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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
A short story about friendship and heroes

Submitted: June 03, 2016

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Submitted: June 03, 2016




 Mentally challenged. That was the polite way, the correct way to say it. And he was. 

A big, hulking, figure, he definitely stood out in the classroom full of 2nd graders. Georgie was almost fourteen, and sitting there amongst the six and seven year olds, he certainly had a presence.

The funny thing was, Georgie was the nicest, gentlest, friendliest kid you could ever hope to meet. Never a second would go by when his big toothy smile wasn't flashing to brighten up any room he was in.

And the other children in the classroom, they all took Georgie to be just like them, and they all ate lunch together, they all went to recess together, and they all learned together.

Well, Georgie, he tried, he tried really hard, but he had a lot of trouble making words come out the way he wanted them to, and when he did say what he said, he very rarely knew what it meant anyway. 

Sometimes Georgie would get so frustrated and upset when he couldn't get out the feelings or things he wanted to say that he would stiffen his body and start hitting himself.

Sometimes he'd bang his head on the desktop and yell. These were the only times Georgie was sad, when he wanted to communicate but didn't know how.

The twins sat on either side of him, one a girl, one a boy. Timmy and Tammy, they were also Georgie's neighbors, and the three of them could be found together running and playing from one backyard to the other after school, all the year long. Whenever Georgie was upset and frustrated and starting to pound his head, they would each grab an arm and, hands in his, they would calm his fears and calm him down.

Now just like anywhere else, there were always people who didn't understand, or didn't want to understand, or didn't care to understand.

This being a tiny little town buried in the heart of the midwestern farm country, most folks just didn't like to see anything unusual, anything different. If it wasn't the way it's supposed to be, then it's just not right, that's the way the most of the folks thought about things here, and that's all there is to it. Different just ain't meant to be, that's what they felt.

So, with Georgie being the way he was, the town talked. The older kids would laugh at him,make fun of him, mimic him. Some would hound the poor kid, mocking his speech, repeating over the things he repeated, confusing him more and more until he'd finally get the frustrating feelings going, and start knocking himself in the head. Boy, they loved to see that.

Timmy and Tammy, they would cling fast to Georgie, and tell the meanies to go away, to leave him alone, but their little voices were easily brushed aside by the bigger kids, and the antics would just go on.

Sometimes, in the evening, when Georgie was getting ready for bed, he would try to ask his ma why some kids didn't like him, and some kids they did. But he couldn't quite get that question out right either, and she never figured out what he was trying to say.

And Georgie, about the only word he really could say well were goodbye, and he repeated that statement wherever he went, over and over. It seemed that all of the other words he'd been taught all these years just wouldn't come out, buried inside, trapped in his mind.

He sure was sad the day the twins left for their summer vacation. He ran alongside their car, and as it sped up he raced faster and faster, yelling out goodbye, goodbye, over and over as it pulled away from him, the faces of his little friends as they frantically waved etched into his troubled mind.

Their parents had wanted to take him along, but the needs were too great, and it wouldn't work out for Georgie to leave his own parents, so he had to stay.

Georgie didn't eat much the next two weeks. He didn't go outside to play, he didn't watch any television, he didn't do anything at all, except sit on his bed and stare out of his window, waiting and hoping that big blue station wagon would come pulling in next door.

The days went by, and one morning his ma told him that his friends were coming home today. Georgie raced to dress, ran outside, and jogged impatiently up and down the long drive, his energy rising as his happiness grew.

Georgie knew about traffic, kind of, and he peered out at the main road from the end of the drive, not daring to step out onto it's surface, but squinting down it's length, finally spying the blue car he'd been seeking all morning.

He was jumping up and down with joy, clapping his hands wildly, and yelling happily with glee as the blue car slowed and began to turn into the drive next door.

But suddenly, there was a long screeching of brakes, and a deafening clashing of metal on metal, as the huge semi truck plowed into the side of that car, knocking it sideways and sending it spinning round and round, rolling over and over, right into Georgie's own yard.

And when Georgie dared to open his eyes, he saw his two little friends sitting upside down, and they were waving and yelling through the back window for help.

Now people came running, and a crowd quickly gathered, and several stepped forward to assist, when with a loud Boom! the car erupted into flames, and the screaming grew louder, and louder.

No time to waste now, but everyone just stood back and stared at the fire, even backing away, afraid of the time when the gas tank would explode, afraid for their own lives, afraid to be different, to make a difference.

Georgie couldn't see his friends ma and daddy, but he could still see them, and they were still waving and screaming for help.

And Georgie, he pushed through that crowd, and he ran to that burning hunk of twisted metal, and he pulled on that door, but it wouldn't budge.

So he reached under, way under, and tried to lift the back side of that car off the grass, so his friends could crawl out the other side of the car, which had lost both doors anyway.

And somehow, by no matter of rhyme or reason, the impossible happened, and Georgie, he lifted that car.

And his friends, Timmy and Tammy, they fell out through the opening he provided, and first crawled and then ran to safety.

He heard a weak whisper then, it was his friend's ma, and she was not asking for help, she was just saying thank you, over and over to him, and then she fell silent.

He dropped the car, and turned to run to his friends, so they could go and play tag, when he noticed his foot really hurt, really hurt bad.

Georgie had dropped that car right down onto it,, and try as he might he couldn't pull it loose. It hurt more and more as the bone crushing weight of the car weighed down onto it, and he didn't feel happy anymore.

Now you would think that by now, some of these people who lived in that town would be rushing in to help, but not so, not at all.

They backed away, and backed away, and just as they all thought, with a huge boom the gas tank erupted, and Georgie went flying up into the air, head over heels, tumbling into a sickening little ball just feet from the onlooking crowd.

And finally, for the first time in his life, the circle of people surrounding him wasn't making fun of him at all, they were crying, and touching him, and begging him to be okay, and he felt pretty happy about that.

Then Georgie saw Timmy on one side, and Tammy on the other, just like in school, and they both held a hand, and they both looked so sad, and he was confused, why?

But now Georgie, he felt really really tired, and he knew it was bed time, but where was that bed, and where was his ma and pa, and why were all these people looking at him, and he squeezed his friends hands, and he squeezed them harder, and he said " goodbye, Timmy, goodbye Tammy".

And they knelt in shock to hear him speaking those words, their names he had never been able to say, and they smiled at each other, and they looked down at Georgie, but Georgie had gone to sleep and he would wake up no more.

A hero was born that day, and on that day, the same hero died, but his legend and the legacy of his love for his friends remains known to this day.

Maybe from guilt, maybe from awe, or maybe just because, some ways of thinking, some patterns of thought, changed throughout that little town on that day.

Because everyone knew, that if Georgie hadn't been Georgie, well, he would have been just like the rest of them all, no hero, just another zero, and Timmy and Tammy would be gone, along with their mother and father.

So maybe some folk found out that being different might not be so wrong, and if nothing else, they discovered that everyone, no matter who they are, has a purpose here on this earth.

© Copyright 2018 DavidPaul. All rights reserved.

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