A Pylon Saved My Life

Two hours ago, there were twenty of us, eager and cocky, yet hesitant and jumpy.  We sat on the bleachers under a proud, late summer Georgian sun, basking in its relentlessness.  The assistant coach held that clipboard like it was a collector’s edition Sports Illustrated.  He made sure he wouldn’t drop it but his fingers were wound so lightly around the edges I thought he was simultaneously disgusted by not having a tablet to scroll through names like the head coach.

Now, there are only seven of us left: Harrison, Carlos, Juan, and Frankie from study hall, and Wesley, Brad, and Donald from Spanish class.  Harrison is the only one I’ve ever talked to more than once.  He comes after me in the alphabet and we sit in alphabetical order in study hall.  We’ve been in the same classes in the past but not often enough to be friends or anything.  We’ve worked on projects together.  I don’t know why he’s trying out for soccer.  He usually sits out in PE class.  I’ve never seen him move faster than the speed of not wanting to read a book report out loud so you stand up and walk as slowly as possible to the front of the class.

I’m trying out because my mom wants to prove my dad wrong about whether or not my health would get in the way of me having a “normal high school life.”  Like trying out for soccer is the only normal thing to do that isn’t football, basketball, or the bowling club.

I don’t even know why I’m still sitting here, still on the list.  I turn over to Harrison and he says to me,
“We are two people riding on a shaky canoe holding on for dear life.”

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