She watched as one by one her teammates all got off the bench. "I'm so tired," they would complain, "I need to rest before my legs fall off.
" All the wile she sat on the bench, smiling and giving high fives to her team, not the least bit tired. The clock ticked by, tick tock, until the buzzer.
Another game down, another close loss from her team. As heads were drooped all around her in disappointment she looked over to where her parents were.
They gave a confused look and mouthed, "why didn't you play?
" In return she gave a shrug and turned back to the end of game speech by her coach, trying to copy the look of sadness on all her teammates faces.
In reality she wasn't sad at all that they lost. She was actually happy when the buzzer finally went off because it meant the game was over, win or lose she didn't care.
What she was sad about was the fact she was never needed. The fact her team didn't think of her as useful. Not even when they practiced did she feel like part of the team.
She was just the bench warmer. Always passing around the water, but never needing any herself.
She constantly watched her team laughing about something with each other that she was never a part of.
She was the outsider.
When she had first made the team she thought it was because she was good enough to be on it. She had thought it was her favorite sport.
Now all she dreamed of was the end of season, and to be rid of this depressing situation. It was agonizing to sit on the bench game after game and take no part in the actual playing.
It hurt to see her parents barely at any games, knowing she would never get to play.
She didn't blame them though, why would they come when the one reason for watching the game is to watch her play? Maybe some day, she thought. Some day she would find her place.
Some day she would be useful, she would feel needed. But unfortunately that day was not today. Today was just another game to get by before she could finally go home.
Once home she could finally relax. Everything turned from disappointment about her team to all around smiles and giggles. "I think you were the best player on the team" her dad exclaimed.
"They way you handled those water bottles... perfection" chimed her mom, and they all had a good laugh.
"They couldn't have lost without me," she added, which brought about another round of laughter and smiles.
Afterwards they all played games and ate ice cream until it was time to go to bed.
Once she was in bed she opened up Instagram out of habit. Lots of "game day" pics from her team, none of which she was in.
She had already expected that, however, what she didn't expect was to see them all out at a restaurant after the game. Huh, never got that invitation, she thought.
When she looked at the picture again she wondered if she should be angry or sad that they never invited her. She decided that she was neither of those things.
No, she didn't care if her team hung out, she had a great night with her family. She was surrounded by people she loved that loved her back.
She didn't mind that her team had decided to hang out. She was content right where she was.
another short story - fivecents