• Vol. 07
  • Chapter 02
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The Opposition

You come armed with a garbage bag, a knife, and a permanent marker. The boxes tower over you with unhelpful labels like "clothes" and "old school stuff." You don't know where to start or if it will ever end so you just start digging, taking down boxes to reveal trinkets covered in dust, old figure skates with rusted blades, a stack of random, mottled certificates boasting "good scissor work" and "always on time."

An old cardboard box diorama shoved in between a bowling trophy (Where did this come from? No one ever bowled) and a stack of puzzles. You pull it out, the blue cardboard sticking out the edges sparking a memory. Little cotton ball clouds hang from the top, and plastic milk bottles stand at wobbly attention. They are flecked in glue and bits of red cardboard, their clothes lost to the basement. You remember making this at some tiny age, some Olympic year. You liked soccer at the time, but not enough to remember to supply your team of milk bottles with a ball.

You made it together. You remember giggling as you tried to tie the cotton balls to pieces of string, your hands covered in glue, leaving wisps of cotton candy fingerprints on the clear sky.

You fought over the uniforms. You wanted them to wear blue. It was your favourite colour. Everything had to be blue.

"That’s the colour of the sky," she said firmly. "If the uniforms are blue too, the players will disappear into the background."

You didn't know this was a option until now and started cutting out blue uniforms with a strange determination. You can still feel her eyes boring down on you, her mouth opening, wanting to say more but deciding it's best not to. You remember that she picked up some red, and wordlessly started cutting her own, opposing team.

The diorama, you decide, is the first thing to go.