Episode 37 — Chapter 43
Cobb gave a quizzical look. “In my civilian clothes?”
The photographer took several photographs.
“And now, if you could use the bat like a cane.”
Cobb put the bat on the ground with his palm placed on the top of the handle. “How many more pictures do you need?”
“Just a few more and we should be done.”
Cobb didn’t mind the pictures, but he was less than thrilled to have a make-up artist apply rouge and eyeliner to his face. Calvin had alerted Cobb that Savannah was on her way the day before, but she would only be staying a few days, since she needed to return to participate in the final edits of the story.
Cobb was delighted to see her and greeted her with a large smile. Savannah gave him an affectionate hug and she introduced him to the man and woman from the magazine. It took little persuading for Savannah to convince Cobb to pose for some pictures. After all, he was indebted to Savannah and the Cains. It was the least he could do to repay their kindness.
Later that evening, Savannah and Cobb were alone by the stone fireplace, the others having retired for bed. Little was said after the others left; Cobb repositioned the logs with a poker and Savannah went in search of a bottle of wine from the cellar. When she returned, Cobb was seated on the couch near the fire. Savannah poured herself and Cobb a glass. Savannah sat on the chair opposite him.
“Have you been able to figure out Calvin’s knuckler, yet?”
“Oh sure, Miss Cain,” Cobb smiled. “I nearly took his head off with a liner today.”
“So, is he the one wearing a helmet now?”
“I offered him mine, but he told me they’re only for sissies.”
They each took a sip of wine.
“So, tell me, Mr. Cobb. How are you doing these days? You look well.”
“Physically, I’ve never felt better. I’ve got my strength and stamina back.”
“That’s good,” Savannah smiled, and her eyes looked intently into his. “But, how are you doing… inside?”
“Better some days… worse others. Some days there’s an ache that just won’t go away. I feel like I’m in a dream and can’t wake up. Just wish I could make sense of it all. If only I could see Charlie… just one more time and tell her I’m okay.” Cobb said, his voice breaking.
“Tell me about her. What was she… what is she like?”
Cobb looked away, and Savannah wondered if she should have avoided the topic—perhaps it was too painful for him to reflect upon. Hoping to evoke a less melancholy reaction, she asked with half a smile, “Is she anything like me?”
Cobb laughed for an instant and stared into the fireplace. The lady standing before him was positively the most gorgeous woman he had ever laid eyes on.
“She’s nothing like you,” Cobb looked away before continuing. “She’s very reserved and soft spoken… a quiet woman. I think she’d much prefer we lead a simpler life. The baseball season can be long and weary, and weeks pass by when we’re on the road. I know she’d prefer I come home from work every night like most men. And, she could do without the limelight and attention.”
Cobb returned his eyes toward Savannah. “You’re taller than her. She wears her hair up, it’s much shorter than yours… and dark brown.”
“So, you favor brunettes?” Savannah winked.
“Your hair is … is beautiful,” Cobb stammered, momentarily embarrassed that he’d been so bold. “Charlie’s a fine woman… very devoted to me and our two kids.”
His eyes began to moisten and his voice became strained. “It frightens me at times, wondering where she is, what she’s thinking. She must imagine something dreadful happened to me… some foul play. She knows I’d never desert her and the little ones.”
Savannah felt her heart breaking.
Several minutes passed without a word.
“Maybe I am insane,” Cobb finally said. “Maybe I have lost my mind.”
Savannah had never heard him question his identity before. It pained her to see him so crestfallen.
Savannah quietly approached him and sat next to him on the couch, taking his hands in hers. Looking Cobb directly in the eye, she whispered the words she knew her friend yearned to hear, “I believe you.”