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 email@example.com
The sun coming into the room is what wakes me up. No obnoxious alarm clock, no banging on the front door just the strong sun coming in through the window to the left of my bed. Today begins a new era in my life, one I had not seen coming so soon. Today is Saturday, but not just any Saturday, it will be the first day in over three years that I will not once set foot in the Sierra Inn. Or at least that's the plan. Matt agreed to work the weekend to give me more time with Brian, who he hasn't even met yet. I wonder if I can really make it an entire day without going to see my baby, as I stare up at the ceiling. Though quickly my thoughts change as I realize Brian, who had been in my arms when I fell asleep last night is no longer there, or for that matter anywhere in the bedroom. I quickly get out of bed, fighting to put on a pair of boxers as I make my way out to the living room.
"Good morning, Dad!" Brian, who did not bother getting dressed, says as he sits on the couch watching television.
"Good morning angel," I say, with a smile, as I take a seat next to him.
"You slept late, it's almost nine o'clock," he says, as his show goes to commercial.
"Well what can I say? You tired me out last night," I say, as I take a seat next to him on the couch.
Brian doesn't say anything, he just giggles before turning his attention back to the television. Leaving him on the couch I go over to the breakfast bar where I left my cell phone the night before and turn it on, before going into the kitchen to scrounge something up for breakfast. As I am contemplating an attempt at scrambled eggs, my phone rings.
"Hi, Kevin it's Dad," I hear on the other end of the phone after I pick it up. I had seen it was my parent's number on the caller ID but had expected to hear my Mom's voice on the other end of the line.
"Hi, Dad," I say, trying to hide my surprise. "What's up?" I ask, knowing he never calls just to say hello.
"Well, don't ask me how," he says, slowly. "But I have two extra tickets to tonight's Suns game. I was wondering if you and Brian would like to join me."
"Really?" I ask, now the surprise coming through in my voice.
"I wouldn't have asked if I didn't mean it," my Dad says. "Does Brian like basketball?"
"Yeah he does," I say, remembering our conversation from a couple days ago. "I'm sure he'd love to go."
"Good," my Dad says. "How about we meet at Hooters around five."
"Dad, it's me, Kevin" I say, quickly. "And Brian..."
"Oh yeah that's right," my Dad says with a little chuckle. "Well then how about I meet you at your place around four thirty then we can find some place to eat on the way."
"Sounds good," I say. "And Dad thanks."
"Don't mention it," he says. "I'll see you this afternoon."
"Yeah, see you this afternoon," I say, before hanging up.
Temporarily forgetting about breakfast I go back to the couch to tell Brian about our new plans for this evening.
"Hey angel," I say, as I take a seat next to him on the couch and he quickly turns to face me. "Do you still want to go to a Suns game?"
"Yeah!" he exclaims as a huge smile spreads across his face.
"Well that was my Dad, and he has two extra tickets for tonight's game," I say. "He invited us to go with him."
"Really?" Brian asks, a look of surprise now on his face.
"Yep," I say. "So do you want to go?"
"Yeah!" Brian says, now sitting on the edge of the couch cushion looking like he is ready to start for the arena now.
"Good," I say. "That's what I told my Dad. But the game's not until tonight, and we had plans for today," I say, remembering the computer I had promised.
"You remembered?" Brian asks, surprised.
"I'm not that old, yet," I say, with a little chuckle. "Why don't you get dressed and I'll get your breakfast ready."
"K," Brian says, as he simultaneously darts for the bedroom.
Laughing a little at Brian's enthusiasm I go back into the kitchen and quickly settle on cereal to save some time. Just as I am getting bowls out of the cabinet my cell phone rings again.
"Hello," I say, not recognizing the phone number on caller ID.
"Hello, Kevin, this is Doris."
"Oh hi Doris," I say, as I use my free hand to take down the Frosted Flakes from its perch on the shelf. "How are you?"
"I'm doing well, thank you," she says. "I was wanting to speak to you about tomorrow."
"Sure," I say. "Is eleven thirty still okay with you?"
