How Life Can Change In A Split Second

Photo: NDAB Creativity / Shutterstock
woman smiling

By Allie Braun

His eyes were cold and lifeless as he stared at me.

“You have no idea who I am, do you?”

People say life can change in a split second. And while that’s probably true, you don’t realize it’s changed in the second it actually changes. No, that comes a little later.

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The ball hit the ground around the same time he did. I honestly barely saw it happen. I was in the stands, I was sitting next to his little sister, I was wearing his number on the back of my shirt. He was on the ground, he was just laying there, he never gets hurt.

It was a split second of fear. Maybe a couple more seconds of him laying on the ground made his mom panic a little. But then he got up. He got up and walked back to his position and everything was fine again.

He was fine. I remember thinking to myself.

He won his game. Of course he won, he was amazing. Only a junior but playing first-string varsity.

He never gets pulled. He plays the whole time. He’s just that good. His coach trusts him that much. His team needs him that much.

I hung around waiting for him after the game. Talked to his mom a little then went to wait with the other girlfriends as our boys changed out of their cleats.

He takes forever. Literally the last one off the field most games.

They sometimes even turn the field lights off on us while we wait for him.

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He didn’t look for my face in the crowd of people still hanging around. At first, I thought it was something I did, I unknowingly hurt him in some way. My mind raced as I thought back over the past conversations.

His sister ran up and hugged him and his mom told him he played great. My heart raced as I walked up to him. He looked over. Looked confused. Almost as if he didn’t recognize me. His eyes were cold and lifeless as he stared at me.

I heard the words come out of my mouth before I realized what they actually meant.

“You have no idea who I am, do you?”

“Umm no, sorry, have we met?”

His sister giggled at this, thinking it was just one of his jokes. But I saw it on his face that this wasn’t one of his jokes.

He honestly had no clue who I was. My mind raced and I could feel the panic start to set in. His mom picked up on it too and asked if he felt alright. He replied that he had a headache but that he was fine.

This didn’t make sense, he’s fine, he just played the whole game. He has to be fine. He’s just messing around or I did something. That’s it, I did something and he’s just messing around.

I said it to myself over and over thinking that the more I repeated it the more true it would become but his eyes never changed. There wasn’t that hint of playfulness he gets when he’s just messing around.

What the hell is happening?

This piece is a work of fiction and does not reflect actual events or characters.

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Allie Braun is a writer attending Furman University pursuing a degree in Sustainability Science. Her work focuses primarily on relationships, current events, and lifestyle topics. Visit her author profile on Unwritten for more.

This article was originally published at Unwritten. Reprinted with permission from the author.