Love's a Racket

I was fifteen. It was love. I ran up and down that tennis court, flourishing my beautiful new tennis racket (a Wilson), knowing I was impressing Chris, the rising star of our high school baseball team. He stood there smiling at me, as I trounced my tennis partner.

I was fifteen, so was he. I knew that day, we were meant to be together.

We married after graduating from college. He was playing pro-baseball and I was on the tennis circuit with my trusty Wilson.

I turned thirty. Fifteen years ago, I thought we would be a match made in heaven.

I was thirty, so was he; Chris’s baseball career had ended abruptly and I was still rising in the ranks, playing tennis matches all over the world, taking my loyal Wilson with me. Chris hated it, and let me know, through his taunts and his rages.

Suddenly, we were both forty. I was a successful tennis coach now, and Chris? He was an unemployed drunk. His rages got worse. Once, when I told him he had crossed the line, he stood nose to nose with me screaming, “You cannot be serious!!”, too drunk to see the irony. Another time, he threw my beloved Wilson at me. His baseball buddies never came over anymore.

Being bigger than me, he thought he had the advantage. One night , he went too far. After a long, loud volley of threats and screamed abuse, he went for me, swinging my tennis racket like a weapon, slamming it against the wall. My Wilson was broken and useless, like our marriage.

Safely locked in the bathroom, I sat thinking, wiping the sweat and blood from my face with a towel.

Quietly I came out of the bathroom. Chris was sitting watching ESPN Sportscenter on the TV with his back to me. In his hand he held my battered Wilson, like some kind of trophy.

In my hand, I held his heaviest baseball bat.

Game, set and match to me.

© 2008 Jeannette Sheehy

Love's a Racket

Jeannette Sheehy

Albany, United States

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