Stupid Girl

By: Cindy Miles

“Woohoo!” he hollered into the mic. “Did you hear that? She loves me!”

And with the stands at a low roar, cheering and hollering, I kissed Brax. He kissed me, too. Until the EMS guy had to pull us apart. He, too, was grinning, though.

“Ride with me to the hospital?” Brax said, squeezing my hand.

“Absolutely,” I replied.

Cory had come to stand beside me, towering over me. Brax briefly looked at him. “Win the game, bro,” Brax said.

Cory grinned. “You know we will.”

And with a strength that made relief sweep over me again, Brax gripped my hand, threaded my fingers through his, and I walked alongside his stretcher to the ambulance. My mom, brothers, and Tessa were there, too.

Jace surprised me and leaned over Brax, said something quiet in his ear. When he rose, Jace winked at me, then looked at Brax. “Beastly pitching, man,” he said.

Brax grinned. “Thanks, bro.”

After they loaded Brax into the ambulance, I climbed in and perched beside him. The ambulance started to move, and I grasped his hand. “You scared me to death,” I said. “Don’t ever do that again.”

He couldn’t move his neck because of the brace and, as expressive as he was, I knew it bothered him to keep so still. He squeezed my fingers instead. “I’m in love with you,” he said again. “You’re forever, Sunshine.”

I looked at his unique face, both eyes already growing purple from the hit, and I realized how lucky he was. I was. We both were. My eyes scanned his tattooed forearms. His knuckles, and the letters inked into them. Goin Down.

I was goin down from the second I’d met him.

And I knew I’d found my forever, too.

“I’m in love with you, too, Braxton Jenkins.” Tears filled my eyes. “Forever won’t be nearly long enough.”

“Sweetheart,” he said, his eyes holding mine. “Forever is for fuckin’ sissies. Pardon my French, but let’s go for eternity, yeah?”

I grinned and squeezed his hand. Forevah. Pahdon. I’d made the right choice all right.

And sometimes, what seemed like the stupid choices turned out to be the only choices.

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