The Green Monster

I was given tickets to a baseball game by a MLB player who I’ve had the privilege of teaching his girls these last two years. In honor of tomorrow’s game-and I pray there’s no rain! Please Jesus, stop this storm!-

I’m sharing this baseball story I wrote thinking of the time I danced at a baseball game and all the times my grandmother taught me about the Red Sox.

This dad of my student’s doesn’t play for the Red Sox, but my next favorite team that I picked up from living in its city. Somehow it feels like my grandma is up in heaven telling God-send this family into her life…just for fun. Because sometimes God is fun. As long as there’s no rain I’ll add photos later.

So here’s my story…it was supposed to be romantic flash fiction and was published online with Spark Magazine, but is no longer on their website. So here you are!

The Green Monster

Gabby tugged on the massive green monster head she wore. Its color was unlike any shade of grass she’d seen, a copy cat of the Red Sox’ mascot, representing the wall at Fenway Park. Miserable heat, but she was shielded from the sun’s bright rays. Besides, she didn’t like people seeing her face. Dromeo Vasquez, main pitcher for a farm team that fed players right to the Red Sox, had just walked off the playing field.

The end of the inning meant it was Gabby’s turn to hype up the crowd. A dance contest this time. She pulled a few kids onto the turf, dancing the Macarena. The crowd cheered as the tiniest boy wowed everyone with his impressive moves. The cuteness factor always trumped skill with these things, and she handed him the free cap he’d won. Gabby led the kids back to their families, dancing near the dugout as the players got ready to go up to bat.

“You know you’re pretty graceful for a monster.” Dromeo Vasquez was actually speaking to her!

“Ten years of ballet.”  She wasn’t supposed to converse in costume, but she knew no one else could hear her soft muffled voice.  This might be the only chance she got to talk to the most beautiful baseball player she’d ever laid eyes on. 

His big blue eyes looked surprised she’d answered.  “Ah.  Me too.  Well, not ten years.  One year.  My football coach’s orders.  Then I dropped it all to focus on baseball.”

Gabby nodded her giant head giving him a thumbs up, staying in character.  Encouraging the players was part of her job.

He laughed. “I shouldn’t distract you.  Find me after the game.  Some of us are grabbing dinner.  We’ve never seen your face, and we’re all wondering what you look like.”

Gabby shrugged, caught off guard.  She recoiled as the pitcher struck out the first batter with a hard throw.  She slumped her monster shoulders and lowered her heavy green head to show disappointment.  The team wondered what she looked like?  She liked that no one knew.  She sighed and hoped they wouldn’t be put off by her face.  They’d see it soon enough.

The game ended with a loss 3-0.  Gabby sprinted to her locker room and heaved off the cumbersome head.  She brushed her long dark bangs across the thick scar that covered approximately three inches of her forehead.  She’d known eventually the players would see it, but it had been nice hiding.  She took off the rest of the costume and put it in her locker for tomorrow.  Then she waited outside the men’s locker room.

A waft of body odor and cologne came with a couple of players as they exited. They ignored her, and she could feel her heart pounding. Would Dromeo know she was the monster? She was about to give up waiting when she saw him. No tight pants or baseball cap. Just shorts, t-shirt, sunglasses, and wet blonde head that studied her. “Green monster girl?”

She smiled, timidly checking her bangs. “That’s me, Gabby.”

He hadn’t even flinched at the scar. “Finally. Hey, Joe!”

One of his teammates stopped.  “There she is.”

“See, I told you she wasn’t an old lady.”  Dromeo winked towards Gabby looking her over intently.  She moved her eyes to his broad shoulders.  Gabby could see every muscle in his arms, not an ounce of fat.  

“We had bets going,” Joe laughed.

“I won.  You’re beautiful, like I expected.” 

Gabby’s dark eyes widened.  No one had ever called her beautiful.  Not since the accident when she had tripped and hit her head on a rock playing a game of softball.

“Are you ready?”  Dromeo’s eyes twinkled at her.

“Sure.”  

“The others changed their minds.  It’s just us.  Is that ok?”

“Yeah, sure.” It was more than ok. Her family was never going to believe she’d let the players see her face, or that Dromeo Vasquez had called her beautiful.

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