Muse – The Path of Love

Baito Maiba had been trying to talk with her the entire night. He managed to brave a dance that she thankfully accepted, but each and every time he tried to start up a conversation someone would interrupt them. By the time the night was winding down he finally managed to catch up to her. Abe had called her ‘Miss Antisocial’ and he still did not know her name. Stepping to her side he allowed his eyes to fix toward the direction she was intently gazing. If she knew he was there she had not acknowledged him right away. He struggled with starting up a conversation, a first for him. Eventually she spoke in a quieted voice, “Thank you for the dance.”

He nervously smiled, “Thank you for accepting.” Normally he had no difficulties at all finding the words and he thought that the most appropriate thing would be to finally introduce himself, “I’m Baito.”

“I know.”

Laughing nervously, “That is right, Abe said my name earlier.”

When she turned, Baito found himself holding his breath as he looked upon her. It would be a moment before she would respond, “Actually, I’ve seen you play. How is your arm?”

Just as quickly as the words left her mouth she turned back to gaze upon the people standing near the pool. He stepped to her side, not daring to look at her, even though he desperately wanted to. Out of the corner of his eye he could see her tucking her hair behind her ear, “Seen that game did you?” Baito sighed noticeably after all it was not his finest moment, “It is tough sometimes playing two positions. Sadoo is a great pitcher, but if for any reason he has to return to the dugout I get to step up to the mound. I always thought it would be a knee injury from someone sliding into second while trying to stop a double play. Never considered I would break my humerus bone throwing a pitch.”

“I was worried for you. Playing a full nine innings is hard enough without dividing your time between positions. One more fastball and that game would have been yours. When that pitch went wild…” She paused a moment, “The pain must have been excruciating.”

Baito had managed to avoid talking about that game even with is teammates. Months of healing and rehabilitation he was finally able to return to the team and the game he loved, only for him to break his arm again in the same location, “Do you like baseball, you seem to know a lot about it?”

As he waited for her response, he turned and leaned himself against the railing. It was silly, having just met her, but Baito wanted to look upon those lovely features. “I play actually, center-field at Sofore.”

That explained it. The girls hardball team at Sofore was quite something, considered the best in the nation and there was plenty of speculation that had they been a male team they would have won nationals consecutively. Not to mention, she played the third hardest position right behind catcher and shortstop. Center-fielders had the most ground to cover and had to compensate for the other outfielders lack of range. To be great at the position, you had to have speed and an amazing arm because most of their throws were from the deepest part of the ballpark. His jaw went slack, “Wait, you are the cannon arm girl.”

Noticeably she sighed, “That happened once and it was a complete fluke. It would not have even been necessary had the play not been botched.”

“How can you say that? You threw a ninty-seven miles per hour throw over 300 feet to the catcher from center-field. Don’t be modest that was amazing.”

“That is very kind of you to say, it was really nothing.”

Nothing, she had said so modestly and Baito shook is head. There was no point in arguing the opposite because she seemed dead set on not accepting the compliment which made him wonder why. Botched plays happened all the time, people make mistakes. Even he had moments on the field that did not go as he had intended. His lips pursed as he considered that she might be just like him; encouraging those people around her and yet being twice as hard on herself.

Baito heard the noise of people shouting and gathering up their groups to head out. It was clear that the party was breaking up which was frustrating for him because he still did not learn much about her, “Can I … take you home?”

“That is probably not a good idea.”

“Oh, I understand.” He was disappointed. Far more than he expected to be as the two stood quietly staring at each other, “I don’t want to assume or anything, but is it because you are just not interested?”

For a brief moment a subtle smile graced her lips as she stepped closer to him, “Baito, if I let you take me home. The night won’t stop there.”

It took him a moment to realize what she was saying and he nervously laughed as his voice softened to a husky whisper, “I would definitely….definitely, not complain.” He took a breath as his head bowed, it was clear that he was disappointed that the night was coming to an end, “I understand why it would not be a good idea though.”

“How’s your memory?”

“My…” He stared blankly at her, “Pretty good I guess.”

“6297-21-45681,” She said as she turned away, “Nice meeting you, Baito.” Her number, he must have had the goofiest expression upon his face as he watched her walk away and he tried to decide how soon was too soon to call.



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