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TUESDAY, JULY 12, 2016
This is a short story I wrote back in first year. It's aimed at elementary school students so the language is very simple. Also, I can't get the indenting right so the quotes and paragraphs are all incorrect. Either way, enjoy.

Oh yeah, for those of you who don't know, Nolan Ryan is a legendary MLB pitcher, and Hank Aaron a legendary batter.

The Glove

”I’ll be Hank”
”What’s new Arlo? Whatever, I’ll be Nolan Ryan again”
I rolled my eyes and ran after Everett through the living room, around the dog, past our screaming mom, and into the backyard. Ah, the backyard. Our sanctuary. Here, history has been made over and over again. Yogi Berra has homered eight times in one game right in this stadium while Nolan Ryan has stood on the mound made of sticks and rocks and pitched around a dozen complete game shutouts. Everyday when the sun came out, my brother, Everett, and I raced to the backyard and played nine innings of the greatest game in the world. He always pitched and I always batted. It was never the other way around because, as Everett puts it, only a "divine intervention" will separate him from that glove. The glove was a birthday gift from mom and dad three years ago, and it still looked brand new today. Her smooth and tanned leather covered with perfect rawhide lacing gleamed in the sun and it was by far Everett’s most prized possession. The condition of the glove wasn’t because of a lack of usage though; Everett would spend countless hours scrubbing and cleaning her and refused to use anything other than petroleum jelly to do so. I must admit I’m envious of the glove, and Everett knows this and only lets me touch it on special occasions – or when he wants something from me. I, on the other hand, have a rugged bat that hasn’t failed me since the first day I found it lying at the park by my house. It was quite obviously used for some time but someone had just left it there like garbage. I brought “little hammer” home that day and have cherished it ever since.
“That was definitely a strike”
“Are you blind?” I shook my head furiously.
Everett thought everything was a strike. And we’d always argue about his calls. I am truly convinced to this day that he is blind in one eye – his left one. I once told my mom after an intense game ending in a questionable strikeout that Everett needed a checkup at the optometrist. It never happened. Regardless of the arguments though, the kids at school never played as intense games as Everett and I did. The continuous duels between Nolan Ryan and “Hammerin’ Hank” Aaron were legendary. All it took was a couple of ghost runners and a little bit of imagination. Unfortunately, Everett was entering high school while I was still just entering grade five. And from then on I witnessed, first-hand, the tragic irony of growing up. For me, the perception of growing up and the freedom involved always excited me. However, the Everett I witnessed in high school was nothing more than a prisoner. Bound by the circle of beliefs that consumed high school life, Everett became a zombie. Unable to reach outside this circle, Everett’s emotions, actions, words, and worst of all, imagination, were trapped, locked in solitude within a world where acceptance laid in the hands of everyone else but his own. The irony struck me like a wild pitch high-and-inside, and for a long while I wished I would never grow up. But Everett did, and he got older, so he forgot about Ryan. Soon after that, he forgot about Hank too. On March 6, 2001, he forgot about me.
* * *
Everett looked different on this particular day. He was wearing spiffy clothes, shiny runners (as shiny as his glove!), and intimidating sunglasses, and even his smile, which was now frequently just a slight grin extending no further than to one of his cheeks, wasn’t as comforting as it used to be. I hadn’t seen him wear his baseball cap and sweats for weeks now even though he used to wear those religiously.
“I’ll be Hank?” I inquired, staring at Everett.
“I’m going on a date right now, sorry bud”
I sighed loudly hoping he could hear, but he was already out the door. Slam. The door aimed directly at my gut. I recovered and looked on the couch, and I saw the glove. It had never left his room before but I had caught him and his friends tossing a ball around in the living room the other night and he had it on. I doubt he even cleaned it afterward. I inspected the glove. I had never seen it so worn out before. It was lifeless, like a piece of memorabilia that owners know they won’t use yet still can’t seem to give away. It took me a while but I finally put the glove back down where I found it. Picking up my bat, I straggled disappointingly into my room hoping I could get some sleep.
* * *
“What the heck Ev!? How could you just leave it outside!?”
I was furious at him. He just stood there shrugging his shoulders. I couldn’t understand his carelessness for his most prized possession. I looked at the dripping hunk of leather with random laces undone and splotches of various tan-like colours all over her body. If a glove could cry, this is the state it would be in. She looked helpless and as disappointed as I was. Everett and his knuckle-head buddies had been tossing the ball around outside the other night and God must have dropped by because Everett forgot the glove outside and the midnight rain had ruined its leather. I was writhing in anguish and disappointment. I was angry about his continuous excuses about his glove being “too small” to play a game with me; I was angry about his new clothes; I was angry about his new friends; I was angry about his damn carelessness. I cried that night. I don’t know if it was for him or for me, but I cried myself to sleep. I felt that if I wasn’t crying for him or for me, it was at least for her.
* * *
I haven’t spoken to Everett for two months now and my birthday is today. He tried speaking to me many times over the past month but I never gave him a response. I haven’t seen his new friends as much lately and I even once caught him wearing his splotchy glove and playing catch with the living room wall.
“Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday to you!”
Mom, Dad, and Everett sung with glee and surprised me from behind with a cake as I sat at my room desk. I turned and couldn’t help but smile even though Everett was around me.
“Thought we forgot, eh?” Dad smiled.
Even though it was still morning, we ate the delicious chocolate cake without guilt and, just as we were finishing, my Dad pulled a brand new solid-wood black baseball bat from behind him.
“Happy Birthday, Arlo! This is from Mom and I.”
I was in awe of the bat’s presence; its smooth black skin and delicate surface did a good job of hiding its fierce and strong interior. Its shape was perfection: from its slim, yet solid, handle to its muscular and powerful barrel. I embraced the bat for a good length of time before being interrupted by Everett.
“Here’s my gift to you, bro”
Everett handed me a neatly wrapped package about the size of the shoe box. I forced a smile, hoping its dutifulness was obvious to him. The edges of the wrapping paper were neatly folded and the ribbon was perfectly tied. I was definitely surprised because Everett never took care in wrapping his gifts in the past, let alone getting me one. I slowly, with respect to the amiable presentation, unwrapped the gift. As I carefully lifted the box’s lid, tears welled up in my eyes. I eyed the beautiful glove before me. Its shiny tanned leather glowed like a star even though it was darker than Everett’s glove, and its rawhide laces were done to perfection. And even though I inhaled the new glove smell with delight, the first thing I picked up was not the glove, but the note discreetly peeking out of the glove’s pocket.
“This time, I’ll be Hank” it said, in bold, black ink.
I looked up with my soggy eyes and Everett gave me a smile that reached from cheek to cheek. I felt warm. Without a word, he picked up the new black bat, and headed towards the backyard where the sun was patiently waiting.



That was a nice read. It flowed easily. Good job.

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