Hank’s Sal

[WP] Due to their small size, cuteness, and ability to bond with anything, Humans are considered the universe’s most sought after emotional support partners.

The boy holds on to the hand railing of the platform as it vigorously bounces. “You’re out,” someone yells. The platform slows considerably, converting to a sullen trot.

The boy leans over the railing, then pats at the purple fur ahead of him. “It’s alright big guy. It was a good try.” The platform he rides in is fastened to the several straps that secure him to the back of a towering, purple, big-foot like creature. The creature doesn’t look back, instead looking to the bleachers to a girl with light blue fur with pink bangs. The boy follows his gaze, then nods. “It’s alright Hank. You’ll get ’em next time.”

Hank continues to lumber into the dugout, plops down, and places his helmet over his knee. Hank looks back over to the girl as she laughs alongside one of her friends. Hank shakes his head and looks down to the floor. “I’ll never get her attention at this rate,” he says, resigned.

“You worry too much Hank. Don’t sweat it. It’ll happen the way it’s meant to.”

“What if she doesn’t like me though Sal?”

Sal shrugs. “How about you leave that to her to decide? It’s not like worrying about it will change anything.” Sal climbs up on Hank’s shoulder while maintaining a grip on the fur along his neck. Hank leans his head and looks over as Sal looks over at Hank’s love interest.

“Don’t stare Sal. You’re being too obvious.” The girl finally takes notice of Sal as he stands tall on Hank’s shoulder. Sal stands on his toes and waves his arm in a large arc over his head. She smiles and waves back. Hank sees this and looks the other directions as if not noticing.

Sal then elbows into Hank’s neck. “Hey big guy. Looks like Sara Beth is walking over to say hello. Wonder what that’s about hmm?”

“Sal,” Hank pleads in a low whisper. “You’re impossible, you know that?”

“Impossible to live without maybe– Hey Sara Beth! Lovely seeing you today!” She crouches next to the dugout and giggles as she threads her fingers through the chain-link barrier.

“Well, hey there,” she replies. “You’re a spirited little guy aren’t you.”

“I sure am! I’m also a fan of yours.”

“Of mine?” she asks, blushing, then laughs. “Well, you’re just adorable. You’re Sal, aren’t you?”

“I sure am,” he says beaming and puffing out his chest. He looks over his shoulder, then whispers. “You hear that? She even knows your minion’s name.”

“And Hank, right?”

Hank looks over to meet her gaze as he rubs the back of his head. He laughs nervously. “Yeah, that’s right. Enjoying the game, Sara Beth?”

“Of course. I come to all of them. Tough break on that last one. It was a good kick though!”

“Oh, you saw that did you? Thanks, I mean.”

Sal elbows him again. “You sly dog you.”

Sara Beth looks back over her shoulder as she hears her name. “I better get back over to my friend.”

“Hey Sara Beth,” Hank starts.

“Please, Sara is fine.”

Hank nods. “Sara then. Would you maybe want to catch a movie or something sometime.”

She smiles and brushes the pink bangs out of her eyes. “I’d like that, Hank.”

He smiles back and nods. “Great. Maybe talk later?”

“Sure.” She waves her fingertips at Sal before turning to leave as Sal waves back vigorously.

“See big guy? That wasn’t so bad, was it?”

Hank exhales. “I thought I was going to have an anxiety attack.”

“Oh? Well, that big goofy grin of yours doesn’t imply any sort of stress. Now we just need to get home and let me show you my moves. It will definitely help you seal the deal…wait, how old are you again?”

Hank cuts his eyes over. “Probably not old enough for whatever you’re talking about.”

Sal waves off the idea and turns to walk back to the platform at Hanks back. “Ah, we’ll figure it out later. I’m proud of you big guy!”

Hank smiles and nods as he looks back over to Sara.