I got deeper into the darkness, chasing after that multicolored light. I basked myself in its warm and finally tangible embrace. I was safe from the cries of the misconstrued, Ol’ Bat, Teenybopper, The Specialist, and the whole fucking lot of them. I hid under a blanket of roses for awhile and refused to appear despite their calls to come out and play. When I was eventually found, all I could do was listen to what they had to say. The longer I laid under that blanket of roses, the harder it became to move – I knew I was slowly paralyzing myself. I gnawed my way through the increasingly tightening vines, blood dripping from my thorn bitten lips. I stood up.
“Nice to see you again!” they all shouted earnestly.
I was an emotional wreck that was behaving true to form but I silently chided myself because they all were too. They were giggling and puking and talking too much and not talking enough and crying and dying and living and learning and loving and dying…
The Specialist threw me a basketball and apologized for hitting me in the face with it multiple times before.
“You must think I’m the most gullible person here!” I shouted.
He threw himself on the ground and showed me his belly, as a sign of his vulnerability. I sighed. We played War, we played Manhunt, we played Hide-N’-Go-Seek , we played Poker, we played Chess. The Specialist had an arsenal of people and/or props and a tool-kit that dated back before I was even a prayer in my mother’s throat. I had just myself to rely on towards winning these games. Now, naturally it would be assumed that he would win for he had the advantage of premeditation, scholastic connections, and a penchant for hazing the new kid. But call it beginner’s luck because I held my own. When our final game was finished we looked towards the sky for our score cards. We looked back down and slowly met each other’s gaze upon the realization and the absolute horror of a stalemate.