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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. 

Uncertain Future - 6. UF Chapter 6

Fifteen minutes later the trio entered the front office, with big smiles on their faces so happy to be together again after such a long time apart. Edward informed me that he was very grateful for organising for him to spend time with his younger siblings, and that he would never forget the chance to hug his little brothers again. Edward said goodbye to his brothers, so as to return to work, promising to see them again real soon, and suggested that they keep this reunion a secret from their grandparents.

Half an hour after Edward had left we set off back to the Tennis club to prepare for the afternoon of social tennis, which I decided to just take it easy with this time due to the large workload I had earlier in the day, but I still managed to partner with the boys in a couple of games, and play against them in another, noticing that they had indeed taken note of the coaching lessons they received earlier in the day. At the end of the day, I remained behind with the boys until their grandparents finally arrived, nearly an hour late. I was introduced to them as their new tennis coach and friend.

They were thankful that the boys were alright and being looked after in their absence, and offered to refund the money for their lunches, but I declined the offer. I mentioned that we called into my apartment which is just before Subway to sit down to eat, relax, and that we talked to get to know each other a bit more leaving out the bit about the boys having a reunion with their older brother, but I did mention that I too have a younger brother 12 years younger than me, and that I do miss him very much, but due to the unhappy situation I had, I could no longer live at home.

The boy’s grandparents gave their permission to spend more time with me whenever they wanted, as long as they had their chores and homework completed at home. Over the next few weeks I gradually had all of my students making an improvement in their tennis playing, and I had managed to learn all of their names. I was asked to do private coaching for a number of the students, but I recommended that they remain in the group coaching for the mean time, and see if that benefits them better.

With the others being of similar ages and social interaction being more beneficial. On the Saturday's the boys would have lunch with me at my place on most weeks, and Edward would come and join us for half an hour before returning to work. In mid-November as it is getting a lot warmer with summer approaching, the boys and I would be practising tennis skills until their grandparents arrived, and on this Saturday early evening, they were running very late, and looking very tired. When Matthew and Damien saw this, they had a quick chat between themselves before their grandparents and I were in hearing range, as we moved to meet at the side of the court as a group.

This is when the boys asked their grandparents if they could stay over at my place for the night, that way giving them a night on their own to relax, I was caught quite by surprise by this request, having not been consulted beforehand, and I saw the elderly couple looking at me in hope. “Well this is a bit of a surprise, but I have no problem with that, you boys can help me celebrate my 18th birthday tomorrow if it's fine with you folks. I would just ask that we exchange some details before I take them to my place for the night,” I said to them as the boys cheered in excitement. Travelling with them to their home, which was a few kilometres away on the other side of the suburb, I was surprised to see they lived in a small house with a tidy garden and not much of a back yard.

While the boys were busy packing overnight bags, I was lead to the dining room where we sat down and the boy’s grandfather pulled out some forms from a large yellow envelope. He informed me that they were struggling with bringing up two teenage boys at their age, and were hoping to find someone who is capable and responsible enough to take on the role on a part-time basis when they were not available, and he pushed the documents towards me. I scanned the document, which is a Temporary Legal Guardian Document, which already had all of their details filled in, and just required my own information to be added, and a witness to be present to witness the signing of the document.

As I stared at the form, hesitating because they did not know if I wanted the responsibilities, I wondered if this was a good idea after all, so I was caught between keeping the boys happy and also helping out the grandparents. “I am not ready to take on that much responsibility at this stage, maybe in the near future, but I need some time to think about this, so in the meantime we can keep this as an informal agreement or cancel this plan altogether,” I said firmly but in a caring manner, pushing the documents away from me in the process.

The elderly couple looked very disappointed at my decision, which gave me an indication that there was a lot more that they were not telling me. “Very well then young man, we will give you the time you need, but we would be very happy if you could take some of the workload off us. For now, we are happy to just have this one night off, and we will see you when you bring them back before dinner time tomorrow,” the grandfather said.

At that point, the two boys appeared and they had a backpack each and big smiles on their face still as they said good night to their grandparents and made their way out the door. I jotted down my full name, address and home and mobile telephone numbers before wishing them a good evening and followed the boys out the door, where they waited for me.

