strange friends

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic
hello to everyone, i'm come from vietnam and this is my first story, i have some trouble about grammar and vocabulary and i hope all of you can give me your honest comments. thank you very much.

Submitted: March 27, 2017

A A A | A A A

Submitted: March 27, 2017



This day is August 24th. One more sunny day in the USA. I just a normal student who study in a small college. My life is so usual day by day. I don’t have a very close friend, my relationship with everyone seem so unclear and don’t have any sign of development through many years. But it’s just before I join one event, a musical event. I’m normally don’t care too much about this but some how have something have courage me enjoy this party. And I’ll never regret my decision, because I have a chance to meet him, the weirdest man I had ever met.


I’d invited to this party by my sister, that’s why she know a lot about this event and she know people who had organized this party. She say she’ll introduce to me a very interesting person that she had met when she were travels to Canada 2 years before. I must say that I don’t care very much what she said about this “interesting friend” and then I just enjoy to drink. Beverages in this place is really good, and the music I have to say is awesome. I wonder who is have organized this excellent party. About 20 minutes later, my sister come back with one person. Male, pretty tall, not really handsome but he have a smart and funny face. His face is the thing that I sure hard to be forget. Somebody look at him and can think he’s had a very happy life. My sister said:

- “Hey Marcus ! Let’s meet Johnny, he is one of the most funny friend I’ve ever met.”

- “Oh ! Very nice to meet you, Johnny.” I replied and shaked a hand with him, his shake hand is not very strong but I can feel something independent and cofident inside him.

- “It’s very nice to meet you Marcus, I guess you may not often go to some events like this right ?” He said.

- “Yes, why do you know ?”.

- “It’s very simple, I was watching you from over there, I see you just standing alone and don’t talk with anyone.”

- “It’s mean you had watching me for a while ?” I surprised.

- “Did you see that ?” Then he pointed his finger to the stage “I’m the DJ of this musical party. Let’s me introduce myself to you again. My name is Johnny Stander, I’m 25 years old, have the great passion with music and want to become the professional DJ in the future.”

- “Wow, you’re so amazing.” This is not usually for me to talk with someone like that, but some how I have some good feeling with this guy.

- “Uhm, I think that’s enough for me to introduce myself, but how about you Marcus, did you have any hobby or passion in your daily life. Could you tell me something ?”

When I heard that, in few second I was look back to 20 years of my entire life, and I see how many time I was lost and now I don’t know what I really want and what I’m living for. Then I stand with this man, he’s my sister friend and he’s really the confident person. His voice and gesture make everyone think that he can do anything he want. So I just say:

- “Well, I ….” I can’t think what I need to say next. But before I can replied, just like Johnny can read what happened in my mind and he told me:

- “Oh ! Don’t worry, you don’t have to nervous, if you can’t find your passion right now. I guarantee that someday you’ll found it. But if you want to search it, I can give you the advice, do you want to know ?”

- “What is it ? Tell me.”

- “ Let’s join to some NGO, become the volunteer. Yes, that’s the exactly what I want to say, do something dynamic and crazy.”


After the event, me and my sister with her friends, of course include Johnny. We go to a sushi restaurant. That’s the time when I see the new face of Johnny. He is the true fan of sushi, he loves it so much, it’s seem he can marry with it at the first sight. He say that if he were born in Japan, he’ll become the sushi maker. Johnny has the talent to warm up the atmosphere and also the people around him, just like the passion inside him is doesn’t has limited. In any conversation, he always add more funny gestures, you can’t be upset or angry when you talking to a guy like him. At the end of the meal, every body is share they facebook and telephone number. In the situation like this, I often just sit down and ignore for them do what they want, just because I have any interest with no one. But in this night, for the first time, I have do the one unusual thing, I have ask Johnny his facebook.

- “Uhm, Johnny. Did you can… you know…I…”. I can’t think of what I want to say next, I’m really feel confused. “I… want to know… your facebook…Do it ok for you ?”

- “Oh sure, I really want to make friend with you.” He replied. “This is my facebook and phone number, just talk to me any time you can. Ok ?”

When he is moving, I just look at the paper he give to me. I saw his facebook name “Johnny Stander”. I have some feeling this will be the beginning of the one beautiful friendship between me and Johnny.


In the next morning, I start go to school, but I still to think about Johnny, I can feel something mysterious inside him, no one can’t be friendly like that, or just because I don’t have enough experience in the relationships, it so complicated and I think I’ll keep it in my head. But I know who can help me in this situation. When the school out, I go straight to my house, my sister was home, so good. I asked her:

- “What is the first time you meet Johhny? When two of you become friend?”.

- “It’s about 2 years, as far as I can remembered, I can’t forget at the first time I met him. Oh, if I don’t have a boy friend already I wish I can marry him. But hey, little brother, I can see you have some interest with Johnny, huh huh?” My sister smile, some how I can feel she wanted to bait me.

