Cover image courtesy of a good friend and fan of this story: “Logan”
LINCOLN, THE FAMILY I NEVER EXPECTED
Copyright ©2017-2018 Lindon Weztser & CSU Productions. All Rights Reserved.
Full disclaimer may be viewed at http://cornercafe.us
Part – 1
Sunday morning, February 7th, 2016. My house was to return to normal, everyone would be out of here, and it would just be the boys and me. Don’t get me wrong, I loved having my family around and would do it all over again, but it’s a lot to entertain people. After my family left, I was planning on giving Rita the rest of Sunday off because she deserved it. She worked so hard these past few days. Thus giving her the rest of the day was the least I could do.
I finally was able to sleep in past 7:00, but not by much. I rose from my sleep around 7:20 and went to take my morning piss. I went downstairs where Rita, Lucas, Katherine, and my father were up.
“No boys awake on your side either?” Asked Lucas.
“Nope, they are out cold.”
“I know, usually Ashton is up by now, but he’s still down for the count,” said Katherine.
“Here’s your coffee Garret,” spoke Rita as she brought it to the table.
“Thank you,” I said and took a sip. “So when guys plan on packing up and heading back to Pittsburgh?”
“Uhh… probably head out when the boys get up and start moving. I think Dad and Mom are going to follow us home as well,” said Lucas.
“Alright, well no rush guys,” I assured.
“Well thanks,” said Lucas. “Oh did you hear, the Midwest and northeast areas are supposed to get crushed with snow in the middle of the week. Like 8-10 inches, and some places are calling for 2 feet, but that’s around the Great Lakes.”
“No shit, I was sorta hoping we were done with the snowfall this year. Is my area suppose to get hit?” I asked.
“Well they are calling for 7-9 inches in Columbus, but since you’re more northern, you might get more. Pittsburgh is supposed to get 6-8 inches.”
“Damn, there is always that last snowfall before it starts getting nice. Let’s just hope that this is the last one,” I replied.
“Agreed,” said Lucas. “I can’t stand the snow.”
“Oh you big baby,” said Katherine. “You know you’ll be out playing and making snow forts with the kids.”
“Yeah I know,” laughed Lucas. “Doesn’t mean I can’t complain about it.”
“Agreed,” I laughed.
“Men,” Rita said.
“Tell me about it,” spoke Katherine.
“So whats your plans for the day,” asked my father.
“Relaxing, no but umm…. the boys start school tomorrow so we may go shopping for some schools supplies. I don’t think they grabbed any from their house before leaving. We also find out who their teachers are, so that should be fun.”
“How do you find that out?”
“They sent me an email on Friday, we just haven’t had a chance to look at them yet.”
“Oh well that’s cool, remember when the schools used to post your teacher and homerooms on the front door of the school? You were looking for your name but also praying you had some friends in class,” said Lucas.
“Yeah, I never got paired with my friends, that was some BS,” I said.
“Tell me about it,” Lucas said.
“Nothing fancy for breakfast this morning guys, we do have cereal, muffins, and bagels,” interrupted Rita.
“I’ll take a bagel please,” I said.
“Make that two please,” said my father.
“Two bagels? Anyone want anything else?” Rita asked
“I’ll have cereal, but I’ll get that myself, thanks though,” said Lucas.
I was just finishing half my bagel when the first boys came downstairs around 7:50.
“Morning boys,” I said to Jacob and Ashton. Jacob came to sit on my lap, and I gave him a morning hug. “Sleep well?”
“Yeah,” Jacob yawned and went to take a chair.
“Hey kiddo,” Lucas said to Ashton. “Eat some breakfast, once everyone is up, we are heading home.”
“Okay,” Ashton said as he went around and gave everyone morning hugs. Katherine was heading upstairs to start packing all the clothes, and I asked if she could wake the boys up. She obviously obliged and made her way upstairs.
“I should go help your mother,” my dad said as he stood up and followed Katherine up the stairs. Lincoln and LJ came down, followed by Ryker. I received my morning hugs and kisses from each of the boys. They sat down, and Rita brought over bowls, milk, and different options of cereal. The mood at the table was sort of gloomy as none of the boys really wanted to say goodbye.
“Can I sit with you?” Ryker asked me.
“You know you don’t have to ask, and by the way, you can finish this bagel. I’m stuffed.”
“Okay,” Ryker said as he took a seat on my lap and a bite out of the bagel, “so when are we gonna see everyone again?”
“Yeah?” Questioned Lincoln.
“Well, when are you boys coming to Pittsburgh next? We came over here, so now you’ll have to come to our place,” said Lucas.
“Umm… not next weekend but what about the weekend after, could Christian come?” Asked Lincoln.
“Boys, I’m so happy you want to hang out with your cousins, but we can’t schedule this weekend by weekend. That’s a lot of traveling, and it was a special occasion, so that is why we had people coming in,” I said trying to ease his excitement.
“Well, when’s the next party gonna be?” Asked Ryker.
“Probably a birthday,” said LJ.
“Speaking of birthdays, boys, when are yours?” I asked.
“November 6th,” Lincoln said.
“Mines December 2nd,” said Jacob.
“April 23rd,” said Ryker.
“What about Clayton’s?” I asked.
“June 30th,” spoke Lincoln. “Clay is always the youngest in his grade.”
“Yeah that is a pretty late birthday, he could have been starting kindergarten next year as one of the oldest kids,” spoke Lucas.
“Yeah, funny how that works out,” I said. Soon enough, Clayton arrived, and he looked surprisingly awake for it being morning, but then again he did sleep in. He came over and gave Ryker and me a hug and took a seat with Lincoln as they shared a chair.
“Whatcha talking bout?” Asked Clayton.
“Ohhhh nothing much. Just about this adorable 5-year-old and his birthday,” I replied.
“Am I the dorable 5-year-old?” Clayton spoke in the sweetest voice ever.
“You better believe it,” I said.
“Yes, I knew it!” Commented Clayton which caused some giggles amongst everyone.
“We were talking about birthdays, and Lincoln told us yours. We are trying to figure out who has the next birthday,” I spoke filling Clayton in.
“I think I am next,” mentioned LJ.
“Yeah, you’re the 22nd of March,” said Lucas.
“Oh wait, it’s little George’s birthday which is next. He is on March 5th,” I stated.
“Oh yeah, I wonder if they have made plans yet,” commented Lucas.
“I don’t know, but did you see him last night. He was not happy he couldn’t come to the game, I feel pretty bad about that. I don’t think he got to hang out with everyone that much,” I said.
“No, I feel bad for him too. Usually, everyone is so concerned with Derrick, that George doesn’t get much attention,” spoke Lucas.
“I liked George,” said Jacob.
“That’s good buddy, I’m glad you did. He is a nice kid,” I replied.
“Why do you call him little George?” Asked Lincoln.
“Hmm, now that I think about it, I don’t know,” I replied.
“Yeah something we have always done,” mentioned Lucas.
“Oh,” said Lincoln who took a spoonful of cereal. “What’s Pittsburgh like?”
“Lincoln, don’t talk when you have a full mouth,” I instructed.
“Pittsburgh is cool,” replied LJ.
“Well we don’t live in Pittsburgh, we live about 20 minutes outside the city. It’s just easier to say we are from Pittsburgh,” said Lucas.
“Oh I get it,” replied Lincoln. Eventually, all of Lucas’s kids joined around the table. We went on enjoying each other’s company for another 30-45 minutes. But it was time to start packing the car and saying our goodbyes.
Everyone was doing pretty good as the adults packed the cars with the help of Lincoln and LJ. One by one they each carried down a piece of luggage and brought it to the car. Both Lucas and my parent’s cars were packed, and all that was left were to say goodbye. It wasn’t emotional, but you could tell moods were down, as everyone was giving hugs and saying bye.
“Hey, thanks for bringing the boys out,” I said to Katherine and Lucas.
“Thanks for having us, it’s been a tremendous weekend,” replied Lucas. “Love you, brother.”
“Love you too man, drive back safe. Send me a text when you get home.”
“Will do… alright boys let’s get going,” commanded Lucas as he hopped in the driver seat followed by the rest of his family.
I said bye to my parents and told them thanks for coming and being here to support the kids. They got into their car and started the engine. The boys, Rita, and I waved goodbye as they drove down the driveway and we headed back into the house.
“Alright boys, go get dressed. We are going to run out and get some school supplies,” I said as the four of them went upstairs to their own rooms.
“Hey Rita, you can have the rest of the day off. However, if you could, can you change the bedsheets on all the beds before leaving?” I asked.
“Certainly,” replied Rita.
“Thank you,” I said as I went upstairs and got change.
On my way to my room, I heard Lincoln say, “Ahhh, feels so good to have my room to me again.”
“You okay,” I laughed as I saw him dancing around in his underwear.
Lincoln must have been caught off guard because he screamed and fell to the floor in embarrassment “Jesus Garret, you scared the crap out of me.”
“My bad,” I said laughing uncontrollably. “You don’t even have music playing. What were you dancing to?”
