Playground – Utkarsh Chhiber – Medium

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I never liked playing sports, and whenever I wanted to, I was terrible at it. I can’t run for a long time because my stamina is less than the average of other people. During our PT periods, all I did was just stay out of the game and roam around the ground. Nothing to do. Sometimes I would have a company of classmates who weren’t good at sports either, and sometimes I’d hang out with my friends who were good at sports but chose to stay with me instead.

Most of the time it would be me watching other boys playing football and even if I wanted to do batting in cricket, till my chance would come to bat, the period would get over. Eventually, I gave up on cricket too. Again, it wasn’t like I was a good player anyway.

I don’t know what grade it was, I am assuming it was before my sixth grade. The period got over, and I sat under the shade of a tree looking at my classmates leaving. I was the only one who stayed back and soon after my bench partner, who was a goalkeeper, came and sat close to me. He was sweaty and exhausted. He was taking loud breaths, and I always thought of him to be as an excellent player. He was taller than me, not significantly but was more manly in a stereotypical world. We didn’t sit together because we were friends, it was only because our class teacher told us to do.

There was something about him that would make me feel like I would do anything for him. If you ask me what it was, I still wouldn’t know. He had asked me to write his notes, and for some reason, I was never hesitant. I, for sure, would not write notes for anyone if someone would ask me now. But there was something about him that would make me write it for him. I remember wishing to gain his full attention, but it seemed to feel unlikely.

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