Title is prompt: sometimes nothing is more important than getting home.
| There is no place like home. Ruth couldn't wait to get there, but she knew for the moment she wasn't going anyplace. She despised where she was; couldn't stand the noise, the waiting nor even her own anxiety at wanting so desperately to be on the move. The absolute worst part was knowing getting home wasn't even her own decision. That she had to depend on someone else to drive her home irked her in ways that made it pure torture.
Once again she took in her surroundings. The people nearby were silent, completely intent on what they were watching. Everyone else, further away, apparently found it easy to watch it all while telling everyone else just what they thought, as loudly as they could. It was as if they had a built in megaphone attached to their vocal chords. One guy in particular sounded like the voice of god as he talked, calmly, over all the noise, ensuring all could hear him. "Lord," she thought, "if I could just get home it would all be over." Ruth knew, once home, she wouldn't have to go back for months.
"There's no place like home. There's no place like home," she thought, repeatedly. Ruth was starting to feel like Dorothy but knew she had no ruby slippers to transport her home no matter how desperately she wished for it. "Where is the Good Witch Glenda when you need her," she wondered. Wishes, witches and flying monkeys were not going to help her, so she cleared her head and resumed waiting.
Just one moment passed and her mind wandered again. Tom Petty's "The Waiting" played in her thoughts, moving her attention from where it needed to be. Ruth's introspection reached the second chorus before she realized musings were going to cost her dearly. She felt scrutinized and realized many eyes were watching. A lot of other people wanted her to go home almost as badly as she did. Unfortunately, it just wasn't time yet and there were just as many people determined to see her not go home yet. Suddenly, with an absolute clarity that only a sixteen year old girl could experience, she knew the moment had come.
Ruth left for home. She had taken a single step when she heard a loud crack like a rifle shot but she paid no attention to it and kept her eyes on her route. In a heartbeat she hit full stride and step after step tried to move even faster all the while feeling she would never get there. An eternity later she was halfway there and turned the last corner sharply. Ruth pushed herself even harder and kept going. The strain was more than her young body had ever endured and adrenalin pumped copiously into her system. She was getting closer to home and she could feel it in her heart as easily as she could see it with her eyes. Just before she reached her destination a figure loomed in front of her. One last person was trying to prevent her from getting home safely. She slid down low to try and get past him and he fell in a heap on top of her as she came to a stop. The sound of her own pounding heart was all Ruth could hear. That pounding was interrupted by a loud cry from behind her. "SAFE, SAFE," yelled the umpire! The hometown crowd erupted in cheers.
Scant moments later, Ruth's teammates picked her off the ground and paraded her around on their shoulders. They pounded her back for the two out double that tied the game and bounced her up and down for the game winning run to the plate. The team won the state championship and no one cared anymore that Ruth, a girl, dared to play baseball. As the Championship MVP trophy was handed to her, she had one last stray thought. "Dorothy was right," Ruth mused as she held up the trophy, "there is no place like home."