“Beep,” the car screeched and a middle-aged man popped his head out of the window and yelled at me then drove off. That car horn marked the beginning of a realization that the decisions we make and the paths in life we choose to follow should be reflections of what kind of people we are and what we want instead of what we think people around us will like or approve of.

The more I looked at the picture the more I gained insight into my life. Rain drops hit my head as if in attempt to make a hole in it. I was walking home from school. I do not know if I was crying or it was just the rain running down my eyes. I had tried my best but still we had not won. The time was ticking with only 2 minutes left on the clock the score was 42 for us and 44 for them.

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In the blink of an eye, the opposing team made a score and now they were leading with 4 points. I took the ball out and passed it to our point guard. As she dribbled the ball I kept on thinking it’s now or never. She skillfully dribbled past all the defenders and scored a basket. With One minute and forty seconds remaining “Prrrrt!” The referee blew the whistle it was time out. Grabbing a bottle of water, I drank as some splashed to the side.

The coach signaled us in. “This is it girls” and with those four words he let us go. No final game plan, nothing. The game began and the clock was ticking. The opposing team tried to score a three-pointer and I jumped up to get the rebound. I made a quick bounce pass and swish we scored. It was a tie 46-46. We all raised our hands high playing in the defensive position. We could not let them make a basket. Only 20 seconds left, one of the players from the other team got the ball and was about to make a lay-up. Without thinking twice I stood in front of her and tripped her. The sound I was dreading, the referee blew the whistle, and it was a foul. I crossed my fingers hoping and praying that she does not make any of her shots. We all stood in position. The silence was so intense that it could put a cemetery to shame. She dribbled the ball, arched her body, positioned her arm and then swish, the ball left her hand and hit the rim and fell to the side. I took a deep breathe, but she still had one more chance.

She took three dribbles, looked up, dribbled again looked up, placed the ball in her hands, arched her body then up she went. All our eyes rolled with the ball, it hit the rim and rolled around it and then went in. I could not bear to look at my team mates; I had cost them a championship. We all just left the fifteen seconds pass by. The clock stopped and it was game over. Everyone stood in line, greeted the other team and walked off.

I ran out of the gym and into the rain. I just could not forgive myself for what I had done; I had let my emotions take over. walking with my head bent down sulkily kicking the mud beneath of my feet, a car passed nearby me and screeched beeping its horns. A man popped his head out the car beeping and yelling at me but my heart was beating quickly not believing the near death experience I had just had. While the driver drove away, I started thinking of how I was disappointed at the game we lost, it was nothing compared to all the issues of life. I now understood that, I had a right to be disappointed but it was not a good enough reason to stop living we will always face ups and down in life, we just have to recognize how to deal with them.

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