Did you know that this would happen to me?
That this kind of emotional and physical hurt
would slowly crash down on me
On that day -
That day the ball came back to our side of the court.
I know I called it mine.
But I’ve been told my voice is soft and not aggressive
that they must’ve not heard and was not assured that I could get it
It was a mistake on all our parts so no one is to blame,
but no one would’ve seen that an injury was to come from our mistakes.
Somebody got the ball,
however that person was not me.
I collided with someone
and fell down on the hard floor.
A sick pop could be heard from my foot, but I still tried to get up.
The moment I tried to stand an indescribable pain tore through my body with a jolt.
The moment I tried to stand I knew I couldn’t.
Just remembering it now still brings it back like I’m feeling it
over and over and over again.
I remember trying to hold back the tears
trying to wave away the pain.
As if waving it away and saying
I’m fine,” would make it disappear.
It hurt so much it felt like I was feeding my foot to the flames
and purposely burning it to ashes.
But I could only hold in my tears by telling them those two words
I don’t know if I was only saying that to convince them
or to convince me.
I remember the game continuing
My own team members telling me to get back up and
someone telling me the game isn’t over
My pain was so visible to the audience,
yet it took a few minutes
maybe even longer
for the officials and my team members to take a hint.
Thinking about it now,
it felt like I had suddenly turned invisible to the people who had the most authority over me
and to the people who I had trusted to care for me.
Like my pain was just a ghost only I could see
It was right in front of me I swear,
yet everybody else simply passed it by
It’s saddening to remember that kind of emotional pain,
but at that time there was no space left in my brain for anything except my physical injury.
My little bubble of invisibility had popped as I heard the referees whistle and soon hands were on me,
telling me that everything will be ok.
I would’ve felt ok if somebody had seen my tears sooner
If somebody had heard my yelp
If sombody had seen my fall to the floor
If someone had just looked.
It doesn’t make sense how someone’s physical pain could be so invisible to people
when it showed so clearly on my face
I made the signs printed in red and bold,
I was sure they would see it
but like a bad driver they only ignored them
So I covered those signs in words
saying I’m fine, I’m ok
lying straight to their face
and their faces were open like a book in bold print
They couldn’t see a single thing
They couldn’t see the conflict in my brain
They couldn’t see the twitches on the corners of my smile
I felt deja vu.
I know this feeling of emotional and physical hurt
I’ve felt it before with different people
And I’m feeling it again with different people
I know this feeling wasn’t caused by the sport
The sport is innocent
The people are guilty
It happened before with another injury
Another story of physical pain and along with it emotional hurt
It happened with my old team members
My invisibility not even being acknowledged by me
until time passed on
I remember their faces not so bold with emotion like the ones I have seen recently
Their emotions were so subtle, I couldn’t see it even if I flashed a light on it
I remember my presence slowly becoming invisible to the team
that I had to remind them I was part of it
Reminding them I’m still here
I’m still here
I’m still here
Part of this family,
yet their familiar faces exposed their unfamiliarity
Like I had become a ghost
A part of the past
But I think my voice was still too soft
My voice still could not be heard
I thought this family was mine
But it was not mine to have
Even when I left the school I thought I was still family,
I guess once you leave you become a forgotten story
taking the memories you had with you
thinking that they’re looking at them too
but they’re not
because you’re the only one who’s holding onto them-
Their “I’ll never forget yous”
I thought I felt loved
I thought I belonged
I still think I am loved
I still think I belong
But where in this puzzle of life does my piece fit in?
Is this really how my life was supposed to turn out?
I remember my life being full of smiles and trustworthy people
I remember my life being bright and warm
I remember having somebody to see how conflicted I was inside and out
I remember having somebody to hold me and tell me things will be ok
I didn't think those things in one year could be stripped away
But tell me
When did I learn to hide my tears
until I know I’m truly alone to cry
When did I teach my brain to say I’m fine
when I’m not
Why do I feel the need to hide my emotions from people
who need to know
My pillow is constantly stained with tears
My brain is telling you I’ll be fine in my future endeavors when I know I’ll probably not
My relationships seem fake because of my shut-in emotions
When did you find out it would all go wrong?
At least give me something to keep holding on
I would think that you were listening-
-I'm asking you questions I know will never be answered and
I don’t know what will happen next
I’m only here to face whatever you give me
I’m more cautious, yet still naive
Still carrying my heart on my sleeve
But I think I’m strong because I’m still here
I hope you know where you’re bringing me.