Changeup, Chapter 7

Joe had no idea what he was going to do.

He wasn't going to beg Chester for his job back. He didn't care how desperate he got; he wasn't going back there.

Desperate was strong and Desperate was near. He had to think of something, and quick.

But first he had a ball game to attend.

He had almost forgotten Jim's invitation, but as he sulked and worried around the house, he remembered. It would be a welcome distraction, although it would do nothing to change his situation.

Joe parked his truck and walked toward the stadium. Guess he'd have to drive the old thing a bit longer.

Joe saw Jim waiting for him near the ticket counter. Jim gave a nod and raised one hand in acknowledgement.

"I didn't know whether you'd show up", Jim said as they made their way to their seats.

"Are you kidding? It's a ball game!"

"I like your outlook on life!"

The first inning was already in progress as they made their way to their seats. Joe made his way down a row and glanced at his ticket. Someone was in his seat. He hated that. Couldn't people read?

He tapped the ball cap of the guy in his row.

"Excuse me. I believe you have my seat."

The cap looked up. Joe found himself looking into a bottomless set of green eyes.

"Joe, I'd like you to meet my daughter, Renee."

Joe was speechless.

"Pleased to meet you", said Renee. "Now sit down so I can see!"

Joe sat as he heard the crack of the bat. He looked up and saw a lazy fly ball head toward left field. It was an easy catch for the second out of the inning, but it was a bit deep which allowed the runner on first to advance to second. Two down.

Joe clapped.

"Don't get your hopes up", Renee said.

"But now we have a runner in scoring position!"

"Won't matter. That's Carlos Probanogo. I can run faster than he can. It'll take an extra bases hit to bring him around."

"Have a little faith!" Joe retorted.

The next batter singled to left, but Probanogo stayed put. Runners on first and second.

The next at-bat yielded a sharp grounder down the line. The third baseman trapped it and waited for Probonago to make it to the bag so he could slap the tag on him.

"Ok, so he has no speed. But that was plain mean; he could have just stepped on the bag. Didn't need to wait for him!"

"He was just proving my point!"

They ended up winning the game 4-2. Joe hadn't had that much fun watching a game in a long time. Renee was a firecracker.

What do you think so far?