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Born To Win - a short story by A.B.King



   Once upon a time, there lived a little girl named Nancy. She belonged to a Christian home. She was the only female child in the family and she had 5 brothers.   

   Growing up, Nancy played the very same games that her brothers played and their father would even take them all to baseball games to watch all the baseball stars play.

   Nancy’s Dad was crazy about baseball. One only had to walk into their home to know that they had walked into the home of someone who was crazy about baseball. There were baseball gear always lying around, baseball inspired decorations decorated the living rooms, the curtains had a beautifully arranged pattern of little white base balls on it, even the clock had a picture of a baseball legend in the background. I don’t need to even tell you that the living room calendar had pictures of baseball stars too, but most of all was the most treasured corner of the living room; especially to Nancy’s Dad. It was the corner that had all of Nancy’s Dad’s trophies from his glory days in college and all the way before that. 

   That corner of the living room was almost sacred. It told a story. Sure it told a story of a man with broken dreams who was on his way to a promising career until he had an injury while in college that stole his dreams away from him but it was his most treasured story. Interestingly, it wasn’t a baseball related injury. It was a bullet injury to be precise. An injury he had gotten from jumping in front of a bullet meant for a beautiful lady who later became Nancy’s Mum.

   At that time, Nancy’s Mum and Dad weren’t even dating. Nancy’s Dad was the local baseball star of the town and he had a crush on Nancy’s Mum who was supposed to be engaged to someone else. Nobody even knew that he was crazy about her until that day that even he jumped in front of a robber’s bullet for her, proving that not only was he in love with her but he was also willing to die for her.

   The bullet went straight in this right arm. Thankfully, the bullet didn’t hit a more delicate part of his body. 

   It was that day that he jumped in front of a bullet for her that the whole town knew that he was in love with her. 

   Nancy’s Mum who was engaged to be married to someone else at the time and had had nothing but innocent feelings for Nancy’s Dad was now confused and totally shaken to the core.

   When Nancy’s Mum’s fiancรฉe at the time heard that another man had jumped in front of a bullet for the woman that he loved and was about to marry thereby saving her life, it began a whole new drama that wasn’t a laughing matter and believe me it had more twists and turns that tugged at the heart than a best selling romance novel come to life.

   Anyway, at the end of the day; Nancy’s Dad won.

   Nancy didn’t know all the details about how her Mum and her Dad met and fell in love, or about the battle of romance that took place before they could even get married; but she was privileged to see everyday what it means for a man to adore a woman and treat her like a Queen.

   Even though getting shot in the arm took Nancy’s Dad’s baseball dream away, he had no regrets because it also brought him a blessing more awesome than his wildest dreams: it brought him Nancy’s Mum.

   Nancy’s Mum was one special lady. In fact, during their courtship period when he wanted to take her out to a romantic restaurant she said No that she’d prefer that he took her out to a baseball game. Yes! Nancy’s Mum loved baseball too, but just not as much as Nancy’s Dad. Nancy’s Mum was just an average baseball fan but still for a woman that was uncommon. And Now in present day it is no surprise that after Nancy’s Mum and Dad where married, they had kids that were all into baseball.   Nancy didn’t feel obligated to love baseball or manipulated into loving baseball, but being surrounded by people who loved to talk baseball every single day made her gravitate towards baseball.

   Nancy would play with her Dad in the front yard along with her brothers. Nobody ever told her anything shallow like, “You are a girl. You shouldn’t be playing a man’s game” Nobody told her to go play with dolls. The town that Nancy lived in was more embracing of women in sports that are normally played by males than other towns.   Nancy’s Mum whom you would think would tell Nancy to ease up on the baseball that she’s a girl and that she should have tea parties with other girls in the neighborhood where they would play with doll and doll houses, rather did the opposite. She actually encouraged Nancy’s love for baseball and told her to keep at it if that is what she really wanted to do.

