The Lost Glove

My grandparents met in high school—my grandfather played baseball while my grandmother played softball. My dad used to tell me about how they met; though they went to different schools—both single-sex Catholic academies—they had practice in the same park. Though they never spoke, there was always a weird tension between them—and between the teams in general. I guess that’s just what happened when your practices align.

Anyway, the men’s and women’s teams, though playing on separate diamonds, left their gear and water bottles in the same general area. This is how the teams became acquainted, through quick jokes and brief asides while grabbing a snack or drink. Still, despite this closeness, they didn’t speak… that is, until my grandmother forgot one essential piece of equipment.

At the beginning of her junior-year season, my grandmother forgot her glove. This was, apparently, a bigger deal than I thought it’d be. It was during pre-season training, which is essentially try-outs. She wanted to make the varsity team to include the detail on her college applications for the following year, but without a glove, she wouldn’t be able to even try out. According to my dad, my grandfather noticed her crying, asked what was wrong, and generously donated his glove for the day.

Unfortunately, the boys team was also in the middle of their try-outs. After finding out he didn’t have a glove, the coach kicked my grandfather off the team for “not being prepared,” or something dumb like that. Luckily, he was able to fight his way back onto the roster when a player had to quit a few weeks later. Still, the potential sacrifice is touching, and that brief communication sparked a lifetime romance.

They both died a few years ago—within months of each other. The other day, I was helping my dad clean out the family house, and it was my duty to clear the basement. I found both of their gloves, stacked together on a shelf toward the back of the room. I miss them dearly, but I love their story. I keep the gloves in my own basement, now, sometimes going down to use them while playing catch with my own son.



This story took place two weeks ago. I’ve had a fear of basements since I was a kid. Though the fear has diminished with age (I just turned nineteen), I still feel a pang in my chest whenever I turn to ascend the basement staircase, looking back to ensure there’s nothing behind me. I still get butterflies when I’m in a basement alone.

Well, I found myself alone in the basement just two weeks ago. I was home from college—spring break—and my parents were out with friends. I wanted to spend the night by myself—living in a 13’x13′ space with a roommate, a relative stranger, had taken a toll, and I wanted some time to be on my own. During my first year of college, my parents finally got around to finishing the basement. It was now, rather than a dingy laundry room, a beautiful second living room complete with a television, gaming system, and refrigerator. I was journaling and listening to music with headphones on.

Even through my headphones, I knew I heard a noise come from behind me. It was a thump. I took off the headphones to examine the back of the basement—there was nothing there. I could have done some more investigating, but I didn’t really feel the need; I knew that my perennial fear of basements could be to blame, so I slipped the headphones back over my head and continued to journal. I didn’t think it was anything to be concerned about.

After a few minutes, I heard the noise again. This time, I was sure something had made the noise. It wasn’t just my imagination. I tore off the headphones as the noise happened again—a low, metallic clang. I walked slowly to the back of the basement, phone in hand ready to dial 911. What I found was, actually, not that surprising—an air vent.

I suddenly realized that this, the metal air vent, was creating the metallic clanking sound. I got as close as I felt comfortable and peered through the vent’s slats. With horror, I saw a shadow moving in the darkness.

A hand appeared.

I gradually stepped backwards, mouth agape, shaking my head in denial. The hand tried to grab the slats, but they were too thin to facilitate a solid grip. I screamed and ran upstairs, grabbing a knife on my way. I called the police, and they assured me that help was on the way. My panic escalated as I heard a door bust open downstairs.

A few minutes later, two police cruisers pulled up to the driveway. They came into the house, immediately apprehended the man, and knocked on the door to the room I had chosen as a sanctuary. Apparently, the man who had snuck in was a business associate of my father’s—my dad later explained that they were both up for the same promotion, so he likely snuck into the house looking for dirt on his opponent.

Even though I can rationalize the break-in and understand the reasons for its occurrence, I will never spend time alone in a basement ever again. I’m back at school in a dorm which, thankfully, has no functioning basement, but I can only imagine the trouble I’ll have trying to do laundry in my first apartment building…


When my grandparents passed away, my parents let me live in their house—I was of moving out age, anyway. I only had to pay the taxes and day-to-day expenses, which I could easily handle on my part-time/college kid income. At the beginning, I really enjoyed living alone. The freedom was completely new to me, and I relished in the ability to invite anyone over at any time. To me, it was paradise.

