Flying in from segment eight.
Emily leaned back against the cold, damp edge of the bleachers of Sykes Ten Stadium. She had been sitting there for an hour, waiting for the sun to slip down in the horizon, to lose balance and crash into a chain of mountains she knew was out there but couldn’t see. The stadium attracted more joggers and nighttime touch football crowds during the off-season. In-season, Emily was usually the only one on the premises.
Except for last night.
She was contemplating how to finesse the situation involving her Uncle Flint’s player, Bart Hoolbacs, when she heard a man’s voice coming from up the northwest tunnel. The man was talking to someone, but Emily couldn’t figure out if he was on the phone or if there was another person physically there. Emily sat very still, hoping he wouldn’t notice her when reached the field. The man was still talking (and on the phone as it turned out) when he emerged. His voice grew louder with every step.
“Do not tell me to shut up,” he grunted. “How many times do I have to explain it? Do not–”
Emily’s eyes sparkled and her hands flew to her mouth to halt any sounds she was about to make.
“No, you listen to me,” the man continued. “This conversation is not over.”
The man shoved his cell phone in the left pocket of his trousers. Emily started laughing. The man whirled around in her direction. “Who’s there?”
“Oh, uhn, nobody,” Emily replied between chuckles. “Nobody’s here but you.”
The man scampered up ten rows of bleachers to her location. She jumped up before he could get within four feet of her.
“I thought I was alone,” he said, lowering the volume of his voice.
“So did I.”
He studied her for several minutes. “What are you doing here at this hour? The game isn’t until tomorrow.”
Emily nodded. “I was just sitting here…listening to a very heated conversation.”
The man apologized for disturbing her and attempted to suggest that she should run along home now, but enforcing authority was never his forte. Rather than make any half-hearted attempts, he slowly backed away and wished her a good evening. Emily reciprocated the nicety and headed home–but only after she saw him disappear back into the tunnel. On the drive back, she took a detour to her uncle’s house.