When I was a child, I loved playing board games but had no one to play with.
at first, to cope with that, I started pretending I was two different people and playing myself, genuinely attempting to win each side.
With time, my fantasy grew more and more elaborate, soon I was having championships with up to ten different people, each of them with their own fictional name, all products of my head,
variations of me. I started giving them quirks, backstories, each of them played a specific way, repeated certain strategies. Some of them were better players than others.
Sometimes, there was drama happening between them, intermingled personal conflict. They weren’t imaginary friends. I was aware of their un-realness, but I still indulged the fantasy.
It was fun to have, comforting.
One day I was unusually bored. You could only play monopoly with yourself so much. I wanted another human on the other end. I wanted challenge, genuine, unembarrassed laughter.
Loud talks, and real anger.
My brother is 10 years older than me and we shared a room at the time, so I sat up the Monopoly board, put a label on the wall asking him to play with me,
and even cleaned the room so he'd be more tempted to agree. Excited, I sat there waiting. Anxious. Gratuitously drinking water every now and then.
It reached nine, my bed time, but I stayed up waiting for him. Ten. Getting slightly drowsy, my eye lids getting heavier. Eleven. Still waiting. Eyes getting red, I’m getting more tired.
I think it was about midnight when he came back. Granted, he was tired, coming back home at midnight from a full day and didn’t want to play. We went to bed, but I couldn’t sleep that night.
I was unbearably angry. Not even at my brother, but my self, my life, and the world. My brain constantly going on depressive tangents of self-loath, and I still distinctly remember how it felt.
It was as if the entire accumulated sadness and loneliness of my childhood had hit me then.
I think two hours passed of me in the bed, before I got up, grabbed the Monopoly board, shredded it to pieces and put in a trash bag.
Then I threw away all my board games too, my checkers, the fancy German chess board dad gave us last year, my Yugioh cards and half my toys and took the trash bag outside.
When I woke up the next day I completely regretted that decision. I even went back to the garbage disposal but there was whole more trash in it. No way I could have dived in that.
I thought *it’s okay, I'm done with those toys anyway.* I thought *mom and dad won’t know, no one would get mad at me.
* It took around a month until my mom noticed that I wasn’t playing with my board games anymore. I confessed what happened to her and she told my dad later that night.
When dad knew he get extremely angry that I threw away the german chess board he gave us. He darted to my room and started hitting me. Slapping my back, my butt, my face.
I was terrified, crying screams, apologizing frantically. And until my mom pulled my dad away, I was feeling nothing but unabashed terror and panic. I remember hating him so much that night.
Full-on, unadulterated hate, thinking that I never, ever want another present from him, thinking that really I never wanted a fancy chess board.
I would have been fine with cheap, worn-out toys, if I only had someone to play with.