"Strike!" The umpire yelled out.
I swallowed then, and narrowed my eyes at the Pitcher. The crowd behind us fading into a lull of voices, as they all cheered "Zeus" from their seats. Taking a deep breath, I stole a glance at the field, bases were loaded, my teams faces staring back at me ready for me to hit them home, and win the game for us. I felt the pressure, like a growing knot, forming in my throat. They say all great baseball players choke at some point in the big leagues. All the pressure to be better than before, fizzles and goes to your brain.
"Foul!" the Umpire calls again.
Shit, I thought to myself. Full count. If there was anytime to hit something it would be now. Taking another drawn out breath, I focused and gripped the my bat. Off to my side, I caught the faint sight of blonde hair, and stark green eyes. It was Airee. "You got this babe!" I heard her say, though I wasn't sure how over this crowd.
The pitcher pulled back then, and released after his throw. My eyes locked on the ball, when I caught the faint smell of coconut. Whack! Watching the ball for a second, the crowd imploded with cheers. I began running to first but, the ball went out of the ballpark before I had the chance to make it there. Making my way around, my team met me at home plate. We had won the game! "Hayden, you did it!" One of my team mate said.
"Shit, dude we beat them!" Another called out behind me.
Seconds later the press flooded the field, and reporters began asking questions. "What were you thinking when he through the pitch?" "Are you ready for what comes next?" "How does it feel being the youngest major league player thus far?"
"Its amazing, I feel blessed to be here." I said. My eyes shifting off to the stands. Airee, and our friends caught up in their cheering. "I'm sorry," I said then, interrupting any further questions they had, and continued. "I have someone I need to be with."
Jogging around them then, I made my way to home plate, and looked up into the stands and found her eyes. "Hey beautiful!" I yelled.
She smiled then, and waved. "Hey Zeus! How does it feel to have the whole stadium calling your name?"
"I wouldn't know, you're the only one I can hear right now."
She got up and left at that, and I rejoined my team. It wasn't until I caught her blonde hair, and green eyes coming around the dugout, did my heart flutter nervously inside my chest. To this day, I cant understand how one person could mean so much to me. She challenged me, and brought out my better side. She was the girl I've loved since high school, and the one I cant see a future without. "Airee!" I yelled, and ran to pick her up. For a while I held her, my team whistling at us off in the distance.
I set her down then, her purple dress, catching against me. I swallowed hard, and tried to keep calm. I bent down instead, and kissed her. As usual the kiss was raw and passionate as it always has been. "Hayden is this your girlfriend we've heard so much about?" the reporters had started up again. Making their way into the dugout, trying with whatever means to get some scoop into my life outside the field.
"No," I said instantly. Reached down, and held up her hand, which held an engagement ring on it. The diamond catching light then, and Airee blushed seeing the cameras. "As of yesterday she has accepted my proposal, and is now my fiancé."
Bending down, I brushed her lips again, and had to refrain from deepening it as I longed to. As I needed to. "And how did you do it?" The reporters yelled.
I looked at Airee then, and took a step back. The memory of her the night before, and her expression as Count came trotting over with the ring tied to his neck, making me smile. I hadn't even finished asking before she replied "Yes!"
"All I'm going to say is that, I found my forever, and it feels amazing."
We left then, the reporters still mid sentence with even more questions. I pulled her out onto the field, and picked up my bat. "M'lady," I smiled, and she accepted it.
"Thank you kind sir." she laughed.
Picking up a ball I jogged over to the pitchers stand. "Okay, are you going to actually hit one tonight?"
"Oh shut up, you wont be saying that once I hit it out of the park." She teased me back.
"Just be careful." I reminded her, as I always did. Reared back, and then threw it. Ever since we've been together we've started our own ritual of hitting the ball after the game. She enjoyed it because it made her feel special, and I just loved watching her have fun. Whack! "No way!" I yelled, and watched the ball roll to third. "You did it!"
"I did it!"
Suddenly our friend swarmed the field, and together we ran to Ree. I picked her up, and we cheered for a minute. Then I brought her down slowly, and kissed her. "I love you." She said. Her eyes a color of emerald green.
I let out a breath and kissed her again. I couldn't believe how lucky I was to have found her. "I love you too," I smiled. Then together, as a group, we all fell into a huddled mess. My arms bracing the space around her still too cautious. The memory of what her scar means, as fragile and important to me as ever. I found my forever, and no matter what, I would never leave her again.