It was in 5th standard.
That day, I & Yathish bought new pens together during lunch break. Buying a new pen, those days, it was a huge moment!
All friends, ignoring our protests about scratches & cries not to spoil it, passed hands, tried their signatures, some keen ones even de-assembled & assembled back etc which went on till evening!
And then it was play hour in the evening. All the students ran to the ground.
I slowly walked up to Yathish with a grim face and called him aside.
(This guy Yatish's known to be a tough nut!)
Me: Hey, while running out you stepped on my bag & broke my pen.
Yathish: I didn't.
Me: You did, and there are people who have seen it!
Yathish: What happened, did it break completely?
Me: No, it's just a crack.
Yathish: Fine then, just use cellophane tape & fix it?
Me: BUT IT'S BRAND NEW.
Me: Buy me a new one.
Yathish: It's 5 rupees & I don't have.
Me: Then why did you break, I'll beat you up.
Yathish: Try it, I'll beat you back.
Me: Ok, since you broke my pen, I'll break yours...
Yathish: But it won't fix your pen.
By now there was a gathering around us, some encouraging & enjoying the fight, some feeling bad for the broken pen, some even contemplating whose side they were!
I pulled my last weapon out (or so everyone thought!)
Me: I'll complain to the class teacher.
Our class teacher was so scary that even the tough nut Yathish gave in.
Yathish: No, please, I am sorry Vinay, it wasn't intentional as you know, I can't ask money at home and you are my friend, please...
Everyone around seemed be convinced that I shouldn't complain!
And then...with a nervous smile, I uttered the words...'Well, hmm, err, actually it was me who had stepped on your bag & your pen is broke, I was so scared that you would do all those...sorry...'
I didn't want to see the changing expressions on his face.
After a moment of silence when I looked at him, he broke into a pale smile. I shook his hand, patted his back and said sorry again.
We smiled a bright smile now.
Shaking his head, he said 'you are just...' pause and then we broke into a hearty laughter :-)
(I was inspired by the story I had read in Chandamama, where Ramu's dog eats tough-nut-neighbour Shamu's hen & Ramu uses the above trick!)