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(Trophy Boyfriends #1) Hard Pass
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My first day at college, and I made the biggest mistake of my life.
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Please forgive me, Grandpa, for I am about to sin.
I’m so sorry.
Reading over my post again, I squeeze my eyes shut, peering at the computer screen through one narrowly cracked lid. I can’t do this; it feels so wrong.
You have no choice, Miranda, not if you want to start your own business.
It pains me to be selling this baseball card, truly. Hurts my heart, my brain and the memories of my grandfather, I hold so dear. Memories of us at the ballpark, which he’d take me to every spring for Opening Day, so he could cheer on his favorite team. I’d get a hot dog and a soda, he’d get a beer and peanuts, and that’s how we’d spend the summer.
Year after year.
Then, when I was a teenager and discovered boys, the ballpark became ground zero for my hormonal fantasizing. Instead of watching the game, I would watch teenage boys. Giggle if the players were close enough to the chain-link fence for me to ogle. I’d get embarrassed when Grandpa insisted we try to get autographed baseballs and eventually stopped bringing my glove to the park.
I was delusional enough to think one of the cute, athletic players would take one look at me and fall head over heels in love.
Over the years, Gramps shared with me the baseball card collection he’d been amassing since he was young. Back in the day, when boys hoarded them. Back when owning a rare card made you a child king. Back when players were gods and legends and their cards were worth something.
Do they even make them anymore?
Grandpa had all the greats: Hank Archer. Blaze Bosbee. Aaron Simpson, The Great Baseman.
Six years ago, when I was a junior in high school, he got diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. He was hospitalized a year after that, and everything went…devastatingly downhill from there.
Losing him broke me. It’s not that I don’t have a father of my own who loves and cherishes me, but there’s something about a grandfather’s love that’s entirely different; a precious and unique kind of affection. Every moment spent with Gramps was magic. I wanted to learn it all from him.
Losing him was a curse.
And also a blessing, because I am broke.
Okay, okay, maybe not broke in the traditional sense of the word—I do have some money in savings, a chunk of change in my checking account. My kind of broke is the “I want to start my own business and don’t have the startup capital” type.
I am at an impasse. I have inherited my grandfather’s cherished baseball card collection and it’s worth a small fortune.
A fortune I need part of if I’m going to invest in myself.
I hear my mom’s words repeating on a loop through my head as I crank out the copy for the advertisement I’m placing online. “Grandpa left those baseball cards to you for a reason, Randi Jane. He knew they were valuable and he didn’t have anything else of value to leave you. You were his only granddaughter and he loved you—he wanted you to be taken care of the way Dad and I can’t do. Those cards aren’t doing you any good collecting dust in the closet, baby girl. Sell them and follow your dreams. No regrets.”
A few regrets.
I am racked with guilt before I’ve even actually submitted my ad, stomach a knotted fist that won’t quit clenching.
I want to puke.
The plan is simple: sell them off one at a time to maximize profits rather than selling them as a lot and allowing someone to lowball me for the bundle. Another reason I don’t want to sell them in bulk? The astronomical price. I cannot wrap my brain around the cards’ total value, so I cannot wrap my brain around selling them for the six figures they would almost certainly fetch.
No fucking way.
Selling them may be intimidating, but that’s what I have to do if I’m going to follow my dreams, start my own business, and become a boss ass bitch. Well, a boss anyway, no one has ever accused me of being a bitch and I’d like to keep it that way. I need a small studio space, one or two employees, office furniture, and computers. That all takes money, money, and money I do not have.
I adjust the computer glasses perched on the bridge of my nose and bite my lip in concentration, furrow my brow. Whoever buys this card will have to have a lot of faith in the company I used to authenticate it. Most of the time, when a collection is this valuable, it gets put up for auction.
But I can’t wait around for the next sale at the auction house—three entire months from now is an eternity. I don’t want to put my goals on hold for another 9 days. I’ve waited long enough.