“P, pay attention, they’re bringing the ball down. Why aren’t you guarding your opponent?” their coach’s voice brought her back to the present.
P moved to block F’s pass, and managed to get the ball away mid-dribble. She heard her teammate yell her name and saw the bright yellow of her team jersey flash to her right. She was going to do a right pass when something hit her on the back of her head hard. That was when everything went dark and she felt her body fall onto the grassy turf.
Her head was throbbing and someone was calling her name from far away. Cold droplets hit her face and she struggled to open her heavy eyelids. Her vision was blurry, and she blinked uncontrollably for a few seconds.
“She’s OK.” The relief in N’s voice was mirrored in the expressions of the others around her. “Say something, P,” N demanded.
“Wha..What happened?” she managed to say.
“I was taking a corner and the ball hit you.”Even in her dazed state P knew that voice too well. It was E. She tried to nod, but the movement made her feel nauseated.
“You look like you’re going to throw up,” their coach said, squatting down next to her. “Maybe we should go to the polyclinic; it should still be open.” He glanced up at E who was his classmate.
“Yeah, I’ll help you.”
Before P knew what was happening, she was being half carried off the field by those two.
“Baby, you girls keep working on those passes, all right?” Coach called over his shoulder at N who nodded, still frowning with worry.
“I’m sorry, P,” E said as they walked to the polyclinic. After a few minutes of being supported by the two boys, P had insisted that she be allowed to walk on her own. The boys had finally relented after a somewhat lengthy objection.
The GP shone the light into her eyes, made her walk to check her gait and pronounced her OK, but referred her to the neurologist all the same.
Coach’s mobile rang just then. “E, go in with her.”
P opened her mouth to say something, but Coach silenced her with a look. “Baby?” he said into the phone.
E sighed. “Come on.” He knocked on the neurologist’s door and P stared at his broad back. The memories were still too fresh and she could feel the tears burning at the back of her eyes. E pushed the door open then and the tears that had threatened to fall only a moment ago remained pooled in her eyes from the shock of seeing A seated behind the desk.
“She might have had a concussion,” E informed him.
“Sit down,” A said, motioning at the patient’s chair. “Tell me what’s bothering you.”
P swallowed. His piercing brown eyes had had the same affect when her class had followed him on clinical rounds 2 weeks back. At that time he had just been another sarcastic post-graduate student.
“I hit her with the ball,” E supplied but A held up his hand to stop him.
“I would like to hear it from her.”
P could almost feel E scowling and for some reason that made her smile. She explained haltingly and tried to list down all her complaints.
A looked up and smiled that half smile of his. “As precise as when you answer in class. Now what examination do you propose to check for possible dysfunctions?”
P gaped at him. He was treating her like a student – again!
A chuckled at her confusion. Fifteen minutes later they were in the corridors again.
“What did the neurologist say? Coach asked standing up as they closed the door behind them.
E’s face was dark. “He’s an ass.”
“What?” Coach turned to look at P who shrugged.
“I am to come back tomorrow if the symptoms don’t disappear. And he isn’t an ass. He’s nice.” Just then her mobile beeped. One new message received. She hit the ‘read’ button:
I saw the tears in your eyes and I wanted to hit him so badly. Go back and have a relaxing bath, I’ll bring up uper soup for dinner. You’re probably gonna find it hard to sleep after the knock to the head, and I have my case study statistics to compile. I’ll keep you company, if you’d like? I get off work in 5 mins. I hope your head doesn’t hurt too much.
Sounds good, A. Looking forward to it :)And the pain will get better over Milo with you…
Coach’s eyebrow shot up at the sight of her textmessaging. “Mystery guy?”
E turned quickly. He had heard that she had finally begun seeing someone. Was that why she had turned down his offer to reconcile? He was still hurt by the rejection, but her dark eyes were shining and they were no longer shining for him, they only shone for this unknown guy in her life.
“I’ll introduce you guys one day,” she said, smiling softly. Coach knew that look, it was the same look that N got whenever he did something nice for her. The expression of love? Happiness? He shook his head. Almost an hour ago she was seeing stars and now she was all starry-eyed. Girls were weird like that. There was just no use trying to figure them out.
ss*All characters and events are fictitious... Some elements were ‘borrowed’ from recent happenings though. I do need to get inspiration from somewhere, you know? ;)
And another long short story. Oxymoron? Woopsie… :)