Downstairs in the cafeteria, the Renegades game is on. I glance at the clock and realize that Cooper was here minutes before his game started. He put me first, and I brushed him off as if he were yesterday’s news.
Pulling out one of the chairs, I sit down and focus on the game. The Renegades are already down by five runs, and I can’t help but think this is more karma coming back to bite me in the ass.
Before I know it, the game is over, and they’ve lost, scoring only two runs. While I was watching the game, Cooper never made an appearance at the plate, nor did they show him in the outfield.
I pull out my phone to call him, but seeing his name on my screen twists the knife deeper in my heart. My call goes to voice mail as I suspected it would. It’s stupid to think he’ll call me back after the way I treated him.
I grab something to eat, only to realize that I’m not hungry. Stella is still reading to her, even though my mom is sleeping when I enter. She sets the book down and looks at me quizzically.
“What’d you do?”
“Because you look…funny?”
I sigh heavily and pull my phone out of my pocket to see if Cooper has messaged me.
“I think I made a mistake with Cooper.”
“Duh, but you never listen to me, so why the sudden change of heart?”
I motion for her to follow me over to my cot and fill her in on the baseball game and how Cooper was here right before game time, putting me before his career.
“Ainsley, that man is in love with you.”
I brush her off. He likes me, but love is unlikely. “I don’t believe that for one second.”
“Believe what you want, but no man is going to put a contract worth millions of dollars on the line to go after someone he only likes.”
The thought that he could lose money because of me turns my stomach into knots. I know he’s struggling to fit in and show the organization what he can do. So if I’ve ruined his chances with the team, that’ll make me the biggest bitch in the world.
“I’m trying to fix it,” I tell Stella. “I’ve called him and asked him to call me.”
“Good luck,” she says, and while the sentiment is good, I have a feeling she’s being sarcastic. I wouldn’t be in this position if I had thought before I opened my mouth.
Stella stays for another hour or so, splitting her time between my mother and me. She wishes me luck again before she leaves, and I promise to call her as soon as I hear from Cooper.
As the hours go by, I start to pace, both in my mother’s room and outside of it so I don’t disturb her. My phone hasn’t left my hand since I called him, and I’ve even gone as far as dialing out to make sure it’s still working. Waiting for him to call is making me feel like a teenager again, when I sat by the phone and waited for the phone to ring.
If I were Cooper, I wouldn’t call me back, especially after what I said to him. He doesn’t owe me anything and doesn’t need the stress of my piss-poor attitude.
But I need to talk to him. I need to apologize and let him know how sorry I am for acting the way I did earlier. Even if he doesn’t want to listen to me, I’ll have no choice but to blurt everything out and pray that he’s paying attention to what I’m saying.
As the day turns to night, my hand is starting to cramp from holding onto my phone for so long. I risk another call and pray that he answers.
“Hello?” I pull the phone away from my ear and make sure it says Cooper’s name, because the voice that answered is female.
“Um…is Cooper there?”
“Yeah, hang on,” she says, giggling. The noise in the background indicates that he’s at a party, which means he finally took the guys up on the invite to the bar. I know he’s been telling them no to spend time with me.
“’Sup,” he says into the phone. His voice is loud and somewhat slurred.