Narrative Essay about Volleyball

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As the youngest and only daughter in my home, of course, I would dip into everyone’s closets and dressers, especially my mom’s. It doesn’t help that we wear the same size in literally everything. I am notorious in my household for being a thief, and since before I could remember I would borrow, without permission, anything I found cute and that I thought she hadn’t worn in a while. I am also notorious, according to my mom, for losing and misplacing things, and even prior to this event I definitely earned this notoriety. Now, you would think my mom would hide her valuable possessions from my thieving fingers. I know I would. I don’t know why she decided to entrust me with her 24K gold bracelet, which was gifted to her before I was born and was one of the only pieces of jewelry my dad ever got her. Maybe she believed I would be responsible for once in my life due to the material and sentimental value of this bracelet. Maybe it was the fact that I was going into the spring quarter of my first year in college and it was a sign of faith that she trusted I would turn things around. Either way, I ended up with that gold bracelet on my left wrist as I returned to Santa Cruz, California for the last time.

One evening, I sat with a group of girlfriends of mine on the Stevenson knoll. This knoll overlooks a grassy field with volleyball courts, a paved track, and makeshift baseball and soccer fields. Beyond that lay a woodsy area, and beyond that the city, and finally Monterrey Bay. The ocean view and the feeling of sitting on a quilt surrounded by friends and nature took my breath away, quite literally, because I was always smoking weed out there. That afternoon, we sat on my quilt on the knoll, the six or seven of us, as we smoked, talked, and laughed, passing around three or four fat Backwoods. We listened to a playlist with SZA, H.E.R., Daniel Caesar, and other RnB artists the person on aux knew we’d enjoy, and we watched the many college students just like us play on the field below, soaking in the warmth of the sun that day. The vibe was chill, and the mood was light and fun.

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As we sat, I remembered how my friends Kaitlyn Naliyah, and I were finally all in the same place, outside, and had downtime to kill. We had previously talked about getting on a volleyball court together, as we had all played at some point in our youth, but hadn’t made it a reality yet. It was my master plan to get us all down to the courts that day and at my suggestion, that’s just what we did. Kaitlyn and I went down to check out a volleyball from the gym, and after I finished the woods with the other girls we went down to the courts. We hopped on the first court we saw when three other students whom we had never met before asked if they could join us. There was one boy and two girls. I didn’t catch their names or their college affiliations, nor do I remember quite what they looked like aside from them being white and seemingly friendly. Soon enough, we had a pretty decent game going; me on one side with two of the new people, and my friends on the opposite side with the other. At one point the ball landed on my side of the net, and because I was the most experienced, my team had me serve. I picked up the ball and prepared to send it back over. Unbeknownst to me, the next swing of my arm would bring a moment that would break my heart and be etched into my memory forever. I brought my arm back and swung.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the volleyball I had just served go over the net, but my focus wasn’t on that. I barely noticed the players on the opposite side dive after the ball, touching it more than three times to return it. I watched for the longest five seconds of my life as my mom’s gold bracelet unclasped itself and slipped off my arm. The sun glistened off of it like a dream, and it sank into the sand before me. My heart plunged into the deepest pits of my stomach. I told myself that my bracelet was just sitting below the surface of the sand, and I would just have to reach down and scoop it up. As I bent down and stuck the fingers of one hand into the sand where I saw the bracelet fall, I felt nothing. My stomach, still with my heart in it, dropped to the floor. “No”, I whispered to myself. I couldn’t have, I thought. I began to panic, and as I stuck my other hand into the sand to search, I felt myself spiraling. I knew it was God punishing me for smoking, I just knew. And how stupid could I have been to wear my mom’s gold bracelet out with me on the volleyball courts? And not just the regular hardwood courts, but the sand volleyball courts. I begged and pleaded; let it be here somewhere. Oh please, God, if I could just find it, I promise I won’t smoke again. I promise I’ll do my homework; I promise I’ll call my family more often; I promise over and over again. At some point, I told my friends and the strangers who joined us in the game what had happened, and they stopped to help me search for it. My best friend, Kaitlyn, suggested to me that I check my bag, in case I had taken it off and put it in there for safekeeping before the game. I searched each pocket of my purse three times over for the bracelet, turned it inside out, and even ripped one of the zippers when I tried to open it. Still nothing. As I walked back sucking the tears back into their ducts, I watched what looked like chaos to my faded eyes. Everyone from our court, about five or six other college students, dug into the sand searching for the lost treasure. I focused on the guy I didn’t know and never saw again after that day, who sat in the vicinity where I saw the bracelet fall. I watched his hands as he picked up the sand and dropped it, picked it up and dropped it, like a kid in a sandbox. I looked at the sand, how each step, each pile picked up and dropped, seemed to push and suck the grains, thousands at a time, deeper into the unknown. “Stop”, I told them. “I think we’re just making it worse”. They looked at their hands and then at the ground, avoiding eye contact with me. They shuffled their feet a bit; no words were said. Whistles blew from other courts, and games, and conversations went on elsewhere. It had begun to set in that if I did indeed drop it in the sand, I would never get it back. I felt so hurt and tired, and I was embarrassed. How could I stop the game and all the fun to make everyone search for what I lost? Why was I making such a scene and ruining the evening? I told them to resume their game, and that I would go retrace my steps from earlier. I think I remember my best friend asking if I wanted her help, but at that moment I needed to be alone.

