A Boy's Game?

November 28, 2009
By , Brooklyn, NY
Homeroom. The early-morning headquarters for gossip and, apparently, humiliation. Laughter radiates through the room as my cheeks turn a faint hue of red.
“You, Chloe…you’re…. you’re going to be …in…in…baseball class?” Todd asked incredulously, his sentence broken up by his pitiful attempt to cover up his amusement.

“Obviously you’re aware by the looks of it” I replied curtly.
“A girl…in baseball class? Well, at least it will be entertaining.” A response would only tempt him further and the chortling posse behind him was already enough of an encouragement. The piercing sound of the bell signaled the first class of the day, but I was nowhere near ready. Although I was eager to get away from homeroom, I knew that the ridicule wouldn’t get any better in science. Of course, Mr. Peterson is late. I sat down in my chair, completely unaware of the show developing in the back of the class.
“Oh I can play, pitch the ball!” Adam said in a high falsetto while holding an air bat.
“I don’t know,” said James. “Aren’t you going to mess up your hair or break a nail?”
“No, I’m fine. Wait, where do I stand?” Adam continued in a whiney voice.
“Home plate,” James replied mockingly.
“What plate?!” Adam asked. Both boys busted out laughing, joining the rest of the class in a symphony of hysterics. They’re always going to underestimate those who aren’t like them.
“You know,” I started off coldly, “The hare didn’t end up winning.”
“What are you talking about?” Adam said, an amused look still fixed on his face.
“The hare, pompous, egotistical, and pretentious, much like you, was challenged to a race by a tortoise. Sure that he would run circles around the tortoise, the hare accepted. But because of his ignorance, something you know very well of, the hare underestimated the tortoise, took a nap, and lost. You, buddy, are napping and I wouldn’t be surprised if you lost.”
“What the hell is that supposed to mean?” Adam asked. I didn’t have time to answer because the class broke out into hysterics again.

FIRST DAY OF SOFTBALL CLASS

I had already been on a team for five years but the boys weren’t aware of this. Flaunting their strength and speed, the boys exuded arrogance and were kind of intimidating. Looking around, I could understand why baseball was hardly a co-ed class. Most girls wouldn’t dare sign up, and those who were present had decided on program changes by the end of the day.
“…Yeah a grand slam. You couldn’t handle it!” one boy said to another. Todd, James and Adam were watching close, waiting for me to do something embarrassing and dainty. I’ll show them dainty.
“I’ll bat first” I volunteered. I heard the faint snickers as I approached the mound.
“You gotta be kiddin’ me? Why does she set herself up for embarrassment? “Watch James throw her a fastball and make her head spin!”
“You sure your ready to fall flat on your face?” James, the pitcher, laughed and I saw a glint of humor in his eyes. Excellent. It had been a running joke among my old teammates that I could hit a fastball with my eyes closed and yet a slow ball would be my demise. James swung his arm back and whipped it forward in a quick and seamless motion. My eyes narrowed on the ball, and I swung with certainty. The ball went flying over the heads of the pitcher, second baseman, and the center fielder.
“James, what happened?” Tom cried out from third base. James’ features contorted into an expression somewhere between shock and horror, but he didn’t mutter a word. From that day on, the boys would never, ever underestimate anyone, not even a girl.





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