Dinner with friends

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The news about Peter Donovan turned out not to be so bad. He hadn't lost his left hand, as it had been heard, but only three fingers. Unfortunately, he had been fired from the sawmill since he could no longer work as before. However, he had received a consistent compensatory salary with which he planned to open his much-dreamed carpentry shop.

Ferry learned all this from his mother, who returned to work a few days later. During the five o'clock break, she told him how much his father had changed and how many plans for the future he had made. The fact that he had lost three fingers didn't seem to make him less skilled. On the contrary.

"Your father could craft with his teeth," his mother laughed. Ferry hadn't seen her so happy in a long time.

Yet, he found it hard to believe that a man like his father had changed so much in such a short time. But he smiled at his mother and said nothing for fear of ruining the moment when her gentle eyes were smiling and he could hear her laughing.

"I like to see you happy, Mum," he said instead.

His mother cupped his face, "But you know what would make me truly happy, my dear?" she asked softly. "You coming home."

Ferry slowly shook his head, "I'm not ready yet, Mum ... Besides, does he want me back?"

"Of course he does," she stressed out the words. "At least that was the condition for me to come back. It's all up to you ..."

"I don't know, Mum ..."

"Whenever you're ready, I'll be waiting for you, my dear," she smiled.

Ferry forced himself to smile. It was enough for him to see her happy. They both got up from the bench in the inner yard of the Pride mansion, ready to return to work.

"Do you know anything about Andrew?" his mother asked him before leaving.

"I see him at school every day. Why do you ask?"

"Your father told me he hadn't returned home in a few months ... I was wondering who was taking care of him ..."

Ferry frowned, "You shouldn't care, Mom. That boy brought us nothing but trouble."His mother thought for a moment, "He's still a boy. And he has no one. There is nothing sadder in this world than being alone."

*

Every now and then, Ferry used to have dinner at Ben's. Ben's family had always loved him, no matter what he looked like, how he behaved, or what others thought. It was, in fact, Ferry's second family.

While waiting for Ben's father to come from work, Ferry used to talk to Ben. His friend's advice was always welcome. Ben had always been more mature than boys his age. Now Ferry needed his friend again. Ben was the smartest person he knew, whether it was people or fairies. The topic of the day--the Amalghams.

Ferry didn't know how to be on the subject without Ben suspecting anything. So he asked him directly, "Listen, Ben, what do you think of the Amalgham?"

Ben, who was tidying up his notebooks, looked up at him; he always had one on him since he was seven; now they were so many, Ben had to store them in cardboard boxes under his bed.

"What do you mean?" he asked, adjusting his glasses and casting a curious look at Ferry.

"I'm talking about their nature. Don't you find it weird? They're not animals, nor people, nor fairies ... What are they, exactly?"

Ben said nothing. Instead, he began searching under his bed, disappearing almost completely under. Ferry heard him rummaging feverishly. He took out an old box, dusted it off, and began searching inside. He pulled out an older notebook with bent covers.

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