The Wizard Heart

Darrin Thomas

©: 2014 - 2015

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This story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously and any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental.

This story is copyrighted by Darrin Thomas, all rights reserved. Distribution, including but not limited to: posting on internet sites, newsgroups, or message boards, or in book form (either as a whole or part of a compilation), or on CD, DVD or any other electronic media, is expressly prohibited without the author's written consent.

Chapter 12

"Just who the hell do you think you are, Lady?" David asked as he walked up to the woman who had just bullied his son.

"Excuse me?" She asked him.

"From where I am standing, there isn't an excuse for you. Where do you get off calling a student a maggot?"

"I never called any student that! And I don't know who you are, but you had best watch how you speak to me!" She snapped back at him.

Before David could really go off on her, Dr. Martin walked up and asked if there was a problem.

"Oh you could say that! If I had known how this school was run I would have never agreed to come teach here, let alone allowed Sherry to enroll Eli in this place! How can you stand to look at yourself in the mirror knowing you're allowing your students to be treated like this?"

"Mr. Hunt, I do not have a clue as to what you are talking about. Maybe we should back up and you can explain what is going on to me?"

David ripped the sign down and slammed it into the principle's chest.

"There is a young girl over there sitting at the table where your son is, she has a video of the whole thing on her phone. You have a day to correct this." David then stormed off to get Eli.

"Come on, Eli, we are going to grab some lunch." David said as he walked up to the table to collect Eli. He figured Eli needed some time to collect himself as well as still needing to eat. He also needed to calm himself down before he killed someone, so it was off to the golden arches.

At the same time, Ron Martin was stunned at David's actions. After watching him stomp across the lunch room and collect his son and walk out, he looked at what David had shoved into his chest. He couldn't believe what he was seeing.

"Mrs. Johnson, you have 5 minutes to get off this school's property or I will have the Sheriff arrest you for trespassing."

"You, MR. Martin, have no right to order me to do anything. I work for the food services department not this school."

"You are wrong, there, and if you are not on your way to the district offices in 5 minutes, you will find out just how wrong you are!" He said as he walked over to ask Nora Mills for her cell phone. On his way, he sent Sheriff Mills a text, telling him he was needed at the school pronto.

"Miss Mills, may I please have your cell phone?" He asked reaching the table where the kids were.

"Dr. Martin, you know Nora and I have dad's permission to have our phones with us at all times while we are here."

"Yes, Noah, I do know that. Your sister will get her phone back, but I have been told there is a video of what happened between Mrs. Johnson and a student on it and I need to see it."

"Here you go, Dr. Martin. I have the video up and ready for you. All you have to do is push play. I have also gone ahead and emailed a copy of it to dad and to you." Nora said while handing the phone to him.

Dr. Martin started the video and was in total shock at what he saw and heard.

"You're supposed to have your ID out, where is it?" She demanded.
"I don't have one yet, jus..."
"Can't you read? The sign says, NO ID NO FOOD!" She said pointing to a crudely made sign next to the computer.
"Look, what sport do you play? By looking at you I would say you don't play one at all. But if you are on a team then I might over look your stupidity of not having your ID and let you through, so? Tell me what sport you play?" She said very nasty like.
"I don't play a sport." Eli said about in tears.
"Figured as much. Get out of my sight you little maggot. Come back when you grow a pair or can remember your ID! Next?"

Dr. Martin handed the phone back to Nora and thanked her. He started toward his office. He just couldn't get over how an adult could talk to a child that way, let alone one who worked with kids every day. On his way to his office, he called the school superintendent, but got his voice mail instead. After leaving a message he called the director of food services to inform her there was a major problem with one of her workers.


"Gloria, Ron Martin here. I am calling to inform you that there has arisen a major problem with Agatha Johnson. I have told her she has five minutes to be off school property, or I will have her arrested." He started.

"You have no right to deal with any of my employees! I get to say who goes to what school and who can't." She screamed into the phone.

