The next morning I had a message on my phone the plane had arrived, and the crew had a takeoff time of 1 pm. They were going to take a short nap. I called the plane and told them I had many things to do and plan on taking off at 10 PM.
I ordered breakfast for three, as usual. I woke David, “Take a shower and get dressed. Here’s a toothbrush you can use. I have ordered breakfast.”
I watched as he stretched when he got out of bed. He slept in his underwear, so I got to see his chest, which appeared normal for a boy his age. You could see he was on the cusp of puberty.
Breakfast was delivered along with Alex. The porter set the table for three, as I ordered breakfast for three. I asked him to remove the roll away.
Pouring a cup of coffee, “Here’s his passport.”
I compared his passport with mine. You couldn’t tell the difference except for the name and picture. I heard the shower turn off, “Alex I’m going to take a shower. You can have breakfast with David. I want to go shopping, he’ll need new clothes and a suitcase.”
David came out of the bathroom, dressed like he was in the photo. Alex waved him over, offering him to sit and have breakfast. He showed him his passport. I watched his reaction. He looked at it, smiled, and then started to cry. I went for my shower.
Finishing, getting dressed, “What no breakfast for me?”
I looked at Alex. I knew he ate most of mine. He pushed a piece of toast toward me. I did have my coffee. David looked embarrassed.
“David, relax. He doesn’t need much for breakfast as long as he has his coffee.”
“It’s okay, David, we’ll make up for it at lunch. Alex will be gone by then.”
“Actually, I’m going to leave now.”
I finished the coffee, took his passport, and added it to my briefcase along with mine. Now we were ready to go shopping. I saw a few clothing stores when I was walking around yesterday. So I took my briefcase, and we were off. I wanted him to get clothes that he’d have if he were an American. That meant jeans, slacks, shirts and tee’s. We found one store that seemed to have everything we needed. With each piece of clothing I picked up, his eyes grew larger. I remember what type of underwear my oldest wore and got him a few pairs. I knew I’d buy him more when I got home. I think a clothing run would be a good idea for all of the boys.
With all of the new clothes, we needed a suitcase. There was a leather store at the end of the block. We went there with all of our packages. I bought a durable suitcase, not top of the line, but one that was of good quality.
We took the clothes and suitcase back to the hotel. He changed into his new clothes. I packed the suitcase. I decided we’d have lunch at our hotel. I spoke to him in English. He needed to hear it and learn it quickly. He knew some English from his early days in school and TV. I was surprised he even learned some from the music young people liked.
We went to the dining room at the hotel. The waiter brought us our menus. “You can order anything you want from the menu.”
The waiter came back and took our orders. I was surprised that he ordered a regular lunch, unlike Chris, who probably would order everything on the menu. Over lunch we chatted, he wanted to know about America and my home. I was somewhat taken back that he didn’t ask why I was doing this.
We returned to my hotel room. I made arrangements for a late checkout. Since it was too late to do that, so I extended my booking for one more day. I worked on some cases while David watched TV. I ordered some snacks for him and coffee for me.
About an hour before we were to leave for the airport, Alex showed up with an eight-year-old boy.
“Carleton, I would like to introduce you to Charlie. He’ll be accompanying you back home, here is his passport and suitcase. My bosses said to tell you thanks, oh, and an architect will be contacting you next week. You’re about to expand.”
I looked at Charlie. He was a cute kid. “Alex, 8 years old?”
“His particulates are in the file I gave you. Charlie, this is your new dad, and this is your new brother, David.” He smiled. I fell in love with him. His innocence and knowing where he came from, my heart went out to him. My eyes were wet, and Alex noticed.
“Charlie, are you hungry?”
He looked at Alex. Alex nodded yes, “Yes sir.”
I had ordered snacks for David, but I didn’t think that would be enough for Charlie. I called room service. I ordered a sandwich for Charlie. Alex tapped me on the shoulder and held up two fingers. I ordered three sandwiches, two milk, two ice cream, and a pot of coffee.
We waited. Charlie went and sat beside David, watching TV. I spoke to Alex to find out more about Charlie. “Do you remember the meeting we had? That young man was found on the street by one of those men. He insisted you take him. I told him that wouldn’t be a problem. It isn’t a problem, right?”
“No, of course not. I’m afraid he’s going to be a charmer. My housekeeper is going to spoil him as well as his brothers. Look there.”
David had his arm around Charlie, and they were laughing at some cartoon. That stopped when there was a knock at the door. Alex let the porter in with the cart containing the food I ordered. “Boys, the food is here.”
They came and took their plate and return to watching the cartoons. I took a cup of coffee. “Carleton, you may not realize it yet, but you have made some powerful friends.”
I smiled. Yes, I have powerful friends, 5 at home, and 2 here.
The ice cream was the best. They would take a spoonful and smile. I knew the boys at home, and Maria would make them welcome.