Do Over

Chapter 29



Brandon, his parents, Sean, and Trevor all arrived about fifteen minutes after Castillo's announcement of the vandalism at our homes. Dad B was somewhere in the police station talking with an officer about that with Castillo in tow. Brian and I excused ourselves from the group almost immediately and took Sean with us. He was looking a little confused, but listened to us closely.

"Sean, we need some help with stuff from now on and we think you're the guy to help out." Brian started off quickly once we were at a table away from everyone else.

"I'll do anything I can." Sean said with a slight grin.

"Thanks, we appreciate that and we'll pay you for your help." I added quickly.

"You guys don't need to..." Sean said but Brian cut him off.

"Look, we can afford it, don't worry." Brian said.

"We'll set it up as an I-9 independent contractor work through the L.L.C." I explained quickly. "That means we won't have to pay worker compensation, insurance, or taxes on you, but you'll have to report the pay to the IRS and pay taxes directly to them. I know it's not perfect, but it'll give you some money in your pocket as compensation for the stuff we'll want you to do. I'll also train you on some of it myself and we'll need to get you a computer and printer as well and some other supplies. What's your situation like at home right now?"

"I'm never there anymore." Sean said a little sourly. "I'm usually staying at Brandon's these days. My parents have pretty much washed their hands of me as they said and don't even bother with taking care of me. Mr. and Mrs. Walker have been very nice though. They had to buy me new clothes for Christmas because my parents won't do anything. They have me sleep in Carl's old room."

"We'll get the stuff sent over there, then." I said firmly. Carl was Brandon's older brother currently at UC Berkeley. "Here's what we want you to be doing. Basically it's going to be acting as our personal assistant, making phone calls, dealing with press inquiries and stuff like that. We could hire a professional, but they'll cost ten times as much and we can pretty much show you what to do anyway."

"How do you know so much about this stuff?" Sean asked and I shrugged.

"When you're friends with the President, you pick this stuff up." Brian explained. "I was talking with their son over the New Year's holiday and he told me a lot of stuff about when his dad was running for Governor and all the stuff they had to do."

"Oh, that makes sense." Sean said softly and I smiled.

"You took typing freshman year, didn't you?" I asked him and he nodded. "Well, we'll get some form letters as samples for you to copy and phone logs and stuff. Plus, Mrs. Walker works as a secretary so she can teach you a lot of stuff. Are you willing to do this?"

"How much does it pay?" Sean asked with a gleam in his eye.

"We'll start at eight an hour, how's that?" I asked and he nodded with slightly wide eyes.

"That'll work." He said with a smile.

"Good, now you don't have a car right now do you?" I asked him and he shook his head.

"I did get my license though. Mr. Walker took me down there and made my dad sign the forms." Sean told us.

"Good, well, we'll see about getting a car for you to use." Brian said. "For now, we need you to go back to the school. Find reporters from the Bee, the Chronicle, or any other big newspapers you can and tell them we'll do private interviews with them if they'll promise to keep what we say under wraps until they go to print."

"That's the important part, Sean." I said firmly. "They have to agree to not discuss it with other reporters."

"Got it." Sean said with a smile. "I saw a few of them wandering around before we left, trying to talk to students. Now, how do I get there?"

"Let me see if Mom will let you use her car." Brian said as he stood from the table. I gave Sean some more advice before Brian returned with the keys.

"Thanks." Sean said as he took them.

"Be careful!" Mom B shouted at him as he left. He just smiled and waved.

"So, what was that about?" Mom B asked as we rejoined her table.

"We just hired Sean." Brian said smugly.

"Did you think to ask the people who hold the purse strings first?" Mom B said in a slightly miffed tone.

"Do you object?" I countered and she shook her head.

"The boy does need pocket money." Mr. Walker said. "He's all but moved in to our place now."

"That's what he said." Brian confirmed.

"How much are you paying him and have you thought about all the costs that go with having an employee?" Mom B asked carefully and I nodded before explaining my idea about the I-9 arrangement. She nodded after a minute.

"I can definitely help him with some stuff." Mrs. Walker said with a smile of her own.

"We'll get a second phone line for his bedroom as well, but you'll pay for it." Mr. Walker said firmly and both Brian and I nodded.

"Dude, what about us?" Trevor asked with a grin.

"Get your parents to stop taking care of you and we might think about it." Brian retorted, getting a laugh from everyone except Trevor. The television was back on the story and now they were doing interviews with parents, students, and others around the school.

