Sunday, November 15, 2015

Chapter 5

"Where were you, man?  What happened to 'tag team'?"  Amadeo asked accusingly when he caught up to Milo in the hallway after lunch.

"Sorry, man, but you two looked so buddy buddy sitting there reading I figured I'd just be interrupting.  Was it that bad, talking to him?"

"No, not at all, for what little he said.  Speaking of which, where on earth did you hear that voice you used when you mimicked him?  He doesn't sound like that at all!"

Milo blushed and shrugged.  "Just makin' fun, you know?"

"Idjit," said Amadeo affectionately.

"Jerk," replied Milo.  "So anyway, what did you find out?  What did he say?"

"Like I said, not much.  He doesn't seem to be the talkative sort.  Could just be shy."

"Shy?  He's sixteen, not six!  What kind of..."  Milo broke off his line of thought when he noticed the expression on Amadeo's face.  "Ok, Kemosabe.  So what's our next plan of action?"

"Not sure," Amadeo admitted.  "I... we... are going to have to take things slow with him.  It's obvious that he's had a really hard time and he doesn't exactly trust anyone."

"Know what this reminds me of?"  Milo asked animatedly, "The Little Prince!"

Amadeo was familiar with the book but was surprised that Milo was.

Milo gave a sheepish look and said, "I read it to Mikey, sometimes.  Anyway, all you have to do is tame the fox."

"You know, for a complete dork you're actually a pretty cool cat."

"Don't spread that around, I have a rep to maintain."

"Gentlemen," came the soft, dangerous voice of the Cobra, otherwise known as Mr. Cobrane, the Vice Principal, and dreaded DOD.  "I believe the bell rang several minutes ago, and yet, here you are in the hallway, and if I were to ask you to produce one, I have the feeling that neither of you will be able to show me a hall pass. Am I correct?"  His drawl always became more pronounced when he was being sarcastic.

"Yes, sir, Mr. Cobrane.  We're sorry, we just lost track of the time and didn't hear the bell." Amadeo answered politely.

"Ah, Mr. Rossi," Cobrane purred.  He turned toward Milo and said, "Mr. Jablonski, you may go to your next class, I'll see you in detention this afternoon at three.  I believe you're familiar with the room so I expect you to be on time, understood?"  With a nod and a quick "Yes, sir.", Milo shot Amadeo an apologetic glance and hurried to his classroom.

Coal black eyes, which were jarringly at odds with the man's pale skin and blonde hair, and which were the actual reason he was called The Cobra, slewed back toward Amadeo and raked him over from head to toe and back again.  The man gave Amadeo the willies.  Amadeo was a little above average height for his age at 5'10 3/4" but Cobrane was broadly built, something over 6', always dressed in dark suits, and somehow managed to be intimidating without even trying.

"I've been hearing a lot about you this morning, Mr. Rossi, unfortunately, none of it good.  Disrespect toward your teachers, inattention in class, a visit to Mr. Barnes' office, and now in the hallway after warning bell without a pass.  Is there anything you'd like to discuss, Mr. Rossi?  Any problems you're having that would explain this uncharacteristic behavior?"

"No, sir."

Cobrane narrowed his eyes and fixed Amadeo with a stern glare.  "Very well, Mr. Rossi.  Your teachers... most of them... have said that you're not usually a behavioral problem for them and they're willing to let your actions slide.  Let me remind you, however, that I am not one of your teachers, I won't take kindly to the phrase 'Climb it, Tarzan.' being aimed at me, nor will I tolerate the use of vulgar hand gestures.  I suggest you follow Mr. Jablonski to Room 11 this afternoon at three.  I don't tolerate tardiness, Mr. Rossi. Understood?"

"Yes, sir,"  Amadeo answered politely.  Only now did he understand why birds and other prey froze under the gaze of the cobra in nature.

"You may go to your next class, now."

"Thank you sir," said Amadeo, thawing sufficiently enough to move toward his classroom.

The rest of the afternoon dragged by.  Amadeo kept thinking about Angelo and wondering what class he was in now and where he lived, and how he could go about 'taming' him if he were stuck in detention.  He supposed that he should be grateful that it was only one afternoon and not all week or all month.

Three o' clock finally came around and Amadeo did as he had been instructed and followed Milo to room 11, where Mr. Cobrane sat behind the desk, ramrod straight, shoulders squared and looking grim.

He started to sit beside Milo when the Cobra ordered him to sit several seats away, next to the window.  Amadeo sighed and sat down where Cobrane pointed.  He looked out the window in time to see Angelo, eyes riveted to his book, begin to walk across the street.  The boy was brought up short by the screeching of tires and the loud honking of a horn.  The driver's shouts were muffled by the glass and distance, but Amadeo could imagine what he was saying.

Just as he'd done the day before, Angelo waved to the driver, most likely apologized, and focused his attention back on his book before completing his journey across the street.

Amadeo's jaw clenched.  What on earth was that boy thinking, reading a book while walking instead of watching where he was going?  Did he have some sort of death wish? 

Amadeo wondered if it was too soon to approach Angelo about this habit of his.