However, as most young adults come to understand, living alone came with its own challenges. Bored of the freedom I had once cherished, I began to feel quite lonely. I worked to quickly bandage this superficial need, adopting a 2-year-old German Shepherd named Rocky—named for Rocky Balboa. He was a very calm German Shepherd, which I’ve been told is very unusual for the breed. I set up his bed in my bedroom, just beside my nightstand so I could go to sleep and wake up to his adorable little face.

German Shepherds are very active dogs; while I would sleep through the night, Rocky liked to get up and move around. To help him out, I left my bedroom door slightly ajar—he could roam through the house as he pleased, getting water, food, and toys.

One night, around three weeks after adopting Rocky, I woke up to his barking down the hall. Still half asleep, I got up to see if he was okay, stumbling to the other side of the house to check on him. When I fully opened my eyes, I saw Rocky clawing at the basement door, barking maniacally. I didn’t know what to do—when I lived with my parents, I would call my dad to deal with something like this. For the first time in my life, it was on me to deal with the problem at hand.

I quickly realized there was no chance of me entering the basement alone—Rocky had to come with me. As soon as I opened the door, he bolted into the blackness, continuing to bark as he descended the stairs. I flipped on the lights, following behind. Weirdly, Rocky had stopped barking.

When I got to the bottom of the staircase, I looked around for him—he had vanished from my line of vision. I finally found him, frozen with his tail between his legs, looking up at a corner of the room. He looked at me, and his tail raised slightly as I approached where he stood. I quickly realized that Rocky was standing in front of a closet door. All I could think was, What’s in there? Who is in there?

Instead of opening the closet door, I brought Rocky back upstairs, bringing him into the bedroom and shut the door behind me. I still don’t know if I made the right choice, but I went back to sleep.

Nothing like this ever happened again, but I think about it sometimes. Maybe someone had broken into the house, assuming it had been abandoned when the original residents died. Maybe there was nothing in the closet. I don’t live there anymore, but I’d be curious to ask the current residents.

Expiration Date

In 1986, my mom decided to move our small family into a new house. New to us, that is—we were moving from an ancient cabin on the outskirts of town to a home built just a decade prior. At that point, it was just me, my mom, and the dog—she hadn’t yet met Steve, and Mary hadn’t been born. At ten, I was happy it was just the two of us; she was my best friend.

The house was newer and bigger than the one in the woods. I had my own room for the first time, and I spent a lot of time reading and playing alone. From what I remember, I enjoyed the first few weeks of this newfound independence—I held court among my dolls, played hide-and-seek with the teddy bear, and raced myself in circles around the bedroom.

From the day we arrived, I knew I wasn’t alone in my room. Growing up in isolation, I knew what it felt like—the bedroom was different. Sometimes I would hear footsteps and knocking noises, but I shrugged them off. Doll court was more important.

Weird things started to happen about a month after we’d moved in. The banging got louder, and I’d shout, infuriated by the interruption, “Shut up! I’m trying to read!” Mom was moderately concerned, but assumed I was playing with an imaginary friend. I didn’t realize it, but she couldn’t hear the banging.

A few weeks later, I started to experience weird dreams—I relived foreign but commonplace memories in the house. I would remember, in vivid detail, walking between the laundry room and my mother’s office. I remembered sitting in the basement, amid construction (it was being finished), playing with toy cars. One morning, after waking up from a cellar dream, I asked Mom when it had been finished. She was surprised—the basement had, in fact, always been finished.

Another week later, I woke up, suddenly, standing in the center of the basement. But that’s all that happened. Really. I woke up confused and shuffled my way back to bed. Eventually, the dreams stopped, and the banging dulled and became sporadic, disappearing altogether around the time of my 12th birthday. I don’t know what it was, but I’m convinced there was some type of presence in the house. I know this isn’t how these stories generally end, but I guess it moved on, letting us live our lives.