"If that is the way you want it, then fine. I have a copy of my contract in my office here, and will show it to the Sheriff when he arrives. If she is on this school's property at that time, I will have her arrested. If you feel it is not within my rights to do so, then you can have me charged either in court or before the school board, however, know this! I will not put up with any person, on my staff, your staff, or the district staff, calling one of my students a maggot and refusing to give that child food! I will also be calling the district attorney as soon as I hang up, to see if what she did could be criminal, and if it is, I will be pushing for charges to be filed! Good Day!" He told her before hanging up on her.

Just as he was getting to his office, his best friend, the Sheriff arrived.

"Hey Ron, what's going on?"

"Nevin, before I get into it with you, I need you to walk down to the lunch room. If Mrs. Agatha Johnson is there or anywhere on the school property, I want her arrested for trespassing, pronto!" Ron told his friend. "Also, on your way, I need you to call the DA and ask him to come over or send someone over to determine if what has happened could have criminal charges resulting. I need you to make this happen before the school superintendent gets involved!" Ron said as he headed into his private office.

Nevin was on his phone before he was out of the front office. As he was making the call he received an email from his daughter, which he shouldn't have as she was in school.

"Peter, I don't know what is going on, but Ron is really pissed. I just got an email from my daughter and it contains a video clip. I have a feeling this has something to do with what is going on, but I am not sure. Let me watch this and I will call you back, but get your ass over here please!" The sheriff said into his phone.

When he got to the lunch room he couldn't see Mrs. Johnson anywhere, but he did see his youngest two. He walked over to them and said hello.

"Do any of you know where Mrs. Johnson is?" He asked the group of kids sitting with the twins.

"She ran out of here faster than I thought a fat old women could ever move!" Jeremy Mayfield told the Sheriff which caused everyone at the table to laugh including the Sheriff.

"Nora, what is this video you sent me?"

"It's a copy I sent to Uncle Ron of what Mrs. Johnson said and did to Eli when he tried to get his lunch. I am sorry, Dad, but she is always so mean to us kids and she never gets caught! I knew this would be the perfect time to catch her in the act, but it really hurt Eli. Noah told me not to do it, but I didn't listen to him. I am so sorry!" she said while starting to cry.

"I understand, and we will talk about this when you get home, but right now, I have a job to do." He said giving her a hug which calmed her down, before walking back to the office where he met the DA as he arrived.

"Hey, Nevin, any clue what is going on?" Peter Costas asked.

"Yeah, some, but not the full story, yet. Let's go see Ron and find out what is really going on."

"Thank you both for coming. I just watched this video again and am now more determined to press whatever charges against her I can. Let me play it for you without telling you what is going on." With that Ron started the video playing on the TV he had in his office.

"You're supposed to have your ID out, where is it?" She demanded.
"I don't have one yet, jus..."
"Can't you read? The sign says, NO ID NO FOOD!" She said pointing to a crudely made sign next to the computer.
"Look, what sport do you play? By looking at you I would say you don't play one at all. But if you are on a team then I might over look your stupidity of not having your ID and let you through, so? Tell me what sport you play?" She said very nasty like.
"I don't play a sport." Eli said about in tears.
"Figured as much. Get out of my sight you little maggot. Come back when you grow a pair or can remember your ID! Next?"

"Well, what charges can we bring against her?" Ron asked Peter as soon as the video was done playing the second time.

"Is there a district policy that states there is no food if the students do not have their school ID's?"

"No, the policy states very clearly the student just has to know their id number, or get a temporary id from the office. I know for a fact Eli, the student in the video, had his temporary id on him, because I gave it to him just this morning. That student is brand new here and the son of our new science teacher. As you could see in the video, he told her he didn't have his id yet, but was trying to tell her he had his temporary one, but she wouldn't listen to him and cut him off. Every staff member was handed a memo about the broken ID maker last week at the weekly staff meeting, and again this week, an updated version was handed out. Here is the log in sheet for both meetings, and as you can see, right here is Agatha Johnson's signature on both sheets."

