Good Little Boys

Max used to be alone. He didn’t seem to know how to connect with people. The boy never really spoke up to begin with. It didn’t help that he was in a foreign country. Sure he was born in Tokyo, but he stood out like a sore thumb. His mother didn’t find it healthy.

“You have to make friends,” she said. Max didn’t argue with her. It wasn’t in his nature. He just wanted to make other people happy. His mother tried to take him to the park. She had to push him along to the playground.

“Go on,” she said. “Get out there and make some friends. Go on. Go on.” His mother pushed him a step further. The little boy walked over to the playground. What else could he do? So many of the children looked so happy playing with their friends. Max on the other hand felt out of place. He would’ve been happier to be in his room, reading. His mother was happy to see him do so, but she thought that he needed some friends.

Max looked over to his right when heard a ball bouncing towards his direction. He saw a soccer ball bounce and roll over to his feet. A boy about his age with short dark hair and glasses ran behind it.

“Hey!” he shouted. Max gave him a puzzled look. The boy raced over towards him.

“Excuse me, can you hand me the ball?” he asked. Max pointed to his chest.

“Yes,” the other boy said.

“Oh,” Max said. He picked up the ball and threw it back to him.

“Thanks,” the little boy said. He stared at Max as he narrowed his eyes.

“I haven’t seen you before,” he said. “Are you new here?”

“Uh… no,” Max said. “I just stay at home and read.” The other little boy began to smile.

“Do you want to play?” he asked.

“Play?” Max asked.

“Yeah, do you want to play ball with us?”


The other little boy shrugged. “I mean, you don’t have to if you don’t want to.” Max shook his head.

“No, I would love to,” he said. His potential new friend smiled.

“Great!” he said. The little boy stuck out his hand. “My name is Ben. What’s your name?” Max stared at him looking so confused at first. Ben nudged his hand like a hint.

“Max,” the first boy said as he slowly took his hand.

“Nice to meet you,” Ben said. “Let’s be friends!” Max gave him a blank stare.

“O… Okay…” he mumbled. His new friend had the whitest teeth that he had ever seen.

Back in present day…