Indoor

The night was a veil, the gauzy mist like a lover’s lingering kiss. Inside was a sauna, moisture a fog over the fields. Giant industrial fans buzzed, pushing the sticky air around the warehouse-like complex and droning out the high whistle trills. Her faded lemon shirt clung to her like a drying swimsuit, and her arms were slick with sweat. The ball skipped along the turf, and she pushed against the green rubber in a race against her opponent. Her face was a red pool of determination, and she huffed her breath out into the thick air. She heard her teammate yelling, his typical cry bouncing off the dirty plastic walls: “Come on, yellow!”

After the game, her wet shirt and shorts plastered to her salty skin, she drove through the night with all her windows down. The hot wind whipped through her car, and she slung her arm out the window. These nights seemed infinite. Music blaring to compete with the sounds of a late night highway. The occasional glow of passing headlights and fleeting curiosity about why someone else was out so late on a Sunday night. This black pavement, this soccer moon belonged to her.

The click of her blinker mimicked the flicker in the stars. These were the nights when everything seemed to come together, the last piece of the puzzle sliding into place. These nights she was the very essence of her; she existed almost perfectly in her-ness. The quiet heat of a sun baked night and the hum of adrenaline from chasing a ball around a rectangular cage. These nights, she was invincible.

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