Somebody to Lean On

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Prologue: Meet Raph


The next day...

Don, Raph, and Mikey walked through the hallway. They were a curious mix, but they were practically inseparable after one day.

Suddenly, Raph's phone went off. He pulled out a beat up, old, cracked phone and answered it.

"Hello?... Hi, dad... wait... what?! I'll be there!" Raph jammed the phone in his pocket and sprinted off, Don and Mikey trailing him, questions running through their heads.

"Raph! Wait up!" Don yelled.

"Yeah, really! Come on, what's up?" Mikey asked, worried.

"My dad called, he got layed off and if we don't get enough money by the end of the week, we're going to be evicted!" Raph screamed before slumping against a locker.

"Oh, Raph, I wish my dad could give you money, but the business is on a budget cut, and I'm broke." Mikey sighed and put a comforting arm around Raph.

"My mom doesn't give me any money, and I doubt she would give me any now. I feel so helpless, Raph, I'm sorry." Don rubbed soothing circles on Raph's back, but it did little.

"I just... don't know what to do." Raph sighed as a tear slipped down his face.

...

The next day, Raph seemed even more depressed and anxious.

Don and Mikey tried to help, but could only get about twenty dollars each. They had to get to about one thousand... by the end of the week.

They were walking through the deserted hallway after school when they heard shuffling behind them and a quiet voice.

"I heard you needed this."

The three spun around to see a boy with shaggy black hair that hung in his deep brown eyes. They recognized him as the kid in the corner, the quiet guy... Leo.

He dropped a thick, white envelope onto the floor and quickly walked off without saying another word.

Raph stooped down and picked it up. Inside it was two folded piece of paper. When he opened one paper, money fell onto the ground. They counted it up to be one thousand five hundred dollars. He looked at the money in astonishment. Raph looked at the paper to see a list of jobs that were decently paying and didn't require many college classes.

The next paper was a letter that read,

Dear Raphael,

As you know, I'm Leonardo. I head about your... problem and I wanted to help. The money I gave you was from me saving for college. Turns out I'm not going to go to college... please don't ask why. So I figured I'd help you out, I hope it's enough. Don't be all humble and say I should keep it, I have more money. I saved up since I was three.

-Leonardo

"Did I read that right?" Mikey asked quietly.

"Well, if you read that Leo just gave Raph his college money because he wanted to help Raph out, then yes." Don said.

"Why would he do that? Do you think it's counterfeit?" Raph muttered while looking through the money again.

"I don't know, but it's very generous and I'd give it to your dad if I were you. If it's counterfeit, then we could probably sue him or something." Mikey said.

"I know, it just seems wrong. Especially if it really is his money." Raph sighed.

"He gave it to you." Don said. "It was his choice."

"You're right, I guess. How would he know I needed this?" Raph asked, the question hitting him like a slap.

"I don't know, we'll ask him tomorrow." Mikey replied. "For now, we need to get home."

...

Raph went home and burst through the door. "Dad! I got the money!"

His father and mother rushed into the room. Their faces were masks of utter shock. "How?" They both asked.

"Well, this kid at school, Leo, just gave it to me."

"Wait, are you talking about Leonardo Itami, the boy next door?" His father halted.

"Wait, he lives next door?" Raph was shocked at the news. "That explains how he knew, he must have heard us." Raph muttered.

"So, he just gave one thousand five hundred dollars because he felt bad?" Raph's mom seemed more concerned.

"Here's the note he gave me... and dad, he gave me a list of jobs." Raph handed the notes to his parents.

After reading them, they both said at the same time,

"Go over to his house right now and thank him."

...

Raph knocked on the door of the small house. It took a second for someone to answer, but Leo opened the door.

"Uh, hi." He said quietly.

"Thank you so much for the money, you saved my family. I don't really know what else to say.. I can't really express how-" Raph rambled.

"It's no problem, really." Leo said. "You can come in if you want."

Raph walked inside to see a small kitchen, on the counter were four or five empty beer bottles, Raph wanted to ask about them, but decided against it.

Leo guided him to a small room with a bed with disheveled blue covers. They sat down on the bed and spent about a minute in awkward silence.

"What do you like to do?" Raph asked, breaking the quiet.

"I like art." Leo's voice was as quiet as a mouse.

"I'm horrible at art." Raph replied, trying to lighten the mood.

Suddenly, Leo's eyes widened and he shot up from the bed. "My dad's home. You need to go."

"Wait, why?" Raph was really confused at the sudden outburst.

"Raph, just trust me, he doesn't like unknown visitors. Nothing against you or anything, but please. I'll explain more later!" Leo sounded frantic, almost scared.

Raph ran out the back door and leaped over the small fence, into his backyard.


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