Joe picked up his bat and began trudging across the wet grass to find his baseball.
Usually, Joe would leave any missing baseballs behind, but since this was the only one he had ever actually hit, he wanted to keep it in his room so he could always remember his golden moment.
Seeing nothing on the grass, Joe started to check in some trees, thinking it must have gotten stuck in one of them. He moved branches aside, trying to find it, but found nothing after looking through five different trees. Joe concluded it must still be in the grass, he must have just not seen it.
Joe walked to the other side of the field hoping to find it over there.
That's when he spotted a small boy lying in the grass a few yards ahead of him. He had not seen him before because a bush had been blocking his view. Now on the other side of the field Joe could see the boy clearly.
That's weird, thought Joe, Every body's already left, what's a kid doing laying in the grass by himself?"
Curious, Joe made his way over to the boy, and spotted his baseball near him. He went over and picked it up, happy to have found it. But then he noticed the boy on the floor seemed to be sleeping.
"Hey, kid, wake up," he said to the boy. The kid didn't even stir. Joe laid his bat on the grass and bent down to shake him. He still didn't move.
Joe's heart dropped. He didn't think the boy was sleeping anymore.
Don't tell the first time I hit a ball I hurt someone!" he panicked. Joe shook him some more. He figured the kid must be unconscious. How was Joe going to explain this to his mom? He didn't think she'd be thrilled to find out he had knocked out a small boy at the park!
Joe began desperately shaking the boy again.
"Please wake up," he pleaded to the boy. Then to Joe's relief he saw the boy's eyes start to flicker open.
After opening them fully, Max was looking up at Joe's face.
Joe stepped back to give him some room. Slowly Max sat up.
"Who are you?" he asked. He rubbed his eyes and looked around, "and where am I?"
"I'm Joe," Joe replied, "And you really don't know where you are?"
"No, I don't," said Max.
"Okay then, what's your name?" asked Joe.
Max's memory flickered back to the white ball, and he knew how to respond.
"It's Max," he said.
"Well, Max, you're at the park. And where are your parents?" Joe questioned.
Max gave him a confused look. Joe thought he must have not heard him.
"I said, where are your parents?" he questioned yet again. Finally Max replied, and made Joe really panic.
"What are parents?" Max said, perplexed.
"You don't know what parents are!" said Joe, a little more fearfully than he had intended.
Oh my GOD, I gave this kid amnesia! he thought to himself. Joe had no idea what to do.
"Don't you know where you live, or what school you go to?" he said hopefully. His hopes were dashed as Max shook his head.
"I don't know about any of that, I just got here." said Max.
Great! This kid doesn't even know what he's talking about!
Joe had been so happy a few minutes earlier, but now he was stuck with a kid that didn't remember a thing about his life.
And the worst part is, thought Joe, was that he had caused it.