Matthew told me that he had already called for a taxi to take us back to my place, so we just waited till it arrived. When we arrived at my apartment, we got the smaller lounge rearranged to make space for the boys to sleep, one would sleep on the lounge suite while the other would sleep on a portable bed, which I retrieved from the storeroom. Once this was done, I ordered pizza for dinner, and while we waited, I took the boys up to the roof top terrace to just relax and enjoy the cool evening. After dinner, I gave the boys a towel each and suggested they shower and prepare for bed, as they had completed a full day and tomorrow was going to be even better. So, the boys headed to the bathroom together to get showered and changed.

The next morning, I was woken up by the boys bouncing on my bed wishing me a happy birthday, once I was fully awake Matthew disappeared for a moment coming back with a breakfast tray for me, and I had tears in my eyes as it was the first time ever that anyone had brought breakfast to me. I thanked the boys for their kind thought and suggested they go have their breakfast too, and they announced that they had already eaten.

When I had finished both boys left my room and I began to get organised for the day when I entered the kitchen the boys were just finishing with cleaning the dishes. Shortly after the doorbell rang and when I opened it, I found the boy’s grandparents standing there, and I stepped aside to let them in. After closing the door, I lead them to the lounge room, where the boys were watching television, and they too were very surprised to see them. The boy’s grandparents asked to speak to me alone, and I suggested to the boys to go to the rooftop garden for a short while, and once they left I sat down to find out the reason for their visit.

“Yesterday when you jotted down your details, we decided to do a bit of a background check on you, and we already knew a bit about you from what we had read in the media, about your mum and baby brother looking for you after you suddenly disappeared. Wesley... would you like to tell us a bit more about it please?” the boy’s grandfather said to me. I was in shock, as I now realised that I had made a big mistake when I jotted down my contact details, and I was not sure if I really wanted to explain the reasons for leaving home.

Over the next half an hour, I told them that to support my mother and brother I had managed to get a part-time job in a grocery store while still going to school full time and looking after my brother when my mum was not home. I mentioned that I had grown quite close to Mr Schwartz, the owner of the store, who I regarded as my adopted grandfather. I explained that at as the years went by I was given a lot more responsibility with running the store, and on days when Mr Schwartz was not well enough or needed a day off I would run the store on my own.

I said that when Mr Schwartz became very ill and ended up in the hospital and eventually died, I was running the store with a little bit of help from the lady next door when he was in the hospital. When he died and after the funeral I learnt that I had inherited the store and the apartment behind it and upstairs. The lawyer and I decided to sell the stock and store furniture, as I was too young to run it on my own full time.

By the time we had done that I was too emotionally distraught I just packed up some things, including my bank book with all my savings and walked out. I explained that I found my way to the city, and was lucky enough to come across this apartment building, and although I was trespassing I hid in a storage room upstairs, and I did some tidying up and some improvements to the rundown rooftop garden, with the help of some nearby supply stores.

When the caretaker retired and the residents discovered the wonderful job I had done to the rooftop garden they asked me to take over as their caretaker, and that was why I was here now, as the building caretaker. The boy’s grandparents showed signs of tears in their eyes as they heard my story, and I was the same, as there was silence in the room for a few moments. “Wesley, when we found out whom you were, we made some enquiries and eventually spoke to Mr Fythe, and we have told him where you are and that you were working as an apartment caretaker in the city.

Mr Fythe informed us that your mother has fallen ill with cancer and that when she is having treatment in the hospital that Mrs Denning is looking after young Toby.” They added that Mr Fythe would be coming to visit me later that day. This news was quite a shock for me, after all, the time that I had spent in the city, keeping busy with establishing a new life, I was now about to face my past again. I was afraid I would not be able to cope and I started to cry uncontrollably.

The boy’s grandmother came over and sat beside me, placing her arm over my shoulder to comfort me, and slowly I started to feel a little bit safer and began to calm down enough to try and understand fully how much this visit may change my life yet again. The boy’s grandparents suggested that I take the boys out for an excursion for most of the day, and come back before 3 pm where they would take over looking after them while I dealt with my visitor.

I agreed that having to do something will keep my mind off my troubles. I thanked them for the news and the opportunity to take the boys out on a day excursion. After they left, I went up to the rooftop to get the boys and to talk about what they want to for the day.

We ended up deciding to go to the museums followed by an early lunch and an early afternoon movie, and after gathering a few snacks and drinks, we set off on our day tour around the city. When we returned to my apartment shortly after 2.30 pm, the boys grandparents arrived shortly afterwards. They left shortly after, with the boys, leaving me to prepare for the arrival of my lawyer, Mr Fythe, first I did a quick clean-up of the apartment before going for a shower, and changing into some fresh clothes.