"Absolutely," Doris says. "But I was wondering if I might speak with you about a couple of things tomorrow that might be kind of sensitive. Should we discuss them then or another time? There's no real rush."
"Well is it okay if Brian's around when we talk?" I ask, thinking Brian shouldn't be present if the subject's are too sensitive.
"Oh I have things to keep him occupied," Doris says.
"Yeah then tomorrow is fine," I say.
Doris's tone tells me that she probably considers whatever she has to talk about tomorrow more sensitive than I would and I don't really have to worry about it. Before hanging up Doris gives me directions to her house which I scribble down on the back of a piece of mail. I hang up the phone right before Brian comes in, already wearing his hooded sweatshirt. I have not seen Brian as excited as he is during breakfast. With all that we have planned today he can't seem to make up his mind whether he wants to talk about possible computer games or the Suns. So he hops back and forth from one to the other while he eats and I try to follow what he is saying best I can. But by the end of breakfast I'm thinking we need to buy a big man and the Suns need to trade for a Dell laptop.
After our bowls are in the sink, I get dressed quickly and we head out the door. Our first stop is a big electronic store which is on its way out of business. I'm hoping to take advantage of their bad situation and save a few bucks. Brian and I make our way inside and in a time that would make Secretariat jealous Brian finds his way to the computer section. I follow, feeding off of Brian's enthusiasm and soon find myself lost in a world of ram's and monitor pixels. Apparently Brian speaks the same language as the salesman who comes over to help us, but I am totally lost. After the salesman has showed us a couple of different computers he has to step away to take a phone call.
"So which one did he say works better?" I ask Brian softly, embarrassed by my own ignorance.
"This one," Brian says, pointing to the laptop nearest him.
I look the laptop over, and it looks like the other five sitting on the shelf on either side of it. But I guess computers are like people and it's what is on the inside that counts.
"Is that the one you want?" I ask, noticing that the price is well within my range. Thank you bad economy!
"Yeah," Brian says nodding his head, emphatically.
"Okay, then I guess that's the one we're getting," I say, thinking that maybe I shouldn't be leaving this type of decision to an eleven year old.
When the salesman comes back I tell him of Brian's choice, and he immediately starts selling me a bunch of software to go with it. By the time I get everything he suggests to ensure I won't get any viruses and Brian picks out two computer games the price is a little more than I wanted to spend. But the smile on Brian's face as we leave the store makes me feel better.
When we get home Brian sets the laptop on the breakfast bar and immediately starts downloading his games. As he starts playing "Need for Speed" I instantly start dreading the day he gets his learners permit. Brian only gets off the computer to eat lunch and I spend most of the afternoon watching television. I'm sure it isn't exactly the bonding experience Matt envisioned me and Brian having when he volunteered to work the weekend. But I realize Brian has a new toy, and he wants time to play with it. When it gets close to four thirty I do make Brian get off the computer so he can get ready to go to the game, which he has no problem with.
While Brian is in the bathroom there is a knock on the door. Looking at my watch and seeing it's four fifteen I can't say that I'm surprised. To my Dad, if you're on time you're already late. I smile a little remembering how much I hated having to get everywhere so early as a kid and knowing that I do the same thing now.
"Hi there Kevin," my Dad says as I let him into the apartment.
"Hi," I say, closing the door behind him. "I don't know how to thank you for this. I think you made Brian's year."
"Well I'm glad," he says, a small smile actually appearing on his face. "Where is Brian?"
"Oh he's getting ready," I say. "Dad, can I ask you something?" I ask as we take a seat on the couch.
"Sure," he says.
"What changed your mind?" I ask.
"Changed my mind about what?" he asks, a curious look on his face.
"About Brian, and my taking him in," I say.
"Who said I changed my mind?" he asks. "Look, Kevin you're going to do what you want whether I approve or not. You proved that when you started that motel of yours. I can ignore a motel, it doesn't have feelings. But Brian's a little harder to ignore. Besides your Mom and I have been talking, and if Brian is the closest we'll get to having a grandson we want to treat him like one."
