At Any Cost | Book One of Exafortespent

By Alma Azura Celia All Rights Reserved ©

Action / Drama

Forty Two: The Match

And here we are now, in Beverly High baseball field, so freaking ready to win this match we have today.

No.

I’m not ready yet.

Never.

Because I only practiced for this match for a few days for god’s sake! I can’t do this. I need a lot more time. I need to practice more. But what can I do? There’s no turning back now. I have to do this. I already agreed to this.

Our team play first as the offense, and now I have to prove Matthew I can do a Home run to win the freaking bet I just made with him myself that is one of the stupid things I have done in life.

Why am I even making that stupid deal that just so impossible for me to win? If I lose the bet, then my chance on getting information from him for the agency would be less likely and I have to work my ass even more to get those information.

This is must be Colton’s fault. He’s the one who suggested me doing this shit. And his idea got and stuck into my mind for a really long time and it’s in the beginning to ruin my life now for the rest of my life.

Brandon go first as the batter, with blue helmet on his head and a bat in his hand, he walks into the field confidently. A smile appears on his face when he sees me staring at him. I grin at him and giving him a thumbs up very excitedly, and feel embarrassed of myself when he turns his body and continue to walk to the home base.

Why am I even doing that? That is so weird for other people to look at. People must be looking at me with cringe on their faces though they only take a little glance my way.

He stands on the home plate, turns out that he’s a left-handed batter. How can I didn't know that? He stands there, looking serious and ready as ever as he waits for the pitcher to throw the first ball.

The pitcher throw the ball and Brandon just stand there still, not swinging the bat or even move his bat for a bit. The ball hits the catcher's glove hard until a loud thump can be heard by me, and it looks so easy to catch the ball despite the speed of the ball is thrown.

“Ball!”

Oh, thank god it’s a ball. How can Brandon even know if the ball would be a ball or it could be a strike and could be hit by him? I can’t tell any differences between them. And that means I’m sucks at batting.

The pitcher get himself ready again after he catches the ball from the catcher. He swings his hand and the ball comes flying towards Brandon and he quickly swing his bat. The ball hit by him and now cut through the wind that's blowing hard.

The ball falls to the ground in the outfield and Brandon keeps running fast as the the center fielder grab the ball and throw it to the second baseman. Brandon steps on the second base and make it before the ball gets into the second baseman’s glove. The boys, the coach, the kids from our school and I cheering at him.

Nick is the second batter. He walks to the home plate and standing there in a ready position. His eyes focused to the pitcher as he narrows his eyes, preventing bright light of sun disrupting his vision, and he keeps his bat up and ready to hit any ball that would come flying to him.

The pitcher throws the ball with his full strength and Nick quickly hit it and the ball goes fast, but not too far as Brandon’s hit. Brandon run quickly to the third base and Nick to the first base. The second baseman throws the ball to the third baseman and his foot no longer on the third base when he takes a few steps to catch the ball.

Brandon step his foot on the third base, and the third baseman run into him when he tries to run back to the base before him, and Brandon fall to the ground. The baseman give him a hand for Brandon and he takes it and stands back to his feet.

Now is Matthew’s turn. He walks to the home plate, look like he owns the place as he looks at me, giving me the stare ‘I will win this deal’ with the smug look on his face that make me scowl at him and bet he would fall, face-planting the dirt field.

He stands on the home plate and ready himself. The ball thrown off the pitcher’s hand and he swings his bat fast. And he misses the ball.

“Strike one!”

My lips turn into a smug smile as I see the scowl on his face from where I'm standing. He gets himself ready again, looking at the pitcher with a scowl. I laugh quietly at him, feeling a little satisfied by what I just saw, the expression on his face that was so freaking annoying now turns into anger. I averted my gaze and look at the pitcher. He stands there, face looking amused by his throw that make Matthew gets a strike.

The pitcher gets himself ready again. He stands there for a few seconds, deciding on how to throw the ball, I think, and throws the ball fast. Matthew quickly swing his bat and the ball goes to the catcher gloves.

“Strike two!” His scowl gets even deeper as he lets out a huff, his shoulder slumps a little in defeat. He nods to himself a little as he stares at the ground and hold his bat upright, getting himself ready once again.

He focused his eyes on the pitcher, and the pitcher throws the ball fast as before, and Matthew swings his bat and the ball makes contact with the bat. The ball flies out the field fast, my eyes trained on the ball and then I realize it.

It's a home run!

Brandon and Nick run quickly to the home base as Matthew runs quickly through all of the bases in a speed that I guess I can’t follow up.

Brandon, Nick, and Matthew step their foots on the home base, and our team now get a total 3 points, thanks to Matthew freaking Williams.

“Hey, Ashley! It’s your turn!” I snap out of my thought and close my mouth that was gaping like fish that needs water, an turn to look at coach with wide open eyes.

He didn’t say I would be the fourth in the batting order! I would be the eighth batter! He sworn.

“But- I- I can’t.” I stutter, uneasiness begin to swarm up my body, making me slightly trembling as I keep my eyes trained at Coach's brown eyes in panic and silently pleading to him to just get the other take the turn.

