Luv Story – Volume One - Setbacks
Copyright Ann Kler 2013
Published at Smashwords
Jen grew up next door to me. She was literally the girl next door, she became something different to the rest of the world. When we were young we spent time chasing butterflies, playing ball and stomping through mud puddles in the rain. Life was pretty normal for both of us until about age 11.
When most of us were off playing in the woods, watching reruns of Gilligan’s Island or intently working on homework, Jen spent most of her time at the tennis courts. Jennifer’s mom had been a good tennis player when she was younger. A knee injury had sidetracked any real career tied to tennis which seemed to leave her bitter and demanding. At age 11 I didn’t have a grasp of what I was seeing but I believe Jennifer’s mother was trying to live her life through Jen.
Jennifer was good, as we went from kids to teenagers I could keep up with her in a lot of things but tennis wasn’t one of them. Clearly Jen was gifted and her mother was going to make the most of it. Nearly every weekend was spent going to a tournament or a camp, learning more about the game and testing out what she learned against others her own age.
I seemed to represent a lifeline to a life beyond tennis for Jen. With me she could travel in her mind back to a place where she could just be a kid having fun, not playing a sport tied to a lot of expectations by adults.
All through junior high we spent a lot of time together. She had all her tennis commitments which didn’t leave a lot of time for fun, but being her next door neighbor I did provide escapes from the pressures of the game when she was home.