I walked up and down the dirt path of the knoll, grazing the ground with my tear-filled eyes. I returned to where we sat and smoked and asked the other girls if they’d seen it. Of course, they hadn’t but said they would keep an eye out for it. At one point I looked back at the volleyball courts, then out to the field, then to the entire landscape before me. Everything just resumed, as if my heart didn’t just fall out of my chest a moment ago, as if I wasn’t having back-to-back panic attacks about what just happened, about what the sand had just stolen from me. The games went on, like clockwork, and I truly felt the realization that an innumerable amount of people go on with their lives with no thought of what goes on in yours. I continued to look for the bracelet that I would never see again.

The whole moment felt so surreal. To this day, the memory is still vivid in my mind, but it’s like the memory of an old dream; too real to be insignificant yet mystical enough to know it could only exist in the realm of my mind. I was so high that day, that sometimes I wonder if the moment I lost my mom’s bracelet ever actually happened. I hadn’t seen it fall off my wrist and bury itself in the sand, but I had really lost it another time that day at a place I forgot to check. It felt as if the bracelet disappeared into thin air. As if the bracelet fell not into the sand on the court I played volleyball on, but into a parallel dimension, slipping away from the safety of my wrist, falling through a window that on that evening connected my world with another. I imagine my mom’s bracelet is off somewhere, sitting in the sand of another court, or on the smooth beach of another shore, or buried in the plains of a desert on another planet, waiting.

A week later I picked up the phone and called my mom. I tried for her a couple of times, and eventually, she returned my call. I told her I had something really important to tell her, and I was really sorry. She braced herself for the news. When she heard that I lost her beloved gold bracelet, one that had known her longer than I have, she got mad, said something, and hung up. I sat on the couch in the lounge of my house that I was calling from. I stared at the carpet, the walls, and the dorm room furniture for a while. Grateful that I at least got that off my chest, I heard my phone light up and read the text on my screen. It was my mom, telling me that she thought I was going to tell her something bad had happened to me, and that losing a bracelet dulled in comparison to what we all know could happen to a young college-aged girl. I cried, and with a heart still heavy and hurting, I slept more at peace that night than I had in a while, and began my first attempt at sobriety. It took a while for the memory of losing that bracelet to not hurt, probably as long as it took to stick to my sobriety. However, like clockwork, I know all things eventually fall back to where they need to be.

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Narrative Essay about Volleyball. (2024, January 30). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 25, 2024, from
“Narrative Essay about Volleyball.” Edubirdie, 30 Jan. 2024,
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