"I'll bet you can't!"
"I can too."
"You think you can climb to the top of that pole?" came another voice.
The three boys in blue jeans and T-shirts stared up at the top of the power pole. It seemed like it was a mile high.
"Sure, no problem. See the spikes sticking out the sides. That's what they're for."
"Yeh, but that's for the power company, not for you."
"Well if they can do it. I can too."
"No Mike, don't do it, you'll get in trouble. Your mom will be mad. She'll probably ground you for life."
"Nah, she won't care. She's got a new boy friend"
"I wish my mom was like yours."
"Yeh, your mom is nice."
"Well, she listens to you. She doesn't yell at you all the time and she always wants to meet your friends. My mom and dad never want to see my friends. As long as I'm out of their way after supper, they're happy. I know dad works hard all day, but still, it would be nice if we could do things together, like you and your mom and sister."
"My dad is OK. We don't go out together though. He's too busy." from Tim.
"Yeh, maybe I won't climb the pole. It wouldn't be a good example for Susie." Although he still seemed to be checking out the pole.
"Mr. Jones, our Sunday School teacher did say we should be an example for our friends and those younger than us. Thank you Joe for reminding me. You know you're a good friend. You look out for me, you too, Tim. And mom does need some adult company. And Dick is a nice man, he doesn't mind if Susie and I are around."
As they headed towards home, Mike said, "Dick told me he was going to take me fishing some weekend, maybe he'll take you guys too. I can ask him."
"Maybe you should go out with him alone first. Then if he sounds interested we could go next time." Joe said.
"Yea, we don't want to scare him off."
The very next day as the boys were walking to school, Mike couldn't seem to hold back his excitement. "Joe, Tim, guess what! Dick is taking me fishing on Saturday. I can hardly wait."
"You're lucky man. Don't forget to ask if I can come next time. OK." from Joe.
"Oh, I'm sure he won't mind. He's excellent. You know, I think he likes my mom. I don't know why. She's pretty old. But I guess he is too. I'll make sure I ask him if you can come next time."
After school that day as Joe came in the front door, he heard his mother crying on the phone, "I don't know Jill, Frank is talking about divorce. I don't know what to do." Mike and Tim were waiting outside so they could go to the park.
Joe stopped in his tracks. What was this? Dad wouldn't leave would he? Things weren't that bad were they? Gee, he'd have to think about this.
"Hi mom, is anything wrong."
"Nothing you can help with. Just leave me alone."
Joe rushed out the door tears running down his cheeks. Tim and Mike ran after him. As he raced towards the playground he bumped into a large body.
"Hi Joe. Is something wrong?" It was Mr. Jones his Sunday school teacher, he grabbed Joe by the arm. Joe tried to shake him off. "You wouldn't understand."
"Why don't you try me."
"My dad is going to leave, divorce us."
"Why do you say that?"
"I heard mom talking on the phone." She was mad.
"What did she say?"
So Joe told Mr. Jones what he had overheard.
"Listen son, you don't worry about it. Lets pray that God will take care of this," so they bowed their heads and Mr. Jones said a quick prayer.
"Joe, why don't you come home with me. I'll phone your dad and talk to him. OK? Are you boys with Joe?" as he noticed the two boys staring at them. "Maybe you can talk to Joe later."
"Dad will probably be mad at me. He's been kind of grouchy lately"
"Oh, I'm sure he won't be mad, upset maybe."
So they walked down the street to Mr. Jones' house, as they passed Mike's house he saw Tim and Mike going inside. They waved to Joe and Mr. Jones.
"Can you come in for a while?" to Tim.
"Well I can't stay long, my mom likes me to get at my home work before she gets home."
"Maybe, we could work on our homework together?"
"You sure your mom won't be mad?"
"Oh no, we can have some juice and an apple."
So the two boys went into Mike's room, chattering like squirrels.
"I hope Joe is alright," Mike spoke thoughtfully.
"Yea, that must be rough. What should we do first? Math?"
Down the street, Mr. Jones was talking with Joe's dad.
"Sure, I understand, Frank. Maybe we can talk about it. How about going someplace for a coffee, after supper? What about tomorrow evening?"
(c) Esther A. Provencher
(story edited by Richard L. Provencher)
All messages for Richard or Esther can be sent directly to: firstname.lastname@example.org. They enjoy reading comments on their work. Readers are welcome to visit their website at: www.wsprog.com/rp/. Free downloads also available. They live in Truro, Nova Scotia. Canada. Blessings for your loved ones
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