Crossing Paths


Alternate Universe

With a heavy heart young Vin Tanner left his house, his heavy schoolbag nearly crushing him under its weight. He was starting first grade this year and boy, did he hate it.

First grade. These two words had been he source of excitement for the kids in his neighborhood. Vin had never liked the first day of school. Seeing other children waving goodbye to their parents and getting an encouraging 'best of luck' from their mothers was enough to bring tears to Vin's eyes. Just a year ago he had lost his mother to cancer. After the devastating death of his mother, Vin's father had started drinking to dim his sorrows and was never around when his son needed him.

Suddenly a voice shouted," Where's ya pa? Drinking away again? Haha." That irritating voice belonged to the one and only Jon Roberts who thought that teasing poor Vin was fun. And to Jon, the fun was only beginning.

+ + + + + + +

Throughout the school day, Jon had teased and mocked Vin non-stop. But no matter how he tried, Vin never cried. At last the final bell rang. Picking up his books, Vin trudged home.

As Vin was walking past the basketball court, he heard an all too familiar sound of footsteps. Jon Roberts was coming.

" Time's up. Been letting ya off real easy…it's time for ya to pay up," Jon said in a menacing growl.

Instinctively, Vin's right hand flew to his pocket to protect his food source for a week, a one-dollar bill.

+ + + + + + +

From across the basketball court, 16 year-old Chris Larabee could see a bigger boy bullying a smaller kid. Passing the ball to the nearest player, Chris jogged to the 'scene of the crime'.

Jon could see a teenager advancing towards him. Although the teen might have been bigger than he was, he paid no attention. How could that teenager have anything to do with that scrawny Vin Tanner, he thought.

"Why don't you pick on someone your own size?" came a voice out of nowhere.

Turning around, Jon saw Chris standing behind him with the cold 'Larabee stare.' Frightened, Jon turned around and ran home as fast as he could.

"Thank you," said Vin in a small voice.

"Ain't a problem. I'll make sure that he'll never give ya any trouble any more." With that, Chris went back to playing basketball with his friends, leaving Vin to wonder who his 'savior' was and if he could ever repay his kindness. Who knew that one day they would meet once again.


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