One of my favorite sounds is the sound of a freshly scuffed wiffle ball spinning like a cork screw through the air. Bang! The sound as a result of the pure white ball hitting the heavily dented garage door.
“Throw them in the strike zone will ya?’” my friend Jake croaked.
“I’m trying to but uhh… the wind is carrying the ball,” I returned trying to keep my face from turning red.
Even though I wasn’t as experienced at ‘wiffling’ I was not longing for people to comment on my skills. I have been scolded many times from my parents to refrain from pitching against the ‘near end of its time’ garage door. After only learning how to play days ago, my pitching skills didn’t even come close to what my friends can achieve. I then continued to loft the ball towards where he was standing. As the ball came towards the end of my rotation, I pulled my wrist down to try to get it to curve. The Wiffle ball spun with backspin since the only pitch I knew how to accomplish was the fastball.
“uuhhhahhh!” Jake whimpered.
The sound he made when the ball hit his head was very peculiar, so I tried my best to replicate what came out of his mouth. The ‘super sonic speed’ ball had hit him in the side of the head. We had been playing in the cold which packs a bigger sting when you get hit. Christian, my other neighbor, rushed over to check to see if he was alright. After realizing he wasn’t hurt too badly, Christian continued to laugh at Jake.
“My turn,” he said picking up the ball on his way to the makeshift mound we made with an empty 7-up can.
I could tell he was heated after getting the skin on his ear scraped up. Sitting in the batters box waiting for him to whip a ball right at me, wasn’t exactly appealing.
‘’Go easy on me, alright?” I explained trying to make him less infuriated.
“Yeah right!” Jake screeched as he leaned into his wind up.
The plastic sphere fired out of his hand like a ball bearing out of a musket. Even though I really enjoy the sound of a wiffle ball spinning through the air, it wasn’t appealing in this context. The ball whizzed just a few inches in front of my nose and hit the garage door with one of the loudest bangs I have ever heard. I was relieved that the ball hadn’t hit me but something worse was coming. All three of us stopped dead in our tracks as we heard the front door open.
“You’re gonna’ get it this time,” Christian whispered with a half scared half excited expression on his face. He’s right. Like I said before, my parents get enraged when I use the garage door as a backstop. It’s main use is to keep balls from being lost in bushes or for us not have to run and retrieve the ball.
“This is done,” My mom said with her teeth clenched and her face red, “find somewhere else to play or don’t play at all.”
Very few things scare me. Clowns, heights, spiders: all don’t scare me a wink. But when I see my mom that furious, escape is all that was on my mind.
Instead of talking back or trying to reason with her, we simply picked up our bat and my lonely wiffle ball, walked across the street to Christian’s house to brainstorm Ideas on where we could play. “We could play in my driveway. My parents don’t care about our garage door,” explained Christian.
“We can’t use yours…” I reasoned, “it has glass on the top. It may not seem like it, but a wiffle ball can crack glass.”
Not many ideas came after that. It went without saying that we couldn’t use Jakes garage door. His parents care about the appearance of their house more than my mom and dad. We had to find a new location to play before I got rusty. I earlier learned on the internet that if I don’t play for an extended period of time, my pitching gets worse and it takes a while to get back in the groove.
We had been collaborating for about twenty minutes when I was about to give up wiffle ball and take on tennis when I got an Idea. It just might work! I thought as I propped myself up onto my feet.
“C’mon, follow me!” I instructed my friends walking out of his front door.
They probably thought I was going inside to acquire them some sandwiches and pop, but I kept on walking along my yard toward the back of my house. It seemed like it only took my a single step to reach my shed. I stopped and turned around with a smirk on my face.
“What?” Jake inquired shrugging his shoulders and looking hungry, probably still thinking about those sandwiches.
“This!” I said patting my hand on the old but fairly new looking shed. “Not as big as the garage but… It’ll do!”
I waited for them to answer but neither of them said anything. They stood there and pondered about it for a second as if actually contemplating if this would work. Both of them eventually swiveled to one another and gave a subtle nod. I gave a ‘cheer’ in my head as we found a new spot to play ball. Jake cast a shadow over me as he snatched the wiffle ball from my hand.
“You’re up.” He said in a deadly voice.
He paused while staring me straight in the eye. I let out a nervous laugh as I slowly inched my way towards where our new home plate would be. I felt like I was walking a plank on a pirate ship with a sword in my back. I took a deep breath and tried to read his facial expressions to find out if he was still mad about being hit earlier.
I saw the ball speeding towards me faster than I have ever seen it before. My head twisted away trying to dodge the ball but my reflexes weren’t fast enough. The ball beamed me in the same place where Jake had gotten hit.
The impact of the ball stung in the cold air, but the relief of finding a new place to play lifted some of the pain.