Chapter 15

"PUSH!" Anita's instructing Dor while they are in the delivery room.

Dor screams out in pain as she pushes again as the head of the baby starts to crown.

* * * * * * * *

Standing in the waiting room Paul and Tom are tensely pacing back and forth as Dor has gone into premature labor, 5 week's early, there is still the chance of the child having problems, besides low birth weight. Paul and Tom occasionally bump into each other as they pace back and forth.

"Would you two sit down, your making me nervous!" Liz proclaims. Both Tom and Paul giggle as they sit for a few seconds and then raise and pace again.

Bill comes threw the doorway holding a backpack as his life depended on the contents of the package. He sits down next to Liz and asks. "Is it over yet?"

"No sweet Bill," Liz replies, "she is still in the delivery room." As Liz says this, Bill starts to gently rock in the chair. Liz can't help but notice the change in Bill the last five weeks since Ike's death. Bill, once strong, virile, and energetic man is now but a shadow of what he once was, thin, pale, and has lost at least 30 lbs in the last month. Liz wonders how long Bill will carry around the Urn that holds Ike's ashes, and what the meaning behind the possession is. As he rocks back and forth, Liz thinks back on the events since Christmas, the funeral, the reading of the formal will, and the latest being the car accident with Dor and Anita earlier yesterday which brought on the premature labor. Everyone is just happy that both of them were not seriously injured, but are worried about the baby and it's condition as well.

The door to the waiting room swings open with Anita coming in from the other side. She stops, smiles, and proclaims, "IT'S A BOY!"

"A Boy!" Liz cries,

"A Grandson!" Max states proudly.

"Oh...." Bill sighs as he starts to weep.

Tom and Paul look at each other and hug.

"Do you two have a name picked out for the child?" Anita asks.

Paul and Tom walk over to Bill who is weeping with his head resting on the duffel bag. They both put a hand on his knees as Bill raises his tearing bloodshot eyes to the boys with out moving his head, as Tom answers Anita. "Yes Anita, we do." Tom looks at Paul as he nods in agreement. "The name of the child is "Isaiah William Bertrand"."

Bill raises his head up and trying ever so desperately from bursting out in tears, manages to smile while still keeping his fragile composure. "Thank You!" Is all Bill can say.

* * * * * * * *

The Party waits outside of Dor's room to be able to see the baby. Liz looks over to Bill and see's a slight change in him, he seems much more at ease with the events in the last few weeks than he did a few hours ago, in fact the death grip he had on the backpack has actually become a light hold as he was holding a bag of groceries and not worried about loosing his grip of them.

The group stand there exchanging ideas for the baby and the new mother and the babies new "fathers" as well. Anita opens the door and invites them in to the room where Doreen is laying in her bed holding little Isaiah.

The room is a double occupancy room that is only occupied by Doreen. Bill walks in and lays the backpack down on the empty bed as he approaches Doreen. Looking at the baby, he says, "Hello little Ike!" With tears running down his face.

Dor looks at Tom and Paul as she says, "I think its only fitting for the namesake to hold him first, do you two mind?"

"It's only right." Paul says while holding Tom in a sideways hug.

Bill reaches out to tenderly take the baby then stops, turns, and puts the backpack on his back. Then returning to reach out to Doreen to take hold of the little bundle of joy. "Hello little one, I'm Bill, your namesake and grandfather, and I love you very much."

Everyone in the room starts to cry as they hug their partners. Paul and Tom hold each other as Tom looks over to Bill and see's a shadow form behind Bill and realizes it is his father's spirit as his father reaches from behind Bill and caresses the baby's forehead. Tom gasps ever so slightly as Paul looks up too Tom to see what is wrong, then following his eyes to Bill then back to Tom. "What is it my love?" As Tom continues to watch his father standing behind Bill, then the spirit of Ike looks over to Tom, smiles and slowly fades away. Tom starts to cry as he grasps Paul and weeps into Paul's ear. "It was Dad, he was here!" As both men start to weep.

* * * * * * * *

It is now four days after Little Ike is born, as Dor, Anita, and Little Ike move into Tom and Paul's house to help raise the lad for the first few months of the child's life. Dor doesn't see the baby as the result of a one night stand, but the child of Tom and Paul. The baby, is blue eyed and Blond, just like his mother. She can't help but wonder what its sibling would have looked like if it had survived. Tom and Paul are preparing the nursery as they bring in the baby to it's new home.