"You don't know how happy I am to hear you say that," I say, not being able to help the huge smile that spreads across my face.
"Kevin, we know you want to adopt him," my Dad says.
"Excuse me?" I ask, shocked.
"His social worker called us yesterday," he says. "She told us about your plan."
"Wait a minute," I say, quickly. "What was the name of the person who called you?"
"Harden?" I ask, filling in the blank for him.
"Yeah that's it," he says. "Honestly she sounds a little odd to me."
"You have no idea," I say. "Dad, she's not Brian's social worker anymore she was fired over a week ago now. But she's still been acting like she is representing Brian."
"I wish," I say. "What did she tell you?"
"Well, that you wanted to adopt Brian," he says. "And that she thought it was a big mistake on your part and we should talk you out of it. But don't worry I'm not going to do that."
"Thank you," I say, relieved.
"Dad, I'm ready!" Brian says, happily as he comes bounding out from the hallway, and right onto my lap before even noticing my Dad sitting next to me.
When my Dad hears what Brian says, he does a double take, looking back and forth in between Brian and I a few times in shock. The look of surprise on his face is almost matched by the look on Brian's face when he notices that my Dad is in the room.
"Hi, Mr. Wasdin," Brian says, shyly as he gets off my lap and stands in front of me facing my Dad.
"Hi Brian," my Dad says. "How about you call me Jack?"
"Okay, Mr. Wasdin, I mean Jack," Brian says, with a little smile.
"So you guys ready for some dinner?" my Dad asks, still trying to lose the shock from his face.
"I know I sure am," I say. "How about you, Brian?"
"I'm always ready for food!" Brian proclaims, the smile on his face turning into a full grin, as he pats his stomach with both hands.
My Dad and I laugh a little as we get off the couch. After piling into my car my Dad gives me instructions to a steakhouse not far from downtown and the arena. When we get to the table Brian, who is sitting in between my Dad and I, looks a little lost as he looks at the menu. I am quickly realizing eating at a restaurant is not something Brian is used to.
"So, Brian what do you like?" my Dad asks, before I can try to help.
"Burgers," Brian says.
"Well then you're in luck," my Dad says. "This place has some of the best burgers in town, their listed right..." he pauses as he leans over and flips the pages of Brian's menu a couple of times. "there!"
"Thanks," Brian says, giving my Dad a little smile.
"Don't mention it," he says, returning the smile.
After we have ordered my Dad and I talk about business some, how the Sierra Inn is doing, what my plans are for it for the new year, the usual stuff. While we are talking Brian seems to be listening off and on, but more so taking in his surroundings. The restaurant is fancy only by comparison to the places we've been eating in. Still it is clearly more than Brian is used to and I see a slight look of discomfort on his face as he almost seems unsure of how to sit or what to do with his napkin.
"So Brian, do you play basketball?" my Dad asks, taking me by surprise yet again. It is as though he noticed the same thing I did again and for the second time has beaten me to trying to correct the problem.
"I used to," Brian says. "And my P.E teacher invited me to tryouts for his team."
"Very good," my Dad says. "You know I used to play basketball?"
"You did?" Brian asks, enthusiastically. I suppress my groan as I know exactly word for word the story that is about to follow.
"Yes I did," my Dad says, proudly. "When I played in high school I was..."
I stop paying attention, after that I could tell Brian this story word for word if I wanted to. Still I watch Brian as he listens, seemingly soaking in every word my Dad is saying. I have never really tried to picture my Dad as a grandfather, probably because I didn't think it would ever happen. Then when he first met Brian, he certainly didn't seem willing to approach the possibility. But now it's like he's a totally different person than I have known for the last 27 years. He is treating Brian like they have been best buddies for ever. He seems to be working magic on Brian, who no longer seems tense or nervous but very relaxed as he listens to my Dad re-count his days as a high school basketball player in his home town in Iowa.
When our food comes, Dad has to suspend his story so he can chew. But when we are finished he quickly picks up again and Brian starts listening again just as intently as before. Finally when we are half way between the restaurant and the arena Dad finishes. We walk into the arena, me guiding Brian through the crowd from behind with my hand on his shoulder. I am surprised at the seats we have, they're center court and only five rows up. As we sit down I look at Dad, who is on the other side of Brian from me, in disbelief.