   Also, every once in a while Nancy’s Mum would join the rest of her family in an unserious game of baseball in front of their`house.

   Nancy soon became good at baseball. Even though she was not as good as her brothers were she was pretty good. She even participated in a baseball tournament for girls in her town and she won. Her family was very proud of her. 

   One day, Nancy’s Dad was given a new job in a different town and so the whole family had to move.

   In this new town, girls playing baseball was not even seen let alone encouraged.When the kids in Nancy’s new neighborhood first saw Nancy wearing a baseball jersey and a baseball hat, they just thought that she had a poor fashion sense. But when they first heard her talk about baseball, then they were convinced she was weird.

   Nancy’s Dad’s new job was very demanding so he didn’t have the time to play with his kids like he used to.   Nancy’s heart still ached to play baseball and since she obviously wanted to play for more hours than her brothers wanted to play she went to the field where all the kids play baseball to play with them. 

   Of course, there were only boys there.

   Nancy was laughed at and made fun of. All the boys made joke after joke to bully Nancy, but Nancy stood her ground; she refused to give in to their mean jokes. She refused to cry. She just stood straight with her head high and looked back at all of them bravely, but not insulting anyone back. 

   Nancy still insisted that she wanted to play, that she was a good baseball player but they still told her, No. They wouldn’t even let her prove herself.

   How could a girl know how to play and play on a skill level that won’t just totally ruin their game?, they thought.

   They didn’t even pick boys who they believed had to be a better player than her, so why would they pick her?

   Nancy finally decided to leave when she was convinced that no matter how much she pleaded with them they would still say, No!

   Nancy went back home without throwing a curse word back to any of the silly boys like they had thrown on her.

   While at home, Nancy was bored; three of her brothers where out doing one thing or the other and the two that where at home didn’t want to move from the TV screen.

   Nancy went to her room and picked up her portable gaming device to play a baseball game that she had played so many times before that it now bored her. Whether she was conscious of it or not, she now played it only for escapism. And interestingly, like many other forms of escapism it also came packaged with a tolerable form of boredom.

   As Nancy played her video game in her room one of her brothers knocked on her bedroom door. When she opened it he told her that a boy was looking for her downstairs.

Nancy wondered who it could be. So far she’d not made any friends with any boys since she’d moved. Who could it be?

   Nancy went downstairs to find one of the boys who had told her that they wouldn’t let her play with them standing there.

   “What are you doing here?”, Nancy asked. 

   The boy asked if she could speak with him in private.   Nancy began to wonder where this was going. 

   Since two of Nancy’s brothers were glued in front of the TV in the living room where they were standing, Nancy suggested that they go outside on the balcony in front of their house where everybody can see them for her own safety just in case, and also that way they would have the privacy of people not being able to hear what they are saying as he would like.

   When they were in front of the house, the boy introduced himself as Toby. After beating about the bush he told Nancy that he talked to the guys and that they’ve agreed to let her play with them, and that she should show up for their game tomorrow.

   Nancy was very happy. She said, “Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!” She almost hugged him but then she remembered that she barely knew anything about him.   “Why are you helping me now when you didn’t help me back on the playground today. You could have told them then that you wanted me to play. Why are you so nice to me all of a sudden?”

   “Because … Because I like you.” Toby answered unable to look her in the eye.   

   “What?”

   “I want you to be my girl friend.” Toby answered looking sheepishly as he struggled to look Nancy in the eye.

   “ARE YOU CRAZY?” Nancy shouted. “Did you just ask me to be your girl friend?”   

    Toby began to feel really uncomfortable now. He was beginning to get scared – really scared.

   Nancy didn’t seem to notice or care. “First of all, I am a Christian. But if I wasn’t, do you know that you just asked me to trade my dignity for a small thing as playing baseball. You are asking me to exchange my being your girl friend for an opportunity to play baseball. Are you crazy?”

