She walked over to put her arm around my shoulder. “Honey, your father loves you.”
I opened my mouth to tell her that he had a funny way of showing it, but shut it again when I realized that it would only cause a fight. Grabbing my bag I asked, “Mom, can we talk about this later?”
She watched my face, like she was waiting for an outburst at any moment, but I’d given up on those once I realized there was no point. My dad wasn’t interested in me, so why should I care about him? Playing the game I loved was more important to me than my father ever could be at this point. When I was on the field, all of my other problems melted away, and the only thing that mattered to me was pitching a strike. I didn’t have to worry about my dad, or question why he didn’t want to spend time with me.
My mom had been so lonely since he left. Not that I wanted them to get back together—I just wanted my mom to be happy. She was so focused on me that she never took anytime for herself. The only time she did that was when I was with my dad, which wasn’t all that often. Just another reason not to like the man.
Plus, I had enough to focus on with this weekend’s game. It would decide if we were going to the playoffs and I was the starting pitcher.
Seemingly happy to let the issue drop, Mom grabbed her purse and her keys. “Sure, let’s go.”
We walked out the door and immediately I felt lighter because I was that much closer to having a few hours of peace.
I was sitting on the couch waiting for Emily. Emily Halliday and I met freshman year. Never one to mince words, I appreciated her honesty and temper, as long as it wasn’t directed at me. Emily was one of the few girls that I actually called “friend.” We needed to be at the hotel before the guests started to arrive and I didn’t want Mr. and Mrs. Jacobs to have to figure out who everyone was on their own. Plus, Caleb was a nervous wreck and driving me nuts.
Caleb Jacobs was my best friend. We met at football practice during our first year on campus. At the time, my roommate was a pain, and Caleb offered to let me live with him off campus. We’d been friends ever since. I couldn’t blame him for being nervous. I’d be freaking out too if I was asking the girl of my dreams to marry me. Then again, I was never going to find myself in the marriage trap. I liked being single. Although lately, Angie seemed determined to set me up with someone. Angie Powers was Caleb’s soon-to-be fiancée—well, hopefully. I met her and Emily at the same time, but while Emily was the spitfire, Angie was sweet and more like a little sister. What Angie didn’t realize was that I enjoyed the freedom that came with having one-night stands. I never felt obligated to the girls after that night which suited me fine. People always found something they cared about more in the long run anyway.
I looked over at Caleb. His skin was ashen, with beads of sweat forming on his brow. His appearance, along with the fact that he kept swallowing and checking his watch, made it pretty obvious that he was nervous. “Dude, you better get it together or she’s going to figure out something’s up,” I whispered.
“I know, I’m trying,” he whispered back.
Just then my cell beeped.
Me: Be down in a sec
“Em’s here. I gotta go.”
Caleb looked up, taking deep breaths. “Okay, the bags are behind the couch.”
“Got it, I’ll see you when you get there.” I got up and started to move to the door, stopping in front of him. “Remember… calm the fuck down.”
Caleb nodded once. I was worried about how he was handling the pressure. Grabbing the bags, I walked out to Emily’s waiting car.