"I think it's just awful that someone would try to kill the boy right after his own mother and sister died on Christmas. I just don't understand how anyone could hate him so much. What has he ever done to them?" One middle-aged woman said while shaking her head.

"It's just awful the way those boys endanger everyone around them!" Another man said with gusto. "The school board should do something about this! They shouldn't be allowed to attend school with normal kids!"

"Dude, like what have they ever done except win football games?" A male student none of us recognized asked rhetorically. "They're pretty cool, I mean I see them in the halls but don't really know them or anything. It's nice having a free day off from school, but it sucks that it's because someone wanted to kill a student."

"It's God's message to them on how wrong they are parading themselves around the school all the time." Heather, the one-time 'date' of Brian's told another camera. That got some hoots of laughter from us.

"Um, did God plant the bomb?" Trevor asked and we all laughed again. It was pretty obvious where most of the negative comments towards us were coming from. Several of the negative adults still had their protest signs with them. The phone on the wall rang again and this time Tom motioned for me to hurry.

"It's the President." He whispered as I took it from him.

"Hello, Mr. President." I said into the phone.

"Davey, I trust you are okay?" He asked me in a very concerned tone.

"Yeah, now I know what it's like to be pushed into the bottom of the car by the Secret Service." I joked and he chuckled.

"I've been assured by the FBI Director that they are on the case." He told me. "They'll be sending a team to the school before anyone is allowed back in to take forensics evidence. I'm told the local police chief is actually grateful the case will be out of his hands."

"That's good news, sir." I said.

"Well, as you can imagine a lot of people here are worried." He said carefully. This was a very non-secure line and he wouldn't speak more directly probably. I had a damn good idea what he was referring to. "Don't worry about their concerns, though young man. You do what you think is right. I'll support what I can."

"Thank you, sir." I said softly and meant it. "We've been talking and we want to respond publicly instead of just letting things happen. We'll be careful in how we go about that so as not to infringe on our friendship."

"That's wise, and appreciated." President Reagan said. "I also think you should know that there are two bills being introduced in Congress that you should be aware of and maybe consider acting on. The first is from the Senate and would prohibit any known homosexual from participating in NJROTC or JROTC activities. I've already received a phone call from the Joint Chiefs and they will be quietly opposing the bill so its chances of passage aren't too great. The other bill is more insidious. It provides for allowing local school boards to more broadly define what constitutes dangers to their student bodies and we believe it's aimed at you boys and others like you."

"Wouldn't that be a state's rights issue?" I asked him and he laughed.

"That's going to be the position of the White House." He replied. "It is a state issue, not a federal issue. I might actually get to take a position WITH the NEA for once instead of having them oppose me all the time."

"Well, thanks for the information, Mr. President." I said and we finished our goodbyes quickly. Then I had to repeat the conversation for everyone else. It was maybe forty minutes later, and we were discussing the NJROTC bill when Tom spoke up.

"Mr. Rule is here with a reporter from the Modesto Bee." Tom said and I nodded.

"Let them in, please." I said and Tom spoke into his cuff microphone. A minute later the door opened admitting Sean and Bill Riley, the reporter we'd never really gotten to meet with during the AIDS proposal the year before. We'd ended up talking to him by telephone. He was in his forties, overweight, and had thinning salt and pepper hair, but he was smiling as he came in and Sean introduced him to everyone.

"Well, I finally get to sit down with you boys." He said after the introductions were done. Sean was getting him a cup of coffee as we sat at the table. "I take it I have parental permission for this interview?"

"You do." Mom B said while Tyatya nodded.

"Good, I'll ask for you to sign something when we're done here." He said, pulling out a tape recorder and setting it on the table. "I'd like to record this if you don't mind. It'll make getting any quotes I use more accurate. Also, I'd like to go over the ground rules for the interview."

"Recording is fine." I said with a smile. "As for ground rules, there may be some questions we can't answer because of Secret Service rules or because of other reasons. If you ask one of them, we'll tell you we can't answer and we'll tell you why."

"That should be fine." Bill Riley said. "Now, David, let's start with you."

"Please, call me Davey." I said with a smile. "My friends call me Davey, although I prefer David in print or with people I don't know."

"I see you've been taking lessons in getting along with the press." Bill said with a smile as he wrote on his notepad. "Okay, Davey, tell me what your morning was like."

