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When You Were Young
Topic Started: Jul 5 2015, 07:51 AM (539 Views)
Yugikun
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First grade. The playground. From what he had been told by the TV at home, this was the only good part of school. He wasn't bound to agree (school was actually pretty interesting to the six year old Ben's mind), but he did believe that this was the best part of it. It was exciting, to him. He was currently on the playground set, and was waiting in line on the flying fox. He loved moving on the thing, but waiting in line for it was boring. In all reality it only tool a couple of seconds to wait but in Ben's mind it was so long and it seemed to be a centrillion (that was a 1 with 303 zeroes, ben had learned that in math class) times longer than the time that he was on the thing. He moved around on the spot. If he moved out of his spot his place in the line was fair game, but he was so bored and he needed something to do, so he decided that moving on the spot was fine, so he did that.

Soon, it became his turn. Once he was at the front of the line, and the person riding it previously jumped off, he bolted. Jumping up, he grabbed the handle swinging and moved forwards. It was like he was actually a bat! Well, a flying fox; but they were basically both the same animal so he was going to call both "bats". It actually felt like he was flying for a bit, going through the air like a bird, no, a plane! He wanted to be able to fly, at one point. He wanted to just grow wings and jump up and soar through the sky; it'd mean that he didn't have to wait in line on the flying fox. Sure, it was never going to happen, but don't tell Ben Fields that, because he was just stubbornly going to turn you that he could and he will when he felt like it.

But sadly, as all things did, the ride came to an end. The flying fox impacted against the other side, and he dropped down, ready to join the other part of the line, but then he saw something at the corner of his eye that made him stop.

He saw another student in his grade holding someone in the kindergarten year by the cuff, pushing him against a wall.

That was not cool.

He, trying to puff himself up and look menacing, stomped his way to the scene. When he was there, he pushed the bully's arm, making him drop the kid.

"Hey, you. Stop that!" He tried lowering his voice a little, showing off his southern accent more. He was going to be a hero among the schoolpeople and he was going to look and sound badass during it. He imagined himself with sunglasses, having them fall onto his head as the bad guys exploded around him.

The bully looked at him, and stood up to his full height. He was about a foot taller than Ben, and he was grinding his fists together.

"Make me." The bully shoved Ben back, causing Ben to nearly fall over. He got his footing, and stood tall though.

"Okay, I will." People started to see what was happening, and started forming a semicircle around them. Ben shoved the bully back, causing him to have to take a step back.

"Hmph," the bully sneered. He raised his fist, and sent it towards Ben.

And Ben blocked it, pushing his hand between the both of them. Ben moved his other hand in time to the other punch, locking them between each other.

It was literally a pushfight. The bully, physically stronger than Ben, should have been able to defeat him easily; but Ben wasn't giving up, and he put all of his musclepower into keeping it even. He looked around.

He saw that the bullied boy wasn't there anymore.

And at that moment, Ben moved his head forward, hitting the bully in the chin. He reeled back, clutching his chin in pain. Ben, before any of the teachers came and saw what he had done, ran off, laughing his ass off.

He heard cheering coming from where the crowd was, he was a hero, the badass that this playground needed.

He was Benjamin Fields, six years old.

And everything was fine.
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A couple years had passed after that. Ben was now at home. It had been a long day at school, and there really wasn’t anything else Ben wanted to do right now other than just sit down and watch TV. Normally today would be a day when Dad would take him out to Diamondback to get some cookies and cream ice cream, but he couldn’t today, apparently he had to do something for work. That sucked. Today was boring and having ice cream at the end of it would have saved it from being boring. Oh well, at least he didn’t have any homework. He’d just watch TV until dinner was ready and then he’d have a bath and then he’d watch a little more TV and then he’d go to bed.

And that was what he was going to do.

