I feel tears rising up as the familiar skin

Of the basketball touches my fingers.

'You can do this'

I tell myself.

'You can do this'

I carefully line myself up to the basket,

Just to loose faith in myself and fail my shot.

Over and over and over again.

I need to make this shot.

I need to get an A.

I need to not make a mistake.

I need to be flawless.

Familiar sentences flow through my head.

I will never be good enough.

I will never be smart enough.

I will never play well enough.

I will never be enough.

By now I feel the tears flowing down my face

I shoot again, just to fail.

The warmth of tears warm up my cold face.

I shoot again. And miss.

'Don't get mad' they say.

'Don't beat yourself up' they say.

How do I do that?

How can I do that if I always fail?

I fail at everything I do and will always do.

I fall to the ground,

Loosing any energy I had left.

I break.

'Hey what's wrong? Did you cry?'

Will people ever stop asking?

I am fine. I will be fine.

It is none of your business.

'No' I answer quickly 'I am just sick'.

They believe me. Or pretend to.

I look into a mirror.

I am ugly.

I am fat.

I am stupid.

I am not good enough.

Not smart enough.

Not enough.

I have to be better.

I have to be stronger.

I have to be smarter.

I can no longer do this.

I cry and cry.

Then I smile.

I smile and say it's fine.

I smile and hide it.

No one will ever know what is hidden beneath my smile