Written by Mark The Goodpen
By now I'm sure you know the drill, so I won't bore you with another disclaimer to ignore.
Thank you to everyone who has e-mailed their feedback on this story. You're e-mails let me know I should keep the Sierra Inn in business.
Feedback is always welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org
The day couldn't have gone any slower if I had spent the entire time watching the clock. Just a week ago I loved working, and taking care of the minor details that go into running a motel. But now, after spending so much time with Brian the last week, the motel seems just plain boring. Through out the day I wonder what Brian is doing, how his day is going. Finally three fifteen comes and I dart out of my office and into my car. I speed over to the school and find a parking spot just as the dismissal bell rings. I stand near my car, not wanting to embarrass Brian and be like the parents of the other kids who wait in the hallway or just outside the building. A few minutes pass before I see Brian come out of the building and start scanning the parking lot. I wave my hand and he spots me, a smile coming to his face.
"Hey kiddo, how was your day?" I ask as he gets closer to the car.
"Good," he says.
It's amazing how one simple word can bring so much relief. I spent my day worrying about how Brian would be received by the other kids. I kept picturing him coming out of school with tears in his eyes while shouting I never want to come back. But reality is much better than my imagination. Brian dumps his back pack in the back seat and we get into the car.
"So did you make any friends?" I ask.
"Yeah," Brian says, quickly. "With the kid that sits next me in class."
"Ethan," I say, remembering the name from this morning.
"How did you know?" Brian asks, a look of surprise coming over his face.
"Your teacher mentioned him this morning," I say.
"Oh," Brian says. "Ethan's really cool. He said that if I come over to his house sometime he'll show me how to do more tricks on my board."
"Oh so he skates too," I say, with a smile as I pull out of the school parking lot. "Well if you want sometime you can show him the skate park you made."
"You mean I can ask him over to the motel?" Brian asks surprised.
"Yeah sure," I say. "I mean if you want to."
"Cool," Brian says, with a smile on his face.
"Hey speaking of people coming to the motel," I say, deciding now would be a good time to tell Brian about Mr. Quincy. "That lawyer I went to see last week about helping us let you live with me. He's coming to the motel in about an hour to meet you."
"He is?" Brian asks, nervously.
"Yeah, but don't worry," I say, quickly. "It's just I told him a lot about you and he wants to meet you for himself. That's all."
"Okay," Brian says, seeming a little relieved.
When four thirty comes, I can't help but get a little nervous. I need this meeting to go well, and the last time I was expecting that it blew up in my face. So when Laura comes into my office to tell Brian and me that Mr. Quincy is here my heart skips a beat. I lead Brian out to the lobby where I see Mr. Quincy standing in front of the brochure rack, browsing through the few brochures we actually have in it.
"Hello Mr. Quincy," I say, as I walk over to him. "Thank you very much for coming," I say, holding out my hand.
"You're welcome, Mr. Wasdin," he says, putting down the brochure he was looking at, then shaking my hand. "And this must be Brian," he says when he notices Brian who is standing behind me.
"Hi," Brian says, meekly.
"I'm Larry Quincy, it's very nice to meet you."
Brian just smiles a little, but doesn't say anything. I can tell he is nervous, and I can't blame him.
"Why don't we go back to my office," I say. "We can talk more there."
I lead Mr. Quincy back to my office and he takes a seat on the couch, Brian hesitantly sitting next to him. Meanwhile I pull my chair in front of my desk and sit facing them.
"So you own this entire motel?" Mr. Quincy asks me.
"Yes I do," I say, the pride coming through in my voice.
"How long have you owned it?" he asks.
"We've been open for three years," I say.
"You opened it?" Mr. Quincy asks, a shocked look coming to his face.
"I sure did," I say proudly. "I got my first loan the week I graduated college. It wasn't a lot but it was enough to get started on construction."
"Wow," Mr. Quincy says. "You know, we have something in common. I started my own law practice right out of school, people thought I was absolutely nuts."
"I know the feeling," I say, not thinking about the reactions I got when I would first told people I was trying to open my own motel.
"So, Brian how do you like living with Kevin?" Mr. Quincy asks, turning on the sofa slightly so he could face Brian.
"I like it a lot," Brian says, the nerves still obvious in his voice.
"He's not too mean?" Mr. Quincy asks.
"No," Brian says quickly, not understanding that Mr. Quincy was teasing.
"Well Brian if you got to chose would you want to live with Kevin until you're eighteen or somebody else?" Mr. Quincy asks.