He had just gotten home now, and he was doing the things he normally had to do before he could do anything else at home. He had locked the door behind him, he had made his bed, and he had gotten his lunchbox out of his bag and he was putting it on the kitchen table. Then he could watch TV. He wasn’t quite sure what was on but he was sure that it’d be pretty good.

And when he placed the lunchbox on the kitchen box, he noticed something.

He saw his dad, watching TV.

He was bald.

“D-dad!” Ben jumped back a little. Dad’s afro was gone. He knew that his dad was proud of his afro, and to see him bald was a sudden surprise.

“Oh, hey, Ben.” He didn’t seem all that different from usual, greeting him as per usual. He didn’t even seem to notice that all his hair was gone.

“Your… your hair.”

“Oh, this?” Ben’s dad lifted a hand up towards the top of his head, stroking the spot where his hair once was. It seemed a little unsettling, him doing it without any hair being there. “I had to get a haircut for work. Something about new safety regulations for something.”

“You’re bald.” Ben couldn’t believe this. All of his life he knew that his dad had an afro. Now he didn’t. He knew that this was going to be hard to get used to.

John breathed out. “Yeah…” he moved his hand and rubbed his forehead. He sighed, breathing out. “I’m going to miss it.”

Cheering came up from the TV. It seemed to be a football match. Dad watched a lot of TV nowadays. Sometimes he’d just spend the entire day watching TV while Ben was in the backyard practicing his swing. It felt.. odd. His dad used to normally be in the backyard with him, bowling. Now he didn’t. Things had changed, for some reason.

“Dad?”

“Yes?”

“Why are you suddenly… different?” Ben had to ask, it had happened for a few months now.

John tensed up a bit, then relaxed. “It’s nothing, don’t worry. Just a couple of changes I have to go through.”

There was a pause. The two just looked at each other for a bit. Then John spoke up again.

“Wait, was today supposed to be an ice cream day?”

Ben kinda jumped back a little at this. Today was an ice cream day. It was kind of an odd thing to suddenly remember, but Ben nodded. He was correct.

“Eh… I don’t think your mom will mind if we go out to get it now.” He stopped talking, trying to look for the smile that appeared. He found it, although it was a little small. It was there, though. “We’re going to have to take your sister along, though. Deal?”

“Deal.”

And then they both went out to Diamondback, picking up Lana along the way. They had ice-cream, with John asking them how both their days went. They all saw a person at the counter with a ridiculous accent and laughed at him under their breaths. They made bald jokes about their dad. They laughed, sharing time together as a family. Later, they went home, and Ben and his dad watched cartoons together. The day had gone out roughly as Ben had thought would happen, with a small interruption for ice-cream, but it wasn’t like that was a bad thing.

He was Ben Fields, eight years old.

And everything was fine.
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It was a Sunday morning; April 24th, 2005. Ben got up at the same time as usual. 7:15 AM on the dot. He made his cereal, ate it, and then sat down in front of the TV. The time was 7:23 AM, according to the TV. Two minutes early, but that wasn’t a problem. He then watched cartoons. They were pretty disappointing, stuff he had already seen, but he wasn’t watching them for the fun of it, only to pass the time. 9:00, that was when would be able to see Dad. He couldn’t wait for it, and he needed to take his mind off of it somehow, hence the cartoons. Something big and bombastic and AWESOME to distract him from the ticking clock.

Lana then woke up, and came downstairs. Ben got up to make her breakfast, getting the remote and changing the channel so she could watch her shows. The time that flashed on the TV as it changed was 7:54. He got up to the kitchen counter, got out the milk, and did the same song and dance that he did not even an hour earlier. He put it in the microwave, the 7:58 AM being replaced with other numbers as he inputted options into it. 90 seconds, that’s the time she always wanted it at. Warm, but not hot. The beeping of the microwave signals that the 90 seconds are over. Ben opened it, the “END” beeping on the microwave changing to “8:00”.

One hour left.

