I sat on the squishy, but still hard mat while dreading Randori and worrying about Seth. Everyone went through their rounds, and then it was my turn to get up there in the middle of everybody to try and make some random kid fall over. Oh yay, I just can’t wait.
My stomach started to feel sickly nervous, and then it was time for me to stand up. I made my way to the middle to face a boy shorter and smaller then me. But he had a green belt so I figured I would lose.
And I did. Within about five seconds. I turned an un-ripe strawberry color, and my opponent looked surprised and excited when Mike announced the winner. Mentally shrugging, I sat back down and looked straight ahead to watch my other siblings in their endeavors. At least I’ll probably never have to do that again. I hope. Next time maybe I would find an excuse in time.
Jessica stepped up with one of the newer Asian students, and they went at it. Then they were both fighting for control on the ground, and Jessica was trying to hold down his shoulders with her forearm. Some of her stray damp hair fell in front of her face from out of her ponytail.
Then the sides switched, but only for a few brief seconds, and Jessica again pinned him down. A chorus of the bystanders chanted from ten to one. Mike called out and they stood, breathing stiffly and heavily, but Jessica had a slight smile. Mike’s right arm shot in the air in front of her to signify the winner, and we gave some cheers.
Sister faced brother next as Michael met her in the center of the floor, and he conquered soon enough. I would way rather have lost to a sibling.
Jessica seated herself on the mat, and I glanced over. A second of surprise caught my mind - she looked really bothered. Okay. So it’s not that surprising, I reasoned. Emotions are running high in our whole family- Jessica’s stressed out over wedding plans, and Seth just went to the ER.
And by the time David came back from beating two people and losing to a brown belt, I was about feeling sick from stress myself. I could picture Seth in the Emergency Room, and my mind imagined grave looking doctors and their tools. Serious as they talked in low tones to Dad and Mom.
Seriously! He’ll be fine! All he did was knock his head on the ground! But I couldn’t banish the nagging feelings. After all, he couldn’t remember. He couldn’t remember anything from the past few months they said.
My eyes were magnetically drawn every five minutes to the clock on the wall, and I was the first person off the mat after we bowed. I grabbed up my belongings and bit my lip in impatience while waiting. Come on. Let’s leave. Please! Nobody else even seemed to remember that my brother was in the hospital because of this awful sport. How was he?? How was he doing?