Swirly

Did you know that brain tumors are the second-leading cause of cancer-related death in people under the age of 20? Did you know that when people get really sick while they are battling cancer, it’s because of the treatment, not the cancer itself? Did you know that the average survival rate for all malignant brain tumor patients is only 34.4%? I have been learning a lot about cancer lately. I am not upset that I am learning about this foreign subject, but what is unsettling are the circumstances that brought me to delve into this new world.

But you know what else I have been learning about? Court cases. What really happens when someone sues someone else. Why some people think lawyers are so nasty. What it means to be deposed. How a case can control someone’s life. I have learned so much about it because that’s really where it all began.

The only reason my friend and I met is because of soccer. We ended up playing together in college. We hit it off fairly quickly. I always joke with her about how unfortunate it was that I happened to play on the same team as her because we were both vying for the same position and she was worlds better than me. She was the best in the conference. I tell her that I rode the bench my whole career because I was always playing second fiddle to her. I was never bitter though; our teams always had potential but there was no way of reaching it under our coach. I worked hard but in all honesty I never took it as serious as my friend. She definitely deserved to play over me. She had so much passion for the game.

I guess this is why I wasn’t surprised that she was playing even after the incident. I almost typed “accident” but as far as I am concerned that would be too nice to the ones that caused this. No, I wasn’t there, but no part of the story makes me want to try and stick up for them.

Freshman year of high school, my friend played on her Catholic school’s soccer team. New school, new people to her. Her sister had gone to the same school previously, and apparently some of the upperclassmen on the team knew her sister. And hated her. The girls on the team were ruthless and mean, bullying the freshman and disguising it as “hazing.” They yelled and cussed at them, made fun of them, forced them to do things they didn’t want to. But, as my friend showed, you can only “force” someone to do so much. When she refused to do something in the locker room, some girls grabbed her and drug her into a bathroom stall. They picked her up off the ground and while she fought to get free, they turned her upside down in attempt to give her a swirly. She was still fighting and I guess the girls lost their grip and dropped her. She landed head-first on the tile floor.

The events immediately following were a little hazy, literally. But this terrible event has taken a firm grip around the neck of my friend’s life, and since then has only proved to get tighter.