Cindy half-walked and half-jogged beside her brother, Randy. Her legs were not long enough to match his giant strides. She wanted to make sure he would keep his promise to her. “Randy, you are really going to come to my basketball game on Friday, aren’t you? Will you pinky promise to come? I want to introduce you to coach Jaminson. He’s nice, kind of loud sometimes when he yells at us, but that’s his job.”
Randy smiled down at his, slightly out of breath, eight-year-old sister. “Are you having a hard time keeping up? I’ll slow down a bit so you can catch your breath.” Randy cut his strides in half. “Sure, I’ll be there.” He reached for Cindy’s hand and curled his pinky finger around her pinky finger. “I pinky promise I’ll be there. I wouldn’t miss it.”
At the beginning of the season, Cindy signed up for basketball. She loved playing and had put in hours and hours of practice before she could make a basket. After that she knew she could be a good player if she worked at it. Her mom was not interested in sports and her dad was usually out of town on business. Cindy had felt as if no one cared if she played basketball or not. There was no one to applaud for her when she made a basket or even care if her team won or lost. Friday night would be different, Randy would be there to see her play.
That evening Cindy practiced much longer than usual. She wanted to be in good form on the basketball court.
The next two days dragged by. Cindy could hardly wait until time for the game on Friday. Randy would be there. He had pinky promised and one must never break a pinky promise.
Friday finally arrived. Cindy couldn’t keep her mind on her schoolwork. She hardly ate any dinner that evening. She put her suit on long before her mom reminded her it was time to leave for the game.
She had hoped that Randy would drive her to the game but he was nowhere around. Her stomach began to tighten a little. She shut her eyes and whispered a prayer. “Please Lord help Randy remember he pinky promised to be at my game tonight. I want to play a good game and I want him to be there to cheer me on.” She felt better after she prayed and even though Randy had not returned before her mom drove her to the game Cindy kept trying to convince herself that he wouldn’t forget.
Cindy’s mom dropped her off with a reminder that she would pick her up after the game. Cindy looked for Randy’s car in the parking lot but couldn’t see it. She walked into the gym and coach Jaminson walked over and greeted her.
“Hello, Cindy. How is my star player tonight? Are you ready to lead this team into victory?”
Cindy tried to smile at Coach Jaminson, but her heart was not in her answer. “Yeah, we’re sure to win.” She waved a half-hearted hand and went to join the rest of the team.
Cindy would not look at the bleachers. She pretended she didn’t care if Randy came or not. “It’s not such a big deal,” she told herself. “No one has been here before and I did alright. I can do it again tonight too.”
She set her mind on playing her very best and keeping up her responsibility regardless if Randy couldn’t keep his promise.
About three minutes into the game, a player passed the ball to Cindy and she made a three-pointer.
Suddenly she heard her name called by a familiar voice. “Yeah! Cindy, good job Sis. She looked in the direction of the voice, and sure enough there stood Randy applauding with all his might.
Cindy hardly remembered the rest of the game, but they must have done okay since they won! She remembered a lot of applauding and “yeah team” shouted from the bleachers. Each time she made a basket Randy yelled and applauded. After the game Randy couldn’t quit talking about the game. He told Cindy how proud he was of her.
When her mom got there, Randy asked if he could take Cindy out for a treat and invited his mom to go along if she wanted to.
The three of them sat at a table and talked for a long time. Randy told his mom every play that the team made. He went over it play by play. Cindy could tell that her mom couldn’t understand what Randy was talking about. She was confused about him being so excited over a kid’s ball game.
Cindy smiled. It was alright if her mom couldn’t understand what the big deal was with basketball, as long as Randy and Cindy knew, that was okay.
“Mom, I don’t want to miss another one of her games. I plan on attending ever one of them from now on. She’s one great player. We have a potential professional player here.” He grinned at Cindy. “I’m telling you, this girl is great.”
Cindy felt great. She knew she had someone to share her love for basketball with and that made her feel great.
That night as she said her prayers she told the Lord how thankful she was that he reminded Randy about his pinky promise to be at the game.
A perfect day, a perfect big brother, a perfect game and a perfect God who made all of it come together so perfectly.