I smiled as we walked back to the office. “I think you are going to like this case.”
“Yes, it’s just what I needed to take my mind off my other problems. We need everything you can find on this company. Also, check and see if there were any lawsuits against them.”
Judy smiled; investigative work was right up her alley.
I went to the newspaper office that covered the story of my lost son and his killer. I wanted a copy of their coverage. As it turned out, I made copies of several days of content. I had the name of the man who killed him, but not the child’s name. I could use some of this as a background for my speech at the UN.
Peter arrived on time, riding home, “Sir, they started to dig out the pool today. I told them to take the extra dirt to the far corner of the property. They said they would smooth it out and seed it when they are done. It's going to be a large pool.”
“We need to watch that the boys don’t fall into the hole. If the dirt is going to be smoothed out, maybe that would be a good place for the boys to start a garden.”
I smiled as we drove home. One thing leads to another, and before you know it, those young boys are now men. I need to talk to Jon and finalize his college costs, sort out a place for him to stay, and set an allowance.
In a way, this is a milestone and a happy one at that. Although I hate to lose the boys but what better place to lose them. He may not realize it, but he will be setting the pattern for all of the boys that will choose to follow him. Why does life give you bittersweet chocolate?
“Sir, you seem lost in thought?”
“I was thinking of Jon and him leaving us. It’s hard to accept he’ll be gone, but yet it’s also happy to know he’ll be going to college and starting a life of his own.”
“I take it he hasn’t spoken to you yet.”
“He asked me if I’d consider driving him to college so he could stay home.”
“He wants to stay at home? I’d think he would look with excitement to be somewhat on his own.”
“No, I think he’s afraid of being on his own.”
“I’d love for him to stay at home, but sooner or later, he must make the break."
“True, but rather than all at once, maybe a little at a time, he needs confidence in himself.”
“I wonder if he’d like a car, he could drive himself to school.”
“If it’s all right with you, I’d like to drive him to school. We talk a lot, he’s a very smart, and I enjoy our talks. I think he looks at me as an older brother.”
I looked at Peter. Yes, I could see the older brother. If that’s how Jon looks at him, then I’m glad. Peter would be a solid friend and could provide some guidance to Jon.
“Peter, you have never married.”
“No, before my driving schedule was erratic. I’d make a date only to have to cancel. Now it’s different and in confidence, there is a young lady that works in town, we have been seeing each other.”
“Really!! You have to bring her to dinner at the house. You know there’s a clause in your agreement that states I must approve of any girl you date.”
He looked at me in fear.
“Peter, I’m kidding, but I’d like to meet her. I’m happy for you.” I wonder how I’ll feel when the boys start dating.
Pulling into the driveway, I noticed several men installing a fence across the front of the property. It didn’t take long for Sal to get started on the fence. I wonder if he would come and work for me. I need to ask Alex about him.
There was my welcoming committee, who runs and jumps on me, Charlie and Vasily. “Hi Dad”
“Hi boys” The other boys gather around, and I knew something was up. “What’s happening, boys?”
“Dad, come and look outside.”
The pool hole was completed, and there were steel bars stacked on the ground. There were piles of stones, as well. The contractors were moving fast.
“Dad, when are they going to be finished?”
“I’m not sure. I need to ask the contractor for a schedule.”
The boys were happy. I felt good. It was about time there were smiles on their face instead of fear in their eyes.
I changed into casual clothes, of course, I had company.
“Boys, let’s go and get something to drink and see what Gram is cooking for dinner.”
I had two boys holding my hands as we walked to the kitchen.I got hugs from the boys as we met them. Walking into the kitchen, guess who was sitting at the bar eating.
“Alex, I think I should move a bed in here for you.”
“Hi, Carleton, I guess you noticed that Sal has started putting up the security fence.”
“Yes, he moves fast. Who are the contractors?”
“A firm recommended by my dad. Sal is familiar with them. He said the embassies use them because of the sophisticated security systems. He said you’ll know when a breeze blows against your fence.”
“I think that’s a little exaggeration, but I understand the intent. Has he said anything to you about going to work for me?”
“You can ask himself, he’s right behind you.”
I turned, he was so close I jumped. “I’m sorry I startled you.”
“I saw the men working on the fence. You really move fast.”
“I didn’t expect to move this fast, but I was told they wanted it done before your talk at the UN.”
“Are they expecting trouble, Alex? What haven’t you told me?”
“They aren’t expecting any trouble, but why take the chance. You are very important to my father. I think he thinks he has adopted you. Carleton, you don’t fully understand the impact you have had on powerful men in Europe.”
I just looked into their eyes, and before I could say anything, two boys tugged on my hands. I looked at the smiling faces, thinking I don’t care what impact I may have had on those individuals. I care what impact I have on these boys.
I sat down on a stool, and soon I had two boys on my lap, smiling at me as Maria set a coffee in front of me and chocolate milk in front of them. The smiles, as the boys squirmed into a comfortable position on my bony knees, is what matters the most.
“Hi, Mathew, what’s up.
“Dad, can we put up a basketball hoop.”
“Sure, I’ll get Peter to help you. You are going to need the hoop.”
“They are going to need a solid floor as well. You can’t play on dirt.”
“I’ll get the contractors that are building the pool on it.”
“I’ll take care of it, Carleton.”
“Thanks Sal, but do you know about basketball. That sport isn’t played much in Europe.”
“No, but I have been watching it on the television. I have an idea, and I can use Peter I’m sure he knows about it.”
“You know I would’ve thought that they would want a soccer field. That’s a popular sport in Europe.”
As Maria refilled our cups, “That’s becoming a popular sport here as well.”
The boys drifted in, and I had to go and see the conservatory, and the orchard. This was getting to be a daily routine. Nothing changed day to day, but it’s time I spend with them that counts. With 30 plus boys, individual time with each, except at bedtime, is a premium. I never realized how much of a premium until I heard the boys talking about sitting next to me when we have dinner.
I needed to start paying attention to the boys, each one, and not as a group.
That evening after dinner, I went to my office and created a list, the boy’s name, and age. I needed to plan something with each boy. I listed activities that I could share, dining out, sport games, movies, places of interest, shopping. I needed more, of course, who did I turn to, Judy and Peter.
I ended up with a list of 12 different activities, including museums and art galleries. Some I could do with several of the boys, like the twins, but I needed to make sure I did something alone with each one.
I have edited this chapter and removed the statement concerning dogs since I hadn't included how the boys got the dogs. my bad