Cautiously Optimistic

 

She opened her eyes and shot up. She’d been preparing for weeks…months…it might as well have been years, for all she could tell. Time was hard to fathom still at her age. Each week felt like a lifetime. Waiting for Christmas day felt like centuries. But waiting for today, this was worth it.

 

It was finally her turn to pitch.

 

The mound would be hers for as long as she could hold it. And she did not take it lightly. Her main goal: win the game. Her second-but-just-as-if-not-more-important-goal was to strike Bobby Mitchell out. Swinging. Maybe even so hard that he fell over.

 

Mora played little league with the boys. And Bobby Mitchell always made fun of her for it. Unlucky for him, she knew (courtesy of her older brothers) that besting someone is the sweetest revenge.

 

It was a hot one. Out there on the mound, she dreamt of the oranges waiting back at the bench, but refused to reward herself with their juiciness until she did what she came here to do. So far, she was doing it — four innings, seven Ks, two outfield flies, a few rinky hits followed by a pair of double plays, and so forth. Most importantly: zero runs…but still no Bobby.

 

Then she heard it. On deck: Bobby Mitchell. She glanced over. He looked intimidated. Her lip curled into a smirk and her tunnel vision intensified.

 

Ever the practical one, she was cautiously optimistic.

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