Ben took his sister's breakfast out of the microwave and gave it to her. She was supposed to have it on the table but his mom wasn’t downstairs yet so sshhhh. With breakfast done, and less than a hour to go, he went upstairs to the bathroom. He took his toothbrush, put this toothpaste (total gum action, or something) on it, and brushed his teeth, trying to count two minutes in his head. One, two, three, four. Some time later, he finished. He wasn’t quite sure if he actually counted too minutes or not but it sure felt like it. He guzzled, spat, and washed his mouth, exiting the bathroom. He considered having a shower in the morning but he had one last night before bed and he wouldn’t have gotten dirty then, so he walked back into his bedroom. The time on his alarm was 8:04 AM. He closed the blinds in his room, enshrouding it in total darkness, and then turned the lights on, covering it in light.

He then tried to pick out clothes. Something that his dad would like to see his son in. He reached for the formal clothes, but he remembered that he had worn that last week so his dad probably wouldn’t be that amazed if he saw it two weeks in a row. He just opted for something colourful instead. Green shirt, jeans, socks, and the new black short shoes that he had bought just yesterday. Yeah, his dad would like to see him in that. He checked himself in the mirror, ruffling his collar, making sure he looked neat and tidy. He didn’t want to look messy in front of his dad, especially since this was the only time in the week he could see him. He then went for his bed, trying to make it as best he could. This wasn’t something that he’d normally do, but today was the day he got to see dad, and he needed to distract himself as much as possible so that the time would go by quickly.

The bed was then made as well as Ben could make it. 8:15.

Fifteen minutes to go until he left, and there was nothing else that Ben could do.

So he sat, in a chair, watching the clock, knowing that as soon as it turned to eight thirty, he was going to rush downstairs and jump into the car. But until then, he had to wait. Forty five agonising minutes, with nothing else left to do. It was like waiting for Santa, in a way. You were in your bed on Christmas Eve, unable to sleep because you were too excited for the day coming ahead. You wanted to go to sleep, so that when you woke up it’d be Christmas already, but there was a tingling feeling in the back of your head hyping you up for the day coming. It was why Ben couldn’t sleep at all last Christmas Eve. It was why he had snuck downstairs in the hope that he could catch Santa putting the presents under the tree. It was why he had found his dad in the dead of night, hurriedly putting presents under the tree in order to surprise his two children.

It was why he had stopped believing in Santa, really. Seeing his dad under the tree kinda killed that belief. He still kept on faking it, since he didn’t want his parents to know and since Lana didn’t know better, but he imagined that Christmas wouldn’t have the same effect on him as it did last year.

But that feeling was definitely how he’d describe his feelings right now. Something special was coming, and he couldn’t wait for it to come. Going to see his dad was a special thing, since it was a reward for his constant good behaviour at school. The deal with mom was that if she didn’t get any calls about him getting in “altercations” with bullies, and if he was a good boy at home, they could go to see his dad. He had done both those things, he had helped out at home, and he didn’t get into any fights. Heck, he had gotten a merit award at his school for good work! Sure, the teacher gave merit awards to half the class that week, but he totally deserved it! He could see it on his bedside table right now, leaning on his lamp in all its brown glory. It was supposed to be bronze, since it was the first merit reward he could have gotten, but he knew that it wasn’t real bronze. It was paper, not metal.

“Bennnnnnnn! It’s time to go!”

He jumped up. That was his mother, telling him to come down. It was almost time to see dad. They would get in the car and by the time they reached the Kingman General Hospital visiting hours would open. Then he’d be able to see his dad. He got off the chair, almost jumping off of it in his excitement, bounding through the room towards the door. He stopped himself before he went outside, though, going back to his bedside table and taking the merit award from the lamp. His dad would love to see it. He then resumed his rush, although he went slowly and steadily down the stairs. He remembered in class learning about safety and how falling down the stairs could kill. So he took the stairs slowly, one step at a time. One, two, one, two. He took the last step down, letting go of the staircase and putting the award in his right hand. His teachers said that he was ambidextrous, which apparently meant that he could use both hands equally. He thought that that was a good thing, it’d make him better at baseball at least. He’d make his opponents think that he was right handed and then WHAM he’d switch holds and hit the ball where they didn’t think it’d go.

