I have a sister. It’s not as bad as it seems. First, she is very smart, she goes to a special school on a short bus because she’s so smart. She has long, light brown hair and she is so tall she can see right over my head without standing on tiptoes. Her name is Kathleen. Never, I repeat, never call Kathleen, Kathy. If you were to call Kathleen, Kathy you would get the look followed by silence – trust me, you do not want that. My sister, Kathleen, spends a lot of time alone in her room; no one knows what she does in there. This morning when she came to me with a request it was quite unusual, not the request, but that she spoke to me at all.
“David”, my sister said to me. I looked at her, puzzled and could think of no response. “David, I want to do something outside with you” she said and it didn’t even sound like a trick.
“Okay”, I said.
“What can we do?” she asked with a childlike interest I had never seen before.
“Climb the Hill, catch Polly Wogs, ride bikes?” the last suggestion slipped out before I remembered she does not know how to ride a bike, but it didn’t seem to faze her.
“No”, she was thinking; she really wanted to do this. I was getting just a little excited. “We could play baseball”, she said.
“I’ll get the stuff!” I ran toward my room not giving her time to change her mind. I found the bat and threw it onto the bed. I found one glove and then another, piled them on the bed. I dug in the back of the closet. I crawled under the bed. I scanned the floor from edge to edge. I found nothing round. I dug into each of my four drawers, no ball was found. I went back to where my sister waited knowing I had lost my chance to play with her outside. “I can’t find a ball” I said and looked down at the floor.
“I have a ball”, my sister said like it was the best thing that had ever happened to her. She turned around and ran to her room. I can’t remember ever seeing her run before. She returned with the satisfied expression of a victor. Holding a golf ball out for me to see.
“We can’t play baseball with a golf ball”, I hesitated to admit. “If we hit a golf ball with a baseball bat it will fly for miles. We will never find it again.” I expected her to turn and go back into her room but she surprised me one more time.
“I’ll pitch the ball to you, you can hit first”, she said, like it was something a normal person would say. I had figured I would pitch to her, that I would run and find the ball, that when it came time for me to be at bat she would quit. Her pitching to me first made no since at all. I knew the golf ball was wrong but I had to let my sister pitch the ball to me at least one time. In the history of brothers and sisters this would be epic. I grabbed the gloves and bat. We headed out into the back yard. I marked a home base in the soft dirt. My sister stood about twenty feet away. I stood next the triangle home base and held the bat up above my shoulder; ready to step into her pitch and put every ounce of force at my disposal into my swing. Kathleen wound up and the ball left her hand. A perfect underhand pitch came toward me. The bat smashed the small ball; it was going to go into orbit. But the ball did not achieve orbit. The ball did not make it even to the wooden fence fifty feet away. At first the ball only went twenty feet. The golf ball moving at thousands of miles an hour hit my sister Kathleen in the forehead, right at the top of her head. If the ball had been one inch higher it would have missed her completely. Kathy stood there without moving, without making a sound, but tears started running down her face, two streams of water, one down each cheek. During this time, unbeknownst to us the golf ball climbed higher and higher into the sky until it reached it’s apex. The golf ball paused for a split second and than began it’s journey back to earth. My sister had not moved or made a sound, tears still ran down her face. The golf ball made it’s way almost to the ground. The golf ball would have hit the ground if my sister’s head had not been in the way. Against all odds the ball hit my sister in the center of the top of her head. She found her voice. A howl could be heard throughout the neighborhood as my sister ran for the house. I picked up the golf ball and slipped it into my pocket. I returned the bat and gloves to my bedroom.