Title: It Ain't Nothing But Fate
Rated: G
Summary: Sometimes you never realize you've met a certain someone before...
Notes: From somebody's POV, but that's a surprise. Ha!
Thanks: To Lily and her sleep depraved mind


I'm walking to school. I HATE walking to school. I hate SCHOOL. Okay, so
that's a lie. I hate the KIDS at school. Some of them are really nice and
follow all the rules, but they never talk much. They do their work then leave
and they've only said three words all day. Then there's the other kids.
Doesn't matter if they're from rich families or poor ones, they're all the
same. They knock my books down then when I go to pick them up, they kick me.
Mama says I should ignore them but that doesn't work. They just call me names
like 'wimp' and 'sissy'. Papa says I should fight them but I've tried, I've

It's so lonely at school. The teachers all say I'm destined for great things.
I'm wise beyond my years and all that other stuff. I step over an old man
laying half in, half out of a doorway. I bet his teachers told him the same

I can see my school from here. The little building with the American flag in
front. Oh, and there's those kids. I clutch my books tighter when I get
closer to them. My sister, Sarah, is two and a half years older than me. She
told me she'd take care of the 'big bullies' so they wouldn't mess with me
anymore. Do you know how embarrassing it would be if my SISTER was the one to
stand up for me? What if she won? I'd never hear the end of it! I love her,
but I can't do it.

I finally meet up with the bullies. I'm trying to move past them but they
won't let me. Please, can't I just have one day without the teasing? I just
hope my baby brother doesn't have to go through this. No, i KNOW he won't!
'Cause I'm gonna be there for him, to protect him and watch him. His name's
Les. He's only thirteen months old right now so Mama takes care of him, but
when he gets older, it's MY job.

Ow! There go my books. Ouch! One of them snapped my suspenders! While they're
poking at me and calling me names, I'm trying to think of something else. I
think of Mama's cooking and Papa's stories. I think of playing kick the can
on Sunday's after church and I even think of how I love sitting on the fire
escape at night before bed. It's nice and quiet out there and I don't share
it. It's my special place and somebody would have to be REAL special to be
there too.

"Hey! Leave him alone!"

I look up to see a kid slightly older than me, maybe nine, running towards
us. I look all around to see the kid he's trying to protect but see nobody.
He couldn't mean ME, right? He's wearing some dirty clothes and his hands are
just as filthy. His shoes look worn and small for him too. The main thing
that catches my eye is the oversized cowboy hat wobbling on his head and an
adult bandana that hangs around his neck. I don't get it. Is he from the city
or the country?

While I've been thinking about his appearance, the bullies have been arguing
with him. I'm still amazed somebody's doing this for me!

"You can't tell us what to do! You don't even go to school!"

Huh? How would they know?

"So what if I'se don't? You go heah an' dat gives YOUSE da right to hoit

Oh, the accent. But I don't care, I think it's great. The boy leans over
them, glaring. He has long bangs that are shadowing his face, making the
glare seem scarier, even to me.

"We were just playing with him! We always do it!"

I gulped when he seemed to glare impossibly harder.

"Well, youse ain't gonna be doin it no more! Pick up 'is books, say ya's
sorry, den go."

I look at him then at all the others. They all stand there like statues until
one of them picks up my books and hands them to me. I'm amazed, to say the
least. I almost drop my books again when they all apologize to me. I know
they'll start right back up tomorrow morning, but just for today I've been
saved and it feels wonderful. I turn to face the boy when the bullies have
left our sights.

"Thank you."

The boy looks down at me and half-smiles. "What's yer name, kid?"

"David. What's yours?"

"I'se Francis--" I can't help it, I start giggling. The name just has no
place belonging to a boy like him. Maybe a hundred years from now the name
will be respected, but not here and now. I see him smile at me. Good, I
didn't want to offend him. "But for exactly dat reason, me friends call me
Frank. I still dun like da name, though."

I nod my understanding and prepare to go to class, but he stops me.

"Hey, why don't's ya stand up foah yerself wit d'ose clowns?"

"Why? Because I rarely feel like going home in pieces, that's why!"

"Aw, day don't 'ave the guts ta do dat!"

"Yes, they do!"

"Naw, dey don't."



"How do you know?!"

"Oh yeah, how da you? Have dey eva done anythin dat bad?"


"Then stand up foah yerself. Neva be afraid ta speak up an' follow your
dreams. Seize da day."

"How do I seize the day? What does that mean?"

He smirks like he's better than me. It's frustrating that he knows more than
me, but then again, he IS older.

"When an opportunity comes along, ya's got ta take it, grab it, seize it. If
ya don't, you'll neva know what ya could'a done if ya had."

I'm standing there taking all this in. It does make sense. Who knows how many
opportunities I've miss already? I'm seven, almost an adult now, I have to do
what he's saying. I'll never let anyone intimidate me again, I'll make my
opinions known, I'll stand up for myself. And, hopefully, I won't get beaten
and left in a dark alley somewhere.

"Ya know something, Frank? I will. I'll do it. Thanks."

"Don't mention it. Jus' take care 'a yerself." He turns and walks away. I
watch him for a few seconds before walking away also.

"Hey, Davey!" That's him again. I quickly turn around and cock my head to the


"Seize da day, kid." He smiles again then turns around for the final time.
I'm smiling too. For the first time in my life, I'm actually smiling while
I'm at school.

'Seize the day'....

I reach the big doors of my school then look in the direction he left once
more. Opening the door, I walk inside, feeling for the first--and probably
not the last--time that I could face anything. I wonder if I'll ever see him