The Ball Game

Each of the three women was intently focused. Eyes followed the ball at all times, they strafed left or right accordingly, and limbs were precisely extended to hit the ball towards the next person. Kayley hit the ball to Steph with a fluid swing of her wrist. Steph stepped forward and directed it to Nicole. The ball flew down too low for Nicole to reach it with her hands, but she was able to bounce it up with her knee, before slapping it back towards Kayley.

Laurie was upstairs, in the process of putting her toddler to bed. “Alright Lincoln, time to go to sleep. Lie down, close your eyes…” His head rested on the pillow for a moment, until the sound of loud laughter drifted up through the floorboards from below, and he was sitting straight up again, insisting, “No sleep! Go play!” Laurie sighed, reminded her son one last time that it was bedtime, and to entertain no further argument, turned off the lights and closed the door.

“What are you guys doing?” Laurie demanded when she came back down. Her three friends were standing in her living room, Steph had her head thrown back, Kayley was nearly doubled over, both in laughter, while Nicole was precariously balancing on one foot, body stretched out, arm fully extended, as the pink balloon slowly floated just out of reach to the ground. “I have failed,” she stated dramatically.

“Oh, so you’ve all been acting like five year olds playing keep up with a balloon just when my son is upset that he has to go to bed, eh?” Laurie huffed in mock indignation, before picking up the balloon herself and joining in the game.


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