"Then I would say that she could clearly be charged with child neglect and possible child endangerment, but that one might be hard to prove if it was the first time she denied him food. However, I think I should call the Federal Assistant Attorney General for this area, as I think she could be charged with a felony count of depriving him of his federal rights because of the 'No child left behind' law. But I am not sure. Let me make a quick phone call."

"Before you do, please have her charged with whatever you can, before the superintendent decides he doesn't want to peruse this." Ron told him.

"No problem. I will call my office and have the paperwork drawn up and taken over to the courthouse. Sheriff, you want to have one of your men meet one of my people at the county clerk's office?" before he stepped out of the office.

"You got it." Nevin said while getting on his radio. "10sam1 to 5edward2"

"Go ahead 10sam1"

"I need you to meet the ADA at the county clerk's office in 5! Then you are to proceed to the school district office to take custody of one, Agatha Johnson! Do you copy?"

"Roger that, Agatha Johnson. Copy sir. 5edward2 out."

"Curt said he wanted to see the video, can you email it to me so I can forward it to him. He said if what I told him was factual, which it was, then I could charge her with violating his constitutional rights, which is a class c felony. He just wants to make sure everything is in order, because it would look bad on me if it came back as it wasn't a case of it. In other words, it is an election year!"

"Yes, hang on. There, I just sent it to you." Ron told him.

Peter spent a few moments with his phone, typing a message to the Assistant Attorney General and attaching the video to the message. Once that was done, it was just a waiting game.

It wasn't long before the phone was ringing on Ron's desk. He figured it had to be the school superintendent. As he was answering it, the Sheriff's radio crackled.

"5deward2 in route to 926 bird St. with a warrant for one Agatha Johnson" and the dispatch acknowledging the call.

"Dr. Martin speaking, how may I help you?" Ron said answering the call.

"Ron, what the hell is going on? I have Gloria in my office screaming you are interfering with her staff." Before answering, Ron hit the button for the speaker phone to the others could hear what was being said on both ends.

"Well, sir, I told a member of her staff she had five minutes to be off school property or I would have her charged with trespassing. As of right now, I have exercised my right, stated in section 7, paragraph 4 of my contract and have filed charges against said employee." Ron said while leaning back in his chair.

"YOU have done WHAT? What in God's name is going on over there?" The superintendent screamed into the phone.

"Her staff member decided to ignore district policy and create her own, including making a sign, which she put up next to the scanning station which said, and I quote, 'no id, no food!'. This was a hand written sign which has now been turned over to the District Attorney's office. She also called a new student, on his first day, a little maggot and told him to come back when he had grown a pair, all because he didn't have a student id, which, as you also know, the machine to make them has been broken for weeks, waiting on parts. All staff, including food services has been made aware of this, and signed, saying as much. These logs have also been turned over to the DA. As you may remember, the only new student I have in this school is the son of my new science teacher, Mr. David Hunt." Ron said in triumph.

"Oh shit! Is he aware of what happened?"

"Oh yes! Before even I knew what had happened he had seen the video of it. And before you ask, I have no idea where he is or where his son is."

"Wait, there is a video of all this happening? How is there a video, there are no cameras in that area of the lunch room." Gloria asked.

"A student videoed the whole thing on her cell phone. But now, Gloria, how did you know there are no cameras in that area?" The Sheriff asked.

"And who wants to know?"

Without answering her he keyed his microphone, "5edward2, detain and bring to station one Gloria Hays, also at 926 Bird Street, 10sam1 out."

"5edward2 copy that"

"You have no right! I have done nothing wrong. I can run my departments the way I see fit."

"Mrs. Hays, this is District Attorney Peter Costas, I advise you to remain quiet, as anything you say can and will be held against you until your Miranda rights have been read to you in person. Anything said over a phone is admissible in a court case, and this call is being recorded." Peter told her even though he really didn't want to.

