Just Like You

Light peeked through the tiny crack at the bottom of the door. He lay flat on his stomach, the cold marble beneath his belly and put his eyeball against the crack, peering in and blinking at the large grown up feet planted on the soft Persian rug.

“It’s a question of right and wrong Martha. And quite frankly, I don’t think you have the boy’s best intentions in mind”

“YES.” She replied exasperated  “That’s exactly what he is, a boy. And you’re coddling him too much. He’s going to grow up to be one of those tightly-wound-never-been-kissed-wont-step-outside-of-his own-house kind of men, for god’s sake.”

“He’s not even going to live to adulthood if we continue to let him run around with those kids. He’s too fragile Martha, too easily swayed. ”

His mothers feet moved as she stood up and he could hear her sighing again loudly.

“If we home school him, he’s never going to have friends”

“Friends?” Peter scoffed “You call those boys his friends?  They like him for our money Martha, he’s not like them. He’s weak and they’re going to get him into trouble”

The boy bit his lip and furrowed his brow. He hadn’t considered his difference from his friends before.  He had always thought they were alike. Quietly standing up he looked into the tall hall way mirror and puffed out his chest, clenching his fists. Perhaps he needed to be tougher. Todd was tough. That’s how he killed the cat so easily. The boy winced at the thought of the cat squirming on the ground crying in pain. If he wasn’t like his friends, he wanted to be. But at what expense? Maybe he could do something that seemed tough. He could leave road kill on Mrs. Kippley’s door. Or he could climb the top of the water tower. But..it had to be something grand. Oh yes. He now knew what he could do. And then he’d be tough too. He’d be like his friends and his dad wouldn’t have to worry so much. The boy looked behind him and walked into his dad’s office. His hands couldn’t stop shaking as he took the rifle down from the wall.  Tip toeing out of the house he shut the door in silence. He’d be back before they ever knew he was gone.

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