My Special Place

As our team splits up onto the field and take our positions, I put my mouthguard in and it surrounds my teeth. I can taste the rubbery flavour on my tongue and my teeth are now the bright orange of an apricot. I take my place and wait for the game to begin. I’m at my special place now, the footy field.

I can see the umpire approaching the centre of the field with the bright yellow ball. My teammates are all in position and they all have an opponent to guard. The fresh air is cold on my legs and I hug myself for warmth. I can hear our coach yelling across the field about where to go and I stand next to a girl who is on the other team. The wind blows my hair into my face and I brush it behind my ear out of the way. I’m prepared for if the ball comes my way and I stand in front of my opponent so she can’t get the ball. The umpire is at the centre of the field and he bounces the ball on the ground to begin the match.

The morning air is whipping my legs and face and it sends shivers down my spine. As I run towards the ball and teammates my body starts to ignore the freezing cold wind as I am now stuck in the game, too focused to care. As I tackle one of the girls, my legs are now on the ground and I can feel the crusty dirt sticking to my skin. A mob forms around the ball and the whistle blows, signalling to stop the fight for the ball and stand up. I’m ready for the ball up. I jump as high as I can and smack the ball towards my teammates. My hand begins to sting since it is so cold out here and my hand becomes a pinkish red. I continue the game and follow my teammates towards the goal posts.

I can now see more of my team in front of me and the towering goal posts standing at the end of the oval. A girl with the ball charges towards me and I get the feeling of aggressiveness grow inside of me. I roughly grab her waist and pull her to the ground with me and I can smell the dewy grass beneath me as she is trying to wriggle off of me. I pull the ball out of her arms and quickly hand ball it towards one of my teammates just as I hit the ground with the girl again. My hand has that stinging feeling again and I get back up, dirt all over my face. I run towards the other side of the oval, my teams end and see a girl on my team pass the ball to another girl and see her kick her kick the footy through the goal posts just before she gets slammed by someone onto the ground. I can hear parents yelling in celebration and car horns being honked by parents too afraid to come out into the cold. Our team congratulates our goal scorer and we go back to our start positions on the field, continuing the game and trying to get more scores on the board to win.

I leave my special place and now the smell of sausages enters my nose. I can see sausages cooking on top of a BBQ and getting laid onto a fresh piece of bread and getting covered in sauce. I get closer and the smell is stronger now. A piece of bread is placed in my hand with a warm sausage covered in dark red sauce and bright yellow mustard. I say, “Thank you”, and head to the car with my family with the delicious barbequed sausage melting in my mouth. We head home and dirt is sticking all over me. I feel relieved that we managed to win the game and tired from all the running. I can’t taste the rubbery flavour of my mouthguard anymore as it is now within its case and I can’t wait to have a nice warm shower to melt off the icy feeling that’s on my skin. I’m ready to relax and not return to my special place again until next week.

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