There is that brief time between boy and man, where feet are firmly planted in each world. Like two desks slowly sliding across the tile floor, dragging you into a split, it beckons a choice about who you will become. Because you can not stay in both.
His fingers slide across the rough textured cardboard of the box sitting in the small patch of sunlight leaking into his room through the blinds of his window. Staring into the shadows of brown emptiness, minutes roll by as his mind wanders among memories.
Little army men peak above the rim of their container in the closet, reconnoitering the situation through plastic binoculars. Cars line up ready to race from under the edge of his bed, the gleam of their finish hidden under a thorough coat of dust. Posters of sports superstars, frozen in mid swing, wait for the roar of the crowd to overtake their momentum, propelling them around the bases. Each pleads their case, eventually finding their place in the box.
Each stair rings hollow, carrying him into the recesses of the basement to a corner all his own. One by one the boxes form a shrine to his former life, tucked away neatly for safe keeping and as he clicks off the light and pulls the door shut, his decision is made with the heaviest breath.
Returning to the room, the toe of his shoe finds the briefest resistance, sending a tanned leather orb spinning into the center of the room. Absently he traces the stitches on the old baseball, feeling the hits that go with each scuff, as hints of fresh cut grass nip at his nose. Placing it on the bed side table, his eyes cut to the EPT she left for him to find in his locker, a little pink cross of destiny winking back.
Some day they would play catch, and he would get to be a boy again.
Grabbing his backpack, he rushes out the door, off to school early to cram for the test, or he'll never get out of the ninth grade.
A little yellow post it note, floats on his wake, taking its turn in the sun, marred with black Sharpie scrawl of his girlfriend's handwriting: Now you can't leave. No one will find it, because they believe in giving him space, to work out the time in between.