What good is a second chance

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: True Confessions  |  House: Booksie Classic

perhaps the most arduous journey isn’t the undertaking of one’s ambition; rather, it is traveling the path to discover one’s ambition.

Flippant.

 

This could be the perfect word to describe me.

 

To most, I probably come off as uncaring and disconnected from the reality of real-life situations.

 

Honestly, I would say the same of myself; if only I didn’t know what went on in my head.

 

While most people would describe me as flippant, I prefer the word content.

 

I like the word content to describe myself based on my own definition of the word; to be satisfied with or willing to do nothing to change one’s situation. 

 

Yes, content is the perfect word to describe me. 

 

I had a normal life, if slightly pampered. 

 

I lived in a single-story house. I’m practically an only child, my brother and sister being seven and thirteen years older than me, respectively. I see both my mother and father every day; something that is sadly more uncommon than some might think. I possess all manners of entertainment I could want; a tablet, a phone, a computer, and a console, not to mention that I rarely use two of them.

 

I partake in curricular activities that give me the chance to do things and go places not many people are able to, though it never seems to satisfy my urge to want something different.

 

Perhaps the one thing that allows me to escape from the monotony of life, the bleak contentedness, is basketball.

 

I’ve loved basketball ever since I was young. I remember watching my brother play the game, whether it be virtual or in real life; I would always be excited by what would happen next and constantly entranced by the smooth motion of the ball flying through the air, or being bounced on the ground. I would find myself dumbfounded by the obvious precision and perfected routine the players possessed.

 

When my brother still lived with my family, I would always ask him to go outside so we could play basketball on the goal we had in our driveway. He almost always agreed, unless it was too hot. For that, I couldn’t blame him. 

 

Ever since I had learned about basketball, and consequently fell in love with it, it had been my dream to play it at the highest level.

 

At least, I thought it had been.

 

Recently, the past couple of years of my life, though, it seemed like my drive towards that goal had dimmed. I still loved the sport, but I didn’t seem to have as much of a desire to prove myself; an ambition I had previously possessed.

 

I had always thought the hardest part of my life would be navigating the complex intricacies of independence and simultaneously balancing it with the self-imposed slavery to my goals.

 

Now though, I find myself in an introspective mood; perhaps the most arduous journey isn’t the undertaking of one’s ambition; rather, it is traveling the path to discover one’s ambition.

____________________________________________________________________________

 

The sound of leather bouncing off wood reverberated throughout the empty gym.

 

One could spy the source of the noise as soon as they walked in; except for a figure dribbling a ball, the area was empty.

 

Drenched in sweat, breathing hard, a person stood, holding the ball between the crook of their left elbow and body. Only a second passed before they were moving.

 

They threw the ball in front of them, in a way the ball would bounce back towards them. Before the ball had a chance to bounce more than once though, it was picked out of the air before being dribbled from the person’s left side to their right; bounced through their legs with the right hand; then bounced through the legs with their left hand; quickly dribbled forward with their right; then a sudden stop and swish of a net a moment later.

 

I reveled in satisfaction for only a second, before going to pick the basketball up and redoing the drill. 

 

I was stopped though, by the muted ringing of my phone.

 

I sighed and went over to where I had placed my bag on the wall of the gym. I sat down and reached over to unzip the bag; I found my phone after digging for a few seconds. After pressing the answer button, I put the device to my ear, already knowing what it was.

 

“It’s ten o’clock.” Rang the authoritative voice of my father. “Pack up and get your ass home.” He finished shortly, before hanging up. 

 

I sighed in resignation and just looked down at my phone, only to see it was indeed a few measly minutes past the ten o’clock; more than thirty minutes past when I told my parents I would be home.

 

I sat there for a few minutes and just stared at the high ceiling, contemplating ways to escape this trap I was seemingly destined to be forever stuck in; Of course, I would never attempt any of them. 

 

After my routine session of existential crisis, I took a few minutes cleaning myself up and changing into a clean pair of clothes I had brought with me, before exiting the building which housed the gym, leaving it completely deserted. 

 

I debated with myself about whether I should just sit in front of the building, staring up at the invisible stars and showering myself in the blinding lamp-poles, deafening myself to the outside world with my headphones; or should I follow my father’s instructions, likely resulting in another dip to my already slipping mental health.

 

What’s one more hit to an already dead horse, compared to a direct punishment, am I right?

 

With my decision made, I made my way to my car, easily finding it in the otherwise dead parking lot.

 

Having my own car that I could drive was one of the few things I was proud of. It was more than just a transportation device or a simple milestone; it was something that signified my ability to be independent, that I might be able to actually do something with my life. It’s what reinvigorated my love for the game of basketball, as silly as it sounds, and once more I was able to find my desire to play at the highest level. Alas, everything comes to an end.

 

I was making my way home, two hands on the wheel and breathing steady when it happened. 

 

I was stopped at a red light. As it turned green and the others glowed red, I pressed the accelerator, ignorant to the danger awaiting. 

 

I guess I could say my mind was distracted as an excuse, but it wouldn’t change a thing. 

 

At the time though, my mind was filled with thoughts of a certain type of story: reincarnation. I had read countless of these stories; fanfictions where the protagonist from my world would die in some funny or tragic way, and then be reborn into the world of one of their favorite fictional franchises. I had always enjoyed the stories, for the fact that it was a tale of escaping from the monotony of real life.

 

I remember feeling as if I was floating; it didn’t hurt. Before my eyes involuntarily closed, my vision slid to the left, and I saw smoke rising from a white truck that had placed its hood into the side of my smaller green truck. I heard a hissing sound and then saw black.

 

For a reason I couldn’t find at the moment, my mind’s eyes conjured up a mushroom cloud.

 

I wish it was real, I thought, as I could only despair.

 

It was silent.


Submitted: December 08, 2021

© Copyright 2022 zachary boyd. All rights reserved.

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