A Time in Passing

Chapter 2

The Bully and the Strong

The next few years passed by quickly for the four good friends. It was strange, it seemed like only a moment ago Nate would spend his days quietly watching TV and reading his science books in his room; while the dozens of other neighborhood kids would play just outside his house. Now it seemed that Nate, the once the new kid on the block, had grown on the neighborhood's residents. He was always helping out when and if he could; helping painting the houses or helping the local girl scouts to sell cookies even if he didn't get anything from it. That is what Nate was like after that chance encounter back in the playground four years ago. He had grown from a shy child to a much more lively and joyful kid. The neighbors and friends of the Dawns would joke about Nate becoming something fantastic in the future and with his heart and brain it seemed that would be the case. He became quite popular and even loved by his neighbors and teachers and won the hearts of those blessed to have met him.

As the four friends continued to go to school together their bond grew stronger as the months and eventually the years passed. Although Amy, Kyle, and Brandon had known each other long before meeting Nate something about the quiet black-haired boy glued them together even closer and as kids they couldn't care less why. They had done everything together: playing, laughing, hanging out, just about everything any 9 year olds did. They would always head to their regular hangout spots, the ice cream diner after school to grab a quick slushy or cone before heading home together or to the hill looking above the neighborhood watching the clouds pass by or the sun set.

Now it was the spring of third grade for the four friends. It had been four years since the three neighbors befriended Nate and so far it had been a high-flying ride for the once shy raven haired boy. Nate was still reserved as ever but thanks to his friends he was starting to change for the better. Now it was recess and the spring aroma wafted through the gated play area of the local red bricked elementary school. The play area was quiet large taking up about half a block. A soccer field made up the main field area where dozens of children of all ages were playing energetic and exhausting recess games: from tag, to flag football, to soccer. Next to the school was the black top where children would play hop scotch, basketball, or draw with chalk. Next to the black top was the school's playground where the monkey bars, jungle gym, slides, and other playing equipment were held.

It was noon now as the sun raised high above the sky casting stout shadows. The bell rang as the children having recess ran back inside for lunch as those that already had lunch emerged for their half hour of outdoor fun. Amy led the large rowdy group of kids as they screamed running out into the beaming sunlight. Her hair was now in a pony tail tied with a bright pink hair band swaying with every step she took. Over the course of time she had exchanged her tomboyish overalls and puffy jeans for more breezy and flowing dresses. The one she was wearing now was bright pink with strawberry prints making her stand out from the crowd. Followed close behind was Brandon. Brandon's hair was much shorter bordering a buzz cut giving him a fierce impression if you didn't know him and his clothing was much darker than it used to be before. A few kids behind was Kyle. His hair was straight and long down to his chin and he had exchanged his clear spectacles for transitional ones that became opaque in the sunlight as well as a flamboyant neon green hoodie and sweats a stark contrast to his more hard-line friend, Brandon. He still had his recorder but soon he would exchange it for something with a bit more spirit and strength.

Nate emerged as the last outside trailing behind the large mob of children. His hair was to his ears and choppy to say the least. He's emerald eyes sparkled in the light as a wide grin crept onto his round face. He was carrying a box of chalk that Amy had given to him for his birthday a week ago. It was toward the end of May, for the school year was drawing to an end. Nate was quite excited for the summer. A few more weeks and he would leave for Space camp for a week. He loved the stars, space, anything really related to astronomy; this was going to be an amazing summer for him and he knew it.

Walking up to his three close friends Nate exchanged a few smiles with the other kids he walked passed as his friends waited for him by the edge of the black top. His beloved friends were laughing and joking with each other before turning to greet the raven haired boy. "Hey guys!" Nate sung as he wiped the dust from his jeans. He waved at them as they returned the greeting.

"Hey Nate!" Amy smiled widely waving at her good friend.

"So what do you guys want to do?" Kyle asked as he adjusted his now black glasses.

"Um." The four hummed in unison as they thought.

Their musing was interrupted abruptly as several kids walked up to them from the soccer field ahead. There were four of them: a dark-skinned Hispanic boy, two blonde twin sisters, and Becky, one of Amy's best friends and indirectly the one that cemented Nate's and Amy's friendship.

"Hey Torres!" Brandon welcomed the Hispanic boy and his group. "Hey Brandon, we're starting a game of flag football soon, you guys want to join in?" The tall Hispanic boy asked with the group behind him.

"Sure, hey guys want to play, too?" Brandon asked as he turned to his friends.

