Bobby Metsa was different. It wasn’t the fact that he was tall and lanky. It wasn’t the fact that he was uncoordinated. Maybe it was the fact he didn’t talk much about boy things, but that wasn’t it either. There was something deeper that made him different. Everyone sensed there was something different about the fourteen year old, but no one could identify what it was. Well, no one except for his great grandmother. She knew from a young age what made Bobby different, but she wasn’t talking.
Bobby did typical boy things. He tried hard at sports. He played baseball. Well played is not quite the right word, participated is more accurate. Bobby’s on field career was short. Because of his height, Coach tried Bobby at first. However, no matter how much Coach worked with Bobby on how to position his feet on how to stretch his body towards the ball Bobby would stand with both feet on the bag and at the last make a stab at the ball with his glove. Needless to say, he missed more throws than he caught.
Next Coach tried Bobby at right field where Bobby had some success. On fly balls, Bobby would run up then back, his feet stumbling as he positioned himself for the ball and somehow more often than not he would make the catch. But when he had to make the throw back to the infield, the ball could end up in the opposing team’s dugout, could hit the fence behind the catcher or could end up in the stands. You just never knew. Coach and Bobby finally agreed that the best position for Bobby was to keep the bench clean and to organize the bats between innings. It was safer for everyone.
Bobby knew he was different, that he just quite didn’t quite fit in and most of the time he accepted that fact. It was what it was. At times though, it weighed on him. He wondered why he couldn’t be more like the other boys, be better at sports, be more of a boy so to speak. His teammates accepted him. At least they seemed to accept him, but Bobby was aware that at times he was left out, left out of a get together at someone’s house, left out of a joke, left out when just hanging out. Bobby was a green strawberry amongst a crate of red juicy berries. He was one, but not one.