"Don't worry, Gloria, I know you haven't done anything wrong, we will do whatever we need to in order to get this beat." The superintendent was heard trying to whisper to Gloria.

Both the Sheriff and DA looked at each other and grinned.

"Superintendent Newman, at this time I am asking that Sheriff Mills launch a full investigation into the actions of Agatha Johnson and the food services department at this school, and if necessary, all schools in this district. I will also be notifying the school board of our actions within the hour. Good day, Sir." Peter told the man on the phone before breaking the connection.

"We should head over to the station and have a chat with the ladies about to arrive." Peter told Nevin as they got to their feet to head out.

"Thanks for your help, guys. I have a feeling this has been a bigger problem than I knew about." Ron told them as they walked to the door.

While all this was going on, David and Eli were trying to eat, but both were really upset, for different reasons. Eli was feeling this school was just the same as the other one, where adults could and would pick on him for any reason. He had to admit no student had yet picked on him, but the day was young and it was also his first day and he was walking around with the principle's son.

David, on the other hand, was just pissed. There was no other way to say it. He wanted to kill someone, namely one old fat lady. He was trying to use every trick he knew to get his anger under control.

"Dad, is there something wrong with me?"

"No, Son, not at all. Why would you ask that?"

"Because, no matter what I do or don't do, I still get picked on."

"Eli, what happened today had nothing to do with you. That woman was just plain mean and evil. There is nothing wrong with you. Trust me, Steven, Uncle Max or I would know right off the bat if there was." David said while pulling Eli into a big hug. His anger was slowly fading as he held his son.

Back at the lunch table, everyone had gone on with their lunch like nothing had really happened except for Ryan, Noah and Nora. Nora was trying to talk to Noah, both verbally and telepathically, but he wasn't responding to either. Ryan was really worried about Eli, but could tell there was a major problem between the twins.

"So, did I tell you guys my good news?" Jeremy asked everyone.

"What, you learned to tie your shoes?" Evan asked while laughing.

"No, jerk wad!" Jeremy teased his best friend. "Something even better then that!"

"Wow, this must be big, you didn't even hit him for that insult like normal. What is going on?" Stacy asked. She was Evan's cousin who lived with him and was really good friends with Nora.

"Jessie is coming home," he said while pausing, "for GOOD!"

"Wait, WHAT?" Nora snapped out of her deep thoughts.

"Jessie's doc told mom and dad last night that Jessie is in full remission and is being released tomorrow afternoon. When they got home last night, Dad came to my room and said, 'Son, you need to order that stingray!' I just started crying!" Jeremy said while wiping his eyes.

Everyone at the table started cheering and wiping their eyes as well. They had all been helping Jeremy and his family out for the past year as his 9 year old little sister fought bone cancer. She had lost her right leg just above the knee to it. They had helped feed the family, take care of the yard during the summer, removed snow during the winter, and taken care of the family pets when the family had been away. Jeremy had been saving to get a fresh water stingray when Jessie got sick. He promised her he wouldn't order it until she was all better and back home. Now he had ordered it and fulfilled that promise.

As lunch was ending Dr. Martin was waiting in David's classroom. He wasn't sure if his new teacher would return to school after what had happened in the lunch room and to his son. Not that Ron could blame David for feeling that way if he did decide not to return, nevertheless, the class still needed a teacher. Ron was very pleased when David opened the door and walked in with his arm around Eli's shoulder.

"Aw, Mr. Hunt, I am glad you have returned." Ron started then turned to Eli to start his apologies to him.

"As of right now, Dr. Martin, I will finish out the week. We will discuss things as a family tonight to see where we stand. I do not know if Eli will be in school tomorrow or even if I feel safe sending him to the rest of his classes today." David snapped at his new boss.