"I have a friend who's a season ticket holder," he says after seeing my look. "They couldn't use the seats tonight."
The game is great, but maybe what is even better is the look of pure happiness on Brian's face that stays for the entire two and half hours we are there. I have to admit, even though I too enjoy the game I find myself distracted by what Dad told me back at the apartment. I wonder what Julie Harden's motive is. It is clear she is trying to prevent me from adopting Brain. But why? What have I done to her to make her want to get in the way like this? My mind continues to go in circles with questions and possible answers as I drive back home after the game.
When we get back to my apartment complex, I notice Brian who is sitting in the back seat has fallen asleep. I wake him up enough so he can walk up the stairs and into our apartment. I invite Dad in for a cup of coffee, and Brian goes right to the couch where he is once again asleep after a long day, in a matter of seconds.
"Thank you, again Dad," I say as I start the coffee brewing.
"You're very welcome," Dad says, as he takes a seat on one of the stools on the other side of the breakfast bar. "Kevin, I still think we need to talk."
"About what?" I ask.
"What Brian was calling you all night," Dad says.
"Oh," I say, not exactly sure where this is going.
"You know there's a chance this adoption won't go through," he says. "You think allowing him to call you Dad so soon is smart?"
"Why wouldn't the adoption go through?" I ask, as I stand across the breakfast bar from him while the coffee is brewing..
"I'm just saying, nothing is guaranteed," he says. "And I don't know if it's smart to let him get his hopes up like that."
"What am I supposed to do? Tell him he can't call me Dad," I say. "You know how much of a slap in the face that would be?"
"No, I'm not saying that," Dad says. "But it seems to me that he doesn't realize this adoption may not happen. Have you told him there's a chance things may still not work out?"
"Well..." I say, as I try to think of an answer where I won't come out looking like an idiot.
"You haven't," Dad says, shaking his head. "Kevin, I'm not trying to be impossible about this. But sometimes I think you need a dose of reality. And no matter how much you wish it wasn't the case, you still have an uphill battle in front of you."
"I know that," I say, quickly. "But Dad, I don't care if I have to hire an army of lawyers there is no way the courts are making Brian live with anybody but me. I just won't let anything else happen."
Dad doesn't say anything, he just shakes his head with a small grin. I think deep down he knows, that nobody gets in my way when I put my mind to something. That is, after all, how I opened the Sierra Inn. I had my doubters then too, Dad being near the top of the list. I figure if I could woo enough banks into giving me loans so I would be able to get the place open, I should be able to convince a family court judge I am a suitable parent for Brian.
When the coffee I sit down next to Dad at the breakfast bar, after checking to see if Brian is still asleep which he is.
"I have to admit," Dad says, suddenly breaking the silence I had rather been enjoying. "He's a special young man. I don't blame you for wanting to adopt him."
"He is very special," I say. "It just seems like he keeps finding new ways to amaze me."
"Kevin," Dad says with a serious tone in his voice. "I want to apologize for what I said that day at the motel. My questioning you motives the way I did, was beyond being out of line. After seeing you with him I have no doubt you will make an excellent father for him."
"Thank you," I say, a sudden smack of guilt hitting me across the face.
"There's just one thing," he says, after taking a sip of coffee.
"What's that?" I ask, cautiously.
"How do we get him to like your Mother?"
"He doesn't dislike her," I say quickly. "He was just being shy, I'm sure if we give them sometime together he'll warm up to her."
"Well then we need to do that very soon," Dad says, with a little smirk. "Your Mom can't stand the thought that someone doesn't like her."
"Yeah I can imagine," I chuckle to myself. "How about we get together next weekend, that way they can get to know each other better."
"That's a good idea," Dad says quickly. "Well speaking of your Mother I better be going."
I start walking my Dad to the door, but receive a shock, as on his way to the door he leans over Brian's head on the couch.
