My eyes darted around the room. Mom? Not there. I ran through the house calling for her. She should have been home by now. I couldn t wait to open the letter but I wanted someone to be there when I opened it. I wanted to share the excitement with someone but I have been waiting all season long for this letter. Ever since I was approached by the coach from University of California Los Angeles I have came home right after practice anxiously waiting for a letter to arrive.
I walked upstairs and sat on my bed. As I took out all my homework trying to pass the time until someone came home I became even more anxious to know what was in the letter. What if it was not good news and it was telling me that I had not made the team. You see last year I went to an U.C.L.A camp and tried out for the U.S. National Juniors Girls Basketball team. I had a very positive feeling after the tryouts and have been hoping to hear from then ever since.
I couldn t take it any longer I hopped off my bed and picked up the letter. As I touched the gold seal I felt a tingle of excitement go through my fingers and my heart started pounding. I ripped open the letter, careful not to tear the seal, and read it.
Dear Monica McCall,
We have followed your basketball career and we think that you have proved to us you are capable of filling in the role we need filled. You are a very strong, well-known basketball player and I think you will be a great asset to our team. We have already set you up with a family, The Saku s, for you to stay with while you are playing in Japan. This is a wonderful opportunity for you so please contact us at 521-5627 for further details. Your plane will be leaving on the 20th.
I must have read that letter over and over twenty times. I just couldn t believe how lucky I was to get accepted to this team. This was my dream ever since I was little. I have always wanted to play in a basketball league in another country because then I could learn about their customs. As I stared out the window I saw nothing but clouds. What if Japan was so horrible I couldn t take it? What if I had to work in a rice field? I know this sounds ridiculous but I see this on television all the time. I mean what if they don t have cellular phones, two- way pagers or even television. How would I stay in contact with all my friends? I began to have serious doubts on how things were going to be in Tokyo when all of a sudden they were interrupted. I heard the pilot say over the intercom, Excuse me all passengers, please be buckled and prepare for the landing. Thank you for flying Tokyo Jetways and have a nice day.
As I stepped off the plane I could hear the greeting of the passenger s families and I felt a sudden urge of homesickness. Where are the Saku s? What if they forgot about me and I was stranded in this new place all-alone? I began to worry when I heard a young girl scream, Monica, Monica where are you? I looked around the airport and finally found where that voice was coming from. I walked over and was greeted by Mr. Saku. Hello Monica, my name is Yoshi Saku and this is my wife Miroshima and my daughter Jessica. As I greeted them I noticed the young people behind them talking on cell phones. A surprised look must have come across my face because Mr. Saku asked if anything was wrong. Oh no! But I was just surprised there were cell phones here. I mean I thought that well I thought that you didn t have this sort of technology. I said flustered. Mr. Saku laughed and began to walk outside.
I stepped outside and was immediately stunned. It was so beautiful. I mean I have seen skyscrapers in New York but none like this. They were so beautiful and magnificently sculpted. The sun shone so brightly on these buildings that I was blinded by it. But they transfixed me. How can a human make such beautiful things? I wasn t ready to see a television in the middle of the building I couldn t believe it. Tokyo was so much more advanced than the United States. I loved it already.
As I took in the city I noticed that it was so much more beautiful and everyone seemed to be friendlier. I felt stupid and ashamed that I judged Tokyo and never gave it a chance. I just can t wait to see how life will be and to start my new season in Tokyo. I hope we win and I get a chance to do this again. I also hope that my friends can come out and visit me because not too many people can speak English here.