Stoic

18 Dec

On the morning of Monday December 17th, Riley Price’s father walked his 9 year old son to the bus stop for the first time under the cloud of fear that had rolled in since the tragedy in Connecticut. They had spoken about the events in Newtown, so he knew Riley harbored new fears that he should never have had to worry about. Riley had asked him one night during the weekend why something so bad could happen to kids, to which he could only answer with an honest “I don’t know, son.”

That morning, the chill in the air was muted by the chill that crept up from within. He hadn’t felt a hesitation to watch his son off to school since the first day of kindergarden years before.

As the bus turned the corner and accelerated in a low rumble towards the group of children clinging to their parents legs, Riley stepped away from his father ready to climb those stairs to the start of his day. His father called his name, to ask for a hug. To say “I love you”. Maybe just to get him to turn, to look in his eyes and make sure he wasn’t scared.

Riley did turn. He looked up at his father. Blue eyes to brown. And he said “I got this.”

The walk back from the bus stop seemed much warmer.

Unauthorized.

7 Dec

On Wednesday, November 7th 2012 Riley Price was reportedly granted a hall pass by his home room teacher. During this break Riley did not report to the main office, nor did he use the restroom. He was seen retrieving what looked to be a contraband cellular device from a locker thought to be vacant.

A bystander claims to have overheard the conversation that followed, stating that he could hear a baritone voice on the other end of the phone thanking Riley for his support during the “election season”, adding “I won’t forget everything you did for me, when the time comes…” Riley did not speak a word, merely nodding his head.

The witness has not been seen or heard from since. And the vacant locker has been welded shut.

Overheard…

7 Dec

Overheard in a conversation between two 3rd graders in the cafeteria of Springfield Elementary School on December 5th, 2012:

“Did you hear that Riley will be out of school for the whole next marking period!?”

“Yeah! I heard that he’s going to be in a movie with TOM CRUISE!”

“No, no, no…I mean, he’s making a movie…but Tom Cruise is just his stunt double.”

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