Time Spent Away: The First Fall Chapter 5 (1)
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He had been Tim’s best friend growing up—his only friend for a good part of his youth. Robbie Johnson lived three blocks from the Channing homestead in a green one-family home with a well-kept lawn. Throughout the year, he and Tim would spend many of their weekends together riding bikes, playing with action figures, and watching television in each other’s homes; during the summer the two were inseparable.

Robbie was a year younger, with a mop of black hair and blue-green eyes; he was as quiet and unassuming as Tim was—undoubtedly part of the reason for the boys’ connection. Both pairs of parents were well-acquainted and would often invite each other over for barbecues and drinks while the boys played.

On occasion, Steven would set up the tent in the Channing&rs...

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