Chapter One: Building Blocks
"Honey, I'm so happy that you found new friends in just one day!"
I sat on the kitchen table, helping my mother dry the dishes and tell her about the experience with Benny, the Team, and the Sandlot.
Suddenly, the front door burst open, "Mom, Mom, I got the job!"
"Oh honey, that's splendid! At the pool?"
Terra just nodded and smiled. She turned to me and wiggled her eyes, "Now's your chance to see me in a red hot bikini, Squirt!"
Mom laughed as I rolled my eyes, and Terra took a seat behind me, running her fingers playfully through my hair, "Don't worry, Squirt. You can come with me all the time and we can talk and hang this summer, like old times."
I snickered, Terra was my fourteen-year-old sister going on fifteen, and had always been there for me. Well, except at school. She was to be a Freshman this year, and had already become close friends with a young woman named Wendy Peffercorn. The "shift" she had just spoken of, was one at the local swimming pool. My sister was a good swimmer and Wendy had recommended her for the job. Of course, I'd never met her, but I'd hoped I would later on, she sounded nice.
"Terra, that's nice, but Scotty has actually made some new friends from his school."
Terra got up and started to dance around with me, "That's so cool, Squirt! How'd ya do it?"
"Well, turns out that there's a Sandlot nearby, and they play there all the time. Of course we'll all come out and see you to check out you're red hot bikini," She snickered, "…but I won't have much time on my hands as my life will now be consumed with baseball."
She shook her head, "You did good, Squirt. You got friends today."
She then scooted away from us, and went upstairs to do…well, whatever girls like to do in their rooms.
"C'mon, give it to me!" I demanded.
"No, I wanna carry it!"
Squints was bein' a real butt today! It drove me nuts!
"C'mon, I paid for it!" I pushed, I did pay for the freaking baseball after all!
"I wanna carry it…Oh, Whoa!"
Squints stopped short.
"Give it to me!" I took it from him in his frozen state.
"What's the matter?"
He didn't answer… "Jeez."
He cleaned off his glasses, then stuck them on again, his eyes wide, "Wendy Peffercorn, Mmmm!"
"Whoa!" It then struck me how sexy she was.
She walked past us, smiling widely at Squints. And I got a good look at her…ugh, highner, if you get my meaning.
I shook my head, "C'mon, let's go, we gotta get-"
"No!" Squints stopped, smiling at Wendy's back.
"We gotta get to the Sandlot, let's go!"
(No one's POV)
"Where you guys been? We've been waiting here forever already!" Benny complained.
"Aw, Squints was pervin' a dish." Yeah-Yeah explained, throwing the ball to Benny.
"Shut up, I wasn't."
"Yeah, yeah, you were! Your tongue was hangin' out of your head, and you was swoonin'…'Oh Wendy Peffercorn, my darling lover girl, oh!'"
"I said, 'shut up!' I gotta lot of things on my mind." And with that, Squints walked over to sit in the dugout.
Ham then cried out, "This pop isn't working, Benny…I'm baking like a toasted cheezer, it's so hot here!"
"It's 150 degrees out there, you can't play baseball! You have to call it for the day!"
Bertram agreed, as did everyone else, "You gotta listen to him, Benny Man."
"Vote then. Anyone who wants to be… a 'can't hack it' panywaist…who wears, their mama's bra, raise your hand."
They all did.
Benny sighed, "Fine, fine, fine! Be like that. So what are we gonna do?"
Yeah-Yeah started laughing hysterically, eyeing all the boys…
"SCAM POOL HONEYS!"
Benny would've played ball all day, all night, rain shine, tidal wave, whatever. Baseball, was the only thing he cared about. But of all the things we ever did besides baseball, going to the pool was what he tolerated best. Even though none of us had ever seen a playboy magazine, which we constantly lied about, we figured going to the pool was the next best thing to being there.
It wasn't really the pool honeys like we said, because if any one of them had come up to any one of us…well, we'd have just peed our pants. We all went because- well, because Wendy Peffercorn, was the lifeguard.
