This 1,000 word story describes something that could have been. I was actually at that game and it was an amazing game, but for folks who normally watch on NESN, they'll tell you part of the game is listening to our broadcasters laugh and joke through out the game.
My mother is one of those people who believes if you’re too sick to go to school, you’re too sick to watch TV or play video games. All you get to do is lie in bed and sleep or read.
“You’ll recover faster that way,” she says.
She’s wrong. We lie about feeling better because we’re so bored. If you’re sick enough to earn a spot on the couch, then usually it’s because you’re too sick to watch TV or care about video games.
But still, we spend sick days in bed even though we beg, plead and try to frame logical arguments for why we need to watch TV instead. If my mom does let us on the couch to watch TV when we’re sick, it’s because it’s the weekend or we really, really, burning up with a fever moaning in pain because even drinking root beer or ginger ale hurts sick.
This is one of those kind of sick days for me.
Normally, I’d try to be happy at being able to watch TV but my dad had 2 tickets to a day game at Fenway that meant cutting school. Instead, I got the flu.
The flu, in June. Who gets the flu in June?
I do, that’s who. Worst of all my stupid brother got to go to the game instead of me.
The game was supposed to happen in April, but the rain blew in and the game got reschedule for when the Orioles were in town in June. It was a tough sell to mom, but dad pointed out that I worked hard, took the MCAS without complaint. It took a week of begging, but she finally relented saying it was a good present since I’d be moving up to the middle school in the fall.
Then I came home from little league practice, fell down on the couch and wrapped myself in the afghan, curling up in a little ball and falling asleep. My brother said it was funny to watch me whimper and cry.
Did I mention my brother’s a jerk?
He thinks he’s so tough because he’s going to high school in the fall but I will make sure to laugh at him next time he’s so sick he’s on the couch instead of in bed.
“Honey, how are you feeling?”
It was my mom. She had a glass of ginger ale and an ice cream sandwich for me. I tried to shoot her my “go away and die” look, but instead she sat down on the edge of the couch and smoothed my hair off my forehead.
“That good huh?” she said. “I thought you might want an ice cream sandwich to help your throat feel better,” she smiled. “If you want, I can turn on the game for you. Maybe you’ll see your dad and James. I know James made a sign, maybe they’ll show him on TV.”
“Great,” I muttered. “He’s going to the game I’m supposed to go to and he’ll be on TV with a sign.”
“Oh honey, dad will take you to a game this summer.”
“It’s not the same.”
Leaning over and kissing my forehead to check my temperature she pulled back, still smiling. “You never know.”
“I bet it’s the most exciting game of the year and I should be there.”
“Get some sleep, I’ll leave the game on for you.”
As soon as I knew she was in the other room, I quickly ate the ice cream sandwich. The first bite hurt a little going down my tight throat. But the ice cream was cold and good. After that it was a treat to finish the rest of the sandwich before taking a sip of the ginger ale. The bubbles tickled my nose and burned my throat a little before I put my head back down.
I could hear Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy’s voices laughing, there was something comforting about their voices. It was like listening to your best freinds tell inside jokes that only you get and you just don’t have to say a word. I dozed off a little as they talked about the Baltimore line up, the weather and how it was a perfect day to play baseball.
In my sleep I was there. I saw the game. The Sox took the early lead with Youk doubling and Rent-a-wreck and Papi sacrificing him home. Matt Clement pitched like a champion. Every so often I’d sit up, rub my eyes and watch a little before going back sleep to listen Remy and Orsillo. The Sox held on until the 6th when things fell apart and the Orioles took the lead.
Through out the game, I could hear talking about signs. Answering requests to say hi to people stuck at work or school.
Nothing from James though. Sometimes I opened my eyes to look, sometimes I didn’t.
Then, in the bottom of the ninth, with two out and two on, Papi stepped in to the batter’s box. That’s when I heard it, Don Orsillo reading a sign.
“Look at the one Jerry, ‘Hey Remdog and Big O, I’m here because my sister was too sick to come. Tell her to get well soon.’ Well Jerry, what do you say?”
“Well, I say get well soon Sandy. Who knows, maybe Papi will hit a home run for you.” Opening my eyes, I saw the camera on James and the sign before the camera cut back to Big Papi.
They chuckled the way the usually did as Papi swung and missed.
Then it happened.
Papi swung and I knew the second I heard the crack. Sitting up, I could all of Fenway on their feet cheering as the ball traveled out of the park for the walk off home run. I tried to cheer, my throat was still too sore.
I’m sure Papi didn’t know who I was, but in that moment I believed that maybe, just maybe, he hit that home run so I’d feel better.
Between my brother’s sign and Papi’s home run, I was feeling better. While I would have rather have been at the game, being sick on the couch and an exciting win were about as good a get well wish a girl could hope for.