Meanwhile, in the lower section above the first base dugout sat Faith and Gary. As Cal Ripken had come to the plate, Faith had started to rummage through her purse in order to find enough singles to buy each of them one last beer. Ah, but the winds of fate are fickle and precocious. If Cal Ripken’s timing had been a bit better, if Jacob had not been able to hang on to the stinging fly ball, had the beer vendor come but a few minutes earlier, had Gary not been eyeing the giant screen in order to point out egregious fashion faux pas to Faith, the world as they eventually came to know it, the life to which they became accustomed without ever thinking of how it almost never came to be, all of this simply would not have existed, for better or for worse.
Because Faith had, in fact, written Jacob off. As it was, however, Gary grabbed her thin, bony arm and pointed excitedly. “Hey, isn’t that your boy from the bar up there?”
At first only casually interested, she looked up and noted, “Yes, I think it is.”
Then she saw the unsolicited gesture, and something awoke inside of her like the bright blooms of spring coming to life. She knew that her first impression had been right.
“Maybe he’s not a douche bag after all,” said Gary.
That night, when Jacob got home, there were two messages waiting for him on the answering machine. The first was from Faith. It said, “Hi. This is Faith from Woody’s before the game tonight. I saw you on the big screen giving that ball to the boy behind you. That might be the sweetest thing I have seen from another person in a long time. Call me. I don’t want to sound like a freak or anything, but I think…I think I might have fallen for you at that moment. Well, anyway, call me, ok? Ok, bye.”
The second message was also from her, “Oh, um, I’m sorry, but the number I gave you after your friend called me a ‘fag hag’- yeah, that was a fake number. My real number is…”