The puffy light gray clouds covered the azure sky with blue pockets poking out. The field was diamond shaped with emerald green grass and a dirt triangle with a curved side facing to the outfield. There was a nice wind that combated the sun blazing through the clouds, often winning. The birds tweeted their songs and the smell of spring sprung in February.
Nine boys in baseball uniforms took the field in different positions. They wore green and white uniforms with some dirt stains. The boy in the middle of the triangle winded up for the pitch and threw a fastball at catcher’s glove. The boy, wearing red and black, swung, missing the ball with his bat.
“STRIKE THREE! YOU’RE OUT!” announces the umpire. The boy looked down in shame as he went back to the dugout that smelled of sweat and deodorant.
The boy’s team said nothing to him. They didn’t have to. The boy was already feeling awful. ‘Why did my dad even sign me on to this stupid sport.’ He thought. The boy never liked baseball, whether that means watching or playing. He’d rather cook with his mother and sister, and do indoor activities. He often plays house with his little sister among a multitude of other games they play. Since his father decided that the boy should participate in a sport and do ‘manly’ activities. The cooking and playing became scarce.
The boy’s team lost that match, one to five. A brutal loss for everyone on the team, the coach lectured them on their performance taking glances at the boy throughout, and the team dispersed.
The boy knew what waited for him as he climbed into his father’s cherry red truck, brand new. The knot in his stomach tightens. The father hopped into the vehicle several moments later.
At first, the car was silent as they drove the way to their home. “Son,” The boy shudders for he hated this word. “I want you to know that I’m disappointed in you today.” The boy didn’t speak up; instead, he stares out the window. He’s always disappointed in him. The boy can never truly satisfy his father, so he gave up. Instead, he just goes into his happy place. A place filled with cooking, femininity, and his baby sister. “You wanna know what your coach told me?” His father’s voice began to rise as his southern draw becomes more apparent. The boy was silent, as normal. “Your coach told me that all you do at practice is watch the others practice. Not even trying to practice. You even put flowers in your hair. Why, why do you do that?” The boy stayed silent. The father’s voice softens, “Tell me please.”
The boy felt that it was time to do this. All his life he’s felt this way and tonight, tonight was when he put emotions to words. The boy opened his mouth as his raspy voice said quietly, “I’m not a boy.”
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