The Spaces Between Your Fingers

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Context: Events transpire, decisions present themselves, and the future unfolds.

I enthusiastically lunge onto the squishy, off-colored couch, fleetingly ogling as my pristine pink and white sneakers sink into the foam-filled cushion.  The sticky vinyl excitedly squeaks as it bows beneath my weight, and I triumphantly turn to greet the outdated but dearly loved lobby of my new home-away-from-home, the Athletic Center at Drexel University.  A slow exhale escapes my lungs as my sealed lips gladly erupt into an uncontrollable grin.  I proudly thrust my pointer finger toward the vaulted ceiling, mimicking the oversized caricature plastered onto the concrete blocks behind me.  Briefly, my beaming eyes search for the camera lens of Ainslie’s iPhone before I momentarily lose myself in the tumultuous events that transpired a mere fourteen days ago:

            My stomach knotted uneasily as I slowly trudged through the gravelly parking lot and gloomily made my way toward my dad’s Ford Focus that patiently waited beyond the chain-link fence of Syracuse University’s Coyne Stadium.  After painstakingly closing a fifty yard gap, I approached the passenger side of the silvery gray vehicle, clicked the door open with sweaty palms, dejectedly plopped myself into the vacant front seat, and desperately locked my arms around my father’s tanned neck as tears flooded my face.  Two to three minutes of irrepressible sobbing passed before my dad soothingly comforted me with words of unconditional love, revved the engine of his four cylinder, deftly shifted into first gear, and sped away from Syracuse, New York one final time.  Together, we distanced ourselves from that tainted city as I loathingly vomited unbelievable sentences about the five foot two, head coach of the SU’s field hockey program.  Within forty-eight short but incredibly long hours that villainous woman nastily kicked countless turf beads into my face, spat cruelties into my ears, induced pepperoni-sized blisters on my palms, slanderously humiliated me in front of my teammates, and untruthfully deemed me an egotistical prima-donna absolutely incapable of playing for an elite Division I field hockey team. 

Quickly but painfully, this supposed coach shattered my eighth grade dreams of becoming a successful Orange-woman both on and off the turf.  Her emotionally abusive infliction of misery mentally traumatized me and physically impacted my future.  As I submerged myself within the blizzard of my thoughts, tears slowly ceased to spill, and I sadly concluded, “Luckily I’m returning home for surgery, and I can escape the wrath of the menacing monarch even if only for two to three weeks.  Luckily? Luckily, I require surgery?  What a twisted notion that I believe myself lucky to need compartment syndrome surgery to evade another human.”  Disgusted with my thoughts, I exhaustedly drifted to sleep as my father chauffeured me home to Pennsylvania.

            “No”, my mother abruptly greeted me, “You will not return.  If you were in an emotionally abusive relationship with a boy I would never let you return to him, why would I allow you to return to the tyranny of an emotionally abusive coach?”  Twenty-four hours ticked by as I contemplated my mother’s words.  Twenty-four hours, until I finally accepted that my mother was absolutely right.  I could not return to the school of my eighth grade dreams, I could not return to the dictatorial rule of my odious coach, I could not return to Syracuse University.  My reappearance would only reinforce her torturous habits, provide her with another mechanical soldier to buttress her power, and grant her undeserved victory. 

Click, Flash, Ainslie nonchalantly snaps my first photo as a Drexel Dragon, and my mind cheerfully greets the present without a regret of the past.  

Context: Events transpire, decisions present themselves, and the future unfolds. 

Unfolding my Future

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