   At this point, Nancy’s voice had gone so high that her brothers had left the TV screen to come listen in on their sister’s conversation and to also protect her just it case.

   It also looked like some of the neighbors where really watching them from behind their curtains now so Toby started sweating and feeling really really really uncomfortable now on an increasing level.

   Nancy wasn’t finished. “And by the way, neither of us are even up to 13 years old. Perhaps if you and I were 16 or 18, or if you where thinking of getting married when you are old enough to know what love is. However, even then in your case I would still say; No!”

   “Ok! Ok! I get it” Toby begged feeling ashamed. He turned and ran away as fast as he could. He looked as if he was crying too.

   Nancy turned around to her brothers who were around her age and where now standing behind her.

   “Are you Ok!” they asked.

   “I’m fine.” Nancy answered.

   Nancy went to sit in front of the TV to get her mind off what just happened, and her brothers went to sit in front of the TV with her.

   The next day, while Nancy was in front of the house practicing baseball with herself because her Dad had gone to work, one of the boys who was most outspoken and had told Nancy that they would never allow her play with them because she is a girl; walked up to Nancy with a bunch of other boys but Toby wasn’t among them.

   Nancy wondered what in the world was going on.

   They asked her if she was going to play baseball with them. They told her that Toby talked to them and so they don’t mind having a few laughs kicking her butt on the baseball field.

   Nancy was a bit confused. She asked them a few questions and realized that Toby had not told them what had happened between her and him the previous day. They obviously didn’t know his true intentions for talking to them to let her play. The few people that were standing before her didn’t even tell Toby that they were coming to her house to ask her if she would be playing with them that day.

   Nancy told them, “No! thank you” that she doesn’t want to play baseball.

   They were confused and asked her why. That before she looked like a true baseball fan and really wanted to play baseball despite the fact that they were making fun of her. They told her that they wouldn’t have even held their ground the way she stood her ground if it was them.

   They also asked her that if she doesn’t feel like playing football right now. Then why is she holding a baseball bat right now and why was she playing baseball by herself before they got there?

   They were beginning to get suspicious so Nancy decided to go with them before the finally think of something that would create a rumor about her and Toby that she didn’t want floating around.

   When they all got to the baseball field, Toby and some other guys where already there. Toby was angry to see Nancy coming with the rest of the boys.

   “WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?” Toby shouted angrily at Nancy.

   One of the boys that was coming with Nancy asked Toby what was wrong with him, that he was the one that even convinced them that they should let her play with them in the first place.

   Toby saw that all the boys were beginning to get suspicious so he immediately pretended and said that he didn’t mean it like that, that he was just surprised to see her that early that’s all.

   Before the boys could properly think of what Toby just said and see that there is something fishy about it because it didn’t make sense, Toby changed the topic and said that they should start playing right away; that they had no time to waste.

   Toby was still mad at Nancy for not agreeing to be his girl friend but he hid his anger very well.

   When they tested Nancy and saw that she could really play, Toby encouraged the guys to play their best and not go easy on Nancy because she is a girl. He also put her on the other team so that he would play against her.

   By the end of the day, even though Nancy had succeeded in convincing everybody that she could play; she and her team was losing badly because of her.

   Toby came against Nancy and her team with all he had. He wanted to have revenge on Nancy for not agreeing to be his boyfriend.

   That day, Nancy went home sad.

   Day after day, when they played baseball after school; Toby would always make sure that Nancy was on the other team and her team lost. He was the best player they had and he was very influential over the rest of the boys.

   Nancy’s losing really started to get to her and weigh down on her confidence in herself. She also started to loose the respect that she’d gained from the other boys for being a girl that could play because even though she was a girl that could play she was a girl that was also always loosing whenever she played.

   Nancy began to feel that it was just nature, that she couldn’t help it. That boys have to do better than girls in sports because it’s just the way the world was made. Maybe she is not even worthy to play with them after all, Nancy thought.

