"Hey, thanks for taking us back to our dorm coach" I say, as I help Izzy get into the backseat of coaches van so she can prop her leg up.
"It's no problem" coach replies with a hint of sadness in his voice.
I get into the passenger side of the van and I can't help but feel uneasy. Literally the last time Izzy and I were in a vehicle we got into an accident. Coach notices my expression and gives me a reassuring smile.
It's going to be okay Elizabeth," he says as he closes the door and starts the engine. All I do is smile back at him and look out the window.
We back out of the parking lot, in silence and start driving back towards the campus. I look back at Izzy who is staring out of her window as well, probably thinking the same thing as me. "How are you feeling?" I ask her.
"I'm fine, my knee is numb so I don't really feel any pain," she shoots me a half smile.
"That's good," I smile back at her and turn back around looking forward.
We stop at a four way intersection as the light turns red. Izzy must be upset about missing the tournaments, I'd be upset too. I let out a sigh and coach glances at me. When the light turns green we fling forward and I hear tires screeching and feel a vehicle slam into ours from the left side. I let out a scream, this can't be happening again. I see Izzy saying something but it's inaudible and I can't make out the words. What happened this time? I felt a pain shoot through my head, the same place as last time.
"Elizabeth!!" I hear my coach shout at me. "Elizabeth its okay, it's okay!"
I'm shaken from my trance, it didn't actually happen, we didn't get into another accident. I look back at Izzy and she is staring at me with a shocked expression on her face.
"I'm sorry," I mumbled to both of them. I looked up and around at my surroundings, just to be sure, and we were halfway there to the dorms. I tried to stop thinking about the accident for fear of losing it again so I focused my attention on all the animals I saw as we drove back to the dorm. We were on a long road that I knew we would at least be on for about 10 miles and we passed by a collection of creatures. Skunks, birds, goats, horses, cows, and even some things that I couldn't identify.
I had almost fallen asleep when we were back in town but I shook myself awake. I still had a headache from the concussion so I knew as soon as I got to the dorm; I'd definitely want to go to sleep. I looked back at Izzy to make sure she was okay and her head was rested against the window as she slept.
"What's today?" I asked coach.
"Its Wednesday, which reminds me, before you and Izzy decide to go off to class today, you have been excused. You don't have to attend any of your classes today and neither does Izzy because I informed the school of the accident. You also don't have to come to practice today if you don't want to, I can tell you both are still pretty tired and you won't be able to practice anyway."
Gee, thanks for the reminder coach. "Thanks coach, I'm glad because I really didn't feel up to going to class anyway but we will be at practice. At least I will, I want to get to know everyone more and see how they play together."
"Alright then I suppose I will see you there, but try to get some rest before okay? Eat something too while you're at it," he said as he pulled in front of the dorms.
"Alright," I started to say as I unbuckled my seatbelt, "wait, what about Izzy's car?"
"Don't worry about that it's already been taken care of, it's in the shop and will probably be out in about two weeks."
"Okay good," I said relieved. I didn't want Izzy to be without her car, I know I'd be upset if I were without my car if I had one. I'm not entirely sure if she can drive, but at least I'll have some good news to tell her.
I stepped out of the car and walked around to Izzy side of the car. When I opened the door she jumped awake because her head was still resting on the window. "Hey!" she shouted sleepily.
"Sorry, sorry! I didn't mean to open the door so fast!" I could hear coach chuckling in the front seat. I Helped Izzy get out of the van and gave her the crutches. She unwillingly took them and I walked with her up to our room. I could tell she was upset since she didn't talk to me much and I wished I knew how I could make her feel better but I don't.
When we got to the room, I stumbled with the key but finally unlocked the door. Our room was exactly how we left it. How odd it was to think I practically just got here and was in the hospital the other night. It gave me the chills thinking about it. I went into the room after Izzy and helped her lay down on her bed.
"Are you hungry for anything?" I asked her.
She smiled at me, "sure, a sandwich would be perfect right now."
I smiled back and went into the kitchen part of the room to make her a sandwich. The way our dorm was set up, we had a small living room and a small kitchen, along with another room for two other people which was unoccupied.
When I finished, I wrapped it in a paper towel and took it to her. "Here," I said, handing her the food. "I wasn't sure what you liked on it so I kind of just put the basics on there."
"It's good don't worry, thank you very much Elizabeth." She said between bites.
