Mark found his old ball glove in a box in his mom’s attic. It was still in good shape, preserved by years of disuse.

He couldn’t remember the last time he’d even used the thing. Maybe eleven – twelve years ago? That misguided attempt to play in the church softball league in high school. He’d lost track of it since then.

His dad got it for him. It was a special order from Rawlings with closed webbing, ideal for a pitcher. That was back when he was still playing pee-wee league. It had been dad’s idea. He’d insisted even though Mark showed no interest, nor aptitude for the sport.

Eventually he quit.

Not in a dramatic huff or well reasoned talk about not liking baseball. He just didn’t sign up. Months later when his dad asked why Mark wasn’t playing, he simply shrugged and said he’d forgotten.

His dad still wanted to play catch.

Mark grumbled. “Why does it matter if I have a good follow through?”

He usually became bored and his dad usually became frustrated, and they both walked away not wanting to talk to one another.

In college, Mark started following one of the local minor league games, mostly because Clara went. She loved the game and he was willing to sit through nine innings of baseball just to get the chance to talk with her. They kept going to games when they started dating and got engaged, but Mark never shared his new love for the sport with his dad.

Now his dad was gone. Looking at his glove, Mark wished for one more chance to play. He wouldn’t mind his dad’s correction on his throwing form. Or maybe he wouldn’t have any advice this time. Maybe they could just throw the ball back and forth and talk about life for hours.

He knew a few friends used to play baseball. Maybe they’d be up for it.

Maybe one day when his boys were older, they’d want to learn about baseball and play catch. Mark could get them get them their own gloves, the they could all play catch together and – but what if they didn’t want to play? What if didn’t like the game like he did and get bored with it? What if he got frustrated with them?

Like his dad did.

Mark shoved the glove back in the box and closed it.

Meet the Author

Headshot BWAndrew Swearingen is a blogger and aspiring writer, living in the hidden kingdom that is Southern Illinois, where (for his ‘real job’) he works for a Landscaping company. He also finds occasional work as a substitute teacher, serves in his church’s kids’ program, and has on several occasions saved the city from robot invasion.

(One of those isn’t completely true, but we’ll let you guess which one.)

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