Someone to Play With

Luis bounced a ball on the floor of his apartment. He had nothing else to do. He had no one to play with.

Luis liked the loud noise the ball made. His neighbor downstairs, Mr. Diaz, did not.

Mr. Diaz called Luis’s mom on the phone. “Please stop making that noise,” he said. They talked for a long time.

At last, Luis’s mom hung up the phone. She told Luis, “Go downstairs. Tell Mr. Diaz you are sorry.” 

Luis went downstairs. When he got there, he told Mr. Diaz he was sorry.

“Come inside,” Mr. Diaz replied. He asked Luis, “You like to make noise?” 

Luis nodded.

“I will show you something that’s loud, but not noise.” Mr. Diaz pulled out a wooden drum. “This is a conga. I used to play it in a band.” 

Mr. Diaz showed Luis how to hit the top of the drum. He hit it with the flat of one hand. “Now you try.” 

Luis hit the drum. It made a deep sound. Luis felt strong!

Mr. Diaz clapped a beat. Luis followed along, hitting the drum. Luis felt happy.

Mr. Diaz smiled. “Come visit me again,” the old man said. “We will play together.” 

Luis smiled back and nodded yes.