5… Pass the ball back to Chaeyeon
4… Grip the stick a little bit more tighter
3… Run towards the goal post in 3 strides
2… Receive the ball from Yena. Drag the ball towards the back of your ankle.
1… Take a deep breath in and swing the stick upwards, praying to yourself that you would be able to score that one bloody goal.
”AND AHN YUJIN OF BLOOM*IZ HIGH SCORES A TOP CORNER”
0... ”WE HAVE FINALLY COME TO THE END OF OUR NATIONAL FLOORBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS WITH NUMBER 18, AHN YUJIN OF BLOOM*IZ HIGH CLINCHING FIRST PLACE WITH HER GOAL FOR A SCORE OF 8 TO 7 OF PIONEER HIGH”
Finally, it’s over. I can taste the fruit of our team’s efforts and hardwork into our coordination by Coach Kwon. Working hard till we moved seamlessly like a body with 5 individual minds being focused on one goal and that is to secure the first place of the national floorball championships.
Soon I felt my own body being crushed by the entire team. Wait, scratch that, I mean the entire BLOOM*IZ population. It was a blur of maroon and blue colours streaking past me and I felt my own body being hoisted up into the air. I could see the shimmering gold trophy coming towards my way and Minjoo’s face smiling on proudly. I tried to reach out for the trophy; instead I grasped at cold, stale air.
Oh it was just a dream, Ahn Yujin. That’s what should've happened last month instead of coming face to face with the dull silver, second place of the national floorball championships. I desperately closed my eyes again to take a breather instead of having the scenario play out in my head again. Instead, I came face to face with images of Coach Kwon’s slightly disappointed face after my shot just ricocheted off the goalkeeper’s helmet. Minjoo looked on with an unreadable expression. Disappointment maybe. Teammates forcing faces of sympathy to offer consolation saying that ‘second place’ was better than having nothing. They knew that the team had worked hard enough. But their standard of ‘working hard enough’ wasn’t exactly my standard of hard enough.
Only Yena, Chaeyeon and Hyewon knew the countless number of times I pushed myself near the sharp edge of giving up my passion for my beloved sport. Waking up at 6 a.m. routinely during school holidays just to build up on my stamina and my strength so that my lean, gangly frame would not be pushed out of the court easily. They were always the one I could depend on when I needed a partner to hone my shots or defence skills.
However, memories of that terrible afternoon came flooding in like how my tears are again.
It’s repeating again.
Ripping off my captain’s wrist band
Running towards the nearest exit I could find.
Releasing all the pent up frustration of not scoring that crucial goal
Missed opportunities that would never return again.
It’s over already. Might as well just work harder on your skills. You still have another year ahead of you to hone it. All these thoughts constantly pressed it’s weight down on my mentality. But they don’t understand the fact that once you have truly missed the opportunity, you would have truly missed it as you would no longer be presented with it again.
Maybe I should get a hold of my own self and truly just move on and be grateful for the fact that my team got to to compete in the finals compared to the past years where we were kicked out pathetically after the first round. I should really get out of bed and wash up my tear stained face.
It’s only 9 a.m. and I want to have my popcorn chicken for recess instead of having to listen to my English teacher, Ms Lee drone on about the excellent use of a student’s phrase in their essay. What was it again? Something along the line of ‘Sometimes you win, sometimes you-‘
“What do you need, Yena?”, I said while trying to retrieve the pen that she threw at me.
“Do you mind if you could help a helpless duck here?”
“Is it one of your another existential gay crisis over Yuri. Cause if it is then I won't help your gay to put your pathetic note of anonymous love poem on her desk”
“I- How did you even know ?”, Yena said while trying to desperately flatten the note that she had accidentally crumpled while trying to hide it from my wandering eyes
“Cause that has been what you have been making me do for the past one month under the pretense of a ‘threat’ of giving my ex-girlfriend a packet of soy milk with a sticky note addressed with love from ‘AYJ’ which you would probably never do.”
“Okay, okay, I get that you still have feelings for her and would rather do it instead of me. But can’t you just help me for the last time. I swear I’ll grow some woman balls and ask Yuri out on a date before our last year ends. I swear on a week’s supply of my mom’s baked rice”
“Hold up, I don’t even have any more feelings for that ‘Cheater’. Hell, I would rather take out Wonyoung who had been pestering me to go on a date with her for the past bloody month. But you better swear on your honour to give me that supply of the baked rice or I’ll tell Yuri that had been your pathetic who had been giving her the-“
“Ms Ahn Yujin and Ms Choi Yena, would you like to raise your voices a little notch higher to tell us the juicy details of your storytelling session” Ms Lee glared at us for disrupting her boring lesson.
The entire class looked round on us. Including Minjoo which you may have guessed is my ex or should I call her ‘the most disgraceful person in my entire life’.
“No, Miss Lee we were discussing other various quotes that our fellow classmate could have used for his essay”, I said while nudging Yena’s ribs, passing the baton to her.
“Huh- , oh yes. Uhm, like he could have said ‘Hard work comes with the effort of your own will power and determination to achieve your goal’ since he wrote about working hard to obtain his result.” Yena said effortlessly as if we were completely talking about it for the past few minutes instead of squabbling over her tragic love life.
