Take the Field
The students in the classroom were all staring at the clock. It was 2:59, and all of them were eager to leave, looking forward to the weekend. The second hand reached eleven. Five, four, three, two, one... and the bell rang. The teacher excused her students and they all ran out with excitement. However, one student took her time, gathering her belongings into her beloved green backpack. “Cerril, do you need some help with your things?” her teacher, Mr. Lupid asked.
“Oh no, I think I got it...” Cerril put the last thing into her backpack. “See you on Monday, Mr. Lupid!” She slung the backpack over her shoulders. Cerril was a smart blue Usul, and the other students often called her “teacher’s pet”. She didn’t mind, because Mr. Lupid was the best teacher she ever had. She always had a great interest in art, and he was the greatest artist she knew. Her fondest memory was when he sketched a picture of the Coffee Shop, marking every little detail, including the blotches of paint on the store’s sign. Cerril was very lucky to have a teacher like Mr. Lupid.
She walked out the door of the school and started heading home. It was a short walk from the school to Bracknell Road, the neighborhood she lived in. While walking home, she noticed almost half of her class at playing Yooyuball at a nearby park. She wouldn’t think her parents would worry, so she watched for a few minutes. One of her classmates, a green Scorchio named Turrak, was scoring plenty of goals each time the Yooyu was passed to him. Cerril watched in amazement how Turrak was scoring every time. Another one of her classmates, a yellow Mynci named Seros, noticed her watching them play. “Hey Cerril, what are you doing?” he shouted from the field.
“Well, I was just wondering if I could join you guys?” she asked. She had never played Yooyuball in her life, but she thought it was worth a try. She wanted to fit in with the students in her class.
“Haha, no way! You’re no good at Yooyuball; go home and draw or something. Make the teacher proud, teacher’s pet!” They all started laughing at her. Cerril was disheartened by what Seros said and ran home. When she arrived at Bracknell Road, she ran straight into the house and up to her room, jumping onto the bed and putting her face into the pillow. Her mother noticed her behavior and went up to her room.
When her mother saw her face in the pillow, she asked, “What happened at school today?”
Cerril replied, “Oh, school was fine. But after school I asked some of my classmates if I could play Yooyuball with them, and they told me to go away.” Cerril started getting teary-eyed after she confessed.
“Oh, I’m sorry to hear that, sweetie,” her mother said, “but have I told you about my experience with Yooyuball?”
Cerril shook her head. “Were you rejected to play just like me?”
Her mother chuckled. “Not quite. I played with all my classmates, too, and they started to not let me play either. But this one boy by the name of Dreph, I believe, gave me a chance to play on his team. He let me play forward.”
“How’d you do?” Cerril asked, wiping a tear from her eye.
“I scored all four goals that our team scored,” her mother replied. “They always asked me to play Yooyuball, and I always did good. All the other Neopets wanted me to play for their team. I was the most popular Neopet at my school. I believe if I can do it, you can do just as well. Just try to be friendly and maybe you’ll get your chance to play.”
“Thanks, Mom. I can’t wait until Monday!” Cerril said happily.
The weekend passed and the students were once again in school the following Monday. There was thirty minutes left in the day and Mr. Lupid was teaching the class of art history. Whenever he asked a question, Cerril shot her hand straight into the air. The other students were muttering underneath their breaths about how she was a teacher’s pet. Later, the bell rang and Mr. Lupid excused the class. Once Cerril packed everything up in her backpack, she went up to Mr. Lupid’s desk. “Yes, Cerril?” he asked.
“Mr. Lupid, I have a problem with some of the other students. You see...”
Mr. Lupid cut her off. “Turrak told me about it during lunch break,” he said. “He was upset about the situation you guys had on Friday, also. I bet if you went back to the field today, he’d be happy to invite you to play Yooyuball with them.”
“Wow, he really said that? Thank you, Mr. Lupid! You’re the best teacher ever!” Cerril ran out of the classroom with excitement. She ran all the way to the field where the students were playing before. She was surprised to find the field empty. There wasn’t a single Neopet in sight. Cerril felt like she had been deserted. She turned around and went home. As soon as she stepped in the house, her mother approached her.
“Did you take my advice, Cerril?” she asked.
“I was going to, but no one showed up at the field. I don’t know if they deserted me or just didn’t want to play.”
“Well, maybe tomorrow. I’m going to cook something for dinner. Don’t feel like they deserted you; maybe they just had to do something else.” She left. Cerril started to make her way to her room until she heard a knock on the door. “I’ll get it, Mom!” she shouted.
She opened the door, and it was Turrak. “Hi, Cerril, I’m sorry you couldn’t find us at the field we were at on Friday, but Seros and the others wanted to play at a different field today. I’m sorry, but I just came over to see if you still wanted to play with us?”
Cerril turned around and noticed her mother was watching the entire conversation. She nodded her head. Cerril said, “That would be great! Thank you for letting me know.”
“Alright, we’re playing just behind the Food Shop.” It was a short walk, and they arrived right as Seros scored a goal past a green Gelert that Cerril recognized in her art class with Mr. Lupid. Everyone stopped and stared at Cerril as she was about to go onto the field.
“Hey, she can’t play!” Seros said. “We already have enough players. Tell her to take a seat, Turrak.”
Turrak whispered in Cerril’s ear, “Just sit on the bench for now, I’ll try to see what I can do.” He pranced onto the field, and the game resumed. Ten long minutes passed as Cerril just sat and watched. She was beginning to feel that feeling of desertion again, just watching her classmates have fun, while she sat on the bench. After a scored goal, Turrak thought it was time to get Cerril on the field. Play resumed and he got the Yooyu. He began sprinting and he tripped. Seros told everyone to stop so he could see what happened. Cerril got worried and ran on to the field with them. “Ow, my leg! I don’t think I’ll be able to play; my leg is in a lot of pain!” Cerril gave him a hand and she returned him to the bench.
“This is bad...” Cerril told Turrak. “Without you, your team is going to lose!”
“Psst,” Turrak signaled her to come closer. He whispered in her ear, “It’s time for you to show us what you got. It’s time for you to take the field.”
“But what about your leg? Will it be okay?” Cerril whispered back.
“It’s fine. To tell you the truth, I want you to play. The score is tied up 3-3, I think you have what it takes to score the game-winning goal. Show these guys who’s a great Yooyuball player.” He winked. Cerril was nervous to take the field, but it was what she wanted to do since Friday. She took her position on the field and the game resumed. She ran as fast as she could to the Yooyu and got it, now running down the field. She was now running toward Seros, who was on the other team. She ran as fast as she could and barged right in to him, and Seros flew five yards away from where he was hit. Cerril could hear hysteric laughter coming from the bench, and it was Turrak. She had a feeling of self-confidence as she reached the goal. The green Gelert was ready to deflect the shot, and Cerril shot to the left, and scored the game-winning goal! Cerril felt like she was on top of the world. Turrak ran onto the field and congratulated her. Cerril was now treated like one of the greatest Yooyuball players the Neopets had ever seen.
The next day at school was interesting. During art class, Seros would not talk to Cerril at all, and Turrak was becoming more of a friend. When the students were assigned to draw a picture of their favorite place in the world, Mr. Lupid couldn’t stop noticing how well Cerril was doing, drawing a picture of the Altador Colosseum. He stopped by her desk and asked her, “Wow Cerril, have you ever considered being a professional artist when you’re older?”
Cerril thought about it, and answered, “I think I have bigger dreams, Mr. Lupid!” She giggled. When he left, she drew a picture of herself in an Altador Cup uniform on the blank Colosseum Field.