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Lean On Me by Candi Gomez
Lean On Me by Candi Gomez
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Lean On Me 

Ace looked around the edge of the hospital room door at the young boy Dr.
Brighthead had brought back the day before.

"Hi," he ventured.

The sandy-haired boy glared, then looked the other way.

"My name's Ace. The Doctor says you're Dirk."

Out by the nurses' station, a nurse turned on the radio. The music could be
heard through the open door. Golden Oldies.

"Dr. Brighthead said that I should come in here and introduced myself 'cause
you're going to be part of our family."

The other boy whipped around and snapped. "I lost my family! And I don't
need a new one!"

On the radio, a song started to play:

"Sometimes in our lives
We all have pain
We all have sorrow.
But,
If we are wise
We know that there's
Always tomorrow."

"But I want you for my brother. The only other kids are Pewee, who's too
young, and Aggie, who's a _gi-irrl_." He wrinkled his nose.

"Lean on me
When you're not strong
I'll be your friend
I'll help you carry on"

"I don't need anyone!"

"For it won't be long
Till I'm gonna need
Somebody to lean on."


"My mom's really neat. She makes homemade cookies. And she always is
there when me or Pewee or Aggie have a nightmare."

"Go away! You can't replace my mom. And I don't need you or her!" Dirk fell
back on the pillow, exhausted.

"Please, swallow your pride
If I have things
You need to borrow.
For, no one can feed
Those of your needs
That you won't let show."


"But-"

"I don't need a brother."

"Well...can we be friends?"

"You just call on me, brother
When you need a hand
We all need
Somebody
To lean on.
I might just have a problem
That you'll understand.
We all need somebody to lean on."

"And my mom could be -like an aunt...or something?"

"Lean on me
When you're not strong
And I'll be your friend
I'll help you carry on
For
It won't be long
Till I'm gonna need
Somebody
To lean on."

Too tired to yell some more, Dirk considered this. "Well...maybe."

Ace gave a big grin.



At home a few months later, Dirk and Ace were fooling around.

"Be careful, kids," said Dr. Brighthead. "I'm taking Aggie and Pewee into town.
Your mom's inside. Stay away from the firewood."

The boys nodded; they could hear the radio playing in the kitchen.

After a while, Ace said, "Why don't we get some cookies?"

Dirk was poking a stick in an anthill. "You go along. I'll be there in a minute."

Ace shrugged and bounded to the house. He went into the kitchen.

His mother lay there, unconscious.

"Mom? MOM!" Ace ran to the door. "Dirk, come quick!"

The radio played:

"You just call on me, brother,
When you need a hand,
We all need
Somebody
To lean on.
I just might have a problem
That you'll understand.
We all need
Somebody
To lean on."

Dirk came racing in. Hot on his heels was the Doctor, Aggie, and Pewee, who
must have only just gotten home.

"Mom's going to get better, right, Doctor? She's just a little sick again, right?"



They were all at the house after the funeral. Ace was alone in his room, trying
not to cry. Dirk looked around the edge of the door.

"Ace? Can I do something?"

From downstairs came the music from the radio.

"If there is a load
You have to bear
That you can't carry
I'm right up the road
I'll share your load
If you'll just call me."

"You can't bring my mom back."

"No, but I can be your brother...if you want me to."

"Call me
If you need a friend
Call me
If you need a friend
If you ever need
A friend
Call Me
Call Me."

Dirk went into the room and put his arm around Ace's shoulders. "I remember
when my mom died. It hurt, and nothing can ever make her come back."

Ace started crying. "But she was only a little bit sick! Mom had leu-ke-me-a or
something. The doctor and mom never acted like it was serious!"

"Lean on me
When you're not strong
I'll be your friend
I'll help you carry on.
For
It won't be long
Till I'm gonna need
Somebody to lean on.

Lean on me
You can lean
On me."

"Maybe they were lying. Grownups do that sometimes. But I'm won't lie to
you."

"If you need a friend
Call me
You can
Lean
On me."

Ace sniffled, wiped his nose (with his sleeve) and nodded sharply. "Right! And
we'll always be there for each other."

Dirk nodded. "Always.
Chapter End Notes:
Tatsunoko and Turner/ all rights reserved/you know the drill.
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