“I don’t know,” he spoke in a quiet tone.
“You’re too funny,” I said. “Continue on with your dancing.”
“I will,” he proudly remarked and stood up to close the door as I left.
I was getting changed and just about to put my sweater on when Ryker entered my room.
“Hey Dad, err umm I mean Garret,” he said while jumping up to my bed to sit.
“Hey son, err I mean Ryker,” I mocked him. “What’s up?”
“Oh you’re so funny,” he replied sarcastically.
“I know, thanks!” I said as I tussled his hair on my way to look in the mirror.
“Aww, I just got my hair how I liked,” Ryker commented as he walked to the mirror to fix his hair.
“Sorry bud, so what’s up?”
“What store are we going to?”
“Hmm, good question I don’t know yet.”
“Can we go to the shoe store? I wanna get a new pair of shoes that Christian showed me over the weekend.”
“The shoe store is in the mall. I was thinking of going to Target or Walmart for school supplies. I don’t think the shoe store will have what we need.”
“But I really want them.”
“What’s wrong with the 3 new pair of shoes we just bought for you?”
“Nothing, I like those too. But I want another pair,” Ryker commented.
“Well bud, I don’t think so. Plus we are not heading out to the mall, it’s pretty far away. But I’ll tell you what, if Target or Walmart has them, then we can buy the shoes. Sound fair?”
“Yeah I guess so,” Ryker said in a dejected tone.
“Alright come on,” I said as I purposely messed his hair up again.
“Garret! You did that on purpose.”
“You have no proof,” I laughed and bent down to throw him over my shoulder. “To the car!”
“Garret,” Ryker said giggling, and we proceeded out of my room. I dropped him on his own feet before walking down the steps, as I didn’t think it was a wise idea to carry him like that.
“Come on boys, last one in the car is a rotten egg,” I yelled for all of them to hear. “But walk down the stairs, that’s the only rule.”
Eventually, all of them were in the Mercedes, and we were driving down the driveway.
“Is Rita gonna be there when we get back?” Asked Jacob.
“I don’t believe so, why?” I asked.
“Just wondering, I like when she is around.”
“Yeah same,” agreed Ryker.
“Well next time she is around, be sure to show your appreciation for her. I bet she will love it,” I said.
“Okay,” said the two boys.
Lincoln was next to speak, “can we hang out with Christian soon?”
“Umm, possible… I know he enjoyed meeting you boys so we will see!” I replied.
“Cool, that would be awesome,” Lincoln spoke.
“Yeah…. so are you guys ready for school to start again?” I asked.
“No, I’ve never been the new person at a school,” spoke Jacob.
“Well it’s not that bad, especially in elementary school,” I said. “I had to move to 4 different schools growing up.”
“Why?” Inquired Jacob.
“For my Dads work, he was a successful guy and making a good living, but had to travel to new cities, to make his money. We would typically stay in one area anywhere between 2-4 years.”
“How old were you?” Inquired Ryker.
“When I moved to the new schools?”
“Oh boy, umm let me think… I first moved when I was in 1st grade to a new state. The second time, I was in third grade and my third time moving was when I started 6th grade. I moved again during 8th grade but it was to a different house inside the same school district, but I still had to go to a new middle school.”
“What was it like?”
“During elementary and earlier middle school, it was easy and making new friends wasn’t difficult at all. However, in later middle school, it was more difficult because everyone had established friend groups. We moved around a lot, but that is why I’m so close to my siblings, especially Lucas because we moved around and he was always there to support me.”
“Oh, so it was easy making friends then?” Asked Jacob.
“Umm yeah I would say yes, and I think you all will do fine,” I replied as we pulled into the Target parking lot. “Alright let’s go!”
Our trip to Target was quick and straightforward, they didn’t have the shoes for Ryker which disappointed him, but it didn’t last too long. For each of the boys, they got notebooks, pencils, pens, simple math calculators, and lunch boxes. Our final item was new backpacks for each of them. While searching for new ones, it made me think about Lincoln’s backpack that I found in the parking lot. I wondered where I had put it because last time I saw it, it was the night I got his brothers. It had to be in my house somewhere, so I wasn’t that worried about it. We left Target and stopped at Dairy Queen for some blizzards before heading home.
We reached home around 1:30 and the boys went upstairs to put their items in their bedrooms. They came back downstairs after a few minutes because I told them we would look at their teachers and room numbers. We gathered in my office, all of them stood around my chair with Clayton sitting in my lap.
“Alright,” I said as I clicked on the first email. “Let’s see who this is.”
“That’s mine,” spoked Lincoln.
“Yup and your teacher is Mrs. Wilson. She is in room L120,” I said. Granite Hill Elementary is a U shaped building with offices in the front and classrooms on the left and right. The L stood for the left side obviously, and R for Right side. In the middle of the U has the school library, cafeteria, gymnasium, auditorium, music room, and art room.
“Okay,” Lincoln said.
“So let’s look at the map they attached,” I suggested. “So when I drop you off, you’ll enter the building and go to the left wing. Then you’ll walk all the way down, and the classroom is the last classroom on the right.”
“Okay,” Lincoln said as he studied the map. I decided to print the map out for him to look at so I could move on to the next schedule.
“Alright Ryker, this one seems to be yours. Your teacher is Mr. Green. Your classroom is R119. So you will go to the right wing and walk all the way down to the end of the hallway, and your classroom will be on the right as well.”
“Sweet,” commented Ryker who then took off for upstairs. I don’t know, but something told me he wasn’t worried about starting school.
“If this goes in order, I guess you’re next Jacob,” I said. “So, let’s take a look. Your room number is R112. So follow Ryker to the right side, but your classroom will be halfway down and on the left. Your teacher is, Mrs. Hector.”
“What if I pass it?” Worried Jacob.
“Well Ryker can help you, but the rooms will be numbered. I think it will be hard to pass,” I said.
“Okay,” Jacob replied as he went to study the map with Lincoln.
“You ready Clay?” I asked
“Yeah yeah yeah,” he quickly blubbered.
“Alright, your teacher is Miss. Lispik. You too, are on the right side in room R101… oh that’ll be easy, you are the first room on the right. So you’ll follow Ryker and Jacob to the right side, and then the first room on your right is your classroom. Think you’ll remember that?”
“Miss. lipstick, is that her name?”
“Nooo,” I chuckled. “Miss lispik,”
“Yeah so lipstick,” Clayton said again.
“No it’s lipstick, I mean it’s Lispik,” I replied. “Now you got me saying it wrong.”
“how do you say it again?”
“Alright, one final time. Miss Lispik,” I said sounding it out.
“Okay I got it,” he replied as he hopped off my lap and went upstairs repeating the name. I turned my attention to Lincoln as he was the only one still around, studying the map.
“What’s up?” I asked.
“Nothing just looking at the map.”
“You’ve been looking at it for a few minutes now.”
“Yeah? So is there anything you want to talk about?”
“Umm… what if I get lost or what happens if I don’t like my teacher.”
“It’s nothing to stress about kiddo, there will be plenty of adults in the school who will help you if you get lost. I don’t think you will though, you’ve been reading that map over pretty good,” I joked.
“What if I don’t like my teacher or what if she doesn’t like me?”
“Hey, it’s nothing you can worry about, if, and that’s a big if, if that problem occurs, then you come and talk to me. I’ll fix it if it comes to that.”
“Thanks,” Lincoln said as he walked over to give me a hug.
“You’re gonna be great tomorrow,” I said and kissed the top of his head.
Lincoln released his hug and spoke, “thanks. I’m going upstairs to play video games.”
“Hey, no no no, you lost your video game privileges, remember?” I said.
“But, I was playing on the weekend.”
“Yeah I know, I decided to let it go because you were playing with your cousins but doesn’t mean you escape the punishment kiddo. No video games for two days, I was gonna do a week without video games earlier, so I say that is a fair punishment.”
“Fine, but what am I gonna do?” Asked Lincoln.
“Well, get ready for school tomorrow. Make sure you have everything in your new backpack. You could read, you can still watch TV, you can stare at a wall if you really wanted to. You’re just not allowed to play video games,” I said.
“Fine,” Lincoln said as he walked upstairs.
Part – 2
I was planning on working out and then going out to the hot tub, but since I was in my office, I decided to look over the details of the boys’ school again. I was nervous, I didn’t want to take them to school and have something be incorrect, so I was double and triple checking everything. Everything seemed to be in check, and I was about to leave when I saw the tan folder that Kelly gave me. She said there were birth certificates and past school records, so maybe it would give me some insight into what areas the boys did well on and what they need to improve on.
I opened the folder and came to the birth certificates of each boy. Something was off, on Lincoln, Ryker, and Clayton’s birth certificate they were each sign by the parents. When I looked at Jacob’s birth certificate, his was only signed by the father. I immediately called Kelly, “Hey, haven’t you gotten sick of us yet,” joked Kelly as she answered the phone.
“Would never get sick of you my sweet dearest sister,” I mocked her.
“Yeah yeah, so what’s up?”