"I want to live with Kevin," Brian says, without a second's hesitation.
"Well that's all I needed to hear," Mr. Quincy says. "Is there somewhere you and I can talk, just the two of us?" Mr. Quincy asks me.
"Oh sure," I say. "Brian why don't you go watch T.V."
Brian nods then gets up off the couch and heads into the break room, shutting the door behind him.
"Mr. Wasdin, I've done my homework on you," Mr. Quincy says. "Background checks out the wazoo and none of them have turned up a thing, not even a traffic ticket. You are clearly a very responsible person."
"Thank you," I say.
"But, I'm still a little concerned," Mr. Quincy says. "I mean you clearly have a lot on your plate here. And from what you told me about Brian, he is going to need a lot of attention. Are you considering selling the motel?"
Selling the motel? Sell my baby? What has this man been smoking? I could never sell the Sierra Inn. I'd give up my right arm before I ever considered selling this place.
"No," I say, maybe a little too emphatically. "I have been toying with the idea of hiring shift managers though. I think I might be able to afford doing that. That way I could cut back on my hours some."
"Mr. Wasdin let me be honest for a moment," Mr. Quincy says. "I see a lot of myself in you. You seem to be very dedicated to your work, if it wasn't for Brian literally ending up on your doorstep you probably would have never considered adopting a child. You're married to your work, just like I am. And that's fine. But children need a parent that will be there for them, especially a child that has been through as much as Brian has. You can't have your cake and eat it too. Believe me I've tried, two failed marriages and two grown kids that won't talk to me anymore. I tried to run my own business and have a family and I just couldn't do it. You love this motel, and you should be proud of it. But if you're adoption of Brian is going to work, your love for him needs to be ten times greater than your love for this place. And until I know for sure that it is, I can't help you adopt Brian."
"Mr. Quincy," I say, desperation oozing out in my voice. "You don't understand. Yeah, I love this place, it's my baby. But that's just it, it's a place, it'll stay standing whether I love it or not, I understand that. Brian is a human being, he needs love, and he needs to be able to trust somebody. He trusts me, and I do love him as much as I possibly can."
"But how much is that?" Mr. Quincy asks. "Is you loving him as much as you possibly can as much as the next person would?"
"Honestly," I say. "I think it's ten times more than the next person would. Mr. Quincy, I'm not a perfect person, I know that. And yes I have been kind of married to this place for the last three years but nothing is written in stone. It's been a week, and I've opened my heart to Brian, and I think he's opened his to me. I promise if you help me, I will not let you down."
"Mr. Wasdin, you're very convincing, I must say," Mr. Quincy says shaking his head. "If you give me the name of the CPS social worker you're working with I'll call them first thing in the morning and we can start the adoption process."
"Thank you," I say, a huge smile coming to my face. "I don't think I could ever thank you enough."
"Don't thank me yet," Mr. Quincy. "We have a long battle in front of us, a very long one. I hope I'm not telling you anything you didn't already know."
"No you're not," I say shaking my head emphatically.
"Good. Now who's your CPS social worker?"
"Julie Harden," I say.
"Okay, I'll be calling Ms. Harden first thing in the morning," Mr. Quincy says, as he stands up. "Once I get the ball rolling, I'll contact you."
"Thank you," I say, again as I open the office door for him.
After Mr. Quincy leaves, I decide it is time to get home for dinner. While I boil water for spaghetti, Brian sits at the breakfast bar finishing his homework that he had started at the Sierra Inn while waiting for Mr. Quincy.
"Do you need help?" I ask, as I see him scratching his head over a math worksheet.
"No," Brian says. "This is easy."
"Good," I say taking a sigh of relief. Relieved I go back over to the stove and start stirring the spaghetti.
"Kevin," Brian says, suddenly looking up from his worksheet. "We never finished talking yesterday."
"About what?" I ask.
"About why you didn't let me make you happy," Brian says.
"Oh," I say almost dropping the stirring spoon into the pot. "I told you, buddy. Making you happy makes me happy."
"But I don't get it," Brian says. "The only time people would do that for me, is if I did that for them."
"Well," I say, now walking back to the breakfast bar, and standing right across from Brian. "Brian, when you were on the street, those men, they did what they did because they were selfish. They were only thinking about how they could be happy, and probably most of them didn't care how you felt. But I'm not like that. You know why?"
"No," Brian says, shaking his head.