I started off by talking about the normal morning chores, getting ready for drill, and then the conversation with Castillo. I went on to talk about an abbreviated version of our meeting with Mr. Borsch. "So, the principal told us the protestors were causing some concern for the board members and they were worried that the normal operations of the school would be interrupted. We told him we would do nothing to antagonize the protestors or to cause a scene that would disrupt the school. Then, we went to catch the rest of drill and we were on our way to our first class when the bomb alert was sounded and we were rushed here by the Secret Service."

"Wouldn't you say that the subsequent bomb scare was indeed a disruption of the school?" Bill asked and I smiled.

"It would be hard to argue that it wasn't." I agreed. "We were not the cause of the disruption though; whoever planted the device was the cause."

"But it can be argued that by your attendance at this school when you could be at a private school is contributing to the disruption." Bill Riley countered and I mentally thanked him for going this route right away.

"That's like saying an elderly lady crossing the street at an intersection, and with a green light is asking to be hit by someone who doesn't like her and aims his car right for her." I countered and he smiled as he wrote furiously. "We've broken no laws, we've broken no school rules, we're both straight 'A' students, and we're actively involved in our school's extra-curricular activities. Further, we haven't even tried to start a Gay and Lesbian club on campus or otherwise push any sort of social agenda. Instead, other people have pushed their social agendas on us, on our school, and have forced disruptions. Yet, we're the ones being singled out by the press, by parents, and by our school board as the cause of this mess."

"While we haven't done anything but go to school and be the best students we can possible be." Brian added. "All we do is what millions of other high school students do, go to school, play sports, participate in drill, and yet we get blamed for other people pushing their social agendas on us. Next thing you know, the school board will try to expel us because someone planted a fake bomb in Davey's locker!"

"It was a fake?" Bill asked and I nodded.

"It'll probably be announced soon, but it's already been confirmed it was a fake bomb." I said gravely.

"So you've heard about the emergency meeting of the school board?" He asked us continuing from Brian's statement.

"No, we haven't." I said with little bit of fake surprise. "Can't say it's too surprising, though."

"I just heard before I came here." Bill Riley said with a smile. "The school board's announced they'll be meeting tomorrow night in closed session to discuss this issue and to find a resolution. Rumor has it that they're going to consider expelling you from the district for endangering the lives of your fellow students."

"How did we do that?" Brian asked sharply. "How did we endanger our fellow students? All we did was show up for school. It's whoever planted that fake bomb that put people's lives in danger, not us."

"Well, that's what their saying." Bill Riley said slightly defensively.

"It's plain stupid to blame the victim for the crime." Mom B said sternly. "That's like telling a woman she deserved to get raped because she walked to her car on her way out of work."

Bill Riley was eating this all up from the grin on his face as we continued to provide him quotes like that. We mentioned the vandalism at the houses and he was surprised as it was something he hadn't heard yet. He asked several questions about that before leaving and we had our next interview with the San Francisco Chronicle. It was very similar, with only slightly different questions and responses, and after that we did one with the L.A. Times. I was surprised by the fourth and final reporter, who was from the New York Times. Sean was definitely doing a good job at rounding them up.

After the last reporter, Agent Castillo and Dad B returned with wide grins. After the New York Times reporter was shown out, they sat down and waited nearly a minute while we waited anxiously to hear what they had to say. It was Agent Castillo who started out.

"Well, the good news is that we got lucky." Castillo explained. "When the teams scrambled from the houses to join us here, they left the video cameras running. The cameras managed to catch good pictures of the four young men that vandalized both homes, and got their license plates. It's going to be almost impossible for them to get out of it at trial, the pictures are that clear. All four are men who graduated from Downey last year and two of them are leads on some of the death threats we were investigating from that time."

"It was Jay from the football team and three of his buddies." Dad B said with a grimace and I just nodded.

"What's more, there's a connection for the FBI to look into as well." Castillo continued calmly. "One of the young men has an aunt who works in the school office, and she would have access to your locker combo, Davey, your hall locker, not your sports locker. The FBI has been informed and has already asked local police to pick her up for questioning. Since your locker wasn't forced open, they believe whoever did it had to have the combination."

"So that's a definite link there." I said with some relief. The idea that some kids would be spending a few years in federal prison didn't bother me. Planting a bomb in a school, even a fake bomb, wasn't something I was too sympathetic about.

"Well, it needs to be confirmed and followed up on." Castillo cautioned. "We definitely have the four young men for vandalism and they're not talking much. I've already talked to the DA and he will be prosecuting them for that. The US Attorney General might get involved because there was some damage to the study doors at your home, Davey. It appears they attempted to force their way inside there. What they were looking for, we don't know, but since there's classified equipment in there, and ostensibly it's all Mr. Rush's, they can be prosecuted for Espionage. Whether we will or not, that's a decision for the big wigs in Washington."

