Sunday, February 8, 2015

Melly and Mischa

Melora Dopler hated her name. Mostly only various older relatives and her teachers called her that anyway. Everyone else called her Melly. Melly lived with her Mom and Dad and her twin brother, Mischa in a town that was crazy about baseball. That was okay with Melly. She loved baseball.

Mischa, on the other hand, didn't like baseball. In fact, he didn't like sports at all. He was more interested in photography. He would much rather have a camera in his hand than a bat or a racket or anything similar. 

Every year in the Dopler's hometown, there was a  great big town picnic for the 4th of July. It was a day filled with food and fun. Everyone loved it. They waited all year for it. One of the highlights of the celebration was a big baseball game. Traditionally, only the boys in the town played  in the game. It was a tradition that Melly thought was stupid. "Why can't I play in the game too?" she protested to anyone who would listen. "I'm a better baseball player than most of the boys in this town." She truly was. She could run faster, hit harder and catch better than almost all of the boys, and on a really good day she was better than the rest of them too.

Still, the townspeople would not break tradition and let her play in the 4th of July game. "Those boys are just jealous because I'm so much better than them." she declared bitterly.

Her brother felt just the opposite. "You're lucky you don't have to play." he told her. He hated to play in the game. His instinct wasn't to catch a ball; it was to run away from it. Every year, he usually faked some injury to get out of playing.

"No, your lucky you get to play." insisted Melly."I wish I was you."

"No, I wish I was you and no one expected me to play." replied her brother. "I am running out of illnesses and injuries to pretend to have. Do you think anyone will believe me if I come up with a sudden case of Rocky Mountain spotted fever?"

"That's it!" exclaimed Melly.

"It was a joke, Melly." her brother informed her.

"No, I don't mean about you getting Rocky Mountain spotted fever." she told him. "I mean about me being you and you being me. Let's trade places."

"How are we going to do that?" asked Mischa.

"Don't worry." Melly assured him.

'Oh no' thought Mischa. Melly's plans didn't always work out that well.

The day of the game of the game Melly dressed in her brother's clothes. She pinned her long brown hair up and tucked it under her cap. She took her earrings out of her ear and wore no jewelry.

Mischa was dressed like Melly. He wore a dress and a big floppy hat. He was not happy about it either and did not see how it was any better than him being forced to play in the game.

"Don't worry." Melly assured him. "You'll never have to play in the game again or wear a dress after this." she promised.

When Melly took the field with the other boys in the town whose side she'd been put on.  Her crush, Shane Leahy moaned in disppointment. "Oh man. Do we have to have him on our team?" When he was told that they would indeed have to have Mischa on their team because every boy in town had a right to play in the game, he shouted practially in Melly's ear. "You do know the object is to catch the ball and not run away from it, Dopler." Melly gaved him an angry look. but didn't talk to him for fear of blowing her cover.

The game started Melly was at her best. She had the most hits and the most runs. The other kids didn't even come close. She even hit the game winning run. When the game was over even Shane came over to congratulate her. "I apologize Dopler." he said sincerely. "I don't know what you've been doing over the past year, but you're actually a good baseball player now. You don't play like a girl at all anymore."

His pronouncement made Melly's blood boil. She threw off her cap and quickly let her hair down. Everyone was stunned. Whereas a minute ago, the field and bleachers had been full of noise, now there was complete silence.  |

Then, one person stood up and applauded and then another and another until the sound of clapping filled the entire stadium. Melly blushed. She didn't do it for glory. She just wanted to play baseball.

When the standing ovation was over, Melly gathered up her things and got ready to go eat. Just than Shane approach her. "You played good, Melly." he told her.

"Good for a girl?" she asked.

"No, just good." he replied.

After that anybody that wanted could play in the 4th of July game. Some girls wanted too, some didn't.  Some of the girls who played were good; some weren't. It was pretty much the same with the boys. Some were good; some weren't. Nobody ever played as well as Melly though.

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