[dropcap]I[/dropcap] like RC Cola from a glass bottle,” the boy said. “It tastes better, somehow.”

I’ll call him Sam, but that’s not his real name. Sam is eleven years young. Yesterday, we fished together for three hours while he sipped RC Cola. Sam claimed he was an expert fisherman. He swore he’d caught a six-foot long mahi-mahi once on that little Walmart rod of his.

I pretended to believe him.

When he asked me what I did for a living, I told him I was an Iraqi oil prince who lived aboard a yacht.

Two can play at Sam’s game.

Sam and I became fast friends. He’s sharp as a razor, but one thing was clear: he hadn’t fished before. Not ever. He wasn’t even using bait.

Finally, Sam bit the bullet and asked for help.

So, I configured his rod while he told me about himself. Sam’s parents are divorced. His two brothers are grown, his sister is too young to play with, and his mother works. His daddy lives in Tennessee, Sam hasn’t seen him in three years.

Truth be told, I think Sam’s lonely.

Yesterday, his mother unplugged his Xbox and sent him outside to get some sunshine. So, Sam hiked through the woods with his cooler of soda looking for a fishing spot.

I handed him the baited rod, Sam thanked me by offering me an RC Cola.

“You know,” he admitted. “I lied earlier, I’m not actually a fisherman.”

I patted his shoulder. “You’re as much a fisherman as anyone I know.”



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