“I hope you both slept well. I didn’t think teenagers would ever sleep through a meal, lunch is ready.”
The boys blushed as Jeff looked at them. Jeff knew that they slept together and he also figured that they did more than that. “I understand that you two have strong feelings for each other. Just be kind to each other and respect the feelings of each other. I don’t want either of you hurt, your heart can be fragile and break easily. Respect will prevent that.”
After lunch, Toby went to finish his homework. Ron had to help, he said he needed to explain to Toby what the teacher said about his various assignments. I thought he’d be explaining a lot more than assignments. Teenagers, I remember when I was that young, passions ran high.
I went back to my office and continued contacting my old clients. I should have done this sooner. I was bored when Clair left and this would have occupied my time. I didn’t realized the time until Toby knocked on my office door.
“Uncle Jeff, we’re getting hungry. Can Ron and I start dinner?” Now this was something I hadn’t counted on. I nodded yes, then wondered what they were going to cook.
Forty-five minutes later, “Uncle Jeff, dinner is ready.” Not only was I surprised that dinner was ready, but it was Ron who called me ‘Uncle Jeff’. Dinner was surprising good.
“Who taught you boys how to cook?”
“My mom taught me and when Toby was over at my house, she taught him as well. She said since we were not likely to marry a woman, we needed to know how to cook or we might starve.” ‘
“Well, your mom did a great job Ron. This is a very well balanced dinner. You might inherit this job if you’re planning on spending week-ends here.” The resulting smiles told me that Ron was planning on spending the week-ends here and Toby was all for it.
Sunday was a lazy day. Toby had got caught up on his homework, we enjoyed a leisure morning after our walk. “What say we go out for lunch?” They were all for it. Now where should we go? Ron suggested we go someplace where we could get sandwiches but not McDonalds. I knew just the place.
“This place makes a great beef sandwich. It comes with French fries and Cole slaw.” The boys smiled as we sat down.
“Uncle Jeff, order for us,”and I did.
When the waiter brought us our sandwiches, their eyes opened wide. The sandwiches were large, I could never finish mine so I asked for a carry out. The boys had no trouble, they ate their lunch and finished off my French fries.
Driving back home I thought we’d have a light supper. After all they ate for lunch they couldn’t be that hungry. I was wrong, they said they were going to prepare dinner. When they said dinner was ready, it was a mixture of leftovers for the week. “My mom said that after a big lunch, we should empty the refrigerator so we can fill it during the week. She called this dinner a refrigerator raid.” It was unusual but the food was good. I knew then that with these boys, there would be no food tossed out. It’d be finished on Sundays.
Monday, I drove the boys to school. Ron, left his clothes at my home, he said he’d wear the same clothes each week-end, then he wouldn’t have to bring clothes to school on Friday.
The week proceeded pretty much on a routine, our morning walks, breakfast, then school. After school I’d pick Toby up, wave to Ron and on occasions drop him off at his home. On occasions, became the norm about 4 weeks later.
School was winding down and soon Toby would be 17. “Toby, do you want a party for your birthday?”
“Ron asked me that today, if I was going to have a party. I didn’t know how to answer him so I said I hadn’t thought about it.”
“Would you like to have a party? You can you know.”
“If it isn’t too much trouble then yes.”
“Okay, get your guest list ready and I’ll take care of the arrangements.” I thought about having one of the local restaurants catering the party. When I called the Italian restaurant they said they had a private room where we could have the party, that would be perfect.
That evening when Ron was here, “Toby, I had arranged for your party to be at Luigi’s Italian restaurant. They have a room for private parties. What do you think?”
“That would be perfect Uncle Jeff, Toby wouldn’t have to worry about having a crowd here.”
“Thank you Uncle Jeff. Ron’s right, it would be perfect.”
“Well, we’ll need to go there for dinner tonight to finalized the arrangements and select the menu.”I never had a party for a 17 year old, our parties, Clair’s and mine, were for adults, mostly clients.
Walking into the restaurant we were seated in a large room, large enough to hold about 100 people. “Toby, how many of your friends would you invite.”
“I have only 10 close friends but there are 45 in my grade.”
“So how many would you like to invite? Don’t think of the cost, your dad will be paying.”
“Ron, what do you think?
“Invite them all then there will no hard feelings.”
“Okay, then there will be at least 45.” Our waiter brought us the menu’s, it didn’t take long for the boys to select their pizza.
“Toby, what do you want for your birthday?”
“I don’t want anything, the party is enough.”
“Surely there is something you’d like.”
“No, I have everything I need, an Uncle to help me become a man and a boyfriend to help me through life, what else is there.”
“Those are wise words, where did you learn them.”
“I hope you don’t get mad, but I read them on a paper I found in the desk in the office I was using. I changed a few words.”
“I’d like to see that paper when we get home.”
Toby did show me the paper and he did paraphrased it. I had tears when I read that paper, typical Clair. I now knew what I’d give Toby for his birthday, a trip to a special lake in Italy.
Toby’s birthday party went very well. I watched as he mingled among his guests, he had Ron by his side all the time. I was somewhat amazed how well they were accepted. I remembered a time when he would’ve been ostracized by his classmates and probably beaten up as well. I was glad people moved ahead in their understanding and level of tolerance.
It was the evening of the party when I told Toby about his birthday gift. I didn’t take into account how sensitive he was, I received a big hug from a teary eyed boy. It made me think about his future. What will he study in school knowing his sensitivity. I was sure he’d surprise me. After he settled down I got the question I expected, “Can Ron come with us, I’ll pay for him?”
“Yes, Ron can come with us and I’ll pay for him. You need to save that money for school. Now I really had a teary eyed boy hugging me. “Go tell Ron”