The countdown to the end of summer had begun. My life had started manifesting itself in boxes of clothes, books, bedding, and everything else I was going to need to start my new life as college freshman. As the summer days got shorter, I made sure every last minute counted; I was a girl still blinded to the realm of college boys and parties and my summer days and nights were consumed with baseball. Up until this summer I had rarely drank, but sobriety still didn’t stop me from making poor life choices.
My high school girlfriends and I shared an affinity for baseball and succeeding each game, we would gather at the Perkin’s across the street and ogle the opposing teams over muffins and coffee; it was innocent enough until one night my friends Sammy, Shelly, Madison, and Blaine suffered boredom to the extremity. We decided to hotel hop, something our parents and curfews didn’t allow but our newly graduated selves had reveled in the thought of. We arrived at the Hampton Inn and with our luck a few of the baseball boys were sitting outside on the curb. Blaine waltzed up to the pair of them and instigated conversation, and after a few minutes of small talk and the exchanging of numbers, they took us up to their floor in the hotel to meet some of the other boys on their team. Nothing exciting or eventful ensued after we met the rest of the team; we were as amateur to hotel hopping as the boys were to the sport of baseball so we ended up leaving the hotel and giggling our way back to the car reveling in our rebellion.
Thinking our hotel hopping skills were superior to all, Sammy and I decided to try them out on a semi-pro team later that week. The two of us habitually walked over to Perkin’s right as a team of much more older and much more striking baseball players shuffled onto their bus. They held the door open for us as we entered, and I quickly raced in and purchased a rice krispie treat as Sammy hopped into my car. We followed the bus to a hotel up the street from the baseball park and then drove around the block so we wouldn’t look too suspicious. After a few minutes of deliberating, we decided to go back to the hotel and approach the Orem Owlz.
“You look like you could use a midnight snack,” I said, feigning confidence. I handed over the rice krispie treat to a tall, black player on the Orem Owlz team. He smiled and asked for my name and number and in my naiveté I verbalized it while sitting in the front seat of Sammy’s idle car in the shady hotel’s parking lot. We chatted with a couple of men from the team and when I realized the time was quickly approaching my curfew, Sammy and I went home. Orem Owl, as his contact information appeared in my phone, wanted us to come back to the hotel. As if our decisions couldn’t get any dumber, we encouraged the other girls to accompany us to the hotel the following night. They agreed, and we spent the night going room to room and chatting with semi-pro baseball players.
The night of baseball player hunting was by far the craziest night in my lifetime and had almost been forgotten in my mind when I went off to college, until the beginning of first semester when Orem Owl began texting me again. Knowing that I would never have to see him, I had my fun and played around with him, obliging his texts that called me “baby, girlfriend, and mami” (I still don’t know what to make of those names, nor do I know what “mami” means) with coquettish language and teasing. It was only when he offered to fly to the location of my college and rent a hotel room to sleep with me when I realized I needed to cease all forms of communication with anyone associated with the Orem Owlz baseball team. He actually revealed all of these plans to me via text message and was completely serious and intent on making me his destination.
My lesson was learned: That summer was the last time I called anyone a hard hitter or asked them to take me out to the ball game.