"How nice." I smiled evilly. It probably wouldn't happen because it would raise too many questions, but it was a fun thought.

"It's safe to go home for you now, but we'd like to keep you all in one spot for as long as possible." Castillo continued. "There's police guarding both homes and they'll be there as long the protestors are, but for security we would prefer it if Brian and Davey were in one spot."

"We'll all go to our place." Mrs. Rush said firmly. "It's the largest."

"Okay." Dad B said. "We'll go home later tonight, but Brian can stay with you if you don't mind."

"That will be fine." Tyatya said with a smile. "He can help with chores in the morning."

Under heavy guard by the entire detail, we left the police station a few minutes later, and got into waiting cars. The parents would head out to their own cars, but we kids were all being transported by the Secret Service, out the back of the police station so we could avoid the press. When we got there, we could see the damage despite the protestors at the edge of the public road.

The damage to the outside was very evident. The door had been smashed in, several windows broken and spray paint inside and outside with all kinds of slurs and gross phrases. Trevor and I would have a lot of work to do to repaint everything.

"At least they didn't go inside our home." Dad B said as Tyatya frowned at the damage. There were a few tables knocked over, which we immediately set to right, but no broken heirlooms or other things. It was a small blessing, but definitely a blessing since Tyatya had several glass figurines that were family heirlooms from Russia that were irreplaceable. They were in the upstairs hallway, and apparently no one had gone up there.

"They will pay." Tyatya said in an angry voice and we all just nodded. Luckily, the kitchen hadn't been damaged either and we sat there at the large round table while Tyatya and Mom B fixed coffee, milk and water for everyone. Dyadya arrived moments later, back from Livermore and he rushed inside to give all of us hugs before starting to rant and rave about the damage.

[Trevor!] He finally shouted out in Russian. His brown-haired son jumped slightly and then turned to him. [Your friend Sean drives, does he not?]

[Yes, father.] Trevor answered in Russian.

[Good, have him drive you to hardware store.] Dyadya ordered. [Get new sandpaper for our sander, and get paint and varnish in right colors. We fix this damage now! Get coveralls for Brandon and Sean too, they have none here. Put all on our account.]

"Yes, dad." Trevor said switching back to English. "C'mon Brandon, Sean, we're going to the store and getting the stuff to start fixing this up."

"I'll go with you." Dad B said but Dyadya shook his head.

"I think we have issues to discuss with boys." Dyadya said firmly, looking at Brian and I. When our friends were gone, he sat down and began to grill us on everything that had happened. When he was fully up to date, he surprised me.

"Are you still certain you do not wish to go to private school?" He asked us. "We can afford it for both of you, and you will be better off."

"No." Brian said before I could even respond. "We will not let them chase us away."

"Very well, then we must get our attorneys involved." Dyadya said firmly. "When I came in, Mr. Borsch was outside and he had these."

Dyadya handed over two large manila envelopes. He gave one to Dad B who opened it and read it while Mom B looked over his shoulder. Brian and I read the other one while Dyadya told Tyatya that they were letters informing us that the school board would meet tomorrow at three p.m. to discuss our expulsion from the City School District for needlessly endangering the lives of our fellow students. It was also notice that we were hereby effectively suspended from school pending final decision of our status by the board.

"We need to get the attorneys involved." Dad B said with a certainty and I just nodded while he got up to make some phone calls. He spoke to Mr. Barzone and Cynthia from the ACLU for about an hour before he hung up. "Mr. Barzone doesn't handle these kinds of issues and isn't comfortable enough with them that he's willing to take the case. He says it's not because of the issues, but just that he doesn't think he could do the best job. Cynthia knows another local attorney who does ACLU work. She thinks the lady is what we need."

"We'll need to do a background check on her." Castillo said from where he was leaning against a counter. "Did you get her name?"

"Yeah, it's Carol Channing and here's her phone number." Dad B said, handing over a slip of paper on which he'd written the information. Castillo began talking into his cuff microphone right away while Dad B turned back to us and continued speaking, "If she's willing to take the case, Cynthia will have her call us. If not, Cynthia will call and help us find someone else. She's got court the next few days herself so she can't come down personally."

"Well, crap, how long is this going to take?" Brian asked. I looked at the clock on the wall and was surprised it was after one. Tyatya saw my glance and also reacted with surprise, getting up and shooing Castillo out of the way as she started making some sandwiches with black bread. Mom B got up and joined her.