Suddenly I am wracked with a feeling of guilt. I thought those two nights had been out of love, and I knew they were for my part. But maybe Brian was doing it because he felt pressured, like he had to let me do those things. I get a sinking feeling, that maybe I mistook the entire situation. And if I had misunderstood it, what would that make me? If there was love there, on both sides I could rationalize it all in my mind. But if Brian wasn't feeling love for me, if he was just letting me do those things so I wouldn't get angry with him that changes everything.
"Brian, it's different because I love you," I say. "That's why I said that making you happy makes me happy. That's what happens when you love somebody."
"Oh," Brian says simply. "So if I don't want to I don't have to do anything to you?"
"No," I say, quickly. "And if you don't want me to do anything to you, then I won't."
"Oh," he says, a look of disappointment coming to his face.
"But if you want me to, I will," I say, with a little chuckle at Brian's expression.
"Cool," Brian says, before going back to his homework.
"Brian," I say, feeling like I'm the one who needs a question answered now. "Can I ask you something, and you can be totally honest with me."
"Okay," Brian says, once again looking up from his homework.
"When you said that you loved me," I start slowly. "Were you saying that because you really do or because you thought I'd be angry with you if you didn't?"
"I said it, because I really do," Brian says. "After my parents died, this guy that worked with my Dad was at the funeral, and he was talking about making sure you tell people what you think about them. Because you never know how long they'll be around for."
I take in what I've just heard. The words don't sound like they are coming from an eleven year old. I don't get how Brian could have possibly processed all of that at the age he was when he heard it. And yet again, I feel myself being totally amazed by him. With everyday that passes it seems that I learn more and more about Brian, and his past. And the more I learn the more impressed by him I come and the deeper in love with him I fall.
"Well that guy at the funeral was very smart," I say. "And I'm glad you remembered that."
Brian just nods, and when he realizes I'm not going to say anything else he goes back to doing his homework.
After dinner I foolishly hope for some help with the dishes but Brian is already planted in front of the television. After the dishwasher is loaded I join Brian on the couch, settling in for the evening. When bed time comes, I climb into bed with Brian, he plants his head on my chest, and my arms go around him.
"I love you, Kevin," he says, after we've gotten comfortable.
"I love you too, angel," I say, smiling because now I know for sure he actually means it.
The morning comes, but we sleep past the alarm. Brian and I have to eat our breakfast in the car but I get him to school on time. When I get to the Sierra Inn, Julie is standing near the front desk talking to Laura. Laura is smiling, so I assume that this won't be bad news.
"Hello Mr. Wasdin," Julie says. "I must say I'm impressed with your motel. I was expecting some modern version of the Bates."
"Thank you, I think," I say, scratching my hand as I stand next to Laura behind the front desk. "Do we need to talk in private? My office is back here if we do."
"That would be perfect," Julie says, with a smile, before following me back to my office.
When we get there I shut the door, and invite Julie to take a seat on the couch, while I sit at my desk. I know this will probably be about my plan to adopt Brian. I'm sure she's gotten some type of phone call from Mr. Quincy and is here to tell me I'm an idiot. Or at the very least try to discourage me from even trying, so I prepare myself for a battle.
"I got an interesting call this morning," Julie says, as soon as my butt hits my chair. "From a Lawrence Quincy, he said that you hired him to help you adopt Brian."
"That I did," I say, nodding my head.
"I just have one question for you, Mr. Wasdin," Julie says. "Do you honestly think any judge in their right mind is going to sign papers giving you full custody of Brian for the next seven years?"
"If I didn't think that was possible I wouldn't be trying," I say.
"Mr. Wasdin, all the hot shot lawyers in the world aren't going to be able to help you here," Julie says. "You're a single man, who isn't even thirty yet and you're clearly a workaholic."
"What happened to us not having an adversarial relationship?" I ask, remembering our conversation from less than forty eight hours ago. "It seems to me we still both want the same things."
"Mr. Wasdin, it's one thing to be a foster parent," Julie says, acting as though she did not even hear my question. "Being a foster parent implies the situation is temporary, and any damage that could be done if it's a bad placement would be minimal. I cringe to think of the damage you could do if you had seven years of sole custody."
"What is that supposed to mean?" I ask, angrily.
"It means I don't think you're fit to be a parent for the long term," Julie says. "And trust me every adoption judge in this town is going to know what I think. I am not going to let this adoption happen. And if you think for a minute that you're fancy lawyer is going to save it, you've got another thing coming."
