Before the game

Basketball net

Writing Prompt No. 131

His long fingers held the basketball in a light but firm grip.

He moved it from hand to hand, thinking, rehearsing in his head his next move. The dimpled texture of the rubber underneath his fingertips was familiar. It had been a long time since he’d been able to stand on court again. It was quiet. He’d be able to move without the pressure of an audience of well-meaning friends and family.

The amputation of both his legs below the knee had filled his life for the many months of his recovery, testing his mental health, pushing him to the edge of sanity. He had no memory of the explosion. He woke six weeks later unaware of the loss of his limbs. His mother was by his side clutching at his hand, brave, swallowing hard, her eyes betraying how she really felt.

He’d thrown whatever he could reach across the room. His tray of bland inedible food was the first thing to hit the floor. His cup of tea sprayed over his mother and the rough movement of his body rattled the high metal sides of the bed. Nurses came running into the room.

“Remember David,” his mother said. “You are still you. You are still David.”

He heard the words but didn’t recognise his body. The two prosthetic legs took time for him to adjust to. The plastic rubbed against his stumps leaving him wincing with exquisite pain.

And yet. Here he was. Standing. Holding the basketball his father gave him when he was twelve years old. He closed his eyes for a moment. Silence. Peace. Then, he began to bounce the ball.

Feeling brave? Want to share your story? In the words of one Disney princess, Let it go, in the comments below.