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I Will Always Remember Your Advice!
With his bat and glove slung over his shoulder and beads of sweat forming on his brow, Aaron tries to keep the tears from running down his cheeks flush from running, dodging cars, jumping fences, and sloshing through puddles. He flew through the door and up the worn stairs to the fourth floor of the apartment building in New York City where he lives with his mother and father. Aaron’s mom heard Aaron go up the stairs, and said "Aaron, Honey! What is the matter?" Aaron responded as a normal ten-year-old boy would. He yelled down to her " It's nothing. I'm fine. Just leave me alone!"
He slammed the door shut, simultaneously throwing his catcher’s glove with the frayed strings onto the hard, exposed brick wall, causing an explosion of infield mix to go all over the room. On its descent towards the ground, the dirty webbing of the glove ever so slightly brushed against his grandfather’s favorite vintage baseball card collection, including Aaron’s prized possession, a signed Lou Gehrig rookie year baseball card from 1923. The card is a special item by any New York Yankee fans’ standards.
Aaron was picking up the cards that were strewn around his room. He came across the special card. He wondered how grandpa got Lou Gehrig’s signature? Aaron pondered it for a while, gave up, and went to bed.
He fell asleep with the card in his hands under his pillow. During the night, he heard a crash and woke up. He saw a dark shadow in the corner of his room sitting on an oak stool. He thought to himself “Oh I am just tired. I am seeing things. Maybe my eyes are just blurry.”
He heard another noise. This time he heard his name. Ever so cautiously, Aaron tip-toed over to the light switch and flicked it on. To his surprise, perched up on the stool was the one and only Lou Gehrig. Thinking he was dreaming he put his small hands up to his eyes and wiped away the crusties, but to his surprise the Iron Horse was still just sitting there in the corner surrounded by all of Aaron’s various baseball paraphernalia.
Dumbfounded by what he saw, Aaron couldn’t speak! He managed to somehow get out in a shaky voice “How in the world…I…I… I thought you were dead…how did you get here?”
Lou replies in a calmest voice “At this point, that doesn’t matter. What’s wrong? You don’t seem like yourself.”
Aaron knew he couldn’t lie. He was Lou Gehrig, the famous Iron Horse! “Mr.G, can I call you that Mr. Gehrig?’ “
Well, of course you can Aaron! We are friends aren’t we? ”
While tracing the notches of the distressed wood floor and trying to not make eye contact, Aaron replied, “I feel like I let my grandfather down.”
Lou was taken aback by the response from the ten year old. “Why in the world you say that Aaron? If he was here he would be so proud of you no matter what!”
Trying to choke back the tears, Aaron respond, “I feel I let my Grampy down, I didn’t make the baseball team!”
With a slight chuckle Lou said “Aaron what makes you believe that you let him down?” as he placed his hand on Aaron’s dusty blond hair.
Aaron, not wanting to admit to Lou why he felt like this, started to mumble a bunch of nonsense thinking Lou wouldn’t catch it.
Cupping his right hand around his right ear, Lou says “Hmm? What did you say? All I heard was a bunch of mumbling!”
Aaron finally realized Mr.G won’t give up on this, so he says, “because my Grampy loves baseball with all his heart and dreamed to one day see me to play” Aaron asked with a quizzical look on his face, “Do you remember how my grandfather got your signature?”
As he hears this question, Lou automatically cracked a smile.” Yes, I do remember how he got it. I gave it to him the day his little league baseball team won the divisional championship.”
Extremely confused, Aaron stared into Lou’s eyes saying, “How in the world did you know my grandfather’s baseball team won the divisional championship?”
With a chuckle in his voice, Lou answered ”Ha-ha, well I should have seen this coming such a common act of your grandfather. I was his little league baseball coach.”
As Aaron heard this news his eyes got as wide as the Pacific Ocean. His jaw just dropped in shock. “What in the world? My grandfather never told me that.” After finding out that awesome news, Aaron gathered his thoughts to ask his most important question, “How do you know I didn’t let my grandfather down? I never want to make him upset with me.”
When the Iron Horse heard this, with a noticeable shake in his voice, he said “Aaron, never forget this. Your grandfather loves you! He loves you so much! We kept in touch for a long time. Don’t forget you can never disappoint him as long as you tried your hardest, and do what you love with your whole heart. Did you try your best at the tryouts?”
Cheering up a little bit trying to hold back his smile, Aaron replied “ Mr.G, you don’t know how hard I tried. I really wanted to make the team. I guess when you put it that way; my grandfather couldn’t be upset with me! I tried as hard as I could, but it just didn’t work out.”
Lou’s face lit up like the sun with a smile from ear to ear. “See Aaron, you do know what your grandfather would think! Great to see you! Till next time! Be confident. Never doubt yourself again, or I will have to come back! Go back to bed.”
Aaron did what he was told and got back in bed. As he saw Lou, his new friend vanishing through his closet, Aaron exclaimed “Lou! Wait!”
As Lou’s head turns around Aaron finished saying “Thank you!”
The next thing Aaron remembered was the sweet aroma of maple wood smoked bacon coming from the kitchen. The smell danced on his nostrils. He could almost taste the smoky flavor, so he got up and went to the kitchen. He saw his parents sitting at the kitchen table drinking their usual morning coffee.
Breaking the silence he said, “ Sorry if I woke you guys up last night with all my talking.”
Looking at him as if he had two heads, his parents said in unison “what talking?”
His mom continued, “You were were sound asleep the whole night I kept checking on you because I knew you had a bad day. You must have just been dreaming.”
Aaron agreed with his mom and took a handful of the delicious bacon and went to get ready for the school day.
After vacation, still in his blue striped pajamas, he plopped himself on his bed, looked up towards the sky, and said, “ I don’t now if you were real or just a dream but thank you! I will always remember your advice! Goodbye! At least for now!”