“You gave me that folder on Saturday, did you look at the birth certificates by chance?”
“I glanced at them, I opened the folder to see what was inside. I saw school records and then came to Lincoln’s birth certificate, why?”
“Well, I was looking at everything and noticed Jacob doesn’t have his mothers signature on the birth certificate.”
“What, impossible,” spoke Kelly.
“Well, it’s not impossible… I’m looking right at it.”
“Yes it is, I’m almost certain that it is impossible for a child to leave a hospital without a mother’s signature on the birth certificate.”
“Okay, I believe you… but this birth certificate does not have it.”
“What?” I yelled getting a tad bit angry. “It is right in front of my fucking eyes Kelly.”
“Okay, okay, calm down… umm let me think,” she suggested.
“How does this go unnoticed?”
“I have no idea,” she said. “Okay, umm since you have all the boys certificates, does the father’s name look and read the same on all of them?”
“Uhhh,” I said scanning each one. “Yeah.”
“Okay, study the mother’s name now,” she said.
I looked over all the documents, something was starting to seem strange. On the three with the mother’s name, everything looked normal, but when I looked at Jacob’s. There were markings under the line where a person should sign, but above the line where the name is supposed to be, was missing. It’s like someone wrote their name down but later tried to remove it. What I mean is under the line where you sign your name, there are swooping motions where someone wrote their name in cursive but went too far below the line. Whoever tried to cover it up, failed, as they left apparent clues.
“Kelly, I’m not sure what’s happening with these. I’m going to need to mail them to you. Something strange is occurring on these, it almost looks like falsified documents.”
“Umm… alright send them to my office, and I will see what I can do,” she replied.
“Kelly… Jacobs birth certificate has been printed, this isn’t the original copy,” I said as the paper was not the same quality as the others.
“Okay, just send it to me, and I will take a look.”
“What does this mean though?” I asked.
“Well I don’t know, maybe your theory of having a different father was wrong, but you never considered another mother in the equation.”
“Oh shit, Jacob told me he tried to tell his mother about the abuse, but she ignored him. Oh my gosh, that makes so much sense.”
“Take it easy Garret, it’s just an idea. You’re making it sound like it’s confirmed, it’s just a theory.”
“Because it makes sense,” I said.
“Well then maybe the mother is still out there,” Kelly said.
“What does that mean?” I asked.
“What do you mean?”
“So if this theory is true and if she is alive and around, does she have custody to Jacob?”
“Technically…. yes, but don’t overthink it right now, just send me the birth certificate, and we will go from there.”
“Oh my, I can’t… I’m about to be sick to my stomach,” I said.
“Garret, just don’t get too worked up. It’s okay, everything is going to be fine,” Kelly assured.
“I just, I can’t do it again. I can’t go through the process of thinking I am going to lose one of them.”
“Garret!” She yelled, “you’re making a bigger deal out of it then it needs to be, stop overreacting okay… now, are the boys ready for school?”
“Umm, yeah… took them shopping today.”
“That’s good, I’m sure they are nervous.”
“I think I’m more nervous for them to start school than they are,” I joked.
“Welcome to the club, that is every parent,” replied Kelly.
“Yeah, well I’ll call you tomorrow and tell you how it went.”
“Sounds good, love you, bro. Don’t worry about the birth certificate thing, it is out of our control, talk to you later,” she said and hung up.
I stared at Jacob’s birth certificate and realized I had to stop. My mind was racing with wild thoughts, and I needed to get my mind off of it. I went upstairs and got changed into my workout gear. I told the boys where I would be and Ryker asked if he could come. I agreed and waited for him on the middle floor. This time he came down shirtless with a headband on. This kid cracked me up, “Where’d you get the headband?” I asked.
“I got my ways!”
“Oh yeah, can I get in on the connection?” I joked.
“For the right price,” he giggled as he started to stretch out. I was amazed at this boy’s body, not a single ounce of fat, was on him, Ryker was absolutely stunning, in fact, all the boys were, but Ryker stood out more from the rest.
“You’re gonna be a ladies man, you know that?”
“Eww gross, I don’t like girls,” Ryker replied. He was at the stage where he still thought girls were disgusting.
“Yeah, girls are yucky,” I joked.
“Alright, let’s head downstairs and hit the gym,” I suggested
As usual, Ryker was still lifting lighter weights around 5 pounds, I wanted him to master the technique. However, this time he wanted to try and bench something, so I set it up for him. The bar by itself weighed 45 pounds, and I thought it was going to be a struggle, so I didn’t add any extra weight. He laid down on the bench and got underneath the bar, we counted to three and lifted it up. I could tell he was struggling, but he didn’t want to give up so as he brought the bar down to his chest, my hand never left the bar and I actually took half if not more of the weight to make it easier on him. He pushed back up.
“1,” I counted, and the bar went back down.
“2,” and back down.
“3….. 4……. 5….”
“6 you got it, buddy! Give me two more!”
“7, one more!”
“8 push push push almost there,” I said as he finally put the bar back into the brackets that held it. “Way to go, man, I’m impressed!”
“Were you helping me?” He said panting.
“Oh no, that was all you,” I lied. A simple white lie never hurt anybody.
“Whoa, that was tough.”
“I’m impressed, you’re gonna be sore tonight.”
“I think I already am,” he laughed.
“You want to learn one more machine?” I asked.
“Yeah! Just no more arms,” Ryker laughed.
“Alright this one here is called the leg press,” and I demonstrated what he needed to do. Ryker took my position as I took off the weights.
“Alright before you do this, one rule. Never ever lock your legs. That is a recipe for disaster.”
“What do you mean?”
“Do not extend your legs to the full amount and if you do, don’t keep them there. You understand?”
“Yeah,” Ryker said and proceeded to do 2 sets of 20 and then sat on the bench.
“Way to go! I’m so proud of you today!” I said as I put my arm around his shoulder.
“Thanks, right here is already sore,” he giggled.
“That’s your thigh, and yes they will be very sore.”
“Can we shower together again?” Ryker asked.
“You have your own shower with no one in your room,” I said.
“Yeah but I like showering with you, it’s fun to talk as I shower.”
“Well not this time, I’m actually heading for the hot tub.”
“Oh-oh, can I come?”
“Of course, go get ready. I’ll tell your brothers,” I replied as we shut down the gym and went upstairs.
We made it to the top, and I went to knock on all the boys’ doors to tell them we were going in. Everyone agreed, but Lincoln said he will be down in a few minutes as he was organizing his notebooks by subject or something like that. I got changed into my swimsuit as did the boys and we went outside. I lifted the cover off, and everyone jumped in. About 5 minutes later, Lincoln came down in the stark.
“No swimsuit?” I asked.
“No one is here, we don’t have to worry about it,” said Lincoln as he jumped in. The three other boys looked at each other and started stripping their suits off. One by one I saw clothes fling out of the hot tub.
“Garret, why don’t you swim naked?” Asked Lincoln.
“Yeah, we are all boys here,” giggled Ryker.
“I not a fan of it,” I lied. “Plus one of you boys are always sitting on my lap, so I don’t have the opportunity to.”
“We won’t sit on your lap, we promise,” Lincoln said
“It is not a big concern for me to be naked either,” I replied.
“Being nakey is the bestest,” Clayton commented.
“You’re too funny,” I laughed.
“Please, can you swim naked with us?” asked Lincoln
“Yeah please?” begged the other three.
“Fine,” I said as I took off my shorts and set them on the side. “Happy?”
“Yup,” all of them giggled.
“Good,” I said. It was actually relaxing to skinny dip again. This was my first time doing it since the boys have been in my life. We laughed and had a good time, Clayton was not a fan of bubbles hitting his butt, so he sat on my legs near my feet as I was in the lounge chair of the hot tub. We joked around and had fun, but towards the end, everyone was relaxing as it was getting dark out.
“Can you massage my legs?” Ryker asked as he scooted his way over to me.
“Umm yeah sure,” I said as I shifted to a middle seat on one of the sides. “Throw your legs over my lap.”
“Okay,” Ryker said.
I caught his left leg and started asking, “Where is it sore?”
“Here,” he said as he guided my hand up to his thigh.
“Alright,” I said as I rubbed his thighs. I did both of his legs which took about 10 minutes, and Lincoln asked if he could have one.
“How do I get suckered into doing massages every time I come into the hot tub?”
“Cause you love us,” said Lincoln.
“That I do,” I said as he brought his legs to me, which accidentally made contact with my dick.
“Sorry,” Lincoln said as he rested his one leg on my thigh.
“No problem, so are you sore or do you just want a massage?”
“Just a massage,” he giggled.
“Alright,” I said and started to work his thighs. Up and down I worked his left thigh, and towards the upper part, I was just about to start moving my hands back down.
“Can you keep going in that same direction?”
“Umm yeah just a little,” I said as I moved up and reached his balls. Since his leg was underwater I couldn’t see where my hand was going and before I knew it, my hand had reached his groin, with his balls and penis in full contact with the back of my hand. I could feel his whole body shiver, and he got an immediate erection.