"Sure!" The friends said aloud except for Nate. "Nate, you want to play, too?" Torres asked with a smile.

"I don't know, Sarah and Henry asked me earlier to help them finish their chalk drawing over by the basketball hoop." Nate explained with which Torres and the others nodded in understanding.

"No problem, come over if you want to play later than, okay?" Torres said as he led the group away towards the field.

Amy turned around to look at her green-eyed friend as she walked away into the field. She smiled at him to which he returned the gesture.

Walking away towards the basketball area Nate stopped beside two other kids: a blonde girl with pig tails and a brunette boy with choppy hair. The blonde girl was Nate's friend, Sarah, and the brown-haired husky child was his lunch buddy, Henry. "Hey Nate, we're almost finished with the drawing did you bring the chalk?" Henry asked as he adjusted his round spectacles.

"I sure did." Nate responded as he handed Sarah his package of chalk.

"Gee, thanks!" Sarah thanked as she tore open the package and allowed the myriad of colors spill onto the rough concrete.

Nate and Henry giggled as they knelt to help Sarah pick up the colorful sticks of chalk. Picking up the chalk the three began to finish their drawing they began yesterday and by some miracle it had not been erased by the other children or last night's dew.

After a few minutes of fun-filled drawing the three were interrupted by a loud hiss. A cold chill crept down their spines as they turned to the disturbance that drew closer from across the black top.

"Move it losers!" A booming voice shouted to their direction from across the black top startling the myriad of other children playing bringing the black top to a deafening silence.

It was Terrance, the 5th grade school bully. He was feared by all the kids and was two years older than those in his grade. He had been held back one or two times due to his grades but he didn't care—in fact he couldn't care less. He towered above all the kids around him by a good four or five inches. His sickly ashen colored skin and bushy ginger hair would make any kid giggle at his bizarre appearance if he wasn't so damn intimidating. He was the terror of the school and if you were aware of this you would have avoided him as much as possible.

He was coming now, walking with a rumble closer to the trio of 3rd graders. Nate's bright smile became a frown; his smooth eyebrows became a furrow as he stood up. He turned around to speak to Sarah and Henry but his face became meek when he realized he was alone. Sarah and Henry had quietly fled away into the crowd of young onlookers. Nate's face turned cold as he realized a circle had formed around him with Terrance as his only counterpart in the ring.

"What did I just say punk!" Terrance spat as he furrowed his brow into a jagged puzzle.

"I'm sorry, I didn't hear you." Nate meekly recited twirling his fingers.

"You got crap in your ears? Want me to smack it out! I said move!" Terrance roared.

"Why?" That was all Nate said but it was deafening.

Nate, himself, cringed to himself at the idiocy he felt for saying that. He could have avoided what was to come if he had just walked away. No one had challenged or even questioned the 12-year-old 5th grader.

"Ooh!" The crowd cooed as they realized what Nate was accidentally doing. He was pushing Terrance—driving him over the edge as they realized Terrance's face was a red as his vibrant hair.

"WHAT!? WHAT DO YOU MEAN WHAT!?" The ginger boy spat as he inched closer to the shorter black-haired boy. His fists were clinched together tightly ready to swing if necessary.

"Nothing!" Nate recoiled as he back up only to fall backwards from his fallen chalk. He crashed down onto the ground smashing a few of the vibrant chalks.

"Ahahaha!" Terrance hissed with a venom grin.

He shot a poisonous glare at the other younger kids pressuring them to laugh along risk it be it they in the slaughter ring. The other kids laughed along but they knew they didn't want to and they felt horrible to laugh at the kind, sweet-hearted boy. They all—well at least most knew Nate being classmates if not friends of the striking raven haired boy.

Hot tears started to run down his face for the first time since back when he was playing hide-and-seek back on that faithful day. He wiped them away as best he could with his forest green Tee's sleeve.

"Awe, look the baby's crying!" Terrance viciously mocked as he made a fake crying face with his hands. "Stupid baby!"

"Shut up!" Nate shot with a whimper as he stood back up from the puddle that had formed around him.

"What did you say?" Terrance tensely questioned he stepped closer.

"I said shut up!" Nate bit back, clenching his shiny teeth as he tasted salty tears.

They stood there for a few minutes. You could hear a pin fall onto the asphalt. The crowd became silent now as their fake laughter stopped abruptly. The wind swirled about dancing like a ghost as it circled the black-haired boy whispering to him to come join it. He would go with the ghostly wind but not for a while at least.

