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Rico's residence
0900 hours

The sound of the doorbell woke up Rico.As he'd just returned from a mission in Colombia early that morning, he decided to ignore it. But someone was still ringing the bell. Finally, he gave up and crawled out of bed. Rico looked through the peephole on the door.

The boy from next door was there. They had recently moved in the apartment.
Rico opened the door.

"Hello, Mr.Valesquez. Will you play with me?"

"Joey...I'm tired."

The ten-year-old smiled innocently and said, "Don't say that! You're so old? I thought you were young!"

"Where's your mom?"

Joey's face clouded over. "She went to work. She's busy...even on Sunday."

Rico remembered the family was only Joey and his mother. "Alright, come in."
Rico opened the door wider for Joey.

Joey entered the room and looked around the room. "Too neat room for a single man...do you have a girlfriend, Mr.Valesquez?"

"I'm just a neat person."

"So, no girlfriend?"

Rico ignored it and asked. "...Joey, did you have breakfast?"

"Yes. Give me something to drink? I like Coke."

"Here ya go. I'm going to eat something." Rico passed him a can of Coke from the fridge. Then he looked for something for his breakfast.

While Rico was eating, Joey was watching him. "Mr. Valesquez, what shall we do? Nintendo?"

"Playing videogames is fun, but too much is not good for your eyes."

"You mean you'll take me out somewhere?"


"Mr.Valesquez, you don't want to play with me. You don't like me." Joey looked down sadly.

Thinking "Oh, I'm too soft on kids?", Rico sighed slightly, and said. "No. I like you, Joey. Where do you want to go?"

Joey looked up Rico's face. "Will you play with me, Mr.Valesquez?"

Rico smiled. "Yep. Well...don't call me Mr.Valesquez. Call me Rico, all my friends do"

"Friends?" Joey smiled at that word. "Rico, I want to go amusement park!" he said joyfully.

"Alright. So, leave a note for your mom. OK?" Rico grinned and winked at him.

At the park, Joey was in high spirits. "I love roller coasters! I can ride them a million times!"

"I love them, too! I can ride a billion times..." Rico continued in his head, "...but not now, I'm sleep-starved today..."

As Rico started to say "Let's take a rest...", Joey pulled Rico's hand . "Rico! Let's ride that! Run!"

Joey looked so happy, so Rico didn't say anything and gave him a big grin for
the answer.

Several hours later...on the way home, they walked side by side.

"Are you tired?"

"Not at all!"

"Did you enjoy yourself?"

"Sure! I really had fun! Thank you, Rico!"

"You're welcome. I had fun, too."

Joey smiled delightedly. "Do you think Mom's already home?"


When they reached the front of the apartment, Joey's mother came down. "Hi, I saw you coming...Mr.Valesquez, thank you for today."

Rico smiled and said, "You're welcome. I had a good time with Joey. Your son is a good boy."

"Thank you." Joey's mother smiled, too.

Before they entered their own rooms, Joey stopped Rico. "Rico."


"Thank you very much. You're my first friend after moving here. Will you play with me again?"

"Sure!" Rico answered with big grin.

Joey smiled delightedly. "Thank you. See you tomorrow, Rico."

"See ya."

When Rico sat down on the sofa in his living room, he wondered, "Hey, was this sofa ever so comfortable before?" It reminded Rico that his body was tired. Rico lay down on the sofa, and remembered Joey's smiling face. Today was a good day. Tired, but his smile was worth it, definitely. Rico fell asleep quickly, with a big smile on his face.


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