The boys took the job of cleaning up the conservatory very seriously. With Chris’s addition, they were able to get their chores done faster, and although they still had school, they were able to devote 1 to 2 hours to clean the conservatory.
I arranged my flight to Brussels. On the day I was to leave, the boys came to see me off. I gave each one a hug and a kiss on their forehead. I watched them wave good-bye as we drove off to the airport. I felt blessed to be able to have these boys as my sons. I would’ve felt good if I had known what would happen over the next few days.
I was surprised to see Alex as I exited customs. “Alex, I didn’t expect you to be here to welcome me to Brussels. To what do I owe this surprise.”
“I have some very important people for you to meet. I need to advise you what you hear at this meeting is classifies as top secret. There will be an international incident if you do not hold that confidence.”
I wasn’t sure what Alex was hinting at, but it did arouse my curiosity. Being a lawyer, I knew what I would hear would have to be treated as privilege, “Alex, I have a court case I must attend. The opening positions are scheduled for tomorrow at 10 in the morning.”
“Don’t worry about that. The court has granted you a 24-hour delay before making opening remarks.”
Now that really got my interest. It’d be difficult to get a delay at a US court and impossible in an International Court. I followed Alex to a car. The driver took my luggage and briefcase and placed it in the trunk of his car. I sat in back with Alex, and we were off to parts unknown. I noticed when we crossed into Holland.
We drove till we came to a city called the Hague. I knew exactly where we were. The Hague is where government embassies are located. Stopping at a very indiscreet building, “We get out here. Don’t worry, your luggage and briefcase are safe. The driver will wait for us here.”
I had a distinct feeling that what was happening was not only highly secret but also involved some high place officials. We walked into the building. We were met by a young man who led us to a conference room. Walking into the room, I noted several men sitting around a large conference table. As soon as they saw Alex, the man at the head of the table came and hugged Alex. Alex introduced me to the man who he introduced as Able. None of the other men introduced themselves. I was offered a chair. Alex sat beside me.
“Mr. Jeffries, we are glad to see you. Alex has kept us informed of your work as a lawyer and humanitarian. I believe you currently have several young men living with you, the latest being a young man who you call Chris” I looked at Alex, he nodded his head yes.
“I wonder if you would share your story with us and specifically how you came to have five boys living with you.”
I looked at Alex, “Just start at why you do what you do.”
I looked at the men around the table. They were very serious. Looking at Alex, I related my story with the boy I couldn’t save. I knew there were tears in my eyes when I told my story. When I was finished, my eyes were wet, but not the only one.
“Mr. Jeffries, what’s your goal? Will you continue to rescue these young men, or do you think you have reached the point where you can’t bring more young men into your home?”
I guess my face must have shown something, “As long as I live, I’ll continue to bring young boys into my home and off the streets.”
One of the men I didn’t know, “Why do you limit yourself to young boys?”
“Young boys are most vulnerable. Older boys can defend themselves, but a boy 10 or 12 years old is generally scared, particularly when they are being controlled by a man. None of the five boys I have living with me would have chosen to be sex objects. A young child would do anything when they haven’t eaten for several days. No person, regardless of age, would turn down a way to earn money when they are hungry.”
“Do you think any of your boys are homosexuals?”
“I don’t know. I wouldn’t expect them to understand their feelings at this age. There are papers written by professionals in child development that state that certain traits can be used to predict a child’s sexual interest. I want them to experience a normal boy’s life.”
“Do any of your children require psychiatric help?”
“Not now, but originally two of my boys requested some help. It lasted for about one year.”
“I think we should take a brief break. Alex, will you show our guest to the facilities.”
Alex and I got up and left the conference room. “Alex, what’s going on? Who are these men and why the questions about the boys?”
“Do you remember I said that there were more than me helping you? How do you think I get the passports as fast as I do?”
I looked at him, “Let’s get a cup of coffee, and I’ll tell you more.”
I followed Alex to a cafeteria. We got our coffee and sat down in a remote section of the cafeteria. “The world is becoming more aware of prostitution. There has been an increase in the number of young boys being brought into countries by criminals. I told you about the Russian Mafia. They are becoming more active, and WesternEurope is concerned, particularly when we see the age of these boys. With gay men coming out of the closet, more or less, male prostitution has increased, particularly with young boys. I think they are ready for us.”
“Mr. Jeffries, we have a proposition for you. Europe has decided to stop the prostitution of children under the age of 18. Our program is to find people to help us by placing young boys in homes where they can get an education and learn how to be a positive contributor to society. Our biggest needs are for boys younger than 14. For some unknown reason, boys of 14 to 18 are easier to place. Could you please tell us what a typical day is like for your boys?”
“There isn’t any magic. The boys have assigned chores, which they must do. They attend school at home, which is designed for their level of comprehension. There are many educational programs on line that can get them ready for college. And of course, they have free time that lets them do the things they like. I have a well-established library that caters to these boys’ ages. I only have one housekeeper, so the boys are responsible for their bedroom and the laundry. This arrangement has worked out very well.”
“Would you consider taking on more boys?”
“I would not turn a boy away. I currently have two vacant bedrooms before I begin to look at a way to provide more bedrooms. I feel very strongly that each boy has their own bedroom and bathroom. Maybe that is how I was brought up, but I think that coming from the street, they need to have a space that is theirs.
“Mr. Jeffries, what would you do if you found three boys?”
“I would never turn a boy away. I would look at converting one of my other rooms to a bedroom or expanding the house to includie more bedrooms. I feel very strongly that each boy has their own bedroom, it’s a way for me to say you’re special.”
“We have an offer for you, we’d like for you to let us expand your home so you can take more boys home. We’ll make architects available to you as well as assist you monetarily as needed. It’s our position that we model your home as an inducement for other people to open their doors to these children.”
I looked around the table and saw smiles on everyone’s face. I looked at Alex. He had a big smile and was nodding his head, yes. Could I do this? What would my defense be if I said no? I dropped my head as if I just lost my most significant case ever.
“Okay, I’ll do it. I hope you’re successful in getting more places. We are cutting problems like a pie. We need more slices so we can have the whole pie.” Alex was beaming, smiles all around the table. I was beginning to get excited until I realize I’m going to need more staff. And probably the idea of a limo may make sense.
“We are done here. I’ll be your contact from now on. If you’re ready, I’ll take you back to your hotel so you can prep for your court case.”
“Alex, I hope I’m doing the right thing. Five boys are one thing, but more will require staff increases.”
“Don’t worry about that. You have some very important people backing you. If you ask, they will provide. Are you flying commercial or on your private plane?”
“I flew commercial. Why?”
“I think from now on, you should use your private jet. It’ll be easier and more convenient to bring quests with you.”
I looked at Alex. He had a big smile on his face. “How many?”
“How many what?”
“How many are going back with me?”
I thought about that on my way to Brussels. I’m definitely going to have to increase my home. “Alex, let’s have dinner tomorrow. I should have my head around this by then.”
I now needed to focus on my client. I made arrangements to meet him for dinner tonight. I needed to review our case with him one last time.