In fact I gave birth to her.
Warning. . .mucho angst ahead. . .
I don’t like this game, but I play it every day. It gives me time to think, I suppose. Not that spending all day, every day in my cold, dark cell does not leave plenty of time open for thought. I find it is just easier when one has something to take their mind off of such cold, dark cells. Even people who are free have cells built around them. I pity them. I really do. They think they are free, and never truly know the ties that bind them.
I bounce this redish-orange ball every day. I toss it through the hoop. I stand by myself. No one is ever not alone, but I feel it’s much more with me. It is nothing they can, or will help. But, even some people gain sufficient company from another. I suppose being me gains special circumstances. I suppose being me is just lonely. I do not really know, nor do I really care, much. It does not affect me in my cold, dark cell. Not much does, these days.
Sometimes when I go to toss the ball through the hoop, I merely end up tossing it up into the air. It will spin off my hand, and just float there for a moment, before coming back down. Sometimes it never makes it even a foot in front of me. I don’t really care. It is not like I’m playing this game for points, anyway.
Sometimes the ball flies off my hand and moves in a perfect arc through the air, falling through the hoop with a whispering swish. I do not envy it in all of it’s perfection. Nothing is perfect. Especially not those who believe they are. I pity them, also. They do not know. Nothing is perfect. Nor will anything ever be, no matter how hard we try.
I do not ever play with the others. Once they asked me to. I just stared at them. They couldn’t see my eyes behind the dark sunglasses I have to wear. Verdammt sun. It still burns my eyes. I think if they could have seen my eyes, they would not have seen anything but a reflection of their own, of the cold, and the dark. They don’t ever seem so excited. We just get to come out from our dark, cold cells for a few hours every other day. It is not fun. It is not exciting. It is not truly going outside, even. It is just another delusion they feed us. Another illusion they show us. It is not pretty. I do not like it.
Once, I tossed the ball over the fence. It took them a week to find it in the brush. Not that they were very worried over just a stupid ball. It wasn’t going to run for it. It did not matter if the ball got out. It could not die. It could not even live. Some of them, they know what it is like to be the ball. To be out. To be gone. But not ever as long as the ball was out. Not with these collars. Not with these cuffs. Not with these tags. They do not ever get far. And then they get punished.
Well, I am certain that it is almost time to begin my game. I do not want to, but in here you do not get choices. In here you do not matter. In here, it is cold, and it is dark, and you do not get out. No one is free, no one is happy. No one. Ever. If so many tortured souls in one place could amount to anything at all, it would not matter. No one has any hope here either. And you know, that is the hardest thing to get rid of. Hope. It is horrible. Like alcohol. It feels so good when you have it. When you are full of it. Then you lose it. Then it is gone. Then all the good feelings you have ever had, they are gone. They are NOTHING compared to the cold inside of you now. They are just another thing you lost. Another thing you can never get back. But hope is not like alcohol in one way. You cannot return to that high. As I said, you can never get it back. It is just gone.
There is only one way out of this game. I do not like to think of it, but I do. I have even tried. Once. It did not work. It never does. So many try. So many still live. So I stay. I live. I bounce this redish-orange ball, and I try to make a basket. I try to hear that almost silent whisper. I try to see that almost perfect arc. I try to picture myself, lost in the brush. Outside the fence. Out. Out. Out. That is all I want. All I need. Out. Where I will never, ever be. In. Where I am. In my cold, dark cell.
I don’t like this game, but I play it every day. And I suppose I will, forever. And even if I’m no good, I don’t really care. It is not like I’m playing this game for points, anyway.
(Inspired by my own actual opinions of this ‘stupid game.’ And how I play it by myself, every other day, in gym. Please don’t be offended if you enjoy basketball. I hate it.)
She's archived at FanFiction.net under the pen name Freezing Rain. She's 14 and NightCrawler's #1 fan.