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    Lee Wilson
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
This story is an original work of gay fiction. None of the people or events are real. While some of the town names used may be real, any other geographic references (school, events) are purely fictional. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is completely coincidental. This story depicts sexual situations between high school aged males. If reading this is illegal where you reside, or you are not at least 18 years of age, you are reading at your own risk. This work is the property of the author, Lee R Wilson, and shall not be reproduced and/or re-posted without his permission.

Rocked To The Core - 26. Playdate, and One More Crisis

Thursday September 21

Adam came home from school today with Andy’s number and address. Needless to say, Adam bugged me to call right away. I called.

“Hello?”

“Mrs. Sheridan?”

“Yes?”

“Hi. This is Derek Arriens. You were at our condo just before school started.”

“Oh, yes. Hello Derek. Call me Trish. I suppose you’re calling because the boys wanted a play date.”

“Yes I am. I can bring Adam over after school tomorrow, if that’s OK?”

“Are you free today? Andy is going to drive me batshit asking when Adam can come over.”

“I hear ya. Same with Adam. Sure, we’ve got no plans.”

“That’d be great. I can put on a pot of coffee. I have a lemon coconut cake we can share. It’s Entennman’s, but it’s very good.”

“One of my favorites. Is now good? I’ll get Adam into play clothes.”

“Yes. No plans here. Play clothes sounds like a good idea. We can sit on the back porch and they can play in the yard.”

“Perfect. We’ll see you in a little while.”

Adam was excited about visiting Andy. I helped him put on his oldest jeans, which weren’t actually old, just well-used, and a t-shirt. It’s still nice enough to be in short sleeves. We hopped into the SUV, and drove the roughly half-mile to Andy’s.

They had a pretty nice house. I guess the jerk of a husband had a pretty good job. I hoped he was still paying the mortgage for them. The front door opened before we were halfway up the walk. Andy came running out and gave Adam a big hug, knocking him onto the grass. They rolled around laughing for a minute before Trish called them back inside. Andy dragged Adam to see his room, while I sat in the living room with Trish. A few minutes later…

“Can we go out back, mom?”

“Sure. Coffee, Derek?”

“Yes, please. Black, a little sugar.”

I followed her into the kitchen. She cut us each a piece of cake, and we went out on the back porch. They had a swing set and a play fort. I figured that would keep the boys busy for a while.

“Is Andy your only child?”

“No, he has a much older brother, Julian. He’s 14, in 9th grade.”

“You must have had him young. Sorry, that probably wasn’t cool. But you don’t look old enough to have a fourteen-year-old.”

“It’s OK. And I am. I’m 36.”

“Well, I wouldn’t have guessed more than 22 or 23.”

“Thanks. You’re too kind. But you don’t look old enough to have a five-year-old.”

“Technically, I suppose I am. But Adam is my cousin. I’m not even twenty yet. His family was killed and Jeremy and I were given custody.”

“No offense, but that seems a little odd, two very young gay men.”

“None taken; it is a little odd. Well, his maternal grandparents were dead, his paternal grandparents have a similar attitude about gays as Mr. Sheridan. My parents were willing, but my mom has back problems; it would have been difficult. It was us or foster care and the judge preferred any acceptable family over foster care. That, and she performed our wedding just a few days before.”

“How fortunate, but that poor boy. How were his parents killed?”

“It’s kind of shocking.”

“I’m a big girl, I lived with Ralph for almost fifteen years.”

“Alright. His father shot them all, then killed himself.”

“Yes. I remember that from the news. It was so sad. He seems to be doing well.”

“A number of nightmares, but otherwise, yeah.”

“You and Jeremy must be good fathers to keep him so stable.”

“I guess. We do what we have to.”

“Don’t sell yourself short. So, does only Jeremy work?”

“No. I used to be an EMT, but the scene at Adam’s house was a bit too much for me. I’m a nurse-trainee at St. Vincent’s. I work, I guess you’d call it second-and-a-half shift. 7 PM to 3 AM.”

“That’s an odd shift.”

