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By Margaret BrennanPublished 5 months ago 5 min read



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Thinking of that first meeting made her realize that only someone near her daughter’s age who experienced the loss of a loved one knew how to help lift Mary Ellen’s spirits. She’d always seemed so sad since her dog died and now, there’s a new light in her eyes. After all, she thought, a mom is just a mom, but a friend is a companion.

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After explaining what he needed, she invited Tommy inside for a cup of cocoa while she retrieved the information he asked for. After they spent a few minutes talking, he said, “Thanks, Mrs. Morgan. I really gotta go. I’m already a bit late and don’t wanna be any later. Thanks for the information and picture.”

He turned as he walked out the door, waved and shouted, “Bye. Thanks, again.”

As Mrs. Morgan waved goodbye, a tear slid down her cheek. She had just decided that she wanted to help Tommy. She didn’t know how but she was determined. She’d think of something.

As soon as Mary Ellen arrived home from school, she knew what she could do. She’d convince Mary Ellen to speak with Tommy and subtly make him realize how intelligent he was. Intelligent, only just a bit ignorant scholastically. How to begin was another matter. Mrs. Morgan went shopping.

A few minutes after Mary Ellen arrived home from school, her mother handed her a paper bag.

“I went shopping today and just couldn’t resist getting – what’s what’s-his-name, uh, Max, a few doggie biscuits, and toys. You don’t think your friend will mind, do you?”

She soon tactfully led the conversation from Max to Tommy.

“That’s just it, Mom. He’s sweet and kind and fun. I like being with him. I just feel bad because he’d like to have so much more, and I know his uncle doesn’t have the money to give him more.”

“You know, Mary Ellen, you said he’s twelve. It’s not too late for him to get into a regular high school rather than a trade school.”

Mary Ellen listened to her mother’s idea and said cautiously, “I don’t know, Mom. He may not even listen.”

Mrs. Morgan replied, “I know honey, but it seems to me, under the circumstance, that if Tommy would listen to anyone, it would be you.”

“I don’t know, Mom. He’s awfully proud. And stubborn! He thinks he’s doing just fine the way he is. Yet, somehow, Mom, when I look into his eyes, I get the feeling that he doesn’t even really believe that. Yet, I doubt he’d admit that to anyone, even me.”

“Pride can be a curse as well as a blessing. I guess you’ll have to decide for yourself when the time comes. If you see he’s getting angry, just drop the subject. No point in losing your friendship over it. I have faith in you. You’ll know what to do when and if the time comes.”

She kissed Mary Ellen’s cheek and handed her a cup of cocoa and a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie.

Summer vacation was a matter of a few months away and Mary Ellen knew that it was now or never.

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Weeks passed and Mary Ellen’s patience wore thin as she gently tried to encourage her friend to seek proper education. At long last, her temper took control and her eyes glared in anger.

“You’re a scaredy cat, Tommy! You know that? You’re just afraid. That’s all!” Mary Ellen yelled in frustration, sounding angrier than even she expected.

Tommy always took pride in himself and under the circumstances, believed himself to be strong, independent, and confident. All of which he considered to be the opposite of fear.

“I am not!” he shouted back, trying, but failing to keep his temper from getting the best of him.

During the many passing months of their friendship, they never argued until now and they both felt bewildered, confused, hurt and angry.

After Mary Ellen’s birthday, Tommy became a frequent visitor at her home and often, with her mother’s encouragement, brought Max. On the few occasions when his uncle had to work late, Tommy joined her family for dinner and stayed to watch television. One evening, he showed a keen interest in the educational programs Mary Ellen decided to watch. She used that as a new basis for another talk with him about school.

When he again, tried to avoid the subject, she countered with, “If you’re not afraid to go, then explain why you don’t. Make me understand!”

“Cause! That’s why,” he answered feeling embarrassed that he didn’t have the words to put to his feelings.

She retorted with, “’Cause? That’s your reason? That’s not a reason. That’s not even a word, you dope! Not unless you’re talking about something you’re fighting for.” As soon as the word “dope” left her mouth, she instantly regretted it. She knew she’d never be able to take it back.

Tommy just as quickly became nasty. “Don’t call me that!” Just as quickly, his mood changed, as he said quietly, angrily, but also with much sadness, “Don’t ya ever call me that, again. Ya think yer so smart. Just ‘cause ya ta a good school, ya think yer so great! Yer no betta than a smarty pants! Maybe that’s what I should call ya. Smarty pants.” He glared at her as if she were poison, “That is if I eva call ya anythin’ eva again.”

Before she could say anything, he stood, “I’m goin’ home.” He grabbed his jacket and headed for the door.

Mary Ellen, in a state of near panic for the possibility of losing her friend, jumped up from her favorite seat. She grabbed his arm, stopping him where he stood and using a tone of voice that she rarely heard her mother use when she became angry, said sternly, “No, you’re not, Thomas! You’re staying right here, until you hear what I have to say.”

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Thank you for reading Now Will Ya Leave Me Alone? I’m working on another segment. Please stay tuned to see what else might happen to Tommy and Mary Ellen.

Short Story

About the Creator

Margaret Brennan

I am a 76 year old grandmother who loves to write, fish, and grab my camera to capture the beautiful scenery I see around me.

My husband and I found our paradise in Punta Gorda Florida where the weather always keeps us guessing.

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Comments (3)

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  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarran5 months ago

    Whoaaaa, look at Mary Ellen taking charge! I loved it!

  • Babs Iverson5 months ago


  • Test5 months ago

    You're doing amazing work

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