I Can Be Whatever You Want (beginning and ending)

I Can Be Whatever You Want

Let’s start in the middle of the story. I had been divorced for eight years or so. I was in a rebuilding phase when we met on the tennis court as part of a Friday Night Tennis group. When we first met I was immediately attracted to her natural beauty and hippiness. She was a Vermont girl. She liked to talk about Vermont and ultimate frisbee.

There were a few kinks in the path forward, however. She was too young for me, she had a nine-year-old boy, and I was depressed about the death of my big brother. I played tennis every Friday night hoping she would be there, but unable to articulate any motion forward.

And there we were, each Friday night, slapping tennis balls around. And it was a random group of 16 folks each week. 8 men and 8 women. So, often we wouldn’t even play on the same court. But the night it all changed I was having trouble with my toss. “It’s the toss,” I kept saying. It seemed funny at the time. She was on the opposing team.

Those around us, the others in the FNT group, said they saw it coming before we did. That night, she said, something clicked for her. “He makes me laugh.”

A few days into the next week I sent her an email. “Would you be interested in grabbing a beer after tennis sometime?”


The exclamation points contained the answer. The next sentence pointed to the eventual fracture. But first…

“But I don’t have care for the kid, it will take a little more planning.”

Read more Short-Short Stories from John.