Jake paced the pitcher's mound like a lion ready to protect his pride. He looked over to the batter, a young blond-haired kid with wiry muscles, the kind that could hit the ball a mile. The Cowboy had been studying the kid, trying to figure out the best combination of pitches to strike him out.
A commotion in the stands caught Jake's attention. It was different than the usual ebb and flow of sounds from an opposing crowd.
Jake paused. He turned his gaze to the colored section of bleachers above the third base line. Much smaller than Union Steel's, the colored stands at the Coyote's ballpark only seated about forty people.
There was a young black woman slumped in her seat, looking mighty confused. And scared, judging from the tremble in her movements.
Frank Bell, his father, and his wife, Linda, were by her side, gazing down in concern and talking to one another with animated expressions.
The crowd around the young woman stared in dismay. Frank said something to the woman, and she nodded. Then she started to stand up, and it was then that Jake noticed that she was pregnant.
But before she could stand all the way up, she began to fall! It seemed like she had fainted.
Fortunately, Linda and Frank were close enough to catch her before she hit the wood flooring.
"Sarah!" That cry came from Henry.
Jake spun and saw Henry sprinting across the field, panic etched across his face.
Henry ran across the baseball diamond, sending clouds of dirt into the air behind him.
Jake shot his right hand up as Henry tossed his glove.
Henry didn't even look back. He just kept barreling towards the stands.
"Time out!" Coach Taylor called, stepping out of the dugout. "I need a time out here!"
There was a hushed chatter among the spectators. Amid the quiet conversations, one could hear several common worries.
"What's going on?"
"Who is she?"
"I hope that poor girl is okay."
Henry didn't run to the door, leading from the field to the stands. Instead, he ran straight for the wood fence and leaped into the air. He hurled his body over the barrier, before charging towards the unconscious pregnant woman.
Jake watched as Henry ran to her and gathered the woman up into his arms, shouting at the people around him. Jake could hear him all the way across the field. He was shouting for someone to get help. He was pleading for a doctor, or even a nurse, to step forward and help his wife.
The woman was Sarah Louis!
Jake felt his own heart racing. It was obvious that Henry loved his wife very much. He had never seen Henry look so frightened. The Cowboy found himself overcome with empathy.
How had he ever thought that Henry was any less of a man than he was?
When it really came down to it, when it came down to what was important, black and white didn't matter. When it came to love and family, people were all the same.
But not everyone held these sentiments.
A red-haired announcer walked along the first base line. He raised a silver megaphone to his lips and spoke in monotone. "If there's a doctor in the house, please go to the colored section. A Negro woman is in need of medical attention."
Jake looked around at the crowd, chattering in confusion at what was going on.
In a ballpark of five thousand people, surely a doctor or nurse had to be present.
The announcer even repeated the message ...
... but not one person, not one white person, ever stepped forward.
"Because we all share an identical need for love, it is possible to feel that anybody we meet, in whatever circumstances, is a brother or sister."
- His Holiness The Dalai Lama
Printed with the permission of His Holiness The Dalai Lama and his office
From my upcoming book "COREAGEOUS".
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Color (Completed)Historical Fiction
WATTYS SHORTLISTED! During World War I, a black baseball player gets a second chance to play ball on an all-white steel mill baseball team, an action that shocks and divides an entire town. Targeted by opponents, his own team, and mysterious vigilan...