She’s staring at me again. I don’t turn my head but out of the corner of my eye I can see her. And she is staring right at me.
Normally this would be a good thing but this girl is bad news. Her name is Deborah and she’s my cousin’s girlfriend. At least he thinks she is.
“Dude, are you gonna hit that?” Dwayne asks. He’s another pitcher, just like me. We’re sitting in the bull pen, not really watching the game.
“No way,” I say. “I would get near her.”
“You know she wants you, right?”
“How do you know?”
“Look at the way she’s looking at you,” he says, pointing. “She wants it.”
“Put your hand down.”
“I’m just saying.”
“I never thought I would say this but can we pay attention to the game, please?”
I know I’m not going to get a chance to play today so I am stuck here with Dwayne and we’re only in the third inning. It’s going to be a long day. I’m a relief pitcher and I throw a knuckleball so my services are rarely called upon. Most people think the knuckleball is a gimmick pitch used by mediocre pitchers. Nothing could be further from the truth.
I’m a good pitcher. I strike batters out just like any other pitcher. I just throw a different pitch. I’ve seen too many pitchers throw their arms out trying to mow down batter after batter. Pitchers like my cousin Nick. He’s already had surgery on his elbow once and is still recovering three months later. I don’t want to be like him.
Once he was out for the season Deborah started hanging around me more. It was pretty obvious she just wanted to be with a player. But to choose her boyfriend’s cousin? That was crazy.
“She’s still looking’” Dwayne says.
I kind of feel sorry for Nick. Not just because his girlfriend wants to cheat on him but because it’s going to be very hard for him to come back and pitch the way he used to. As a junior in high school he was already throwing in the low 90’s but I doubt he will ever reach that again. I offered to show him how to throw a knuckleball but he refused.
“I can still be a real pitcher,” he said. “I don’t need trick pitches.”
I guess you can’t help everybody. I look into the stands and Deborah waves to me. I wave back. She smiles.
“I told you she wants it,” Dwayne says.