I’m on the bench. Again. Where else would I be? It’s not like I ever get to play. Well, that’s not entirely true. I did get to play a few downs last season. Sean’s cleat came off and the trainer had a hard time getting it back on.
I practice just as hard as everybody else. Well, maybe not as hard as the starters but pretty close. I show up and put my time in. I just never get to play when it counts.
The only way I will get to play is if we are blowing the other team out or Sean gets hurt. We’re just good enough to beat other teams but not good enough to blow them out. And it feels weird to hope for Sean to get injured. We have been friends since middle school. But unless he snaps an ankle I’m going to stay on the bench.
So I secretly hope he will turn an ankle or dislocate a shoulder, nothing serious, mind you, just enough to knock him out a game or two. Does that make me a bad person? I hope not.
It’s no use. Sean will never get hurt. I have seen him get sacked, knocked out of bounds and piled on and he walks away like nothing happened. My fate has been determined. Senior year and I’m on the bench.
Sean just completed a pass to Victor. First down and the drive keeps going. I know we are going to score. I have no doubt. How do I know? Because this score will put us up by 10 (17-7), just enough to make coach happy but not enough to make him comfortable enough with the lead to put me in. Sometimes I think Sean does this on purpose, just to keep me on the bench.
But why would he do that? I have never done anything to him. Sure, there are times when I have hoped he got hurt for just a little while but nothing ever happened.
“Hey, Jim,” I call out to our second string receiver. “Let’s play some catch.” There is no chance he is playing either so I know he will say yes.
“Might as well,” he says. We both walk down the sidelines.
“Don’t go too far, ladies!” Coach is yelling at us.
“No problem, coach,” I say back.
Me and Jim start throwing the ball back and forth. I scan the crowd to see if I can pick out my parents. There they are. I can’t believe they still come to these games. They have more faith than I do.
The crowd erupts and I turn to the field to see what happened. Did Sean throw an interception? I see Victor and Sean jumping around in the endzone. Touchdown . We are now up by 10. Sean runs to the sideline and Coach pats him on the back.
I’m never going to get in this game.