The second lie that comes to mind was less dramatic… in fact, it was most anti-climactic. For whatever reason, when I was 13 I chose baseball as my sport. I lived in hockey town Alberta. Most of my friends gravitated toward ice hockey, every winter they exchanged the previous year’s padding and jersey for something better; the only ‘gear’ I had was an ill-fitting jock strap.
One afternoon before a playoff game, my mother took me to my grandmother’s apartment. Grandma Ida lived across the street from the field where I would often play. Mom was working night shifts at the time, and I often ate grandma’s home-made mac and cheese before games.
But this night was a special one. My cousin Josh was in town and his parents were going to drop him off at Grandma Ida’s place so he could see me. Josh was like the brother I never had. He taught me how to blow bubbles with grape flavor Hubba Bubba. He and I sparred and he always won. I idolized him. The last time I had seen him, I cried when his parents drove him away.
And I was excited to see him again! My mom told me that he was going to meet me at grandma’s and I was disappointed not to find him there when I rang her buzzer (#207, if I remember correctly).
She sent me to the park with a promise that as soon as Josh got to her place she would send him over. I sat on the swing set, uncomfortable in my ill-fitting baseball uniform. I swung for about half an hour before he arrived.
I saw him enter my horizon; his blonde hair and big smile betrayed his identity immediately. “Nick! How are you?” He started to run.
Impulse took control. I looked down to the red shale and slowed my swing. I looked at him in a confused way.
“Ummmm. My name isn’t Nick. You must be looking for someone else.”
His excited gesture was immediately exchanged for one more similar to my own ‘confusion’. But then he laughed it off.
“Hahaha… it’s me, Josh. You’re funny. How are you?”
I spit on the ground, acting tough.
“You must have the wrong kid. My name’s Devon. Who are you, some sort of creep?”
His face went red, accentuating a look of confusion mixed with abhorrence. Again he tried.
“Nick, come on. It’s me! Josh! Wanna blow bubbles? I’ve got some gum!”
And something caught. I smiled.
“Yeah. Sorry. What kind?”
“Awesome. Hubba Bubba?”
“Of course! Why did you pretend you weren’t you?”
“I don’t know.”
“Well, here, have a piece, it’s fresh—we can get some great bubbles. When’s your game?7”
“Oh yeah. It’s at 7:30. You wanna come?”
“Of course! I’ve heard you are quite the pitcher!”
“Yeah. I’m alright, I guess.”