"Welcome to the family, young man," I hear him whisper as he plants a gentle kiss on the top of Brian's head.
I try to reel my eyes back into their sockets before he turns around notices my surprise. I could not have imagined tonight to have gone any better than it did, before Dad did that, now the night almost seems magical.
"Goodnight son," Dad says, as he passes me on his way out the door.
"Night," I stutter, still in a state of shock.
As I wash my only two coffee mugs, my mind begins to race again. I'm sure it's not what she intended but Julie has actually helped me the last few days. Having Doris in our lives, will no doubt make Brian happier and will probably help me out as well. Julie telling my parents about my plans to adopt Brian saved me the trouble of doing it which was something I had been dreading. Still I know Julie's motives aren't to help me adopt Brian and her knack for making people believe she is still Brian's social worker scares me to no end. I don't know how far she will go, or even what she really is hoping to accomplish. If she's trying this hard it must be for more than to just foil my adoption attempt. I know thinking about it anymore tonight will not do me any good, though I do plan to call Mr. Quincy in the morning to tell him about what Dad had told me.
After finishing with the dishes I walk over to the couch, and take a minute to just stare at Brian who is still sound asleep. Today was a long exciting day for him, between the computer and the basketball game he seems to have totally been worn out. Still I don't want him sleeping on the couch all night, and he needs to brush his teeth so I have no choice but to wake him.
"Angel," I say softly, as I gently stroke his sweatshirt clad shoulder. "You have to get ready for bed."
"Unnngggghhh," he moans.
"Come on angel, the quicker you get up the sooner you can go to sleep," I say, thinking afterwards that made no sense even to me.
Begrudgingly Brian gets off the couch and heads to the bathroom. I join him by the sink as we brush our teeth together, his eyes never opening more than half wide. He beats me out of the bathroom, and when I finally do get into the bedroom he is already under the covers sound asleep. I strip down to my boxers and pull the covers of the bed back. Brian's back is to me as he is sleeping on his side, and when I pull back the covers I get a full moon. I can't help but smile a little as I carefully climb into bed as to not wake him up. Just as I am getting comfortable in bed Brian rolls over towards me, and rests his head on my chest, which has apparently become his new favorite pillow. I put my arm around him and give him a gentle, loving squeeze.
"Goodnight Dad," I hear him say softly.
"Goodnight, angel," I say, giving the top of his head a gentle kiss before leaning my head back onto my pillow and drifting off to sleep.
I have never had a problem wetting the bed, even when I was a small child I can't remember a time when I didn't wake up to relieve my bladder. That is why, when I suddenly feel something hot and wet around my penis I am quite surprised and wake up quickly. The first thing I do is look down the length of my body and I quickly notice that my mid section has grown considerably under the covers, over night. Quickly throwing the covers back, I reveal Brian laying on his stomach his head propped up with his elbows and my penis firmly lodged in his mouth. Knowing that I am awake doesn't seem to phase him in the least as I feel his tongue start to play with the head of my penis. I let my head fall back to the pillow, my eyes clamp shut as my all the blood in my body seems to have gone to my crotch. This is definitely the best wake up call I have ever gotten. All too soon, I feel my balls draw up to my body.
"Angel, I'm going to shoot," I say, my voice hoarse as I warn Brian of the impending explosion.
Brian quickly replaces his mouth with his hand as he begins to jack me off furiously, and in no time my cum is shooting at a record speed.
"Good morning!" Brian proclaims, a huge grin on his face, as he crawls up beside me, resting his head on the pillow next to me.
"Good morning," I say back, before giving him a quick peck on the lips. "What made you do that?" I ask as I reach for the tissue box I keep on the nightstand, and begin to clean the mess I made on myself up.
"You were sleeping too long, I got bored," he says, that sly grin of his once again making an appearance.
"Well thank you. You are a lot better than my alarm clock," I say with a grin of my own as I turn on my side to face him. Taking a quick peak at the clock I notice it's only a little before eight in the morning, which means we don't have to leave for Doris's house for another three hours.