"Well, I can understand that. Eli, I can't tell you how sorry I am on how you were treated. First off, there is no, nor will there ever be an, excuse for how a staff member, mine or the district's treated you. As of right now, Mrs. Johnson, the lunch room lady, has been placed under arrest for child neglect, child endangerment, as well as pending charges for violating your constitutional rights, which, by the way, is a class c felony. The district attorney has also started a full investigation into the food service department, to see if any others will be charged. Right now, just Mrs. Johnson and possibly the department director, Gloria Hays have been detained. Also, just so you both know, the school superintendent is also under investigation, although, for now, I ask you to keep that quiet, as he is unaware of it. I want to assure you both this is not how I run my school and can't believe I have missed what has been happening. Had I known and not done anything about this, I would be stepping down right now."

"Thank you, Dr. Martin. I know for me, that does make me feel a bit better knowing that bitch is going to pay for what she did. I had assured Eli things would be different at this school for him, but now I am not sure he trusts that any longer."

Eli was still sitting at his dad's desk with his head down. Yes, he had been listening to what they were saying and he could tell they were being honest, but from the way he felt, it was all just smoke and mirrors. Not once while Dr. Martin was talking did Eli look up at him, which truly hurt Dr. Martin deeply.

"Well, I will leave you two to decide what you wish to do. Eli, just so you know, you have some friends sitting outside this room waiting to talk with you. I will send them to class as soon as the bell rings if they are still there." Dr. Martin said then turned and walked out of the room closing the door behind him.

Ryan jumped up as soon as he saw his dad. He rushed into his dad's arms crying.

"Dad, I am so sorry! I didn't know anything bad was going to happen while he got his lunch. I wasn't that far away from him." Ryan rambled out.

"Ryan, this wasn't your fault. Even if you had been right beside him, there is no guarantee the same thing wouldn't have happened. This was a case of someone who should never have been in the position she was in."

"But Uncle Ron, we knew what was going to happen and we let it. We could have warned Eli that Mrs. Johnson was mean." Nora said through her tears.

"What do you mean, you knew it was going to happen, Nora?"

"Well, she has been doing this to a bunch of kids, mostly the smaller kids who aren't on sports teams. Nora and I have been trying to trap her so she would get busted, but she always finds a way around us. Nora thought that this might just be the time she hung herself, that's why Nora had her phone recording today," Noah told his uncle.

"Why didn't you guys come and talk to me about what was going on?"

"We heard you tell dad how mad you were when you found out you didn't have control over the food service people this year. We talked with mom and told her how mean Mrs. Johnson was, and she told us not to start any trouble unless we had solid proof because you had already caused problems with the new changes and it might cost you your position if we caused you to falsely accuse someone. So we kept quiet." Nora said.

"I really wish you had told me before now. We might have lost a great teacher and a great student because of the hatred that woman showed. I do not blame you, any of you for what happened today, but from here on out, if there is any problem with a staff member, you need to report it immediately! Do I make myself clear on this?"

"Yes, Sir." All three kids said at the same time.

"Eli, it's up to you. Do you want to go home, stay in my classroom for the rest of the day, or do you want to try and finish the day?" David asked the boy as he knelt in front of him.

Eli thought about it and wiped his eyes. Before telling his dad he thought he should finish out the day. He didn't want to look like a wimp in front of the other kids, and he also knew soon he would have to take on people like Mrs. Johnson on a regular basis. David gave him a hug told him he would be there if he needed or changed his mind.

As soon as Eli walked out of his dad's classroom, Nora grabbed him. As she was hugging him as tightly as she could, she was telling him how sorry she was and how she didn't mean for it to go so far.

"Can't breathe." Eli gasped trying to get out of her strangle hold. Once she let go a little, Eli asked her what she meant.

After explaining everything to Eli, Nora told him that it was all her fault and begged him not to be mad at Ryan or Noah. Eli told her that while he was still a bit upset for not being warned what might happen, they weren't the ones to blame, so he wasn't mad at them.

