From behind his picket fence, Benjamin saw the kids playing. Along with the five year old twins from across the lawn, was the oldest kid in the block, Ryan. The three of them held a small teddy bear above Mark’s face — the three year old who’d just moved to the neighbourhood with his grandparents.
Ben remained rooted as Mark reached out to his teddy, and failing. Ryan was laughing, the pinkish gums behind his primary teeth, now gleaming in the sun. When his mother called for dinner, he cast the teddy aside and ran, the twins in his wake.
Mark had slopped on the ground, weeping. Retrieving the teddy from the sludge, Benjamin sat beside the child, and put his arm around him.
Bullied kids need a comforting shoulder. Ben knew, because he’d had none.