I gently start to run my hand down Brian's side, until I reach his waist. Knowing exactly where I am headed Brian turns so he is laying on his back. When I reach his groin I find his penis already hard, and pointing towards the ceiling. I quickly grasp it in between my index finger and thumb and start stroking him very gently. I prop my head up with my free hand, and look into Brian's eyes. I have looked into his eyes many times before, I have made it very clear by now how amazing I think his eyes are. But this morning there is a new type of glint to them, I don't know if it's possible but I think I almost see trust in his eyes.
Slowly I lower my face to his and his mouth quickly opens admitting my tongue. We kiss passionately, as I begin to stroke him faster. When I feel his legs spread wider, a sign that he is getting ready to climax I abruptly stop my stroking.
"Brian I want to try something new," I say, suddenly getting an idea as I break our kiss.
"What?" he asks, looking up into my eyes with that glazed over look.
"Sit on my chest," I say, rolling onto my back.
"What?" he asks, confused.
"Sit on my chest, facing me," I say, again as I prop my head and shoulders up against the headboard of the bed.
Still unsure of what he is supposed to do, Brian slowly, crawls up onto his knees and straddles my chest. He sits back, his butt landing on my chest, his balls pushing against the base of my neck and his penis pointing towards my forehead. Awkwardly I bring my right hand to his penis and slowly start stroking him again, as he looks down to watch what I am doing. After only a couple of strokes I put both of my hands on his butt and press as to lift him up. He gets the idea and stands on his knees, which are on either side of my chest. I open my mouth and Brian quickly scoots forward putting his penis in my waiting mouth. I close my lips around his penis, tightly as I pull on his butt cheeks to get him as far inside of my mouth as he can go. Then gently with one hand on his hip I push him backwards until just the head of his penis is in my mouth, before pressing my other hand against his butt to push him all the way back in. I hear him moan above me, and very quickly he gets the idea as he begins to fuck my mouth on his own. I run both my hands up and down the back of his legs, as I feel him thrust back and forth in my mouth. At the this point he is not big enough to get to my throat or make me gag, so I just let him go at his own pace which pretty soon is almost a rabbit fuck of my mouth. I keep my lips pressed tightly around his hard flesh and soon he I feel his penis jolt in my mouth trying to expel liquid that quite simply isn't there.
Brian falls against the wall behind the bed, using his hands to keep his face from slamming into the wall when his climax is over. I loosen my lips from around his still stiff penis and reluctantly he sits back down on my chest.
"Wow!" he says, as he lets himself fall back on the bed next to me.
"Did you like that?" I ask him.
"Yeah," he says, as he cuddles up to me resting his head on my chest.
"Good," I say, as I hug him close to me. "I love you, angel."
"I love you too, Dad," he says.
We stay laying in bed for awhile in that comfortable silence. Brian's head on my chest my arm around him, occasionally squeezing him tighter almost to make sure he is actually real. I still have to pinch myself sometimes, my life has changed so much so quickly part of me is still waiting to wake up from the dream and find myself back in my old apartment alone. Squeezing Brian closer to me while we lay in bed in some odd way lets me know that he is real, that everything that has happened in the last two weeks is real.
Eventually we do have to get out of bed, and after a shared shower we get dressed and head out to the car. Brian seems excited as we head for Doris's house. I am unsure of how this is going to go. I know Brian will be fine with Doris, but he hasn't been back at her house since everything in his life changed. I'm sure it will bring back a flood of memories and I am unsure of how he is going to handle it. He has only told me bits and pieces about his old life, before his parents were killed. I know he must still miss them, and I can't help but wonder how much of a trigger going back to a place he frequented with his parents will be for his grief. Grief that I think he is still keeping buried.
When we get to Sun City, the retirement area where Doris lives I almost instantly get stuck behind a golf cart. The posted limit is 35 which I would love to be going instead of the current 10 miles per hour I am actually going. Brian seems genuinely amused as I mumble about how stupid it is that they allow golf carts on the streets. Finally we get to Doris's house, which is in an older neighborhood where all of the houses look alike, the only distinguishing feature from one to the next is the front yard. Doris apparently has a green thumb as there are two large flower beds sitting on either side of the stone walkway leading to her front door. Brian darts ahead of me and is ringing the doorbell before I am even halfway in between the car and the house.
