My Brother and I

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A day in my childhood i will never forget.

Submitted: December 02, 2008

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Submitted: December 02, 2008

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The Day I “Died”
 
The day began like most of the others of that summer. My brother and I were bored, as usual, and had no idea what fate would befall us that afternoon. This was the day my older brother, Joe, was certain he had killed me and I would not see my twelfth birthday.
After lunch some neighborhood kids came and asked if we wanted to play baseball. Dad had just gotten us new gloves the day before, and we were anxious to break them in. So we grabbed our gear and shouted to mom as we ran out the door that we were going down to the vacant lot to play baseball. This lot was situated kitty-corner from my aunt’s house. We liked to play there because the ground was pretty level. Weeds and grass no longer grew in the infield because we had been playing here for years, but wild grass and tall sunflowers with huge yellow heads trimmed the outfield. 
As we walked to the lot, the others told us about the pitcher’s mound they’d made early that morning. It was dry now, and hardened from the hot summer sun. It was about eighteen inches higher than the rest of the field. 
We chose teams: Susan, Glen and I versus Beth, Lenny, and Joe - the biggest and strongest kid in the neighborhood. We played all afternoon, Joe and I pitching underhand from the mound.
We took a break, walking to my aunt’s house for something to drink. We made our way back to the field and sat around talking for a while then decided that it was about time to go home. Since we had batted first, they got last bats. With Lenny on first base and Beth on third, Joe stood at home plate. He told me to pitch it to him overhand and fast to see how far he could hit it. The first pitch went kind of wild and he hit a pop fly. The second pitch was closer to the strike zone, but he hit it foul. Knowing this would be the last pitch of the game; I launched the ball toward him as fast, as hard and as straight as I possibly could. It was a perfect strike. He swung as hard as he could and I heard the crack of the bat as it made contact with the ball. Instinctively, I looked up to find the ball but didn’t see it. First confusion then just the spark of realization when… WHAM!!!  The ball hit me square in the chest. I was propelled backward and hit the ground with a thud. It felt like the tumble Charlie Brown always took when he pitched to Lucy! I fell flat on my back and had the wind knocked out of me.
Joe told Susan and Lenny to go tell my aunt that I had been hurt. They ran fast. Beth and Glen ran home too. My brother knelt beside me and I remember him muttering under his breath, “Please don’t die ‘cause dad will kill me.” I don’t think he even realized he said it aloud. I began to giggle at that and he realized I was okay. He helped me to my feet as my aunt was running toward us with a look of panic on her face. The kids told her that Joe hit me with the ball, and I was dead on the mound. She had called my mom before she left the house. My mother came tearing around the corner, leapt out of the car without taking it out of gear and had to run back to stop the car. As she dashed toward us, I remembered thinking it funny that she was wearing her apron and yellow cleaning gloves. She didn’t say a word, just put us in the car and drove to the hospital. She made Joe tell Dr. Gordon what had happened, who informed us there were no broken bones, but that I would be sore for a few days.
We were told the mound had to go, so the next morning we went down and moved the dirt back to the ditch. I was the story of the neighborhood for a couple days, and that was fine by me because I got to show off my bruise, which was a perfect impression of the ball on my upper chest, laces and all. From then on, Joe and I were always on the same team, he made sure of it.


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