It’s funny the things you notice as a child.
Like the way people uneasily glance away from me whenever I catch their eye.
Or the way a stranger seems to smile happily at other children, but when I say hello, their smile looks more uneasy than warm.
But as I approach the steel gates to the elite Arthur Academy, I can’t help but take a long-awaited breath towards my freedom. Finally, I have the chance to build the life I want. A future. Something that gives me more to live for than the daily beatings my childhood only knew. The girl I used to be doesn’t exist here. But even as the confidence grows about a life I now have control over, I can’t help but feel there could be something else waiting for me here. Something I’ve never faced before.
And it isn’t something I could prepare for.
And preparation is what got me out. It got me here.
I can’t afford to lose this opportunity, because if I lose this hand, it’s more than just a loss.
It’s like not being able to breathe. Not being able to fly.
It’s like, having a broken wing.
And without it, I lose my control. My freedom.
I grip the leather ball in my hand, finally feeling the weight of the year pressing down on me. If it was just football, I could deal, but with my last name – it’s everything else that suffocates me. The Arthur Elite is what they call us, and we each have our roles to play. But my fathers given me the next two years to do what the hell I want without his interference, before he’ll own me to be his pawn.
Two years. After that, when college is done, I dread the life I’ll have to lead. The role I’ll have to play.
It should be simple. Just stroll through the steel gates and be the crown they all see; but I can’t help but feel there is something lurking beneath the surface. There is something different about this year that I sense inside my dark soul.
And it isn’t something I am prepared for; even when staying ahead is the one thing that ensures my next breath.
Because when I lose a hand, it’s more than just a loss.
It’s like losing a limb. A bird breaking its wing.
And without that – I can’t fly toward freedom.
And my freedom right now, is all I have to hold onto.
–The Phantom Paragrapher >> Review