"Good, I'm going to lay down now and probably go to sleep. Since we don't have to go to class, are you going to come with me to practice?" I said trying to plead with my eyes; I didn't want to go alone.
"Sure," she said, sounding a little uneasy. "I'll wake you up okay?"
"Sounds good." I lay on top of my blankets and pulled my phone out of my pocket. "I should probably call my mom first though" I said to Izzy as I rolled my eyes.
Izzy laughed and said "Yeah, I definitely have to do the same thing before my mom totally freaks out but I'll do it after I eat"
I called my mom and she answered on the third ring. I told her all about the flight and the room I was staying in, my roommate, along with my team, the coach, and then finally the accident. She was hysterical at first, making sure I was okay and almost regretting the decision to let me come but I kept reassuring her until she finally calmed down. I spoke to her in Hungarian even though she knew English, but I didn't want Izzy to overhear what I was saying about how I thought the accident was my fault and not hers. Izzy seemed fascinated by the language anyway so I didn't feel self-conscience about speaking it in front of her.
After I got off the phone with my mom, Izzy looked at me.
"I guess it's my turn now huh?"
I laughed; it seemed like she was acting more herself now "I guess so"
"Before I forget though, let me get your number in case I need it"
"Alright," I scrolled though my phone finding my number and tossed my phone to her so she could type it into her phone.
She tossed it back, "Thanks"
As soon as she started talking to her mom about everything, I closed my eyes and fell asleep before practice.
"Come on Elizabeth, do you still want to go to practice?"
I rolled over, my stomach growling, and Izzy standing in front of me leaning on her crutches.
"Your stomach has been growling for the past thirty minutes so you might want to eat something."
I sat up and she held a granola bar out to me. I took it without hesitation and peeled off the wrapper. Mmm chocolate chip, my favorite. I took a bite and stood up. As soon as I threw my shoes on, we were out of the door heading to the field. When we got there, my mom kept blowing up my phone asking if I was okay. I sent her a quick text telling her I was fine and that I was at practice. Before she could text me back I turned my phone off and stuck it in my sports bra.
I went to go sit on the bench and Elizabeth was off to the side talking to one of our teammates. Coach wasn't there yet but almost everyone was on the field having a practice game, blue against red. Everyone was serious about the game, but was also having fun at the same time. I almost forgot that it was a practice game when I was watching as one of the blue forwards dribbled through midfield and one of the red defenders executed a clean slide tackle. Then, one of the girls on the losing team suggested that they practice a crossing drill and everyone got excited and set up two lines.
"Well, well, if it isn't our newest bench warmer." I heard a nasal sounding voice say from behind me. I turned to see who it was but I didn't need to, I knew who it was. It was the rude girl from last time. I still didn't know her name but she was flanked by two other girls.
"Can I help you?" I asked trying to sound as polite as I could.
"Yeah, you could help me out by eating all of the food in my fridge miss hungry girl."
Seriously, I wish she knew how to insult me better because these insults are pathetic. "I haven't done anything to you, can you please stop being so rude to me?"
"Can you please stop being so rude to me" she tried mimicking my voice and faking my accent. She was literally acting like a two year old, for no reason.
"Why is your hair so boring? And are those indoor cleats? They totally match your soccer cleats, how incredibly childish of you." Right. I'm the one who is childish. Do you ever wear anything but black?" she continued. I have no idea what compels this girl to be so rude to me, but my head hurts and she needs to shut the hell up.
I turn to look at where Izzy was standing talking to one of her friends and she isn't there. I look around on the field and notice she left. "Are you looking for your friend?" the girl asked in a mock caring tone. "She left about 10 minutes ago. She isn't here to defend you now, is she? That's too bad."
My face went hard, this girl is about to get punched if she doesn't just shut up already." I don't need Izzy to defend me, I can handle myself. Now can you please go somewhere? My head is killing me and your annoying voice isn't helping any."
The girl messing with me looked surprised at my sudden change of tone. I wasn't going to try to be nice to her if she kept acting ignorant. Before she had the chance to say anything else, Coaches voice boomed from behind me and I cringed at the loudness.
"Crystal," Coach directed to the girl who was being rude to me "Hanna, Savannah, Why aren't you girls out playing with the others?" He asked skeptically
"Well coach," Crystal started "They were playing with subs and we were the extras" she finished sweetly, smiling up at coach.
