Alex always wanted to play catch with his father. They never did for several reasons, one of which being that his father was always so busy and another being that Alex didn’t have any experience playing baseball.
That didn’t matter in his opinion. He knew plenty of boys that weren’t on the baseball team that played catch with their fathers. He wanted to be like them, even just for a moment. He’d be happy with just five minutes of tossing a ball back and forth.
Trailing his fingers along the wall, Alex stepped inside of his father’s home office. He could hear the scritch scratch of a pencil working on paper.
“Dad?” Alex asked, breaking his father’s concentration.
“Yes?” his father replied, swiveling around in his big leather office chair to turn towards the door.
“Could we play catch?” Alex asked, hope rising in his voice.
“Alex, we’ve already talked about this.”
“Please! Please, I’ll do my best!” Alex pleaded. His father was silent for a long moment. This wasn’t the first time his son had asked to play catch and was probably not going to be the last. Sighing, his father stood up from his seat.
“All right, I’ll grab my glove.”
Alex was thrilled. He couldn’t believe he was actually going to get to play catch with his father just like all the neighbor boys did. A few minutes later, the two were stepping out into the backyard, Alex tripping over himself in his excitement.
His father grabbed him by the shoulder with a firm hand and led him over to a spot in the grass. He fitted his glove into place and passed the ball from hand to hand. He stepped away from Alex and, just a couple of yards away, he turned to face his son.
“All right, ready?” his father said, holding the ball in his gloveless hand.
“Ready,” Alex chirped.
“All right, here it comes,” his father said before winding his hand back and underhand tossing the baseball to his son. Alex was so excited. The ball was coming right for him. A smile spread across his face from ear to ear.
Then, the ball beamed Alex in the forehead.
He went down like a ton of bricks, holding his head as he began to cry. His father hurried over and knelt down, taking the boy into his arms.
“It’s all right, champ,” he whispered to his son as he cried. “Most boys that play catch with their dads can see.”