- “What! I don’t. Yeah, maybe a little, but it’s not your business, sister” Me and my sister is often have some conversation like this, she’s a few people that I feel confident to talking to.

- “Whatever, I don’t care what you do in your life, dummy. But I honestly feel happy that you are finally found someone who you can make friend with. You will be change in the very positive way, I promise” said my sister.

I don’t really understand about the change she said, but I think this is a good news, if my sister like him, so me too.

- “One more thing, sister. At the first time you saw Johnny, he’s always like that?” I asked.

- “Like what?”.

- “Like he always smiles and do some crazy things” I answer.

- “That’s right, he always so friendly and passionate, Johnny is the center in every meeting and conversation, even he’s not handsome, charming. But, what I can say, he’s so sexy by his own way. So any other information that you need me to reveal or you want to discover by yourself?”.

- “No, it’s ok” I said “I guess that his parent is weird like him”.

- “Now I remember, I and other Johnny’s friends is never meet his father and mother. When we asked, he is like ignored it and pay attention to other things. Do it make you feel curiosity, young brother?”.

- “I don’t know, maybe he have some troubles with his family, you think?”

- “I just think everyone has their own secrets. Any question?”.

- “Uh, no, I think not”.

- “Good, now is the dinner time, I’m so starving right now”.

My sister always can positive like that, unlike me, the man who always feel doubt on everyone and everything, maybe that’s reason why I don’t have friend? But I’ll think about it in other time, now I need something to eat.


After the dinner, I go to my room and open my computer. “This is the suitable time to find out about this strange friend” I think. I add his facebook, “Johnny Stander”. In the first sight I can see his wall is filled up with so many pictures and colors. Let’s check his photos. There’s it, Johnny had make so many album for him. All of it is concern about his trips to other lands. This is the picture he shoot when he traveled in Hawaii with his friend from DJ super club, and there’s the picture when he climbing the Everest mountain, I can see the picture he shoot with my sister in Canada. Also I find out about some picture with some adults, at first I think it’s his parent, but after I saw the comment, it’s just his teachers when he studied in university. Suddenly I have the call from my phone, maybe just some classmate guys who want to borrow my notebook, but I was wrong, and it’s so surprised for me, really. The men who call me, his name is appear on the phone, “Johnny Strange”. Oh my god, this is the first time someone I just met in yesterday is calling for me, but for what? In so many years in the past, in every relationship I have faced, no one can remember me after the first meeting, I just like the Invisible man. But now it’s real. So I take the phone, and answear:

- “Hello, Johnny right?”

- “Yes, it’s me, so good to heard your voice, do you fine?” He said.

- “Oh, good, good, how about you?” I’m shy but still try find some interesting things to talk “I heard my sister say in this earlier time you are playing in some bars right?”.

- “Oh yes, I play in so many bars and meet so many interesting people. I really love this job, men. Sometime I time I think can change this world, I wish you can enjoy that feeling with me”.

- “Yeah, it’s so pity”.

- “Hey, I have a idea. And that’s a reason why I call you. Tomorrow is the Sunday, you free all day right? I have a date with my friends, we’ll go to the beach to playing. Do you want to go, it’s will be very fun, I promise”.

- “A date, tomorrow?” Oh men, that’s mean I’ll meet some new people and there will be the big risk that no one want to talking with me, but I can met Johnny, after few seconds struggle with myself, I finally make a decision for him “Ok, I’ll go with you. What time is it?” I can’t believed to what I said, but if I refuse, I’ll lost a great opportunities to become the good friend with Johnny, so let’s it be.

- “Very good. So, I’ll pick you up in 8 am, we’ll go by a car. Just prepare anything you need ok?”.

- “Ok, see you tomorrow Johnny”.

- “Good night Marcus”.

- “Good night”.


Tomorrow coming, I have prepared anything I need. At this time, my sister is going to the mall with her boyfriend, my mother and father have their own work at the company. Just only me, stand in front of my house, waiting for Johnny. It’s was 7:45 am, when I relax by listen to my favorite song, “Close to you” by The Carpenters. In few minutes later, I can see a big car with a coloring design. There are about 6 – 8 people in the car, and I can realize one of them is Johnny. The car is parking near my house, Johnny get out of the car, still that happy smile, he wearing a shirt with the sushi design.

- “Hello Marcus, what a wonderful day right buddy. Do you like my shirt, it’s my favorite one, I just wearing it in a very special day, and it’s today” said the Johnny.

- “I can understand why” I replied.

- “You are looking good too” he said then look at his watch “Oh, look the time, we must going right now. Let’s go man, I’ll introduce to my friend, I sure that you will love them. C’mon”.

- “Yeah, I hope so”. And this trip have start, I wish everything will be ok, and dear god, please make me have normal conversations with them.

I get in the car with Johnny, it’s so comfortable. Now I can see every face, but I’m still shy to introduce myself to all of them. So lucky, Johnny had helping me.

