The Captain

Like the meaning of its name, rugby was my stronghold, my fortress. It was rugby that gave me escape when my Dad called again to say his business trip was going to be extended by another week. His whole life was a business trip. It was rugby that transported me to another world when Mum accidentally knocked the cork out of the wine bottle and accidentally slugged the contents down. And it was rugby that took my mind off my whimpering little sister that wanted her daddy and mummy back.
The game gave me protection, hope. It let me blow off steam, talk to people who’s only problem was where to go and party that night, remind me that I had a life of my own, that I was good at something other than being a doormat to my parents.
But then I was made captain of our team. I never asked for more responsibility! I couldn’t cope with people looking to me for advice, depending on me for pep talks. It always felt like my fault when we lost. Suddenly winning and losing was more important. If we lost, it was because I didn’t encourage the guys enough, didn’t meet the expectations of a captain correctly. I just wanted to play, to escape, to have some fun for a change.
I tore my band off and threw it on the ground.
I couldn’t be the captain anymore.
It was time someone was the captain of me.