Bill, Liz and Max are down stares sitting in the living room talking, drinking a toast to Bill as he prepares to start his book, an autobiography 'My Life in Love, A true Love Story.' Liz notices that Bill has all but forgotten the backpack that he had with him constantly clutching as it is now left on a chair of it's own near him as if Ike himself was sitting there, then she thinks...maybe, he is?

With the baby sleeping soundly, the four of them go down to join the informal party. Bill gets up and takes the back pack off the chair it was left on and put it next to the chair he is setting in and gives the chair to Dor as she tenderly sits down.

As Paul gets drinks for everyone Bill starts the conversation. "As you all may have noted my extreme attention to the Urn that contained Ike's ashes and my recent release of them like they were some trivial child's toy that they get tired of..." as Bill takes a deep breath then continues. "there are a few things that Ike did not want to be known to everyone and asked me specifically to do, one of which is to carry his ashes around till the Birth of the baby." Bill looks over to Tom and Paul as he continues. "Now that little Ike is here, we can release his ashes at sea as he had requested of me to do. I want to do this on Valentines Day and you all are invited to join me on the yacht I have reserved." As Bill walks over to Dor and takes her hand, "Ike specifically wanted you and Anita there, but if you feel the baby is too young to be on the yacht, then I know Miguel would be more than willing to babysit the little one for you two to come, if you don't mind him watching the baby?"

Dor and Anita look at each other, "I have no problem with it if Anita doesn't, do you two have any objections with it?" asking the question as she looks on to Tom and Paul.

Tom and Paul look at each other and reply. "That's fine by us, sounds like a party!" As they all smile and toast to the day.

"And now..." Bill continues, "with the plans made, I feel it is time to tell you of my plans for the future." Everyone looks on to Bill with sudden astonishment. "I am planning to take a return cruise to the Mediterranean where Ike and I were, to start the book and relive the memories as they are fresh in my mind. When I come back this fall, I should have the rough draft done so Liz can start work on editing it before it goes to the publishers house by December." Bill takes a drink of his Old Fashion and returns to the conversation. "Once I return, I will be living in the penthouse above the office building that we own downtown and will not be in the Vicky that Ike and I shared." As Bill looks over to Dor and Anita, "I will have everything out of there that I will be taking with me to the penthouse before I leave on my summer cruise so all you have to do is bring over your clothes and any little items you want to keep as all furniture will be left in the house per our agreement in keeping the house for Little Ike to have upon his graduation from college." Bill walks around the room going behind everyone seated as he takes sips of his drink and continues talking. "You four will have to vote unanimously on anything that pertains to the trust for little Ike as being his legal trustee's for the account." Bill stops behind the chair he was sitting in. "Now, any questions?"

They all looked at each other as if looking at the other ones faces would bring to mind something that needed to be brought up, all that is except Liz who just stared at Bill.

"I have a question?" Liz announces

Everyone is started by the fact that Liz was asking a question about things that were going on and had been planed.

"Ok," Bill replies, "what is your question?"

Liz stands up, walks over to Bill, puts her hands on his shoulders replies. "Where have you been the last few weeks, this is the Bill I know and love, what happened to you?" She finishes with a tear running down her cheek.

Bill wipes the tear from her face. "You sweet, wonderful lady, how right you are." As Bill takes her hand and leads her back to her chair, turning towards the bar he begins. "You all will remember the day we picked up Ike's ashes at the Crematorium, when they asked me where to send them for burial and how I reacted?"

"Yes," Liz replies, "it was like you went totally mad with grief for his death."

"Give the lady a Cigar!" Bill Proclaims, "or better than that, a Virginia Slim!"

Everyone breaks out with laughter.

Bill began. "When Ike told me about his wishes to be carried around with me everywhere I go until the baby was born, I was in shock and said no. He said if I didn't, he would haunt me."

Everyone started to giggle slightly, everyone except Tom.

Bill continued. "When the Mortician asked that question, I heard Ike call out my name in a very demanding tone. It scared me and I realized he was able to carry out his threat so I grabbed the Urn and never let go until the baby was born." Bill taking another drink looks up to Tom. "When I was holding little Ike for the first time, I felt your father behind me reach over and touch the child, I couldn't see it, but I felt it."

"I know you did Bill," Tom replies, "because I saw him do it." Tears erupt from Tom's eye's as he smiles to Bill.

"Well," Bill announces to all, "now that that is done, shall we call it a date to meet at the marina on Valentines Day for the Internment at Sea?"

Tom raises his glass in a toast. "To Valentines Day!" With everyone repeating the toast as they click glasses and drink.