- “Lady and gentlemen, please pay attention to me, thank you” He say with his highest of passionate and dynamic “This handsome boy is Marcus Craig, the younger brother of lady Natalie Craig, we love her and I want you to love him too. Today Marcus will join with us in this exciting trip, and I don’t want anyone, anyone trying to bully this boy. If someone do that, I’ll punish them, the cost is invite me to eat sushi. Ha ha ha ha”.

Every one can’t stop laughing after Johnny’s funny speech. I can hear someone say:

- “Sit down, Mr. Dictator”.

- “You see, Marcus?” Johnny said to me “The most effective and easiest way to make everyone pay attention to you is make them smile, that’s why I always smile, just like Joker, ha ha ha ha” He continued “And uhm, Marcus, let’s me introduce my friends”.

And then he move his left hand to the driver, and said:

- “Marcus, let’s meet Alfred, he’s our driver today. He’s driving very good, also he’s the manager from one famous restaurant. Next, do you see the handsome guy who sit near the window? His name is James, he’s a model and now he is working for one fashion magazine, he’s funny too. And we have the twin here, Laura and Sarah, they have been married and have children, they’re very cute, you must meet them someday. The couple sit on the end of this car is Bob and Michelle, they can’t be separate in any situation, I don’t know detail but I here they have face so many problems to be together. I sure you can be their friend”.

- “I’ll try my best”. I looked around and can see one guy sitting in the corner, reading book and seem doesn’t join with other people “Hey, Johnny. Who is that man, you still not introduce him to me”.

- “Oh dear, how I can forget him? He’s my best friend. Marcus, let’s meet Toby Anderson, or we often say “The Silence Guy”. Trust me, he’s not often talk with someone, everyone said he’s cold but we, people who is most understand him, know he’s a really amazing friend. Right Toby?” Johnny try so shouting to make Toby hearing it. But all of that black haired guy with that blues eyes do is just see us for a few seconds and then he’s just come back to reading his book, I can see his book name’s “Along came a spider” by author James Patterson.

- “Oh, don’t be upset Marcus, he’s the person like that” said the Johnny “He’s not a good speaker, but he is the true professional writer, Toby using words instead for the voice and I sure that he will become the famous author in the future”.

- “I see that you can make friend with so many types of people”. I replied.

- “Yes, it’s very true, man. I know one person and also very important to me, have taught me ‘Friendship is the most valuable property in the world’, I’ll always and forever following that words”.

- “The men who taught you about that, is your father right”? I asked.

- “No, but it’s not matter” then he shouting “Ok everyone, ready for our journey to beyond! Alfred, turn on the music, I think I’ll destroy this boring atmosphere right now. Who is following me?”

- “Me” everyone in this car is shouting together.

I still feel so nervous, I’m not really comfortable with this situation, but I have made a decision, so I must following it. The music is on, everyone is shaking and dancing in this passionate atmosphere, of course Johnny is the most enjoyable person in this party. But there’re only person who is not be attention to it, and it’s “The Silence Guy” Toby.


In the path to the beach, everyone is dancing and singing very fun. After 20 minute, they have the idea to stop in one rest stop to eating, relaxing and buying something in this trip. In one small food shop with the name’s “The adventures of cowboys”, we have choose a table with a very beautiful view from the window. Food and drinks in here is pretty delicious, especial fried potato and beef steak. But Johnny still complaining, in the very funny way:

- “Oh why, why, why. Why they don’t buying sushi, don’t have it I feel I lost something very important in my life, it just like Popeye when he don’t have the spinach. You know guys? If I’m the president of the USA. I’ll make the order to import sushi from Japan for all day long. I swear that”.

What I can say, Johnny is really addicted with the sushi. On the table, everyone is talking together. Sarah, Laura and Michelle is talking about the girl things like fashion and cosmetic. And about the boy, we talking about the world news, like the triumph of president elected Donald Trump, the attacks of ISIS, the death of Kim Jong Nam, Kim Jong Un’s half brother. Even Johnny is not the true fan of politic, he’s still care and discussion about these topics, especial about the news concern with president Donald Trump. But even he’s care about that, he’s not showing any worry or fear. He just say:

- “What ever happen to this country, American is still the American, we’re strong and unbreakable” Wow, this is the first time I hear some thing very emotional from Johnny. But then he say “If I’m the president of the United State, I sure that I’ll import sushi everyday” Everyone can’t stop laughing from that.

And about me, even I’m still shy, but I have the hobby is searching and discover about the world news, about the politic, celebrity and cultures. That’s why it very it’s very helpful for me in this conversation. Some how, I’ve feel more confident about myself.

- “Wow, I can see you know a lot about the politic, man. Just like Toby, he’s very like to searching for anything he want. Say something Toby”. Said the Johnny.