"We'll just see who the judge listens to," I say. "The social worker who disappeared on one of her charges, or the child that was neglected."
I know I probably shouldn't have said that, but I let my anger get the best of me. Even if Julie dug to the center of the earth she couldn't find anything on me to seriously suggest I would be an unfit parent. And I'm willing to make any changes to my life to make this adoption happen.
"Mr. Wasdin the system might be broken," Julie says. "But we didn't fail Brian, and if you think you can lean on that you're horribly mistaken."
"Oh I see, so allowing an eleven year old boy to run away from his foster home, because the people you placed him with were abusing him. Then having him loose on the streets for a month is a success story to you?" I ask, as I feel my nostrils flaring with anger. "Look, you can try to discourage me, you can try threatening me all you want but at the end of the day I'm still going to pursue this harder than anything I've ever pursued before. And there is not one damn thing you can do about it."
"We'll just see about that," Julie says, as she gets up from the couch. "Oh and Mr. Wasdin, just to let you know, you're crossing the wrong person here."
An hour passes before my anger fully leaves me, and when it does I am filled with regret. I think I probably crossed the line three too many times in my confrontation with Julie. I don't usually have a temper, but when I do get angry I can spout off with the best of them. Just as I start to think that I have tossed any chance of adopting Brian right out the window the phone rings.
"Kevin, this is Larry Quincy," I hear on the other end of the phone.
"Oh, hi Mr. Quincy," I say. "Look there's something I...."
"Kevin, before you say anything there's something I need to ask you," Mr. Quincy says. "Who is Brian's social worker?"
"Julie Harden," I say.
"So, you don't know?" Mr. Quincy asks.
"What don't I know?" I ask.
"Julie Harden was fired from CPS last Friday," Mr. Quincy says.
"What?" I ask, not believing what the man on the other end of the phone is telling me.
"Julie Harden was fired," Mr. Quincy says. "It appears that young, Brian's case got the higher ups at CPS digging on Ms. Harden. Apparently she's let several of her cases go without any type of follow up. This Bill Lofton is Brian's new social worker."
"But..." I say, almost too shocked to speak. "Ms. Harden was here this morning. She came to my apartment on Sunday. She even threatened me that she would never let the adoption happen."
"She did what?" Mr. Quincy asks his own shock obvious in his voice. "Did she have an ID with here?"
"I don't know," I say. "I've never thought to look for an ID."
"Well I'm going to call CPS immediately," Mr. Quincy says. "But before I forget Mr. Lofton told me to tell you that he is going to fax you're new foster care license to you today. Congratulations, you're off probation," Mr. Quincy adds with a chuckle.
"Thank you very much," I say, taking the biggest sigh of relief I have ever taken.
My head starts spinning with what I have just been told. Obviously Julie's story about being pregnant was a lie, which would make sense since Brian never mentioned anything about that. But I can't understand why Julie would keep coming after me, even after losing her job. To say I am relieved, though, would be an understatement. What I said to Julie this morning was stupid, when I thought she was still a social worker for CPS. It would have certainly hurt my chances of being able to adopt Brian. But now that I know she no longer works for CPS, I feel pretty damn good about what I said to her this morning.
Still I wonder what Julie's motives might be. I start to contemplate calling the police, thinking that maybe she's some type of obsessed stalker or something. It is clear, either way that the woman has issues. I finally decide not to call the police yet as she hasn't made any kind of substantial threat yet, and I don't really see her doing so in the future. I know that Mr. Quincy is telling CPS about her un-explained visits and for now that's enough for my sanity.
I have no clue what this change in social workers means for my case of adopting Brian. I was not really able to get a good read on Mr. Lofton as Julie had been the one asking most of the questions. If I absolutely had to guess I would say that Julie seemed the more skeptical of the two when they first met me last week. That doesn't mean Mr. Lofton won't give me just as hard of a time. I am fighting an uphill battle, there is no doubt about that. I know that I can't, for a second, let myself think any part of this process is going to come easy. There are so many things I have to over come, so many misconceptions that I have to beat. It makes it really hard to see the finish line. Obviously I know that I'm standing at the start of this journey, but I always like to know where I'm headed. My goal is clear, the way I'm going to get there is foggy and shows no signs of clearing any time soon.
Needless to say I don't get much work done as the day progresses. Around lunch I get a fax from CPS, it's my official license and also papers that say Brian is placed with me as my foster child indefinitely. They are all signed by Bill Lofton and the name Julie Harden does not appear on a single document. It is almost like she has been erased completely from the case, and after this morning I can not think enough about how good of a thing that is.
