Arriving at home, I noticed Bobby was quiet, as if he was thinking about something, I watched his face for any signs of emotions to get a clue to what he was thinking. “Bobby, bring your new clothes up and I’ll wash them. That'll get some of the chemicals out of them that the manufacturer uses to make them hold their shape.” He went down to his bedroom and brought up all of his clothes, it took him two trips. I separated them into whites and colors, the good clothes, pants, jacket and tie I gave him to take back to his room.
“Why don’t you play a game on your lap top until dinner time.”
“I don’t know how to set it up. I never had a lap top or computer. Some of my friends used their dads.”
“Ok, sit here and I’ll show you how to hook it up and then you can load in a game.”
He was a pretty fast learner andin no time, he was playing the game as if he was a pro. I could hear him mumble when he got to the next level or when he won a battle.
Fred rang me the next day, he got a hold of the school. They faxed him a copy of Bobby’s records which showed his address as well as his birth date. With this information, I could enroll him in a private school very close to my office. “Fred, are you going to contact his father?”
“Yes, I’ll do that for you but before I do, I’ll draw up two sets of documents, one he’ll need to sign and one I’ll get the judge to sign.”
One thing about the gay community, we were a close knit group. I knew I could count on Fred and the Judge, had a son who was in our group. I’ve had dinner at his house many times, and had even helped him with his income tax. He wasn’t a client, but when I was there, he’d ask me a question and I’d tell him how to fill out a form, or tell him what is allowable and what isn’t. He was a fair man, he loved his son and thereby accepted his son’s friends. I was very confident that Bobby would be my son and soon.
Dinner was left over pizza for Bobby and I ate the left over soup from last night. I watched Bobby eat, he seemed a mile away. “Bobby, what are you thinking about?”
“What’s going to happen to me? Are you going to take me back to my dad’s or put me out on the street.”
Bobby started to cry, my heart was breaking. “No Bobby, I’m not going to take you to your dad’s or put you out on the street. Mr. Laker is going to try and let me have custody of you. If he’s able to do it, you’ll stay here with me.”
Bobby looked at me for a moment and then the next thing I knew, he was in my lap crying. I pulled him close to me, “Shh everything will be all right.” He just kept hugging me as if I was saving his life and maybe in a way, I was.
That evening after dinner, we sat in the living room and watched TV for a while. Soon I noted Bobby drifting off to sleep. Being outside in the cold and then coming into a warm house always makes you a little sleepy. “If you’re sleepy, go and change into your pajamas and then come back and sit with me. If you fall asleep, I’ll put you to bed.”
I laughed as he dragged himself downstairs to his room. I waited for him to come back up and when he didn’t, I went down to check on him. He was in bed and fast asleep. I tucked him in, kissed his brow and went back upstairs. I certainly could get use to this.
Sunday, we took a walk to the park. There weren’t many people there, mostly kids on the swings. Normally in the summer, there were always games being played by the kids from the neighborhood. When we got to the pond, there were a few ducks. I took out the plastic bag that had slices of bread. “Bobby, take this bread and break it into small pieces and feed the ducks.”
He looked at me and then the bread, taking a slice began to break it and toss pieces onto the water. As soon as the ducks saw the water move and the bread floating, they were swimming over in a mad rush. Bobby was giggling at the ducks. Then they were all over him as he was dropping bread for them to eat. Some of them became a little aggressive, Bobby handled that situation by throwing the bread further away from himself. When he was all out of bread, the ducks seemed to know, and left.
“That was fun. Can we do that again?”
“Sure, next week-end we can do that again. I have to go to work tomorrow. Do you think you’ll be ok if you stay home by yourself while I’m at work?”
“Yes, what time do you go to work and come home?”
“I leave for work at seven in the morning and I leave my office at five. This means unless you get up with me in the morning, you’ll have to get your breakfast and your lunch. I’ll leave food for you, ok?”
He nodded his head yes. I’ll make sure I go over everything with him after dinner so he’ll feel confident to fix his own breakfast and lunch. We walked slowly back home and in so doing we passed Luigi’s. “Can we stop here for lunch?”
“Sure, if you want to. Maybe we can get a pizza to go, then you can have it tomorrow for lunch.” I just got a smile from that.
Luigi was glad to see us again. Looking at Bobby, “So you like my pizza.” Bobby just grinned and nodded. We sat down at a table close to the window, Jimmy came over to get our drink order, dropping off two menus. I order a coffee and Bobby looked at me,“Order the hot coco.”
When he turned to tell Jimmy, Jimmy was gone. Soon he was back with my coffee and a hot coco for Bobby.Bobby took a sip of the coco, I don’t think he could’ve smiled anymore. Luigi always added chocolate mints to his coco, which gave it a distinctive flavor. Bobby’s eyes lit up when he tasted it. “Good” He nodded his head.
Bobby ordered pizza and I order a plate of spaghetti with meat balls. The bread and a small salad was put on the table. Bobby dug right into the bread. I took a roll, broke it in half, put some of my salad on it and then proceeded to eat it as a sandwich. I watched Bobby as I did that. He looked at me and then the salad.“Do you want to try that?” He looked as if he wasn’t sure. I took a roll, broke it in half, put salad on it and placed it on the plate in front of him. I fixed another one for me and I watched as he took his first bite.The smile told me he was hooked. I passed the one I had fixed for myself to his plate and fixed the last roll for me.
Jimmy brought us our meals, “You like the rolls with salad?” Booby noddedyes. “I thought you were the only one who eats his salad and rolls like that Pete.”
“Now there are two of us, right Bobby?” Bobby just smiled and nodded his head, his mouth was full of the roll with salad.He couldn’t eat all of the pizza so we had to take some home. I didn’t want him to eat the remainder for dinner, it would be for his lunch. I took out some ground beef and turkey for hamburgers.
I looked outside, it was getting dark fast. I turned on TV to listen to the weather report.It was going to be a bad one if it kept up. I called Mrs Marlow and told her not to come in as the weather was turning worse. I was so thankful that Bobby was safe and not on the street.