"You're not here to stare out the window, Mr. Rossi.  You may take out your books and work on your homework for the remainder of your detention."

At four thirty Cobrane gave the boys permission to leave, watching them with his black eyes as they filed out of the classroom.  Amadeo felt the gaze on the back of his neck.  It felt like an icicle.  Once outside, both boys gave great sighs of relief.

"Wow, I thought he'd keep us there all night!"  Milo griped.

"I could have dealt with that all right, but did he have to stare at us the entire time we were there?  Now I know what a goldfish feels like."  Amadeo shuddered.

That night Amadeo fished out the family's copy of The Little Prince and read it, pausing over several passages.

'I am looking for friends. What does that mean -- tame?'

'It is an act too often neglected,' said the fox. 'It means to establish ties.'

'To establish ties?'

'Just that,' said the fox. 'To me, you are still nothing more than a little boy who is just like a hundred thousand other little boys. And I have no need of you. And you, on your part, have no need of me. To you I am nothing more than a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, then we shall need each other. To me, you will be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world....'

A little further on the fox continued:

'Please-tame me!' he said.

'I want to, very much,' the little prince replied. 'But I have not much time. I have friends to discover, and a great many things to understand.'

'One only understands the things that one tames,' said the fox. 'Men have no more time to understand anything. They buy things already made at the shops. But there is no shop anywhere where one can buy friendship, and so men have no friends anymore. If you want a friend, tame me.'

'What must I do, to tame you?' asked the little prince.

'You must be very patient,' replied the fox. 'First you will sit down at a little distance from me-like that-in the grass. I shall look at you out of the corner of my eye,' Amadeo remembered large, distrustful, brown eyes peering at him from beneath a fringe of bangs. "...and you will say nothing. Words are the source of misunderstandings. But you will sit a little closer to me, every day...'

It was just as he'd done at lunchtime, accepting the book and simply reading with the kid, rather than continuing to try to talk to him.  After all, if Angelo had been a real fox or another wild animal, he'd hardly have tried to talk to them, would he?  And as insulting as it might be if Amadeo had said as much to Angelo, the other boy, because of the ill-treatment he'd endured, was very much like the fox.

Amadeo paused over the line:

'People have forgotten this truth,' the fox said. 'But you mustn’t forget it. You become responsible forever for what you’ve tamed. You’re responsible for your rose.'

He read it over and over again.  Yes, Amadeo decided, he could handle this.

Over the next few days, Amadeo would join Angelo at his solitary table, pull out a book and begin to read or use the time to get ahead on his homework.  Angelo would glance up and look at Amadeo from the corner of his eye, as soon as he was assured the other boy was not planning to talk to him, he would once again resume reading his own book.

Amadeo wasn't sure, but he could have sworn that on the fourth day of the 'taming', a Friday, Angelo had a small smile on his face.  However, when Amadeo looked directly at him, there was no sign of it.



  
AN

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Quotes from:         The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Illustrator:     Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Cover artist:     Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Publisher:              Reynal & Hitchcock (U.S.)
Publication date:   September 1943 
No Copyright infringement intended

7 comments:

  1. I have found the time to access some of your other stories which I have found lively, amusing and warm. I was particularly taken with your reference to ‘The Little Prince’ – a book I have loved since childhood. I have discussed the story many times with friends and have referenced the same section of the narrative in my own writing that of the fox wanting to be tamed by the boy. In my case a submissive character finding the strength within himself and asking to be ‘tamed’ in this story the young character is intent on gaining the trust of another and effectively ‘taming’ him. If time allows I shall read further with interest, thanks again for sharing. Sue

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  2. Sue, I'm so happy that you like the story so far. I love the book as well, it's one of my favorites since I was a child, and that part especially.
    I'd love to read your story, if you have a blog or are willing to share it with me.
    I appreciate your feedback, and hope that you get a chance to continue reading.

    Thank you again!

    Snarks

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  3. It is kind of you to enquire about my writing. The story involving ‘The Little Prince’ I write collaboratively with a friend so I’d need to get her approval before sharing it. I also write with/for a dear friend who I have Topped for over 20 years. I began writing for him because he is bi-sexual and wanted to read stories from both a gay and heterosexual perspective. In 2015 he began to blog this however I don’t consider the stories to be of any interest to anyone except us so I forbade him to blog any more. The blog is still online if you’d like to read some of it. Be warned it skips around and can be confusing. http://jezunloading.blogspot.co.uk/2015_09_01_archive.html

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  4. I left you a confusing message - apologies. The name 'Jez Fisher' appears on the blog that my friend set up in 2015. The above message was from me (Sue).

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    1. Don't worry, Sue... something similar happened to me a few years ago when a friend of mine used my account to comment on a story I'd posted. It was pretty embarrassing at the time but there's humor in pretty much anything if you can stand back enough to see it. LOL
      Thank you for the address to the blog, I'm looking forward to reading it, and thank you also for sharing with me. I appreciate it very much.
      Hope to talk with you again soon,

      Snarks

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  5. It's so nice to see him opening up. :)

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  6. Thanks :) It's amazing what a little kindness can do.

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