She was losing control.
She started to panic.
She was close to the net and smashed the overhead shot but regrettably aimed out of the court.
It was my game and serve.
She started to tighten her muscles more, often wiping the sweat from her forehead.
I looked for my sweet spot, I never had the greatest serve, in fact my coach in college focused most of his time with me on serving. Nonetheless, the way I served always made it into the court. Not too fast, not too slow, it was almost welcoming to my opponent. “Here, hit me back,” my serve would say.
I glanced at her once more.
She didn’t want to lose to me, but she was letting me. She was very focused on calling my hits out and powershotting me, but I kept my composure and continued to hit the ball back. I understood her, I wanted to win as much as her. I imagined the embarrassment seeping through her hair follicles, an average singles player who went to a small town high school that never won anything ever, beating her, an AP student working on getting accepted to Berkeley that goes to a reputable high school on the rich white hills near Sacramento.
That should be me. I should be studying with an SAT tutor and working towards a certain career path. I should be angry, that the player from the worst school in the county was beating her by a game.
Instead I focus on barely passing school, playing tennis, and going to my part-time job at Subway. I focus on love and the arts that make me feel, I put college up in the air and see where it lands. This is a moment, where we are at the oldest and youngest point in our lives, the ball is in my sweaty hand waiting to be played. This was a moment, where we came together to see what was on the other side.
Often times I wonder what it would be like if I was pursuant of an educational career. Of course you can always go back, no argument there. But I wonder how different my life would be because I decided to shift my balance?
I ended up winning, she mumbled, “good game” and shook my hand quickly. My team and I stopped for some burgers nearby, many locals stared at the thunderous brown kids who only had one grocery store to go to for fun.