13 March 2018
laudable | adjective | LAW-duh-bul
Definition: worthy of praise, commendable
Timmy sat on the edge of his bed, staring in disbelief at the money in his hands. Four-hundred dollars was a large amount for anyone, but it was worth so much more to a fifteen-year-old. He could finally buy himself a Switch! Or a new bike! Or even that heart-shaped locket he had been eyeing for his crush. The possibilities were endless! Unfortunately…
Timmy set the money down and picked up the wallet he had found on the bus. Steven Green’s name was everywhere: his license, his college ID, his credit cards… There was no denying who the money truly belonged to.
What do I do? Timmy thought, remembering the money he owed his parents for his cellphone bill. I could really use this… He imagined playing Splatoon with his friends, being able to bike to school again, and the look on Lucy’s face when she opened her present… But he also imagined Steven going to buy groceries or paying his rent and not being able to afford it. What if his mom was sick and the money was for medicine? What if his dog was sick??
Timmy put the money back into the wallet and looked at the address on the license. It was only a few blocks away, but would it be safe to go alone?
“Timmy?” a voice called from downstairs, causing the fifteen-year-old to jump.
“Yeah?” He forgot his mom had a half-day today.
“Could you take Jasper for a walk? I need to get started on these cannolis for later.”
Perfect! “Sure!” Timmy pocketed Steven’s wallet and went downstairs. Jasper was already waiting by the front door, his long tail knocking over shoes in his excitement. The German shepherd stood when he saw Timmy and brought him the leash he had been carrying in his mouth. Timmy scratched Jasper behind the ears as he clasped the leash to his collar. “I’m heading out!”
Timmy stopped automatically at the tree in front of their house. Jasper took a couple sniffs before relieving himself. They started walking again and Timmy grew more and more nervous with each step they took. Jasper was so used to their usual route that he resisted for a moment when Timmy turned down a different street. “We’re going this way, buddy,” Timmy said, tugging the leash slightly to move the seventy-pound dog.
Jasper finally gave it and walked ahead, his tail wagging excitedly at the thought of exploring new territory. Timmy watched the numbers on the houses change, counting down until their destination. When they reached 430 he stopped. “Hold on, buddy.” He reached into his pocket for Steven’s wallet to double-check the address. “430 Lincoln Ave.” Taking a deep breath, Timmy walked to the front door and knocked.
He counted to ten and knocked again before seeing someone moving through the curtain. The door opened and there stood Steven. “Can I help you?”
Timmy opened his mouth but suddenly forgot what he was going to say. “Uhh…”
Steven sighed. “Look, if you’re selling something I can’t afford it right now.”
“I-I found your wallet,” Timmy said, showing it to the man. “On the bus…”
Steven took his wallet and immediately opened it, making sure nothing was missing. “It’s all here,” he said, almost in disbelief. He looked at Timmy and smiled. “Thanks, man!”
Timmy smiled shyly. “You’re welcome.” He gestured over he shoulder with his thumb. “I better get going. I gotta help my mom make cannolis…” He turned around and started walking down the front steps.
“Wait!” Timmy turned back around and watched Steven pull a fifty-dollar bill from his wallet. “Here.”
Timmy’s eyes widened as the man walked down the steps. “I ca-”
“Yes, you can.” Steven held out the money. “You saved my butt, dude. My credit cards, social security card, rent money…” He moved the fifty closer. “Please take it.”
Timmy stared at the bill then up at Steven. The man was being genuine; Timmy could tell by his eyes. “Okay.” He took the fifty and slowly put it in his pocket just in case Steven changed his mind. “Thank you.”
“No, man, thank you!” Steven smiled again before heading back inside.
Timmy released the breath he did not realize he had been holding. “That… wasn’t so bad,” he said, looking down at Jasper. “Doing the right thing.”