“The trainees are asked to overlap two nursing shifts, so we get to work with multiple supervisors.”

“That makes sense. So, you’re home all day for Adam.”

“Yes. One or both of Jeremy and I are there all the time.”

“Do you mind if I ask you a favor? It’s pretty big, but I’m sort of in a bind.”

“Sure, hopefully it’s something I can do.”

“Even though I don’t know you very well, I feel I can trust you. I was wondering if Andy could come home with you after school Mondays, Wednesday, and Fridays. I needed to pick up the extra hours at work, with Ralph not being around. Right now, I’m just working mornings when he’s in school. I can’t pay you much, but I can cover his meals, and a little bit for your trouble. I could cook for you a couple times a week, as well.”

“Wow. To be honest, you wouldn’t have to pay me. It would actually be a help, Andy keeping Adam busy at least part of that time. I’m taking online nursing courses, and it’s hard to find enough time. Even three extra hours a week of peace would be a huge improvement. I’d be glad to.”

“I couldn’t let you do it for free. If you won’t take money, then at least let me shop for and prepare you dinner at least once a week. We could all eat together at your place.”

“I know not to argue with a lady. One dinner a week, and it’s a deal. If you need to, work more Tuesday and Thursday as well.”

“I can think about that, but the three days would be heaven.”

“Would you need me to take him tomorrow?”

“No. I start the longer days on Monday. I’ll have to go into the school tomorrow so they know Andy will be going home with Adam. I assume Adam walks to and from school?”

“Yes, but I walk with him both ways.”

“I should have guessed that. Like I said, you’re a good father.”

Saturday September 23

Life goes on simply for two more days. Saturday at work, things take a left turn.

“Good evening Derek.”

“Good evening Andrea. How are you doing tonight?”

“Good. A little concerned.”

“About what?”

“Do you remember a patient who was released this past Monday, Dennis Chun?”

“The boy who lost an arm. Of course. What’s up?”

“Well, he’s back again. First and second degree burns on his shoulder and arm.”

“How did that happen? His good arm or stump?”

“The good one. I don’t have a lot of details, but apparently there was an explosion at his house. I heard a rumor, but I find it hard to believe. If it’s true…”

“What was it? I’m guessing not from a gas leak.”

“No. Apparently, his parents were cooking meth. Fortunately, he was outside playing. His parents, not so lucky.”

“Dead?”

“Yes. I think Dennis saw something, he has a psych visit from earlier today on his chart. I was going over the new patients, and saw his name. I’m concerned about what he knows.”

“I can imagine.”

“He liked you when he was here before. Would you mind talking to him, see if he’ll talk to you?”

“Of course. Is he in children’s?”

“Yes, 507. You’ll need to be quiet, Peyer’s still in there.”

“Peyer was the boy with the broken leg, right?”

“Yes.”

“OK. I’ll see you in a bit.”

“Hello, Dennis. I see you’re back. I’m sorry you got burned.”

“Hi. Thanks.”

“Are you doing OK?”

“Not really. My parents are dead. I don’t know what’s going to happen to me.”

“Do you have any aunts or uncles?”

“Yeah, but everybody else is in South Korea. Nobody here.”

“I see.”

“There was a guy here from child services. I told him there was no-one else. He said I’d probably get a foster mom and dad.”

“That might not be so bad.”

“I guess. Mom and dad were always busy cooking drugs. I was left alone a lot. Maybe foster parents would take better care of me.”

“I’m sorry your parents did that. I suppose you know they’re…”

“Dead. Yeah. That’s how I got burned. My mom’s…”

Dennis started crying. I just stayed with him, holding his hand until he calmed down.

“My mom’s leg was on fire when it landed on me.”

Oh, geez. The poor kid.

“That was terrible. But at least you were outside. If you weren’t, you’d probably be dead too.”

“I know. But that’s not what’s really bothering me.”

“There’s something else?”

“Yeah. I’m a bad boy.”

“No, you aren’t. What is making you think that?”

“I’m kind of glad they’re dead.”