“Sorry,” I said and retracted.
“That felt awesome,” Lincoln said. “Thanks, can you do my other leg.”
“Yeah sure,” I said and picked up his other leg. I was more cautious this time, as I didn’t go as high up, which disappointed Lincoln I think. I didn’t want to repeat what I did on his left thigh because it made me a little uncomfortable as I was chatting with everyone, so I finished the massage.
“Thanks,” Lincoln said.
“Anyone else want one?”
“Me,” chimed Jacob. “Can you do my back and shoulders though.”
“Yeah, umm sit on the end of my lap,” I said.
“Okay,” said Jacob who swam over and sat more towards my knee. It was actually funny because each knee supported one of his butt cheeks perfectly. I went on and massaged his back for 10 minutes, and soon after, Clayton wanted one. By the end of it, I was exhausted and was ready to get out of the hot tub.
“Alright boys, I’m gonna get out and order us some food. Chinese sound good?”
“We never had Chinese food, what do you get?” Asked Lincoln.
“I’ll order a bunch of stuff so we can try different things, sound good?”
“Yeah,” came an echo from all of the boys.
I had a decision to make, and it was either step out naked or put my suit on. Most of the boys have seen mine anyway, so I decided to step out in the buck and put my robe on. I collected all of the boys’ suits and went to put them in the laundry room. Before I could even order, the 4 boys ran back into the house.
“Boys go put clothes on, and I’ll make the order,” I said.
“But?” Protested Lincoln
“At least underwear, go!”
“Fine,” he said.
All the boys went to get changed, and I began ordering the food. The Chinese place sold family dinners that came with rice or noodles, egg rolls, and your choice of meat. I ordered 5 of those with each different meat: general tso, orange chicken, teriyaki steak, fried shrimp, and one spicy general tso. It was a vast variety that would give them lots to choose from. The food was going to be here in 30 minutes, and the boys all came down wearing underwear.
Lincoln was wearing blue and white boxer briefs, Ryker was wearing red boxer briefs that defined his body so well, Jacob was wearing boxers, and Clayton decided to go with the briefs. I guess it was a good thing, that these boys felt so relaxed and comfortable around me. They went to the family room, and I went upstairs to change into sweatpants and a hoodie. I came back down, and they wanted to start the fourth Harry Potter film, and I had no objections to it.
We all sat on the sofa sharing two blankets. This time Jacob got my lap as Clayton loved the reclining section of the couch. Lincoln put his feet on the lap of Jacob and me as he rested his head on the arm of the couch with his butt backed up against my thigh. Ryker was over cuddling with Clayton, using Clayton’s thigh as a pillow. It was crowded, especially because each boy could have had their own section on the couch to themselves, but I loved it. I wrapped my arms around Jacob’s chest and pulled him in for a hug before resting my arms on the pile of legs and feet in front of me. I kissed the back of Jacob’s head and scratched Lincoln’s and Jacob’s legs as the movies started.
“Love you, boys,” I said
“Love you too,” each of them said as Lincoln, Ryker, and Clayton had a smile, and Jacob nestled his body into me even more. My only regret was in 30 minutes, I would have to get up to get the food.
Of course, the doorbell rang when things started getting good, so we paused the movie as the boys went to the table and I went to the door. I carried the food back to the table and explained the choices. The general tso went first followed by the spicy general tso, the teriyaki soon followed, and the orange chicken didn’t stand a chance. The boys didn’t care for the shrimp dish. However, I thought it was delicious and finished that one by myself. Everyone was stuffed, and we made our way back to the family room to watch tv.
This time, Lincoln called my lap and Jacob tried to protest, but eventually caved. He sat on my lap, and I wrapped my arms in front of him. Ryker and Jacob took a blanket and pillow to lay on another section of the couch as they shared the pillow with their feet pointing in different directions.
Clayton resumed his spot on the recliner, which gave me the opportunity to lay down on my side, which Lincoln did as well, and I put my arm around his bare stomach. We resumed watching the movie, and I rubbed Lincoln’s belly unknowingly, I guess it was just a habit now.
The movie finished around 8:15 and I sent them upstairs to get their baths, Lincoln said he would wash Clayton tonight. Ryker and Jacob each went to their own bathrooms and took showers.
It felt good to be just the boys and me again. I could get back into our nightly routine which made it easier and more comfortable. Everyone finished their showers and came back down for a quick snack before bed. I cut up apples and brought out caramel for them to dip them in. It was sort of pointless, you take a healthy snack and make it unhealthy, but apple slices dipped in caramel are delicious. It was around 9:00, and it was bedtime.
I put Clayton in his PJs and gave him a kiss goodnight.
I went to Jacobs room where he asked, “Can I sleep in one of your shirts again?”
“Yup,” I said as I walked to my bedroom to grab one and returned to his room. “Here you go.”
“Thanks,” Jacob said as he flung his underwear off and put on the T-Shirt.
“Love you kiddo,” I said as I pulled the covers up and kissed him on his forehead goodnight.
“Love you, Garret,” he replied with a smile.
I went to Ryker’s room where he seemed to be in a panic, “What’s going on in here?”
“I don’t know what to wear tomorrow.”
“Oh, how about this,” I said as I pulled out a nice long sleeve shirt and khaki pants.
“I like those pants, but I want a nicer shirt.”
“Like a button down? I think that might be a little too dressy for school bud.”
“I’d say so, but what about this nice striped long sleeve, I think that’s appropriate.”
“Umm, I guess so,” Ryker said unsurely.
“I’ll tell you what, on the first day wear this, and if other kids are dressed nicer then the next day we will wear the button down. Sound like a deal?”
“Good, come give me a hug and get to bed,” I said.
Ryker ran over and gave me a hug, “goodnight love you, Garret!”
“Love you too,” I replied and patted him on his behind to get into bed.
I went to Lincoln’s room last as he was sitting in the bottom of his bed in his underwear looking through his backpack.
“Hey,” I said as I knocked on the door. “Ready for bed?”
“Yeah, can you lay down with me?”
Surprisingly he didn’t take his underwear off, but he did set his backpack down on the ground. He crawled into bed and under the covers as I came to lay beside him, and he cuddled against me.
“I’m nervous,” he started.
“Yeah,” I said as I scratched his head. “It’s okay to be nervous, you ever start a new school?”
“Ever have new kids join your class?”
“Well, the new kid in the classroom is exciting for students because they get to meet a new person. I’m sure they will be very talkative and nice towards you.”
“Do I think?” I said while I tickled his sides, ” I know!”
“You’ll do great Lincoln.”
“I hope so,” Lincoln replied as he suddenly jumped on my stomach and tried tickling me.
“Oh you made the wrong move,” I said and threw him off of me and started tickling all over; under the arms, his stomach, his neck. Lincoln was a very ticklish kid.
“Okay, I’m done,” he laughed.
“Oh no, you got to learn not to tickle the tickle master,” I replied.
“I… I… I think… I’m gonna… pee,” he stuttered through laughing.
“Have you learned your lesson,” I joked.
“Ye… ye… yes,” he replied, and I stop the attack. Lincoln was out of breath and panting when I finished.
“Alright buddy, get to sleep,” I said as I stood up. “You wearing these tonight or no?”
“Nope,” he said.
“Alright let’s take them off,” I said as I put my hands in the waistband and Lincoln arched his back. I pulled them off and covered Lincoln with the blanket. I kissed his forehead and threw his underwear in his clothes basket. “Love you Lincoln,”
“Love you too,” he replied as I shut off the light and walked out. I wasn’t quite tired, and I wanted to watch something, so I went downstairs. I missed the latest season of game of thrones, so I started the first episode of season 6. I don’t want to spoil the show, but I will say I binged through 2 episodes and I was craving for more. However, I turned the TV off and went to my bedroom. I got a shower and collapsed on my bed around 11:30ish. I finally had my bed to myself for the first time in 3-4 nights, and honestly, I was missing cuddling one of my boys, but it was entirely okay as I got to spread out in my bed. I fell asleep around 12 after checking some email.
Part – 3
Monday morning I woke around 6:45 and went to have my coffee. The school didn’t start until 9:00 for them, so I let the boys sleep till 7:30. Lincoln was the first one up as he came down in the nude, sporting an erection, luckily Rita hadn’t arrived yet, so she didn’t have to witness it. I gave him a bowl of cereal, and he ate all of it and went back upstairs to get changed. Ryker came down fully dressed in the outfit we picked last night and had a bagel. Jacob soon followed as he had cereal. Surprisingly Clayton wasn’t up, and it was close to 8, so I went upstairs and woke him. I got him changed and sent him down for breakfast.
Rita appeared and began prepping the lunches for the boys, thank god she did because I had no clue what to make them. She put in turkey sandwiches, with a side of apples, carrots, cookies, and filled water into a water bottle.
The time was running down quick as the boys had to be in the car no later than 8:35. We lived about 15 minutes away. However, I wanted them to be there early so they could find the classrooms. Before we were out the door, I snagged a photo of each boy individually and then did a family photo. Rita insisted that I be in one of the pictures so she took a few of all of us and we loaded the car up.
