Underthrow, 14

At four o’clock the four employees removed their gloves and exchanged goodbyes, exiting into the open air of Elmswood. They behaved, Travis thought, as if all four would return without fanfare for work on Monday morning, but it broke his heart to smile and turn away when Sarah closed her car’s front door.

*

Saturday, the game, Travis’s pass in the air: Miles turns his head to locate the ball. In that moment, although he is barely five foot ten and built like a matchstick, to Travis he looks exactly like Mark Stetson. The grass trips him, Travis thinks, or else the defender steps on the back of Miles’s heel. Either way, Travis watches his friend twist and collapse into the wet dirt.  He hears someone groan. Kyle Samson, one of the varsity team’s receivers, spits into the grass and turns away from Travis and the field. Not this again.

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