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The Ball Boy By: Lucas Boulderguard

Description: Devastated by the death of his father, an artist with a secret life struggles to find his way back to “normal”. When a rising baseball star arrives at his door, an unlikely romance simmers between them, but a cowboy coach, with major league ambitions of his own, will stop at nothing to keep them apart. Tempers flare as their deepest secrets are unearthed and the two must choose between chasing their dreams or embracing their newfound love.

Random Deliveries After my dad died, packages showed up at our house for months afterward. Little trinkets he had ordered. Tools. Fishing gear. Lawn furniture. Things no one knew to cancel. 

My days passed in a haze of depression and prescription drug abuse. The accident that killed my father nearly stole my right arm. After the surgeries, the pins, the clamps, the needles, I persisted in a Percocet bubble with a cold glaucoma glaze over the world. Doctors weren”t sure if they were keeping me alive or killing me slowly.  Most days I spent just trying to prove to myself that I was still alive, but then the doorbell would ring.

New deliveries brought mixed feelings. Whenever the doorbell rang and I saw delivery man standing there, it felt like Dad was smiling down on me. I”d open the box to find something very dad-like inside and it made me feel like he was still there with me. Inevitably a guilty hangover effect followed. Fishing poles I didn”t know how to string. Lawn furniture I didn”t know how to assemble. Hunting gear I”d never use. It all made me feel that dad never had a real son and that he was somehow disappointed in me. Did Dad know what a piece of shit I was? Had he known that all along and merely lacked conviction to say it aloud?

Once guilt grabbed hold of me, I shoved Dad”s deliveries into a closet or the garage. I”d go back to my magazines or trying to teach myself to paint left-handed. I”d try to push thoughts of Dad far from my mind.

One afternoon in April, a motorcycle growled in front of the house. I waited for the rider to move on, but the motor idled and died. A kickstand scraped bursa escort against the driveway. I raised my head, tearing myself away from my canvass of blobs and streaks. Waited and listened. Footsteps approached the house. The porch creaked.

I moved toward the window as the doorbell rang. Peeked through the curtains and a little chord played in my thoughts. Quiet piano music played beneath a weeping cello as a ray of sun shown through the clouds.

“The hell?” I said aloud.

In the white glare of afternoon sunlight, stood a guy about my age, a shade of nineteen. His shaggy blond hair danced on the breeze and his baseball shirt, unbuttoned to his navel. Tight jeans and a duffel bag slung over one shoulder.

The artist in me saw the form and function in him right away.  Hoisting man-sized shoulders above a boy’s narrow waist, his body became a lesson in geometry and geography all in one. Lines, edges, slope, the angle of a collar bone, the curvature of his pecks, gentle valleys, and stomach ridges.

If I had a type, he was it. He was the kind of guy who always made me do a double-take when he passed; the kind of guy I secretly watched in my rear-view mirror; and sometimes, when I was alone, I”d touch myself thinking about a guy like him. Of course, no one needed to come right and out and tell me that it was a fantasy. Guys like him didn”t go for sissies and drag queens. They went for—well, girls.

Despite his motorcycle parked in our driveway and his half-buttoned shirt, I couldn”t help thinking that he was selling something. In my Percocet haze, it hadn”t occurred to me that no one makes sales calls in jeans that are tight enough for you to count the wrinkles in his cock.

I stared at him with assumed permission–the way you assume a bra-less woman in a tight t-shirt once you to stare at her tits. Thick and slightly curled. It slipped down the left leg of his jeans. His balls hung down the other leg and bulged beneath the faded denim.

I”m not sure how long I zoned out. Mouth gaped open. Heart thumping. My own cobra peeking its head up from slumber. He glanced up at the window and bursa escort bayan our eyes met. Dazzling blue marbles and one of those smiles they put on toothpaste boxes. He made a cowboy nod at me, like waving “hello” without using his hands.

