After Jacob cut the grass, Shawn grabbed a ball and bat, and they walked shoulder to shoulder to the field across the street from Jacob’s house. Out of the blue, Shawn’s arm fell around Jacob’s neck.
The field had once been a fairway on the nine-hole public golf course. Yellow and white butterflies exploded from weeds where they stepped. Tall, Y-shaped Bahia seeds gently slapped at their legs.
I’m going to look like an idiot. I should have left you alone. You’re a jock, and I’m a clumsy nerd. This is never going to work.
“You grip a bat like this,” Shawn stepped behind Jacob and wrapped his arms around him, pressing his tummy and waist against Jacob’s body. “Put your hands on top of mine,” said Shawn. He drew the bat around the side of Jacob’s head and rested his chin on Jacob’s left shoulder.
Don’t move away from me. I won’t move a muscle unless you tell me to.
“We’re going in slow motion.”
Take all the time you want.
“Pretend like you’re watching the ball.” Their arms swung with one fluid movement, the bat scuffing the sky then coming to rest poised on the horizon. Jacob felt every second as if it happened frame by frame.
“How did that feel?” asked Shawn, directly into Jacob’s ear.
Like coming home. “I think we need to do it again, just in case,” said Jacob, playing off a shiver as though the warm April breeze gave him a chill.
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