The ride back up the hill was short, quick, and silent.  Joey stared at his sneakers and didn't say a word.

     The moment Frank pulled into the driveway, Joey jumped out of the car.  He ran to his room and shut the door.  Joey stretched out on his bed.  He picked up his well-thumbed, paperback copy of The Lord Of the Rings: The Return Of the King, and started to read where he'd left off.

     He heard his father's footsteps come up the hall, headed straight for his bedroom.  Just before Frank reached Joey's door, he turned to his right, and went into his own bedroom, instead.  Joey heaved a great sigh of relief.  He heard he many small sounds his father made as he took off his suit and tie, and hung them back up in his closet.

     Joey's bedroom door creaked open.  Frank stood just inside the partially opened doorway.

     "You know," Frank said.  "If you'd stood up to these punks the first time they picked on you, tonight never would have happened.  You can't just hide in your room for the rest of your life.  Do you want your door open or closed."

     "Closed, please."

     Very quietly, Frank closed the door.

The End

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