Then out of nowhere Terrance struck.

The field was a mess as the second game of flag football came to an end. Torres's team had won once again, 5-3. Brandon's team had fought hard but was too slow to stop the onslaught of the Hispanic boy's troops. The two teams met to the middle of the field where the white soccer line had divided the sections in half.

Brandon smiled to his brown-skinned friend whom returned the gesture.

"Good game!" Brandon said with a smile as he patted his friend on the back.

"Same here." Torres said as patted Brandon on the head.

"Wow, I'm so tired. I need a breather." Kyle wheezed as he leaned over himself resting his arms on his knees.

Amy was rubbing his back relaxing the blonde boy and turned to Brandon. "So, one more game before recess ends?"

"Sure, I guess. What about you, Torres?" Brandon asked.

"Sure, if you want to lose again." The black-haired boy winked.

"Oh, you're on!" Brandon shot back with a sinister grin walking back to his team of five with the flag belt strapped to his waist.

"Hey! What's going on over there?" Becky asked point to the large group of children on the black top.

"I think it's a fight." One of the blonde twins said.

"Come on guys let's go watch!" Torres offered as he led the kids towards the school and the black top.

"Well, are we going?" Amy asked.

"Sure I haven't seen a good fight in a while." Brandon said with a smile clasping his hands together.

"I don't know what if the principal comes and we get in trouble?" Kyle asked with concern. "You'd rather run around and play football?" Brandon asked with a grim smile.

"No! No, I—let's go check it out, ya, let's go." Kyle nervously retorted cringing at the idea of having to run a few more laps and soaking his already dripping wet attire in sweat.

"Alright then, let's go see who the poor sucker is." Amy laughed. "Come on let's see the sore loser." Brandon chortled as he led the trio ran towards the crowd.

They would regret laughing at the "sore loser" in due time. But, perhaps it would not be soon enough for the green-eyed boy.

"Give it back!" Nate cried out as he flailed his hands trying to grab the package of chalk from the tall bully's hands. He had lifted it high into the air far from the boy's reach.

"Or what? You're going tell on me. You can't do anything you scrawny baby!" Terrance laughed as he knocked the boy down onto the hard asphalt.

"Please! Those are Amy's, she gave them to me!" Nate begged resting on the ground.

A devilish smile crept onto the tall, husky ginger's face. He was going to have fun with this kid. He looked around for the short brunette girl and to his pleasure she was there with a grim frown. She had laughed earlier for the chance to see an exciting fight but she was wrong—dead wrong.

"Ooh, Amy and Nate sitting in a tree K.I.S.S.I.N.G!" The ginger cackled turning his head he saw what he wanted to see.

The raven haired boy's face had flushed a deep red. He turned to his left as he stood up to see his female friend also flushed to the shade of a tomato. Nate locked eyes with his brunette friend before he broke away to stare his tormentor in the face.

As he was about to respond to his oppressor he felt a massive boulder fall from his shoulders and sighed in relief.

"HEY!" a voice called out. It was his savior, Brandon.

The bully turned to the crowd and saw an equally tall, red-haired boy stare menacingly at him. His hair was not a vibrant as Terrance's as it was leaning on the brown side but it did shine in the light with a ruby hue mirroring his blood-shot eyes.

"Oh, what do you want loser!?" Terrance snapped.

"Leave my friend alone." He snarled as he clenched his bony fists together.

"Or what?" The ginger snickered.

"You don't want to know, loser!" Brandon said arching his back as the crowd began to rise in excitement.

A fight was in the making.

"Oh, I'm the loser!" Terrance shouted back as he tossed the chalk onto the ground and grabbed Brandon's black-haired friend by his hair.

"LET HIM GO!" Brandon snarled.

"Make me."

He paused a moment he wasn't thinking clear everything was blurry and in going too fast. His eyes narrowed as Nate continued to struggle. Everyone did not expect what happened next.


"AHHH!" Terrance cried out when a small fist slammed into his side.

It was Nate, he had hurt the menacing 5th grader. With a swift swing Terrance's fist slammed into Nate's chest sending him flying into the black top.

"NATE!" Amy shouted as she ran through the crowd to him with Kyle just behind him.

"Are you okay Nate?"

Kyle uttered as he wiped the tears from Nate's eyes and handed Nate his inhaler.

Nate was having an asthma attack and was wheezing again. Now some of the kids around ran inside for a teacher. This was getting out of hand they all thought but like mob mentality demands they couldn't move, they couldn't react.