To answer that question, he’s just shook his head and continue his meal. I doubt so much about the friendship between him and Johnny, did they are best friends for real?

- “Hey man” I whisper to Johnny ear “Did he’s really ok, I feel he’s not normal”.

- “Oh, he’s fine, man” Johnny answer “I had told you, he always act like that”.

- “That’s right” Alfred say “It’s seem our Toby is travel in his Memory Space right now”.

- “Memory space? What that?” I asked.

- “It’s mean you are thinking about something and you pay attention to it too much, make you distracted everything around you” said the James.

- “I sure Toby has a new ideas for this next story” Bob said.

- “That’s wonderful! Please for us reading it first Toby” Johnny said.

- “Memory Space, huh?” I said “This is the first time I hearing about that”.

- “Talk in the simple way, it’s mean to talk about person who didn’t talk very much, don’t often show his/her ideas for anyone. But in their mind, it’s the treasure of opinions and thinking” Alfred said.

- “So Toby is the very special man” I reply.

- “He’s not the only man who is special, Marcus” Johnny said to me “When you say Toby is not normal, well I say that no one in this this earth is normal. Everyone is special in their own ways, the point is did you can find that ‘special thing’ and use it is your advantage, or you will throw it to the garbage and live like a mean person. And I make a conclusion that Toby is special, I’m special, and you, you’re so special, Marcus”.

I feel that Johnny is want to send me a message. After the meal, we go to the shop in front of the restaurant, we think we can buy something useful in this trip. Johnny don’t waste anytime to choose, he show his experiences about of the traveler. About myself, I think I’ll choose something. When I look back to Johnny, I can see him and Toby are talking with other, this is the first time I see Toby open his mouth, but unfortunately I can’t heard anything. They stand so distance from me. One thing make me wonder that why two different people like Johnny and Toby can be the BFF, just like the sun and the moon. Then I convince myself that the relationship between me and Johnny just exactly like that, why Johnny want to make friend with me, maybe he’s some kind of people who always want to open his heart for everyone, or just because the different between us make him feel exciting.


We continue our journey, Alfred say that we’ll arrived to the beach less than 10 minutes. So we must hurry and prepare. We go to parking named Gentlemen Cave, what’s a weird name. When I see the beach, I say this scene is out of my word, the beach is so nicely and pieceful. May be it’s because I’m not often going outside, but it’s does. I think I’ll have a good time here.

- “Ok, bikini time, baby” James say.

- “Yes, I’ve wait this for too long. Girls, show me your sexiness” said the Bob.

- “Easy, guys. Everything have it progress, first I say we must…. Selfie” Johnny shouting.

Everybody is seem agree with his idea. People standing together to shoot, then we shoot for each of person, girls in our group is seem very like to show up their beautiful on pictures.

- “Hey, where are you going? It’s a selfie time, Toby” it’s a James’s voice.

- “C’mon, come here and enjoy us” said the Sarah.

- “I think he don’t like to be shoot” I say.

- “No, he doesn’t hate it” Johnny said “He’s just hate selfie”

Hate selfie? A common thing between me and Toby, I don’t like to shoot when I do some weird emotions in my face, it’s so uncomfortable.

- “I remember one time” Johnny continues his words “When I trying to force him have some selfie images, he has show his anger to me. And believe me, Toby’ll be very terrify when he’s angry. That’s why I think we should keep him alone”.

For some reasons, I can understand Toby, he’s just like me, hating to do things that normal people often do. Such as selfie, having girl friend or boy friend…. Maybe that’s why I always distance with everyone around me. And Johnny is just that kind of person, the kind like me.

We have playing so many games. We have play volleyball, limpo dance, building sand castle, bubble blowing,… I haven’t often pay the time to play game like this, now I feel so exhausted, I search for my beach chair. It’s relax time, I think I’ll call for the drink and enjoy this comfortable atmosphere. Then I notice that there’re one man who is sitting next to me, under the beach umbrella, I know it’s not Johnny, it’s is Toby. I don’t know, may I need to make friend with him, that’s my purpose in this travel, right? To become more friendly.

- “Hmm, Toby right?” That’s not a best way to begin a conversation, but I continue “I see you are very like to read the book, I sure that your bookshelf is very large” What the hell I’m saying, everyone is boring with the question like this.

He say nothing, nothing. Should I need to give up and back to the relax mode. Yes, but no, I’ll not give up this time, “I’ll have a conversation with him no matter what” I promise to myself.

- “What the book are you reading, may I can see it? You know, sometime in the free time, I use to read the book, and genres I enjoy is science fiction and fantasy. How about you?”

Just a damn silent, somehow I can feel this conversation is getting dark in every moment. Maybe he’s really hate to talking with anyone.

- “I love thriller and crime fiction books” Toby said, then he show me the book title “The book I’m reading is ‘The silence of the lambs’ by author Thomas Harris. You should read this book, it’s a true masterpiece”.