His mom was standing by the dining room table, leaning her hand on it. Ben could see that the car keys were under her hand., the spiky part that you stuck in the car was poking out of it. Her hands were shaking, for some reason. They didn’t normally shake, and she seemed normal otherwise. Maybe she was sick? Sick people shouldn’t go to a hospital. Wait, no, she wasn’t sneezing or coughing. He was pretty sure that meant that it’d be okay to go into a hospital. If it wasn’t contagious, it was okay.

“Should I get in the car?” The energy in his voice wasn’t hid at all. He was going to see his dad! He hadn’t been able to see him all week but now he could! It wasn’t as good as being able to see him at home, though. His mom was able to take care of both of them with him away, but it just wasn’t the same. No trips to Diamondback, no going to the playground, no getting driven to school. He hoped that his dad would be able to come back soon. He had to go into hospital because of a work related incident, and he had been in there for around two months now. Two months too long, really. He didn’t doubt it though, he knew that his dad had to rest.

“Hang on, I have to unlock it first,” she said, looking out the window. She shook her head, and went through the table, budging past Ben to get out. He ducked back a little against the wall, feeling both the hard surface of the wall and the softness of her skin as she passed. He figured that he was pretty good at fitting in small gaps, he was small enough, after all. Maybe he could make something out of that. Maybe next time a game of hide and seek happened he could use that and he could totally win. He looked at his mom. She was unlocking the garage door, jiggling the lock with the key. Ben tensed himself in anticipation. He knew that once that door was open he was going to rush to it. He just had to wait for the key to turn, and

But then she stopped. Let go of the key. Let it drop to the floor. Her hands were shaking even more now.

And then he heard a noise come from her throat. It was stifled, not something in English. Ben couldn’t tell what it was, at first. Sounded like laughter, at first. Ben couldn’t really tell the difference between someone laughing and someone crying just by hearing them. He had to see their faces before he could tell.

But this time, he could tell that she was crying immediately, even before the tears came out. Here she was, standing in front of the garage door; key on the floor, crying for what seemed like no reason. This… hadn’t happened before. People don’t cry randomly. They don’t cry without a reason.

“Mommy, why are you crying?” Lana stood behind the kitchen table, confused. Probably thinking the same thing as Ben.

“Listen… I can’t… I can’t…” She was shaking, crying. Ben could see the tears now. But this hadn’t happened before. Why was she crying? She was going to see her husband for the first time in a week, why would she be sad about that?
“He’s dead.”



“Your father’s… dead.”



No.

No.

He took a step back. Another. He could feel the tears coming down his face. She was lying. She had to be. No. No. No. He wasn’t dead. He was fine the week before. He hadn’t heard anything otherwise. Couldn’t be dead. This had to be something. Everything would be okay. They’d go to the hospital now and then he’d be able to see his dad and he could show the award and his dad would smile. He wasn’t dead. She was lying. He was okay last week, and he hadn’t heard anything.

He hadn’t heard anything.

His small steps back turned into leaps as he ran up the stairs, dropping the award on the way up. He didn’t want them to see him crying. He didn’t want them to see him like that. He had to be strong, that was what everyone said, right? He had to be strong so that the others would be as well.

But most of all, he didn’t want to see her face.

He made it up to his room, slamming the door behind him. It echoed through the house, but he didn’t hear it. He took the few steps to his bed, and fell onto his bed, feeling the tears on his face trickle down his cheeks.

His dad was dead.

He couldn’t

He couldn’t

He wasn’t dead. Couldn’t be. She had to be lying. He was fine the week before. She was lying. She would come up now, say that she was just joking or something, and then they’d go and see him. She was lying. Had to be.

