Welcome to the Neighbourhood
‘Hey, guys. Where is everyone? Usually the skate park is full by this time,' I said.
‘We chased them out,' one said as they all stood up and walked towards me. ‘And we'll do the same to you if you don't get out of here!'
I didn't want any conflict, and all three of them were a lot bigger than me, so I did exactly what they told me to do. I left! I headed to my friend Gary's place to see what he knew about it.
‘Hey, Gary. What's up with those three guys hogging the skate park?' I asked. ‘Yeah, they aren't too friendly are they. They showed up while you were on holiday. They're brothers and they just moved into the neighbourhood. But that's all everyone knows. No one has talked to them. We just stay away.'
‘We can't just let them take over the skate park. We worked so hard to save it, we can't let them take it away from us,' I answered. ‘Maybe if everyone comes together, we'll be more powerful in numbers. Come on! Let's round up everyone and get our skate park back!'
‘Yeah!' Gary agreed.
So we gathered all the kids in the neighbourhood and marched to the skate park. When we all arrived, the three boys stood up but seemed intimidated by how many of us there were.
‘Give us back our skate park. We worked very hard to save it, and we aren't going to let you take it away from us,' I said firmly. The three boys stood there looking tough, but they didn't know what to say.
‘Fine. You can have your stupid skate park.' And they ran off. That seemed almost too easy. Everyone cheered and was happy to have the skate park again. I was happy, too, but something still seemed a little strange. That night, while I was in bed, I heard my dad talking to someone on the phone. ‘I know its tough, Dan. You're family is new to the neighbourhood. It will take some time to adjust. I'm sure your three boys will make friends soon. They've been hanging around the skate park, right? I'm sure they'll make friends there.'
The next day, I met Gary again at his house and told him about the conversation I overheard. ‘I didn't realize it might be tough for them to make friends. And no one talked to them at all, so they must've felt left out. We could've introduced ourselves and been friendlier in the beginning,' Gary said. ‘We have to remember the skate park is to be shared with everyone, even new people,' I said. ‘But how can we fix it now?' ‘I've got it!' responded Gary. ‘We can still fix this. How about we have a party at the skate park and they will be the guest of honour. My band will play, we'll have food and games. It'll be great.' It was a great idea. And that's exactly what we did.
That afternoon we organized one of the best parties ever. Gary's band played and there was plenty of food and music. It was great. But it felt like something was missing. ‘Hey, Gary. We are the boys?' ‘Can you believe they didn't show. After all that we did, they didn't show!' I couldn't understand why they wouldn't want to come to their own party. ‘Well, what did they say when you invited them?' I asked. ‘I didn't invite them, I thought you invited them,' Gary answered. ‘I didn't invite them,' I said. ‘Did anyone invite them?!' Ugh, we had forgotten to invite the guests of honour to their own party. So we all quickly went to their house.
When they answered the door, they were surprised to see a whole group of us. ‘What do you want?' they said in an angry voice. ‘We want to invite you to you're party,' I said. ‘Yeah,' Gary added. ‘We realized we weren't too friendly or welcoming to you and for that we're sorry. We hope that you will enjoy the neighbourhood and we would like to be friends.' The boys stood their speechless. Finally, one responded happily, ‘Thank you! We would love to come to the party. Sorry for taking over the skate park. We just felt so left out and didn't want anyone else to have fun. We hope we all can be friends.' ‘YEAH!!!' everyone shouted. So we all walked back to the skate park together. ‘Oh, by the way. What are you're names?' I asked. ‘I'm Jack, this is Tom, and that's Alex.' ‘It's great to meet you guys. So, do you like skateboarding?' ‘We love watching it on TV, but haven't tried it ourselves. We've always wanted to learn.' ‘Cool!' I said. ‘I think we're going to be great friends.'