"It'll take as long as it takes." Dad B answered him firmly. That was when the phone rang and Dad B answered it. His smile said that it was Carol Channing and when he gave her directions on how to get here, it seemed she was amenable. We ate in near silence after that, waiting for her to show up.

"Hi, I'm Carol." She said as Dyadya let her into the house. Trevor and the others were coming up right behind her, arms laden with equipment and paint, so they were included in all the introductions. Dyadya took them aside though and gave Trevor instructions on starting the work on the outside of the house while we talked with Ms. Channing.

"First, we have to take care of the money business." Carol said as we all sat down. She was a short Asian woman, and if I had to guess I'd say Japanese. She had a beautiful smile though and was in her late forties. "I normally charge one thousand per hour on cases like these, but this is ACLU case so I charge lower rate of five hundred. If you cannot pay, we will discuss other options."

"As long as you don't mind waiting a few days for the settlement checks to get here, there won't be a problem." Dad B said after both Brian and I had nodded our agreement.

"We will bill and worry about that later." She said. "I trust you to be good for the money."

"Thanks." I murmured and she chuckled at me.

"I hear you want to be lawyer, so remember, always make sure you get paid." She said firmly, shaking a finger at me. "A lawyer who does not get paid does not put food on table or send kids to college."

"Yes ma'am." I agreed with her and she smiled.

"Now, tell me what is going on and why you think I am needed." She said firmly. Everyone looked to me to start with and so I did. She asked a lot of questions as I told her the basics, and a lot of background. By the time we were done, she had gotten everyone involved and two hours had passed.

"What I have to tell you, you may not enjoy hearing." She said after we were all done and my heart sank a little. "In many courts, the judge will grant a lot of leeway to school boards on deciding what is safe or not safe for their students. That does not mean I do not think you should fight this. It means we will have to be careful in how we fight. First, we will go to meeting tomorrow. If they allow us to speak, I will speak for you, and you will only answer questions I tell you to answer. When they decide, if it is to expel you, we will file suit in federal court. I will have documents drawn up tonight and tomorrow to have them ready by the board meeting. We will base a claim on fourteenth amendment discrimination and Title IX violation of your right to attend public school. We will sue for damages, I think in terms of five million will get their attention. I will of course take only twenty percent as part of my fee if we win."

"Thanks." I said with irony and she smiled.

"It is nothing." She said. "Now, we will also use media as you have begun, but I will control things. You will not talk about case itself, but you will talk about how you feel, what you do during day, and so on. If they do expel you, we will seek an injunction. It may be granted, but it may not, so you will need to consider other education options while we go to court. This will not be fixed overnight if we go to court, you must understand that."

"We do." Brian said firmly. She went on to talk about several things in relation to the case and left about the time for dinner. Tyatya and Mom B fixed dinner for us all and afterwards, while it was still light, Brian and I joined Trevor and the others on fixing what damage we could while Dad B and Dyadya worked on placing boards over the broken windows. They'd already ordered new glass and it would be here tomorrow. It was after sunset when Mom B and Dad B left after giving all of us hugs. Brandon and Sean left with Brandon's parents, and Tyatya gave us more cleaning to do inside the house.

The next morning, Trevor and I did chores with Brian following us around, and then went in for breakfast. After breakfast, we didn't head to school since we were 'suspended'. We sat down and watched the television news.

It seemed that the arrest of the four former students for vandalism was released to the press, as was the arrest of an Aunt of theirs by the FBI. That arrest was directly linked to the bomb threat and was a wild source of speculation from what we saw. There were shots of the school, showing the protestors still there, and students arriving, all the while it was mentioned we were now suspended pending the board meeting tonight. Brandon and Sean called before they left for school to tell us that they'd been getting phone calls all night from friends who were worried about us. Tyatya was answering the phone here, referring all the media calls to Carol Channing's offices and telling anyone else that we were unavailable for the moment.

Carol Channing appeared right after lunch to go over the paperwork she'd gotten together. There were several things that had to be signed by our legal guardians. Mom B showed up to help with that since Dad B had to work and was just taking time off for the actual hearing. His work was getting upset that he'd had to take so much time off lately.

Then, it was time for the hearing and we dressed in dark suits and let ourselves be driven down by the Secret Service while everyone else went in Tyatya's car (except for the attorney who drove her own vehicle). I reflected that it would be three days before I turned sixteen and I wondered how the hell I was going to take my driving test with the Secret Service tailing every move and protestors around every corner.

