Liars and Thieves: Chapter 6 (Arthur)

Arthur lay angrily in bed thinking-again- about what Robin had said to him three days ago. “What about you Liar? You lie to your friends and family that you work in a homeless shelter.” The terrible part was that Robin was right, and Arthur knew it.
What Mrs. Pendragon said was true. When Arthur was fifteen, he did indeed ask his parents to work in a homeless shelter. Arthur felt that he was supposed to be helping people, this was the way he felt he should help.
Arthur could still remember that day when he asked his parents. He had run in just back from Private School for the summer, he remembered bolting through the great hall to the drawing room where his parents would be.
Arthur had pushed the door open and saw his mother knitting and his father looking at some paperwork from his company. “Mom! Dad!” He cried out.
His parents looked up. “Oh Jellybun! You’re home!” His mother cried out.
Arthur chuckled as he remembered thinking to himself. “Ugh, why does she still call me these names?”
But he had quickly recovered and told his parents that he wanted to tell them something.
“What is it Sport?” Mr. Pendragon had asked.
“Well,” Arthur had begun, “I was school this past year and I’ve been thinking about this a lot. You see, when I was here for Christmas vacation we went downtown and I saw a poor man sitting on the sidewalk next to a dumpster. He looked so cold and hungry. When I saw him I felt sorry for him.”
Arthur looked up at his parents with determination in his eyes. “I want to go help the poor! I feel that I am supposed to do that! There’s a shelter downtown! I could go downtown and help out there during the summer an-”
“What? Darling? Help the poor?” Mrs. Pendragon said. “And dirty those Pendragon hands?”
“Not a chance!” Mr. Pendragon said. “It would tarnish the family name. The Pendragon’s have always been known to be upper-class people. You should know that upper-class people don’t associate with lower class people.”
“But-”
“No buts, the discussion has ended.”
Arthur sighed as he remembered then going to his room and crying, his dream shattered. Then he remembered looking up from his pillow with new determination. From that day on he worked at the homeless shelter secretly, riding his bike downtown and eventually, when he got his first car, driving down.
Arthur turned on his side and remembered one day talking to his friends about the Homeless Shelter.
“Hey Brad, I was wondering, would you ever want to work in a homeless shelter? You know, help the poor?” Arthur had asked.
Brad and everyone else laughed. “Oh Arthur, you crack me up! That’s really funny.” Brad laughed
Arthur looked up. “What do you mean?” He had asked.
Brad looked at him. “Our parents would never let us do that and rightfully so. I mean we’d be connected with those poor bums, think about what it would do to our reputation?” Brad smiled and laughed.
Arthur smiled weakly and forced a laugh. Arthur thought that maybe he could count on his friends being there for him and supporting him. It was then that he realized that they weren’t really friends, they would ditch him as soon as they heard his secret.
Arthur turned on his back and stared at his ceiling. “I should apologize to him.” Arthur thought. He sighed. “I shouldn’t have said the things I said. They maybe right…but I have no place in saying that.” Then Arthur fell asleep.
The next morning Arthur drove to Sherwood. He parked his car, walked up to Robin’s door and knocked on it.
“Are you going to talk to Robin?” Arthur turned and saw a little girl holding a ball.
“Er, yes.” Arthur replied.
The little girl smiled. “Robin is a good guy. He makes sure that we have food and clothes to wear. He taught me to do my numbers. Ask me a math question!”
“What is 2+2?” Arthur asked.
The girl frowned playfully. “Anyone can solve that. Ask me one with three digits.”
“What is 360-231?”
“129.” The girl replied confidently.
Arthur nodded. “Very good. What else does Robin do here?” His curiosity getting the better of him.
“Well if there’s a bad guy who hurts people, he goes and he stops them. Like my friend Jane had a daddy who hurt her. We told Robin and he came and beat the guy up and said to him. ‘Get out! I don’t want to see your stinky face around again!’ And then Jane’s mean daddy ran away as fast as he could.” The girl smiled.
Arthur stared at the little girl. He couldn’t believe that this was Robin. The Robin he was knew, a jerk and a pain in the ass.
“Hello- oh it’s you. What do you want?” Arthur stood and saw Robin standing in his doorway.
Arthur stood. “Hey, can I come in?”
Robin raised an eyebrow. “Sure, I guess.” Then he looked at the little girl. “Good morning Alice, you should get ready for school.” Alice nodded and ran off.
Arthur came inside. He saw Robin walking to his kitchen and wash some dishes. “What do you want?” Robin said.
Arthur awkwardly glanced around the house. He never thought he would be here.
“Well?” Robin demanded.
Arthur sighed, bowed his head, then raised it again. “I came to apologize. I had no right to say what I said to you at the Charity Ball, I wanted to say sorry.”
Robin put down his dishes and dried his hands. “Me too.” He said. Arthur and Robin stood there for a few moments in an awkward silence.
“I have your suit. I should return it.” Robin said.
“Oh! Yes. Thank you.” Arthur said pouncing on the break in the silence.
Arthur waited for Robin to come out of his bathroom laundry room. Robin came out with the suit on a hanger. “Here you go.” Robin said handing the hanger to Arthur. “Let me walk you to the door.”
Robin opened the door for Arthur. Arthur stepped out when suddenly Robin held him back. Arthur looked at Robin confused. A woman passed by. Her black hair pulled back into a long ponytail, flying through the air like a flag as she jogged down the street.
She passed Robin’s house, looked up and waved to Robin. “Good morning Robin!” She said before moving on again.
“Who’s she?” Arthur asked.
Robin smiled. “That’s Marian.”
“Have you talked to her?” Arthur asked knowingly.
“Well-uh-I-” Robin sighed. “No, only really short sentences which I botch.”
Arthur smiled. “I know how you feel. Why not try and ask her out?”
“What? Are you crazy? Ask her out when I botch short sentences?” Robin exclaimed.
Arthur shrugged. “I don’t know. I did that and it seemed to work out for me. Maybe it will for you.”
Arthur saw Robin thinking it over. “Alright Blondie…” he said slowly. “I’ll give it a shot.
“My name is Arthur!” Arthur replied irritated.
Robin waved it aside. “I’m going to catch up to Marian and ask her out. I assume you can see yourself out.”
Arthur turned to leave when he heard Robin sigh. “I can’t believe I’m going to say this.” Arthur turned and saw Robin held his hand out. “Thank you.” Arthur shook his hand, and left.

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