Changeup, Chapter 26

Joe stared at the lights, bright as day above his head.

He was lying in the grass in center field. The team was on the road, and there had been no game tonight. Even empty, it was a sight to behold. He'd dreamed of standing on a big league field his whole life, and now he could do it whenever he wanted.

For the time being, anyway.

"Whatever's on your mind looks awfully heavy, Joe. Need some help carrying it?"

He hadn't heard or seen her coming, but her voice brought a small smile to his tense face.

She sat next to him, and he moved to place his head in her lap.

"I think it's over, Renee."

She frowned down at him.

"Huh. Not the way I pictured hearing that news."

Joe's eyes opened wide in terror.

"Not us! This." He waved at the lights.

He explained the situation.

"I could sell out, but they know I'm between a rock and a hard place, and I would be lucky to get pennies on the dollar. My dad's inheritance, wiped out in a little over a year. Betcha he'd be proud of me, huh?"

"I'm proud of you, Joe. You're doing things your way, and it's working. Otherwise, they wouldn't need to pull such shady shenanigans to beat you."

"Thanks. I could borrow the money, but how is going into debt honoring Dad's gift? I can't do that."

Joe sighed.

"What would you say if all this was gone?"

"I'd say you still owed me a hot dog."

She smiled.

"Look, Joe. I don't care if you're rich. You weren't when I met you. Riches haven't changed you, and I'd like to think your riches haven't changed how much I love you. We'll figure it out."

Joe relaxed. They stared at the lights in silence for a while, enjoying quiet company.

"Marry me?"