As usual, I am late to a party. I didn’t see this post by the awesome Melissa Sarno until this morning, about author Beth Kephart‘s call for writers to share excerpts from their work. Since I am currently and completely wrapped up with rewriting my WIP, I thought, OKAY!
So here it is (it’s a first draft so please forgive any typos/weirdness):
Practice was cold and drizzly and that was the reason I kept slipping on the infield grass. It was not, despite the suggestion of Brit, my other teammates, and even my coach, because Jesse was sitting on the bleachers. I tightened my frizzy brown ponytail and stared in at home plate. Or I tried to, but Jesse wouldn’t quit looking at me and I glared at him to stop.
“Heads up, Geary!” the coach yelled as she tapped a dribbler my way. I charged, but at the last minute, the ball took an unexpected bounce up toward my face and I instinctually put up my bare hand to deflect it. It smacked against my frozen fingers and I yelped.
I could hear my coach sigh, it was that exaggerated. “Jules, go tell your boyfriend to wait for you somewhere else. And then maybe you can think about joining us in the real world.”
“He’s not-” I started to protest, but Coach was not someone to argue with. She was always right. At least in her head. I shook out my still stinging hand and jogged over to Jesse. He was huddled up in his hoodie, just as soaked as I was.
“What are you doing here?” I asked.
“I told you I’d be here.”
I straddled the bleacher next to him, glad to be off my feet. The throbbing in my hand was not lessening and I was ready to call it a day. Ignoring Jesse had been way more exhausting than I’d anticipated.
“Let me see your hand,” he said.
“You’re not a doctor.” But I still held it out to him, wincing when he wrapped his fingers around mine.
“I’m sorry,” he said softly, turning to face me.
“I don’t believe you.” I hoped he’d think the tear slipping down my cheek was rain. Or just a reaction to physical pain.
“I miss you so much.”
“Whose fault is that?”
“Mine, I know. I swear on my life I’ll be at your next game. Just give me another chance.”
I scooted away from him, curling and uncurling my fingers several times. The fact I could do that seemed like a good sign. But it still hurt so freaking bad.
“What are we doing over there?” Coach yelled from the batter’s box.
“She’s hurt!” Jesse yelled back, his voice harsh. “I think you broke her hand or something!”
“Shut up,” I hissed, annoyed that he was probably going to get me in trouble. “I’m fine!” I said loudly.
Still, half my teammates and the coach came over. And after a few pokes and prods, I was ordered to the E.R.
What is everyone else working on this week?