- “You, you can talk? Oh I mean, you’re finally say something. But your voice, your original is not from America right? You are England”.

- “Yes, it is” Toby reply.

- “Wow, you’re have a very beautiful voice” I admire him.

- “Yeah, thanks”.

- “Why you’re not talking with anyone?” I wonder.

- “I have talking with Johnny, but yes, I’m not talk with anyone oftenly. It’s not because I’m cold or hating or something like that. Just because, what I have to say, I’m not like that, I don’t like to make word, I love silence instead”

This is the first time I meet some one on earth who don’t talking with anyone just because he likes the silence. One more weird person, again.

- “So why you can talk with Johnny, he’s something special?” I asked.

- “Some kind like that”.

- “I must say that Johnny is have talent to attracted people”.

- “You’re be affected by it too, right? That’s why you come here, to do the thing you’re never do before, it’s because of Johnny”.

- “Yeah, I admitted it, I feel curiosity about him”.

- “It’s not curiosity, it’s the inspired. Special people always be connected with the people just like them. Just like in this case, between me, Johnny and you. We’re connected because we’re like each other, we go beyond of the common thinking. You go to this trip because you’re finally have meet someone who is meaning with you, and inside you know that you’ll never give up until you can be his friend. That’s truth”.

He’s right, I always doubt myself that why I feel curiosity about Johnny. Now I’ve realize the reason. We’re all the same.

- “So…, you’re inspired with Johnny too?” I asked.

No answer, oh jesus, again? But at least, I have discover one thing that I always wonder before, and now it have been solved, so good. Now it’s 5 pm, everyone is prepare to go home. At the parking “The Gentleman Cave”, Johnny has asked me:

- “So Marcus, what your feeling about this trip, any thing to complain?” he smile.

- “Of course no, it’s very fun, thank you very much, man”.

- “I see you have something change inside you. See I told you, you must to something dynamic, it’s always make the good result. Now it’s time to goodbye, go home safety Marcus”.

- “What? All of us will go home by Alfred’s car. Where did you go?”.

- “Don’t worry, I have little work to do, I’ll go home by taxi, just go man, see you tomorrow”.

- “If you say so, see you again Johnny”.

- “You too, Marcus, remember inbox for me when you go home, ok?” Then he shouting to his friends “Ok, gentlement, we have finish this travel successful, Mission Completed, now I have the new order to you, take Marcus Craig to his home safety, undertood?”.

- “Oh sure, commander Weirdo” Everyone is shouting back with big laughs and giggles.


When the car arrived to my house. Before left the car, I say goodbye and thank you to all of Johnny friends, everyone is goodbye to me too, I have the feeling that I have successful to make friend with them. I’m not really sure about Toby, but at least something have change, I’ve change for a little bit. When I enter my home, the first thing to do is take the bath and then sleep for a while. This trip is fun but exhausted too, but still incredible fun. In my bed, before I going to sleep, there’re 2 images that still remain in my mind, images of 2 people, 2 people that I can’t be forget Johnny and Toby, that’s the feeling when you meet someone is match with you, to understand what you do and then can become your friend. Oh Johnny Stander, Toby Anderson and me, Marcus Craig, all of us is the true trilogy, trilogy with the name is “The Strange Friends” of the world. And this story still not going to end.


I have showering, sleeping and then eating the dinner. Now I’m feeling really good. I have comfortable memories in the beach travel. But there’re one memory is come back and make me feel so confuse, I ask myself that what Johnny is doing at the end of that trip. Where is he going, remember to that moment, I can see Johnny is very hurry, something emergency, I don’t know. But I know who can answer this question for me, my big sister. Now 9 pm, in this time, my sister usually stay in her room and listen to radio, she it so much.

In front of my sister door, with the big letter “N” stand for Natalie, I knock the door 3 time. Then I can heard my sister voice:

- “Who’s that?”.

- “It’s me, your lovely young brother”.

- “Oh, go inside. I have something to talk with you too”.

I’m enter my sister room, it’s not big but very clean and organized, my sister has the hoppy collecting stamps, listen  Taylor Swift music and she pretty handy in painting and drawing.

- “Hey, big sister” I begin first “You have known Johnny for a long time, I think you may know what he is usually do right?”.

- “What, of course, he’s not hiding anything, Johnny is the honestly man, he doesn’t has to lies anyone. Why you ask that, boy?”.

- “No, nothing” I said “It just about his action, in today, when I and other people is ready to go home, Johnny doesn’t go with us, he says he has to go in one place. I don’t want to be the stalker, but did you know where he’s going?”.

- “Uhm, where did he goes, I think. Oh I know, maybe Johnny is coming to the Warm Hugs”.

- “Warm Hugs? Hug what, hug who?”.

- “No, you ediot. You don’t know that name. It’s the name of the orphanage. And the reason why I know about it is because Johnny have revealed it to me, at the time when I and my friends with Johnny is travel to Australia. He said he has the misson, it’s like, he caring children in that orphanage”.

