Ted & Me

Ted & Me by Dan Gutman

Book: Ted & Me by Dan Gutman Read Free Book Online
Authors: Dan Gutman
    We were alone except for the clubhouse attendant, who was sweeping up. I couldn’t stall any longer. Ted could kick me out any minute. I tried to think of the right way to tell him the main reason why I had come so far to see him.
    But I didn’t have to, because Ted brought up the subject himself.
    â€œI need to ask you a question,” he said. “How’d you know what was going to happen out there today?”
    My brain froze for a moment. I wasn’t sure how to word it.
    The clubhouse attendant left.
    â€œThose weren’t just lucky guesses,” Ted continued, looking me in the eye. “You knew in advance that I was going to get those six hits today. You knew what I was going to do in every at-bat, like you could predict the future. Are you some kind of a fortune-teller?”
    â€œWell, I…the thing is…”
    Ted had no patience for my hesitancy. He picked up a telephone receiver from the wall near his locker. It was one of those old-time phones I had seen in the movies with a rotary dial.
    â€œOkay, that’s it. I’m calling the cops,” he told me. “You’re either a runaway or you’re crazy. The police can figure out which.”
    I didn’t know if he was bluffing or not, but I wasn’t taking any chances.
    â€œNo!” I shouted, grabbing at the phone. But he was much stronger than me.
    â€œThey’ll take you home,” Ted said, pushing me away. “You said you live in Louisville, right? They’ll take you to your mom and dad.”
    â€œThey can’t take me to my mom and dad,” I finally yelled.
    â€œWhy not?” he asked. “Are your parents dead?”
    â€œNo,” I admitted, “they haven’t been born yet.”
    Ted looked at me. He put the phone back in its cradle.
    â€œThis is gonna sound crazy,” I said. “But what I’m about to tell you is the absolute truth. And the truth is that I come from…the future.”
    There. I said it.
    â€œExplain,” Ted repeated.
    â€œI don’t…live in 1941,” I said. “I’m just…visiting. I live in the twenty-first century. I can travel back in time.”
    â€œAnd how the !@#$%! can you do that, may I ask?”
    He was humoring me, I knew. This kind of information was just too unbelievable to comprehend.
    â€œI use a baseball card,” I told him. “I hold it in my hand. Then I can travel back to the year on the card. The baseball card is sort of like a plane ticket for me. A plane ticket and a time machine.”
    â€œYou gotta be kidding me,” Ted said, waving one hand in the air. “Get outta here!”
    I was prepared for him not to believe me. I had learned from past experience.
    â€œHere’s the proof.”
    I pulled the newspaper article that Flip had given me out of my pocket and handed it to Ted.

    â€œThis is tomorrow’s paper,” he said after glancing at the date at the top of the page. “Where did you get it? This paper hasn’t been printed yet.”
    â€œI told you,” I replied. “I live in the next century. In my time, this isn’t tomorrow’s paper. It’s a Xerox of an old paper.”
    â€œA what ?”
    Oops. They didn’t have Xerox in 1941. I corrected myself and told him it was an exact copy of the next day’s paper.
    Ted skimmed the article and looked up at me. I knew what he was thinking. He had been with me ever since the previous night when we had met at Independence Hall. I couldn’t have faked the paper. There was no time.
    â€œJesus!” he exclaimed. “You’re telling me the truth, aren’t you? There’s no other way to explain how you would know in advance what I was going to do in every at-bat.”
    â€œYeah,” I said. “I Googled all that stuff too.”
    â€œYou what ?”
    â€œNever mind,” I told him.

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