Chapter 4:

Baseball Blues

The Lonely Lovers Club

“Geez it's hot today,” said Ginko. He fanned himself with a disorganized wad of classwork assignments. The other club members sat in the bleachers around him, also making poor attempts to cool themselves off. Among them sat another girl with short blonde hair, but the heat did not bother her as much. Her eyes were fixated on the book in her hands.

“I don’t know why, but I expected the stadium would have a little shade,” said Sandra.

“Maybe if they built a pool next to the field we wouldn’t be the only ones here too,” said Ginko.

“Stay focused on the mission, friends,” said Willie. He laid on his back with his eyes closed. Willie was not focused on any mission other than swatting bugs away from his sweaty forehead.

“Hey here they come,” said Maria. She turned toward the blonde-haired girl as the school baseball players ran onto the field. “Which one is he, Chelsea?”

The blonde girl, Chelsea, placed her book beside her and looked onto the field. She searched then pointed. “That one there. Number nine. That’s Brad.”

Brad ran to right field, in front of the bleachers. He looked more like a teacher than a student compared to most of the players. Chelsea, now standing against the fence, shifted her weight back and forth as he ran closer.

“Wow,” said Sandra. “I see why you like him.”

“Hey,” said Ginko. “You have a perfectly fine man right here in front of you.”

“Of course, baby,” she said, waving him off as she kept watching Brad in the outfield.

Chelsea overcame her captivation and turned to the group. “So you think you can help?”

“I don’t know about this one, Chelsea,” said Sandra before anyone else could respond.

“Hey,” said Willie. “There is always a way when it comes to true love. Of course we can help you, Chelsea.”

“Why wouldn’t we help?” Ginko asked Sandra.

“He’s one of the most popular guys in school,” she said. “A bunch of girls have already thrown themselves at him. Every girl is after him.”

“I don’t like how you say that,” said Ginko, concerned about his girlfriend's opinion. “But I think Chelsea and Brad would make a cute couple.”

Maria joined in, “I think it would be cute as well, but considering you hardly speak with him it may be hard to win his attention when there are so many other girls in his life.”

“Of course we can make it work,” said Willie. “Chelsea. You are lonely and you are in love. This is our specialty. We will help bring you and Brad together no matter the odds.”

Chelsea’s face brightened up with Willie’s comment. There was no doubt in his mind that Willie couldn’t bring these two together. This is a classic lovers tale, and one with a happy ending.

“Hold your horses there,” said Sandra. “That’s great you want to help, but didn’t you hear Chelsea? They don’t ever talk together. He probably hardly notices her.” Sandra looked over to Chelsea whose white knuckles were clutching the fence. “No offence.”

“Don’t overthink this, Sandra,” said Willie.

“I think you’re underthinking this.”

“Chelsea,” said Willie, ignoring his friend. “You said you had a class together?”

“Yes. Pre-calculus.”

“Well it's time to start talking to him in class. That’s step one.”

“Oh okay,” Chelsea said shyly. “I’m not sure what I could talk about.”

“To make it easy,” said Maria, “you can talk about pre-calculus. You can ask about the homework. Or maybe ask for some help.”

“But I don’t need any help in pre-calculus.”

“Oh boy,” said Sandra.

“Well that was just an example,” said Maria. “Pre-calculus is something you have in common, so you can always talk about that.”

Chelsea thought about the suggestion. “I guess I have always wondered about the applied uses for derivatives.”

“How about we talk about something other than precalculus,” suggested Ginko. “What else do you have in common?”

“You can talk about this baseball game,” said Maria. “You were here so you can talk about how well the team played.”

“But the game just started,” said Chelsea. “I don’t know if he played well or not yet.”

“Okay, right,” said Maria in a soothing voice. “But when you want someone to like you, it's best to give them compliments. So for Brad, you could tell him he did a great job, even if he didn’t. It will make him feel good.”

“Make him feel good,” Chelsea thought to herself. A smile came across her face. “Yeah okay. I would like that.”

“Perfect,” said Willie. “Just pay attention to the game today and that can fuel your conversation with him.”

They all sat and focused on the game as the sun continued to beat down. This plan was taking a slow approach, but it would be most effective when considering a guy as popular as Brad.

With a loud CLINK, a batter hit the ball high into the air, headed in Brad’s direction. He dashed to the right. He stuck a hand up to shield the sun from his eyes and the ball landed in his open glove.

The Lonely Lovers Club cheered for their team and clapped, but Chelsea just watched. “So what just happened, exactly?”

“I guess you don’t know the rules of baseball?” asked Ginko.

“No,” said Chelsea, eyeing the book she was holding earlier. “I’ve always been more into reading than sports.”

“That might make your conversation about baseball a little bit harder,” said Sandra.