When I answered the door shortly after 3 pm, I was not expecting to see who was standing in front of me. Six-year-old Toby sprung forward towards me and I only just had time to open my arms to embrace him as he jumped up, and once in my arms, he started to cry. “I missed you a lot Wesley, I wish you didn’t leave home, I have been so sad since you left,” Toby said to me between his tears. I too began crying as I hugged him tight and stepped back into the apartment, allowing Mr Fythe to step inside. Eventually, Toby and I released our embrace and sat down in the lounge room, so we could talk.

I was informed that our mother had advanced cancer and that the cancer was very aggressive, so she was spending a lot more time in the hospital, and Toby was spending more time staying with Mrs Denning and Uncle Mitch. When I asked Toby who Uncle Mitch was, Mr Fythe informed me that Mitch is Mrs Denning’s nephew and that he had been living with his aunt for the past six months, since he was thrown out of the home, when his parents learnt that he was gay. I asked how old this Mitchell Denning is, Toby spoke up saying he is 18 years old like his brother and that his last name is Devries, which caught me totally by surprise. I asked if this is the same Mitchell Devries that I went to school with, and was in some of his classes, and Mr Fythe smiled and nodded.

After learning more about the situation at home, Mr Fythe stood up. “I have to go now, but we were hoping that you might be able to look after young Toby for a week, so as to give everyone a break, we have a small case of clothes with us, hoping that you would say yes,” he said looking between me and Toby, who was by now looking at me with sad puppy dog eyes. All I could do was laugh and agree to look after my baby brother. When I agreed, Toby jumped into my arms, and I was just quick enough to catch him as we hugged again.

Once Mr Fythe had left, I organised and settled Toby into the spare bedroom, before taking him up to the rooftop garden to have a look at the city from a higher level. Back in the apartment, I telephoned Edward to let him know that I had my little brother Toby staying for a while so I will need to adjust my work hours at the hardware store.

Edward said that it would not be a problem, and that he too had some change in plans, as he had just received a telephone call from his grandparents, who had invited him to dinner tonight in order to mend their relationship, and allow the boys to spend more time with their older brother. I was so pleased with the news and asked Edward if maybe with them intervening with my situation to get my brother back in my life, that maybe this got them to realise that they needed to do the same with their grandsons.

Edward said that could be the case, and if it is he thanked me for the chance to see his grandparents again, and he added that I would be able to take the whole week off so I could spend all of it with my little brother. I contacted the tennis club president, and asked to have the week off as I had a family emergency that I need to deal with, and he said that it would be fine and that he would contact all the tennis students.

For the next three days, I took Toby to look at all the sights around the city, including seeing the zoo, going to the movies, and also, we went to the circus, with both of us having a wonderful time. On Wednesday morning, we boarded a bus to take a trip home to go visit our mum in hospital, I spoke to her briefly on the telephone early the day before, and she was so happy to be able to hear my voice again, and that I was looking after Toby for her. When we arrive back in our home time in the early afternoon, we caught a taxi directly to the hospital, and when we reached the nurses desk in intensive care, I was told that our mum her condition had worsened in the past 12 hours, and the doctors had estimated that she only had a short time left.

When we entered our mum’s hospital room, I was shocked to see how ill she looked, very thin and frail, and it frightened me, meanwhile Toby climbed up onto the bed and snuggled up beside our mum, which brought her out of her sleep. Putting her arm around her youngest son, she smiled and when she turned her head and saw me she had tears flowing down her cheek. I leant over and gave her a kiss on the cheek and a half hug not wanting to crush her before I brought a chair up so I was sitting right next to the bed so I could hold her other hand. I soon realised that Toby had fallen asleep next to our mother and smiled as I watched him, while telling mum about what I have been doing for all the time that I had been away, living in the city, when Mum too started to drift off to sleep, I just remained silent still holding her hand as they both slept.

About half an hour later Toby began to stir, so I went around the other side of the bed and carefully lifted him off the bed and carried him out of the room, at the nurse’s station I informed the nurse that our mother was sleeping and that we would be back a little later, and we left the hospital with Toby falling asleep in my arms, with his head on my shoulder.