   Nancy went home one day after loosing really really big, and she blogged about what she was going through. After writing and posting the blog post, she lay down on her bed to sleep. By the time she woke up and checked her e-mail she saw that she had received tons and tons of comments about what she had written. Girls from her from her old town, her new town and other parts of the world had written a word of advise or two on her blog post. Many showed their support for her and some insulted the boys. It was like her own little GIRL POWER revolution taking place on her blog.   As Nancy was still reading through just the first few comments, she heard a knock on her bedroom door. She opened it up to see her mother.

   That was the day that Nancy found out that her mother had been following and encouraging her through her blog under a made – up username.

   Nancy’s Mum asked Nancy to tell her the whole story. Nancy told her everything.

   Nancy’s Mum then began to tell her that women and men are equals in the sight of God. As a matter of fact, in the garden of Eden when God created Adam and Eve even though he created Adam first he created Eve to be his equal.

   If you read the account in Genesis again carefully you would see that God created woman because he could not find any other living thing that was his equal and could therefore be a suitable mate for him.

   Woman wasn’t just created for the purpose of reproducing. Woman was created because without woman, man would be alone. Without the presence of women on this earth, men would be alone and incomplete. The world would be incomplete too without women, outside of reproduction for the continuity of human existence.   The existence of man would be flawed without the existence of woman. And the existence of woman would be flawed without the existence of man.

   Call it a social balance of two of the greatest of God’s creatures if you will.The bible actually records the words, “it is not good for man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him” (Genesis 2:18) In other words, I will make him an equal that is suitable for him that would help him.

   Women and Men are equals and neither can exist without the other. Equality between man and woman has always been God’s original plan. However, things changed when God cursed women because of Eve for eating the forbidden fruit. That was when women became beneath men. That was the first time that the concept of women being beneath men was introduced.

   It is written in Genesis 3: 16 that; “Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, AND HE SHALL RULE OVER THEE.”

   So you see, the whole thing about women being beneath men was a curse from God and not his original plan for women. However, the good news today is that when Jesus came and died on the cross he not only washed away our sins but he broke all curses on the cross including that one that God placed on womankind.

   In Galatians 3: 13 it is written: “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.”

   So you see, all curses have been broken. That was why Apostle Paul could also say in that same chapter that in Christ, “there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither MALE nor FEMALE.” (Galatians 3: 28)

   He was talking about equality. Equality between Jews and Greeks, equality between males and females and equality between slaves and free people. He wasn’t saying that God does not know the difference between male and female or does not recognize it. He was saying that in Christ, males and females are equal.

   Nancy’s Mum told Nancy that she as a lady can achieve anything that men can achieve, and that she should also keep in mind the fact that she being a Christian gives her a greater edge because it meant that Christ lives in her. So SHE CAN DO ALL THINGS through Christ who strengthens her. (Philippians 4: 13)

   Nancy’s Mum gave Nancy the details of the chapters and verses that she got the bible passages she referred to from. After that she hugged her and then stood up to leave her in her room by herself to think, but when she reached the door she paused and turned back. “And next time…” she paused to make sure Nancy was listening.   “Yes?”

   “When you have a problem come to me first. I am your mother. I’m here for you.”Nancy got up and ran to her Mother. She hugged her tight. Her Mother cooed and hugged her back. Words didn’t need to be said. Sometimes words are not enough to express how we feel.

   “I will Mum. I love you.”, Nancy said still holding tightly to her Mum.

   “I love you too”, Nancy’s Mum replied. Then she kissed her at the top of her head, and left her alone.   Nancy went back to sit on her bed. She started thinking of what her mother said. She was a smart girl so she started looking up all the scriptures that her mother gave to make sure that she wasn’t misled. She was amazed to find out that all the scriptures that her Mum gave her confirmed what she said. A new light lit up in Nancy’s heart. A new fire lit up in her soul. She now knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that there was no reason in the world why Toby’s team would beat her all the time. There was no law that said that a woman cannot perform better than a man in sports and if such a law exists it is against God’s will therefore it has got to bow.

