The black Honda Civic drove down the heavily crowded city, and stopped at every traffic light. Inside the car were William, and his mother. Traffic in the city was awful, as it had reached rush hour.

"I have never seen so much traffic in the city before," said the woman with a sad voice that was just trying to say something so all sanity wouldn't be lost. "It just doesn't make since, why would so many people even want to come near here with recent events. She sighed, she felt depressed, she had just lost the man she loved, and now her son will barely talk. She didn't know what to do or say, she was just lost. She took one hand off the steering wheel and caressed her son's shoulder. She had a lump in her throat as she spoke with uncertainty. "Just stay strong, it's what your dad would have wants you to do."

William sighed, and replied with sorrow in his voice, "I know, it's just hard right now, I'll get better eventually, I just need some time to recover."

William's mother nodded her head. All of a sudden the traffic light nearest to them turned straight from green too red. William's mother slammed the breaks and put her arm out in front of Will. The car came to a nearly complete stop, and barely tapped the red 1999 Chevy Malibu in front of it. Both cars pulled over to the side of the street. William's mother and the man driving the Chevy Malibu got out of their cars, and met on the sidewalk. William got out too just in case he could learn something from this experience.

The man that got out of the Chevy was a tall man. He was very skinny, and very young. He had to be no older than twenty-seven. He had slick black hair combed to the side. His skin was bronze. He had a cleanly shaved face, and was wearing a gray suit, with a white dress shirt underneath, and a red necktie. He was wearing gray dress pants, that matched the suit, with black dress shoes, and black dress socks. William recognized him immediately as his pre-algebra teacher Dr. Ali.

"Oh is everyone all right in your vehicle Mrs. Travis?" He asked with concern, and a heavy Arabian accent.

"How do you know my name already?" She interrogated sternly.

"Oh I am sorry that was rather rude," Mr. Ali started. "I am William's pre-algebra teacher, Dr. Ali" was his rejoinder.

"Oh okay," she said with relief in her voice.

"If you do not mind I want to hurry though I have to be in court in 10 minutes," he stated quickly.

After that there were no words spoken, they exchanged information, and left for their destinations.

"I wonder why he would need to go to the court," William said.

"Jury duty perhaps," Williams mother stated.

William thought for the rest of the ride their on why, he seemed to be more nervous for just being on jury duty, but Dr. Ali would never commit a crime. William quit thinking about it when the Honda Civic parked outside a 10-story apartment building. They walked into the lobby in which there were two elevator doors. They were both painted black, and not very well. They were both peeling a little bit.

William's mother pushed the up arrow in between the doors. They waited a couple seconds then the door opened, and William walked in with his backpack on his back, and his bag filled with his clothes, books, and CD's in his right hand. His mother was right beside him with William's guitar case in her hands. They were both still in too much pain over the death of William's father to make a full conversation with each other, they were both having memories of everything they did with him while he was still alive.

William pushed the button with the number four on it. The button lit up in a dark peach-like color. The elevator slowly ascended to the fourth floor where they got off single file, William's mother first, then William next. They walked to room number 407. William walked up to the door, and knocked three times. The door made a sound that you might normally hear on a large drum, only with the canvas making a more of a sound that you would hear with wood.

The door opened. Behind the door was a tall slim African American woman with dark curly hair and green eyes. She immediately went over to William's mother, and hugged her.

"Oh Christiana," she started in a sorrowful tone, "I am so sorry about what happened. The traumatic stress this kind of thing causes must be immense. I am so sorry my friend."

"It is alright Wendie I'll be alright," replied Williams mother (who will now be referred to as Christiana).

Wendie was Dusty's mom. She had been a friend of Christiana since their days at Worcester State University in Massachusetts. Wendie grew up in the town of Athol, while Christiana had grown up in Springfield. Both of these places were in Massachusetts. They both moved to Manhattan after college because their fianc├ęs both got jobs at the World Trade Center buildings. Wendie's husband (Harold) was killed in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and of course eight years later Christiana's husband (Joseph) was killed after the North Tower collapsed hours after being struck by a Boeing 747 jet. Wendie's understanding of emotions came from her profession as a psychologist.

"Oh and William this is not any easier on you I'm sure," started Wendie. "Come on inside, Dusty has been waiting for you."

"Thank You," William mumbled nervously. This was not the normal William, but he just cannot bring himself to be comfortable after only hours of the announcement of his father's death. Normally he is cheerful, outgoing stubborn, and a little too bold. Right now he was in despair, shock, and it made him feel weak.

Inside was a boy his age sitting on a couch that was rough, and worn down. He too had dark skin, and short black hair. His eyes were blue, and he was slightly shorter than the average seventh grader. He was wearing blue jeans, and a black sweatshirt, with no logo, or design on it. William could barely look at him without feeling guilty. They were the only friends each other had, and soon he would be leaving.
"I know everything Will," Dusty started.

"It isn't easy," William said shamefully.

Dusty nodded; he didn't know what to say, because there isn't much you can tell a thirteen year-old boy who lost his father. You could tell him sorry but nobody wants to hear that, especially Will; he didn't want any sympathy. "Why don't we get some spirits up in here huh?" Dusty asked rhetorically. "We can play some music, that's always psychologically healthy."

Both Dusty, and Will pulled out their guitars, and tuned them. They would take one last opportunity to twang away the day with some country music. They would sing George Strait, Alan Jackson, anything they could think of playing. It would be a short form of entertainment for the two. Finally they put their guitars down.

"You know, you're gonna be leaving me in the dust," Dusty said.

"Yeah I know," William said sorrowfully.

"But we will always be friends," Dusty stated.

"Always," repeated William. "Why don't we do our English, and call it a night?"

"Yeah," Dusty started. "Let's do that."