“Shit” slipped out of my mouth. He caught me in the act of mentally undressing him. I tore my hands from the curtains and they fell shut in front of me. I shuffled toward the door, feeling obligated to at least acknowledge his visit. 

His Stetson cologne wafted through the door as I opened it. I leaned out and he cut me in half with a glance. Something about his dreamy eyes made me feel that he can see into my soul. Could see all of my secrets. All of my guilt. All of my pain. But would he judge me for them? 

I waited for him to speak, but he just stood there with a confused expression on his face.

“Uh… can I help you?” I finally asked.

“I”m Caleb Cardova.” I detected a slight drawl in his voice as he extended his left hand.

“Hi, I”m… Gage.” I took his hand and the warmth of his skin overthrew any doubts I harbored. His strength seeped into me the way a cobra”s spits is venom on you before it strikes. My mind went to work with his touch right away. What his hand would feel like if it slid up my arm. What his hand would feel like if it cradled my neck. What his hand would feel like if it caressed my cheek…

“So is your dad home?” He asked as he pulled his hand from mine.

“Huh?”  I stepped back. Scowled at him.

“Your dad. Is he home?”

“Uh, no. No. No, he”s… Are you selling something?” 

His cheeks grew red. “Uh, no, I”m… from the Thunder Hawks. I”m…”

I stared at him blankly. Mouth gaped. If Caleb knew my father, he obviously hadn”t heard what happened. “Dad”s…” My eyes filled with tears. I looked away from him and paused out for a moment.

“We met back at sign-up,” Caleb said. “Did he tell you I was coming?”

I raised my eyes to Caleb again. Blinked away tears. It dawned on me that Caleb was yet another of my dad”s unannounced deliveries.

“Hey, you alright, man?” Caleb asked.

“I”m fine.” escort bursa I sniffled, holding the door open for him. “Just allergies. Come on in.”

He stepped into the foyer and glanced up the staircase. “Nice place.”

I bit my lip, trying to put the pieces together on the fly. Vaguely, I remember Dad spit-balling the idea of us being a Host Family. Host families work a lot like student exchange programs, but you host a minor league ball player instead of a foreign exchange student.  Somewhere along the line Dad”s “why don”t we?” became a “yes, we will.” And either Mom never knew about it, or it slipped her mind when everything fell apart on us.

Rugged, masculine, handsome. Dad would”ve really like Caleb. “Welcome home.” I said.

“Thanks.”

He glanced at my sling. “Hey, what happened to your arm?”

I could tell he was just making conversation. Trying to get to know me. He obviously didn”t know, so he went…there.

“Um…” My eyes watered. “Me and my dad were in a car accident a while back.” I looked away from him. Stared out the window.

“What about your dad? Did he get banged up too?”

I turned away from him. My shoulders shuddered. A sob rose from my chest.

“Hey…” is all he could say.

“Dad”s dead.”

“Oh shit! Gage, I”m sorry.  I didn”t…Shit, Gage!” He wrapped his arms around me in an awkward backwards hug. Pressed  his cheek against my shoulder. His hands pressed against my chest. And between my sobs, I remember thinking. Yes, like this. This is how I want you to hold me, but without the tears next time.

We stood in the foyer longer than I cared to count. Swaying back and forth. Caleb, the stranger, holding me. “I”m okay,” I finally said, but I wasn”t okay; I was merely at place where I could get by with another round of pills. 

He let go of me. I reached down and grabbed his bag—his duffel bag.

“What are ya doing?” He asked.

I glanced at him and saw for the first time that a tear ran down his cheek as well. “Showing you to your room,” I said.

“Look, Gage… Coach didn”t know about your dad, or… he never would have sent me here. I should go.”

I shook my head. “No…”

Caleb appeared so lost. Out of his element.

“Stay,” I finally said. “Dad would have wanted you to stay.”

“But your mom?”

“She wants you to stay too.” pot/

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