Just as I catch up to Brian, I hear the lock on the door turn, and Doris slowly appears on the other side of the door.
"Well good morning gentlemen," she says, with a warm smile on her face.
"Hi Grandma!" Brian says happily.
"Come on in," Doris says, opening the door wider to allow us in.
"Hi Doris, thank you for having us," I say as I step inside her house.
"It's absolutely my pleasure," Doris says, the warm smile still on her face.
Her house is not very big, but it is extremely comfortable. The living room is small with a well used couch along one wall which faces a small entertainment unit that holds a television, along a third wall are a couple of chairs that a few years ago probably would have been considered plush, but now they just look beaten down. Opposite the chairs is the kitchen which leads to a small dining room where there is a round table for four people. Doris immediately leads Brian and I to the table which already has food on it.
As we eat, Doris and Brian talk about what they used to do when he and his parents came over on Sunday's. Apparently at one time, more than a few flowers in the flower beds out front were planted by Brian. After we are done eating, Doris sends Brian into the living room to watch television while she has a "chat" with me.
"Thank you for bringing him today," Doris says. "It's like old times, well almost."
"I'm happy to do it," I say. "Thank you for having me."
"It's my pleasure," Doris says. "You have made Brian very happy, and I am very great full to you for that."
"Well, he's made me very happy too," I say. I hope, after I say it, that it didn't sound as odd to Doris as it did to me. I figure it only sounded odd to me because I know things Doris doesn't and again guilt smacks me right across the face.
"Kevin, there are a couple of things I need to talk to you about," Doris says.
"Sure," I say, welcoming the distraction from my guilt.
"Well the first thing is," Doris says. "Brian's parent's estate..." her voice breaks slightly. "I don't know what you were expecting in the way of money. But my son and daughter in law didn't have much money. They were renting the house they lived in. Every cent they did have when they were killed was put into a trust fund for Brian, which he can have access to when he's eighteen. But, it probably won't even cover a semester at college. My son was smart with many things, money wasn't one of them."
"I wasn't even concerned about money," I say, honestly.
"I know you weren't," she says, a smile coming to her face. "Still I felt you should know. There is one other thing I wanted to talk to you about and I hope I don't come off sounding too forward."
"What is it?" I ask.
"Well I know that you own that motel for a living," she says. "Money is not a concern for me, I'm sure you'll find a way to provide Brian what he needs, and hopefully enough of what he wants too. But time is my concern. My son didn't spend a lot of time with Brian, it was always something I was upset about. He worked two jobs so his wife could stay home with Brian. This is precisely why there isn't much in the coffer. I need to ask you how much time you spend at your motel a week?"
"Well, I just hired a friend of mine to be a manager," I say. "It'll still vary per week, but I'll make time for Brian."
"See that's my problem," Doris says. "Simply making time for him isn't enough."
"Well, I meant I would be there for him as much as I need to be," I say, quickly trying to fix any gap in communication.
"I'm sure you intend to be," Doris says. "But Ms. Harden, when she called me told me how dedicated you seemed to that motel. And while you may have problems with her, she did ask me to do something, that I think was a very good idea."
"Doris, Ms. Harden is trying to make me look bad," I say quickly. "I don't know why, but she doesn't want me to adopt Brian, and she'll apparently say anything to make sure she gets what she wants."
"That might be true," Doris says. "But I still feel she made a valid point as far as your time commitment and where your heart is. I feel awkward asking you this, after all I barely know you and you clearly have worked very hard to build what you have. But when the future of my grandson is concerned I feel I have the right to get nosy."
"I understand," I say, still unsure of what is coming. "So what do you want to ask me?"
"Kevin, I can't tell you what to do," Doris starts, making me wonder where the question is. "But if you intend to adopt my grandson, I need to know that you are totally committed to him. I really do hate myself for asking this of you, but I feel I need to. Will you sell your motel?"
To Be Continued...
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