A Win Lost
By Audrey W.
John Gage glanced up from where he was seated on the bench in the locker room, tying his shoes. He scrunched up his face in puzzlement.
“What are you wearing?”
Fireman Chet Kelly had just come into the room in denim jeans and a shirt that had John’s partner Roy looking on from his locker in curiosity as well.
As Chet crossed the room to his own locker, the paramedics continued to stare.
It was a solid green pullover jersey-style shirt with white trim on the edges of the elbow-length sleeves.
“Well, at least it’s his color,” John remarked to Roy. “Kelly green,” he added with a giggle.
“Just keep it up, Gage. When I beat ya next time at bowling, you won’t be making wise cracks.”
The dark-haired paramedic screwed his face, baffled.
“What’s bowlin’ got to do with it?” He looked to his partner. “What’s he talking about. . .bowlin’?”
Roy shrugged as John returned his attention to Chet, who was in the process of slipping the shirt off over his head in front of his open locker.
“It just so happens, Johnny Baby, that this shirt ,” he explained, holding out the piece of clothing with his right hand as the two still curious onlookers listened, “isn’t just any old shirt. It’s a lucky jersey.”
“Lucky for who?” Gage quipped. “The guy who pawned if off on ya? How much did he take ya for?”
Chet put the shirt on a hanger.
“Nothing. Which proves just how lucky it is. He said I could have it if I helped him with some work around his grandma’s yard. So I did.”
“Grandma’s yard?” Roy questioned. “You mean you couldn’t even help out an elderly lady out of the kindness of your heart?”
Chet sighed as Gage giggled.
“Don’t you start now. Look, I wasn’t directly helping her. It was him. Barney had to do the work. And besides,” he added with a shrug. “He’s the one who offered.”
“Well, why is it a lucky shirt for him if you got it?”
“He got rid of it,” Roy offered, which again had John snickering.
Chet just shook his head.
“Keep laughing. While you still can.”
“You still haven’t explained what bowling has to do with it,” Gage reminded.
“It so happens that he wore this shirt a few times to the alley when he went with some of the other guys. More than half his frames were strikes when he did.”
“And when he didn’t?”
“None. Not one strike.”
“Did you actually see this luck in action?” John wondered.
“No, but I don’t have to. He’s a man of his word. He gave me the shirt, didn’t he?”
The two paramedics nodded. He had a point. However. . .
“Where’d he get it from?”
Partly dressed in uniform now, Chet tucked his blue shirt into his trousers as he answered Gage’s latest question.
“His sister gave it to him. She was on a ladies bowling league at one time and they ordered custom shirts. Only problem was, the place screwed up and sent men’s jerseys. They told ‘em to just keep the first batch for the inconvenience and sent a new. ..and correct order. . .to replace them.”
The seated paramedic rubbed at his nose as he replied, “Well, it doesn’t sound like it was so lucky for the ladies.”
“That’s it.” Chet grabbed his shoes and started for the dormroom through the exit between the rows of lockers, closing his in the process. “I’m outta here.”
The two shiftmates waited a few moments, then Gage got to his feet and walked over to the departed fireman’s locker and opened it. He pulled out the shirt still on the hanger and examined it as he told Roy, “I’m not goin’ bowlin’ with him if he wears this stupid thing.”
“Well, I don’t think you’ll have to worry about that.”
“Looks like the custom shirt had a name on it for awhile.”
John eyed the back closer and saw the noticeable non-faded material that had been beneath letters spelling out a name across it.
“Susy Striker. . .?”
“He must not’ve looked it over very well before he went through with the agreement or put it on.”
“Yeah,” Gage agreed with a snorted laugh. “I wonder what Chet’s reaction’s gonna be when he finds out?”
Roy closed his locker door.
“I think he’s going to find out being ‘Susy’ is one strike he won’t be celebrating.”
The dark-haired paramedic nodded and giggled as he hung the shirt back up in Chet’s locker. Roy’s comment was the real winner from the deal.
This was inspired by someone near and dear to me. :o) No girly names on a guy’s shirt, just a shirt. :o).
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