- “The orphanage? Now I see the new side of Johnny”.

- “Feel interest about him huh? As I thought, you and Johnny are so suitable to play with each other”.

- “Yes, you’re right. I admit Johnny the very special friend, he doesn’t like anyone I had met before. He’s different, and I forget to mention Toby, he’s some kind of different too”.

- “Oh dear, you have met Toby. That is what I want to ask you. Did you know about his first novel have been rated very high by the editor, now it’s ready to be publish, I have read so many of Toby’s short stories in Wattpad and Movellas websites, and I have the wish to read his book earlier than everyone. Did you can borrow it for me, please?”.

- “I don’t know, Toby is seem the person who is hard to approachable” I said “Hey, I have this idea. I want to thanks Johnny for what he has did for me, so I’ll invite him to watch movie. And I’ll invite Toby too, then I just to ask him about the novel, even I believe that he’ll not talk very much”.

- “That’s sound great” my sister agree “I think you should go to his home, it’s more easier, I have his address”.


The tomorrow is coming, I have go to school, it’s still a normal day like everyday, except for my feeling. After the school time, I go to one place, it’s address that been writing on the paper by my sister, I’m going to Johnny’s house. About 20 minute biking, here I’m, I have arrived. I knock the door, I hope that I’ll meet a friendly face, a passionate smile with some dynamic jokes. But instead for that, the door is open with the man who hold a pen and wear a glass, and I can’t forget his English voice. It’s Toby.

- “Wow, hello Toby” I asked.

- “Uhm, hello, Marcus right?” he answer with his cold voice.

- “Oh, you’re still remember me, thank goodness. Hey, I’m come here to meet Johnny, you come here to meet him too?”.

- “What are you talking about?” Toby said “I’m living here with Johnny”.

- “Two of you living together, sorry I don’t know that”.

- “Your sister is not told you about that? She and some of Johnny’s friend had come here about months ago, it’s not a secret for anyone”.

- “Now I know why my sister told me come to this place, so that. Uhm, I come here because, I, want to invite Johnny to watch the movie, I want to say thanks to him for the last trip”.

- “That’s good thing, unfortunately he’s not here, right now he stay in the Warm Hugs orphanage”.

- “Warm Hugs orphanage” I said “That’s name again, may Johnny have a job in that place”.

- “It’s not really a job. At the orphanage these days earlier, they have made the event for their children, and Johnny is the volunteer”.

- “I see Johnny is very care to the poor children, do you know why?”

- “It’s the secret, I think you must find out by yourself” said the Toby “And about your message to Johnny, I’ll sent it to him for you, ok?”.

- “Thank you so much Toby, but I just don’t want to invite him, I want you to go too”.

- “Watching the movie is not my real hobby, I read books instead, but what movie is it?”

- “It’s movie is ‘Neuromancer’, it’s original is a novel, but know it have been made to the film”.

At that moment, I can see Toby’s eyes is shining. He said:

- “The movie from William Gibson masterpiece” he show his excitement “Oh, I make the decision, I’ll go with you and Johnny”.

- “That’s great! Oh, and one more thing, my sister, Natalie, she want have your first novel’s draft. She want to read it first, do you accept her demand?”

- “That’s not a problem at all. Ok, wait me a minute, I’ll take it for you”.

After some minutes, he come back with his novel’s draft.

- “Here, bring it home” Toby said.

- “Thank you, man. I’ll waiting to the movie day”.

- “You seem really care about Johnny?”.

- “Yes, I must say that this is the first time I can talk with someone confidently like him, even with you too. I like both of you”.

Toby is just silent for a while, I think he begin to lost in the place that Johnny call “Memory Space” again, I think I should go now, but suddenly he said:

- “Hey Marcus, when I saying to you that you should discover Johnny’s secret by yourself. But now I think you deserve to know”.

- “Oh no, I think I should not” I said “Discover anyone secret is not good”.

- “Don’t worry, even I call it’s a secret, but it’s not a real secret at all. It’s just something you should know about Johnny and why he consider you is his special friend. I sure that he wouldn’t mind if you know that because you are different with other people. The answer is, I think you can find it at the Warm Hugs orphanage. You need to go now, Johnny is still there”.

- “Ok, ok” I answer, but what he say is still so confuse. Beside I admit I have some curiosity about Johnny, I think I’ll do what he say “Alright, I’ll go to that place, and you sure it will be ok?”.

- “I’m absolutely sure” Toby answer.


