From Rockybado 2: A Run in the Game
It was a couple days after the Ingram’s and the Garfield’s had fun at an amusement park. These next two days were basically meant for Brody, Andrew, David, John, and Adam to rest up and get ready for their baseball and tennis practices.
This summer, the Watsons baseball team, the team that Andrew and Brody were hoping to get into, was going to start their season off by playing against the Pratts, a baseball team in Hebron, a small town a little southeast of Crown Point. The Watsons had many hopes of getting through the first game strong. Last year, the team was not as successful. After having that experience, the team saw no reason why they couldn’t try harder this year.
Today, Brody and Andrew went to baseball practice, while David and Adam went to tennis practice. Coach Withrow’s baseball team didn’t actually practice or play today. They just had a meeting about a game that was not too far away from now. The coach was passing out letters to the players who would take part in that game. He ordered everyone to line up in alphabetical order. If the coach told the player, “great job,” or something very positive, and he gave them a sheet of paper with the schedule for the entire summer, they had the opportunity to play in the game. Otherwise, if the coach had a critical comment for the player, and he didn’t hand out a schedule, they didn’t make it this far. Not necessarily that they were bad. They just needed to improve for next season.
Now, time for the baseball coach to determine the participants of the upcoming baseball game.
Brody and Andrew stood stiff while waiting for Coach Withrow to hand out letters to them. Their hearts were pounding so hard against their chests that they could burst at any given time. After a few minutes, both boys just waited to see if they made it on the team for this season.
“Matthew Adams, great job.”
“Scott Ardovich, you need to improve your pitches.”
“Patrick Artley, you’re great.”
“Nicholas Baker, you made it in.”
“John Bierborner, good effort, but you have a better chance of getting in next year since you will most likely improve.”
“Bryan Brackley, if only you didn’t show off as much, you’d be a great player.”
“Sam Elczek, you should practice a little more. The more you practice, the better you get.”
“Nathaniel Gondek, congratulations. You made it in.”
“Caleb Hartney, you should practice catching the ball with your left hand.”
Oh dear. Now was the time to find out about making it on the team. Brody’s stomach turned upside down. His heart was pounding much harder than before. And he closed his eyes.
What did Coach Withrow think about Brody being on this season’s team?
“You’re on the team, Brody.”
After these words, Brody let out a sigh of relief. Now, he really started hoping that his best friend also made it on the team.
“Mark Irdron, you need to spend more time improving your pitches.”
“David Jackson, excellent.”
“Isaiah Kaittholis, you need to spend more time practicing your pitches and catching the ball.”
“David Kilt, you made it in.”
“Cameron Lazynski, better luck next year.”
“Josiah Lindt, you’re amazing.”
“Mark Lovestoski, you need to try to practice focusing on the ball when up to bat.”
Now was the time for Andrew to find out about making it on the team. His stomach turned upside down. His heart was pounding much harder than before. And he also closed his eyes.
What did Coach Withrow think about Andrew being on this season’s team?
“Andrew, you are also on the team.”
Andrew let out a sigh of relief.
“Ben Morquist, you should practice batting with your left hand.”
“Kyle Nancy, you should gain a little more experience for next year.”
“Paul Nesmond, same thing to you.”
“Tony Polansky, same as Sam. You need to practice more.”
“Andrew Radigan, excellent.”
“Sean Yadovich, good.”
“The two Yerbaschek boys, you may both be pretty annoying at times, but you both made it on the team.”
After Coach Withrow finished determining the team for this season….
“Even if you did not get a letter, please do not take this personally. However, you should still be there for the game. If something happens all of a sudden, for example, if Brody or Andrew end up having an asthma attack, one of you will have to take his place.”
Brody and Andrew high-fived each other. Then, Brody glanced over at Bryan Brackley, whose face was full of anger. If the big boy was angry, the situation was never pretty. He would most likely be outraged, and the outcome would be pretty significant.
“What do you want?” Bryan, the big bully, asked rudely when he saw Brody.
“Nothing,” Brody said quietly.
But that was it, and Brody was very surprised. He was afraid that Bryan would actually come up to him and slug him into oblivion. Not really, but same difference. Bryan has always been well-known to not be especially nice to his fellow teammates.
“We made it in!” Andrew shouted to Brody.
Brody ran up to his best friend, and they gave each other yet one more high-five. The two of them ignored Bryan, which was probably more to their advantage than not.
It was now four o’clock in the afternoon, and Andrew went over to Brody’s house. David and Adam were at tennis practice, so they would not be home until 6:30 this evening. Dawson was at his internship. Brett was out with his best friend, John Coolwood. But Toby was at home, and so were their parents.
David McCalsky, Andrew’s older brother and only sibling, was nice enough to give them a ride back to Brody’s house.
“So, I see that you both made it into the game?” David asked his younger brother and his friend, when they were in the car.
“Yes, we did,” Andrew answered.
“That’s pretty awesome, given the fact that this is your second year on the team!”
“I can’t remember. Did we make it in last year?” Brody asked Andrew.
“I don’t think we did,” Andrew replied.