* * * * * * * *

Valentines Day has arrived and all are awaiting Bill's arrival. It is a cold foggy morning as the temperature is hanging around 40 and a heavy mist is falling on the "party" as they wait for Bill to arrive. Finally thru the fog the see Bill walking towards them wearing his Black Leather Trench, Fedora, and Boots carrying the Urn.

Stopping in front of them looking at each of them with a bit of anger in his face that is troublesome to all there.

"Now I know Ike is in charge of this day." Bill proclaims.

"What do you mean Dad?" Tom inquires as this is the first time Tom has ever called Bill 'Dad.'

Bill turns to Tom and puts his hand on his shoulder and replies. "Because Son, Your Father loved this fucking abominable weather just because he knew I hated it!" Everyone bursts out with laughter as they readied themselves to board the Boat.

Once all were aboard they left the marina and start up the coast to the spot that they had chosen a long time ago. Bill couldn't help but but remember the day they picked this spot out and vowed he would go to the place where they first saw it and revisit the spot where they discovered this was the right place for them. As the time went on, Bill was out on the deck freezing his ass off due to the cold, but he dressed in his leathers because he knew how bad it was going to be out there, he relived a large part of the life that the two men had shared. The college years after Ike met Tom's Mother, to the time they first saw the old Vicky on Steiner St., to the time they hid in the bleachers of Tom's first little league baseball game so his parents wouldn't see them. He never knew if they were spotted, but then he knew that nothing would be said anyways. Bill asked that the motors be stopped when they came to the respective place of internment, as the Boat came to a stop, the others came out aboard.

"Now that we are hear," Bill starts, " I want to thank you all for coming as this is a very special time for all of us, a time to lay to rest this old S.O.B. and free his soul only to be joined by this old S.O.B. (myself) when my time comes. Ike was a dominating man, he always had to have things his way, and fortunately for him, he had the money to get things his way. He lived like this until

he realized he was not immortal and he searched out getting to know his Son before he died. He never dreamed that Tom would be willing to donate one of his Kidney's, but the donation gave both of us much more time to be with each other than what we would have had." Bill pauses as he looks over to the Urn on the table. "Ike wanted it this way, a very few select group of his closest friends around when he again becomes one with the earth." Bill reaches over to the Urn, turning the lid, pouring the ashes overboard into the sea. "Rest in Peace you old Fart, I do love you so." Like magic, moments after Ike's ashes were poured into the ocean, the fog started to break and the sun started to shine thru in a warming glow all around everyone on the boat, Ike was free.


* * * * * * * *

Once they reach the shore, Bill looks over to Paul and Tom, "Could you two do me a favor before you take me home?"

"Sure, what's up Dad?" Tom replies.

"There is a very special place that I want to go and didn't drive today so I need a ride, you guys up to it?" Bill asks.

"Of course we are," Paul replies, "just name the place."

As they say their goodbye's to all that attended, Paul, Tom and Ike head back to the parking lot where Tom had parked the car. Once in the Car, Bill started with the directions. "First you need to be going North along the coast, go 35 miles out of the city and let me know when you are there." Tom and Paul sitting in the front of the car as Bill is in the back humming some old tune that seemed a favorite of his.

Two hours have passed since they left the marina and they were now approaching the designated 35 mile marker as Tom announced to Bill that they were almost there.

"I know," Bill said, "I can feel it."

Paul and Tom were now really intrigued about what was going on but would wait till Bill was ready to disclose the reason for this trip. Tom noticed a small parking area coming up to the right along the side of the road where the cliff to the ocean was as Bill said to pull in there and park.

Getting out of the car, the three men looked at each other as Bill started to open up. "On this spot just over there about ten feet from the cliff is where your father and I first made love. It is here that we decided to have our ashes scattered out in the ocean to be together for all eternity." Bill walks in front of the car as Tom and Paul

start to follow. Bill drops his head and turns it slightly to the side, "I want to be alone for a while, please."

As Bill walks off towards the edge of the cliff, he sits about five feet away and stares out into the approaching sunset. Tom and Paul lean on the hood of the car, holding each other as they look on to Bill. For a moment, Tom's eyes get blurry, he rubs them and looks back only to so a transparent vision of his father sitting next to Bill. As Ike's spirit slowly leans his head over to rest on the shoulder of Bill, Bill's head leans ever so slightly as it looks like his head is resting on Ike's. A tear runs down Tom's face as he stares out to the vision he see's.

"Ike!" Paul proclaims in a barely audible tone. "I see Ike sitting next to Bill!" Paul starts to cry.

"I know," says Tom, "I see him too." As the vision of everlasting love is burned into their souls forever.

The End