The ride to school was boring, as a wave of nervousness crept through the car. We arrived, and I said, “Alright boys, have a wonderful first day, I’ll be here to pick you up when school is out. I love you all, and you’re all gonna do great.”
One by one they got out of the car and said their goodbyes to me. I watched as they walked into the school and I drove back home. I parked the car in the garage and walked in.
“It’ll be alright Garret,” Rita said.
“Do I look that nervous?”
“You’re swinging your keys around your fingers, you never do that.”
“Oh my gosh, you’re right,” I laughed.
“They’ll be fine, and Granite Hills is one of the best public elementary schools in the state of Ohio. They are in excellent hands.”
“I know… I’m going to be in my office, I need to make a few calls,” I said and walked out of the kitchen.
My first call was going out to Keith Watson, “Hey Keith, how ya been?”
“Well my foster kids just started a new school, and I’m a nervous wreck, but all is well.”
“Well, when are you free for lunch?”
“How about tomorrow, around 12 work?”
“Umm.. bump it up to 11:30, I have phone meeting at 3:30 and our lunch meeting could go for a while.”
“Sounds like a plan, you pick the restaurant, I picked last time.”
“Alright,” Keith said. “I’ll shoot you a text tomorrow about where we are eating.”
“Sounds good man, cya then,” I said.
“Cya,” replied Keith and hung up the phone.
My next call was to Rory King. Remember Rory? He was the police officer who let us into the boys’ house.
“Hello, may I ask who is calling,” answered Rory.
“Officer Rory, its Garret Hamel.”
“Oh Mr. Hamel, how are things? how are the boys?”
“Call me Garret,” I said. “But the boys are great, they just started school again today.”
“Oh that’s awesome, so what can I do for you today?” Rory asked.
“Well Officer King, I was wondering if you know any good private investigators.”
“Uhh, I do not. But I could ask around the station if you’d like?”
“That would be great,” I replied.
“I’ll call you within a few days if I find out.”
“Thank you, officer, stay safe and have a great day,” I said and hung up the phone. I was getting a private investigator because I wanted to know more about this Gabriel Murphy guy since the police seemed to give up their efforts.
I went back out to sit in my family room and turned on the next episode of Game of Thrones. I was about finished when I got a call on my cell.
“Hello,” I answered.
“This is Granite Hills Elementary School.”
“Oh, everything alright?” I asked as my heart sank.
“Well we have Clayton here, he needs to be picked up still, and we were wondering if someone was scheduled to pick him up.”
“Is he sick?”
“No Mr. Hamel, kindergarten students only go half days, there are morning and afternoon classes.”
“Oh, I’m so sorry. I had no clue,” I said.
“Oh it’s okay Mr. Hamel, we are just wondering if someone can come pick him up.”
“Uhh yes, I’ll be there in 15 minutes,” I said as I hung up the phone and took off to the garage without telling Rita. I jumped into the SUV and took off down the driveway.
I arrived at the school and went to the office where I saw Clayton being entertained by one of the secretaries.
“Hey buddy,” I said as I crouched to give him a hug. “I had no idea you were supposed to be let out early.”
“That’s okay, I didn’t get to eat Rita’s lunch though.”
I laughed as I released the hug, “I think she’ll be okay.”
“I hope so.”
I turned my attention to the secretary, “I’m so sorry, I had no clue.”
“That’s okay Mr. Hamel, accidents happen.”
“Thank you, so what time does he get let out?”
“Kindergarten AM gets let out at 12:15.”
“Okay and I just want to be positive, the rest of the school is let out at 3:45?”
“That is correct.”
“Okay thank you, let’s go, Clay,” I said as I took his hand and we walked to the car.
“So how was your first day?”
“Fun,” replied Clayton.
“Awesome, how is your teacher?”
“She is really really nice, she introduced me in front of the class.”
“Was everyone nice?”
“Yes, I got to sit next to a boy named Gavin. We are like best friends now,”
“Oh really, that’s good,” I chuckled.
“So are you hungry? Want to go grab some food somewhere?”
“Yeah,” he said cheerfully.
“Alright we are going to go to this Italian restaurant, I think you’ll like it.”
“Okay,” Clayton said as he was humming a tune. This boy was in a world of his own, it was quite funny to see. We pulled into the restaurant, and we got a table. Having one on one time with Clayton was nice. However, I also knew that I would have to keep him entertained during the school year. We placed our order with Clayton getting pasta ravioli, and I got Chicken Marsala. The food was excellent, and we jumped back in the Mercedes.
“Have any homework?” I asked.
“Yeah, I finished it in class, it was easy.”
“Well, I am going to check it once we get back okay?”
“Okay,” Clayton said.
We arrived at the house, and he went inside and greeted Rita.
“What are you doing back so early, mister Clay.”
“I don’t know, the school was over I think,” Clay said as he kicked off his shoes and went to the kitchen table.
“Kindergarten only do half days apparently,” I said walking in.
“Really?” Asked Rita.
“Yeah I know, the school called me, and I had to go pick him up.”
“Ohhh, that’s why you ran out the door like a maniac,” laughed Rita.
“I’m glad you find it so funny,” I said as I took a seat at the table to check Clay’s homework. I looked over the homework, and it was simple math like adding. He didn’t miss one as I finished reviewing the homework, and I was proud of him.
We went into the family and started watching some cartoons, as he cuddled up next to me. I thought he might fall asleep, but Rita came into the family room which freshly baked brownies that woke Clayton right up.
Before I knew it, I had to head back to the school and pick up the others. Clayton decided to stay home with Rita, and I took the truck this time. I arrived early at the school so I could get good parking so the boys could see me, I wasn’t sure if they would notice the truck compared to the SUV since the SUV was the vehicle they rode in the majority of the time.
I saw the school doors open, and I got out of the vehicle and stood in front of the truck. Ryker and Jacob appeared first, and they both had a worried look on their faces as they walked over.
“We don’t know where Clayton is,” Ryker said to me.
“Well hello to you,” I joked. “Clayton gets out of school earlier than you guys since he is in kindergarten.”
“Oh,” Ryker said and gave me a hug.
“I’ve missed you, boys,” I said.
“Missed you too,” Jacob said as he gave me a hug next. I opened the two back doors, and they both got in.
Lincoln appeared and saw me standing by the truck. I waved, and he came running over.
“Hey buddy, how was the first day?” I asked as I received a hug.
“It was okay,”
“Yeah, I didn’t make many friends today.”
“Well we can try again tomorrow,” I said as I opened the front seat.
“I can sit in the front?”
“Absolutely, in the truck at least.”
“Cool,” Lincoln replied.
I got in the driver side and started the truck, we luckily beat the buses out of school, and we were on our way home.
“So how was everyone’s first day?”
“It was good,” said Ryker.
“Yeah? You like your teacher?”
“Yeah he is cool, he makes a lot of jokes.”
“Well that’s good, what about you Jacob?”
“Yeah my teacher is nice, I made a friend, we sat together at lunch.”
“What’s his name?”
“Adam,” replied Jacob.
“Well, that’s good! So do you guys have homework?”
“Yeah,” echoed all three.
“Wait where is Clayton?” Asked Lincoln.
“Glad you’re so observant,” I joked as we were 10 minutes away from the school. “He gets let out early since he is in kindergarten.”
“Lucky,” returned Lincoln.
“So what homework do you have?” I asked.
“Math and I have a spelling test Friday,” said Lincoln.
“Math,” said Ryker.
“Same,” Jacob agreed.
“Well when we get home, Rita has a snack for you and then I want you boys to do your homework. I’ll check it when you’re finished,” I said.
“Fine,” the three said in a monotoned voice.
We arrived home, and the boys greeted their brother and Rita. They had the brownies Rita made, and they were off to do their homework. Ryker finished his first and had two mistakes, so I had him go do it again. Jacob came down and had no errors, so he was free to do what he wanted, Lincoln was next and had one mistake on his math paper and asked me for help with his spelling. I agreed and told him we would work on it before we went to bed. Lincoln was satisfied with the answer and went to the family room to watch some TV. Ryker fixed both his errors and was free to do what he wanted as well.
It was 6:30 and Rita just finished dinner, she made tacos, and the boys enjoyed it. Before everyone knew it, it was time to get showers and baths. I washed Clayton and Jacob as Ryker and Lincoln showered on their own. Everyone collected downstairs to watch some tv before bed, as Lincoln and I sat around the kitchen table practicing his spelling.
“So have you practiced these words at all?” I asked.
“No not really, but the test isn’t until Friday.”
“Alrighty then, let’s give this a shot… the first word is speeches.”
“Speeches, s-p-e-e-c-h-e-s, speeches.”
“Correct good job! Next word is opportunity,”
“Opportunity, o-p,” Lincoln struggled.
“Sound it out.”
“There ya go, now how do you spell opportunity?” I asked.
