Baseball Great

Baseball Great by Tim Green Read Free Book Online

Book: Baseball Great by Tim Green Read Free Book Online
Authors: Tim Green
his dad’s nerves got struck, you were better off letting things settle down. He took his own dishes to the sink and got his coat.
    Outside, Benji started in on Jaden immediately.
    â€œNice going,” Benji said. “The guy has his life destroyed, and you’re pumping him about Rocky Valentine.”
    â€œDestroyed?” Jaden said.
    â€œIt’s not destroyed ,” Josh said, scowling at Benji as they turned from the driveway onto the sidewalk.
    â€œCrushed?” Benji asked with a shrug.
    â€œHe’s fine,” Josh said. “Rocky Valentine offered him a job.”
    â€œWait a minute,” Jaden said, stopping in her tracks. “What are you two talking about?”
    â€œHis dad got cut, dude,” Benji said.
    â€œHe kind of retired,” Josh said.
    â€œHe’s the best player on that team,” Jaden said. “His batting average is three twenty-one.”
    Josh wrinkled his face, started walking, and said, “Do you have to know everything?”
    Jaden caught up and raised her eyebrows. “I’m just saying.”
    â€œâ€™Cause it’s annoying,” Benji said, hustling up besidethem. “What do you have, like, a photographic memory? Why do you even bother with that stupid pad?”
    â€œI don’t know,” Jaden said.
    â€œRight,” Josh said. “I believe that.”
    â€œSo,” she said, ignoring him, “your dad’s not playing anymore and he’s going to work for Rocky Valentine? What’s he doing?”
    â€œSome kind of VP,” Josh said under his breath, “like sales or something.”
    â€œAnd what was that stuff in your milk?” Jaden asked.
    Josh shrugged. “Some supplement for working out. It’s all natural. Super Stax, in case you want to Google it.”
    â€œI will,” Jaden said, marching along.
    â€œGood,” Josh said.
    â€œGreat,” she said.
    Josh stopped suddenly and grabbed her arm.
    â€œDo you smell that?” he asked.
    â€œWhat? That smoke?” she said.
    â€œCigarette smoke?” Benji asked, his voice quavering.
    Bart Wilson suddenly stepped out from behind the bushes, blocking their path on the sidewalk.
    â€œGoing someplace, punk?”

CHAPTER FOURTEEN
    BART PITCHED HIS CIGARETTE down onto the sidewalk. It rolled, burning, to the edge of the grass, filling the air with its stench.
    â€œThat’s disgusting,” Jaden said.
    Bart narrowed his eyes at her, then said to Josh, “Let’s go, punk. You and me.”
    â€œOh, dude,” Benji said, and he took off down the sidewalk, running back the way they came, the clap of his feet sounding lonely on the empty concrete.
    Josh’s insides melted. He looked from Jaden to the tenth grader and shook his head.
    â€œGet out of here,” Jaden said, taking out her cell phone and beginning to dial. “Before I call the cops.”
    Bart swatted her hand, and the cell phone clattered to the sidewalk.
    â€œWhat are you?” Bart asked with a sneer. “Some kind of African, Asian, Mexican, or something?”
    â€œI’m a human being,” Jaden said, “which is more than you can say, you disgusting animal.”
    Bart laughed at her.
    â€œShe’s the prettiest girl in school,” Josh said, swallowing.
    Bart turned and studied him. “Want to fight about that ?”
    Josh balled up his hands into fists. His heart hammered the inside of his rib cage, and he thought it might explode. He slowly raised his hands.
    â€œGet out of here!” Jaden shouted, stepping between them and putting her face just inches from Bart’s, her voice strong and southern. “You stay here a second longer and I’ll file a police complaint against you for harassment. You touch him or me and I’ll file one for assault. You think you can just do this? You can’t. My dad’s a cop and he’ll hunt you down and throw you in jail so fast you won’t

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