Seeing his friend suffering Brandon snapped. His fish clenched, his teeth grinding, his eyes blood-shot with hot tears. His world was being view with red lens—blood red lens as fury consumed the once easy-going and occasionally snappy red-head with a tight grip.

"AHHH!" Brandon shouted as he ran into the bully. Hot tears ran down his cheeks as he charged. He slammed into the boy knocking the screaming child onto the hard asphalt and straddled him. He began wildly swinging, slamming his fists into the boy's face smashing it—bloodying his nose as he felt his fists growing hot with bruises as he continued to destroy the boy. He didn't see a boy at that time but a monster—a faceless, pale, meat doll that needed to break into dust. He doesn't realize it now but that image, that doll would return to him even if he wished it to just break and fall and die.

As he heard the crack of the boy's nose he heard a voice scream. It was an older voice; it was one of the school teachers, her voice hoarse and concerned.

"Brandon Henderson! What on earth are you doing? Get of him!" She hollered as she pulled the boy off the now semi-conscious bully.

"Let me go! I'm not finished with him!" Brandon cried out as he was dragged from the older boy.

"Brandon, inside NOW! You're so much trouble! I'm calling your parents immediately!" The middle-aged woman spat as she gripped the boy's wrist tightly and carried the crying bully in her other arm.

"Everyone return to your games. There is nothing left to see!" She ordered her heel clicks became a distant note.

Nate, Kyle, and Amy sat on the asphalt looking out to their fading friend as he looked back with a wide pride-filled smile.

The afternoon sun radiated orange and crimson light as the long shadows encroached into the small ice cream diner. The glow of amber light swept into the diner with a whisper as it dug into the darkness. The orange light showered the interior giving each table booth an auburn appearance. The diner was sparsely populated only a few couples and groups of friends remained as the sun slowly dipped below the tree line.

Brandon had been suspended for a week and his parents forbade him from leaving the house in that time. His mother was furious, upset, devastated, and saddened by the news that his son had beaten a classmate, and none other than Terrance Ashland, the son of a powerful business associate of a local firm. Brandon was lucky that Terrance didn't tell his father what had happened otherwise he would have been in a world of trouble. Brandon's father was the exact opposite of his wife. He was ecstatic that his boy had defended one of his friends and believed what had occurred was justified. He had to put up a strong front in front of his wife but would then secretly congratulate his son on asserting himself and protecting those he cared for.

It was a week after the incident and two weeks from summer vacation. Brandon had finally been allowed back to school but he would have to wait until Monday to go back to school.

Nate had avoided Brandon and visiting his friends in the chance of seeing his beloved friend as much as he could. He was afraid that Brandon would be upset with him. He was wrong however the opposite of what Nate had expected.

Amy, Kyle, and Nate were quietly eating from a shared bowl of ice cream. The chocolate was running and the sprinkles flew as they all gorged on the sweet brown mound. They didn't notice the shadow walk by to sit beside them.

"Hey guys." Brandon said with a smile sitting beside his friend Kyle.

"Oh hey Brandon, here!" Kyle energetically said with a smile as he handed the red-haired boy a plastic spoon.

"Hey Brandon, how was it like being grounded for a week?" Amy asked filling her mouth with a spoonful of melting ice cream.

"Boring, did I miss anything at school?" Brandon sighed.

"Nothing much except for a quick math quiz we had on Thursday." Kyle said.

"Crud!" Brandon moaned as he sank into his leather seat.

"Oh, also Terrance seems a lot quieter." Amy said.

"Ya, Terrance stopped bullying the other kids. He even gave his spot in the lunch line for that Willard kid." Kyle smirked.

"Francis, Francis Willard, the nerd that peed his pants last year?" Brandon asked.

"Yup, Terrance stopped bullying him after you beat the snot out of him last week." Kyle chortled grabbing a spoonful of the melted ice cream.

"Good that punk deserved it." Brandon snarled as he ate a spoonful of the ice cream immediately calming down with the sweet goo.

"Um hmm." Amy and Kyle hummed.

"So, um, Brandon, I—." Nate timidly started staring at his lap.

"What is it?" Brandon inquired with equally tender eyes.

"I—I'm really sorry for getting you suspended and grounded. I wasn't strong enough to fight Terrance by myself and you got in trouble because of it." Nate apologized almost wilting as he looked up to Brandon's eyes.

