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Ziva Ye, 9
Overland Park, KS

The Goal

Ziva Ye, 9

I lived a happy life. I loved to roll around in the grass and laughing with the other kids at recess. I didn’t even care that my leather black-and-white pentagon patterned clothes got smothered with grass stains! My favorite subject in school was gym. Every time I was sent into the goal in a good game of soccer, everyone cheered. I would feel always proud, blasting into the goal. There were so many memories, good and bad, that it would take forever to list them all! It was good. So good. It was so good that no one would have thought that this would soon happen.

It all started around Spring Break. I thought everything would be okay. I would see them in a week. But then a week passed, and then two, then three. I started having doubts. This was too long to be spring break! I was starting to feel squishy too. My air was running out, I realized. When were they going to come back? I missed it when I would be kicked into the goal and the gym would erupt with cheers. I missed the proud feeling that would flood inside me instantly. And I missed my hope that was puffing out as fast as my air. I waited for a long time.

I was relieved when I heard the gym doors screech open. Is everyone finally here? I looked out to find only the gym teacher. Everyone called him “Mr. Gym”. Unusually, his face had a sour frown pasted on it. He grabbed the air pumper and began pumping me. “This virus ain’t leaving for a long time. It’s too bad they had to shut down the school.” He muttered. Huh? I thought. Virus? Shut down?! I felt my head spin. Everything was out of order now.

I continued waiting. I wasn’t squishy anymore. I sat and waited patiently. I recalled memories, and they were the only things to accompany me and keep me from losing it. It was all I did, and through the process, I realized the school had lost its charm, its heart-warming presence. This was heart-breaking. I closed my eyes.

I opened my eyes drowsily. Had I fallen asleep? I looked up to see Mr. Gym again. This time his face was plastered with the biggest grin I had ever seen him have. W-what happened? I could hardly believe it when I saw everyone, all my classmates, all the teachers, everybody. Mr. Gym tossed all the balls to everybody. I flew in the air and someone caught me. I looked up and felt overjoyed. “I missed you!” said the boy holding me. He was here! The boy who always sent me flying into the goal! The one I was waiting for. He tossed me up and kicked me.

“Wheee!” I exclaimed and went straight into the goal. I was as happy as a soccer ball like me could be.

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