My mom has always told me before a game to never be a hero. I've always nodded and rolled my eyes at her. I've always thought," It's soccer. I'd rather protect the goal than myself.
I've been taught to sacrifice myself for the net since I was three. And I've never gotten too hurt doing that.
Except that one day.
It was a pick-up game. No refs, no uniforms, no equipment. Just a ball, two goals, and twenty-two players.
This all counted for nothing.
I was defending. I was in complete game mode.
He kicked at the ball, which was about mid-air. I managed to block it from the goal. But his kick hit, not the ball, but the left side of my head. Hard.
I was blown back. My face felt numb and I couldn't see straight.
Something was wrong. Something had happened.
I was the hero my mom told me never to be.
I was the foolish hero.