August 31, 2002

Can you believe it? I am on a plane! Going to America! And I'm not running away. I'll start at the beginning. This summer I played for a girls team, and fell in love with the coach. I had a lot of trouble with my parents, but in the end, they saw that playing football is what I'm meant to do.

I honestly can't believe that Jules and I won scholarships to Santa Clara. I knew that the scout was there, but I thought he would take one look at us and leave. I mean, what are we compared to some of the American footballers? Why would they want us? I hope we aren't to awful when we play over in America. The whole thing where Jules parents though she was a lesbian was rather funny even if it was embarrassing.

The one sad thing about going over to America is that I'll have to leave Joe so soon after we found what we have. We are still together, but I don't know how long we can hold together, no matter how much I love him. We are half a world apart, and wont see each other until Christmas. I love him so much though. Until a few weeks ago, I thought that I was going to be confined to marrying some Indian and cooking for the rest of my life. But now I'm coming to America, and anything seems possible. Even loving a white man.

I've never been so far away from my family before either. I've never even left England! I'm sort of scared about that. I mean, my family has always been restricting, but they have always been there to protect me when I need protecting too. Now they are going to be half a world away, and they can't protect me any more.

We are starting your take off now, so I'll stop writing for now. I want to watch the last glimpse of England I'll get for four months!

Later

We are flying above the clouds now. It's amazing! Jules and I where crying as we toke off. We where smiling to though. We can't wait to get to America, and to play football professionally, but we are also sad about leaving our families and friends. We talked for a while, and we decided that we would make sure we where no more than two or three rooms away from each other in residence. If we are in the same room, that's great, but if not, we want to be close together.

I wonder what our new team will be like? Will they be anywhere as nice as our old team? What if they don't like us cause we're British? What if we aren't as good as them? Now that there isn't any turning back, I'm starting to doubt my decision. I should have stayed in England, gone to a University there, and played with the Harriers in the summer. When I finished my degree, I could have married Joe, if he still wanted me, and had a happy life.

But now I'm leaving for four months, and then for another four months. In the time that I'm gone, he'll probably find some other girl, and forget about me. Besides, why would he be interested in an Indian girl, who's main assets are playing football really well, and cooking Indian food. What kind of wife would I make for a nice Irish guy?

Okay. I'm putting those thoughts out of my mind. I'm sure Joe will still like me. He did come to the airport to ask if he had some chance at ever getting with me. I am so thankful that that whole thing with Jules and me and Joe blew over. I wouldn't be here without Jules, and if we were fighting, I would be so lonely.

Jules is pestering me to put out the light, so she can get some sleep, so I guess I'll go to sleep as well.

September 1, 2002

What a day! When our plane landed in New York, and we had to transfer, I had some trouble at customs. It took us a while to explain that I was Punjabi, and had never left England before. They kept asking all kinds of strange questions, and we barely made it through to catch our flight to Los Angeles. We where so tired that we slept for the entire flight. When we got to Los Angeles, we where completely lost. So we just got off the plane, and went through security, and followed signs to our baggage pick up.

We where worried that we wouldn't be able to find the person sent to pick us up, but we didn't have a problem there. We went to our baggage carousel, and there she was. Her name is Rosie, and she plays sweeper and is the captain of the football team that we are going to play on. She had a huge sign that said Jess Bhamra & Jules Paxton. She had a couple of baggage carts ready, and our luggage came pretty fast. We both had two huge suitcases with us, plus our reasonably large carry on bags, so we where pretty laden down.

Rosie had come with a van, so there was plenty of room for our stuff, and for us. I sat in the back, and called my uncle in Canada, just like mom asked me to. Turns out he lives well over a days drive away from California! By the time I got off the phone, we where at the campus.

The residence coordinator had put Jules and I in rooms next to each other, but not in the same room. Rosie said this was so we would be close to each other, but we would also meet new people. My roommate was already here, and moved in. Her name is Emma, and she is super nice. She is here to study music, mainly the cello. She is a first year too. Jules is in a room with a girl called Lauren, and she is an English student, who is also in first year.

As I was moving in, I talked to my parents on the phone, and assured them hat I was fine. I wasn't finished unpacking when I had to hang up, so I got to know Emma a bit more. She's from Australia, and is here on a scholarship too. She has been here for a few days, so she already knew Lauren, who is from eastern Canada, and is apparently a brilliant writer. Emma told that we are on the floor that's reserved for international scholarship students. There are students from all over the world, and in all sorts of programs here, on our floor.

When I got my computer set up, I immediately logged on to MSN. I must have sort of screamed, cause Emma looked at me funny and asked what was wrong. Jules, walked in just then with Lauren and said:"She must be happy cause her boyfriend is online. They just got together before we moved over here. Like just before we got on the plane."

Then of course I had to explain about me and Joe, and everything, and to explain that, I had to explain my whole summer. Jules often made corrections or comments, and by the time we where done, it was lunch time. Emma and Lauren took us to the bank to exchange some money, and set up bank accounts, then Rosie found us.

She told us that most of the team hasn't gotten here yet, cause they are all American. We ate with Rosie, Emma, and Lauren. The four of us new and international students asked Rosie all sorts of questions. We asked her about everything form what the university was like, to American life. She also asked us a ton of questions about Britain, Canada and Australia. It was really fun.

Now I'm exhausted, so I'm going to sleep!