry over there since you take their food." she said rudely.
Why would she say something like that, it didn't even make sense. I never thought of myself as a big person but I got self conscious after that remark. I didn't know what to say after that, I was so stunned. How could someone be so mean? This girl knows nothing about me, yet chooses to make me feel bad about myself. I hate girls like this. They think they know what they're talking about but they don't. How frustrating. All I wanted to do now was go home, not home as in my dorm but home as in with my mom in Hungary. I wanted to finish my school work online and get a job and move out. I wanted to scream at this girl and destroy her little perfect world but I knew nothing about her, how could I say anything negative. What kind of person would I be anyways if I started yelling at her? The coach probably wouldn't want me on his team anymore, but maybe it would be worth it.
I got ready to say something when Izzy came out of nowhere and chimed in "excuse me, do you mind repeating what you said." she said rudely to her. I was confused, what was Izzy doing. Is she about to gang up on me too?
"I said..." the girl started but then Izzy cut her off.
"I heard what you said and you are a complete idiot. First off, she doesn't suck especially if she can defend me from shooting a goal. Do I have to remind you that you nearly miss all the shots you take? How many goals did you make last season? Oh right 2. Considering I made 8 before I got hurt. I bet Elizabeth stops your shots like a Pre-K kid could. And second, she came from Hungary. With an 'A' you freaking Idiot, No wonder you barely passed your history class." Izzy was ranting, this girl really made her mad and Izzy was defending me. I can't describe how relieved I felt. "And," she continued. "She isn't even that big. It's all muscle that's built unlike you, that is nothing but sticks and bones. At least she can get pushed and not get knocked off the ball unlike you. So, I would check yourself before you start making fun of people. And by the way, I think her accent is pretty cool unlike your annoying Howler Monkeys." She finished. The girls face began to get red as Izzy finished sticking up for me. Izzy just embarrassed her because she was being rude to me. I think that I and Izzy are going to become good friends, even though she totally just insulted howler monkeys. I laughed quietly at my own joke and coach blew the final whistle, ending practice.
"Come on Elizabeth, let's go." Izzy says to me. I could tell she was still annoyed but as we were walking quietly back to the dorm I felt the need to thank her.
"Thank you for sticking up for me. I really appreciate it," I say as I smiled at her.
She smiled back at me "You're welcome. I know it must be hard for you though. I know it was hard for me to leave my family in another state, I can't imagine how you're feeling when you left your family in another country." she told me.
I had no idea that she could relate to me, "I'm sorry you had to leave your family, I know it's hard. At least somebody understands. I just don't handle change really well" I pause thinking about that girl who was being rude to me, I started to get irritated again but stopped and turned to face Izzy. "Why was she so rude to me if she doesn't even know me?"
"She's just scared of more competition; she thinks it will take away from her spot light time. But don't worry she won't bother you anymore because I'm your friend and she is scared of me because I'm the Captain of the team. I'm gonna talk to Coach to make you a Captain to, because you're really good I haven't seen anyone defend like you did in years."
Good. She should be afraid. I'm definitely not going to go easy on her, ever. She messed with the wrong defender. A smile crept to my face and I couldn't help picturing what it would be like to defend the girl who tried to humiliate me. With Izzy by my side, maybe this wouldn't be so bad. Something I know for sure though is that I really need to stuff my face with food now.