Days of waiting passed as Chester grew more and more impatient waiting for Jen to contact them. "What if she didn't actually like it? What if she was just trying to be nice when she smiled and read it?" Chester babbled, panicking as he paced up and down with his crutches.

"Chester, it's fine. You've got this," Beckett insisted. Chester didn't stop pacing, but he did become much quieter. Beckett stepped in and picked up the boy, placing him on the sofa to stop him from pacing. "Pacing up and down isn't going to help anything, is that clear?"

"OK," the redhead sighed, sitting down. "But I'm worried and scared and I don't know what's going on!"

"Whatever happens, you can go to me or Papa for support and help," Beckett told him. "We're both really proud of you for doing this. You are so brave, little man."

"Can I talk to Aurelia about it?" Chester asked.

"OK," Dwayne agreed. Chester took the lift upstairs and went to his room, waiting until he shut the door to call Aurelia.

"Chester? What's going on?" Aurelia asked.

"I wanna talk to you. It's about my diary."

"Sure; what do you want?"

"I took my diary to a publisher and they said they would probably respond in about a month. But I'm worried that they actually don't like it and I'm going to be told no because it's stupid and I'm scared."

"That's not the end of the world. Even if this one rejects it, you can go to another one. And I'm proud of you for even trying anyway."

"Y-you are?" Chester smiled on the other end of the phone call. "Really? You're serious?"

"Yeah. You're brave. And I like that you're brave," Aurelia replied. Chester sank down onto the bed with relief, smiling like an idiot.

Aurelia thinks I'm brave? Chester thought, the smile on his face growing wider and wider. And she likes that I'm brave? This is so cool! There's someone that likes me!

His happy thoughts were interrupted by something scratching on the door. Lovelace wanted to go into his bedroom to see him. Chester opened the door for the black cat, who wound himself around Chester's leg and hopped onto his bed. Chester soon joined him, stroking the housecat and smiling.

"Hello? Helloooo?" Aurelia asked. "Are you still there?"

"Yeah, yeah, sure," Chester said, grabbing the phone to continue. "I'm here."

"I just wanted to ask if maybe you could . . . come over to my house after school," Aurelia suggested. "To play."

"Maybe. If my dads say it's OK," Chester replied, stroking Lovelace's fur. "I'll ask them." He took his crutches and went downstairs to find his papa, who was watching TV. His dad was out to get something. "Papa?"

"Yes?" He shifted his attention to his son, ignoring the show he was watching.

"Can I come over to Aurelia's house after school for a while?" Chester asked. His heart was beating through his chest. If his papa agreed, he would get to go to his first ever playdate. He was going to be normal. He was going to have friends.

"If her parents say it's OK," Dwayne said. "Ask her to get her parents to agree so we can get each other's addresses." Chester squealed with glee and rushed back to his room with the answer.

"Chester, what happened?" Aurelia asked.

"My papa said that I can come over to your house if your parents agree," Chester reported.

"OK," Aurelia replied. "I'll text you when I get an answer from them." Chester sighed as she hung up on him. He heard chuckling from his papa as he collapsed onto the sofa.

"New friend?" Dwayne asked.

"I wanna go over to her house to play after school, but she said she'd text me what her mums said about it," Chester said. "Now I just have to wait."

So he waited.

And waited.

For an hour.

Soon, the boy heard a phone ring, and he jumped to get it . . . but it wasn't his. "Hello?" his papa asked. "Oh, hello, Nicola. You want a proper day? Sure, what works for you? Chester still has physiotherapy to go to, and I'm sure Aurelia does, too, but I don't think that should stop them from playing." There was a pause as Dwayne listened. "Uh huh, uh huh. Let me check . . . yes, that's great! Thank you, bye!" The proud papa hung up the phone, while his son sat there with confusion.

"Who was that?"

"Aurelia's mum, Nicola. She called me to confirm a day for you to go over to Aurelia's house. Monday after school works fine for you both," Dwayne replied. Chester jumped up and hugged him.

"Yes! Thank you, thank you, thank you!" Chester hugged the man tighter than he ever thought he could. "There's no way this could get any better! I have a playdate!" He curled up into a happy little ball next to his papa.

And then his papa's phone rang again. Chester reached over to see who it was, and he gasped. It was Jen. He scrambled to get it, but his papa beat him to the punch.

"Hello? Oh, hi, Jen. Any news?" he asked, putting the call on speaker for his son. "Is Chester here? Yes, he is. I'll hand you over." The phone was handed over to Chester, who held it next to his ear with a shocked look on his face.

"Chester, are you there?" Jen asked.

"Yes! How are you?" Chester stammered, a smile growing across his face. This was insane. This was better than insane; this was incredible!

"Oh, I'm really good! Listen, we just finished reading this diary of yours, and we've come to a decision! We're publishing your diary!" Chester squealed with glee and squirmed in his seat. This was one of the best days ever!

"I get to show people my diary! Just like I promised!" Chester giggled. "I promised Aurelia that people could read it when I was finished. And now I'm finished!"

"I know! Isn't this great? All we need now is for a book cover to be created and it's ready to hit the shelves!" Jen replied. Dwayne overheard the words 'book cover' and his ears pricked up.

"Book cover? I can help you with that!" Dwayne volunteered. "It'll be great, little buddy! You and me!"

"Yes!" Chester giggled. "Thank you, Jen! Goodbye!"

"Bye!" Jen told him, ending the call. Chester jumped into Dwayne's arms, squealing with glee.

"Papa, I'm getting published! Didn't you hear her? I'm getting published!" Chester giggled.

"I know, I heard her!" Dwayne threw his son into the air like he weighed nothing. "Oh, your dad is going to be so annoyed that he missed this."

"Dad misses all the excitement!" Chester remarked with a giggle.

"Yeah, he's not very lucky in that regard, is he?" Dwayne asked, plopping him back down. "Do you want to tell him what happened when he was gone or should I?"

"I want to tell him," Chester decided. "He won't do anything if I tell him."


Chester screamed with laughter as his dad went straight for his ribs with wiggly, tickly fingers. "DAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAD!" Chester screamed, as he was tickled witless by his dad.

"I can't believe this happened when I was gone!" Beckett sighed. "Why does everything always happen without me? Oh, and Dwayne, why does my son have to tell me this news? You're the adult!"

"Chester wanted to tell you," Dwayne pointed out. Chester was turning red in the face from being out of breath. "And you should leave him alone. He can't breathe like this." Beckett sighed and let his son go, leaving Chester gasping for air.

"Thank you, Papa. You saved me," Chester sighed. Dwayne picked him up and took him upstairs, as the boy yawned and stretched.

"Goodnight, little one. I can't wait to work with you," Dwayne whispered. "Want me to take your crutches?"

"Yes, please," Chester yawned. Dwayne leaned the crutches against the bed for Chester to have easy access to them the next day. Then he put Chester on the bed and brought him his lightning bolt pyjamas.

"Want help or do you want me to leave so you can change?"

"Leave, please." Dwayne left the room, closing the door behind him so he could change in peace. Chester shrugged off his day clothes to exchange them for night clothes, and his phone pinged as he finished changing. It was Aurelia's text message.

A: Can't wait for you to come over on Monday!

He smiled when he read it. He couldn't wait either.