“Well, that doesn’t make you bad. I’m sure you’re confused about what happened.”

“I know what happened. The drugs blew up and killed them. I hated them for doing the drugs. But you’re not supposed to hate your parents.”

“That’s true in most cases, but I think you had a pretty good reason. That doesn’t make you bad.”

“Really?”

“Yes, really. I didn’t know them other than seeing them in here once, but knowing they were doing that with you in the house, I kind of hate them too.”

“Oh. OK. Can you check if you can do something? My arm hurts a lot.”

“Sure, I’ll go check what we can give you. Either Andrea or I will be back in a little while.”

“OK.”

I noted the pain and time on his chart, and headed back to the nurse’s station. Andrea still looked upset.

“How is he?”

“Hurt and confused. The rumor is true. He knew they were doing drugs. He hates them for it, but I think most of his trauma is from exactly how he got burned.”

“How was that?”

“His mother’s burning leg landed on him.”

“Oh, dear God.”

“He said his arm hurts a lot. Maybe you can see about getting him something for the pain?”

“Yes, OK. Why don’t you start making the rounds, see if anybody else needs anything.”

“Sounds good.”

Monday September 25

I haven’t stopped thinking about Dennis since Saturday night. With Andy being here earlier, I completely forgot tonight was the second follow-up visit from Child Protective Services. Some woman checked in after Adam was here two weeks, now it’s another four weeks and that’s who’s at the door. Fortunately, Jeremy just got home from work.

“Hello. It’s Mr. Garrett, isn’t it?”

“Leland, please. It’s good to see you again, Derek.”

I showed him to the living room, and asked if he needed something to drink. He declined.

“I’d heard you were fired.”

“You heard right, but Judge Ridge straightened that out. Mrs. Prescott was arrested, and your friend Mrs. Perch took over as Director.”

“Wow. I heard something about the arrest, but Mrs. Perch hadn’t said anything about being promoted.”

“Official as of today, so she probably wouldn’t have. How is Adam doing, and is Jeremy home?”

“Adam’s doing great, and Jeremy’s in the shower.”

“Well, if you can call the young man in, that would be great.”

I went to get Adam, and told Jeremy CPS was here.

“Hello Adam. I don’t know if you rem….”

“Mr. Garrett!!”

Adam ran up to Leland and gave him a hug.

“You remember.”

“Yes. You helped so I could come live with Uncle Derek and Uncle Jeremy.”

Leland asked to speak with Adam alone for a few minutes. By the time he finished, Jeremy was ready. When we returned to the living room, Leland had some questions for us. Apparently, we answered them well.

“Well, I don’t see any reason to change things. Adam’s adjusted well, you got him into therapy. I’d say you’re doing a good job. I have something unrelated to ask your uncles about, though, if maybe you could go back to your room, Adam?”

We were a little confused, but we said OK. Adam left.

“Derek, I believe you’re familiar with another young man that has been assigned to me, a Dennis Chun?”

“Yes. He’s been a patient at the hospital a couple times. Small world that he would be assigned to you.”

“He’s the one who lost an arm and was burned that you told me about?”

“That’s the one, Jeremy.”

“OK Leland. What about him?”

“It seems you made quite an impression on him. When I saw him today, you were all he talked about.”

“I try to treat my patients well. Especially the children, and he’d been through so much.”

“Indeed he has. I wonder if you would consider something.”

“Sure, anything to help him.”

“I’d like you to consider taking on another foster child.”

“Dennis?”

“Yes.”

“Wow. We’d obviously have to talk about it.”

“Of course. Like I said, consider it. I’m sure Jenny would recommend it. We’d lobby for Judge Ridge to take the case.”

“Jenny?”

I told him, “yes, Jeremy. Mrs. Perch is the new director at CPS.”

“Wow.”

“So, you’ll talk about it?”

Jeremy and I looked at each other. I couldn’t tell how keen he was on the idea, but we both turned back toward Leland, and said yes. Leland said thank you, and left his card.

“I suspect Dennis will be in the hospital for a few more days. Please, let me know your decision soon.”

