Even the Score(7)

By: Beth Ehemann

“Hell no it’s not. I’m a genius,” he gloated, winking at me.

“I have an extra office on the other side of Ellie’s desk that we’re just using as storage right now, but I could move that crap somewhere else,” I thought out loud as I rocked back and forth in my chair, contemplating the details of Brody’s scenario.

“Think about it . . . you pay whoever it is a base salary, but they get to keep a percentage for whatever deals they make, that way they’re more inclined to work their asses off for you.” Brody jumped up from his seat with his hands high up in the air. “Holy shit, this really is a damn good idea. Maybe I should quit hockey and go into business instead.”

I picked up a fry and threw it at him. “Calm down there, Wonder Boy. You had one good idea. Let’s not go talking nonsense about quitting hockey, especially when you’re in your agent’s office. You say that too loud and every damn newspaper and magazine in the country is going to be calling me for a comment. I definitely don’t have time for that.”

He sat back down. “It really is something to think about, though.”

“It is,” I agreed, ready to change the subject before he started calling other agents and setting up meetings for me. “So what about you guys? What’s going on in the Murphy household? Anything exciting?”

“Actually, no.” He linked his fingers behind his head and relaxed into his seat. “We’re ready to enjoy a nice, quiet summer by the lake, make s’mores and take a few naps. That’s about it.”

“Sounds like a great summer.” I sighed, a little jealous of Brody’s downtime.

“You should take some time off and bring the kids up to the lake for the weekend.” Brody leaned forward with an excited twinkle in his eye. I’d seen that same twinkle many times, and it usually meant I was going to have to prepare a statement. “We can cook out, swim, relax, set off some illegal fireworks . . . it would be fun.”

“That does sound fun.” I tilted my head to the side, considering his offer. “I need to make my way up there anyway and check out this ridiculous castle I keep hearing about. Did you seriously put plumbing and electrical in a playhouse for your daughters?”

“Hell yeah, I did. Best decision I ever made, too. I had no idea when I did it that we’d have two more girls.”

“So when’s baby number five coming, anyway?”

Brody’s eyes bulged, and he puffed his cheeks out. “Dude . . . wow. I teased her that we were gonna keep going until I got a son, but man, four girls is tough!”

“Just wait till they’re all teenagers. That hour you have in the bathroom now will seem like a distant dream when you find yourself pissing in that pretty, pretty castle of yours because they’ve hogged all the bathrooms.” I threw my head back and let out a loud laugh.

Brody sat with me for a bit longer and we chatted. Well, I worked and he chatted, mostly about his amazing idea and what a genius he was, but the company was nice. Other than talking to Ethan and Ellie about work-related stuff, I spent a lot of time holed up in my office by myself.

Thankfully, that afternoon flew right by. I had two more meetings that were productive but quick. Ellie had to cut out early for a family emergency, but Ethan and I hammered out a lot of work that’d piled up on both of our desks. He brought me three more contracts that needed my signature, and just as I’d finished signing the last one, my cell phone vibrated and Gloria’s face popped up on my text screen.

G: Where are you?

Hey! I’m still at work, just about done. Where are you?

G: Logan’s baseball game.


My stomach plummeted as I looked up at the corner of my screen for the time.

Six fifty-one.

“Oh my God,” I said out loud as I pinched my eyes shut tight, instantly mad at myself. How the hell could I forget about Logan’s game? A game that was so important to him that he’d started thinking about it at seven o’clock this morning, yet I couldn’t even remember it for a few hours. I felt like the worst father ever.

“Everything okay?” Ethan asked, sticking his head in my office as he passed by.

“No,” I responded without looking up at him. “I forgot about Logan’s baseball game. He really wanted me to be there and I just forgot.”


My phone vibrated again.

G: He’s pitching well, but he’s sad. I can see it on his face.

I can’t believe I forgot. I’m closing up and leaving right now. I’ll be there as soon as I can.

“I gotta go,” I said to Ethan as I handed him the contracts back and shut my computer off.