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© Miguel Sanchez 2003 - 2004
On the Road Again
I finished my coffee then went into my room to get my gear so Miguel could drive me to the airport. I was just about to take a step towards the door when Steven came into the room.
He walked over to me and gave me another of his 'Steven hugs.' "Bro, be careful and bring them all back safe."
I looked into his eyes and again my heart skipped a beat as I spoke. "Hey my little brother, nothing is going to happen to Jay or Tito. I'm going to help Jay operate on Tito then we are leaving, plain and simple. No one or nothing is going to stop that from happening. Do you understand?"
Steven thought for a second then just simply nodded his head and gave me a soft kiss on the cheek. "I love you Marco and I'll see you when you get back." was all he could say.
I went back to my room to make a last minute inspection of my gear just to be sure that I hadn't left anything behind. Once that was completed, I took everything out to Pop's Hummer. While I was waiting for him to come outside, I saw Ronnie and Steven come out onto the porch. I looked over to them and I knew I couldn't leave without giving and getting one more hug from them.
I walked over to them and stopped at Ronnie first. He had a smile on his face telling me that he would see me when I returned with his love and Tito. He stepped over to me and put his arms around me and hugged me tightly and gave me his usual kiss on the cheek.
When I stepped back and looked at Steven, I knew this would be a little harder to complete without shedding some tears. Steven was the youngest so we all kept a close eye on him so nothing would happen to him. I didn't have a chance to move because he was in my arms very quickly. He had me in a hug that was more pleading for me to return than wanting me to be safe. I was about to whisper something when I felt a single tear come in contact with my face.
I looked at him and put my finger on the tear and wiped it away. I spoke gently to him saying, "It's alright my little brother, everything will be all right and the three of us will be home before you know it. Please dry your tears and don't cry. Remember Steven, your son is still here and he will quickly pick it up if he sense's anything is wrong."
He quickly wiped his face and then smiled at me. "Come back soon my brother. We will all miss you." He then gave me a soft kiss on the cheek followed by quick hug.
Pop came outside and gave me that 'I think it's time to get on the road' look. We headed for the Hummer but before getting there, we were surrounded by a heard of boys that were demanding the same attention Ronnie and Steven got.
Steven, Ruben and Eduardo gathered around and immediately got me around the waist for a group hug. I let them stay there for a few seconds then I dropped down to one knee so I could see them at their level. Eduardo stepped to me first. He reached up and put his small arms around my neck and held me tight. "Please bring Daddy back safe and sound. I can't wait to meet Tito too." Before Eduardo turned me loose, he gave me a kiss on the cheek.
The next to say goodbye was Ruben. His goodbye was almost identical to his brother's except for one difference. He let a few tears fall before giving me a kiss.
Steven was just standing there with a blank expression on his face. I reached my arms out to him and he hopped up on my knee and buried his face into my neck. I heard what sounded like muffled tears. I whispered softly to him saying, "Easy son, there's nothing to cry about. I'm just going to help your Uncle Jay with Tito's surgery, take him to your grandfather's house for a day or two then we're all coming back home here. Does this sound good to you?"
Steven sat there for a few minutes until his tears subsided then looked at me through his damp eyes. "I want you back safe Uncle Marco. I can't have anything happen to my new uncle, so please be careful."
How could I refuse this precious child? I looked into those eyes then smiled. "Don't worry little one. Nothing is going to happen to me. I'll be back here in a few days with your other uncle and Tito as well. OK?"
Steven smiled and hugged me until Miguel said, "I hate to break up the family reunion but the pilot is now officially on the clock."
I set him down and rubbed all three boys on the head. I got in on the passenger's side and waved goodbye to the 5 bodies now standing near the Hummer. As we headed down the dirt path towards the road, Miguel pushed the button to open the gate. As soon as we were on the main road heading to town, Miguel decided he would let his vehicle stretch its legs. It took us about thirty minutes to get to the airport.
When Miguel went through the gate reserved for those people having private planes, I noticed a different plane sitting there. I asked him saying, "Hey Pop, that's not the plane I came in on is it? It looks bigger."
Miguel laughed when I asked this question; "Ah strong, intelligent and observant as well.”I knew there was a reason I hired you for the job at the boys ranch."
'Remind me never to smart off to him again,' I thought to myself.
"Funny Pop. That plane
looks like either a Gulfstream IV or a Gulfstream V, I'm not sure which."
Miguel giggled. "It's a Model 4. Look, I want you to get Jay and Tito out quickly, safe and sound without starting an international incident. If you run into any problems, call me I can get you some local help"
I looked at him shaking my head, "Local help? Pop, nothing personal but I don't need any help. I promise I won't cause any problems there but I'm not going to take any shit from the locals there either. I remember those ass holes. There are still a few who I have some personal scores I would like to settle, but I won't. I promise I won't go looking for any trouble but I refuse to run from it either. Fair enough, Pop?"
