Double Play/ Cake and Pizza
Okay, life officially sucks. I've got the best girlfriend in the world. She's a gorgeous blonde with a rockin' bod. Always funny. Always hot. Totally into me. What more could a guy ask for? A lot more apparently. My girlfriend has a best friend. What girl doesn't? See, this best friend has been hanging with us lately. And damn is she perfect. She's always in a happy mood or cracking a joke. She's got this weird thing about her that drives me mad. It's like she has a spell cast on me. A spell that makes me fall for her. I mean, God, she even has me thinking she's beautiful. Yup, I am officially screwed.
“So, does that sound okay? Hello? Earth to Riley.” The blonde sitting across the table from me called for my attention.
“Huh?” I shook my head to get the thought of her out of it. This was getting even worse, now I was thinking about her when I was with her. “Sorry, babe; I spaced out for a second there.”
She had a worried look on her face, “You've been doing that a lot lately.” If only she knew why. “I think you're starting to get old—maybe we should send you to a home instead of this party for your birthday,” she said coyly. A wry smile sat on her light-pink lips, her hand on mine.
I shushed her jokingly, “That's a secret. I'm not supposed to know about that Soph, way to ruin the surprise.” She gave a quick slap to my arm, “And if I'm getting old, why are you still dating me? I've heard of some weird fetishes but . . .” we both burst out laughing before I could finish.
“It's part of my community service: assisting the elderly” said Soph—short for Sophia—shrugging her shoulders innocently.
The server came over and gave us the pizza we had ordered. Soph took a slice and started to nibble at it slowly. She had a weight problem when she was younger so she always tried to keep an eye on what she ate; I on the other hand had finished two before she got through her first. The only thing that she ate was cake. And when I say ate it, I mean devoured it. Sometimes I wish she'd stop worrying so much about her appearance and just enjoy things.
I swallowed the last bite of my third slice and Soph leaned in to wipe the sauce-stash off of my face.
“So, what were you saying again?” I asked.
“Right. I was saying that while I set up your surprise party with everyone tomorrow, Leah is going to distract you,” she looked sternly at me with her baby blues, “don't get any ideas though. I'm not too worried, I trust my best friend enough, it's you that I'm worried about.”
“What? I would never!” I tried to hide my excitement but to be totally honest—yes I would.
“Yes you would.” Could she read my mind? “I remember what you were like before we started dating—it's one of the many reasons I fell for you,” she finished with a wink.
I took her hands in mine and leaned in a little closer.
“Really.” She met me half-way and we shared a quick but passionate kiss.
After a few more minutes, and a lot more flirting, Soph looked at her watch and hopped out of her seat. “I've gotta run, hun. Wish I could stay but practice calls,” she was a cheerleader—cliche, I know, “I'll text you a little later. Leah will be over around three-thirty and you'll head to the restaurant with her at, like five-ish. Just make sure you're not late.” She had come around behind my seat now and slipped her arms over my shoulders and across my chest. “If you are, dinner will take too long . . .” Soph put her lips against my ear and whispered into it seductively, “and you won't get your present later.”
Before I could ask exactly what that present would be, she pecked my cheek and skipped out the door. It was times like those that I remembered how lucky I was and then, right after, I would catch myself thinking about Leah.
I had decided that it would be better if I made this hour and a half with Leah the worst time she had ever had. It wasn't just to get her out of my head, it was to end whatever chemistry that might have existed between us.
The doorbell chimed at exactly three-thirty. I took my time answering it, just to make sure she had to wait. I breathed onto the palm of my hand and sniffed it—horrible. Put my hand through my hair and tossed it all around—hideous. It was time, plan ruin-any-chances-with-Leah was a go. I swung open the entrance and the plan blew up in my face.
There stood this goddess, long curls of chocolate-brown hair cascaded down her back, matching the color of her eyes. Heaven in jean shorts and a tank top is what she was. Without thinking, I began to fix my hair and the emergency gum in my pocket was in my mouth before I could say one rancid word.
“Hey,” she smirked, leaning on the door frame.
“H-hey,” I stuttered like an idiot.
She pushed past me, into the house and stepped out of her flip-flops walking into the main hallway. “Nice house Robinson,” my last name, “What's that smell?” Was it my breath? Did the gum not cover it up? Fresh for life, my ass. She turned around with her hands on her hips in the kitchen and said “That's a pizza. Did you make us a pizza?”
Relieved, I called down the hallway “Maybe. If you're not into pizza then no, I didn't make us a pizza.”
“Are you kidding? Man, I love pizza—I'd eat it every day if I could,” she said, bursting with energy. She grabbed a couple of slices and plopped down on the love seat in front of my big screen, “How do you work this thing? The game's on and we're missing it.” Like I said from the beginning—perfect.
I hadn't even known that she liked baseball, this girl just kept better and better. Soph hated watching sports with me, she said I was over competitive. She just didn't understand the love of the game. And Leah, unlike Soph ate like a champ. No shyness there. Despite her wicked appetite she still stayed slim, probably from the cheer leading too.
The game was in the bottom of the ninth—Toronto Blue Jays were tied at five-a-piece with the Red Sox. With a man on third, a base hit would win the Red Sox the game; I was on the edge of my seat. The ball cracked against the bat and went straight to second where the fielder threw it straight home. A cloud of dust picked up around home plate and the crowd drew silent waiting for the umpire's call. Safe.