The scenery on the road to the orphanage is so beautiful, from far away I can see the one building, it’s pretty large. It’s the Warm Hugs. In this place, they have a big garden and the play side for any children. When I was a kid, I always think orphanage is the place where is very dark and cold, the prison for any orphan child and poor kid. But I had wrong, it’s really good place, I feel happy for these children, it will be happier when they can find their suitable mother and father. I go inside the building, it’s gorgeous and peaceful, I can feel a lovely atmosphere in here, the true refuge for poor children. I think I’ll search for Johnny, maybe he’s just around here. I go to every area, looking for him. Suddenly have something is touching me from behind, I turn back, and in front of me is one girl, a little girl, about 8 or 9 years old, she’s wearing the lovely white dress and decorated by some flowers on the shoulders, she has tiny blue shoes. She has a smart face include the cuteness.

- “What are you looking for, mister?” She said “If you want disruptive at this place, you’re getting the big trouble, and I’ll call for the police”.

- “Oh no, don’t misunderstood little girl, I just come here to search for one man, he’s my friend. I’m not the bad guy here”.

- “Finding one man? Uh huh, I know who are you looking for” She said with a innocent voice and that make she cuter “You’re finding Dr. Awesome are you?”.

- “Dr. Awesome? Who is he, your friend, he is working here?”.

- “Nah nah nah, Dr. Awesome is not working here, but we know he has an original in this house and now he come back in every month, in Christmas day, Thanksgiving,… He’s our angle, the angle of this home”.

- “He’s sound a great man to all of you. But so unfortunately, I’m not looking for him. So why you stand here, you don’t have friends to play with?”.

- “We’re playing right now, at this moment. We’re playing hide and seek game, and I’m the catcher. Do you want to join with us, it will be fun”.

- “Oh, thank you so much, baby girl. But know I must find Johnny, he must around here”.

- “Why you know his name? Dr. Awesome have another name is Johnny Stander”.

- “Johnny? Johnny Stander? He’s Dr. Awesome?” I talk to myself.

- “So you’re his friend. It’s mean you’re good person too, Dr. Awesome always play with good people”.

- “Yeah, he’s that kind of person, always make everyone pay attention on him. Now I must continue find him. Thank you very much”.

- “No problem, mister. When you found him, please come back and play with us, ok?”

- “Oh yes, I promise”.

I continue to go around, I think must ask someone who is working here, then I see a group of people stand in on room, it’s big room, may be the meeting room, these people sure can help me, so I ask:

- “Excuse me, did I can ask something, I want to find one person but I don’t know where is he. His name’s Johnny Stander”.

One old man in the group is looking me for few seconds, then he said to others.

- “Ok, I’ll help this young man, all of you is going to finish your job. I’ll be back for 30 minutes”.

All of people leave the room, except for that old man, I sense he’s the person who in charge here, maybe he can help me find Johnny.

- “Ok, now is just 2 of us, you said to me you want to find the man whose name is Johnny Stander, right, young son?” he said slowly but gentle.

- “Oh yes, he’s my friend. My new friend, actually. I heard that he’s often go to this orphanage, and I want to meet him to ask him something. You say you know Johnny, so you can tell me where is him?”.

- “Know him, oh my son, I had know him for a longtime, when he’s just a kid” he smile “I know him too much that I can remember about his hobbies, habits. And I don’t have any surprise if he has many friends, that’s always his talent, make people surrounded him. But one thing I doubt that do you are really the friend of Johnny, are you?”

- “I’m not lie to you, if you want I can talk detail how I can meet Johnny”.

I have spend about 15 minutes to say everything, how I can meet him, about his love with music, his sushi addicted, the trip that I had going with him, or about he live with one weird English man. After that, I waiting for this old man’s reaction, and I have win for his belief.

- “Ok, I trust you, young son” The old man said “At the first moment I see you I have know you’re the honestly boy already, that’s my ability. But I still want to make sure. Because you know, when you reveal about somebody past or secret, you must completely believe that you have give it to the right people. Especially about my boy, Johnny”.

- “Thank you for believe me, mister”.

- “Please call me Richard Paxton, and I’m the director of this orphanage”.

- “That’s my pleasure. About Johnny, I think I have discover about something, and my conclusion that he was live here when he’s just a kid, right?”.

- “Yes, that’s true, but everything is not simple like that” Richard explain “Johnny is the orphan, but he have been abandoned in the most pitiful situation by his own family”.

- “What had happened?”.

- “He was born in a normal family, the son of one man and one woman, that’s when Johnny is still 5 years old, but Johnny’s father, I can’t remember his name anymore, discover that his son is just the product of the cheating relationship between his wife and his close friend. Oh, that’s the darkest situation of one person, Johnny’s father become extremely angry, he killed his friend and wife by the most bloody way. He even try to killed his son, Johnny. But thanks to the polices, they had stopped that mad man and bring him to the jail, they had saved Johnny’s life, but they had failed to rescue his soul. The soul had been destroyed when he saw his father killed his mother. When he was send to this place, Johnny is just like a depression beast, he eating nothing and don’t play with other kids, he refused to everything. It’s had a long time, by the uncountable helps of men and woman who are working here, even by all kids in this orphanage, all of them had became the most powerful mental power to push Johnny Stander reborn again, with the most mighty character, and I sure you had saw it every time you’re playing with him. It’s the new life of Johnny”.

