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After forever, p.15
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       After Forever, p.15

           Krystal George
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  Bottles arrived at the hardware store by four o’clock as requested. The bell above the door jingled when he entered.

  Mr. Myers had a box packed on the counter. It contained the signed baseball, the album of photos and the other stuff that was on display.

  “Would you carry that to my car, Bottles? I have something else to get. Just put it in the back seat.”

  “Sure thing.” The boy slid the box in the car and went back inside. He did not see his cousins standing across the street watching.

  Jimmy nudged his brother. They went over to the car and looked inside. Opening the door, they removed the photos out of the album and took them along with the signed baseball. They closed the door and looked around. No one saw them. They casually walked towards the stadium.

  Inside, Mr. Myers waited with a box for Bottles. “Here.”

  “What’s this?”

  “Open it.”

  The boy took the lid off the box. “What is it?”

  “You don’t expect to be a bat boy wearing jeans, do you?”

  “A bat boy? Me?” His eyes opened wide. “I’m going to be a bat boy for the Raccoons?” He hugged the man and started crying. “No one ever did anything so nice for me. I don’t know how to thank you.”

  “You can thank me by having fun. You deserve it, Bottles. Do you want to leave your bike here?”

  Bottles sobered. “I have to be home before my aunt is.”

  “Okay. You ride over to the stadium and I’ll take the uniform and meet you there.”

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