“Are you serious?!” screamed Leah, catching me off guard. “Bullshit, total bullshit! How much did they pay you, huh bud? God damn, I hate Boston.”
She was jumping up and down in a fit like a small child with the mouth of a trucker. Probably not very attractive for most, but it only turned me on even more.
I laughed at her, and she noticed. She sat back down cross legged on the couch next to me, her face still flush with anger. “What? Why are you looking at me like that?”
“No reason at all. It's just—you think you could do a better job calling the game?”
“Hell yeah! Why, you think otherwise Robinson?”
“Well you don't really look like most umps.”
“What do I look like then?”
I don't even know where that came from. Totally out of the blue. Leah sat there quietly, her face even redder than before. Stupid Riley, why did you have to open your big mouth? I tried to apologize quickly.
“I'm sorry. I meant ,like—”
“It's fine, Robinson . . .” she brushed her hair back, “Sophia always told me you had a bad habit of flirting. Just don't let it happen again, alright?”
My heart sank, “Alright.”
We still had a good forty minutes left to kill, so I took her downstairs to the basement, to our rec room. AKA my dad's man cave.
It was filled with sports memorabilia and theatre chairs that all faced the wall sized T.V.
“Holy shit,” Leah said in awe. “This is crazy, how can you guys afford all of this?”
“My mom comes from a pretty wealthy family, and my dad made some lucky investments.”
She ran around the room examining all of the jersey's and signed baseballs and bats. Her eyes lit up when she found the shrine. Encased in glass, and lit from the bottom was our most expensive toy.
I walked up behind her and forced myself not to hug her from behind.
“It's cool, eh?”
“Cool doesn't do it justice. Epic might not even be a big enough word. Do you realize what this is?”
I smiled, “Of course I do—my dad did pay half a million for it.”
“Only five hundred thousand? It's worth so much more,” I pulled it out of the case and placed it in her delicate hands. She worshipped the bat like a god. “I can't believe I'm actually holding the ninety-three world series home run bat.” She handed it back to me and watched as I placed it back inside it's shrine.
She put her hand on my chest playfully, “If Soph doesn't marry you, Robinson, I will.”
We each took a chair and I threw a pile of video games at her feet. She sifted through them and pulled out a fighting game. I tossed it into the game console and booted it up on the big screen.
“Ready to get your ass-kicked by a girl?” teased Leah.
“I'll try not to make you cry,” I spat back.
We played a few rounds and I lost them all. This girl knew what she was doing, and wasn't afraid to brag about it.
“I'll try not to make you cry,” she mocked. “I made you my bitch.”
“Whatever, It'd be a whole different story in real life.”
She jumped out of her chair and struck a pose from those crummy Kung Fu movies. “Bring it.”
I shook my head, no way was I going to fight a girl, but when I did—she pounced. She knocked over the chair with her momentum and we went toppling to the floor together. She slapped and punched me as we rolled around. I finally managed to get the upper hand and pinned her down on the ground. She struggled, knocking over a signed baseball that rolled next to her head.
We both panted and laughed, tired from the fight. Leah stopped fighting back and let her head fall to the side and read the signature on the ball. When she turned her head back, I was staring deep into her eyes. I let go of both her arms and placed them just above her shoulders.
My heart was racing a mile a minute.
“Robinson's at bat,” I said, leaning in slightly, “He makes contact.” A little closer. “ He's rounding first.” We were inches from each others faces now. She had some light freckles, I'd never noticed them before. “He's going to second—it's a close call. And the umpire say's . . .”
I waited for Leah to make the move, I could feel her heart beat matching mine. Her eyes couldn't decide whether to focus on my eyes, or lips. It felt like an endless wait before she made the call.
The moment was ruined by the vibration of Leah's phone in her pocket. I reluctantly rolled off of her as she pulled it out. She read the text on the screen then got up and started to head up the stairs.
“Who was that?” I asked, desperate for more time with her.
“Sophia,” she said, grabbing her things on the way to the front door. “She forgot to grab the cake from the bakers for your surprise party. You know she'll go nuts if it's not there, so I have to go pick it up.”
“I'll come with you,” I offered.
“No, you should head over to the party. You're already running behind.”
“Okay,” I said disappointed. “I'll see you when you get there then?”
“Nah.” She slipped on her flip-flops and opened the door to leave. “I don't think that's a good idea . . .” Leah paused, searching for an excuse. “I'm not feeling good. I'll drop off the cake and them go home and sleep it off. Bye, Robinson.”
I caught her arm on her way out and turned her towards me.
“But I want you there.”
She blushed again, but pulled away.
“After today, I don't think Soph's gonna like us spending too much time together.”
“But I do.”
She smiled sweetly, and apologetically.
“Sophia cares about you. A lot. Don't ruin the game with one stupid call, ump.”
Hopping onto her tip-toes, she lightly kissed me on the cheek. When she pulled away, I followed never wanting it to end.
“Happy birthday Riley.”
And with that, she was gone.
Now you all see my predicament. How the hell can I choose? One girl loves me, and I'll admit—I think in time I'll love her back. And then there's just this undeniable chemistry between her and I. What the hell do I do? How can you ask a guy to make that choice?
Cake or pizza?
Bottom of the ninth—last at bat. One out from winning or losing the game . . . don't blow it.