[IN MEMORY OF A GOOD FRIEND]

— Synthensia —

It was morning. Calm, quiet and peaceful. Koa casually walked the streets while the morning birds sang. Some of the bakeries were already open and the smell of their delicious foods filled the air. Eventually the children would come outside. They would laugh and they would play around. Enjoying and taking the opportunity to spend a great time outside on this particular morning. It was good that they were happy. Most of the time, a lot of peoples most fondest memories are when they were kids. Koa sighed as he reminisced the thought about it. Although his attention was soon drawn down an alley where he found a group of bullies surrounding a little kid. ”Hey guys? Who wants to watch while I beat this kid to a pulp? ” Their leader grinned. The rest of his followers laughed as they held the little boy down. ”No! Stop it! Somebody help me! ” The boy cried out. Koa clenches his fist. There was absolutely no point in watching a harmless child get beaten by a group of bullies. For them to commit such a deed to an innocent victim is disgraceful. However, those who just watch are even more worse and dishonorable than scum!

The Masked Man begins to make his way towards them, when a giant suddenly loomed over the bullies. ”Is there a problem? ” The giant questioned. Fear overcame the bullies as the giant looked down upon them. Koa could tell that this was no ordinary man, but an Outworlder indeed. The glow of red in his eyes was also a testament to it. ”Well? Have you anything to say? ” The Giant demanded as he took a step forward. The bullies immediately dropped the kid and ran like there was no tomorrow. Leaving the little boy on the ground. Koa finally approaches. Helping the kid up. ”Are you alright young man? ” Koa asks. The little boy said nothing, but looked at the giant. By the time Koa turned, the giant had already began to leave. ”Hmn… How interesting… Just who exactly is that man? ” Koa asked. The little boy stuttered while he answered, ”T-Thats Craig Burton. Hes an Outworlder like me, but hes really scary. Not even the locals around town like to be near him because of how tall he is. ” Koa nods his head. ”Craig. About six foot five. Impressive indeed! Compared to him, this little boy would just be about one fourth the size of him. ” Koa said when he noticed the kid still standing beside him. Clearing his throat, Koa turns to the young boy. ”Excuse me young man? But I don believe I actually asked for your name. ” Koa said. ”Oh! Pardon me mister! Im Jake, nice to meet you. ” Jake bowed. ”Koa, you may call me Koa. ” The Masked Man said. ”Um. Mr. Koa sir? May I ask for a favor? ” Jake shyly asked. ”You can drop the formalities with me Jake. So feel free to just call me by name. Anyways, what kind of favor do you need? ” Koa said. Jake hesitantly stands before he asks, ”Please Koa! Can you help me speak with him! ” Koa thinks for a moment while the kid prostrated himself to the ground. For a young boy, he was quite determined to face his fears. This should be beneficial enough. Not only for Jake, but for Koa as well. Because of Jake, Koa was reminded of his friends long past. People who came to his aid during his time of need. It would definitely be a shame if this boy didn get the chance to say thank you, unlike Koa who never got the chance at all. This Koa knew. He owed them all very much and would gladly return his gratitude by helping the boy. Koa turns to Jake. ”Stand Young Jake! And follow me! We have some shopping to do! ” Koa finally says.

— A Few Hours Later —

The Giant sat on his couch while his wife was cooking lunch. Things were a bit peaceful when somebody knocked on the door. Craig stands up and opens the door. Only to find a Masked Man dressed in black alongside a little boy who held a basket of food and flowers. Craig recognized these two to be the same guys he met down the little alley. Jake was nervous. His heart thumped so fast that he thought that he was gonna die. ”Can I help you with anything? ” Craig asks. ”Well yes my good sir! Actually we came here to give you gifts. Also, Jake? Don you have anything to say to this good man? ” Koa chuckled. Craig raised an eyebrow as the little kid stepped forward. Timidly holding the basket, he bows. ”Um… T-Thank you sir! F-For saving me back there! I R-Really appreciate it! ” Jake shyly thanked. Craig opened the door more wider. ”Well… You
e Welcome! Um… Why don you guys come on in? Lunch is just about ready! ” Craig smiled. Jake turned to Koa, waiting for an answer. The Masked Man nodded and Jake smiled as Craig welcomed them in with open arms.

They all happily sat around the table talking. Belle, Craigs wife, gently placed the food on the table. They were both Outworlders and high school sweethearts. They had been living in Umbria ever since they were born. They had been through a lot in their lives. And have seen plenty of success and experienced hardships. More than anything, they were lovers. They may have been old, but love lasts longer than death itself. There was nothing in this world that was going to be able to separate them. Nothing.

Yet, life doesn come so easily without a cost. For Craig was currently diagnosed with Lung cancer. This was definitely hard on Craig especially for his wife. There was no telling when he would die. Heck! The same rule applies for everyone. Nobody truly knows when their last day is!

Anyways, while they ate lunch. Everybody asked for the impossible. They asked Koa if he would kindly take his mask off. ”What?! Now where is this all coming from? ” Koa chuckled. ”Cmon Mr. Koa! Just do it! Everything about the black coat and mask is just what makes people, like us, wanting to know what you really look like! ” Jake smiled. ”Cmon now kid! I agree with the youngster. Besides, what harm would any of this do? ” Craig chuckled. ”Kid? Hahaha! I can remember the last time when I was called a kid in a long while. Haha! ” Koa laughed. ”Well Mr. Koa? Will you let us see? ” Belle asks. Koa ponders for a bit. Normally he would say no, but in their circumstances. There would be no harm in doing so no matter if he did or didn . ”Oh! Very well my friends! I will submit to your wish. For the time being. But please don tell anybody else. I would like to keep it a secret as much as possible. ” Koa said as he stood up. Taking his hoodie off from over his head. Koa then removed his mask. Everybody in the room was speechless. They were totally at a lost for words. The man behind the mask had ♤£@○¤…..

So they all ate and played games. Which Koa luckily won which was the first time in a long while that Craig has ever been bested. But this game was just won out of mere luck and strategy. A card game that Koa only won by luck. One way or another, they all enjoyed the rest of the day.

Eventually before the sun began to set. Koa with his mask back on. Stood with Jake by the front door. Thanking the Burtons for the wonderful meal. ”You
e both welcome here anytime or whenever you need! ” Craig smiled when he turned to Jake. ”Youngster. If you ever need help with anything. You know where to find me. ” Craig said. ”Thank you so much! ” Jake said when he suddenly hugged Craig. Koa nodded with approval. This kid had been through much and with his help. He faced his fears. Now the man he once feared was now his friend. The kid was just going to be fine. Eventually Craig would turn to Koa. Shaking his hand he tells him, ”See ya around kid! ” With a tear in his eye Koa chuckles, ”Yeah, See ya later. ”

— A couple of days later —

Koa would eventually walk down the same street. Holding a bouquet of synthensian white roses. He would make his way through that same alley and passed the Burtons apartment. Heading straight towards the cemetery where Belle and Jake stood before Craigs grave. Respectfully reminiscing Craigs memory. He was a gentle giant. A faithful husband. A father figure. And a good friend. He had been battling lung cancer for a while, a cancer which metastasized to his brain. He passed away leaving Belle in anguish just two days shy before their anniversary.

Koa gently places the Synthensian white roses down. ”For you my friend. ” Koa respectfully bows alongside his friends. Graciously respecting a man who strived to be good all his life.

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