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350 pages, Hardcover
First published September 15, 2020
I fight for every ball, and although I don’t always win, no one can say I hold back. I leave my soul on the pitch. I relish what my body can do, appreciate its unorthodox beauty. The eyes of the crowd are on me, and I feel like a goddess.
La redonda, the ball, obeyed me. She followed me because I treated her well. I cherished her. I treasured her, and most importantly, I let her sing her own song. Energy flowed through my team, and although the game remained scoreless, the North Americans showed signs of fear.
Fútbol could do that—make people forget about the price of the dollar, the upcoming elections, even their love lives. For a few hours, life was beautiful.
I was a barefoot schoolgirl in my barrio apartment; he was a star flashing past us all, and the glow would disappear with him when he left again.
Daring to play in this tournament is a rebellion, chicas. Not too long ago, playing fútbol was forbidden to women by law. But we’ve always found a way around it. Those who came before us played in circuses, in summer fairs, dressed as men. How many of you had to quit when you were around twelve, the same age as Eda, just because you dared to grow up?
Our family was stuck in a cosmic hamster wheel of toxic love, making the same mistakes, saying the same words, being hurt in the same ways generation after generation. I didn’t want to keep playing a role in this tragedy of errors. I was la Furia, after all. I’d be the one to break the wheel.
We’d made the space. We’d filled in the cracks of the system and made room for ourselves where there was none. No one had given us anything. We had taken it.
I’d leave this house the first chance I got, but not by chasing after a boy, including my brother. I’d do it on my own terms, following my own dreams, not someone else’s.
“I’m following my own path, chiquita.”
“But he’s your true love.” Karen sounded like any little girl hoping for a happily ever after. When she saw me, she saw her teacher, a role model to follow. I didn’t want her to think that to be free and happy, a woman had to turn her back on love, but I didn’t know how to do both.
La Furia met her equal in el Titán. The latent goddess inside me pulled at her bindings until she snapped them. Together, we held on to this boy who’d come to wreck my world.