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The Scariest Phone Call

Today’s Plinky Prompt was a good one.  It was “Describe the scariest moment in your life — from a third-person perspective.”  As Deb was off getting her hair done and I had the morning to myself I thought it would be a good day to sit down and tackle this one.  I chose a pretty personal subject too so if you choose to go ahead and read it please handle with care.  Feedback would be appreciated if you have any.

The story ended up being longer than I had initially intended and I know that most of you have relatively short attention spans so my apologies if this is too long to read.  Most of the story is accurate but like with any story I made a change or two here and there…poetic license.  Hope you enjoy:

The Scariest Phone Call

The phone rang…

He sat in silence staring at his phone on the nightstand. He knew who was on the other end of that call. Over the last month he had done almost everything in his power to avoid her. Ever since the night of the show he had kept his distance even though he didn’t want to. But she was calling again and he wasn’t sure he would be able to stay away much longer….

It all started a month before when they had attended the show. His best friend had invited him to the show. The friend and his wife would be having a party at their place prior to heading out. They always threw great parties and the show really seemed like it would be fun so of course he wanted to go. His friend told him that he needed to “dress up” for the show.

“Everyone dresses up…it is part of the fun,” the friend explained. “So just find some polo shirts and pop the collar or a pair of jeans and peg ’em. It really isn’t all that hard for us to dress the part…but you should see the girls. They will look hilarious all dolled up in their gear. Picture all the neon, side ponytails, heavy makeup and Flashdance sweat shirts. It is pretty fuckin’ funny.”

So he found a couple of polo shirts and wore one inside the other and popped the collars. He looked ridiculous and couldn’t believe that he used to wear this shit when it wasn’t just a gag. Throwing on a pair of plaid shorts to finish his ensemble he headed out to his friend’s place for the pre-party.

The usual cast of characters were all there and in the process of liquoring up before heading out to the show. Everyone was in their costumes and it was hard to believe we all looked like this 20 years ago. We were all in the backyard having drinks and laughing it up when someone yelled that the taxis were out front and it was time to go….

The phone rang again…

The show was better than he expected. All of the songs that they performed were ones that everyone knew and the entire theater was singing and dancing along. He didn’t realize that he was spending so much time at the bar talking to her either. She just kind of appeared next to him and they were sharing drinks and everything was becoming a blur. She started dancing in front of him and then they were dancing together. Without a thought his arms pulled her into him and the dancing became slower and more intimate. He could feel the eyes of all of his friends on him as he kissed her. He knew it was wrong but it really felt right.

At one point, when he looked up, he saw his friend staring at him with a look of confusion on his face. When he looked back at her he felt that same confusion. The unwritten rule that was shared between all guys was telling him that this should not be happening but he was not sure that he would be able to stop himself. Was his friend going to be mad at him? He wasn’t sure he even cared at this point.

The music was so loud that you couldn’t really hear each other unless you were shouting so he pulled his friend close to him. He leaned right up to his friend’s ear and said, “Sorry dude, but this is happening.” His friend looked up at him and just shook his head, laughed and shrugged as if to say that everything was alright. Was he interpreting that right? Was his friend saying that he wasn’t pissed? Did he even really care?

He leaned back into her and pulled her closer to him. She felt right. She felt good. She was his best friend’s sister…

The phone rang again…

When the show ended everyone jumped into cabs and headed back to his friend’s house. The show had everyone on a high and they were all ready to continue the party. Once they all arrived at the house she was never far from his side. They were all pretty drunk but they just kept on partying. At one point, while everyone was sitting on the porch rehashing the show, he looked down at her. She was sitting on the floor and leaning up against his legs. Smiling and leaning down, he whispered in her ear, “Want to get out of here?” She looked up into his eyes, smiled and nodded that she was ready to leave.

They went back to her place. The rest of the night was lost in a haze of drunken lust. They fell into each others arms and just seemed to fit. It was as if they had done this hundreds of times. There was no awkward pauses or clumsy fumbling. For that one night, everything seemed perfect.

Even the next morning, when they woke up, there was no strangeness between them. He held her close and she felt like she couldn’t get close enough. They laughed and talked about how everyone was going to be talking about them. They knew that they were going to be the objects of ridicule for a while after the previous night and neither of them seemed to care.

Sometime in the early afternoon they got out of bed and she drove him back to his car. He looked her in the eyes and tried to tell her how much fun it had been but the words just didn’t seem to come. As they sat there, in her car, it started to feel awkward for the first time. He turned to her and thanked her for a great night and then jumped out of the car and headed towards his own without looking back.