“But you already agreed yesterday. Now go grab your bat and go hit a ball!” He yells, encouraging me with a bright smile plastered onto his face.

What?! I’ve never agreed to be the fourth batter. I agreed to be the eighth batter. But what can I do? I don’t want to make him to be mad at me. I want to make him proud, So, I guess I have no other choice for now.

“Y-Yes, coach.“I stutter and put on my helmet shakily. I take a deep breath and walk into the field, heart beating fast against my chest like I have been running for a mile or more quickly and with no rest, and my body trembling even more.

I take the bat that laying on the ground and hold it with my heartbeat fastens. I can even hear it beating loudly in my ear clearly, blocking every other sounds around me, like the cheering, the boys calling out my name again and again as they encouraging me. I gulp my own saliva, feeling my mouth and throat dry, and take in a deep breath. I let it out and focused myself on the pitcher’s hand.

The pitcher throws the ball and I quickly turn away when I see the ball flying toward me. The ball hit my thigh and a little wince and hiss comes out from me as I keep rubbing my throbbing thigh and I bet it a bruise already formed on my thigh at the second the ball hit me. I look up at him and shoot him an angry glare at him. He looks at me, shock he just did that. Well maybe that’s just a fake expression he put on his face.

“What the heck?!” I yell, still glaring at him as I keep my hand rubbing on my aching thigh.

“Sorry! I didn’t mean it.” He yells back, the look on his face showing me that he is genuinely guilty, sorry, and really worried. I sigh, calming myself down, and get myself ready again, though my thigh still throbbing.

The pitcher get himself ready again, still look sorry by the little accident, and throw the ball fast. I quickly swing my bat, hoping I would hit something, and doesn’t feel anything hit my bat.

“Strike one!”

Oh god. 2 more strike left and I’m done.

I get myself ready again. I take in a deep breath again, and let it out slowly, trying to get myself calm, but it seems like it didn’t work out well with me. It only make me even more panicky knowing that I only have 2 chances left!

The pitcher throws the ball quickly and I swing my bat quickly, feeling it hit the ball. I quickly run to the first base, almost get myself out when the first baseman got the ball and step his foot after me step onto the base. I let out a sigh get myself ready for a run.

Brodie walks to the home plate and get himself ready. The pitcher throws the ball and Brodie quickly hit it. He runs to the first base and I quickly run to the second base.

The second baseman step his foot on the base quicker than me, and I’m out. I look at him for a second, his face look so serious and make me so freaking nervous and frightened, and I look away from him, letting out a defeated sigh, frowning as I walk out of the field, disappointed of my own self. And I bet everyone is. The boys, coach, the kids from my school.

Coach walks toward me and place a hand on my shoulder lightly, make me bring my gaze up and see a little smile already stretched across his face.

“It’s okay, Ashley. You still have three or more chances before the game over. You already do your best. I’m proud you can walk out there and hit the ball. Matthew can’t even hit a ball at all in his first game.” I laugh at it, feel myself a little bit entertained and proud of myself because of it. I didn’t thought he would be like that in his first game. If that’s so, that mean I can be much more better than him in the future.

“Oh, and your thigh? Is it hurt?” He asks, seems to be worry of me in a sudden. I rub my thigh again and wince quietly. “Yeah, it’s hurting a little.” I frown. “But I can hold the pain until the end of the game.” I say quickly.

“Good. Now sit and wait with others.”

“Yes, coach.” I smile.

I walk to the boys, some of them talk with each other while some of them just watch the match seriously. The seat next to Brandon is empty and I sit next to him. His head lifts up and his gaze meets mine within a second and he smiles. I smile at him for a second and sit, looking down at my now dirty hand, frowning.

“Hey, what’s with the frown?” His voice fills with sadness and sympathy towards me, and it only make the frown on my face goes deeper.

“I’m out before I can even make a score.”

“At least you already hit a ball and try to make a score. Don’t worry, you’ll do better in the next inning.” He says, trying to encourage me with the words. And it’s safe to say that he’s true. There’s still 6 and half inning left until the game over.

“Okay. Thanks for the words.” I stare at him and a smile shows on my face.

“No problem.” He smiles at me and pat my shoulder lightly.

I let out a sigh, bringing my attention back to the field and look at Oliver, already standing on the home plate with his eyes fixed on the pitcher. The pitcher throws the ball and Oliver hits it effortlessly and the ball flies across the field.

The whistle gets blown by the referee, before Oliver even get himself to the first base. All of the players go and take a little rest. I drink some water and take my gloves and cap. I put the cap on and walk to the first base as I put the glove on. I stand there on my ready position and focus myself back to the game.

Matthew throws the ball fast and the batter hit the ball and the ball flies up high. Brandon, who is the right fielder, throw the ball at me and I quickly catch it and step my left foot onto the first base, but the base runner already step his foot quicker than me on the base. I sigh and throw the ball at Matthew who’s already waiting for the ball. He catches the ball effortlessly and go back to his position.

This is going to be one of the exhausting times of my life.

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