CASSILO: Young hits crossroads with life-changing choice

David Cassilo

Vince, do you remember when you first saw her? When you knew there was something special about her? When you knew you wanted to see her again? Soon, she was all you thought about. You would spend all day together – just the two of you – in the backyard or down by the field at school. She was everything you could ever want, and you could not envision life without her.

She was always there for you too. When your father was in jail and you needed someone by your side, you could always rely on her. When you were hit by that truck when you were 7, she was there waiting for you to get better. She motivated you because you knew she was a big part of your life.

When you got to high school, the two of you were always the big thing. Everyone would come up to you, telling you how they loved you guys. Most of your friends came through her too. You two were the talk of the school, and things were great.

After school, you would always spend the whole afternoon with her. But weekends – they were the best. There was nothing you used to look forward to more than a Friday night with her.

By now the two of you were inseparable. You could not mention one of you without mentioning the other. Your mother loved her, your grandmother loved her and even your crew loved her. So when you had to choose a college, everyone knew you would go wherever she led you.

She took you to the University of Texas. It was a big school, and you missed your family, but as long as you had her, everything was just fine. The classes were boring, and the days were long, but you knew she would be there every day for you.

The weekends were even better in college. You looked forward to them more than anything else. It was then, for at least a few hours, that it could just be the two of you.

The weekends led to that memorable night in January of 2006. It was the time the two of you went to California, and it was there you became a man. Everything you ever imagined possible with her was now a reality. Things were perfect.

Vince, you remember what happened next. People began to start talking about your future. It was time to make things official between the two of you. You had thought about it yourself, but it made you nervous. Things were perfect now, and you couldn’t see yourself with anyone else, but to make that sort of commitment was a big step. What would happen when money started to get involved in it? What would happen when you had to leave Texas?

Although you almost decided against it, you did make things official. For the foreseeable future, you and her had to be together. You were still nervous, though, because you had heard from those with experience that things can change.

So you started a life together. You picked yourself up, said goodbye to everything else you ever knew and moved with her to Tennessee. Things started out great. She set you up with a nice job, and people were expecting big things from you. She was still there with you every day, but things began to feel different.

In the first year, you thought about a divorce. You said the fun was gone; the excitement was gone. Things were crazy, and all you could do was worry. You wanted someone to understand but the response to these comments was not what you hoped for.

“How could you not be enjoying yourself? You two were always perfect for each other,” they said. “People would give anything to be where you are.”

So you took those comments back, and you gave it another shot. It was easier to stay with her than to end it anyway. Memories of the old days gave you hope that things would go back to the way they were.

Things stayed the same though. All of these feelings of uncertainty were locked up inside you, but no one would understand. The whole situation was making you lose control. You weren’t loving her the way you wanted to. It had gotten serious. Your relationship with her had no escape. You even began to think of suicide.

Then last week, you disappeared for a few hours. Whether it was a cry for help or a desperate act, it got people to notice. It got people to realize your relationship with her had reached a crossroads. Did you still love her, Vince? Did you still love football?

Everyone in life is allowed to make the wrong choice. You’re allowed to change. Some of us think we are destined for a certain course but soon realize we are much happier taking a different path. We are allowed to try something, and if we do not like it, we are allowed to move on.

Although, you may not believe it, Vince, the professional athlete has that choice to. Football was the love of your life once, but is that still the case now? You need to make that choice. It may seem like the hardest decision in the world, but often, the most important ones are.


David Cassilo is a junior communication major from Chatham, N.J. He can be reached at [email protected].