Chapter 1 ◇ Sawyer
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Red Sox playing the Tigers, and the truth is, I don’t like baseball. Shit, I don’t understand baseball; but Laila—crazy overeager fanatic that she is—couldn’t miss this game, as she claims it is ‘the best one yet.’
Yes, she says so at every game, and I do what I always do. Agree to it, and grin when her eyes light up.
“I need to use the lady’s room, babe. Will be right back, okay?” She leans in to kiss me, and I kiss her back; emotions run through my body as I pat my pocket to make sure the little box is where I put it.
“Okay, but don’t take too long,” I say, “I might stop breathing if I go too long without you.” I wink, and she throws her head back, laughing with embarrassment, even though she knows I’m messing with her.
“Oh my god, babe, stop it! You are too cheesy! I’ll be back before you know it, I promise.” She leaves, and I immediately text my best friend, Calum. He works with the camera team and is helping me out, making sure we are in the spotlight when I go down on one knee and ask the love of my life to agree to spend the rest of our lives together.
“Twenty bucks says Detroit loses this one.”
I look to my left, and yes, the guy next to me was indeed talking to me. “Detroit?” I ask him, wondering what on earth is he talking about.
“Eh...yes...Detroit. The Tigers? The team that has been playing against us for the past, I don’t know....two hours?”
Raising an eyebrow, I stare suspiciously at this character when dumb realization strikes; I’m wearing a Boston jersey. Yeah, I know, I don’t know about baseball, but my girl loves it, so I wear it. Anyway, I hop down of my cloud to answer the dude next to me. The seat on his other side is empty, so I figured he is just trying to make small talk.
“Oh, yes, sorry. I don’t know baseball; my girl loved the jersey, so I bought it. She has a sports column; you might have heard of it. ‘Playing with balls?’” The guy, who was just taking a sip of his drink, spits it out in a loud laugh.
“That’s a very personal question, isn’t it?”
What does he mean? I ask myself, wondering what the guy smoked and, oh shit! Does he think I’m—? “No, dude,” I rush to clarify, “playing with balls is the name of her column; she loves baseball.”
“Yeah, I kind of knew that,” he says with a coy smile. At that moment, Laila returns, and I excuse myself letting the dude know our little chat is over. All I can think of now is her, my future wife. I text Calum again, and he confirms it, in about ten minutes, cameras will be on us, and I’ll be down on one knee as I put the ring on my woman’s finger.
“I thought I lost you there; you were gone for quite long.”
“Oh yeah, sorry, my boss called to ask about the game.” She sounds nervous, too nervous, “Hey, it’s all good!” She says as I stare at her, wondering if she knows what’s about to happen. If she is just as excited as I am. Is that why she is nervous?
Sitting back down, she takes her phone out. I glance at it, and the name on the screen catches my attention, Michael. His co-worker’s name wouldn’t be such a problem if his text weren’t a selfie—a selfie of him biting Laila’s neck while her eyes are closed. The background seems like a bathroom, and yes, she is wearing the same outfit she currently has on.
Realization travels my brain; pain travels my chest. This can’t be happening, but it is. All caught up in my thoughts, I notice too late that the camera is on us. This is it; this is where I ask the love of my life to marry me. To...marry me? Am I going to ask her, after seeing her fooling around with another guy?
“Babe?” She asks with a smile noticing the camera as well. The gaze of thousands of people on us, including my earlier conversation buddy, and my stomach lurches. The kiss cam. The damn kiss cam I’ve been waiting for.
I look at Laila—she is grinning in ignorance, not knowing I saw what I shouldn’t have. I look to my left at the dude whose name I don’t remember. Did we even exchange names at all? Not caring about anything but the pain in my soul, all I want is to make her feel the same hurt I’m feeling and the same humiliation. So, not having full control of my brain, I smile at Laila, then look to my left once again.
I reach up to cup the dude’s face, and before I even make sense of it all, before he even realizes I’m coming at him, I’m kissing the guy.
I’m kissing a guy!