While eating lunch I make a decision that is a huge one for me. It means I am going to have to swallow a considerable amount of pride but I feel it is necessary. You see, the Sierra Inn started out as a joint project with me and three of my friends from college. One of, whom, Matt, was my roommate for three years. But at various points during the construction all three bowed out, they weren't as big of a risk taker as I am. Obviously this put a permanent mark on our friendships, except for Matt and mine. Matt deserted the project because he was diagnosed with testicular cancer, and did not feel like he would be able to contribute to the project to the best of his ability. We fell out of touch, not out of anger, but because I got so busy with the Sierra Inn I just simply didn't have time to keep in contact. The last I heard from him was over a year ago. his cancer was gone and he had gotten a job at resort in Scottsdale managing the bell desk. Knowing Matt as I do, I know by now he's probably fed up with that job and more than likely looking for a change. And if ever there is a definite change from a five diamond resort in the shadow of the McDowell Mountains, it's the Sierra Inn.
I am in no way thinking of selling the Sierra Inn, or even part of it. I could never part with my baby. But I am still realistic and I know if I continue with the responsibility load I have on my shoulders now it will make adopting Brian all the more difficult. So after several days of weighing the pros and cons of bringing in somebody else to share the load with, and after the events of this morning, I finally decide to give Matt a call.
"Hey Matt," I say, when he picks up his cell phone. "It's Kevin."
"Hey Kev!" Matt says happily. "What the fuck have you been up to?"
"Same shit as always," I say not quite catching him up on what's happened since the last time we've spoken. "How about you, man?"
"Same," Matt says.
"Are you still at that resort?" I ask, trying to dig for details.
"Yeah," he says, sounding less than enthusiastic. "It's not at all what I want, but in this economy I'm not going to quit to look for something else."
"Got you there," I say while nodding my head like he can actually see my doing so over the phone.
"How's your business doing?" Matt asks.
"Pretty good actually," I say, not being able to control the pride from coming through in my voice. "Hey I was hoping we could get together, there's something kind of big I wanted to ask you. Do you think you could come by the Sierra Inn tomorrow?"
"Sure, I guess," Matt says. "When should I come by, I don't work tomorrow."
"How about eleven," I say. "Maybe we could have lunch."
"You buy?" he asks.
"Yeah, you find the flying pig and I'll pay," I say with a laugh.
"Glad to hear something's don't change," Matt says with a chuckle. "So I guess I'll see you tomorrow."
"Yeah, see you tomorrow," I say, before hanging up the phone.
With the events of the morning pretty well settled in my mind, and a firm appointment with Matt set for tomorrow I am able to actually concentrate on my work until the time for me to pick up Brian from school arrives. I say goodbye to Laura, as today is the day Brian and I are going furniture shopping for a new bedroom set. As I drive to the school I wonder how much Brian will actually use the new bed, but buying it is necessary to appease the powers that be.
I pull into the school parking lot just as the dismissal bell rings. Just like yesterday I wait for Brian, right outside of the car wanting to avoid any undo embarrassment. After a few minutes I see him come out but today there is no need for me to wave as he spots me almost instantly, a huge smile on his face..
"How was your day?" I ask him after we've gotten into the car.
"Good," Brian says, the smile still on his face, but not offering any more information.
I get curious quickly as this the longest I've seen Brian hold a continuous smile so I know something really good must have happened. Either that or he's up to something. Whatever it is I feel an urgency to find out what is behind the grin.
"What are you grinning about?" I ask, not being able to help a smile spread across my face from just seeing Brian's grin.
"The P.E teacher, Mr. G said that he's having tryouts for a basketball team next week," Brian starts, the grin still on his face. "And today we were playing basketball, and after class he asked me to come to tryouts."
"Really?" I ask, having not even been aware that Brian liked basketball.
"Yep," Brian says, proudly. "He said that I'm really good and I should be able to make the team easy."
"I didn't even know you like basketball," I say, as we finally get to the front of the line of cars and pull out of the school parking lot.
"I love basketball," Brian says quickly. "I used to play it at my old school everyday at recess. And my Dad used to take me to Suns games all the time. We'd sit right by the court. I used to have a bunch of players autographs but I think they got given away with a bunch of my stuff when I got put in foster care."
I try to take these small pictures that Brian provides me of his old life and piece them together to figure out exactly how life used to be for him. From what I've heard so far, it sounds like I'm going to have quite a challenge living up to the expectations he has most likely set for his new life. But I have never been one to back away from a challenge.
