Must be beginners luck
I watch my brother hobble around in circles after hitting his foot a second time with the croquet mallet. I try my best to look concerned though I have to admit his over reacting is hilarious.
Gerard takes a deep breath, his jaw jutting out, as he goes at it for a third time. At least he’s not giving up. Let’s hope he figures it out quickly though, there is nothing worse than an angry Gerard, well there’s drunk Gerard but we’ll push him aside for the time being.
Taking another breath, Gee shakes his head to get the hair out of his eyes and tries swinging the mallet again. This time his foot slips off the top of the ball and he ends up falling, face first into the football field. His mallet flies up into the air landing a few feet from him, the croquet ball rolling backwards.
Amber and Frank are laughing hysterically. She glances at me before walking over to help my brother up. She’s so cute and helpful and patient. I think anyone else would have given up on Gee. Not Amber, she helps him up, showing him once again how to properly set up to hit the ball, smiling the whole time. I wonder why she finds spending time with losers like Gerard, Frank, Ray (he arrived a few minutes ago), and me enjoyable. Then again she seems to be happier and more upbeat around us. Amber always looks so depressed when she’s around her fellow cheerleaders.
"Fuck this," Gerard says, as he dusts the grass off his blazer and pants, "I'm never going to understand this shit."
All four of us laugh at him, not because of what he’s saying but because he’s so damn upset about not being that good. No one gets it the first time.
Amber gently pats his back, pulling a few strands off grass out of my brother’s dark hair. The entire time he glowers at her, but I can see the smile in his eyes. This causes me to continue laughing even though everyone else has stopped.
"You think it's so easy, Mikey, you try it," Gerard says putting a hand in his jacket pocket, leaning on his mallet.
Do I really want to do this? Maybe I should have tried harder not to laugh. Well, I’ve gotten myself into this now. I might as well just do it. Glancing over at Amber I take a deep breath and scrunch up my nose. She just smiles, motioning for me to step forward. I guess she has faith in me.
Shrugging I put my foot on top of the ball. Taking a deep breath I manage to hit the ball first try. Granted it doesn’t go very far but I did it and managed to avoid a foot injury. I laugh a little bit, usually I suck at sports.
Frank throws his arms into the air, mallet still in his hand, smiling widely. Amber beams before walking over and hugging me. I hug her back, liking the way she feels in my arms.
“Mikey,” she says excitedly, letting go, (I wish she hadn’t). “You’re a fucking natural!”
I’m still a bit shocked by the good hit, the hug and everything else. All I’m able to do is look at the ball, laying about a foot from me and sniff, pushing my glasses back up my nose. I know I should probably say something but I just can’t find the right words.
"Wow, Mikey," Gerard says, rolling his eyes. “Your enthusiasm is astounding."
Instead of saying anything I just look over at my brother, a bit upset that he isn’t happier for me. I guess that’s just Gerard, he likes to be good at everything and gets upsets when he’s not.
"Beginner's luck; do it again," Gee instructs.
I can’t do any worse than I did the first time. Shrugging, I set up again, hitting the ball with a little bit more force this time. The green ball goes straight through the first metal gate. Ray and Frank clap and I feel Amber’s slender arms around me again…I could get used to that feeling.
Gee looks a little pissed off. Why can’t he be happy for me? Well I guess I can’t ask for everything. I’ll take him not being drunk because at least it’s a start. We can work on the being a good older brother thing later on.
"Fuck this," Gerard says said, flipping the mallet behind him. "I'm done."
The mallet hits the ground with a thunk as Gerard starts to walk off the field. Both Frank and Amber take off after him.
"Oh, come on, man! It takes practice!" Frank yells after him.
“Gerard, come back…please. You’ll get better,” Amber says, a look of dismay clouding her blue eyes.
In response Gee holds up his middle finger long enough for all of us to see. Amber looks hurt yet determined. She’s not going to give up on my brother. It’s almost like she sees something in him that no one else is capable of detecting.
"Find your own ways home, assholes!" he yells, not turning around.
Now Amber just looks pissed off, “You forget I have a car you cunt!” she calls after him.
Rolling her eyes Amber takes the croquet mallet, sets up and hits…the ball rolls half way across the field, missing every single gate.