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His Heart Is Made of Gold

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Happy Birthday Ameer
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His Heart is Made of Gold                                  

 

A despicable act, I remember it as. That one day – it was a dark cloudy day. At the football field where it happens. During football practice. It was a day a week after a match played against the other nearby school. We won that match, I remember, and Lance had raised a few eyebrows for his brilliant performance. That boy…I can still remember him complaining about me signing his name under the Football Club, but the moment he was sent into the field there was no stopping anymore. Even as a first former he had shown excellence skill that surpasses the second and third formers. Eventually, he was listed to play in one of the highlight match of the month against a neighbor school.

 

As a raising star of the football team, he had been getting much attention from people around him. For his modesty, teachers like him, and the girls had been drooling over his pleasant future and attentive nature. This, somehow, had also triggered jealousy towards him, especially among the seniors. With much delight, they started their bullying act by calling him ‘sissy’ and ‘she boy’ for his soft words, but Lance never budges as he will always ignore them. As jealousy accumulates, social harassment now turns into a more violent treatment delivered during trainings. We were made to run 30 laps around the field at one time, adding to a number of pumping and other tormenting regiment – even under darkening skies when it is about to rain. It was meant to torture Lance, as they enjoy the pleasure of seeing him panting out of breath after each exercise, him being punished standing at the corridor for sleeping in the class the next day due to tiredness.

 

But everything ended when one day we found him lying on the ground, unmoving and pale, his lips as cold as an ice after a consecutive 25 lap run around the soccer field. He did not respond to our calling so he was immediately sent to the hospital. Waiting for the doctors to work their magic on him had been a tormenting moment for us who care for him, and when the doctor came out from the emergency room we were delivered with joyous news. He was okay, but all this came with a price – he won\\\\\\\'t be able to play football the way he had played before.

 

As the doctor unfolds each single mystery, we were told that his childhood asthma had returned. Not only it had returned, it had grown worse and severe now, limiting his ability to participate in sports such as football which requires vigorous breathing. When the news was delivered to him I can tell he is disappointed. For a while he had been showered by promising place in this game, but it was destroyed now. For days he didn’t talk to us and only comes to the football practice doing some mild exercise, none to participate in any of the practice match. After the coach announced that he will be dropped from the school’s team, he no longer came to the practice. I don’t quite agree with the coach’s decision to erase him away for this will only hurt him more, but on the other bright side, we couldn’t risk his safety. Pitying him, I confronted the coach and asked him to re-discuss the decision of dropping him out of the team with Lance’s doctor as I believe he can still play for the team but for a limited time only. More else, Lance made a great defender. His swift movement and quick intercepting ability had seen so many failure of the opposing team to score any goal in the match before. Even if it was just for a while for him to play on the field, this could still help us defend the goal line. As a striker, there is no one else I trusted in keeping the goal line clear from the enemy’s threat the way I trusted him.


Fortunately the coach agreed not to drop him from the school team but he is only allowed to play under certain condition based on the doctor’s advice. It is certainly delighting news to me, but I am disappointed to know Lance no longer felt the anticipation having selected to play for the school team. He accepted the news coldly, no amusement smiles or even excited glimpse inside his eyes, though he did agree coming to practice. As for the seniors, they didn’t accept the news that Lance will remain on the school team despite his health condition happily, and they resulted in threatening Lance from coming to practice. I was pretty much disgusted by them. For the sake of their jealousy they will do anything to get rid of him although he is a promising player. Lance had come to ignore the threat, and did come to the practice in honor of the coach which then resulted in an act of beating. Even I was given the warning not to tell the teachers of them beating Lance but I couldn’t bear seeing him being raked up by painful torture. Ignoring the warning, I walked up to the teachers and tell them the whole story.

 

As a result, actions were immediately taken. The senior members of the football club were suspended from school and club activities according to their foul act of bullying other student which later implies him to a serious health problem, furthermore clouding his future in football. They were on the discipline committee trial in order to determine whether these students should be allowed to remain in the school or to be expelled.

 

But when the result came out, it was clear that those who are directly involved will be expelled from the school and the rest were suspended from school for two weeks and prohibition from joining or participating in any school club for the next three month straight until they truly learn from their mistake. It is likely something someone will be satisfied with after he or she being bullied, but instead of feeling relieved, he went straight to the discipline committee and pleaded them not to expel the students who had been directly involved in the case and not to suspend the other’s club activities, telling the committee it will be a great lost to the football club. At first, the committee had refused to comply with Lance’s plea, but when Lance himself told them it wasn’t their fault that he was under the grip of asthma – it was in his gene, and the fact that he had had the sickness even since he was little – the discipline bureau could no longer relate to the charge of them carrying out bullying until it cost the victim’s health and therefore they are now free of charge. Under an agreement, the punishment of expel and suspension from any club activity immediately be withdraw, and the seniors then can once again held breaths of relieve.

 

As for me, I cannot be less than captivated by Lance’s kind heart. He was not the one to play revenge, even if he now has to live under the threat of severe asthma after what those jealous seniors had done to him. They have him to thank for, as for his effort fighting for their right that had secured their future. Since then, there had not been reports of bullying between senior and juniors. The seniors of the football club no longer treat us as some kind of rubbish, and football practice had never been as fun as it is now. Everything had revolved into something better, and it is improving day by day.

 

As of today, I couldn’t have possibly looked up to Lance more than I do now. Although once in a while I can still see that disappointed glimpse inside his eyes whenever he sat on that substitute player bench, watching us running around for the ball, and the fact that he now rarely joins in the fight on the field, I have never failed to notice that kindness in his every move and words. Even his smile now emits that strong and warm glow of sincerity and gentleness, and I have come to adore him more for these qualities in him. Every time I saw him running on the field, skillfully defending the goal, I couldn’t help smiling to myself. He was a very special friend to me, and I treasure him so much, because his heart is made of gold.


Author\\\\\\\'s note: This was written when I was 17 for my school magazine and then my brother sent it in for his English...something. I have done no alteration to it whatsoever just to remind me how I used to write back then. :) Thank you for reading. 

Previous short story:
Happy Birthday Ameer
Next short story:
Unknown Numbers
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