Nate almost predicting the blood rage in his eyes shivered in fear of rejection. He was wrong however; Brandon's amber eyes were not of hate but of tender understanding foreign to the red-haired boy until now.

"Nate." Brandon began. "There's nothing to be sorry about." He said brushing the boy's apology aside.

"But I got you in trouble! You got suspended because of me!" Nate cried as he dropped his spoon onto the smooth oak table.

"No Nate, you're wrong about that. You didn't get me in trouble, I did." Brandon said.

"But." Nate started to speak before being cut off with Brandon's hand.

"Terrance was a bully, he hit you Nate. I did what I did because we're friends. Friends look out for each other." Brandon said with a soft voice.

"Best friends especially." Kyle smiled.

"Yup best friends Nate." Amy added in as they finished the bowl.

"Best friends?" Nate uttered with wide eyes.

"That's right, best friends!" The other threes shouted with smiles at their quiet friend.

"Thanks guys." Nate beamed and with that the four friends laughed as they ordered one more round before they would head home.

As they waited for the last bowl unknown to the others Nate was thinking of what they said.

Best Friends

He needed to repay them for helping him and appreciating and loving him so much but how? A present maybe, but exactly what was the million dollar question. An idea sparked in his mind he knew exactly what he was going to get them since they were best friends. All best friends needed what Nate was thinking of. However, he needed the help of Amy's dad's business partner Philip. He had a jewelry store a few blocks from the ice cream shop and perhaps with some convincing he would be able to forge what he was thinking of. It was the perfect place to make what he was wanting. He knew come summer he would replay his friends—no his best friends. With that he smiled to himself which only Amy noticed. She smiled too not knowing what he had in mind but with Nate's smile even statues could grin.

The summer wind was hoarse and humid ripping through the air as the noon sun beamed through the tree tops. At Philips's Jewelry and Gems on Mediterranean Avenue a silver Ford Explorer pulled into the parking lot as other cars passed by. It was a small brown brick building with a large white sign on it. Several cars were parked on the parking lot in front of store as Nate and his mother and father parked beside a red pickup.

"Here we are Philip's Jewelry and Gems; so this is where Bruce told us to go." Mr. Dawn said with a smile as he turned off the car's engine.

"You excited sweetie?" Nate's mother asked turning around to look at her young sons.

Wally's short, dark brown hair shined in the noon sun while Nate's black hair seemed to suck what light shined onto it like a black hole.

"Yup, come on let's go inside now!" Nate wished as he waited for his mother and father to open the car door for them.

"Let's go! Let's go! I want to see the pretty rocks" Wally, Nate's younger brother said with a smile bouncing about in the Ford Explorer.

Wally was four now turning five next month and was going to attend Kindergarten next year. His short brown locks swayed in the air as he bounced in his seat.

"Patience Wally, we're going as fast as we can. It's Saturday we can be all day." His father said as he opened the side doors.

With the hiss of the doors opening the two kids fell out onto the concrete and with smiles ran to the glass door. "Hold on guys, wait up for your mother and me." Mr. Dawn smiled.

He held his wife's hand slowly leading her to the glass door as their two sons waited impatiently at the door.

As they entered the store fluorescent lights of the store's fixtures they were engrossed with dozens of displays of gems, bracelets, pendants, and an assortment of metal rings of all colors and designs. Walking up to the counter they were greeted by a bald man with a thick blonde mustache.

He smiled at the family and spoke. "Greetings, and welcome to my store how can I help you."

"Hello you must be Mr. Hawthorne." Mrs. Dawn greeted.

"Hello, and who might you be, I haven't seen you guys here before not that I'm complaining I'm always glad to see new customers." The middle-aged man said with a smile as he leaned over the counter.

"We're the Dawn Family. We're friends of your business partner Mr. Holloway." Mr. Dawn explained.

"Ooh, is that so. Well any friend of Bruce is a friend of mine, welcome." The man said.

"Thank you." Mrs. Dawn said.

"So what I can do for you four— I mean five?" Philip asked pointing to Mrs. Dawn's distended belly. She was about 7 months pregnant with her third child, a girl.

"Oh, well it's for my son, Nate, he asked us to come for some special project of his, something about a gift for his friends or something." Mrs. Dawn laughed.

"Is that so, what is it that you wish to make?" Philip smiled as he walked from the counter and knelt eye level with the striking 9-year-old boy.

"Well, um, I have these friends—best friends, actually, at school and I want to make them something special." Nate explained before handing the man a yellow piece of paper with drawings of what exactly he wanted.

