As I was flipping through the pages, I thought I saw a face I recognized. The picture wasn’t really clear. It was a bit blur with little smudges at the corner and damages due to time. However, I look at the picture carefully and tried to recall back my memory about the person. He wore a red cap but I could still see his hair dropping over his shoulders. He had big round eyes and no spectacles. In the picture, he was standing in the middle of a field, his baseball bat by his side and smiling to his ears. He seems very happy. Then I remembered something, which I wish I could forget-about a promise that had to broken.
The atmosphere was hot. Everyone was excited and cheering loudly-clapping and cheering for the home team. I was part of them, supporting for someone from the top bench. Number seven. Next, it was his turn and it was the winning point. Everybody put their hope on him to take the team to glory. Without needed to be told, the crowd went perfectly silent but I know everybody was eager and nervous inside. From the top bench, I could see him clearly, looking very calm and confident but only God knows what was playing inside. Seconds went by and he started to swing his lucky bat. Although this could be history but I don’t dare to look. I closed my eyes but continued whispering prayers so that he could make it. Then suddenly I heard the crowd panicking. I opened my eyes and saw him lying on the ground while holding his shoulders. What happened? But all I saw was him being carried out of the field on the stretcher.
I haven’t seen him for a week. How is he? Is he still overwhelmed by his loss? Nobody actually blame him, nevertheless he could still make it up during the next season. After a couple of days, I saw him at the cafeteria, sitting alone at the far end of the hall, deeply in his thoughts. By the look of him, I know he still blames himself for the team’s loss. He has been sad for over a weekend. I couldn’t bare to see him like that but do I have the strength? The strength to approach him and make him smiles again? However one day, during lunch time, he was sitting on the bench at the lake by himself. I couldn’t help myself but to near him. I didn’t know from where I got the strength but I just went to him. At first, he didn’t notice me. Although I have sat next to him, he still didn’t care. “You want some?”, I started the conversation by offering him an apple. He refused it. “I won’t charge anything, you know…” I tried to be friendly but actually hiding my true feeling. But, he remained silent. His response made my face turn red like the apple in my hands. Then, I joined him to silence. Then I said, “You know what, everybody likes your performance. You’re doing well actually. By the way the current game was nothing. That was your first mistake and maybe the last during your career in baseball, I guess. Don’t feel sad and guilty to meet people. I…” I hadn’t finished my sentence yet. “Enough, thanks for consoling me.” For the first time he said something to me. He looked at his watch and started to leave the bench. “You are welcome, but how about this apple? I’ll be more than glad if you’re willing to take it.” Then, he took it and gave me a smile, and left me alone on the bench.
From that day onwards, we grew closer and closer to each other. I don’t know what’s the apple got that changed him to become my best friend. Every week, I brought him an apple for him to taste. “ How was it? Taste great doesn’t it?” “ Hmm, sweet and gorgeous! Just like you!” he said spontaneously. I guess he was just joking around with me. Gorgeous? Me? Nahh…I wish that it was true but I can’t. I just can’t. Furthermore, he’s my best friend.
We were like best friend forever. In addition, we spent most of our time together- studying, eating lunch and go to baseball games. However, what made me most happy is that his spirit has recovered. Therefore, he is the usual him but a better him. We had a lot of fun together but until that day I received a letter that changed my life forever. Actually, I longed waited for that letter but now it is in my hand. Do I feel happy? It was my dream to further my studies at Princeton University. But am I willing to leave him?
Days went as usual but I was in dilemma whether to tell him or not. The final match is just round the corner, so I just don’t want him to loose concentration. However, I am determined to tell him after the game. So I just acted as nothing had happened, and I promised him to come to the game to support him. But unfortunately, on the morning of the game, my dad called and told to come home. There’s something urgent he said. But how about the game? I had to choose whether to go to the game or go back home. However, I know my priorities. Family comes first, so I made the difficult decision-went back home. Because of the immediate upcoming plan, I didn’t have the chance to inform him about my absence to his game. I promised I will make it up with him. However, God have other plan and so does my dad. He didn’t allow me to go back to school and told me to stay at home and settle some matters regarding my registration to university. I was really frustrated by my dad’s decision but what can I do, he’s all that I have in the whole world. “ I’m sorry” I hope the wind will send my apologies to him. A few days after registration day, my friend from school called me. She said that, he came looking for me after the game. He said he wanted to thank me for giving undying support to him. He won the game. And for me, I was very thrilled for him and I wish I was there. But can we ever return back time? Of course not.
Four months later during my mid semester break, I went back to school looking for him. However, I only got to know that he had moved away. He had an offer to play with Chicago’s baseball team which is the team that everybody dreamed of playing with. In addition, he went there because of me, bringing along his broken heart. And from that day, I have never seen or heard from him again.
I felt somebody touch my hand and suddenly all my memories disappeared. It was my eldest daughter telling me that my youngest son, only seven months had woke up from his sleep and asking for me. I am very happy with my life now surrounded by a loveable family. But his name will always remain in my heart and our memories will always be treasured.
2 days ago