…Hope,Believe and Recieve…
"James, breakfast. “It's my mom calling; I obviously overslept, which is not surprising, since I stayed up half the night thinking about the final game today. I've practiced so hard for this game. My best friend Jeremy came over every day and we practiced together, he's striker and I'm goalie. We play in my backyard using the old goal-posts that my dad built for me before he passed away. I guess I got my talent from him, he was really good at soccer and got a bursary to a college, but back then, even with the bursary, he couldn't afford to go.
"Be down in a second. “I shouted. I quickly pulled a clean sweater over my head and changed into my jeans, “I really need to ask my mom to get me a new pair of pjs."I thought to myself, as I tossed my Thomas the train pjs into a corner. I ran out into the passage and slid down the stair banister. I smelled bacon and eggs, yay my favorite!
"Morning James, how did you sleep?"
"Morning mom, ok thanks. “I said, not taking my eyes off the sizzling bacon in the pan.
"Dig in. "Mom said, "You'll need the energy."
I didn't hesitate, I was ravenous. After I had gobbled up three eggs and a crispy piece of bacon, I put my plate in the sink and ran upstairs to brush my teeth. When I came down again, Jeremy was at the door.
"Hey James you want to go and play a warm-up match before the big game?" "You bet! “I said eagerly. “Bye mom, see you at the game." "Okay James, just be careful you don't get hurt. “She said. "Don't worry, “I said. “I won't. “Come on Jeremy, let's go."
We walked down Oak Avenue and took a right turn to the big empty field where we always played fun matches. A few of the boys in our team were there, David, Bob, Steve and George. We're in the under 16 A team at Riverdown High school, which is quite an achievement, since the school is famous for its excellent soccer players. We ended up just kicking to each other and practicing scoring goals instead of playing a match, because there were not enough players.
"I'm going to go and have a shower before the game; I'll see you all later."
When I got home I took a long hot shower. Then I changed into my sports gear; a blue and white shirt, navy blue shorts, soccer boots and gloves. I came downstairs; my mom was in the car. We were giving Jeremy a lift because his dad was working and couldn't take him. He was always working.
We got to the field, we were early, there were only a few people setting up camping chairs and some boys warming up on the field. While my mom went to find a spot to sit, Jeremy and I jogged around the field to warm up. When the whistle blew, we all ran onto the field and into our positions, we were playing against Hedgewood High school, we had played them before and had lost badly. I was nervous, to tell you the truth, I was terrified!
Both teams stood in position, I took a deep breath and closed my eyes, the whistle blew and they snapped open. I was completely focused, my eye on the ball, it moved swiftly across the field towards me, one pass, one pause and slam his foot hit the ball sending it flying towards my right, I dived but the ball skimmed past my fingers. The whistle blew again and I got up more determined than ever to stop the next ball that came in my direction. This time the ball headed towards the opponents goalposts, David to George, George to David and smack the ball flew from his foot and into the nets, I shouted for joy. That goal made the other team angry and they wanted revenge. It was nearly half time, luckily for us, because the whistle blew just as the ball was half way towards me.
The team gathered in a circle and after a lot of praising and criticizing from the coach, it was time for the second half of the game.
It seemed as though that the ball was right in front of me as soon as the whistle blew, before I could judge in which direction it was coming ,it had already smacked into the net. I was amazed, but the coach was screaming at me to focus and so I did. The ball glided across the field with Jeremy behind it, I screamed, "Go!" I'm not sure if he heard me but the ball whistled pass the unfocused goalie. "Yes!" I shouted.
I focused my gaze on the ball as it slowly but surely made its way across the field, my mind and body were one I shifted my weight from foot to foot ready for anything, it was only a few seconds before the end of the game, if they scored this goal it was a tie and I hate ties, if I stopped it then we won the season. It all depended on me now… that victory depended on me. The player paused for a second he turned his body, I watched his eyes and I watched the ball as it spun in the air towards my left I flung myself to the side, flying, risking everything, my hands hit the ball and with the little energy that I had, I pushed it as hard as I could, a split second before I crashed down, a split second before the pain tore throughout my body. I didn't hear the loud roar of the applause from the spectators; Jeremy was beside me in an instant he was smiling he said "James we won!" But then his face changed… that was when I blacked out.