“Opportunity, o-p-p-o-r-t-u-n-e-t-y, opportunity”
“So close, you mixed up the I and put an E,” I said circling the word, knowing we had to come back to it.
“Alright, get the next one,” I encouraged. The spelling list consisted of ten words and we went through each of them twice. He still had trouble spelling opportunity, so tomorrow we would go over the list again.
It was time for bed, and we went through our nighttime routine. It was around 9:30 and all the boys were put to sleep.
All in all, it was an excellent first day, all the boys seemed to like their teachers, and some even made friends. One of my biggest worries, was Lincoln having a flashback in school and when Granite Hills called me, I was sick to my stomach. Maybe these flashbacks were starting to go away, perhaps the burial of his parents was the closing of that chapter, and he could put it behind him. All these maybes were making me tired, and I went to sleep around 11:30.
Part – 4
Tuesday morning was similar to Monday’s, I woke up and went down to have my morning coffee. Rita was there surprisingly early, so it gave me some time to catch up with her.
“Morning, you’re here early,” I commented.
“Yeah, thought I’d be here to make them a special breakfast instead of cereal.”
“They’ll love that!”
“I hope so,”
“They will… So I have a question.”
“I have lunch with Keith, do you think you could pick Clayton up from school at 12:15?”
“I’d love to! I have to do some shopping though,”
“Take him with you! He’d love to spend time with you I bet.”
“Ya know Garret, that’s not a bad idea.”
“I never have bad ideas.”
“Ha, good one,” joked Rita. Clayton came down earlier than I expected.
“What’s up buddy? I was gonna let you sleep for an extra 30 minutes.”
“I couldn’t fall back asleep,” said Clayton who climbed into my lap.
“That’s okay,” I said as I kissed his cheek.
“Hi Rita,” Clayton said as he curled into a ball.
“Morning Clay, making some pancakes, so I hope you are hungry.”
“Can I help?” he asked as he perked up with a smile.
“Of course you can, but you can’t get as dirty as you did last time,” said Rita.
“Okay,” he replied and hopped off my lap.
It was around 7:15 and I went upstairs to warn the boys that Rita was here, so they needed underwear.
“Time to get up buddy,” I said as I went to Lincoln and kissed his head.
“I don’t wanna,” he replied.
I scratched his head lightly and said, “come on, Rita is downstairs making pancakes.”
“Pancakes? Yes!” He said as he rolled onto his back.
“Make sure you put some underwear, Rita doesn’t need to see everything.”
“Okay,” Lincoln replied as he jumped out of bed and went to the bathroom to release his bladder.
I went to Ryker’s room next and had was buried under pillows, it was hilarious. I took a seat on the side of his bed and slowly shook him, “Time to get up kiddo,” I said as I removed the pillows from his face.
“5 more minutes.”
“Nope!” I said.
“Fine, can you rub my thighs though? They are killing me,” Ryker pleaded.
“They’re still sore?”
“Yeah, I could barely stand up from my desk, and I have gym class today.”
“Alright,” I laughed as I picked up his left leg and rolled his underwear to his groin and massaged up and down his thigh for a few minutes.
I picked up his right leg and did the same thing. I finished the massaged and rolled down both underwear pantlegs to the usual position and stood up. I laid out a shirt that I thought he would like and gave him a pair of jeans to put on. I was off to Jacobs room next.
Jacob was awake, but he wasn’t out of bed, so I entered and gave him a kiss on his forehead.
“Rita is making pancakes,” I said as I went to his dresser and grabbed a pair of underwear.
“Yes,” he said as I removed the blanket off of him.
“Give those cute little legs to me,” I said. Jacob lifted both feet, and I slipped his boxer briefs onto his legs and up to his hips.
“No problem buddy. Come on let’s go downstairs,” I said as I picked him up and carried him down the steps.
We sat at the table and were joined by the other two, the pancakes were ready around 7:45 and the boys devoured 4 each. All of them went back upstairs to get dressed, and we were out the door at 8:30, we arrived at school, and I dropped the boys off.
I had some time to kill before my lunch meeting with Keith, so I took a drive over to the Mercedes dealer. I was thinking about trading in my truck for a new car because it didn’t make sense to have a vehicle that big, that couldn’t carry as many people. Plus we already had the Mercedes SUV, so I was looking for a sedan. Also if you couldn’t tell, I am into cars. Call me crazy, but I liked the idea of owning these vehicles, plus it wasn’t like I was keeping the truck and having a fourth vehicle even though I did have a 5-slot-garage. I was planning on trading the truck in, but I didn’t have any plans on buying one yet. I was just looking around.
I went into the showroom and wanted to look at the S63 AMG, it’s a gorgeous car with a fantastic interior, but it’s priced at $178,000. That’s a hefty price, and I wasn’t quite ready to pull the trigger. I did, however, test drive it, and the car was a beast. Not a Ferrari beast, but a beast with 4 doors and massaged my back as I drove. I was at the dealer for an hour and a half, and it was time to meet Keith.
We were having lunch at this beautiful steakhouse restaurant, I was first to arrive, and I told the waitress to give me the receipt at the end of the meal, and she agreed. Shortly after, Keith came.
“Hey, buddy, how we doing today?”
“Good good man, thank you for asking. How about you?” Keith asked.
“Couldn’t be better, excited to talk more about this organization.”
“Alright well let’s get into it then.”
“Agreed,” I said.
“So HLRJC organization name is a go, and we have a general idea of what we want to do, but I think we should elaborate more on it,” spoke Keith.
“Yeah, I agree. So I’ve been thinking that we are going to be an orphanage technically. But we aren’t going to be the average orphanage. I wanna get a property in the city we choose to start first in and build a two-story building with 15 rooms on each floor… Obviously, our first building is going to be an experiment to see if our ideas work and generate positive results.”
“Okay, any idea where you want to open the first building?”
“Umm,” I thought and then said, “Columbus most likely. It’s close, and we can keep an eye on it.”
“Alright,” spoke Keith.
“So in each room, I want to provide a bed, shower or bath, and studying area. It’s basically like a dorm except for children… I see a few issues such as who is responsible for watching over the children and what not. So I want to be involved in this organization, but I don’t want to run it and be in charge of overseeing the kids if that makes sense. I don’t think you want to run it either Keith.”
“Yes, makes sense and I agree.”
“So we are going to have to come up with a system here,” I said.
“Yeah, umm I have an idea.”
“Lay it on me.”
“Well, we are going to need someone in charge of admissions and seeing if a child is qualified for our program. So I was thinking we have a supervisor of the building who takes care of that. The supervisor is also someone who is there every day and can talk to the kids. She is also in charge of a weekly staff that helps run the facility. I was thinking each building will need a receptionist, a chef, a therapist, security guards, cleaning maid, and access to tutors.”
“Receptionist?” I asked.
“Well, not a receptionist, but two to three people who help run the building and manage the children. The main idea would be a support role for the building supervisor.”
“Alright I like that, so does the supervisor report to us and who hires the staff?”
“No the supervisor of the building does not report to us, they report to someone in charge of the operations. So the COO basically, and the COO is to oversee everything and make sure building supervisors are following guidelines.”
“Okay okay, I’m liking it,” I said.
“So we have a COO of the organization, who is in charge of everything. The building supervisor is in charge of her or his building.”
“Okay, so I like it, but who hires the staff?”
“Hmm, I don’t know?”
“Wait, so we don’t want conflicting interests, we hire the COO of the organization, and we hire the supervisors of the buildings. The COO is in charge of hiring the supporting staff so the supervisor cannot be biased and give jobs to friends or escape background checks.”
“Oh good idea,” Keith said.
“So one other thing I like, is that each kid is assigned a mentor to talk with. This mentor is someone outside the organization and is asked by one of us to be a mentor. The mentor will be there to talk and check up with the children.”
“That’s a terrific idea, Garret, not only will children have the supervisors and staff to talk with but also a mentor to advise them.”
“Yeah, I know I for one would love to be a mentor, and I think you would need to be one too. It wouldn’t take much time dedication as a simple phone call for an hour a week would do wonders. It would show the children someone is out there giving support. Now the mentor could do more in some cases such as a dinner, but of course, there would need to be restrictions.”
“I love it… so now we have to come down to the financials,” said Keith.
“I’m willing to donate 30 million, to start this up.”
“30 million? That is insane Garret.”
“I have too much money, Keith. I’m already investing a good chunk which I’m am already seeing returns on. My net worth is increasing, and I’m not even employed. Plus I believe in this idea we have started.”
“You wanna set me up with your financial investor,” joked Keith.
“You want her info? She is fantastic, such a smart woman, I haven’t had a down period yet,” I said.
“Maybe later,” laughed Keith. “I’m willing to invest 20 million, so that brings us up to 50 million.”
“That’s plenty to start operations,” I said.
“Now are you persistent on building a new facility or would you give some thought of using an existing one?”
“I wouldn’t mind, either one. We can renovate it, but I want these rooms to be special. They need to be a good size.”
“I get what you’re saying,” said Keith. “So how much do we pay employees and how much of a budget do we have per for buildings?”
