10 Years:Time for Love Book 5(3)

By: Bethany Lopez

“Yeah?” I asked. I played baseball every day at recess, unless it was raining.

She nodded again.

“Do you play baseball?” I asked hopefully.

“No,” she replied, and I tried to hide my disappointment so she wouldn’t feel bad. “I like to take pictures though.” The way she said it, almost in a whisper, made me think it was a secret.

“Cool,” I said. Even though I’d never taken pictures before, so I had no idea if it was actually cool or not. “I bet we’ll be seeing each other a lot more now. I like to hang out with the guys.” I nodded over to the teenagers. I wanted her to know that I was one of them.

“I come out with Gaby and her friends sometimes, but I’ve never met those boys before today,” Gwen said, looking at the group that were now standing in a circle and laughing about something. She looked kind of nervous.

“You don’t have to worry about those guys, they’re cool. And I don’t mean they act cool when parents are around and stuff, they’re cool all the time. They take me to the go-karts and stuff sometimes. Do you like go-karts? You should come.”

“Okay,” she replied with a smile, and I could tell she was probably pretty shy.

“Maybe we can hang out at school sometime. Have lunch,” I said, then I warned, “Not at recess, unless it’s raining. I gotta play baseball during recess.”

“Why?” she asked curiously.

“Because I want to be the best,” I admitted with a grin. “I’m going to play in school, get a scholarship to USC, then go pro.”


“Yeah,” I replied. “So I gotta practice whenever I can… But we can still have lunch and stuff.”

“Are you sure?” she asked. “I’m sure you have friends that you sit with.”

I looked at my brother, smiling, his arm around his new girlfriends shoulder, and I could tell he liked her. A lot. That meant our group of friends had just gotten bigger, to include the girls. And if my brother thought it was cool to hang with girls, then I did too.

“You’re my friend too, okay?” I asked. She looked up at me, eyes wide, so I continued. “You don’t have to be afraid to come up to me at school, or sit with me at lunch. Anything you need, I got you.”

Gwen smiled sweetly at me, so I took her hand in mine and started pumping my legs. She did the same, and soon we were swinging high, laughing as our stomachs dipped with each descent. We kept our hands locked, and I knew deep down that I’d just made a friend for life.

I had no idea how much she was going to mean to me, and how close I’d come to losing her forever.

Chapter Two ~ Gwen

(10 years old)

I sat, watching my favorite bench under a large tree on the outskirts of the playground. My long blonde hair hung over my face. I liked to think it was like a shield, hiding me from the other kids on the playground. It wasn’t that the other kids paid much attention to me in the first place, but I did whatever I could to make sure it stayed that way.

It always made me nervous, the way girls acted, all loud and giggly, and the way the boys ran around, joking and yelling with each other. I didn’t understand the need to be the center of attention, and I worked very hard not to be.

Craig wasn’t like the other boys in our grade, I thought as I watched him throwing a baseball toward another kid holding a bat. Craig wasn’t loud or obnoxious. He wasn’t always running around yelling, or hitting other kids; he was quiet. Focused.

In Nike shorts and a shirt that said Throwin’ Smoke, he was the most handsome boy I’d ever seen. His brown hair was in need of a cut, and he was a head taller than the kids he was talking to, but his smile… Wow! It made my tummy flutter and I finally realized why the girls in my class went gaga over those boy bands they loved so much.

I’d seen him around school a few times since the day we officially met at the park, but I hadn’t worked up the nerve to talk to him yet. I spent my time during recess at my bench, either reading or taking pictures.

My sister, Gabby, had given me a camera for my birthday this year. It wasn’t fancy or anything, but it was digital, and I could download the pictures on our computer at home, right after I took them.

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