We told him we would, and said goodnight.

“Well, that came out of the blue.”

“It sure did, Derek. I don’t even know what to think.”

“So, you’re against it?”

“No. Not right off the bat. It’s a big decision. And it’s not something to be taken lightly. I mean, this is the kid’s future.”

“No argument there. Plus, I think Adam should have a say.”

“Yeah, I guess we should get his opinion, but that shouldn’t be the final decision. Plus, all I know about him is the little you said.”

“I think I know what steps one through three are then.”

“Feel free to share, Derek.”

“We tell Adam that we’ve been asked to foster another boy, and we go visit him. And since I was distracted with Andy this afternoon and didn’t plan dinner, we go out to eat.”

“Works for me.”

“Adam, would you come out here?”

“Yeah. What is it?”

“Sit down, we have something to ask you.”

I saw the flash of panic in his eyes.

“They’re not taking me away, are they?”

“No. Mr. Garrett thinks we’re doing a good job with you.”

“OK. I got scared.”

“Nothing to be scared about. There’s a boy in the hospital that needs help. Uncle Jeremy and I want to go visit him.”

“Where will I go?”

“You’ll come with us.”

“Oh. OK. You think he needs a friend?”

“That, and something else. Mr. Garrett asked if we’d think about being his foster parents. His parents just died.”

“He’d be like a brother?”

“Yes.”

“Cool. When can we meet him?”

“So you’d be OK if we took care of another boy?”

“Yeah. You guys have a lot of love in you.”

“OK. Well, let’s get your shoes on, and we’ll go see Dennis.”

“How old is he?”

“He’s six. Just a little older than you.”

“Cool. Wait. Will Andy still be coming over after school some days?”

“Yes. I’m watching him as a favor to his mother.”

“OK. Let’s go.”

Well, we knew where Adam stood on the topic. We headed to the hospital and up to room 507. On the way there, we asked Adam not to say anything about Dennis coming to live with us because nothing was sure yet.

“Hi Derek. You said you’d see me Tuesday. Isn’t it still Monday?”

“It is. I thought you might like some visitors. This is Adam, and my husband, Jeremy.”

“Hi Adam. Hi Mr. Jeremy. I remember Derek telling me you were 5?”

“Yes. Right before school started.”

“When was that?”

“What was it, a few weeks ago, Uncle Derek?”

“Yes, three weeks.”

“Oh. I’ve been in the hospital most of that time. I’ve never been to school.”

“Not even kindy garden, that’s what I’m in.”

“No, not even that. Do you like it?”

“Yeah. I made lots of friends. You can be my friend too.”

Adam looked at us and smiled. We smiled snd nodded.

“That would be nice. Mom and dad never let me have any friends. They were drug addicts.”

“Yeah. I’m sorry they died. My parents are dead too. Plus a brother and two sisters.”

“You don’t have to be sorry. I’m not. And Derek did tell me that your parents died too. You’re lucky you got to go live with him. It looks like I’m going to get foster parents.”

“Well, maybe that will be OK.”

“That’s what Derek said. I hope so.”

We talked with Dennis for a while, then left for dinner.

“Did I do good? I didn’t say anything about him coming to live with us. I almost did once, but stopped myself.”

“Yes, you did great. Uncle Jeremy and I need to talk about it some more. It’s a big responsibility taking in a disabled child.”

“What happened to his arm?”

“He was in a car accident a few weeks ago. It got crushed.”

“I bet that hurt.”

“I bet it did too.”


Next Up - "Discussions and Decisions”

Copyright © 2023 Lee Wilson; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
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How sad for Dennis; but maybe even sadder that he is probably better off losing his parents.  They were obviously on a fast road to hell and got there with a bang.  Adding a child with Adam so new to their lives might not be the easiest thing to do but you know that is what is going to happen.  

A lot for them all to think about, but Adam was right, Derek and Jeremy have a lot of love to give.  I am glad that Derek agreed to keep Andy three days a week, let's hope that works out, of course, I can't wait to see what happens if the idiot father finds out.

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