Damnit. It was her. Sophie is here but I know that Garrett is still playing in Chicago. I wonder what happened there.
I finally manage to get myself out of that damn coffee shop. The group of people had grown larger than I was comfortable with. I hopped into the first cab I could hail and just told him to get me the hell out of there. We were headed in the wrong direction, but I didn’t care.
I thought back to the first time I saw Sophie.
♦ ♦ ♦
I was still playing for one of the Chicago Cubs’ B-teams in Iowa City. They had flown me out to Chicago to prospect me. I was too good for the minors and they knew it, too. They might have called it a dinner, but we all knew what it was – a job interview. My table of ten had a couple other prospects and some players. One of them was Garrett Watkins. He was drafted right out of college at Duke and put on the field as a pitcher the next season.
The guy had an arm.
The guy was a douche.
I know, I know. I was supposed to be networking; kissing asses. They knew my stats. What the hell else matters?
What I remember from that night, was her. She just sat quietly, observed everything and everyone. While she looked small and meek, I could tell she was anything but. And that dress she had on – fuck. She would get up from the table every once in a while. I looked forward to those moments all night long.
She’d go to push her seat back, her hair would spill forward, and she’d give me a look down the top of her dress at those perfect tits. Then she’d walk away and give me a view of that perfect ass. That she wasn’t a bottle bleached, stick figure definitely got me going.
She had me hard and she hadn’t even said a word to me after sitting down. I couldn’t get up from the table all night.
And who didn’t look her way? Garrett. What the hell was she doing with this guy? I was pissed forher. I spent the whole night in a silent rage. Snapping at everybody and every question. I must’ve done one thing right, though because I left with a contract.
And blue balls.
♦ ♦ ♦
“Hey buddy, the meters already at 20 bucks. You wanna tell me where we’re goin’?”
“Safeco. Players’ entrance.”
The driver gives me a dubious look. Not a baseball fan, then.
As workplaces go – this place is a fucking dream. Seattle is a great place to live and the team is great. It’s the off-season so a lot of the guys are at their houses out of the city. I only have my loft. Alright, alright. It’s a big loft.
We pull up outside the players’ entrance and the cabbie turns around. “You’re on the team?”
“Yeah, last season was my first here. This year I’ll be starting shortstop.”
“No kidding! – I don’t keep up on baseball, but my kid does.” He pulls out a receipt book and a pen. “You wouldn’t mind, would ya?”
I take the pad in hand sign my name and jersey number – #27. It’s the same as my age so it’s easy to remember. I reach for my wallet but the cabbie waves me off.
“Thanks for the autograph – my kid is gonna go nuts.”
Standing outside the door is my best friend and teammate, Erik Watkins. He started here a year before I did and he took me under his wing when I got here.
“You were supposed to be here an hour ago. You know I gotta get home to Eva and the baby.”
This guy has it bad.
I thought he had it back when I got here and met his then fiancé, Eva. She’s awesome. All fiery Latina and, “¡Será mejor que estés comiendo o tendré que empezar a enviarte comida!” And she did, some of the best food I’ve ever eaten.
Then came Ana. She’s just a couple months old now and she has the best godfather anyone could hope for.
Me, I meant me.
But Erik. He’s doing what I imagine any first-time dad would do – panicking if he’s away for more than five minutes.
We head through the door and walk towards the gym. I’m young to be a starter on the team and I gotta keep up in the off-season or risk getting replaced come February. We get to the weights and I pat Erik on his stomach, “ Getting that dad bod already?”
“Fuck off. Let’s do this.”
We go hard. An hour and a half later and he’s almost to the door as I’m stepping on the treadmill to finish off with some cardio.
“Hey, you ok? You seem off.”
“Yea, man. I’m good. Just have some shit on my mind.”
“Alright. Let me know if you need anything. Don’t forgot you promised Eva you’d come for dinner this week.”
“Like I’d miss seeing Eva and my goddaughter,” I smirk.
He gives me a little wave and he’s out the door. I put my earbuds in and step on to the moving treadmill. My mind wanders to Sophia. I know she heard me call for her. She paused without turning just before walking out of the coffee shop.
Did she not see me? Did she not care? I know she thought she loved Garrett.
Maybe I shouldn’t have said what I did before I left Chicago.
Maybe I should have stayed.
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This e-book will be released November 1, 2018 on Amazon and iTunes!
– Kevin Ethan