The bald man smiled with understanding and nostalgia as he realized what the boy was planning and wishing for. He had done the same when he was his age but he had made them by hand. His heart melted with memories of his own old friends and chuckled lightly.

"I believe I can make these." The man said with a smile gripping the paper.

"Before you do anything I need to know. How much is it going to cost me?" Mr. Dawn uttered. He mentally cringed at the image in his mind. A scroll of bills and prices he would need to pay burning through his wallet like acid.

"Absolutely no charge, Mister." That was all he said which made the two adults nearly fall over.

"Really?" They asked in disbelief slouching on their sides with gaped mouths.

"Yup, since your friends of Bruce and since your boy's project here have warmed by cold, hard heart I'll do it for free. Besides it has been a long time since I made any custom jewelry most of this stuff here has been premade in factories. Absolutely no love or personality in them so I'm glad I have a project as important as this one."

"Wow thank you sir we appreciate it." Mrs. Dawn said with a bewildered smile.

"No problem, well come back next week on Saturday and pick up your order here. Well I'll be going now I got to see what we can use for your son's project. It shouldn't take too much to make what's on these here "Schematics"." The man chortled as he walked back to the counter with the back room behind him.

"Thank you again Mr. Hawthorne we appreciate your generosity." Mr. Dawn said with a smile before bidding the man a farewell.

"Goodbye, Mister." Nate said.

"See you soon my boy!" He said before disappearing into the backroom with a turn of a heel.

It had been a week since they had last been in Philip's store but still the excitement in Nate's heart swelled ready to burst. He was finally going to get the gifts he would soon give to his friends. Walking into the store this time was only Nate and his father. Mrs. Dawn was resting after a hard-hitting case of morning sickness and Wally was still asleep.

"Good morning Mr. Hawthorne." Mr. Dawn said with a smile with his son's hand within his.

"Greetings Mr. Dawn, good morning Nathaniel." Philip said with a grin.

"Good morning sir." The raven haired boy said hiding behind his father's leg with his head the only part of his body exposed.

"Well Mr. Dawn, is your son ready for his order?" He asked with a wide grin.

"Yes!" Nate declared making the other patrons turn to see the beautiful boy grin widely as he bounced in the air.

They smiled, too. Many of them have had Nate help around their homes or come over to play with their children so they were familiar with the black-haired emerald eyed lad. He was like an unofficial member of their families, many of them.

"Alright then hold on one second while I go get them for you." The store owner grinned.

He walked backwards disappeared into the darkness of the back storage room. His dark skin beamed in the light before fading into darkness with the poorly light back room.

"Ooh, I'm so excited." Nate said giddily as he awaited the return of the store owner.

"Oh, I'm sure son; I hope it wasn't too expensive for Mr. Hawthorne to make. I would hate to have him spend a lot without getting paid." Nate's dad mused as he walked from his son to the glass displays before him.

"Wow, Maybe I should get this for your mother." Mr. Dawn said bewildered at the beautiful chocolate diamond pendant resting before him in a plush box.

"Would she like it?" Nate asked now with a tinge of worry in his voice.

Maybe his friends won't like what he planned to give them. Maybe he got the wrong gifts.

"Oh, course Nate. Everyone likes jewelry." Nate's father replied which relieved the anxiety in the boy's heart.

"Alright I'm back here you go Nathaniel, have a quick look."

Mr. Hawthorne pressed as he handed the boy a small wooden box with a purple plush trim. Opening the box the boy was immediately struck with the splendor of what was inside. They shined brightly and in a myriad of colors as he closed the box. The sparkle still remained in his eyes as he looked up to the bald man.

"Wow they're exactly how I drew them!" Nate said with a smile at the forty-year old African-American man.

"I'm glad you like them now go on my boy and give it to your friends they're best given at once." He instructed.

With that the father-son pair departed with goodbyes into the bright sunlight. Nate had that stare again. He was thinking, musing afar thinking of the best time to give these precious gifts to his beloved best friends. Whenever he decided to give his friends these gifts he would smile knowing it's what friends do for each other. He thought of this and smiled as he entered his father's car before departing for the less bustling tree-lined avenues of his neighborhood. Leaving the jewelry store behind he chuckled to himself and knew those three gems would be waiting for him when he got there.

Author's Note: Thanks for reading and I'll see you guys for the next chapter it is very important. Goodbye, farewell and until next time, keep reading.