There comes a point in every child's life when they must choose between revenge and forgiveness. Punky was about to make that decision for the first time. She stood in the hallway, watching Todd as he walked toward her from the elevators. Punky bit her lip, and wondered what he was doing here.

Todd stopped when he was standing next to Punky. "Hi, can I talk to you for a minute?"

"Sure, but can I ask you something first? Why are you here, Todd?"

He licked his lips. "I came to check on Mr. Fulton. How is he?"

"Okay. He's resting now, but he'll be able to go home in the morning."

Todd was quiet for a moment. "Punky, I'm sorry. I've bee really rotten. Can you forgive me?"

"Why did you say all those things?"

The boy sighed. "I've heard my dad say them at home. He was really mad when he found out I'd used them in public. Apparently, it's not okay to say them in front of people. Honest, Punky, I didn't think Mr. Fulton would call my dad, and I definitely didn't think my dad would ever beat somebody up and do enough damage to put them in the hospital. Anyway, I didn't mean what I said. I'm sorry. You believe me, don't you?"

"I have to be honest, too, Todd. I don't know if I should believe you. You really hurt Cherie's feelings, and mine. We didn't know if you were serious or not; it sounded like you were. You may not have meant any of the things that you said, but look at where your words got our teacher."

"I know. I came by to tell Mr. Fulton I'm sorry. But since he's resting now, and going home tomorrow, I guess I'll have to wait until he gets back to school." Todd turned and began to walk away.

Punky stood still for a moment, then ran after him. "Todd, wait!"

He stopped and looked over his shoulder.

She smiled. "I'll take you by his place tomorrow after school. I forgive you."