But she was lying, it wasn’t a work accide- no no no he wasn’t dead. He wasn’t dead. He wasn’t dead. There was no way it could have happened. There was no way that he would never be able to see someone so important in his life ever again, so he wasn’t dead. That was what he was telling himself. He wasn’t dead because the truth was something he couldn’t process. His mom was lying because he didn’t know how to go through his life with somebody just gone like that. They were going to see him simply because he just wanted everything to the same.

And as he cried on the bed, he still refused to believe. Out of grief, out of stubbornness, and while he didn't realise it at the time, he refused to believe because he didn't know how his life could possibly continue with it changed so much.

He was Ben Fields, eight years old.

And nothing was fine, not anymore. Not after this.
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It had been a while after that. A couple of years, actually. It was April, 2010, the last couple months of middle school. A lot had happened in the past couple of years. He had learnt that it wasn’t a work accident that had killed his dad, it was cancer; his mom had been lying, although not in the way he had hoped. Middle school had followed after that, but too soon. The weight of his father’s death was still on his mind and he had preferred to stay away from other people because of this, not wanting to lose his composure in front of them. He was too old to cry at this point, and he had to be strong. He was a leader, and if he cried, it’d set a bad example to the people he was supposed to lead.

Eventually, he managed to open up. He managed to reaffirm his love of baseball, his hatred of bullies. He had managed to work himself back up, become the Ben Fields from back then that he remembered loving. For the most part, he had recovered. There was no trace of the Ben Fields that had taken over five years ago, and he was all the better for it.

Well, there was almost no trace of the old him. Some days, it came back. Some days, he was reminded. Some days, there was enough of a strain on him that he preferred to not be near other people. They understood, of course. They didn’t know what it was like, but they could thinly grasp at it. They could try to chase the ball, but they could never reach it, they could never really know what it was like for someone important in their life to just be gone like that. But they had an idea, and if Ben asked, they’d leave him alone for a bit. Let him wander the school by himself, letting him wallow in his past, for a bit.

And that was what was happening today. It was April 23rd, 2010. Five years since John Fields died. Ben sat at the end of a park bench, leaning back and looking out at the people playing soccer on the field. He wasn’t going to be here long, his mother was going to quickly finish her duties at the school before taking away him and Lana. It was the anniversary, and every year he went up with his mom and Lana to see the grave and lay new flowers, before going home. He dreaded it. It had stopped being a day to remember his father long ago, instead becoming a test for Ben to see if he could look at the gravestone without tears coming down his face.

He sighed. Oh well, at least he still got a little bit of time off school, for his efforts. He looked out at the soccer field, and took notice at one of the kids managing to kick the ball into the goal. It looked kinda fun, admittedly, but he couldn’t join. He imagined that his mom would come any minute now, he’d be-

He heard something behind him. A thump. Instinctively, he turned his head to see what it was.

It was his sister, being pushed against a wall by two people. One guy, one girl.

He needed no further reason. He stood up from the bench and moved over there, steps fast and hard against the ground. The wall was behind the school’s assembly hall, a place not naturally in a teacher’s sight. Anything could happen back there and they’d be none the wiser. He could see them more clearly now. The girl was holding her down, pressing her arms against the back wall of the hall. The guy was standing off to the side, sniggering at the scene unfolding. They hadn’t seen him yet, but that was going to change. He stopped walking.

“What the fuck do you think you’re doing?”

All eyes turned on him. The two kids looked at him with a look of surprise in their faces, not knowing why he was here. Lana was also surprised, but with a different expression. Relief? Something like that. Ben didn’t really know the words for it, but her eyes told him that she was happy for him to be here.

“Oh… um… we’re not doing anything… It’s none of your business, anyway!” The boy said.

Bullshit.