Chelsea looked down to her feet. If she couldn’t talk about baseball then there was not much she could talk to Brad about at all.

“It’s no sweat,” said Ginko, wiping the beads dripping down his forehead. “Just tell him that he had a great catch in the first inning. That’s all there is to it.”

“Hold on,” said Chelsea. She went over to her backpack laying on the bleachers. She pulled out a notebook and pen. She began taking notes. “Good catch in the first inning. Got it.”

“Don’t overthink it.,” said Maria, resting a hand on Chelsea’s notes. “Any interaction you have should be casual. Just remember he had a great catch. There’s no need to write anything down.”

Chelsea thought about this and let it sink in. “I understand, but I think I’d like to take notes anyways.”

The game went on until the sun started to set. They watched the players round the bases and tally up the score, all while Chelsea took diligent notes. Throughout the game, the Lonely Lovers Club did their best to explain the rules and suggest speaking points for Chelsea. Eventually the game ended and the players all shook hands.

“I think you’ve got more than enough,” said Willie. “When do you have precalculus next?”

“11:30 tomorrow,” said Chelsea.

“Perfect. Then you can speak with Brad tomorrow in class.”

“I don’t know if I’m ready,” said Chelsea. She stared at the notebook in her hand reading over the plays and rules. “I don’t know this well enough yet.”

“There’s no need to stress,” said Ginko. “Just review those tonight. Study it just like you would an exam. Then there’s no doubt you’ll be prepared.”

“Just like my exams,” Chelsea whispered. “Great. I’ll make flashcards.”

“Not what I would do, but I suppose that works,” said Sandra.

The sunset lit up the sky and the baseball players began walking off the field. Their confrontation was complete. Now it was time for Chelsea’s confrontation.

“You have everything you need, Chelsea,” said Willie. “Tomorrow, you’ll be speaking with Brad.”


Willie and Ginko hugged the wall outside of a pre-calculus classroom. Classes were just about to switch periods. They didn’t want to be seen leaving early.

“Is this the right room?” asked Ginko.

“Hold on,” replied Willie. “Let me check.”

Willie peaked cautiously through the classroom door’s window. A teacher stood at the front pointing at the chalkboard. Willie gazed at the crowd of students. Most dozed off or daydreamed while a few were taking notes. After scanning the faces Willie spotted Chelsea.

“Oh yeah, this is the right class.”

The bell rang, signaling the end of the period.

“Look natural,” said Willie. He turned away from the classroom and faced Ginko. The doors of the classroom burst open behind him as students rushed out. Once the traffic through the doorway was clear, Ginko and Willie poked their heads into the classroom. A few students were still packing their books into their bags, including Chelsea and Brad.

“Here we go,” said Ginko.

Chelsea stood up and grabbed her bag. She went over to Brad and stopped. She looked pale. Was it the fluorescent lights? She took a deep breath, then stepped in front of Brad’s desk.

“T-that was a great game you had yesterday, Brad.”

He looked at Chelsea. He seemed confused at first, but smiled. “Thanks. It was a real nail biter.”

Chelsea returned the smile, now perked up by his response. “Yeah. That catch you had in the first ending was great.”

“Ha yeah,” he said. “Thanks.”

Another boy at the front of the classroom stood up from his desk. “Brad. You coming?” the boy asked.

Brad looked over. “Yeah.” Brad stood up and walked over to the boy, leaving Chelsea behind. Once Brad and the boy were away from Chelsea, Brad leaned over to his friend and whispered, “do you remember what that girl’s name is?”

“No idea,” he responded. “She’s one of those smart girls. Get’s an A on like every exam.”

The two boys walked out the door past Ginko and Willie, who doing their best to act casual about their eavesdropping. Brad’s friend continued talking on the way out, “Hey, are you going to Jaime’s pool party tomorrow?”

The two boy’s walked further away. Willie and Ginko waited for Chelsea. Slow as a snail, she made her way to the doorway, stopping before the Lonely Lovers.

“I guess that was good,” said Ginko.

“Yeah, uh,” said Chelsea. “Okay I guess.”

“Shake it off,” said Ginko. “Slow and steady wins the race. Right, Willie?”

But Willie wasn’t really paying attention. His mind was a step ahead. No. Three steps ahead. He was predicting every different scenario of Chelsea’s love life. Though unlike Chelsea at the moment, Willie wasn’t depressed. He smiled.

“What was so good about that?” asked Ginko.

“Didn’t you hear what Brad was talking about?” asked Willie. It was a perfect opportunity. Brad was not in the mood to be social during school, but he certainly would be over the weekend.

“Grab your bathing suits,” said Willie. “We’re going swimming!”

Taylor Victoria
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