The phone rang again…

Over the next month, the two of them didn’t see each other at all. He would text her and she would text him. That was the extent of their conversations during that time. He wanted nothing more than to see her again but he didn’t know what to do. He was confused and wasn’t sure quite how to feel. They made plans to get together over that month several times but their lives kept getting in the way. Mostly it was his fault. He kept finding ways to not see her. He would be working late one night and have to cancel. He would have plans with the people from the office another night…and have to cancel. He would be spending time with his family the next time and have to cancel. He could have gotten out of any of these obligations but he kept using them as a way to not have to deal with the feelings he had for her.

During that incredibly long month he sat down with his friend. There was no way he would ever think about pursuing her if his friend didn’t give him his blessing. He didn’t want to ruin one of the longest friendships of his life over something of which he was completely unsure. His friend had an endless stream of jokes at his expense. There didn’t seem to be any aspect of the entire situation that his friend didn’t find funny and he was not shy about letting every joke fly. But after all the jokes and after all the ridicule his friend said that he was actually happy that his sister was with him and not some other joker.

He was relieved but still scared.

He had known her for almost 20 years. How would you take a friendship of that long and take it to the next level? What would happen if he tried and it didn’t work out? He was pretty sure that everything in his life was about to change and he wasn’t sure he was prepared for that. He knew that he wasn’t the best “relationship guy” and that every one he had been in up to this point had ended dismally. This wasn’t one where, if things went wrong, he could just walk away from and never have to see her again. She would be around at every get together of their friends and he wouldn’t be able to just pretend she never existed if things went south.

So he avoided her for that month. If they didn’t see each other he wouldn’t be forced to make the decision. The decision that he was dreading because either way he went was going to be entering uncharted waters. He was terrified and didn’t know what course of action would be best.

Should he just let it go and chalk that night up to a lot of booze and a mistake or should he attempt to make something with her? If he answered her calls he wasn’t sure what would happen and not knowing was churning his stomach into a knotted mess. He was not a fan of the unknown.

The phone rang one last time….

His decision was made as he reached down and picked up the phone.

“Hello?” he croaked out into the phone.

“So, are we ever getting together again or what?” she responded.

They both immediately broke into laughter. They have been together ever since.

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Summers in The Cornfield

Sandlot is pretty much The Cornfield

I grew up an army brat and our family traveled all over the world as we tagged along with Dad as he was moved from post to post. We lived in some great places over those early years and it always seemed like a new adventure when you would move from city to city or country to country. The one constant in my life was the summers spent in Bloomington, Illinois.

Bloomington is where my parents grew up and where just about every single member of my extended family has lived their entire lives. We would visit there in the summers and stay at my granparents house on Jackson Street. My granparents and my aunt and uncle lived right next to each other…so my sister and I had our two cousins to play with every day. And we played…all day…every day.

Bloomington is a medium sized town in the dead center of Illinois. A town that was full of hard working, baseball loving, middle-Americans. An oasis surrounded by corn. And in “The Cornfield” is where we spent most of our time during those summers.

The Cornfield wasn’t really a cornfield at all and, to tell you the truth, I never actually knew why we called it that. It was actually a vacant lot at the end of my grandparents street that we converted into our own little baseball diamond. The lot itself wasn’t much bigger than just the infield on a little league field so there was a ton of improvisation and “rule making” when we were playing. And the rules changed (as did the game) from summer to summer as we grew up.

When we started we were really young and our game was Wiffle ball. You can’t really hit a wiffle ball all that far so most of the rules were simple and the game was contained within The Cornfield. At this point there was still an old wooden fence surrounding the lot and hitting the ball over that fence was a homerun. Simple rules for a very simple version of the game.

As we started to grow up though we moved on to real bats and tennis balls. Now the field had to be extended. At first hitting a homerun meant you had to hit the ball out of the field and across Jackson Street. But that didn’t last long. Pretty soon you had to not only hit the ball across the street but you had to hit it either beyond or onto Jason’s house (he was the kid that lived across the street and my cousin Joe’s best friend). If you were standing at homeplate Jason’s house would have been pretty much dead center field.

Like every kid’s backyard version of sports there was a ton of arguing over our made up rules, about balls and strikes, about who was out or safe and about whether or not someone had hit an actual homerun. I think that more time was spent arguing than playing but that was just part of the game; part of the fun of those summers.

We would wake up, eat breakfast and head over to The Cornfield to start playing. We would play until we were called in for lunch. We would scarf down our lunches and then head right back out to play some more. It was a very simple time with a very simple game with very complex rules.

Those were fun summers.

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