Another few minutes were spent inside David McCalsky’s car, making some small talk about making it on the baseball team. And, all in all, this has been a huge goal for both Andrew and Brody. They have played tee ball since they were little kids. And they have been playing baseball since the age of ten.
But Andrew and Brody have been on this particular baseball team for two years, and they had desperately wanted to take part in the big game last year, but they did not quite make it. Now, since they did finally make it into the big game, the two boys would most likely need to consider this an improvement on their part.
Now, at Brody’s house.
“Thanks for the ride,” Brody said to Andrew’s brother.
“No problem,” David replied.
And David McCalsky drove off. Brody knew what to expect. Since David Ingram wouldn’t be home for another two and a half hours. Since Dawson wasn’t quite sure when he would be home. Since Brett would try to stay out as long as he could before he did need to come home. Brody knew what his parents would want to do for dinner. One choice or the other.
“Hey, guys!” Brody’s mom greeted them at the door.
“Hey, Mom,” Brody replied.
“Hey, Mrs. Ingram,” Andrew said.
“Would you guys like to do Chinese take-out or fried chicken?” Brody’s mom asked.
Brody and Andrew looked at each other and then back at Mrs. Ingram. They were both at a loss, basically since both Chinese take-out and fried chicken sounded good tonight. Chinese food is great. Fried chicken is also great. However, fried chicken would most likely not go so well with Chinese food. Or the other way around.
But Brody was planning to go on a run tonight, and Andrew was hoping to go on a run with him. So, the decision was not so hard at this point.
“Chinese food,” Brody and Andrew said almost simultaneously.
“Okay. I will call them and place an order,” Brody’s mom replied.
Brody and Andrew high-fived each other. They could never have been so excited about having Chinese food. As a matter of fact, Andrew and Brody were singing a song about Chinese food as they danced over to the living room, where Toby was most likely playing some sort of video game. Toby was pretty tired today because he had an appointment with his eye doctor, and he had to get new lenses for his glasses.
And the transition from one pair of lens to another can be difficult for the eyes.
“Hi, Toby,” Brody greeted.
“Hi, Toby,” Andrew repeated.
“Hi,” Toby answered quietly, meaning he was really focusing on his game.
“Can we play with?” Brody asked.
“When I’m done with this round, sure.”
When Brody and Andrew were getting ready to play video games with Toby, someone else came inside the house. It was Brett. And no one knew why he came home so early. Brett, who normally comes home at around eight o’clock at night when he hangs out with John Coolwood, came home at 4:56 in the afternoon.
How very unusual.
Even though Brett came home much earlier than expected, he came home in a very weird mood. And Brody could somehow sense that something turned out to be unexpected. Moreover something in Brett’s favor.
Apparently, Brett did not notice Andrew, Brody, and Toby playing video games. He silently went up into his room, most likely to play the electric guitar. Or maybe he was going to draw pictures. Whatever he was planning to do up in his room, he probably wanted to be alone right now.
Nonetheless, Brody quit playing video games when it was a good time to stop. He walked up the stairs to his older brother’s room. As expected, the door was closed. It might even have been locked, too. Maybe not. Hopefully not. Because Brody wanted to know what exactly was going on with Brett.
Brody knocked on the door. After a few seconds, Brett opened his door. Brody eyed his brother. Brett, for some odd reason, had tears streaming from his eyes. Something bad might have happened. Or, somehow, Brett was so overcome with emotion that he couldn’t keep it in.
“W-what happened?” Brody asked his older brother.
“The most beautiful day of my life,” Brett answered with a weak smile, once he could maintain his composure.
“Why? What happened?”
“I met a girl.”
“You met a girl?”
“I met a girl.”
“Where at?” Brody asked.
“The bowling alley,” Brett replied.
“Does she go to your school?”
“She will be a freshman at my school next year. JC knows her.”
“Is she pretty?”
“Why would I not have pulled a wimp?”
And Brett started crying again. He hid himself behind the side of his bed so that Brody would not be able to see him bawling. So, basically, Brett was acting as similarly as David when it came down to cute and pretty girls. However, Brody has never seen David cry over those matters.
Today, he saw Brett cry over those matters.
Brody left the room. He thought that Brett might want to be alone in his room right now. And Brody certainly did not want to talk about pretty girls. He was more concerned about when Mom was coming home with Chinese food, as well as when he and Andrew were going on their evening run.
Not that Brody doesn’t have a crush on some girls.
“So, what happened to Brett?” Andrew asked his best friend, once he came back downstairs.
“Take three wild guesses,” Brody replied.
“He isn’t feeling well, so he’s staying up in his room?”
“He might be mad about something?”
“He wants to call somebody in his room, so he knows he won’t hear any noise,” Andrew guessed.
“Close, but no cigar,” Brody remarked.
“Okay, then what is it?”
“Apparently, when he was out with Coolwood tonight, he met a pretty girl at the bowling alley.”
It took a little while for Brody and Andrew to digest all of this information in one sitting. Not that Brett finding a pretty girl has ever been that hard to believe. But there were several reasons why Brett might be up in his room. Brody knew what Brett was doing up in his room; Andrew had just found out.
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