The Hitting Zone - BestLightNovel.com
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We arrived at the library just as Zeke was packing up. He listened as Noah told him about Mitch.e.l.l really wanting to catch for the twins. "I just don't see the appeal." Noah finished as we got to the car.
We got in, buckled up, and Zeke started to drive. He also answered Noah's criticism. "You don't get it because you're not a catcher. There has to be some type of synergy between a pitcher and a catcher. Like a mutual understanding. It's not just about giving signs and the pitcher throwing the according pitch. The catcher has to know more about their personality types."
"Ha. I could have told him about their personalities." Noah stated.
Zeke's lips twitched. "Their personality on the mound. Say, if there's a full count, runners on first and second. The catcher has to know what kind of pitch to call for." He paused. "Sometimes, a pitcher's personality will have a different demand for the pitch. Take Dave, for example. He likes to face batters head-on and would like to challenge the batter to try and get a hit off him. Kyle would rather aim for the corners for a strikeout or some kind of double play."
"Which would be better?" I asked, curious as to what way would dominate the other.
Zeke shrugged. "There's no way to tell. It's all about preferences and the different factors that are in play in baseball. You have to know what kind of batter you're facing too. Catchers have the most important job on the team." He grinned. "Keeping the pitcher calm."
Noah laughed. "Hey! I do that too!"
"Yea, but you're more effective on Garret and the others than your own brothers." Zeke pointed out. "You have a habit of getting under the twins' skin, always riling them up."
Noah didn't disagree. "Sometimes they need it. They can be such babies on the mound. I expect better."
Zeke smiled. "Pitchers are fragile. Treat them with care."
We got to the house and went to the kitchen. This time lunch wasn't prepared or even close to being ready.
"I lost track of the time!" Kyle called from the stairs, jogging into the kitchen. "I'll make the sandwiches!"
"I'll cut up some fruit!" Dave came running in too, looking half-asleep.
Zeke frowned as the pair got to work. "You two went back to bed?"
"It's summer break." Dave said, looking guilty. "We just needed some more sleep after such a hard morning workout."
Zeke put his bag down on the table. "Then you should have gone to bed earlier. You two have one responsibility: lunch."
"And we're doing it right now!" Kyle was moving around the kitchen grabbing all the ingredients for making sandwiches. "Didn't you say yesterday something about reinforcing the knowledge you just learned? Why don't you do that for a few minutes?"
"Growing up is a process." Noah told Zeke, repeating his own words back to him. "I told you they can't be trusted."
"We're only a little bit late." Dave came in and laid out some snacks on the table. "Here you go, your highness. Food. Bon appét.i.t!" He went back to help Kyle with the sandwiches.
Noah and I helped ourselves to a bag of chips as the twins finished preparing lunch. They soon filled the table with a few different kind of sandwiches, and bowls of cut up fruit.
"See! Not bad!" Kyle took a seat next to Zeke.
Zeke glanced at him. "You both share one job. If you can't handle one responsibility then I don't know how you'll handle your senior season."
Dave made a face. "How can you compare a barely late lunch to our senior season?"
"Laziness." Zeke replied.
I felt some tension in the air and looked at Noah, worried.
Noah looked at the twins. "Zeke's right. We have to spend most of our summer here. Mom only told you guys to make lunch the days you're here. Very mediocre. She and dad are going to be so disappointed."
Kyle frowned. "We're sorry, okay??"
"Ah! Better! An actual apology." Noah grinned and bit into his sandwich.
"Seriously? We're only fifteen minutes late." Dave pointed out. "Sorry we didn't have lunch ready when you got home. Big whoop."
Zeke glanced at him. "It's called respect. Noah and Jake made a small sacrifice for you two, yet you two can't do the same? What a disappointment." He stood up, grabbed his plate and went out back to eat.
"Wow. Way to go." Noah looked at the twins, not even mad in the slightest. "You two look like a pair of jerks for the day. Luckily, you get to leave tomorrow, otherwise I'm sure it would be h.e.l.l week for you."
Dave looked guilty.
Kyle scratched his cheek. "We didn't mean it."
"I know. Jake knows. Zeke knows too." Noah told them. "But you know Zeke; it's all about att.i.tude. Recognize. Respect. Respond. You failed to recognize the issue. You failed to show respect. And you failed to respond in a redeemable manner." He smiled. "Hey another 'R'! Redeem!"
"Well...what do we do now?" Dave asked. "You and Jake don't look upset about it. We already apologized. Zeke is the only one upset."
Noah shrugged. "Just do better next time?"
Kyle looked distressed. "We leave tomorrow morning for the airport. 'Next time' won't be until next week."
Noah shrugged again. "Show him that you've changed. It's not that it's a big deal. It's really just about respect. Zeke does so much for us. If he asks to have lunch ready at a certain time, is it really that hard to cooperate? He's not even a picky eater." He glanced to the back door where Zeke had gone through. "You know, this will be Zeke's last easy day. He'll have to be responsible for lunch now. He just wanted-"
"Respect." The twins said simultaneously. Then they both sighed.
"We'll do better." Dave declared.
"We'll make great lunches on the days we're here." Kyle added.
Showing some resolve and repentance, they both went out back to talk to Zeke.
"Zeke really can't stop parenting them." Noah chuckled.
I poked him. "That was a well planned out speech. Also sounds like parenting."
Noah faked a sigh. "What can I say? It's hard to raise a pair of knuckleheads."
I cracked a smile. The family dynamics for the Atkins always s.h.i.+fted, between who needed to be taught a lesson and who was the teacher. One thing that never changed, was Noah's humor.
The twins came back inside with Zeke after half an hour and started to do the dishes and take out the trash without complaints or side comments. Noah and I watched as the two cleaned up downstairs too.
"Mom's going to be happy." Noah said.
I nodded in agreement. We moved to the living room to watch some baseball movie while we had the time. We had a softball game tonight so we couldn't go out to play at the park or at The Cages.
All afternoon the twins focused on cleaning, up until Zeke called for us to leave for the game. We had changed into our uniformed s.h.i.+rts and hurried to the car.
Noah looked up at Zeke as he started to drive us to the field. "Are you really mad at the twins?"
"Hmm." Zeke hummed, but didn't respond.
"I bet you just wanted them to clean the room and bathroom before they leave tomorrow." Noah laughed.
Zeke shrugged. "Just a small benefit."