An old man is on his way home when he sees a boy being bothered by his classmates. He decides to help him, only to find the boy's parents in his garden the following day.
James Holloway was a retired corporate executive who decided to take on a hobby after his wife's death. His children lived far away, so he needed something to keep him busy, mainly since he lived alone.
After trying out a couple of different activities, he decided to pursue gardening. He had a big lawn and wanted to fill it with colorful flower bushes, herbs, and crops.
James took on gardening as a hobby after his wife died. | Source: Pexels
James invested a lot in his garden, buying the best seeds, fertilizers, and garden maintenance equipment. He even traded in his old sedan for a pickup truck to easily transport supplies from the store.
However, no matter how hard James tried, he just wasn't good at gardening. After years, he was still struggling to care for his plants properly. While he'd harvest some crops, some would go to waste.
One day, James drove to the grocery store to buy more gardening supplies. He rolled down his window as he blasted tunes from the 1980s on the radio.
James invested a lot into his garden through the years. | Source: Pexels
While passing the neighborhood elementary school, he noticed a boy being pressed against the wall by his classmates. "You're such a loser, Bryan!" the kids yelled at him.
The boy was on the verge of tears, begging his classmates to leave him alone. The situation didn't sit well with James, so he parked the car on the side of the road and approached the group.
"Hey!" he yelled. "Why are you tormenting this young boy? Do you want me to call your teachers and your parents? Leave him alone!"
James saw a young boy being bullied. | Source: Pexels
The boy's classmates were startled by the man and ran away. James checked on the poor boy, who looked both scared and defeated when they left.
"Are you alright, son?" he asked. The boy nodded and thanked James for intervening.
After taking a good look at the boy, James realized that he was his neighbor. "You live across me, right? Bryan?" he asked the child.
Bryan nodded. "Yes, Mr. Holloway. I'm Bryan, and I live across from you. Thank you so much for saving me."
James helped Bryan deal with the bullies who constantly tormented him. | Source: Pexels
James offered to take Bryan home after a quick stop at the grocery store. Bryan was grateful, though scared his classmates would gang up on him on the streets again.
While at the grocery store, Bryan discovered James' love for gardening. They talked about his crops and how gardening made the old man happy.
On the drive home, James decided to ask Bryan about his classmates. "Do they always give you a hard time?" he asked the boy.
Bryan discovered James' love for gardening when they were at the grocery store. | Source: Pexels
"Yes. I don't know why they don't like me. I think it's because I don't like the same things they do. That's why they keep calling me a loser," he sighed.
"You don't have to like the same things as others for as long as you're a good kid. Remember that, okay? Don't be afraid to stand up for yourself. I can teach you some self-defense tips during your spare time if you'd like. Just come over anytime," James offered.
Bryan smiled. "Thank you, Mr. Holloway. I'll come to visit you often," he replied.
Bryan revealed that his classmates always mocked him. | Source: Pexels
The following day, James was walking out to his lawn when he saw Bryan's parents there, their hands soiled as if they'd been gardening. He was also surprised to see his garden looking clean and well-maintained, with all the weeds and dead plants cut out. Everything looked fresh, making it a suitable environment for flowers and crops to bloom healthily.
"What a sight to see! My garden looks wonderful! Thank you! Have you been here all morning?" he asked, approaching his neighbors.
They nodded and re-introduced themselves as Mila and Steph. "It's no big deal, Mr. Holloway. Bryan told us about what you did for him yesterday. We wanted to thank you for your kindness and realized this was probably the best way to show how much we appreciate what you did," Mila said.
James taught Bryan how to defend himself. | Source: Pexels
James was delighted and couldn't help but admire his garden. "This is so great! Thank you so much! About yesterday, it's no big deal. You have a good son. I can see you raised him well," James told them.
James, Mila, Steph, and Bryan had breakfast together that day and got to know each other more. Steph offered to help James maintain his garden and teach him some gardening tricks and hacks.
From that day on, James and Steph worked on the garden together while Mila prepared snacks for all of them to enjoy every afternoon. Bryan also came to help out with the garden and learn self-defense tips from James.
Since undergoing self-defense training with James, Bryan no longer tolerated his bullies. He made sure to stand up for himself and let them know how he felt. "I'm never allowing you to make me feel low again. Leave me alone, I am no longer afraid of you," he'd say.
After finding out that Bryan had toughened up, his bullies never bothered him again. In fact, they started to slowly respect Bryan for standing up for himself, realizing he wasn't such a "loser" after all.
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