That Inning Is Over

His cleats dug into the dry dirt.
A squat was the firm position he held.
His hat adjusted just right, which hid his blue eyes from the sun.
It cast a shadow over half of his face just covering the bridge of his nose.
His hand he cradled inside his glove like a peanut in its protective shell.

The high-pitched noise ran sharply into my ears.
and I shifted my attention to the ball that rocketed high up into the air.

He extended his legs, and calmly forced his glove quickly into the air above.
He closed his glove, protecting the ball inside.
I watched carefully as though it was the first time I’d seen him play.

I sat there.
No words were needed.
Just my eyes, and the gift that enabled me to smile.
I swung my feet in front of me, gently tapping the bleachers positioned there.

I watched him.
Very carefully.
Nothing but the usual
His foot on the base
still possessing the ball in his glove.
His team quickly ran into the dugout
and the new inning began.

He flashed a grin,not to me, but to his team members.
It wasn’t for me anymore, but that didn’t keep me from smiling.
his smile always was my time machine.
Making the memories flood my brain.
Then the familiar feeling carved into my chest; my breathing impaired.

I remember the library.
The computer screen I used as a mirror.
and in it I saw a fantasy,
one I knew to be unattainable.
For once I was wrong.
It was real
and I was lucky.
The “hi” came and then the “byes”
the constant walking, the content-filled sighs
His voice…only reserved for my ears,
at least..
it was.

And so his smile is a movie.
replaying all the experiences and heartaches through my mind,
voices, colors, hugs, and endless tears.

His smile:
a movie and a time machine of all memories; memories extinct to him
lacking importance.
But everything, the good and the bad, knocked on my restless heart.
Each moment important to me.
Significant in my eyes.
Always will be.

The inning ended and I focused in on reality.
He ran into the dugout to huddle with his team.
I sat, feeling paralyzed from my mouth down to my feet.
It was his smile and the look he gave me;
the look pounded at the doors of my heart.
I could not accept.
I twisted around on the bench and began to face to mountains.
Closed my eyes and took a deep breath.
I hopped off the bleachers and began to pivot
my feet into the dry gravel beneath me.

I wanted to turn around and see him
but my heart battled my head to stay in place.
My head didn’t move and no muscle stretched in my neck.
I muted his laughter, his teasing, and his call out to me.

I needed to walk away,
and so I walked.


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