Catching a taxi again, we arrived home a short time later, and Mrs Denning appeared when she saw us exiting the taxi, and she gave me a warm hug, which woke Toby who ended up being slightly crushed by the embrace, when he saw me and then Mrs Denning, he smiled and said hello to Mrs Denning, who handed me the house keys for our home, and walked back to her place, allowing us to enter our home which I had not seen in so long, it felt a bit strange returning after being away so long.

Over the next two weeks, Toby and I made daily trips to the hospital to visit our mum, until she finally passed away in her sleep, shortly after we had returned home from our daily hospital visit. The hospital had telephoned me to inform me of the news, and I called Mrs Denning to let her know and ask her to mind Toby for the next few days while I made arrangements for the funeral.

I spent some time with Toby after telling him that our Mum had died, and between all the crying he asked me a lot of questions, which I tried my hardest to answer as best as I could, I was thankful that Mrs Denning was there to support me. Mitchell tried to help as best as he could too, but he usually kept his distance from me, as I think he felt he was intruding in my life too much. I didn’t know what to do about him as he was always sending me mixed messages.

After the funeral which was a quiet event, as I wanted it, as I didn’t want Toby to get too upset with so many people, I decided that I needed to return to my home in the city, Edward was filling in doing my caretaker duties, and I didn’t want his business to be affected too badly, especially when I am his employee as well. For the next two week’s I had a few visits from the family lawyer, it was decided to sell everything of mums, and just to keep the essential belongings of Toby’s and mine, and the rest would also be sold or given away.

I had also been receiving regular visits from Mitchell, and although he wanted to develop our friendship into a relationship, I wanted to just remain friends for now. Mitchell was very disappointed about this, but I made it clear that I had to concentrate on Toby and his needs first, and that meant returning to the city to my home and jobs. On our last night in our home town, with the house now cleared of all belongings and furniture, and the place fully cleaned, Toby and I spent the night at Mrs Denning’s place, and the following day we caught a bus to the city to start our new life.

I had let Edward know that Toby and I were on our way back to the city, and when we arrived home after a long day of travelling, I was surprised to see that the unit had been freshly cleaned and the fridge was full of fresh food, and the pantry was also full of non-perishable foods. I organised settling Toby into his new bedroom, and having him have a shower and changed into fresh clothes, we had an early dinner and went to bed as we were both quite tired, and I was hoping to have an early start in the morning, as I wanted to check what jobs needed to be done around the building, before going to work.

For the first week back to work, Toby would remain in the office at the hardware store, I gave him some paper and crayons for drawing, and he had a number of toys that he could play with, at home he would follow me around the building if I was doing maintenance work, or if I was in the office at home he would play in the lounge or his room, he usually had a one - hour nap after lunch, which allowed me time to relax and read a book or catch up on paperwork in the office. The tennis club learnt that I had returned, and Mr Davies was wanting me to return to my coaching duties, but I informed them that due to family commitments, I was not available as often as I was before, and until things settled down a bit, I would not be returning straight away.

Over the next few weeks, with the help of Edward, I was able to study and pass my written, hazard perception and practical tests for my driver’s licence, and I was able to get Toby into a local primary school, which freed me up a bit to concentrate on my work, which Edward was pleased about, as he was now able to spend a lot more time with his younger brothers, Matthew and Damien, who were pleased to see me again. Since returning to the city, I had been having regular contact with Mr Fythe, the family lawyer, and I had been seriously considering cutting all ties with my hometown, which meant selling Mr Schwartz building, and also the family home which has stood empty since leaving it over a month ago.

At work one quiet day, I mentioned to Edward my plans to sell up everything in my hometown, and that I was also seriously considering selling my share of the units, giving up both jobs and moving somewhere well away to have a fresh start in life. Edward said that he would be very disappointed with me and Toby leaving, but he understood that I had to consider my young brother and my futures. I said that I was only thinking about it and that I would let him know well in advance if we were going to leave.

Copyright October 2015 Preston Wigglesworth 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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Great chapter. Sad about Wesley's mom and Mitch's parents kicking him out. I am so glad the grandparents are allowing Edward time with his brothers

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Great chapter. I feel bad for Wesley and Toby for the loss of their mother. I'm sorry that Mitch got kicked out of his home. I can understand why Wesley feels that he needs to sell everything in his home town and also his share in the two units in his building. He's starting to think ahead about his and Toby's future, he wants to go somewhere and get a fresh start. I hope that it will work out for both of them. I understand why Edward is a little upset about the news, at the same time he understands what Wesley is trying to do. 

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