Her ponytail bounced and shimmered in the late afternoon summer sun, a soft, honey brown flag of independence. He paused to watch. Honing in on her target with crafted accuracy, she sprinted away from him. She ran with grace and ease; purpose and determination. An involuntary smile pulled at the corners of his lips. Suddenly, as if a bird returning to its nest, a softball descended from the powder blue sky and landed securely within the cracked leather folds of her well worn glove.In one natural, fluid motion she retrieved the bright yellow ball and tossed it effortlessly to the infield.
His smile grew.
“That’s no ordinary girl.”
The insight was obvious. But something told him the words now playing over in his mind spoke of more than just a talented ball player. “Nice catch,” he called, as she returned to her position in left field. “And very nice throw!”
She looked up, matching his smile. “Thanks.”
It had been years since he’d felt his body melt this way; his brain slowly turning to hot mush. He’d almost forgotten the sweet, tell tale sensations. “No, this is no ordinary girl,” he said softly. He moved towards her. “Hi, I haven’t seen you here before, have I?”
Her hand slipped into his, warm and comfortable. “No, this is my first time, I just moved here.”
A glint of sunlight twinkled in her sparkling hazel eyes. It brought to him bitter sweet memories of another time; another place.
“What’s the matter with you, girls can’t play baseball!”
“Ah… he’s gone all goofy for her!”
“Yeah… all mushy inside!”
The taunts from the other sixth graders continued. He didn’t hear them. She had kept her promise to come watch him play. Only she had showed up wearing shorts and a T shirt, and carrying an old worn glove. Her ponytail poked out from under the Phillies cap he’d given her at Christmas. It bounced and shimmered in the late afternoon summer sun, a soft, honey brown flag of independence. Darting out onto the field, she’d stolen a deep pop fly from the surprised left fielder. As he watched from the pitcher’s mound, an involuntary smile pulled at the corners of his lips.
“C’mon, get her off the field!” one of his friends called out.
“Yeah, we got a game to play!”
In one natural, fluid motion she retrieved the leather clad baseball from her glove and tossed it effortlessly to the infield.
“Nice catch,” he called. “And very nice throw.”
She looked up, matching his smile, a twinkle in her sparkling hazel eyes. “Thanks.”
It took some fast and fancy talking to convince his friends, but they had spent the summer together playing baseball on the same team. And then she was gone.
“Hey, are we gonna play some softball or not?”
The comment shook him from his thoughts. “Yeah… ok… let’s chose up sides.”
They spent the summer together playing softball on the same team. It was now late August and the season would soon be over. And then she would be gone. From the pitcher’s mound he watched with unspoken love and affection as she gracefully trotted out to left field. An involuntary smile pulled at the corners of his lips.
“That’s no ordinary girl,” he said softly.
Her ponytail bounced and shimmered in the late afternoon summer sun, a soft, honey brown flag of independence.
BJ Neblett is the author of Elysian Dreams, a romantic fantasy adventure available in paperback and e book form. His newest work is an historical memoir about his growing up during the Kennedy administration. Ice Cream Camelot was released earlier this year as an e book to very positive reviews. It will be available in paperback shortly. BJ also hosts two blog sites: www.hereforaseason.blogspot.com for poetry, and www.bjneblett.blogspot.com where he posts his short stories. BJ’s writings have been compared to that of Haruki Murakami and Isaac Asimov.