He came over to me and gave me that 'I'm twelve years old again' hug and said, "That's fair enough, Marco. Just please be careful. There are 5 guys back at home that love you and want you back safe." When I felt him kiss me on the cheek, I knew it was time to get on board the plane.
I wiped my eyes waved goodbye to him as I pulled the door up so the pilot could lock it closed. He headed for the flight deck and I took my seat assisted by the cabin steward. I heard the first engine start to whine telling me it was coming to life. A few seconds later, the other engine came roaring to life. I felt the plane start to ease forward and I saw out the window that we were heading for the runway. It took about five minutes to taxi out to the line of waiting planes. About three minutes later I heard the pilot tell us we were next to take off. I felt him give the engines a little bit of thrust then saw the plane square up on the runway. The next thing I knew, I was propelled backward into my seat and then saw that we were air born.
We quickly climbed to our cruising altitude of 36,000 feet then were told we could remove out seat belts. I got up and retrieved one of my carry on bags and set it under my seat. The cabin steward came over and said he would be serving lunch in a few minutes. I looked at my watch and it read 12:15PM so I thought I would call Jay after lunch. The steward served Ronnie's famous chicken Kiev, sautéed vegetables, garlic roasted potatoes and fresh bread. For desert I had a choice of fresh strawberry cheesecake or homemade ice cream. Since I couldn't really decide, I had both.
Now that lunch was over, I could call Jay. I reached under the seat and pulled out my little goodie bag Pop had given me. I opened it and looked at all that was in there. I had to hand it to Pop; when it came to his children he spared no expense. I found the phone and PDA then put the rest of my equipment back under the seat. I turned on the phone and waited for the screen to light up. While I was letting the phone come to life I reached into my pocket and looked at the files that Miguel had transferred to the PDA. Some of them said Directions to the House, Security Procedures, Phone Numbers and one that just said Secured, that file peeked my interest, but I didn't have time to go into that one because I had to speak with Jay.
I touched the file that said phone numbers and when it opened there were the instructions on how to access all the phones many features. The last time I used equipment was many years ago and I had to admit that I was not familiar with these new models.
After quickly reading through the instructions, I entered a series of 4 digit numbers then a list of phone numbers appeared on the small LCD display screen. I scrolled down the list until I came to Jay's name then I pushed the send button. It took about a minute for the call to be connected. Isn't technology wonderful? A few years ago the only way to do this would have cost a small fortune. Now it's still expensive but prices are steadily falling.
I put the phone to my ear and finally heard the first ring. After the third I heard a voice say, "Hello?"
I had thought of playing around with him but decided against it because I got real choked when I heard Jay's voice on the other end of the phone. I replied saying, "Jay bro, what's up?"
I heard him gasp a little when I was speaking but he did manage to get out, "Marco is that you? How did Dad manage to find you?"
I thought man my little brother is really bright. He figured out in less than five seconds Pop found me. I said, "Can't put nothing past you can I brother. You're still as sharp as you were the last time I saw you. As for your Dad finding me, you know he is the only person I let find me. I should be on the ground in about half an hour. Can you fill me in on Tito; is that his name? Heard he got messed up pretty bad and there is extensive facial and shoulder nerve damage. What procedure do you need my help with?"
Jay was looking at the test results and said, "The facial nerve is a straight forward procedure and I know where that problem is. It's the shoulder that I will need the help with. I have the OR booked and I will be starting at 2:30. What time will you be here?"
I thought for a minute then said, "I should be there about 2 and I can meet you in the scrub area."
"That sounds good then Marco," Jay said. "I can give you the rest of the details then. Take care, bro. I love you."
I told Jay I loved him also then we hung up. The rest of the flight was smooth and then I heard the pilot announce we were making our approach to the airport. The pilot gave us a very smooth landing. We stopped near the terminal and as soon as the steward opened the door, I saw my ride.
I grabbed my gear and went to Pop's Hummer to put it inside. The steward brought me my bag and that went in next. I informed the crew I would call and let them know when we will be leaving. I went to the vehicle and proceeded to head to the hospital.
I headed towards Recife and as I headed away from the airport I looked around and noticed that things had changed some. I remembered growing up on the streets and having to do anything I could in order to survive. I knew at a fairly early age that I was attracted to other males so with the help of a few friends, I learned how to earn Réals to get food. By the time I was 10, I knew the streets and how to stay one step ahead of the local vigilantes. I also huffed glue to keep from knowing just how hungry I really was. Just before my 11th birthday a man came up asked me if I would be willing to give this up. All I had to do was go to school and apply myself and I would be able to get a good education. I thought it over and decided a home was a hell of a lot better place than here.
Well that was God knows how long ago. It seems like another lifetime but I can't ever repay Miguel for what he did for my brothers and me. Now it's my turn to help out a kid who needs our help.
I hit the out skirts of Recife and my mind tried to replay my life over again. I didn't want that to happen so I thought about the surgical procedure I would be helping Jay with. I was running about 15 minutes ahead of schedule so I decided to check out Miguel's old homestead. I turned into the drive and headed towards the garage. I was half expecting Luiz to meet me at the front door.
