“You must hang in there, Nakazawa sensei said that you must win at all cost!” Maaya said. Her knees were still shaking when she’s thinking the “threat” that her sensei gave her.
“You must do your best to coach them. If they lose, I’ll blame it on you. Got that, oh almighty queen?”
“I don’t want to know what she will do with me on the day of the play…”
“Relax don’t lose hope. They have a weak point and we’ll discover it.” Rika confidently said. The tables turned around in the next seven minutes of the game. The opposing team were up by 3 three points. Rika immediately called a time out.
“Just be ready for a pass. I’ll pass the ball to anyone who I perceived to be free. Let’s play isolation first. Then be ready for a post up play.”
“Matte! Are you sure about that?” Maaya asked. Her knees were trembling again due to the possible doom that she will face in the future because of Rika’s plan.
“Don’t worry, I have faith in my team mates. We can do it! And besides…. I hate to lose.”
The bell rang loudly, signaling the end of the break. Rika got the ball and dribbled towards the basket. The captain of the opposing team guarded her. Rika’s team mates moved away from her. It is now a battle of captain versus captain. Rika closed her eyes and breathed deeply.
“Maki, help me with this one…”
Hitomi’s voice pierced through the air as Miki’s body fell on the grass. She was holding her ankle due to the intense pain that it’s giving her. The referee called for a time out and Nakazawa immediately ran towards the field.
“Are you a dumb ass?! Why did you let that thing happen to you?! Who will replace you now?” Nakazawa lectured Miki as a nurse tried to help her get up.
“As if I wanted this to happen to me.” Miki replied weakly.
“I guess she twisted her ankle when she tried to move past Sayumi.” Hitomi said. Nakazawa sighed in defeat as they guide Miki towards the bench to sit. The rest of the basketball team arrived.
“What happened to the game?” Nakazawa eyed Maaya.
“You won’t believe it but Rika managed to score in the last 0.09 seconds for us to win the championship!”
“Good, that’s what I wanted to hear at this time.”
“Shit! What happened to you? Are you alright? Does it hurt?” Rika frantically asked Miki. Hitomi and Miki were somehow surprised at what Rika was behaving.
“Well, Hitomi said that she somewhat twisted her ankle while trying to move past Sayu..” Eri knew what Rika was thinking right now. This familiar scene happened last four years. She knew that Rika was thinking about Maki right now.
“Yeah, don’t worry about me, I’m alright.”
“Wh… who said that I’m worrying about you? I’m just… ah… checking what’s the commotion about..” Rika blushed as Miki gave her a penetrating look.
“Anyways, this is really a big problem for our team. We don’t have reserve persons in such a case.” Hitomi’s worried face was replaced immediately by a serious one. She’s worrying about the team but Rika’s actions towards her sister were making her jealous again. She needed to divert her attention.
“A problem indeed… If we can’t replace her, our team will be forfeited. Why didn’t I think of a substitute? I was so confident in my team that I removed the possibility of injuries.” Nakazawa said in a low voice, as if talking with her self. They remained silent until Aya spoke up.
“Then let Rika join us too! I think she has the ability to score in futsal as well as in basketball.”
“Matte! Give me a break! I’m still tired from….” Rika’s next sentence was cut by Nakazawa’s glare.
“You’re the replacement for today. If you don’t, I’ll make you pay.”
“I thought that you will not play futsal anymore?” Reina asked Rika as soon as she entered the field.
“I thought so too, at first.” Rika sighed. “Oh well, I guess it can’t be helped.”
“Yeah, but were glad that we were able to play with you again. We’ll show you the results of our training.”
“Sure, bring it on! I won’t lose on you guys.”
Miki watched in awe at what’s happening in the field. Nakazawa was happy to see another great player being discovered right now. The first half was a scoreless one. Now that Rika joined them, their team immediately garnered 2 points. The coach of the opposing team immediately called for a timeout.
“I didn’t know that you’re good at futsal too!” Hitomi messed up Rika’s pony tail.
“Stop that! You’re ruining my hair!”
“It’s good that I’ve trusted Aya’s judgment. I didn’t know that you can play futsal too.” Nakazawa praised Rika and gave her a drink and towel.
“It’s just the beginner’s luck. I’m not really good at this.”
“What are you saying? Don’t try to be so humble about it. It doesn’t fit what you’re in the field.” Aya commented.
“Well, I guess that my injury did some good to us, right?” Miki said which earned her a light smack on the head courtesy of their sensei.
“Baka! It still doesn’t justify your clumsiness on the field!” Nakazawa roared.
“And who was the one giving a lecture about clumsiness on someone before?” Hitomi joked. “Saa, we still can’t let our guards down, Sayumi and Reina might be planning something and that Konno Asumi’s really a tough goalie to beat.”
“If only Konno joined us and not the Chemistry club, our varsity team will be invincible. Oh well, we can leave that to Ishikawa, am I right?” Rika nodded in response to the scary glare that Nakazawa gave her.
“Then let’s do our best to win!!!” Aya shouted and everyone followed.
The game resumed. Sayumi caught the pass from her teammate. She ran towards Eri who’s guarding the goal. She moved past Rika and kicked the ball back to Reina. Reina saw a chance and quickly kicked the ball on Eri’s left side. Rika anticipated Reina’s shot that’s why she was able to save the ball. Hitomi got it and now they were back on offence.
Sayumi and Reina double teamed Hitomi. She quickly passed it to Aya behind her. Aya in turn ran towards the goal where Konno was waiting for her. She immediately changed her mind and passed the ball to Rika.
“Ehh? Nande?” Rika paused for a while and looked for open teammates. She saw that Reina was coming for her.
“Hello! What are you going to do now?” Reina teased her. Rika just smiled and quickly passed the ball towards Hitomi who used her head to make the ball go inside the goal. Konno didn’t have the chance to block it and thus, making the score 3-0 in favor of section A.
“I can still make the captain do her job…right?” Rika said as an answer to Reina’s previous question.
“You’re still great… I can’t believe that you didn’t play for four long years. You haven’t changed a bit.” Sayumi joined them. “Reina, let’s get serious this time!”
“This is bad…”