So I do.
He reached out with his left hand in what he would later say was an attempt to save the ball from hitting a teammate (though the ball was at least five feet away and in no danger of smacking her in the noggin). The ball made contact with his left hand, bounced off for an incomplete pass, and broke two of Five Cents' fingers.
Though wincing in obvious pain, Five Cents was able to play the kickball game (which we won; we later lost the quarterfinal game in which our opponents accused us of cheating. First of all, who cheats at kickball? Second, we’re too dumb to cheat). But he went to the hospital later that night and sent me a text photo seen here. He also wrote:
TWO BROKEN FINGERS ASSHOLE
YOU OWE ME
What I owe him is beyond me. I didn’t purposely break his fingers, I didn’t even wish the ball to do so. I merely threw it in a game of catch that carried a reasonable expectation of risk on our parts. But someone asked me, “Did you apologize to him?”
Apologize? For what? Despite my Jewish issues of shame, I know I didn't do anything wrong. But Five Cents IS a friend, so here it is:
I’m sorry, Five Cents. I’m sorry you can’t catch a football. I’m sorry your fingers are so brittle they crumble when struck by a relatively soft ball traveling at no faster than 50 MPH. I'm sorry you spent Saturday night at the hospital while I was out having fun. And I'm sorry going to the bathroom just became much tougher for you.
There. I feel much better.