- Vol. 06
- Chapter 06
Whose Pitch Is It Anyway?
Back in my stubborn days I often ventured to the school football pitch, parked myself in the middle and read for a hours. I felt so rebellious and strong in my silent protest. That great expanse of green was only supposed to be used for sports you see, so unless being a literature lover somehow made me an athlete, I was breaking the rules.
It felt good to be a rule breaker, even if my rule breaking occurred only at hours when people were unlikely to notice (early mornings; late evenings; some weekends). Apart from this field, greenery was practically non-existent in the city. The only ones who benefited from it were mostly male buffoons who liked to hurl spherical objects at each other and their mostly male spectators.
So careful was I in my mode of passive demonstration that I never stopped to consider what I might do or say if somebody caught me there. Like many a stubborn introvert, I had a lot of thoughts, but I wasn’t very good at expressing them outside the confines of my mind.
The day I was discovered, I was laying on my back, half asleep with my limbs akimbo and a book sheltering my face. Perhaps 4:30 a.m. was too early a start for a protest.
“Miss? Miss?” A gentle voice accompanied by a gentle shake of the shoulder. My book fell away, a view of concerned green eyes and floppy strawberry blonde hair replacing it.
I got the fright of my life. I yelped and assumed an upright position.
“Ah! Ah! I’m sorry!”
A hint of a smile suggested faint amusement, but the concern remained.
Whose Pitch Is It Anyway?
“You don’t need to be sorry. But I was worried, seeing a student passed out here. Have you been drinking?”
“No! Absolutely not! Never!” While most other students enjoyed sacrificing their precious brain cells to partying, I wasn’t one of them.
“All right,” he said, properly grinning now. “Can I ask you what you’re doing here?”
“I just. Well I… I…” I struggled to form a sentence. Eventually I just said, “Reading.”
He looked thoughtful for a moment.
“Just so you’re aware, the new coach is a big fan of early starts. 5 a.m. So you might want to rethink your reading schedule.”
“Ahhh.”“Of course, it might be quite interesting if you didn’t.”
I was baffled by this man. Was he the new coach? Was he inviting me to make my silent protest an actual protest? I fantasised about it briefly. The non-athletes of the school and city at large banding together to take back our one semblance of nature. And I could be the instigator; the ringleader. I could be the one to change things… What a thought!
But it was only a thought. In reality, I looked at my watch. 4:50 a.m. Practice would start soon.
I smiled weakly at the man, gathered my belongings and quickly slipped away.