“Well I think the COO is going to be traveling a lot, especially if we open up more places around the states… so I was thinking a salary of $300,000 with full benefits, and paid vacation,” I said.
“Not unreasonable,” replied Keith.
“For the building supervisors, I would say $150,000 because I want people who want to work and enjoy the job. Most career opportunities working with children pay a low price, so if we give someone a good amount, then I think they would enjoy the job more and be willing to do more for the kids. Plus, they will be under constant review.”
“And the staff?”
“Let’s not worry about that yet,” I said.
“Hypothetically, $55,000-$100,000 is a good range for each staff member,” said Keith. “So for payroll for one building including the COO, we are looking around a million a year.”
“Yeah, sounds fair. In total, to operate the building, including all expenses, it will probably cost around 6 million.” I spoke.
“Damn, that is a lot. Plus you want to do the program where we pay for college if the child is not adopted by 18?”
“Absolutely,” I said. “look I plan on going to big-time money earners and asking for donations. If we pitch the idea and get enough money. We could be a very successful organization that helps many kids across the country. I do not want to provide an opportunity and then not have these kids go anywhere because they can’t afford college. Plus, if a child is adopted, then the burden no longer is on us.”
“I love the dedication Garret!”
“Oh I know we both know this and I’m just stating it just to state the fact. We under no circumstances, take money from the organization. This does not benefit our pockets at all.”
“I wouldn’t have it any other way,” Keith said.
“One last thing, I’m associated with my name and so are my boys.. do you want anything with your name on it? I feel bad, you’re contributing more of your time than I am. Just because I’m writing a bigger check doesn’t mean you deserve any less credit,” I said.
“Garret, just like you, I am retired and have too much money. The only difference is I am not raising kids anymore. You said you have 4 kids that haven’t even hit teens yet. You’re gonna be running around like crazy, and the thought of you wanting to start this organization is amazing. I have no shame or problem with my name not being involved. I’m just happy I can help, and this puts a project in my hands where I can really achieve something great.”
“Well thank you, Keith, I think we are going to change a lot of children’s lives. now should we order food… we’ve been here for an hour already.”
“Absolutely,” Keith said. The waitress came over, and we placed the orders, we went back to chatting. “I have one question?”
“Any idea of someone who would be a good COO?”
“Yeah, I have someone in mind.”
“My sister, she works in CPS now and truly cares about the kids. She will stick to the rules and follow proper protocol.”
“Kelly is her name, right?”
“Yup, she is a really hard worker.”
“You don’t have to sell me,” Keith said.
“Yeah well now that we have a good plan, I’ll bring the idea up to her. However, we are still months and maybe a year away from opening our first complex.”
“I don’t know about that.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, if we start looking at properties soon, we can start renovations within a two week time of buying the facility if we buy used.”
“Yeah but these are big renovations,” I said.
“Yes, but renovations don’t take as long as building from nothing. Say we buy a property next week, we start renovations within the following two weeks… the building could be complete in 4-5 months.”
“I mean you’re not wrong… what does that mean about us campaigning for money?” I asked.
“Ideally, no matter what. We should start at the beginning of next month.”
“Damn, that’s so close.”
“Well we’ve been thinking about this for over a year, and we are finally getting down to the time where we start moving. With our donation alone, we are set to buy our first property. It might drain us of all the money, but we are set to start making moves. If I were you, I would consider asking Kelly this week if she is interested because her input would be nice,” Keith said.
“Yeah, I see what you mean.”
“We are going to need to hire an accountant, and CFO as well.”
“That’s more on your end, so I’ll let you take care of that,” I said to Keith.
“Sounds good,” Keith replied.
“Alright enough business talk, let’s have a toast, and we will pick up with this another time,” I commented.
“Cheers,” I began, “to a great start and to changing children’s lives.”
“Cheers,” Keith said. “One last thing, when can you go look at a property?”
“Well we are supposed to get pounded with snow, but depending on the weather, how does Thursday sound?”
“Weather depending… sounds good,” Keith said. We finished our meals and said our goodbyes. It was close to 3, and I was about 35 minutes away from the school, so I headed there to pick up the boys.
I arrived early, and since it was in the 40’s, I decided to go wait outside my car. I was trying to soak up the last remaining decent weather before we were supposed to get dumped on. I was checking through email when someone commented on the SUV.
“What year is this GLS?”
“Brand new,” I replied.
“Gorgeous car,” the guy said.
“Why thank you… I’m Garret Hamel,” I responded as I was reaching my hand for a handshake.
“Hi Garret, Todd Brumm.”
“Nice to meet you,” I said.
“How many you picking up?” He asked.
“3 boys,” I replied.
“2 boys 1 girl for me.”
“Yeah? What grade?”
“My oldest son is in 5th grade, and then the twins are in 3rd grade, what about you?”
“5th grade, 3rd grade, 1st grade, and I have one in kindergarten, but he was picked up earlier today.”
“Damn, so 4 in elementary school!”
“Yeah, I know,” I chuckled. “But I love it, wouldn’t change it for the world.”
“Neither would I.. well Garret, pleasure to meet you. See you around,” Todd said as he walked back to his vehicle. He wasn’t hurting in the car department either, as I saw him walk back to his Porsche Cayenne Turbo S. I turned back around and saw the doors open, Lincoln was the first one out, and he waved to me. Ryker and Jacob followed him out soon after.
They got in the car and told me about their days. Ryker made a friend. However, Lincoln didn’t have much luck. I told him to keep trying, and that it will work out. Lincoln still had a positive attitude, so that was good. They all had more math homework, and this time Ryker had a spelling sheet similar to Lincoln’s.
We arrived home, and everyone completed their homework. Clayton was done first as he said it was easy. Lincoln finished his, then Jacob. Ryker was last as he struggled with a few math concepts, but in general, everyone did well. We ate dinner, and I helped Lincoln and Ryker with the spelling sheets.
The boys wanted to watch the next Harry Potter film, but I insisted on them having showers first. This time Ryker, Jacob, and Clayton all shared a bath in the big tub as Lincoln showered by himself.
We all met downstairs and started the movie. Clayton claimed my lap, with Lincoln in his usual position with his legs up on the lap of Clayton, and his butt pressed against my thigh. Ryker put a pillow against my thigh, and rested his head on that, while Jacob took the reclining seat. We started the movie, and I scratched Ryker’s head with one hand and altered between cuddling with Clayton and scratching Lincoln’s legs.
The movie ended, and I sent the boys up to bed.
Part – 5
Wednesday, February 10th, 2016. I woke up around 7 to the smell of bacon and eggs. That might be one of the best scents to wake up to, so I headed for a quick shower and then went to wake up the boys.
Lincoln was first as I sat on his bed and gently woke him up.
“I was having a good dream for once,” Lincoln said.
“Sorry buddy,” I chuckled as I gave him a hug and a kiss on the cheek.
“It’s okay… Can you lay down with me for a few minutes and scratch my back, please,” he begged.
“Alright 5 minutes,” I said and pulled down his blanket to expose his back and started to scratch.
“That feels so good,” he said.
“I’m glad you like it,” I said as I scratched his back and sometimes onto his upper butt cheeks. Speaking of his rear end, I decided to look to see how the cut was healing.
“Hey bud, after I’m done scratching, I’m going to check that cut again. Okay?”
“Yeah,” Lincoln replied as I went on scratching for a few more minutes.
“Alright buddy,” I said as I pulled the blanket down more to show his whole butt. “I’m done scratching, want to spread your legs a little?”
“Alright,” I chuckled as he spread his legs as I grabbed each butt cheek to part them. His butt cheeks felt like smooth, fluffy pillows. Thankfully the cut was gone, and he had no bruising.
“How’s it look?”
“So no more cream?”
“Nope, you’re all good bud,” I said as I released him. “Time to get up!”
“I’m still tired,” he pleaded.
“Oh really,” I said as I grabbed his sides and started tickling him.
He began bucking like a horse and laughing, “okay okay. I’m up,”
“That’s what I thought, get dressed,” I said as I playfully slapped his butt.
I woke up the other three boys, and they all got dressed and ate breakfast. As usual, we were out the door by 8:30 and I was back in my house at 9:20. I decided to give my sister a call to talk to her about the potential position.
“Hey,” I said as she answered.
“Was expecting a call from you on Monday, how’d the boys do in school?
“Umm… They are making friends, Lincoln is struggling and hasn’t made any, but he is sticking with it.”
“That’s good, did you mail the birth certificate yet?” Asked Kelly.
“No I haven’t, it’s slipped my mind, to be honest with you. Part of me also wants to say I didn’t see the birth certificate and never mentioned it to you,” I joked.
“Now you know you can’t do that,”
“I know, I’ll send it out after the call.”
“So,” I started. “You happy working with CPS?”
“Of course, the pay is shit, but I love working with the kids and placing them in homes.”
“Or potentially taking them away from loving homes,” I mocked.
“Hey you ended up with them,” she replied.
“That I did… so you know the organization I’m starting?”
