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Happy Friendship Fiction

His parents were worried.

Jake has been arriving home from school with bruises everywhere. Scratch marks on his knees and elbows were common; blackeyes too. But the boy never complained. The only words he told his parents after arriving home were, "I fell". After the phrase came out of his mouth, he threw his backpack on the couch and ran up the stairs, and slammed his bedroom doors shut. Whenever the parents pressed their ears on the boy's door, they heard wailing. The boy threw the book across the room to the door when the parents ask permission to come in, as a sign that he denied the question.

"He's doing well in school," exclaimed the principal during one meeting. "But the thing is, he isn't talking much. You could see him fidget with his fingers when his teachers call on him to answer a question. He would give a one or two-letter answer. Sometimes, you would hear him whisper to himself while working on something."

"He is always coming home with bruises. What's happening," the parents ask.

"I don't know. We always monitor the students in the hallways. So far, we haven't seen anything," the principal says. "But we have watched him closely one time. A few days ago, a famous basketball player came to school. After his speech, he allowed students to greet him. When it was Jake's turn, he slowly crept up to the player and said a soft hi. A few moments later, he turned around and walked away. All the other kids took a lot of time talking with the star."

"Basketball is his favorite sport. I don't know why he is acting like this," his mom replies.

"We try asking him to speak to us, but he doesn't reply," his father adds.

"That's what we try to do, but we don't get any response from him," the principal replies. "Well, I think the best solution for this is speech therapy."

Jack found himself in the car on the way to Dr. George Hartford. Finally, they arrived at a large building. Inside, they were guided to his office. They were greeted by Dr. Hartford himself as they entered the office.

"Welcome, welcome. Come in. Please have a seat," Dr. Hartford exclaimed with a smile. "And I guess that young man is my patient".

Jack didn't say anything. He quietly sat on the chair between his parents. His head was down.

"Well, I guess he's a bit shy. You're in luck. This class will make you bold," Hartford said.

After Jack's parents and Hartford talked with each other about Jack's shyness, it was time for the first meeting.

"Ok. Tell me your name," asked Hartford.

"Jack," Jack replied, with his head still down.

"Good, but if you want this class to run better, try looking at me," Hartford said.

Jack lifted his head. He saw Hartford's facial features. He looked like he was in his 30s or 40s. There were certificates on the wall, and Jack saw one that had the word Ph.D. on it. He then looked at Hartford again.

"Cool, right? It took me ages to get that degree. Quite tough. Now, I want you to tell me some facts about yourself," the doctor asked.

"I-- I am eleven. I like b-- basketball. I-- I-- I...," stuttered Jack. He didn't know what to do.

"It's ok. That's why you're here. Now, imagine that this room is a safe place. Nothing can get out and nothing can get in. Speak freely," said Hartford.

Jack couldn't do it. He started to get tears from the pressure. He hopped out of his chair and bolted to the door. Outside, he found his parents in the lobby. He ran past them and into the car. Jack's parents saw Jack close the door and lock it, so they ran to Hartford's office and asked them what was wrong.

"He isn't comfortable. I think I have a recommendation for him. Maybe a therapy dog," said George.

A few days later, Blake joined the family. He was a small corgi. The second Jack came home from a terrible day at school, with more bruises, he was surprised when the corgi jumped at him and started licking his face. Jack was stunned. He went to his parents and asked them about the pup. They replied that they bought Blake from the local shelter. He used to be trained for therapy when he was much younger. Jack smiled at his parents and looked at the dog. After a few moments of staring, the dog jumped on him and knocked Jack to the floor. He laughed as the dog ran around his face.

The next day, Blake turned into the school mascot. The principal allowed Jack to bring the dog to school. All of a sudden, he became very popular, which was not what Jack wanted. He just wanted to live in peace. In other ways, Blake was also beneficial. When the teacher called on him to answer a question, he gently petted the corgi and said the answer with a calm mind.

"He's improving," his mother exclaimed during the meeting with Dr. Hartford.

"Told ya dogs would work," he replied with a smile.

Jack felt more confident in school. He didn't get any bruises. A few more weeks later, he became the most popular kid in the school. Everyone wanted to be friends with him. He felt that he was safe in school. He talked normally; not too little, not too much. Just, perfect.

The day came when the guest speaker arrived. It was the same basketball player, except with a new speech. While on the speech, the star found Jack in the crowd. He saw the corgi in his lap and smiled at Jack. When his speech ended, it was time for the students to talk to him privately. When it was Jack's turn, he slowly walked to the player. Holding the pup, he talked confidently. Words just flew out of his mouth. The star was surprised at the sudden improvement. The conversation went on for about 5 minutes. When it ended, Jack left the room with a smile.

All of a sudden, he was pushed to the ground. It didn't hurt him much. As he turned around to see the attacker, he saw Blake jump at him and land on his face. He laughed as the dog sat on his face, the fur petting him gently, the cute brown eyes staring at him, and the nasty fart from the corgi.

January 11, 2021 23:07

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