A letter. That’s what I found outside as Chester moseyed his way into the house. I picked it up and found inside a Lego piece and a letter written in almost illegible scrawl with the following message:
Yes, you’re arc-nemasis has striken agan! Ur such a spoled brat. U suprisd? Hahahaha! Ur mom left tha door open and I just went in and stoled your legos. Theyll bring me much … hapynes.
Ugh. Not the neighborhood bully. This had been going on for quite some time – my son, Luke, you see, is a pretty sensitive kid and isn’t robust or outgoing as other kids are. He prefers solitary activities, such as reading and building Lego sets. So, when we moved here, Rodney’s parents, Jack and Martha, invited us over to a block party. The moment Rodney laid eyes on Luke, I knew there would be trouble. Rodney is a bit larger, muscular and, to be honest, has a bad attitude just like his parents (as I quickly found out). Entitlement reigned the day. It didn’t help matters that Rodney’s father was currently unemployed, so this was likely his son taking out his anger on someone he found easy to abuse.
In any case, I opted not to show the letter to anyone quite yet, but rather tucked it in my back pocket.
When I reached the car, Harvey and Luke were ready to go, so I strapped myself in and off we went to dinner. El Guajolote Flojo, fortunately, wasn’t very busy when we arrived, so we were seated promptly and our totopos were brought out to us. Yes, there is a difference between Tostitos Nacho chips and totopos. Totopos are toasted tortillas, unsalted and very delicious with pico de gallo, salsa roja and salsa verde, I was pleased to find out.
The menu was quite different too – listed were pupusas, gorditas and many other regional foods from Mexico and Central America. I ended up ordering a pupusa and some gorditas.
“So, Luke, how was your day at school,” I asked.
“Rodney was being mean to me again. He pushed me into a locker and said I wouldn’t be so lucky next time. Then he and his friends laughed at me.”
“Did you tell your teacher?”
“Did anyone see it.”
“Plenty. They just don’t care about people like me.”
His eyes tear up at the thought. I reach out and put my arm around him.
Suddenly, the door opens and there stands Rodney and his family.
“Great…” I mumble to myself.
“What’s wrong honey?”
“Our favorite kid just arrived with our favorite neighbors.”
Harvey turns around to see them. The look on his face is clouded.
“I’ll bet he stole my Lego set, mom.”
“Perhaps, but we shouldn’t blame someone for something when we don’t know whether they’re guilty or not.”
Luke shrugs his shoulders and glares at Rodney. Rodney suddenly spots us and sticks his tongue out at Luke. That’s enough.
I go over to him and his parents and take out the letter.
“Excuse me Mister and Misses Fronker, may I speak with you both for a moment.”
Jack looks at me with contempt, Martha a blank look on her face.
“I believe that your son has crossed the line. He has bullied my son way too much.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Luke told me about how your son pushed him into a locker. I also have reason to believe that your son came into our house today and took one of Luke’s Lego sets.”
“Rodney,” Mr. Fronker looks at his son, “Did you take Luke’s Lego set?”
“No,” is Rodney’s reply, but I can tell by the redness of his face that he’s lying.
“If Rodney did take Luke’s Lego set, and doesn’t want to admit it, I’m sure that the police will turn up the culprit.”
With this, I turn around to go back to my table when a hand comes down on my shoulder.
“You wouldn’t call the police on our kid. There’s no need for an investigation.”
“Oh, isn’t there?” I ask Rodney’s father. Harvey has appeared beside me miraculously and pries Mr. Fronker’s hand off my shoulder.
“Mr. Fronker, you should not touch my wife in such a manner. If I were you, I’d make sure that Rodney doesn’t have that Lego set.”
“Or else what?””I think my wife has been pretty clear on that point.”
“I don’t want a scene here, don’t make me make a scene,” is Mr. Fronker’s reply.
“We don’t want a scene either, but keep in mind that the first people who will be investigated will be you.”
Mrs. Fronker finally cuts in, “Jack, it’s not worth it. Just calm down and lets go.”
She glares at me as she persuades her husband to leave the restaurant without making a scene.
“You better watch out,” he says threateningly as they leave.
“No, you better,” is my reply.
With that, they leave and our food is brought out. I still feel the adrenaline running through my veins. I’m not normally a confrontational person, but when someone messes with my family, they better watch out.