Different, We Stand

Hahahahah…Ronan’s ears hurt with that obnoxious sound. With slow steps, he walked towards his house, the school bag weighing down his shoulders.

He stopped at the park. It happened here yesterday. While playing football. He didn’t know-how. It had never happened before. He couldn’t control it. His pants got wet. Everyone saw it. They laughed and he ran away embarrassed.

A sudden rustle startled him. He turned back. It was Keith, the fat boy.

“Hi! Are you okay?” Keith asked Ronan.

“So you know.”

“Freddie told me.”

‘Freddie, the one who stammers. He hardly speaks but this he had to.’ Ronan thought to himself.

“I am fine.”

“You can come to play with us in my backyard,” Keith said.

In the evening, Ronan counted his steps to the backyard. He was surprised to see so many kids. Apart from Keith and Freddie, there was Martha, the one with the heavy glasses. Steve, with squinted eyes and Kelly with the scanty hair.

Seeing him, they burst into laughter. Scared, Ronan ran. Panting and wiping the sweat off his face, he screamed and sat up in his bed. It was a bad dream.

************

At his usual playtime that day he walked towards Keith’s backyard.

“Hi everyone, Can I play with you?”

They looked surprised. Wasn’t he one of those who made fun of them?

Kind Freddie made space for him to sit.

“Not here buddies. Let’s go to the park.”

At the park, the other kids were sitting with a solemn look. Without Ronan, their already small group was even smaller. Their faces lit up seeing the rest of the gang. Soon they started splitting teams. A lot of play time was lost already.

Poor Steve fell in the mud pool and the park was full of innocent giggles once again.

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