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Game Number Won

By @emilyfenn023

6th Grade Camp

It was a very cold morning. The sun beaming didn’t help it be any warmer. My newly washed hair dripped onto my shoulders and my gray sweatshirt. My converse laces sprawled on the car floor even though I just tied them. I knew the route well, the road to my middle school. The streets burned into my memory. Every turn every stop. The only way I could remember it was because I dreaded where it took me.

I looked out the window, my eyes everywhere but inside the car. One hand on my face the other on a blue Adidas duffle bag in the seat next to mine—new surroundings appearing every second. The song on the radio completely tuned out, and all I focused on was the road next to me. 

The ten-minute drive to school felt like two seconds. Barely any time flew by as I sat there, just staring. I felt… Excited? No, when I think about it now it was most definitely anxiety. We pulled into the steep parking lot, my eyes finally drifting back into the car and seemingly back into reality. I saw many other kids in my class also getting there at the same time, but I can never remember their faces.

Or maybe I just don’t want to. 

I grabbed the handle of my duffle bag and pulled it out after me. I closed the car door the sun shining right in my eyes. I looked ahead and began to walk to the large school gate. 

The bus arrived. It was a huge white charter bus with pitch-black windows. The compartments on the sides opened up for our bags to be stored. I walked on, and the scent of a new car filled my lungs immediately. I hate that smell. I sat on an aisle seat as there were no window seats left. As soon as all the students have boarded the teacher hopped on the bus. ¨Are you guys ready for 6th Grade Camp,¨ she beamed. My whole class, including myself, cheered and clapped along with her. Why was I excited? I have no idea. The possibility of adventure? I hated the people, the teachers, and the environment. It’s a question I ask often but I fear I may never be able to answer. 

When we arrived at the camp, which happened to be a YMCA property, it was clouded in a thick fog as far as you could see. We unboarded after a while all our bags skewed across the floor. It was a frenzy. A huge crowd of students tried to get their bags first. Which I stayed back from. Which meant I was one of the last ones to get my bags, but at least I wasn´t being trampled. The mountain up to the cabins was huge. By the time I came up the garbage bag, I brought to hold blankets was ripped from dragging across the floor. 

The next morning they introduced us to Gaga a variation of dodgeball. You and other students are placed in a ¨pit¨ of sorts. You hit the ball toward people with your hands and it can not touch your knees or below. It was a fun game to watch but I knew I wanted to play. I stepped in with other classmates and the game began.

I WON! I did it! My face beamed with joy. But others didn´t seem happy. Now that I think about it they only shouted his name, not mine. No one supported me. 

The way I felt ostracized. Everyone rooting against me. Disappointed that I had won. Do you know how that makes someone feel? The detriment of seeing someone’s smiling face turn sour at the sight of your accomplishment, such a small one at that. 

I always thought about what was wrong with me. How so badly I wanted to break down crying at that moment. Surrounded by people who were disappointed in me. For who I was.

I never stepped foot on that court ever again. Humiliated. Judged. And torn down to my very bone. 

But I´m proud of her. Of me. I will never understand why they acted that way toward me. But I know no one can change who I am. Nor who I was. I will not change for anyone or stand down. And respectively I fricking crushed that game. And no one can take that away. 

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