"Black velvet in that little boy's smile." His friends call him Toby. He's grown taller, firm, as handsome as everyone had expected. The man's dark eyes are open and honest when he speaks to the elders at church-- but wicked when night falls and he stumbles into his house, half boozed out of his mind. I don't know what had broken the Tobias from my childhood; the boy from behind the rose bushes that I'd held in such high regard. I suppose he could have been that way from the start. No one seems to notice it, the anger that storms behind the slate eyes. No one wants to take hold of his roots and check his petals for bruising.