A Second Meeting

Our beginnings as a team, at the start of 2010.

It was a humid Monday night when Cari and I set off to our club, El Talar. We walked down Ayacucho to Las Heras and patiently waited for the 110 to roll around. When it drove up, it was empty and we go on. By the time the bus had swept through Recoleta, it was fairly full and we shimmied our way to the back. We both grasped onto the ceiling bars like monkeys.

“I think it might be an Argentine thing,” Cari commented, “But we seem to put more focus on the problem, rather than trying to find a solution.”

We had been talking about, among other things, our team and wondering if tonight’s meeting would bring any sort of resolution. There was a persistent confusion about our common objectives as a team and we were struggling to define them. I personally was rehearsing a prepared speech and trying to calm my nerves.

We arrived slightly late, at 9:40pm, but we were not the last to arrive. The club was quiet and we kissed the formed circle of women good-evening. I hugged some of my teammates as if I hadn’t seen them in months. I realized how accustomed I had gotten to seeing them two to three times a week, at practise and games. Several minutes went by of good old fashioned club gossip with some talk of the end of year party before the final members arrived and we got started.

Lily began, “Okay, well I wanted us to get together so we could finalize some things that were left up in the air from the last meeting.”

There was a moment of silence and I realized that this was my moment to express what I had come prepared to say. I grasped my hands and straightened my posture.

“I have something to announce to the team.”

Everyone turned to me and someone quickly remarked, “You’re pregnant!”

I rolled my eyes at the traditional joke and there was laughter.

“No, I’m not pregnant.” I cleared my throat.

“I wanted to announce to the group that I’ve decided that I’m looking for another team.”

Now, I had everyone’s full attention.

“This team has been an amazing experience for me. I learned so many things this year and I’m so grateful for everything. But I feel that I’m ready for a bigger challenge; something more competitive and physically
intense.”

I saw a couple of my teammates nod their heads, as if they knew all along.

Beside me, Cynthia asked, “Where will go?”

I was happy at her question and I started naming teams that I’d been looking into.

“America del Sud…”

La Rusa nodded and suggested another club. Everyone broke up in individual conversations about where I could look.

Shortly after that, I left the meeting early. It was partly because of another appointment and partly because I realized that this was part of the process of a new chapter. I walked in the dark summer air and felt various emotions: fear, perhaps from the uncertainty of the future and excitement, because this was something new. I felt determined to find a team to challenge me in all the right ways and to learn all I could about basketball in this lifetime.

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