10 Years:Time for Love Book 5(4)

By: Bethany Lopez

It was the best present I’d ever gotten in my life.

I picked up the camera and looked through the viewfinder, scanning the sky for birds, when I heard a thump, then a shout, and lowered my camera. I watched as the baseball rolled toward me, slowing as it neared, before finally stopping at my foot. Once the ball tapped me, I looked up to see Craig jogging toward me, the happy smile on his face causing a weird sensation to run through me.

Suddenly warm and nervous, I tried to smile back.

“Hi, Gwen,” Craig said as he bent to pick up his baseball. “I’ve been looking for you.”

“You have?” My voice barely above a whisper. I couldn’t believe he’d actually been looking for me.

“Yeah, I thought we were going to sit together at lunch,” he answered, tossing the ball up and catching it in his bare hand.

“Oh, I… ah… didn’t know you really wanted to do that.” I felt silly, stammering like I was nervous, but I was aware of the other boys looking over at us, as they waited for Craig to return with the ball.

“I said I did, didn’t I?’ Craig asked, then looked over his shoulder and said, “I gotta get back, recess is almost over, but wait here and I’ll walk inside after… okay?”

I nodded as he started jogging backward toward the other kids in the field. When he shot me a grin and turned to break out into a run, I lifted my camera and began to shoot. I shot pictures of Craig and the baseball kids until the bell rang, then I gathered my things and waited for Craig to meet up with me.

“Ready?” Craig shouted, and I began walking to meet him. I didn’t want to be late for class.

I fell into step beside him, suddenly unsure of what to say as we followed the herd inside the school.

“Were you taking pictures of us playing?” Craig asked, his question causing me to look up and search his face.

What if he thought it was creepy that I did that? Oh, gosh, I didn’t want him to make fun of me, or think I was a weirdo for taking pictures of him.

“Um, yeah, I took some of you guys,” I replied nervously.

Craig’s grin flashed again and my stomach eased when he said, “Cool! If you have any good action shots of me, can I have ‘em? My mom likes to make scrapbooks and stuff, and she doesn’t have any of me practicing at school. She loves that stuff. Says she wants a record of how I got to the Majors.”

“Sure,” I replied, excited at the thought of my pictures going into Craig’s scrapbook. I would be like a real photographer… “I can email them right to your house, if you give me an email address.”

“Awesome, I’ll find out from my mom and let you know tomorrow.” He stopped and pointed at Ms. Wilson’s door. “Well, this is me, I have science this hour. What do you have?”

“Math,” I replied, moving to the side as some girls pushed passed me, giggling.

“Bummer,” Craig replied. “See ya later, Gwen.”

“Okay,” I said quietly, watching him walk into the classroom, laughing with some guys as he joined them by the desks.

I smiled to myself as I walked to class, but I knew I’d have to keep my crush on Craig a secret. He didn’t look at me that way, so if I wanted to be his friend, I had to pretend that I just liked him as a friend too. And, I couldn’t let Gaby find out, she’d tease me and tell her friends… who would tell the boys and Craig’s brother, and it would get back to him. No, I needed to keep my feelings to myself, and be happy that I get to spend time with him, and get to know him better than the silly girls in class who made fools of themselves whenever they talk to him.

I was gonna be the best friend he ever had.

Chapter Three ~ Craig

Present Day (20 years old)

“C’mon, Liam!” I shouted as I rolled the baseball around in my palm, “Hurry up.”

“Keep your pants on,” my catcher, Liam said as he jogged to his position behind home plate, puling his mask down over his face.

He crouched down and brought his glove out in front of him, indicating he was ready for me to start warming up. I perfected my stance, breathing in deeply and letting my mind clear. I blocked out the sound of the guys warming up behind me, and the fans filing into their seats in anticipation of the scrimmage. When I felt completely and utterly focused, I bent my knee, brought my arms in close, and exhaled as I threw the pitch.

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