5 years later . . .
“That was a strike! Come on ump,” Dad shouted beside me.
I glanced up from my phone and looked at the field in time to see the manager run up to the umpire, get in his face, and start a screaming match. I couldn’t even understand what they were saying, but sitting in the third row I was treated to a series of fuck you’s.
“Finally. Something to spice the game up.” I set my phone down and picked up my beer.
Dad scoffed, but didn’t take his eyes off the commotion on the field. He’d been talking about chasing ballparks for years and after his latest health scare, decided that he needed to scratch items off his bucket list. I was shocked he’d asked me to do this with him, partly because I didn’t know a thing about baseball and also because I could name at least four people off the top of my head that he’d have more fun with while traveling from park to park. I was glad he’d asked me though. Traveling with him meant spending more time with him, which was something I was looking forward to. If I was trying to be the bigger person, I would say it was my fault we’d grown apart, but we’d both shared the burden of it. After years of barely acknowledging each other, I’d shown up on his doorstep, crying because of my failed marriage and dad had taken me in without hesitation.
“Why’d they throw him out?” I watched the manager as he walked off the field, still yelling.
“You’re not allowed to get in the umpire’s face like that,” Dad explained.
“He called a strike on that guy though and it wasn’t one.”
“I’m surprised you caught that.” He raised an eyebrow, shooting a pointed look at my phone. “They should make a no cellphone rule for the first fifteen rows in stadiums.”
I laughed. “No one would come to games.”
“Of course you would think that.” He smiled, shaking his head. “You want another beer?”
I picked up my can and shook it confirming that it was empty. “I can do one more.”
“Two White Oaks please. Keep the change,” he said, exchanging his money for two cans of beer and handing me one. I took a sip.
“Ezra said we could do guava,” I said, bracing myself as I glanced over at him. He took a long sip of his beer, staring out into the ballpark with a thoughtful expression on his face. I held my breath. Finally, after a moment of silence, he met my gaze.
“I know I was against adding different flavors, but I think we can make it a seasonal thing.”
“Oh, thank God. I thought you were going to be mad that I went and spoke to him.”
“On the contrary, I think it’s great that you’re taking such an interest.” He took another sip, looked at the field for another long, silent moment. “I want you to focus your attention on the brew bar though. I know it doesn’t seem like much right now, but I think this can be a big thing later on.”
I nodded in agreement even though I didn’t really agree, but I wasn’t going to open up that can of worms again. Dad had invested in a boutique hotel last year and he wanted me to open up a bar on the property. I loved the idea. I’d come up with it, for crying out loud, but in the last couple of weeks I realized that I wanted to be more involved with the actual company.
“You studied hospitality,” he said, taking my silence for what it was – disagreement.
“This way, you can use both.”
“I have things in the works right now and need your full attention on that.”
“What else do you have in the works?”
He shook his head. “I’ll tell you when I know it’s going to happen.”
“Okay,” I said, even though I hated being in the dark about things.
“How’s the divorce coming along?”
I sighed. “Ask me this time next week. I’m going to an event with Adam on Monday and I plan on talking to him about it then.”
“These things take time. I’m glad you’re finally getting out of there though.”
“Yeah, me too.”
It had been a long time coming and now I was ready to start the process, I kind of wished I could speed it up. I no longer wanted to be attached to Adam’s last name. I no longer wanted to be attached to anything he did, but I knew that regardless of his cooperation, it wouldn’t be that easy. We were considered high profile people, at least he was. I was just a socialite he’d bagged, his literal trophy wife. I’d been groomed for a man like Adam. I’d been taught to sit up, agree, and smile.
I was tired of smiling.
I was done pretending.
It was my turn to live the life I wanted to live.