   Nancy went to her Mum and begged her to practice some baseball with her in the front yard.Nancy’s Mum said that she had to do a few things first and after that when she is free she would practice with Nancy.

   10 minutes later, Nancy and her Mum played some baseball in the front of their house. They had fun.

   When Nancy’s Dad came back from work and saw his daughter playing baseball in the front of their house with her Mum, it brought back memories.

   Nancy’s Dad decided at that moment that no matter how busy he is he has to make out time to do things like this with his children more often like he used to do. Besides, they won’t remain little children for ever. He may never have another opportunity if he lets these present days just slip by.

   Nancy’s Dad realized just how disconnected from his kids lives he had been and he decided to get more involved in his kids lives from that day.

   That evening, Nancy’s Dad learnt about all that had been going on in the lives of all his kids including Nancy. He made out time to help Nancy train and he told her to tell the boys from the playground that she would not be able to play with them until two weeks time. Nancy did what her father said and also gave them a specific time and date that they should expect her back. During that 2 weeks period, Nancy’s Dad trained Nancy intensely and Nancy’s Mum told him not to go easy on her because she is a girl. So Nancy’s Dad trained Nancy the same way he could have trained a boy.   Nancy’s Mum asked her if she would like to put up a blog post informing all her blog followers about the big day.

   Nancy said that that was a great idea so she did just that.   On the day that Nancy had set, Nancy showed up with two of her brothers and said that she wanted to play. They said Ok! and then they asked if her brothers who were around their age too wanted to play.

   Nancy said no that they are just here to watch. Her two brothers then went to the bench and sat down.

   Nancy’s other three brothers came differently at different intervals so that it would not look like Nancy had brought her whole family to watch.

   Nancy’s Mum and Dad where around too but they didn’t enter the vicinity until they began to see flocks of girls who followed Nancy’s blog trooping in to watch the game.

   Nancy’s parents understood that if they had come together with Nancy it would have looked somehow, but they also knew that it would mean a lot to Nancy if they were there and she won.Toby sorted out the two teams as usual. He was going to play hard as always and teach Nancy’s team a lesson.

   As the game began, more girls who followed Nancy’s blog kept trooping in. The boys didn’t understand what was happening but they knew that whatever it was, it was because of Nancy those girls had come. Girls had never come to watch their regular games before.

   Toby and his team played hard but Nancy’s team was performing better. As a matter of fact, she was carrying her whole team on her back. It was clear that it was because of her that her team was winning. She was playing better than they’ve ever seen anyone play on their playground before. She was making Toby look pretty bad too.

   Toby played even harder. He pushed himself and pushed his team to put in all they’ve got but at the end of the game they still lost.

   Nancy’s Mum and Dad rejoiced inconspicuously.

   Nancy’s brothers shouted and cheered for Nancy.   The crowd of girls shouted and hailed Nancy.

   As Nancy was about to go and thank the girls for coming, one of the boys she played against came up beside her and said, “Now that’s what I’m talking about”, he said, looking in the direction of the crowd of girls. “At first that was the only reason we figured we should let you play with us. Toby convinced us that if we let a girl play with us; she can trust us enough to say good things about us and introduce us to her other female friends and then we could all have girl friends. He had already had a girl friend for years but the rest of us has never had girl friends before. I never expected I would like you for more than that reason but you turned out to be a good baseball buddy, actually the best; and you also managed to deliver on the benefit of letting us meet your friends. Who would have taught that you had so many friends?” Then pointing at a blonde girl with a red ribbon in her hair he said, “I like that one. Quickly, before the other fellows pick her introduce me to her.”

   Nancy looked at the boy and called it like she saw it, “YOU AND YOUR FRIENDS NEED HELP.”


The End.

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