- “Wow, I just say that I can’t, I really can’t believe that Johnny could have that terrible memories, I think it’s must hard for him to go through, I feel poor for him”.

- “No, young son, you don’t have to feel poor for him, in other word, you don’t have the right to do that. Bad memories is always exist, everyone have it, but they must choose to give up or stand up and fighting back. Johnny had a lot of helps from people around him, but he can’t became the person like this if he doesn’t made a choice, a choice to make him become better. So I say we shouldn’t feel sad for anyone who have a hard life, we must feel proud and amazed when you can meet such incredible person. Please choose your right reactions”.

- “Thank you very much, sir Richard. You have taught me so many things, and thanks because you are the Johnny’s great teacher. Now I must say goodbye to you, I must find Johnny and make the promise of one little girl is playing with her”.

- “Before going, do you can tell me about your name, son”.

- “Oh, my name’s Marcus, Marcus Craig”.

- “Marcus Craig? Johnny had tell me about you, he said you are the most trustworthy friends he ever has”.


After the conversation with sir Richard Paxton, I come back to place when I first met with that little girl. Surprisingly, one voice have raising, and this voice is so familiar.

- “Oh, Marcus, is that you?”.

That’s Johnny, it’s really him.

- “Hello Johnny, thanks god, I’m finally found you, I just want to meet you and…”.

- “Don’t say it, I have know it already, Toby had calling for me, he’s say it’s his idea”.

- “So, you…?”.

- “It’s fine, at all. I had think I’ll tell you about my story at someday, but now it’s ok”.

- “You don’t have any angry about that? Because I have arbitrary to discover your past”.

- “I don’t mind about it, man. Yeah, it’s very bad if someone that I don’t trust to know that, but I had with you before, I trust you man”.

- “So we can still be friends, Johnny?”.

- “Always. And if you still feel confused, so let’s me introduce myself again” He laugh “Hello, pretty boy. My name’s Johnny Stander, I’m the passionate DJ with the crazy love with sushi. I love to make friend, playing with children. My nick name’s Dr. Awesome, and even how bad my past is, I still go forward and success. Do you accept that words Marcus?”.

- “Of course I do”.

- “Because you have stand here, why we won’t playing with some children in this place, they’re very cute friends. Beside there’re one kid who want to playing with you so much”.

- “Here you are, two of you” a girl voice.

Johnny shook his head to that voice.

- “Finally I can met you mister. I see you have reunion with Dr. Awesome, I wish you’re not forget what you have promise with me before, if you missed it, I’ll punish you mister”.

- “Ok, Ok girl. Of course I remember” I said “Dr. Awesome, I think we have a mission here. Will you do it with me?”.

- “All right, let’s begin. I go first, Colonel Belief”.

- “I following right behind you, General Sushi”.

- “Hey little girl” I said to her “Don’t call me is mister, my name’s Marcus”.

- “Fine, also I have my own name too. My name’s Lilian Hopes, you hear me?”.


It was 2 days after that, now I have a date to the movie theater, with Johnny and Toby. I have Toby’s first novel draft. My mission is success. After the date, we go to the coffee store with the name’s Sun Rise. All of us have a very interesting conversation, but of course except for Toby, he’s lost to his “Memory Space” again, but it’s fine, I know he’s still hearing from us.

- “Hey, Marcus” Johnny said to me “I have one thing to talk to you. After this month, Toby and I’ll going to study abroad”.

- “Study abroad? Congratulation to you two. Where will you go?”.

- “I’ll go to Portland and Toby here will comeback to his country, England. We have dreams to do”.

- “Me too, I have my own dream. And I going to have it”.

- “What is it Marcus?”.

-  “It’s secret, when two of coming back, I’ll reveal it. So make a deal that 3 of us will going to do what we want, but we’ll always remember to each other. Ok?”.

- “Ok, it’s the promise, right Toby?”.

He smile, it’s mean “yes”.

Time by time, it’s about 3 years. Toby in England, Johnny in Portland. And about me? If you have remember to what Johnny had said with me at the first time I met him, the advice he had gave to me. And now I had mad it come true. Now I’m the passionate volunteer from one famous NGO of the world. I had going to so many countries, met so many people, learned about cultures and customers from every where, face against with a lot of trouble that you can meet when you go outside the safe zone. I’ve really grown up. Now I’m coming back to that old coffee shop, I seat in one chair near the window, it’s the place that make you easy to look outside. I’m waiting for them. It’s 8 am, the date time is 8:15, it just 15 minutes left. All of memories I had with them, now it’s coming back to me, beautiful memories. The door is open, have two men, they go inside. One guy who walking while read a book, other guy have the brightly smile.

- “Hello, long time no see” I said.

And for that, the trilogy of strange friends have finally reunion.















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