“You’re holding my sister against a wall. It is my business.” The boy stepped back, again, in surprise. He stammered, a bit, before getting his words out.

“Listen,” he said, far louder than previously. “She ratted on our group, so we’re going to go teach her a lesson, and you’re not going to interfere.” He suddenly moved forward, pushing Ben back. He was stronger than Ben thought he was, and he almost fell, having to take a couple steps back to avoid that. The girl grabbed her sister by the arms, and the boy chuckled a bit, mocking him. Ben quivered a bit. They were actually going to attack his sister. He couldn’t intervene at this point, and there was nothing he could do at this point. He was behind the assembly hall, where the teacher’s couldn’t see or do a thing. Anything could happen.

...Anything could happen.

The punch came out, knocking the boy onto the ground. The girl, surprised by what happened, let go. Ben didn’t waste any time, grabbing his sister’s hand and pulling as he led her out of there. He didn’t look back.

They walked for a bit, in silence. Ben was moving fast, trying to get as far away from the scene as possible. His steps were again, hard and swift against the ground, and the weight of Lana’s hand did not defer him. Eventually, they stopped, letting go of each other’s hands. Ben looked around. They were nearly on the other side of the playground, now. Near an out of bounds area. It was a forest, kind of. Trees had sprouted in a cluster in this corner of the school, although not much farther than that. There was a stump right next to him, grey and bare from age.

He turned around, towards his sister. She was looking away, her eyes towards the ground, the hand he held clutching her wrist. She looked like him in a lot of ways. Same eyes, same skin, same colour hair. The style was different, though. All her hair parted to the left side of her head, and went down to her upper back. It wasn’t really in a style that Ben particularly liked, but it was her choice, he had no right over the way she wanted to look. Besides, that wasn’t what mattered right now. Right now he needed to know why she was about to be attacked.

“So what was happening over there?” Ben said sternly, trying to stare directly into his sister's eyes. She turned her head further away, still looking at the ground. She wasn’t answering him. Why? He was her brother, and he was trying to help her.

“Listen, if I didn’t intervene, you would have been beaten up, so I’d like to know why they were going to do that, if that’s okay.” Still no response. He tried again.

“Look, I’m only trying to help, okay? So if you could please tell me what was happening that’d be fucking fantastic.” He could suddenly hear the irritation in his voice come out. He shuddered, snapped back. That wasn’t how he should talk to his sister. She was the only other person who knew what it felt like. Both of their fathers were dead. Both of their mothers were liars. If he lost her, then he’d be all alone. That couldn’t happen.

“Um, sorry...” he sighed. “Are you okay?”

She finally responded, turning her head around and stroking her hand through it. “Yeah,” she said quietly, smiling. It always felt nice when she did that. He always knew that she was being honest when she smiled. She was his sister, after all, and with his duty as an older brother, there was something he had to do.

“Listen, um…”

“Yeah?”

“If there’s anything happening on your end, just tell me about it and I won’t hesitate to help out, okay?”

She nodded, the smile on her face becoming slightly larger. “Okay, I will.”

Ben also nodded, smiling. “We should probably head off to the staffroom now, meet up with Mom. She’ll probably finish marking soon.”

“Right. Let’s go?”

“Let’s go.”
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Skip ahead a couple years, to March 14th, 2014. A lot of things had happened since middle school, although nothing had really changed for the most part. He was still Ben Fields, he still lived in a house with his mother and sister, and he still went to school in Kingman, Arizona. High school came, of course, but that didn’t bring anything new. He still played baseball, hated bullies, did well in class, and practiced his acting on the side. That was how he liked it, though. If he were given the power to change one part of his life forever, he didn’t really knew what he would pick.