The next couple of classes the three boys all had together, along with Jeremy, went off without a problem. Eli and Noah were really getting along great, even better then he and Ryan were. Every once in a while, Eli would look over at Ryan and see him watching Noah and him with a big smile.

After gym class, which Eli didn't have to dress out for today, the boys headed back to room 109. Eli and Noah both had Mr. Hunt's science class next, Ryan didn't. He told Eli he would meet him back here at the end of class, as they had study hall together next and then headed off to his next class.

While they were waiting for class to start, Noah asked Eli what he was doing after school.

"I guess I will be waiting right here in this seat until dad can go home. Why?"

"Well, I have to walk down to the camera place to get some black & white film, and it is right next door to White's Office Supply. You can get the pencil set Uncle Greg told you about. Do you want to walk with me? It's only about 5 blocks away."

"I don't know if dad will let me, but I can ask. I have my debit card with me so I can buy the pencil set so that wouldn't be a problem. Wait, who is Uncle Greg?"

"Oh, I meant Mr. Gordon. His full name is Greg Gordon, and he is my mom's younger brother. Outside of school we call him and Dr. Martin Uncles, but in school we call them Dr. Martin and Mr. Gordon."

"That's cool, we all have a family member on staff here. What about Jeremy, Evan, or Stacy, do they have any family members on staff here?" Eli asked.

"Yeah, Evan's mom is our history teacher, Mrs. Mears. And remember, Stacy is Evan's cousin and lives with him. Both of Jeremy's parents are lawyers, so he is the odd one out in that aspect."

"Can I ask why Stacy is living with Evan? I didn't want to when you introduced us and told me."

"Well, it is no secret, Stacy's mom died when she was a baby and her dad died in Iraq a few years ago, so Evan's mom and dad adopted her."

"But that would make them brother and sister, wouldn't it?"

"Yeah, but they always say, if they were brother and sister they would have to fight, because that's what siblings do. With them being cousins and all they can be really close and good friends without having to fight. They are just weird! Evan is best friends with Toby, who is absent this week while Stacy is best friends with Nora, and Ryan and Jeremy have always been more like brothers, so I kind of have been the odd one out. It is nice to have even numbers now that you're here." Noah said while blushing a bit.

"Class, sorry for the delay, I am still getting use to being here. First off, my name is Mr. Hunt. I would really like to be called Mr. Hunt, however if you come up with something else, feel free to try it out. Seeing how this is my first day here, I have decided to spend most of the hour telling you all about myself so there is no surprises. That is, unless you would rather I give you an assignment?"

When most of the class called out a loud "NO" David had to laugh. He jumped onto the front of his desk so he was looking at the whole class, he could see and feel Eli's nervousness.

"Okay, like I said, my name is David Hunt. I am a twin, my twin brother is also a science teacher, but down in Carver City, where we both grew up. My Brother, Stephen, and I also have an older sister, Kelly, who lives down in Florida with her two kids and husband. I also have one crazy old uncle who moved here with me." He paused to get a feel for the class. David was still really surprised how many young Wizards there were in this school and as soon as he told them who he was he could tell which students were young Wizards right off the bat.

"Now, a little bit about my background. I am a Master Chief Petty Officer in the United States Navy Reserves, inactive. That means I could be called up if they really needed me. However, that is unlikely to happen. I spent 8 years as a corpsman in the Navy. Can anyone here tell me what a corpsman is?"

A blond girl in the second row raised her hand.

"As I point to you, please state your name for me, it will help me learn who you all are. You there, what is a Navy corpsman?" David said pointing at the blond girl.

"My name is Alice, and a Navy corpsman is the same thing as a medic. My uncle is a corpsman on the USS Harry S. Truman." She said with pride.

