Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Sad (07/26/07)
TITLE: Baseballs and Eight-year-olds
By dub W
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The refrigerator door closed as quickly as it had opened, leaving an eight-year-old freckled-faced boy standing next to the table. “David’s leaving.” He pulled off his raincoat and set his book-bag and ball glove on a chair. “It isn’t fair.” A baseball rolled across the kitchen table.
Susan caught the ball and looked at the long face on her son and her own heart broke. “Oh, sweetie, I know that you and David are close. But, sometimes people move to other places.” <i>I talked to Grace on Sunday, and she didn’t say anything. I wonder what’s going on.</i>
Charlie started to walk toward the living room, but Susan caught him mid stride. “First of all, young man, I didn’t get my hug. And secondly, who told you David was moving?”
“David told me.” Charlie wrapped his arms around his mother’s neck.
“Sit down here a minute.” She handed him the ball and put his book-bag on the floor. “I’ll get you a cookie and some lemonade.” Susan stroked his hair as she passed.
Charlie plopped down on the chair and put his chin on the ball.
<i>Something else is wrong here.</i> She quickly put together the snack and walked back to the table.
“So, David just came up and told you that he’s moving?”
“Where to?” Susan set a plate of cookies and glass of lemonade on the table in front of her son.
“I don’t know.” He picked up a cookie without lifting his head.
“He didn’t say anything else?”
“Uh, huh,” Charlie said, between bites.
“Okay, what else?”
“He said that he couldn’t play ball with me any more, cause he is moving. It isn’t fair cause he’s my best friend and now I won’t have anyone to play catch with.” Charlie was almost sobbing.
“Drink your lemonade while I make a phone call.” It was true that David and Charlie played ball together, and had since they were toddlers. They were like brothers and if one was missing, searchers would find both boys. There were only a handful of other boys in the church sponsored school, and David and Charlie had become inseparable. Susan picked up the phone and dialed the number of David’s parents. Grace answered.
“Grace, this is Susan Tobin.”
“Oh, hi Susan, I was thinking about you this morning. I think I’d like to join your circle, if you have an opening.”
Susan chuckled. “Oh, Grace, we’d love to have you in the circle. We meet at ten a.m., on first Tuesdays. I’ll call and remind you.” <i>Doesn’t sound to me like she’s moving. </i> Susan looked over at her son. “Grace, the reason I’m calling is because David told Charlie that you and Bob are moving. Charlie is really upset, so I thought I better get an official confirmation.”
The line went silent for a moment. “Oh, oh, oh, my goodness, I think I know what’s going on,” Grace laughed. “Sit down Susan, you’re gonna love this.”
“Okay, I’m at the table.” Susan listened intently.
“Well, you know that we came here from Jonesville; oh, about six years ago.”
Susan thought a moment. “Yes, I remember when you guys came to Sunday school. Charlie was in the terrible two’s stage.”
"Tell me about it," Grace laughed. “Well, we still haven’t moved our membership from the Jonesville church. So, last night Bob and I began discussing moving our membership. Bob called the minister in Jonesville to get official letters, and then he called Reverend Simpson here, and told him that the whole family would be moving our membership. I don’t remember exactly what he said; it was something like ‘yes, we are all moving’. My guess is David overhead that part of the conversation.”
“Whew, that makes sense,” Susan smiled. “What gets into the minds of little boys? But, I have a very sad little one sitting at the table right now.”
Grace interrupted. “Say, Susan. Here’s what I think we can do. I’ll explain it all to David, and then I’ll bring him over to see Charlie. What do you think? Let the boys work it out.”
“Oh, Grace, that would be so great. Thank you. And, have David bring his baseball glove.” Rain continued to pelt the window.
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