The referees chatted at the far side of the pitch. Twelve minutes to go until the start of the game. Team managers walked their roster books and player cards to the officials for verification. All appeared to be in good order this crisp, bright Saturday morning.
One of the parents looked at the player’s bench and asked, “Where’s Tony?”
“Oh no,” another parent answered, “Has anyone called his mom?”
“I don’t speak Spanish,” another one piped in.
“Josue’s dad does. Maybe he should call her.” someone suggested.
Tony’s mom was from Spain and spoke the purest Spanish. Josue’s dad was from Puerto Rico and apparently his accent insulted Maria greatly. But here it was with only minutes until the game began and Tony was nowhere in sight. If he was late, he would not be allowed to play. The officials checked the rosters, player cards, and inspected cleats before the match. Late arrivals were banned from the games for the day.
It was a problem getting Tony to the games. His mom spoke extremely limited English. She relied upon her husband and teenage son to function in public. Her husband was deployed to Iraq at this time. He had missed the entire soccer season and only caught reports and stats from the team web site.
The team web site, run by the manager, tried to answer the three major questions the parents had for each week’s game:
When? Where? Which uniform to wear (home or away)?
He’d posted maps to all the regional fields for this travel team. All in English.
Each week, Maria used Skype to call her husband and they spent part of their time with him translating the instructions for her.
Today was different. They had been unable to Skype on their usual schedule and Tony wasn’t here. The team needed the tenacious defender in the backfield. His footwork plucked the ball from opposing players like magic. When facing skilled opponents, he tirelessly harassed them until he succeeded in stopping their advance.
Josue’s dad was now at the edge of the parking lot on his cell phone. He patiently provided turn-by-turn directions to Tony as his mother drove in a panic. The game start was less than five minutes now. It was a race against time and traffic laws.
Parents huddled and scanned the parking lot and access road for Tony’s car. There! Speeding down the park’s curving lane clearly going way over the limit. The car screeched at the edge of the parking lot and Tony jumped out. He ran to the sidelines and joined his teammates just as the officials crossed the pitch to begin their equipment checks.
Today you can write about anything, in whatever genre or form, but your post must include a speeding car, a phone call, and a crisp, bright morning.