Authors: Felicia Lynn
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
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Love’s Learning Curve
Copyright 2016, Felicia Lynn
‘You're known by the company you keep.’ – English Proverb
Harper Sloan has more love, compassion, and generosity flowing through her blood than most could ever hope for. She's funny, kind and humble. I see her support and dedication to her family, her friends and the community, and I’m in awe of her ability to accomplish so much in a normal day (I’m not convinced there aren’t more hours in her day, yet). She’s an advocate and a cheerleader for many, and she makes a difference in the world in big ways. I couldn’t be happier or more proud to be ‘in her company’ and call her my best friend.
This book is dedicated to my cuddle hating best friend.
Harper Sloan, you'll never fully understand the impact you have on others. You're more genuine and amazing than you'll ever give yourself credit for, but don't worry, I'll always be here to remind you of it.
*FYI* I'll also still remind you that you're still insane as often as necessary and when you look like crap or are having a bitchy day, I'll make sure you know it. What would you ever do without me?
Little Miss ~ Sugarland
I’m A Mess ~ Ed Sheeran
Define Me ~ Brett Young (Katie Ohh)
I Met A Girl ~ Sam Hunt
FLY ~ Maddie & Tae
Don’t Let Me Let You Down ~ Jamie Lawson
Almost Home ~ Alex & Sierra
One More Chance ~ Ira Wolf
Don’t Worry About Me ~ Frances
Sad ~ Maroon 5
Distance ~ Christina Perri
Breathe Again ~ Sara Bareilles
Poison & Wine ~ Civil Wars
You Got Me ~ Gavin DeGraw
Runnin’ ~ Gabrielle Taryn & Joshua David Evans
Out of the Darkness ~ Erin Willett
Little Do You Know ~ Alex & Sierra
Chariot ~ Jacob Lee
(4 years prior)
Sitting in the chair in front of Coach Jacobs’ desk is nerve-racking, to say the least. I clasp my sweaty palms together and hold tight before realizing how tense I appear. I release them and place the palms of my hands on my knees out of his direct sight. I don’t want him to know how nervous this impromptu meeting is making me feel. I have no idea what I’ve done.
The door closes, and he strolls casually into the room. He doesn’t look mad, but I can see he’s feeling some pressure. Coach Matthew Jacobs has been a big part of my life for a few years now. He coached the All-Star team I played on before high school when I became his star player, or so he says. We have a history, and I always thought it was a good one. He has never called me to his office on an off day before, so maybe I shouldn’t be so sure of myself here.
He sits behind the desk and dissects my posture before speaking, which only amplifies my tension. His eyes go to my shoulders then back to my face. Jacobs is a good man. He’s older, probably pushing close to fifty, and his life is all about baseball. His entire family—wife, daughter, and two sons—breathe the sport with him. Passion doesn’t begin to describe his devotion to the game.
For the past four years, he and his wife, Leslie, have treated me like their own kid even though I don’t live under their roof. Their kids are all younger than I am and look up to me. I take that responsibility seriously and have always worked hard to be a good role model and give them positive footsteps to follow. It was the least I could do for this man sitting in front of me who’s gone above and beyond his duties to do right by me. Even now, if he’s found something deserving of a reprimand, I’ll respect him and work my ass off to make it right. I want to make him proud.
His face softens before he speaks. “Ty, relax. This isn’t bad stuff, son. We need to talk so I can give you the heads-up on what’s been brewing.”
Hearing those words, I fall against the hard back of the chair with a sigh of relief. He chuckles lightly at my response while he peers over his large callused hands tented in front of him. His elbows are resting on the desk as if he were praying. I don’t doubt he is praying, actually. I know he’s a God-fearing man.
“Good things are happening. I’ve been getting some calls. I wanted the privacy to talk with you and see where your head is. That’s why I called you in today while the office would be empty.” He looks at me proudly as he speaks. “I knew you’d be scouted when the time came. I knew it when I first met you over four years ago. Well, that time has come. You’re going to have options. Matter of fact, you have some of the best damn options I’ve seen yet, but that doesn’t mean you’re a shoo-in. Got me?” he asks.
I nod my head, even though I’m not positive that I do ‘
I kill myself to do what I do every season and while training during the off-season. I do it right and to the best of my ability every time. I’m not sure I have any more to give, if what I’m doing isn’t enough, but knowing him, he has a plan. I know he has my best interests at heart. He’s proved that time and time again.
He slides a piece of paper in front of me. I take the spreadsheet and look at the list of colleges with the coaches’ contact information who have all expressed interest in having me join their program. Shit. I guess I’m not shocked; we’ve talked about this a few times. But this list is longer than I expected.
It’s the bottom of my junior year of high school. Many people didn’t believe I’d make it this far, but I love nothing more than to be able to prove doubters wrong. It’s among my favorite things in life, all which come after the white ball with red stitching.