Chapter One- Never Such Innocence Again

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The sun shined lightly through the leaves of the trees, making a nice shady path along the sidewalks. The air was hot and sticky, but a nice cool breeze was blowing through the leaves, giving relief from the hot air. Along the shaded sidewalk, two fourteen-year-old boys walked along at a sluggish pace. One boy was taller than the other, but both were of similar build and had the same chestnut brown hair. They seemed to be enjoying each other's company as they pushed, smiled, and laughed.

They would climb a tree here and there, say 'hi' to some friends that were playing hockey in the street, until they came to the corner of a road. The boys had never been down the road, as neither of them ever had any cause to travel down it.

The houses on the street were old and falling apart, and many believed that they were all empty and deserted. This was understandable, as it certainly looked like nobody lived in any of them or even cared about them, but the taller boy knew that somebody lived in one of the crumbling houses, and that somebody was his grandfather. As they began to make their way down the seemingly abandoned street, the smaller boy asked in an annoyed tone: 

"So how long do we have to help for?" 

"We just need to help sort the things in the attic; the movers are going to handle the rest. All of my grandfather's stuff is going into storage or trash since there's no way he can take it all to the home." 

"You didn't answer my question, and are we getting paid for this? I've been saving up for a new videogame for a while now and hopefully this will get me the rest I need." 

"I don't know how long it will take, but I do know that we're supposed to get something for helping."  

The two boys approached a tall house, which was very old and rickety, like the rest of the houses on the street. The wood was rotting and the paint was peeling. The house was probably once a soft blue, but time had been hard on it, causing the paint to look grey.

A woman was waiting for them at the top of the steps, looking impatient, and the bigger boy approached and hugged her as if he knew her well. The hug looked awkward, and the smaller boy couldn't tell if it was because of the heat or if they just didn't know each other very well. The bigger boy failed to introduce the smaller boy to the mystery woman, and then she commanded them into the house, handing them gloves and garbage bags and led them up two flights of stairs into the attic. She swung the door open and a fog of dust filled the room as if someone had been there earlier moving things around. 

"Alright boys, everything here needs to be boxed and organized, if you see something you like you can keep it. I took all the valuable things out already so don't get any ideas."  

The woman looked at the boys to see if she could get a reaction out of them, but neither boy could tell if she was kidding, and both began to feel very uncomfortable. She stared for a moment and then walked back down the stairs, leaving the boys alone in the attic. The bigger boy started going through the clutter, looking for anything worth keeping by opening already packed boxes, tearing the tape and cutting ropes, and pouring the contents onto the floor. One of the boxes had an old military uniform inside of it; there were a few holes in it but it was in great condition nonetheless. 

"Hey Stanley, check this out. My grandpa fought in World War Two, he won like every medal a solider could ever win. One time he killed twenty Germans all by himself, even without a gun." 

"Yeah, sure Alex" responded Stanley with a sarcastic tone. Alex's face turned from astonishment to anger, he became upset because he strongly believed that the story was true, he wanted it to be true. But Alex knew that Stanley was just trying to get on his nerves and that he was succeeding. Things began to feel uncomfortable between the two boys, much like when the mystery woman was there. They both didn't speak for some time, until finally the tension seemed to melt away, as it always did when the two got into an argument. 

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