Well, no, actually. There was something he’d change, if given the ability to. His dad. If he had the ability to bring him back, no matter what the price was, he’d do it in a heartbeat. Things just… weren’t the same after it happened. Before, things were perfect. He’d go to school, learn, and go back to two parents who loved him and made sure that every day was as fun as possible. After that though, everything changed. The man who Ben had spent every day of his life around had suddenly disappeared, never to be seen again. Everything had suddenly been placed on him, and now it felt like he was the one in charge of things at the house. He just kinda wished that the responsibility wasn’t on him all the time; wished that his dad would come back, from wherever he was. Then things would be perfect. Just like the old times.

Well, that would be nice, but that wasn’t what he should be thinking about right now. Ben put his attention back on the present. He was at Sumac Park, more specifically, the baseball diamond. The Cochise Coyotes were playing against a team from another school, and it had come down to the final inning. His team had lost the coin flip, and were batting last. They managed to make up for lost points though, and they managed to tie it up. Eight home runs each, and Ben was the last person up to bat. He wasn’t sure why; someone on the team suggested that they split the more powerful players between each other and they decided to go with it.

He was the last person up to bat and he was the only one who could break the tie and win his team the game. It kinda felt like some clichéd climax of a story. He chuckled a little bit. There were probably people in a movie theater watching him intently, wondering if he was going to win it for his team. Hell, he’d watch it. The plot didn’t seem too bad, and he heard that the lead was a pretty good actor.

He stepped up to the plate, and picked the bat up off the ground. He swung it in his hands a little, trying to get a hold onto the weight of the thing. It was heavy: heavier than the wooden bats that they used to practice, and he didn’t want to lose the game because he didn’t hold the bat strong enough. After a bit, he put himself in the position; holding the bat to the right of him, and using his right hand to swing. He looked out at the field. Most of the opposing team were gathered onto the side where he imagined that the ball would land. That wasn’t good. If they caught it, then he was out and it’d go to a tiebreaker. He had to end it now. Get a home run to break the tie and win. Problem was, getting a home run with that many people on that side would be hard to do. He checked over to the other side of the field. Nearly empty.

He remembered something that he could do. Back before his father died, an idea had implanted himself in his mind; something that he could do to get a quick run in baseball. The idea came back every few years, and he always entertained it, but he never tried it during practice or during a game. Basically, right now, he could switch the position on his bat where he’d be swinging with his left hand, and it’d land where basically nobody was. It’d totally blindside them and he could get to home run before they could get him, if he did that. Huh, that was actually something he could do. He saw the bowler raise his hand to throw, and Ben tensed. Should he do it? It might work, but…

Nah.

The bowler threw the ball and Ben swung at it using his right hand. He didn’t waste any time, dropping the bat as he bolted to first base. He didn’t even see where the ball went, he just knew that he had to run, and get back home as soon as possible. His foot tapped the first base, and Ben spun as he changed direction, putting his focus on second base. He saw the people on the other team run towards something. Didn’t know what it was, and didn’t care. His focus was only on the second base as he stepped on it, and his focus spun towards the third. He thought he saw the ball hit the ground somewhere behind first base, but he didn’t stop to check. He ran, getting to third base, seeing someone throw the ball at second in the corner of his eye as he turned. Just a short bit left. He ran, harder than he had before, just trying to get to that final plate before he got out.

...And he made it. His foot touched the brown plate and he stopped, letting his body collapse slightly as he breathed in and out, trying to get the exhaustion out of his body. He had made it, he did a home run, but he didn’t know if he had scored or not. He barely payed attention to what was around him when he was running; for all he knew he could have been out immediately without knowing it.

He found out soon enough, though. The cheers of the players around him told him that. Before he had a chance to react, everyone had gathered around him to congratulate him. They had won. Wait, no, he had won. He scored a homerun when the odds were against him and he had won his team the game. He grinned. The movie was ending. The heroes had won and were celebrating. He had done it. He joined in the celebrating, cheering for himself and showing off.

And for a brief moment, everything was just like how it was in the past.

He was Ben Fields, 17 years old.

And in that brief moment, everything was perfect.

((Enterlude, concluded))
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