Kid!fic. Bob Bryar hated bugs. They were creepy and crawly and icky and gross. For whatever reason, the other boys liked to play with bugs, but not Bob. Bob would never ever ever touch a bug.
Bob Bryar hated bugs. They were creepy and crawly and icky and gross. For whatever reason, the other boys liked to play with bugs, but not Bob. Bob would never ever ever ever ever touch a bug.
Sometimes the other boys would make jokes and laugh at Bob, but he would just ignore them. As long as they kept their creepy crawlies as far away as possible from him, they could call Bob any name they wanted. He didn’t care.
“Bob! There’s a spider on your foot!” Bert screamed, pointing a chubby little finger at Bob. Bob squealed and jumped up, kicking at the air, making all the other boys laugh. The girls made angry faces at Bert, but no one made any attempt at helping Bob.
Teary-eyed and upset, Bob ran away from the small crowd and scrambled into one of the empty playground tunnels. Spiders were the extra scariest bugs and Bob was so afraid that he just sat there alone and cried his eyes out.
After a long while, his sobs finally quieted to sniffles and then he re-checked his shoes for any stray spiders. Thankfully, there were none. He wiped under his nose with his sleeves and stopped to listen for any sign that the boys had followed him, but there was none. Slowly, he crawled forward, making his way out of the tunnel when a tiny boy with a huge grin popped up out of nowhere.
“Hey!” The boy shouted so suddenly it surprised Bob and he fell backwards. “Were you crying?” He asked worriedly, noticing Bob’s reddened eyes. Bob shook his head and turned around to go out through the tunnel’s other opening, but the boy ran around the side and caught him before he was out. “Hey, wait! I just wanted to see if you were okay! I’m Frankie.”
Bob stared for a minute then finally, when he realized that Frankie wouldn’t be going away anytime soon, said, “I’m Bob.” He let out a quiet hiccup at the end and blushed because if Frankie didn’t know he was crying before he definitely knew now.
“So are you okay now? I totally kicked their butts for picking on you, so you don’t have to worry about that anymore. Hey, I can be your bodyguard if you want!” Frankie suggested, grinning widely and leaning in so far that his upper half was in the tunnel.
Bob couldn’t help the giggles that followed. Frankie was like half his size, he couldn’t be a bodyguard! “But you’re so tiny!”
Frankie frowned at Bob. He was not tiny, he was fun-sized! His mom said so all the time. And besides, he totally made Bert McCracken cry, so that had to count for something. “I’m not that small! And anyway my mom said bodyguards don’t have to be big and scary as long as they’re smart and brave! I’m super brave and I have all my rainbow colors memorized, so I’m plenty smart!”
Bob giggled again and this time Frankie didn’t make a face. Frankie liked Bob a lot better when he was smiling and laughing. “Okay, but you don’t have to be my bodyguard.” Frankie looked like he was about to argue, but instead he let it go. He supposed they could just take care of each other if Bert ever tried picking fights with them again. Almost everyone else seemed to be playing on the field then, so the playground was deserted and all the swings were free.
Frankie offered to push Bob on the swing, but he’d declined. It was much more fun to swing at the same time. “Are you sure?” Frankie had asked, staring at his toes.
“Yeah, it’s more fun that way. What’s wrong?” Bob asked, watching his own feet dangle for a moment then finally locking eyes with Frankie when he looked up.
“I don’t know how to swing by myself,” Frankie answered quietly. He tried to learn by watching the other kids sometimes, but the girls always told him to go away because they didn’t want to catch his cooties. He also tried learning by himself, but all that did was land him in the nurse’s office when he fell backwards into the sand.
“Do you want me to teach you, Frankie? It’s pretty easy.”
“Can you?!” Frankie shouted gleefully, getting up onto the swing next to Bob’s. It took a few minutes of watching Bob’s legs and still Frankie kept forgetting when to lift his legs up and when to let them drop down, but by the end of recess he’d finally got it.
“Bob! I’ m swinging! All by myself! I did it!” Bob felt himself smiling at Frankie’s exuberant face, staring up at the sky as he kicked his legs out and forced himself up higher. The bell rang at last and the teachers started calling the kids to line up in front of the classrooms.
Frankie suddenly realized he didn’t know how to slow down or stop and started to panic. Bob was already on the ground and waiting for Frankie, when he finally noticed the frightened look on his face. “Frankie, what’s wrong?”
“I don’t know how to stop!” He called out uneasily. “Bob, how do I stop?!”
“It’s okay, Frankie, just don’t move your legs anymore and when you slow down enough put your feet on the ground,” Bob explained.
Frankie nodded his head, but as soon as he tried to put his feet down, he found that they couldn’t reach. “Bob, I’m too little. I can’t!” Frankie cried, on the verge of real tears. He didn’t want to be stuck on the swingset forever!
“You’re not too little, Frankie! You weren’t too little to beat up those bullies and you’re not too little to make it off the swing! Just jump when I say so and I’ll catch you, okay?” Frankie wasn’t so sure about jumping. What if he got hurt like last time? He didn’t want any more scraped elbows. “I’ll catch you, I promise,” Bob repeated, holding his arms out.
“Okay,” Frankie finally decided, and waited for Bob’s cue.
“Jump!” Bob shouted and Frankie did, feet hitting the ground just before he accidentally on purpose leaned forward too far and landed on Bob. They both fell to the ground with a loud thump. “Frankie, I saw you land just fine why did you fall on me?!”
Frankie just giggled and rolled off of Bob. “You promised you would catch me, didn’t you?”