I woke up in the hospital, I panicked at first and tried to sit up but mom was there and she told me to hush and relax.
“What happened?” I asked, “Why am I here?”
“You got hurt James.” My mom said, “Really badly.”
I breathed in deeply, I was aching everywhere, my arm was bruised and I couldn't feel my legs. A nurse came in then, she had a needle in her hand and she propped me up and inserted it in my lower back, I winced in pain. When the nurse left I asked my mom,” When will I get out of here?”
“I've talked to the doctor, he said, well you might not be able to play soccer again, I know you're upset but there is a slim chance that you might recover, these things take time to heal.”
I was so shocked that at first I didn't say anything.
“You just got to have hope James you just have to.” She said while the tears rolled down her cheeks. I reached out my hand to her and she held it tight. My mom stayed with me that night I didn't sleep though I was thinking about what I did wrong, I was so uncomfortable, and my back was aching. In just one small dive I might've thrown away my whole career as a soccer player. Jeremy came over the next day, we talked how we always had, and he made me laugh until my stomach was aching. He promised he'd visit often he told me that I must have faith and hope with all my heart, I nodded and said I'd try. The pain was easing now and I could sit up at a forty degree angle with pillows propping me up. My mom came the next morning with a big box in her hand, she said it was for me and placed it on my lap. Something was wriggling inside; I opened it up and out jumped the cutest, little Alsatian puppy. He licked my face and I laughed, then I noticed that the puppy only had three legs, I looked at mom and she smiled and I grinned back, I don't know how my mom got the nurses to allow me to keep a dog in the hospital but they did and that night he slept on my chest. I named the puppy Hope; he's very entertaining and keeps me busy by making me throw a rubber ball for him, he limps on his three legs after the ball and back again.
I've been here for a week already and it is finally time for me to go home. Thank goodness, I hate the smell of hospitals. Jeremy pushed me in my wheel chair from the hospital bed to the car and from the car to the living room. I couldn't go upstairs but my mom had set up the sleeper couch for me. That first night at home I cried like never before. I hugged Hope tightly and I sobbed and sobbed, the fact was dawning on me that I might never be able to walk again. I finally fell asleep and when I did I slept deeply.
The coach came over this morning he said that everyone at school was praying for me and that I must have hope. That day I decided to be positive, I tied Hope's leash to my wheel chair and let him pull me around the garden I felt sorry for him but he loved every minute of it. I was starting to get used to the wheel chair I can maneuver myself around now, the only problem is going to the toilet. Lots of people come to see me every day; they bring my mom flowers and meals and me cards wishing me well. I think that I never will walk again; I never say that in front of my mom though, because she'll be upset.
My mom decided that I should start some new hobbies and keep myself busy; she bought me a whole lot of second hand books from the shop down the road and said I should get stuck in. It's nearly holidays so the principal of my school said I could catch up on all my school work in the next term. Hope is getting really big now, he has almost doubled in size and so has his appetite, he is an amazing dog. Sometimes I wonder to myself; is my hope as big and strong as that puppy? My mom and everyone else say it should be even bigger. I don't know if that's possible but I try, I really do.
Sometimes I feel like giving up like nothing's possible but other times I'm really positive. It's my birthday in a week.
I'm sixteen today, I got a big book called 'Inspirational Stories'. It sounds really interesting. My mom had organized a surprise party for me and the whole team was there we relaxed ate pizza and watched movies, it was really fun. Jeremy slept over that night and we talked about things, it was clear that I wasn't getting any better but I didn't mind, I had the most amazing mom, friends and people who cared about me and that was way more important than soccer or being able to walk. I am so lucky and fortunate to be loved. I fell asleep that night with Jeremy beside me and Hope curled up under my arm. I was more determined than ever before and I had hope. I had learnt a very valuable lesson, count your blessings, don't just hope that things will get better, make them better see through the bad things and step out of the darkness and into the light.
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