(YEAR 1929: Brooklyn, New York City)
The sun and the cirrus clouds watched from the skies and observed every human activity in a crowded district of New York. Cars and people roamed around the busy streets. The leaves on the tree had turned orange and fallen to the ground. A young boy with crutches was limping on the sidewalk and bringing his belongings. He turned his attention to the fallen leaves
and smiled which admired seeing the beauty of autumn.
" That surely gives me an idea for my next artwork, " he thought and reached his hand to get an orange leaf.
Suddenly, he was unaware that he was being pushed by another child, same age as himself. The other boy who pushed him had dark hair. He was taller than the crippled blonde boy.
" Watch it, Rogers! " the boy angrily yelled. " You're blocking my way! Can't you go away and scram! "
Steven Grant Rogers recognized the boy. It was his classmate Paul Williams, who liked to pick him in class and caused a lot of trouble to him. Steve was uncomfortable in seeing his bully and thinking to flee. Paul crossed his arms and raised his eyebrows.
" I….I'm s-sorry Paul, " Steve nervously answered, sweating. " I d-didn't mean to…"
" What?! " Paul raised his voice. " Can't you even see?! This is a sidewalk! Not a staring corner! "
" I was just…"
" You're just staring! "
Paul instantly pushed the blonde boy down and kicked away his wooden crutches. The crowd turned their attention to the stronger rowdy child beating up a lanky one. No one dared to cease them as they were afraid to get involved with that trouble. The other bystanders ignored them.
" Stop it, Paul! Stop it! " Steve cried.
" I'm teaching you, a lesson! " Paul harshly spoke.
Steve thought of breaking away from his abuser and looked at the garbage can cover from the alley, but he couldn't escape and reach it. Paul punched Steve's face and ended him getting a nosebleed. Suddenly, there was a young brunette boy who saw the blonde one being beaten up. He confronted the dark-haired one and crossed his arms.
" Hey! Why don't you pick-up someone your own size! " the other boy called.
" What the hell do you want?! " Paul defiantly asked and squinted his eyes at the newcomer.
" I'm asking you to stop beating that guy! "
Steve turned his attention to the brunette boy and slowly took his pair of wooden crutches. Paul confronted the other boy and slowly walked.
" Can't you see his blocking the way! " he exclaimed.
" You don't even care that he's crippled, " the brunette boy replied.
" Hah, that wimp! "
" Don't you ever call him that! "
" That's none of your concern! "
The brunette boy punched Paul's gut as he instantly fell down and moaned in pain. Steve got surprised that someone was able to defend him. He was slowly getting his belongings, but struggling to stand up. The brunette boy reached Steve's wooden crutches and helped him to stand up.
" Thanks, Bud…" he wearily smiled and felt blood running down from his nose. " My mom will get mad at me when she finds this. "
" Hey, no sweat! I'm trying to help. What's your name? "
" Steve...Steve Rogers. How about you? "
" James Buchanan Barnes... just call me Bucky. "
" Nice to meet you, Bucky. "
Bucky noticed the dark-haired bully just ran away in fear and sarcastically
commented, " Great to meet a scaredy cat! "
" Yeah, " Steve nodded. " I'm glad you have beaten him up for me. He always does that in class. "
" Damn, I wish he won't get near you, anymore. "
" Next up, he will end up in the Principal's office! "
" Or even in detention! "
The two boys loudly laughed and went walking on the sidewalk. Bucky helped Steve carrying his belongings.
" So, you're new here? " the blonde boy curiously asked.
" I just moved here from New Jersey, yesterday. Well, my parents got divorced this year. I'm living with my grandparents, " Bucky answered.
" That is tough. How come? "
" My parents kept fighting and hating each other for a long time. I hated seeing them. Dad was too drunk and had no job. Mom decided to let me live with my grandparents, first. "
" I know, Depression. I'm sorry to hear that. "
" Glad you knew... "
" So, where do you live, Bucky? "
Bucky pointed at the apartment near to Steve's and smiled, " There! "
" Cool, we're neighbors, then! "
" Yes, we are! " his new friend grinned.
" Say, are you going to study at the same school as mine? "
" Yeah…" Bucky smiled and stretched his arms. " I guess I'm gonna see you tomorrow then. It will be my first day of class. So, I'm gonna sit behind you and copy your answers during a pop quiz or exams! "
" Hey, that's cheating! "
" Better to cheat than to repeat, Punk! "
" Mr. Goody Two Shoes! "
" Dork! "
Bucky and Steve both laughed while teasing at each other. The brunette boy knocked on the door as the crippled blonde one waited for someone to respond. Opening the door, a blonde woman in her late thirties noticed her son. She had a bun on her head and an apron covering her dress. Steve's mother widened her eyes in shock to see her son had a black eye and a bleeding nose.
" Hi, mom…." Steve nervously smiled and greeted.
" What on Earth, Steven Grant Rogers?! Did you ever get into fights in school? " she asked.
" No, mom! I didn't fight! Paul had beaten me up on the street when I was on my way my home! " he reasoned. " I didn't do anything! "
" Are you sure? "
" Yeah, until Bucky showed up and beat up that bully for me! "
Sarah Rogers closely looked at the other boy when Bucky wryly smiled and chuckled. She heavily sighed and crossed her arms.
" Next time, Boys, don't you ever get involved in fights! I don't want both of you get into trouble, understand?! "
" Yes, ma'am, " Steve and Bucky replied in unison.
" Good, I hope this serves as another lesson, " she sternly replied.
" Hi, my name's Bucky Barnes! You must be Steve's mother. "
" Yes, I am Mrs. Rogers, " the blonde woman answered. " Thank you for defending my son, by the way. "
" Sure,anytime, " Bucky smiled and waived at his new friend. " See you around, Punk! "
" Yeah, thanks a lot, Dork! " Steve grinned and waved back when the two friends had parted their ways.