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Rock Street, San Francisco

(Comeback Kid)By Charlie Roraback Hi my name is Charles J. Johnson and I am 17 years old. Life was amazing but then in a snap, my life got turned upside down. I was an All-American Basketball player for the Seattle Tornados and I had so many scouts coming to my games. Big ones too, Kansas, Kentucky, Gonzaga. Also NBA scouts as well, getting ready to trade up for me. Getting scholarships left and right. Small schools and big schools. Then it happened. We were playing our rivals the Bellevue Lions and don’t get me wrong I can shoot and lay-up but can’t really dunk. But me being the cocky me, tried to go dunk it. And I did, but when I landed, I landed really awkwardly on it, and turns out I tore my ACL. “Hey how you doing,”My dad said,” you know you’re done for a long time right, I know it´s sad but you at the very least are done for the next few months, you could be back for the championship game, but you don’t know if coach will play you.” “Yeah I know,” I said, “but I just don’t know if I want to continue basketball, after a serious injury like this.” ¨You can just give-,¨”My dad was interrupted by the doctors coming in. “I’m so sorry sir,¨” One of the doctors said, “But it turns out the injury was hidden by some swelling and we have to perform surgery on your right knee.””Great,” I moaned, “Now I’m for sure done with basketball.”My dad sighed ” You are amazing basketball player, and you have a special talent. But if you want to waste your life away, do it.” Then I blacked out.It turns out they knocked me out with some really powerful amestia and I said a bunch of gibberish then I passed out. I rubbed my eyes and then everything became more clear, my mom, dad and best friend gage were standing over me. Gage was a friend of mine from basketball, since kindergarten really. And since that day we decided to be best friends. “You good bro,” Gage asked, as I tried to sit up. “Don’t strain so much ur knee will kill you even more.” He said, chuckling. “Yeah I’m good, I am most likely going to miss the rest of the season because I had to do this stupid surgery.” I said sadly “Don’t be so sure about that,” He said. “You saw Paul George in the Olympics break his leg and come back, and still ball out. And you can too.” “Yeah,” I said, “But he was a pro and he had special doctors to get back to his normal playing ways. I just have hospital doctors.” “Hey, don’t diss my mom. Did you forget she works here too.” He said giggling. It was at that moment the doctors came in and said I could go home. But, I couldn’t walk, or do really anything physical without assistance for the next week. I thought it kinda sucked but being home is being home. And I would not call the rock hard hospital beds a very good home. When we got home my mom told me that she was going to make dinner but it might take a little bit. I immediately went to my room and there I saw a box of shoes with a sticky note on top saying. Comeback kid. I immediately thought it was Gage, but when I texted him he said he had nothing to do with it. I was still a little suspect but knowing Gage he probably would’ve sent me a shrugging emoji or something along those lines. When I looked in the white printed NIKE. Box I found a pair of  Jordan Space Jam 11’s. I was so excited cause I always wanted Space Jams but my parents thought they didn’t have enough ankle support. When I got to school on Monday, everybody kept asking me what happened and will I be ok, etc. So I went to my counselor Mrs. Sawyer and asked if I could come to her room to escape the madness. She said I could but she had to do a few things while I was in there before we started talking. In my head the nightmares of Saturday came out like the floodgates were opened. Me being the cocky me going up for a dunk. Jumping up grinning ear to ear. But then hitting the ground on and the searing pain that came from my leg. The ambulance sound blaring outside. The slow walk into the ambulance. The serious look as the doctors took a first glance at my leg. I wasn’t paying any attention but it sounded like my name was being called, “Charles, Charles.” Then there was a clap in my face and then I woke up from my day dream and there was Mrs. Sawyer there staring at me and was asking me if I was ok. “Yeah, sorry,” I said rubbing my eyes, “Just all the bad things since last Saturday have been flooding into my brain.” Months  went by and I was getting stronger faster and back to the old me. I was  only in a brace. My team was doing just fine without me. We were 6-3 when I got hurt and now we are 25-8. Gage without me was averaging 25 points a game and some of my other teammates were doing really good as well. Brooklyn was averaging 15 points and John was averaging 10. I had only 3 more weeks to recover before I could get back on the court. The day before what will be the last game of the season was the day I was cleared to play, hopefully. I went to my team practice and was practicing for the first time, (with my team). In 4 months. I kept practicing and get working on my game. Then the day finally came. My appointment wasn’t until noon. But that’s when it happened. My dad grabbed his chest. And said it was burning, I knew immediately that he was going into cardiac arrest. I picked up the phone and punched in the numbers 9-1-1 so hard I thought the phone was gonna break. “911 what’s your emergency?” asked the Operator.”My dad is having a heart attack.” I said fighting through the tears, “Please hurry.” And then I hung up.It was only about 5 minutes but it felt like 5 hours till the ambulance got there. When they got there he was put onto a stretcher and taken to the hospital. I went to my appointment and I was cleared to play but my dad was in my heart. When I went to the lobby I saw tears in my moms eyes I knew that my dad didn’t make it. My mom buried her head in my chest and we sat in a doctors office and cried.

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