by Chiok Ke Xuan (P5 2021)
“Mike! Make sure it is clean as new!” my mother nagged as I walked up the stairs. As I opened my bookshelf, I started pulling out each and every book I saw to dust them. Suddenly, a picture fell out from one of my old diaries. I picked it up gingerly and my jaw dropped at what I saw. It was a picture of my soccer team from that terrible and upsetting game when I was younger. Memories of that day flooded my mind.
I had signed up for a soccer game in which the winning team would win $1000. It was presented by a sponsor who used to play soccer and wanted to contribute to the community. The day of the game had finally arrived! I had loved soccer since I was young and was determined to win. With the money, I could finally buy an amazing pair of soccer boots that I eagerly wanted to play with.
As I marched into the stadium, loud cheers filled my ears but my coach barking instructions was even louder. Butterflies filled my stomach as I thought about which team would win. Walking onto the field, my hands were clammy, my mind was blank and my legs felt like jelly.
Pheet! Within the blink of an eye, the soccer game started. I sprinted like a bolt of lightning around the field, kicking the ball into the net. Slowly, each team took turns scoring goals and the score went higher and higher.
Anxiety was rushing through my veins, and my heart pounded faster and faster every second. It was then when I realised that we were down by one and my teammates were counting on me to make it a tie as I was the closest to the ball. Making sure there was no one in my path, I kicked the ball with all my might into the goal.
“Goal!” I screeched at the top of my lungs as I kicked the ball straight into the net and the ball soared. “Looks like we have a tie!” one of the judges announced, with a booming voice over the speakers. We had a break during halftime so I sat in the changing room trembling from head to toe.
“Who will win?” I mumbled to myself, thinking about the $1000 and the new pair of soccer boots.
After a few minutes, the tie-breaking half started and I marched back into the stadium with my head held high. I stood rooted to the ground, looking at the ball with determination. “Start!” I sprinted towards the ball, dribbling it closer to the goalpost. Looking at the goal, I made a beeline for it. Without hesitation, the ball went soaring in the sky and into the goal! Everyone watched as the ball soared through the air. I pumped my fist in the air and screamed, “Goal!”
The stadium went pin-drop silent. Not a sound could be heard. The judges had their palms on their foreheads and my teammates stared at me with big, wide eyes and dropped jaws. Our opponents broke into laughter and giggled with excitement. Then, it hit me. I had scored into my own goal! “No!” I thought to myself with my face hot with shame and rage, and the smile on my face quickly vanished.
After the game, I could see my teammates staring and cursing at me. I ran all the way back home feeling like the whole world had collapsed onto me. I felt like so much of a failure that I did not even talk to my parents the whole day.
“Mike! Why are your books scattered all over the floor? Clean it up now!” my mother’s voice snapped me out of my reverie. “Sorry, I will clean it up now,” I apologised. After that soccer game, I felt very upset that, not only had I lost a game but also great friends. I vowed never to be foolish again.