"Well alright then," Coach blew his whistle and everyone stopped playing.
He walked away from us and called everyone to the center of the field so he could talk to them, motioning to me that I could stay seated on the bench. I could barely hear what he was saying to the girls but I knew the beginning was about Izzy and I and the accident. The rest seemed unimportant so I zoned out and looked up at the sky which was cloudless, not a single cloud in sight. It reminded me that Izzy had left and I had no idea why or when. Why didn't she tell me? I was going to pull out my phone and turn it on to text her but then I remembered I didn't have her number, only she had mine. "She probably just got tired and headed up to the dorm" I thought to myself. Deep down I had a feeling she was mad at me but I shook the thought from my head. Why would she be mad?
The team started with the regular warm up and then moving on to what they were doing before, crossing. I'm assuming one of the girls or maybe multiple girls convinced him to let them finish what they started. They only did that for about 20 minutes until they moved into a defensive drill, which happened to me one of my favorites. It was getting hard to watch because every time I would see someone make a wrong move I would want to run up and help, and show them how to do it. It seems conceited, but defense is practically my religion and I know when and when not to make a move. I looked up at the sky again and just listened to the sounds of the coach blowing his whistle, the girls talking to one another, the ball hitting against the keepers gloves, and the occasional swish of the goal when a defender made a wrong move and a forward scored. I took deep breaths of fresh air into my lungs and I felt the warm sun against my skin. The warmth made me think about David and how I was so comfortable with him on the plane from Paris when I fell asleep on his shoulder. I can't believe he is here and I may never see him again. How embarrassing that he had to see me the way I was, even though he was mostly around Izzy last night. I thought back to his kind smile when he recognized me at the restaurant and how it gave me butterflies when he spoke to me. I wish I had Izzy's confidence though, she was able to talk to him so easily and I probably seemed like a child to him.
Before I knew it, coaches final long whistle, indicating practice was over, sounded and everyone gathered by him. When he finished talking to them they all came to the bench to get some water from the bottles and grab their stuff to go. Some of the girls talked to me asking if I was alright and told me that they can't wait for me to play with them and others just gave me a warm smile and left. Crystal shot me a death glare and I rolled my eyes. I was getting up when coach called me over to him. I started to jog towards him out of habit and he squinted his eyes at me. "You better stop jogging Elizabeth," he said sternly walking to meet me halfway.
"Sorry sir," I told him, "it's a habit"
"That's alright; just don't let me see you jogging again for the next two weeks okay?"
"Yes sir I won't" I said putting my hand over my heart as a promise.
"How are you feeling? Did you like the practice?" he asked.
"Yeah it was interesting to watch, I loved it." I half lied, I didn't completely watch because I got distracted.
"Well good, I didn't see Izabella so I'm assuming She wasn't feeling well enough to come?" he asked with a concerned expression.
"Oh, she's fine coach don't worry, she's just tired is all." I said to him. I still wasn't exactly sure where she was.
"Well you rest up too now okay? Don't need that concussion of yours to get any worse."
"Yes sir, I'll see ya tomorrow" I said as I turned away and he went back to scribbling down stuff on his clip board.
I left the field and was heading up the hill towards the dorm when I heard a familiar laugh that gave me butterflies. I looked up to see David somewhere around me but I couldn't find him. I heard the laughter again and it directed me to a guy and a girl. The guy was holding a girl on his back and my heart dropped. The guy was David and the girl was Izzy.
If I could have ripped my heart out and thrown it to a starving tiger, I would have. Didn't Izzy know I liked David? Didn't David flirt with me on the plane and then the restaurant? The more I thought about it I realized that David talked more to Izzy at the restaurant than he did with me, and when the accident happened he seemed more concerned for Izzy. How could I be so blind? Tears rolled down my cheeks as I saw Izzy rest her head on his shoulder while he carried her. Neither of them had noticed me and I doubt they were going to notice me anyways. It seemed like they were headed towards the dorm so there was no way I could go back there looking upset like this. I turned the opposite way unaware of where I might end up but I didn't care. Anywhere but here would be good right now.
The sun was beginning to set and I headed towards the park to clear my throbbing head. I sat down on a bench next to water fountain, tears still streaming down my face. I felt someone slam down onto the bench next to me. "Hey," the stranger said to me. I almost started to panic, because it was getting dark but I looked over to see who it was, and a familiar face was smiling down at me.