HSC STANDARD ENGLISH
1 year, 6 months and 15 days. That’s how long since my carefully constructed world was split right down the middle, ripped and torn apart mercilessly, just like the car that I was in. The remaining adrenaline from last night’s win overshadowed my perception of the slight sheet of sleet that subtly covered the dark, twisted road. Little did I know how much could change from one moment. One moment where you believe that you are taking your final breath, that this would be your final thought. It was that one moment that changed me forever, from the instant eyelids slowly fluttered open a week later, ‘lucky to be alive’ my plastered arm in a loose sling across my chest, a throbbing headache threatening to drone out the room around me with the force of each pulse. But no one thinks too hard about minor brain damage ruining your career when you’re a professional rugby league player. It’s football, not rocket science. Right?
The words in my head are as clear as a cloudless summer day, and my thoughts still run as free as they always have. It’s only when I try to let someone in on what I’m thinking, to try and give my opinion. No matter how hard I try, my perfectly formed words only ever tumble recklessly out of my mouth. I can still snatch a ball out of mid-air with inconceivable speed and precision, sprint the length of the vast field faster than anyone else on the team, and tackle the opposition into the dank earth with the entire force of my body. I can still remember my own name, answer questions about the never changing overcast of the winter weather, and recognise aeroplanes on flash cards in hospital. My eyes were blinded by the bright white light as my irises underwent scrupulous inspection, the distinct smell of disinfectant singing to my nose. To them, I’m fine. The surgery has worked a miracle. But to me, I couldn’t be more different...
So what am I even doing here? My every footstep towards the field echoes as loudly as...
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