Love and Soccer: two people & one ball is all it took

Here is the second and final winner of the Valentines competition, a story written by Megan Opperman. Her story tells us that love isn’t something you find, but rather love is something that finds you.


 Love and Soccer

    I hated Valentine’s Day. It was the day that all my friends would brag about their special boyfriend and show off the amazing gifts that they got. Don’t even get me started about all of the stuff on Instagram. Then there was me, sitting on the couch watching a depressing movie and eating a whole ton of chocolate.

This year I was determined to not be single on Valentine’s Day. I went on dozens of dates, tried to meet lots of new people, but nothing worked. By the end of the month, I did not have anything near a boyfriend, or (as my mom puts it) I was still a “Single Pringle.” I couldn’t believe this was happening to me. Again.

On the dreaded day of Valentine’s Day, I was walking through the campus of my college, taking pictures for my photography class next to the soccer field, my sweatshirt hood pulled up over my long, wavy, golden-brown hair. The chilly February breeze went straight through my baggy sweatshirt and made me shiver.

I had just stood up from taking a picture when all of the sudden a soccer ball hit me square in the face. I fell to the ground, my face burning from the impact. I heard feet rushing towards me and I quickly sat up, but I regretted it immediately. I reached up to my face to check for blood and felt a thick sticky substance covering my face. The heavy footsteps finally reached me and an onslaught of questions was directed at me. For most of them, I just gently nodded or shook my head.

Next came the apologies.

Then came the obvious statements.

But there was one statement that surprised me, “I think your nose is broken.”

My hand immediately returned to my nose. Pain raced through my face and my eyes started watering. I groaned and the person quickly said, “I can take you to the hospital if you want. I mean you’re not exactly fit to drive.” 

I slowly nodded and the careless soccer player helped me from the cold, hard ground.

The drive to the hospital was long, which gave me time to study the person in the driver’s seat. He had short, bouffant, blonde hair that naturally swept to the side and bright blue eyes. He had a strong jawline and a confident look to him. In general, he had a handsome face. I couldn’t imagine how terrible I looked right now.

The silence was suddenly broken by him saying, “So, what’s your name?”

“Aldora,” I replied, though it came out very nasally and high due to my broken nose, “Yours?”


Then the silence began again.

We finally made it to the hospital, filled out all of the paperwork, and waited for another two hours. I told him he could go back, but he insisted on staying with me so he could drive me back to the campus. I couldn’t decide whether this was sweet or creepy. 

We began a light conversation, which was slightly embarrassing for me because of my nose, but it ended up being the most fun hospital trip I had ever made.

The next day a knock at the always silent door surprised me. I quickly got out of my chair, straightened my hair in the mirror, and opened the door. On the other side of the door was Roland holding a bouquet of flowers, with an apologetic look on his face.

“I just wanted to say sorry again.”

“Thanks, and it’s really no big deal,” I replied while taking the flowers.

“Um. I broke your nose. I’m pretty sure that is unforgivable.”

I rolled my eyes and smiled.

After a long conversation, he finally asked, “Are you doing anything this weekend?”

I shyly shook my head.

Then he said, “Would you like to go hang out?”

“Sure,” I replied.

“Or we could play soccer,” he said with a mischievous grin.

A couple of years later…

After that first date, I would never be a “Single Pringle” again on Valentine’s Day. Roland later became a professional soccer player (but don’t worry he didn’t break anybody else’s nose). And I became a photographer. We got married on February 14th and had a baby girl a year later.