"Do you like basketball?" Brian asks me, as I head for the furniture store.
"I used to," I say, honestly. "I haven't gotten a chance to see much of it recently. I've been too busy at the motel the last three years."
"Oh," Brian says. "Do you think we could go to a Suns game sometime?"
If you listen closely enough I think you can actually hear my bank account screaming for mercy. There is nothing in the world I would like more than to share something Brian loves with him, but buying two tickets of upwards of fifty bucks each, not including food and souvenirs makes it hard for me to imagine this dream becoming a reality.
"We'll have to see," I say. "If we can get our hands on some tickets, sure," I add not wanting to disappoint him too much.
"Cool," he says, apparently finding hope in my last statement.
I start to consider telling Brian about what I learned this morning about Julie but I decide to wait. I'm sure it won't upset him but I don't find any real benefit in telling him right away either, so most of the rest of the car ride is spent in a comfortable silence. When we get to the furniture store, we head right for the bedroom sets. Brian quickly spots a bed and goes right to it. It's really an average twin sized bed with a maple wood head board. Nothing fancy, and there are about five other beds just in the immediate area I would have expected him to go to before this one.
"I like this one," he says, looking up at me for approval as I stand beside him surveying his choice.
"Well it's totally your choice buddy," I say. "But are you sure you don't want to look around first?"
"This is like the bed I had at my old house," Brian says. "I loved that bed but I think it went the same place as all of my basketball autographs."
"Well if you're sure you want this one, we'll get it for you, finding a sales person shouldn't be...."
"May I help you?" a salesman, with perfect timing, asks as he comes up next to me.
We end up buying the bed Brian wants and a mattress, all of which will be delivered to my apartment tomorrow afternoon. We leave the furniture store with Brian practically bouncing off the walls with excitement. There is a change with Brian in the couple of days since he started school that I was not expecting. He seems to have a lot more energy and life in him than he did before. Maybe now he feels like he is just a normal kid again, or maybe it's because he has apparently been able to make friends his own age. Either way, this change has definitely been a positive one, and I find myself excited to find out what he will be like when he has the security of knowing he has a permanent home.
I decide to take the night off from cooking, after all I've done that two nights in a row which is a new record for me. So I stop at McDonalds for another fast food grease fest. All through our meal, Brian talks about his day at school. Apparently he's made two new friends, both of whom had been friends of Ethan before and Mr. Leonard is really funny in Social Studies because he tries to imitate which ever historical figure they are talking about, event he women. I smile and nod as Brian continues on about his day, just soaking every word he says in. The change in him really is quite remarkable, considering a bulk of it has happened in the last day or two.
When we get home, I make Brian do his homework before he can watch television. I feel like my parents, but I know it's necessary. While Brian is doing his homework, I start in on some paper work I've brought home from the motel, doing it right beside him at the breakfast bar.
"I didn't know adults got homework," Brian says, with a little giggle as he takes a break from his work to look at mine.
"Yeah well, this adult does," I say as I put my pen down for a second and stretch my arms above my head. "But no copying."
"I can't copy you!" Brian says, quickly. "I don't even know what you're doing."
"Well I don't either, so we'd be in the same boat," I say, with a smile.
Brian giggles before returning back to his work, and I return to mine. After an hour Brian is finished with his work and I've given up on getting any more of mine done so we move to the couch and settle in for another evening of T.V watching. We start out in silence as is usually the case, but it's a comfortable silence almost a contented one that, to be honest, I've only experienced a few times in my life.
"Kevin, can I ask you something?" Brian asks, and I know this will be a loaded question. All the loaded ones start with him saying my name.
"Sure, angel," I say. "What is it?"
"When I get my new bed, will I have to sleep in it every night?" he asks, looking up at me.
"That's up to you," I say. "You can sleep wherever you're most comfortable."
"So sometimes I could still sleep in your bed?" he asks.
"If you want to sure," I say.
"Cool," Brian says.
I breathe a small sigh of relief as that question was a lot easier to answer than I thought it was going to be. We fall back into that contented silence, just watching television until Brian's newly set bedtime approaches.
"Hey angel, time to get into the tub," I say.
"Do I have to?" Brian whines.
"If you want me to sleep in the same bed as you tonight, yes," I say with a smile.
"Fine," he says, with no further argument. "Do you want to come with me?"
To Be Continued...
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Chapter 11 Coming Soon!!