“Yeah… you’ve been starting it up for a year. I thought you sorta given up on it.”
“Nope, we are in the stage of looking for property?”
“Property?” Kelly asked.
“Yup, we are looking to buy a building or land in the Columbus area.”
“Wait why are you buying a building and what is the purpose of the building.”
I went on to tell her the whole idea minus the salaries and her potential role.
“I’m speechless. It is a great idea, but that is a lot of work. I mean housing children requires a lot of background checks and way more paperwork, that you don’t know about.”
“But you do,” I said.
“Yeah, but you can’t come to me every time you have a question or problem.”
“I can if I hire you.”
“You heard me. So you know how we have the building supervisors, well the building supervisors need to report to someone, and we need someone who knows the system. Plus you are a great asset, that I know will follow every legal procedure and stick to them.”
“I don’t know what to say,” Kelly replied.
“Well let me explain everything. After we purchase land, we want your help in designing the rooms, the building, and private offices. But more importantly, you are to make sure that no one is abusing their power, as you’ll be the primary person running the operations. You don’t have to report to Keith or I because you are level with us in the decision-making process. You’ll have the title of COO of HLRJC Organization.
“What does HLRJC stand for?”
“Home for the Lacking, Runaways, and Jeopardized Children.”
“Well that’s a mouth full,” laughed Kelly.
“Hence, HLJRC Organization,” I replied.
“Alright so go over this one more time.”
“Okay, you’d be the COO. Your responsibilities would be to make sure everyone is doing what they are supposed to be doing and that kids are well maintained for and thriving in the school system. Also, you’ll be in charge of hiring the staff for the buildings, so running in-depth background checks. You won’t be in charge of hiring the Supervisors of the buildings because that will fall on Keith and me for the first few years.”
“I don’t know if I can do this Garret, I mean I can’t leave the kids I’m supposed to place.”
“Well, maybe those kids could be the first ones in our system.”
“They need to be placed now,” Kelly said.
“Oh, I see. Umm, think about this offer, it’s a once in a lifetime offer Kelly, and I’d hate for you to pass this up.”
“I will think about it, I promise.”
“Well good, one thing before you go.”
“If you accept, your salary is $300,000!”
“You heard me, I’m not expecting an answer today nor tomorrow, but I need one by Friday. Think about it, bye love you, sis.”
“Wait wait wait,” she said, but I was already hanging the phone up. If it was important, she could call me back.
When I was talking to Kelly, a thought popped into my head, and I decided to give Keith a call. It was about our potential headquarter location, and since we plan on buying property, might as well make the headquarters attached or in the building. Keith liked my idea, and we got off the phone.
The rest of the day was pretty casual. I dropped off the birth certificate in my mailbox, and I went to pick up Clayton, and we came home and did his homework. He was surprisingly fast and answered everything correctly. I started considering talking with the teacher so she could give us more homework as it was a breeze for him.
Clayton had his snacks and watched some cartoons. Before long, I was back to the school and picked up the boys.
Lincoln was first out and ran over to me.
“I made a friend, I made a friend!” He said as he jumped for joy into my arms.
“I’m so proud of you kiddo, what is his name?”
“Carter! We are sitting together for lunch tomorrow.”
“That’s awesome, maybe sometime you can have Carter come over.”
“No, the teachers don’t think we will have school tomorrow,” Lincoln said as his happy face turned to sadness.
“What’s the matter?”
“If we aren’t in school, then Carter and I can’t have lunch.”
“Lincoln, if that happens, then you two can sit together for lunch the next time you are in school.”
“You think he would still want to?”
“I don’t see why not.”
“Yeah I guess so,” Lincoln said as he climbed into the car. Ryker and Jacob soon followed out of the school with Jacob giggling.
“What’s so funny?” I asked.
“Ryker held a girls hand walking out of school today,” laughed Jacob.
“Shut up Jacob,” Ryker said punching him in the arm.
“Hey, no punching,” I responded.
“Sorry,” Ryker replied, as he climbed into the car. I got in the front seat and started the engine.
“Soooooo, who’s the lucky lady?” I teased.
“Yeah who is she?” Mocked the other two.
“Her name is Hannah, and I didn’t even want to hold her hand, she came up and grabbed my hand and said ‘we are girlfriend and boyfriend.’”
“Ewww, gross,” said the two boys laughing hysterically.
“Shut up guys, I don’t know what to do,” Ryker said as he seemed genuinely concerned.
“Well, maybe it was just a one-day thing, see how tomorrow goes,” I said.
“But what if she does it again.”
“Then tell her you don’t want to hold hands,” I said, as we pulled out of the school.
“Okay,” Ryker said.
We made it no further than 3 minutes away from the school when the two boys started to say, “Ryker and Hannah, sittin’ in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G. First comes love, then comes.”
“Shut it!” Ryker said.
“Enough boys,” I said trying not to laugh my butt off.
It started to snow, and we made it back to the garage. None of the boys had homework as none of the teachers thought we’d have school tomorrow. It gave us about two hours to do what we wanted before dinner. We watched some cartoons and then the boys went upstairs to play. This was Lincoln’s last day with the video game ban, but I think he convinced his brothers to play together or something.
Dinner was about 35 minutes away, as Rita was cooking some chicken pasta.
I was in the family room watching TV when Ryker came running down the steps screaming, “Garret, Garret!”
He looked petrified, and I asked, “whoa whoa, what’s going on?”
“Lincoln, Jacob and I were wrestling, and-and Lincoln started going crazy.”
“What?” I asked as I stood up and started walking upstairs
“Yeah, Jacob and I had him pinned to the ground. Lincoln didn’t move, and he started saying ‘no stop don’t kill her,’ and then he punched Jacob in the face,” Ryker said following me.
“What?” I said again as my walk turned into a run up the stairs.
As I reached the top, I heard screams, “No stop please don’t kill her!”
“Oh shit,” I thought. I knew the flashbacks weren’t gonna stay away and I reached Lincoln’s room. I wasn’t ready for what I walked into as I saw Jacob crying, with a terrible bloody nose, dripping all over him. Clayton was crying in the corner because he was scared and didn’t know what was happening. I turned my attention to Lincoln, and this was the worse I ever saw him as he was twitching on the ground and crying. All those days we went flashback free, seemed to build up until this moment. It looked like he was having a seizure but, I couldn’t handle that at the moment. I needed to get Jacob and Clayton out of this room because I didn’t want them to get hurt. I turned to a visibly shaken Ryker and commanded.’
“Ryker, take your brothers downstairs and get Rita to help Jacob with his nose!”
“But,” Ryker said.
“Now,” I demanded.
“Is, um….. is Lincoln gonna be o, okay?” Ryker stuttered.
“Listen, buddy, you’re doing really good, and I know this is scary, but I need you to take your brothers downstairs. That’ll help Lincoln and me if you can get your brothers out of this room,” I said. Ryker seemed to be having a panic attack.
“Hey, hey, hey! Look at me buddy. Everything is going to be okay,” I said in a calm voice this time. “You’re doing awesome, and we will get through this. We need to get Jacob and Clayton downstairs with Rita, you think you can take them?”
“O, o, okay,” he stuttered as he went and grabbed Jacob’s hand.
“Awesome, okay! Clayton go with Ryker,” I said, and Clayton stood up and walked over to Ryker. Ryker was doing a fantastic job and led his brothers out of the room.
My attention was now turned back to Lincoln, as he was on the ground still having the flashback. I went over to sit down next to him, and I pulled Lincoln into my lap to cradled him. He was twitching, and his eyes roll into the back of his head, it was a terrifying sight, and I became very concerned.
“It’s okay buddy, it’s okay. I’m here for you,” I said trying to snap him out of the flashback.
“No please… no, please stop,” screamed Lincoln.
“Please no, don’t… Stop, no… no no,” He said
“Lincoln! Snap out of it, it’s only a flashback,” I yelled as I sensed what was about to happen.
In a high pitch scream, Lincoln began, “No, please don’t, PLEASE STOP NO NO NO PLEASE… NO MORE STOPPPPP, IT HURTS AHHHHHHHH. I CANT,” Lincoln cried.
“PLEASE STOP OWWWWWWWW… PLEASE STOP, NO… NO, PLEASE IT HURTS, I CANT…… STOP,” and suddenly Lincoln fell silent.
“Please don’t be,” I said and I felt helpless because I couldn’t do anything.
My biggest fear might have just come true… I had hoped and prayed that he wasn’t awake when one of those men raped him.
“Lincoln,” I said as he wasn’t waking up.
“Lincoln, come back buddy. It was a flashback, listen to my voice,” I said as I kissed his forehead as a few tears formed in my eyes.
“Lincoln!” I said again. This poor boy must have been exhausted because he wasn’t moving. However he was breathing, but he wasn’t waking up, so I just cradled him in my lap and kept saying Lincoln.
In what seemed like an hour, but only a couple of minutes did Lincoln start to come back and slowly gained his senses. He started crying and looked at me, with his blue eyes and moaned, “D did… did you know?”
To Be Continued…