I got out and unlocked the front door and went inside. As I walked down the hall that leads into the living room, I swore I could hear the laughter of 4 boys. Miguel was great about letting me come over so I could have someone to play with.
I went down the hall leading to the bedrooms and I opened the door to what used to be Steven's room. When I spent the night, I would sleep with the little guy just so he would feel important. I decided that I would sleep in here tonight. I set my bags on the bed then went back to the Hummer to go to the hospital.
It was early afternoon and the traffic was light like I remembered. It took about twenty minutes to make the drive. Jay had a physician's parking lot decal on the Hummer so I found a place close to the entrance and parked. I entered the hospital and noticed that this place looked very modern. I was quite surprised. I looked at the map on the wall so I could get my bearings. I located the surgical area and went to the second floor.
I was just about to open the door when I heard a familiar voice say, "Hey you jerk, you had better stop and wait for me."
I turned around just as Jay wrapped his arms around me and lifted me off the ground. I said, "Damn bro you've gotten stronger since I last saw you. Now set me down please, we have a kid who needs us."
We entered the physician's changing room and got into our scrubs. I was just about to scrub up when Jay said, "Hey Marco, this way. I want you to meet Tito."
I sat the package back on the shelf and followed Jay into the holding area. There on a gurney was this small child who, from a distance, looked more like a doll than a child. As we got closer, he turned his head to look at Jay. As soon as he saw his doctor he tried to smile but one side of his face didn't want to cooperate. When we approached the child Jay said, "Marco I would like you to meet Tito Vallez. He was assaulted by a waiter here in town."
I looked down at the fragile looking child and my heart began to melt. I said to him, "Hi Tito, I'm Dr. Cortez. It's real nice to meet you, are you scared about Dr.Sanchez and me having to operate on you?"
He looked up at me with those dark brown eyes and said, "No sir. Dr. Jay says you're going to fix me good as new." Then he motioned for me to lean down like he was going to whisper something into my ear. But instead of saying something, he quickly kissed me on the cheek.
I smiled back at him then returned the kiss. "With a gift as nice as that, we will take extra special care of you. Does that sound all right with you?"
He nodded his head and we left to get ready for the operation. While we were scrubbing, Jay and I talked about the operation. We looked over the scans and formulated the plan on how best to repair the damage to his face and shoulder. We decided that the area surrounding the facial nerves was small and he would be the one to do the work. My expertise would come when it was time to repair the shoulder. Not only was I experienced in microsurgery; I was well versed in vascular surgery also.
We finished scrubbing and went into the operating room. We were handed sterile towels to dry our hands. While I was drying mine, I walked over to the table and saw Tito one last time before he was sent off to dream land.
Tito's eyes were glazed from the medication they gave him before he came in here. I looked down to him and told him when he woke he would be a little sore but other wise as good as new. He would be running and playing with other children soon.
He smiled at me then I let the anesthesiologist know it was alright to put him to sleep. I walked over to the scrub nurse and she was holding a glove opened for me to stick my hand in. Once that was done, she helped me glove the other then Jay and I were now ready to begin.
The operation took a little over ninety minutes to complete. Jay's work went the quickest. I watched him through the microscope and he truly is a gifted surgeon. The things he could do with nerves that small were really remarkable. Jay had the damaged area repaired in about fifteen minutes. As soon as he completed the repair, I assisted him in closing. Jay and I worked as a team on the shoulder and in about an hour that damage was repaired as well. We closed the incision and Tito was wheeled into the recovery room where he could wake up
Jay and I went back in to scrub up so we could change into our clothes. We got out of our scrubs and Jay said, "I'm hot and sweaty. I think I'm going to grab a shower before getting dressed. Care to join me?"
I was sweaty myself but even if I wasn't, I sure as hell wasn't going to pass up the opportunity to stare at my little brother. I remember growing up, not only was he down right cute, he was well hung for his age and size. I looked over at him and said, "Yeah bro, I think I will grab a shower. Lead on and I'll follow."
I thought to myself,
'Damn right I'd follow you bro. I'll follow you anywhere.'
He shed his boxers and my heart almost stopped. He looked over at me and smiled. I smiled back as I let mine fall to the floor. We grabbed a towel and went to the showers as I continued to look at him. "Jay, you were always such a flirt. If you didn't have that hunk of USDA prime waiting for you back home, I'd have you right here. I've always had a special place for you in my heart and my loins but I knew you loved Ronnie. I can also say that you are still hung."
Jay smiled at me. "Marco you're right bro, I've loved you too. Even when we were younger, I've wanted you. Shit man, I gave you all the signals but it hit me one day that you wanted to, but you could never bear to hurt Ronnie."
Jay came over and hugged me tightly just like we used to do when we were kids. This was the hug I really wanted. I loved seeing Ronnie and Steven, but Jay was the brother I had missed the most. We took our showers and dressed, then headed into the recovery room to check on Tito.
To be continued