Boj: Chapter Six (Continued)

   Tret's family dragged into town the summer after his sixth grade year. His father was one of those self-important, blustery little men, the kind who marry quiescent women and conceive blustery, self-important sons who run over their mother. Tret's mother was a quiet little woman, of the kind who keep their voices still, who reserve their love for the wounded children they bear and who keep their opinions to themselves.

   Tret was the oldest of three sons. The runt of the litter, he always insisted his younger siblings call him "Big Brother." Deprived of size, possessing a slight body type prone to flabbiness, Tret had to work to make whatever he did seem bigger or better or brighter than reality would allow. Fortunately, Tret had a father completely lacking in the type of self-doubt that births humility. Father instilled his dramatic flair in his oldest son. Tret could never do anything wrong in Father's eyes. His mother lacked the courage to correct him. Tret learned early to love his own image in the mirror.

   Tret, therefore, was not to be trusted.

   Myopic Boj loved Golda and trusted anyone who would befriend him. Boj wanted to be good because so much bad happened to him. He wanted to be kind because he had felt the slights of the unkind. Boj wanted to be loving because he had seen so much hate.

   On those rare occasions when someone encouraged him, Boj bloomed. He proved to be labile, though, prone to become inert when exposed to searing heat or radiating anger.

   Boj, therefore, was the least of self-promoters.

   Destined to be tall, sure to be laconic, Boj was the fellow in the crowd who would never understand why he was victimized. He just came to accept his fate, as though he deserved the wrath of the Left-Back gang and the assaults of his own repressed home.

   Tret and Boj became fast friends. Tret recognized the friendly puppy in Boj. Boj admired the complete confidence in Tret. They became almost inseparable.

   Tret and Boj, as time would tell, were not a friendship made in Heaven.

   Tret believed he had a special place in the heavenlies, of course. His every minor accomplishment was so lauded he knew must be someone important, as in earth, so in heaven.

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