The board meeting room was packed with journalists, but no students or the public except for us. It was almost anti-climactic to see that, but I reflected it had probably been a smart decision since it made it look like the board was truly acting without any pressure from the outside.

"This emergency meeting of the Modesto City Schools Board of Governors is called to order." Dr. Richard Sears said in the same voice I'd heard the last time I'd been to one of these things. "We will adjourn shortly to discuss matters involving students in a closed session. Before we begin, we will make a short statement.

"The action we are considering here today is not, as has been characterized by some, to remove students from our school. We are considering this action for their own safety as well as that of the other students in our institutions. It is with great regret that we find ourselves here today and hope that things will be settled to everyone's satisfaction."

"Dr. Sears." Carol Channing said quickly as she stood. "I am the attorney for both David Young and Brian Breckenridge. We ask that you allow representation during your closed session."

"The board will call anyone present if it needs to hear from them." Dr. Sears said sternly before rising to his feet. "We will now adjourn into closed session."

They were gone for all of fifteen minutes before returning. Mr. Gravrisom was the only one showing any real expression and he was scowling at his fellow board members. The district's attorneys had gone with them and came back, all looking somewhat nervously at Carol, our attorney.

"After having met in closed session, I am prepared to announce that the Board has reached a decision regarding the disposition of students Brian Breckenridge and David Jones." Dr. Sears said sternly. "Whereas both students have repeatedly caused disturbances within our schools over the last year by their continued presence, whereas all operations were suspended at Downey High School due to a suspected bomb in the locker of David Jones, and whereas the district cannot guarantee the safety of either student, or the rest of their student body if they continue attending said school, and furthermore, whereas both students and their parents have expressed their determination to not seek other resolution, this body is forced to take action for their own safety and the safety of our other students. Therefore, it is resolved that this board shall expel both students from our district based on their posing a direct danger to themselves and to their fellow students by their actions and continued presence in our schools. This action is taken without prejudice towards either student and the District Superintendent shall inform all inquirers that both students have excellent marks and are active in their schools, but it is only our concern for their own safety that has required this action."

The media in the room started shouting questions at that, but he ignored them as he began to leave the room. Carol Channing though stopped one of the attorneys and handed him a paper before turning and herding us towards the exit. The cameras followed and swarmed us as soon as we were out and she did all the talking.

"We are of course saddened by this board's decision to run roughshod over the rights of these students." Carol said with a frown. "We disagree with their decision and believe it to violate federal law as well as the fourteenth amendment. That is why I have informed the district's attorneys of our intent to sue them, request an injunction against the expulsion, and for payment of damages. The boys' parents and I have conducted a frantic search of private schools in the event that they are not allowed to resume their normal education. We have enrolled them in a school whose location will not be made public in case no injunction is granted and we will seek further damages in our suit for payment of all tuition and fees, which are projected to run in excess of forty thousand for each student. The parents are tax-paying citizens who have already paid for their boys to receive a public education and it is not right that they are forced to pay a second time."

She answered a few more questions and then we headed to her office while she waited for the paralegal to return from filing the paperwork. An emergency hearing had been granted in the federal courthouse, which meant a trip to San Francisco tomorrow. We had to rush home and prepare for that, and then we were reminded of the Barbara Walters interview. Carol had insisted we do that one, and the crew was scheduled to arrive tomorrow morning. Dyadya called the number we'd been given and after a long conversation it was decided the news crews would meet us in San Francisco and begin there. That meant a quick call to Dr. Grayson since they wanted to get pictures of us visiting AIDS patients.

Dr. Grayson expressed his outrage at what was going on and readily agreed to the interviews. He'd find a few patients willing to be seen on camera and they'd be ready for us tomorrow. Then it was time to call Carol back and tell her all this and she approved it all whole-heartedly.

Then, Sean came in with Brandon and calmly took over my phone. He also had numerous letters and cards from several students for us. Instead of us going through each and every one, he was going to sort them out, buy some generic thank you cards and have us sign them after he got them all ready. The ones from friends of ours he did give us, though. He also discussed getting a P.O Box for mail so that he could get everything organized. It seemed Mrs. Walker had given him a lot of lessons and tips last night and now he was moving full bore on implementing them with us.

That left Brian and me plenty of time to sneak off to the barn together and roll around the hay loft.

Nope, the New Year wasn't getting off to a great start, but when I got off that afternoon at Brian's hands, I really didn't care because we had each other.


As with all my stories, E provides immeasurable input, grammar checking, and all those other lovely editing thingies that make the story so much better!

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