And that's when I remembered…my sister!
She walked around the edge of the pool, calling up to Wendy from the chair…
"Hey, I've never seen her here before."
I grew weak at the knees, Squints had to make her visible? All the guys just stared at her, interest in their eyes. Wendy suddenly pointed out into the water, and Terra glanced my way…smiled, and waved.
I smiled and waved back, causing a surprised reaction out of my friends…
"You know that chic?"
I smiled, "I certainly hope I would…she's my sister."
Yeah-Yeah whistled, and I knew he was into her, "Man, what a dish."
Squints smiled and shoved is friend, "Look who's swoonin' now?"
Yeah-Yeah shoved him back, smiled and turned to me, "I'm camping out at your house tonight, man."
"Are you serious?"
"Yeah, Yeah…dead serious, man."
"Me too!" Squints added.
So, in the end, I invited all of them.
Terra now sat on the bench, texting on the cell phone Bill had gotten her for her birthday. I smiled and swam to the edge of the pool, calling out to her.
She tucked the phone in her purse and walked over, smiling,
"What's up, Squirt?"
"Aren't you working?"
"My shift's over, I was just about to head home."
"Yeah…my friends were wondering if they could spend the night…could I borrow your phone and ask?"
She bent down and dipped her feet in the water, helping me up out of the pool.
"So, you're Scotty's sister?"
She laughed, "Yes, and he's told me so much about you! I know that you're Benny Rodriguz, Hamilton Porter, Timmy and Tommy Timmons, Michael "Squints" Palledorous, Alan "Yeah-Yeah" McClellan, Bertram Grover Weeks and Kenny DeNunez…"
They stared at her, wide eyed, "Wow…you memorized our names?"
"Yeah, I had to."
"Cause you're Scotty's first friends in like, his whole life."
We boys looked at each other…astonished. We never knew that.
"So…what's your name?"
She raised an eyebrow, "He hasn't told you?"
I chuckled, "We didn't even know he had a sister till now."
Scotty sat down next to her, blushing slightly. She turned to him…
"Is that so?"
She then suddenly pushed him in, "You dork!"
We laughed, and she joined along as he came up sputtering.
She turned to me, and smiled warmly, "Hi. Terra Smalls, nice to meet you."
Turns out, Squints wasn't ready to leave the pool yet. He'd had enough of waiting for Wendy…and then he stole his first kiss from her while pretending to be unconscious so Wendy could proceed with CPR…and then, well, you get the idea.
We all turned, and I'd never taken more pride in my sister. She had her permit (with help from Bill,) and could drive her cool, baby-blue car now. Her red bikini wasn't visible under her blue t-shirt and dark-blue shorts. Her long brown hair was hung over one shoulder, and her eyes sparkled with amusement as we all piled into the car.
"Try that again and you'll get me fired." She joked at Squints who nodded once apologetically.
She pulled out of the parking lot, and we heard Wendy shouting, "Bye, Ter! See ya tomorrow!"
My sister stuck her glasses on, and as we drove, I spoke from the seat next to her,
"Do you really have to work tomorrow?" I grumbled, she was my best friend after all.
She smiled and ruffled my hair, "Don't worry 'bout it, Squirt. Wendy'll keep me company."
Squints ears perked up, "You know Wendy?"
She laughed and peeked through the rear-view-mirror at Squints, "She's my best friend, so, yeah. And don't you think I'm gonna help you on this one, I'm not the best matchmaker."
Yeah-Yeah stuck his finger up, "But, would you be a good, match?"
She laughed, "Ah, you are kinda cute, Yeah-Yeah, but I'm nearly two years older than you."
He snapped his fingers, "We could have a relationship later on, when I'm a man."
She shook her head, "You're real funny, bud."
We pulled into our driveway, and Terra waved, "G'night, Boys."
Yeah-Yeah tapped me on the shoulder, "I need your help…to make a move on your sister."