Ms Lee looked at us and droned on about students utilising their brains much better than she had expected which in turn allowed me to breathe freely, after worrying that Ms Lee would launch into another lecture which would in turn cost another precious five minutes of my recess
Yena immediately mouthed,”I saved your so you better help put that damn note on Yuri’s table or else the baked rice supply is cut off”
I returned a lazy nod to acknowledge the deal while my eyes wandered over to the brunette who was diligently taking down whatever Miss Lee had babbled about. It’s a miracle that I am still able to breathe the same air as her after she cheated on me with Kim Chaewon. I wonder what she found in Kim Chaewon that appealed to her feelings while she was ‘dating’ me. Maybe she found soccer players more attractive than floorball players as they have bigger balls than us floorballers. But soccer players seem dumber just kicking the ball around and hyping up the stadium after one low measly shot. Besides I should just focus my energy on thinking up new plays for the next training session instead of wasting it on ranting on soccer players.
The bell rang signalling that it was time to feed the hungry soul of Ahn Yujin. I slapped Yena on the head to wake her up from her dream, which was probably taking Yuri out for a picnic date. ( which I confirmed from her murmurs of a cut off dream date with Yuri)
Just as I was about to step into the canteen, I got tackled by my fellow teammate, Chaeyeon with her girlfriend, Sakura tailing behind.
“Join us for recess cause my girlfriend here has some exciting tea to spill” as I tried to desperately pry off her arms which are currently holding me in a headlock.
“Fine. I will if you could kindly take your buff arms from me, Chaeyeon.”
I scurried off to get my popcorn chicken and immediately into the seats Sakura had reserved for me alongside Chaeyeon who was carrying 2 bottles of lemon tea.
“So what is your exciting ‘tea’ that you have been dying to spill, Sakura?”, I said while chewing through my popcorn chicken.
“Well, you see. Regarding your ex-girlfriend, Minjoo or you would affectionately call a ‘cheater’, she just happened to be caught having a heated argument with Chaewon and shouted something along the lines of ‘breaking up’ with her”
I sat up a little bit more stiffly and rolled my eyes while asking, “ So what does this information have to do with my non-existent relationship with her.”
“Oh come on, the entire team knows that you have recurring feelings for her through your oh-so-not subtle glances during classes. Or how you drop her a box of her favourite soy milk every other day.” As Chaeyeon raised her eyebrows questioningly, daring me to rebut the observation.
“Just in case you don’t happen to get it, all of us want you to at least form a relationship where both of you are on speaking terms. We’ve seen how important she is to you and how much she has comforted you after the finals. I mean sure a couple of days later she cheated on you with Chaewon. But you didn’t even give her a chance to explain herself. Maybe what if she had been forced into kissing Kim Chae- “
“Look I don’t want to be associated with her again and she doesn’t even need to explain it with because my own two eyes have confirmed that horrible scene. And besides she deserves someone better like Ahn Yujin.”
I clamped my hands over my mouth after that last sentence.
“Oh so you do still have feelings for her. Maybe why don’t you take a love potion and fall in love with the wonders of Kim Minjoo again. It hurts us to see your sanity crumbling every passing day just because you have lost one of your biggest supporters of your passion in floorball.” Sakura looked on with worried eyes.
“Your style of playing has become more aggressive as if you're using the court as your exhaust. I mean it is healthy but only to a certain degree because you’re just going to wear yourself out at the end of the day. And don’t try to argue with that as I am your fellow vice captain.” Chaeyeon raised her eyebrows higher, that am I afraid it might disappear into her fringe.
I just kept silent, knowing fully well that they had spoken the truth that I had been trying to desperately avoid the past month.
My eyes flickered over to Minjoo’s table where she sat with Yuri, Nako and Hitomi.
Speaking of Yuri, where the hell was Yena though?
Oh wait I see her waddling to a Minjoo’s table. Wait, was she planning to give Yuri her damn confession note in the canteen?
I immediately took my popcorn chicken and said my quick goodbyes to Chaeyeon and Sakura who looked on, rather confused as to my sudden leave.
I pray to all the heavens that this would be a successful confession or I would have to deal with a heartbroken duck for the next couple of days.
Also, why did she choose to confess at the table where Kim freaking Minjoo is at? She literally grew some balls to ask Yuri out but her own brain did not seem to grow to comprehend the fact that Minjoo is friends with Yuri too.
Just as I was about to fetch Yena from her possible confession which may go many different ways, my eyes met with those of which I longed to see for the past month. Wait no, the most hated person in my entire life. Is it me or does her eyes seem to portray a different feeling this time round? As if she wants to warn me from coming near her table.
Wait why do I see something coming right at me from the corner of my right eye?
I whipped my head to the right just to see Hyewon coming right at me with a food cart.
I immediately closed my eyes, bracing myself for the impact. Only instead, I was pulled away from the impending danger by someone. A certain fragrance invaded my senses. It can't possibly be her, right?( Well I sure hope it was but maybe not)
Hi!!. This is my first time writing so don't mind the awkward flow of the story and feel free to drop by any comments.:)