"Very good, Alice. We will have to talk later to see if I might know your uncle, as I have spent a lot of time on the Truman. I am still a trauma medic, and will be working with the county now that I have moved here. After I got out of the Navy full time, I finished my education and started teaching. I was a Physical Education teacher at Carver City High School for the past 8 years; however, science has always been my subject of choice. Now, I know how nosy you all can be, so I am going to stop all rumors before they start. I am not married; however, I am engaged to be. My fiancée, Sherry, and I have not set a date yet, but when we do you all will find out. I also have a son, well I will have a son once we get married, but for all purposes he is my son. I am not going to tell you who he is because I do not wish to embarrass him in front of all you." David said trying really hard not to look at Eli.

"Gee ya think they don't know who I am yet after the whole lunch room scene?" Eli said with a burst of courage he didn't know he had.

The whole class laughed with Eli, and it really made him feel better.

David went on to tell the class what he expected out of them, how he wanted them to act and what they would be doing in class.

"Guys and gals, it is really simple. I am here to teach you what you need to know. I get paid whether you choose to learn or not. In order to learn what you need out of this class, you have to do the assignments I give you. I don't give them to you to be mean, or because I want to cause you to have homework, I give them to you because you are expected to learn the material. If there is a better way, then, by all means, let me know. I will not be the type of teacher who badgers, yells, pleads, and begs you to do the assignments, if you don't do them, you fail. Your choice. If anyone is having trouble with understanding the material, then please come to me for help. I will do what it takes for you to learn, but I can't if you don't let me know there is a problem. Now, unless anyone has any questions for me, you have about 15 minutes left of this period so talk amongst yourselves, quietly."

As the other students started talking to each other, Eli got up to go ask his dad about going to the office store when the door to the room opened and Mr. Gordon walked in.

"Mr. Hunt? Sorry to barge in on your class, but I was hoping we could speak for a moment?" Mr. Gordon started.

"Sure, the class has some free time right now, how can I help you?"

"Sorry, I am Greg Gordon, I teach Art here. I have Eli in my class and while we were talking about what kind of art he wants to pursue, I found out he is very talented in drawing. He really likes colored pencils and he is very good. I could tell by the works he showed me that the pencils he is currently using are not good. There is a nice store downtown called, White's Office Supply. They carry a good amount of art supplies, and they have several very nice colored pencil sets, which would be very good for Eli to work with."

"No problem, I will take Eli there as soon as we head home. Thank you for letting me know about this. Is there one set that would be better for him?"

"Well, yes, but the best one for him is quite expensive. However, I am sure it would be an investment not just school supplies. The one I am thinking of is the only one they carry in a wooden case." Mr. Gordon rushed to say.

Both Eli and David could tell that Mr. Gordon was very nervous talking with David.

"Thank you, Greg, if I may call you that?" When Mr. Gordon nodded David went on. "If you think that is the best set for Eli to use, then it is the set he will get. Again, thank you for letting me know about this and for the recommendation of what set to get him." David put his hand out to shake with the younger teacher.

After Mr. Gordon left, Eli walked up to his dad's desk. He wasn't sure his dad would let him walk around town without protection, but he was going to try.

"Um, Dad, Noah asked me if I could go with him to the camera store then go to the office store to pick up some colored pencils for art class. He said it is only a few blocks away; you could pick me up there after you're done. Please, I really want to spend some time with Noah and see if he is going to be a friend." Eli asked and pleaded his case.

"Would it just be you and Noah?"

"I think so, he didn't say anything about anyone else going, but I can ask him if you want?"

"No, that's alright. You have your cell phone, right? I know they work fine here in town. I will call you when I am on my way, and you best answer. You are to call if you guys change your plans, understand?" David told Eli.

"Yes sir, I do! Does this mean I can go?" Eli asked.

"Yes, you may go with Noah. Do you need any money for the pencil set, Mr. Gordon was just telling me about it. I want you to get the right one, no matter what the cost is. He said that you should get the one in the wooden case, and they only have one in a wooden case."

"Thank you, thank you, and thank you." Eli said giving David a hug right there in the classroom in front of the other kids, but Eli didn't really care right then.

Eli practically floated back to his seat he was so excited and couldn't wait to tell Noah.

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