Rating: PG for
Summary: One of my most hated feelings is disappointment.
A/N: I needed a way to get rid of this. Writing helps, no? I simply needed a way to get over it. The last two points are approximate. That's not quite the way it happened, but fairly close.
I felt surreal. This couldn't be happening. Was it? It couldn't be a dream. But it couldn't be happening either.
Unbelievable. How did it come to this? I was good. I did well. How? Was it that ball I didn't call out? Or the serve I didn't call out?
No. No, no, no. Overconfident! Cocky! What's wrong with me!
I glanced at Sarah. Her face was the same as usual. A little worried, a little grim. Creased to avoid the glare of the sun. I felt guilty. She could win this. She deserved better than me.
My opponents were across the net. They held their rackets in ready position, but they weren't swaying. They weren't bent at the knees.
I stopped at the baseline. My feet were mere inches from it. I was in a dream. A dream, a dream, I wanted to stop and rest while I woke up, but instead I
Called out, "5, 7, Love all, first serve!"
It's alright, it's alright. One serve, that's all. It's alright.
I became aware, once again, that we were the only teams left on the four courts. Everyone else had left, along with the majority of the spectators. Did that make me more nervous?
Called out "Second."
My innards shrank and sunk. How did it get to this? We had theoretically already beaten them. Why?
I walked a few feet to the left side. Did I already know what would happen?
No! No! How! Two points! Two points gone! I'm a failure. I'm horrible.
I looked at Sarah again. She didn't quite look at me as she rolled the ball. I picked it up and walked.
Too far. It went out. Way out. I felt embarrassed. Next to us, two boys had just played a very nice match. They were actually good. I was not.
My stomach felt heavy. 7 games, 40 points v. 5 games, 0 points. Was it really winnable? I could try.
This was the point.
It came back to me. I hit it and was grateful it didn't go into the net.
Back to me.
My racket hung limply from my hand. I didn't want to believe it. I was tired, I was hungry, I was thirsty, but despite all that, we should have won! It should have been ours!
She swung around and gaped at me, hand going up to cover her mouth. I looked at her and shrugged and smiled. Before that game, we had talked.
"Hey, Sarah. My serve, right?"
"Yeah. Hey, guess what? We automatically win silver now."
"Well, if everyone's won one and lost one, 0-1 or 1-0, they'll go by games. And we're even in games."
"Oh. Cool. That's ok."
It was ok. For the moment, it was ok.
We walked out. It was ok. I was tired and just wanted to go. It was ok.
Coach walked up. His lips came together in something that was not quite a smile. "Well, girls," he said. "Here are your medals. You ended up getting third."
"What?" Sarah protested. "But, why? I thought we were even in games."
He proceeded to explain it. I didn't understand. I didn't want to understand. We'd gotten here by default, and we hadn't even managed to win. This wasn't fair. The team we had beat received first. The team we lost to received second. The technical stuff didn't matter.
It wasn't ok anymore.
I sat down. Tears welled but I managed not to cry.
Fifteen minutes later, when everyone was gone, it didn't matter. The tears didn't well anymore. They just flowed.
A/N: Ok, so the story is (Don't feel you have to read it): In my city, there are three clusters. East, West, and Central. To get to City Champs, you had first to beat all the other people in your division in your cluster. My partner and I were the only girls' doubles team in the East cluster, so we automatically advanced.
We were a bit late to the finals. The two teams were already playing. When they finished, we played the winners. They were good, very good. We won by tiebreaker, 5-7. (Wow, I just now noticed that. That isn't what this story's about, though.) I felt guilty for a while because on 6-7, deuce, I called a ball out, and wasn't sure if it was or not. It was only after I received confirmation from the coach that I was at peace.
My partner and I were elated. To win first, we had to beat both teams. We had already beaten the team that beat the other team; gold was as good as ours! We went to get water, and her to change. When we came back, we played.
It went all right. 1-0, 1-1, 2-1, 3-1, 3-2, but then 3-3, 3-4, 4-4, 4-5, 4-6, 4-7, and then…5, 7. About. Those may not be correct, but they're fairly close. 5-7. I was serving. The first two points were double faults. The third I hit too long. The last…the last we rallied, but my partner hit it into the net.
As I'm writing this, I feel…mortified. I feel humiliated. Four more points and silver was ours. 12 more and gold was ours. I feel horrible. There's so many "ifs." If I had called them out, if I had had water nearby, if I had had food before, if I had focused more, if we weren't the only team on the field, if we hadn't just played a more intense game for more than an hour. Coach said it's alright, but it's not. I feel like such a failure. Forget that this is my first year playing, only on the school team; I still feel that if I applied myself more, this needn't have happened. It's also bad that I may never compete in tennis again. I will miss it, horribly, but I simply have no room in my high school schedule. I also feel bad for not playing anyone in the East Cluster to get to City Champs. If we had gotten second or third, it would have been worth it. After our first game, we had already imagined what they would say in the announcements the next day.
My apologies. Once again, I feel as if no one close to me really cares, so it's easier to put a part of my feelings on the internet.