You suddenly realize that you're in a hospital room looking at a patient...
you need to find out why he's here.
And then why you're here.
Mature or distressing themes. This story deals with violence and rape.
I woke to KOKQ at seven, the same as always. Except there were no disk jockeys on Saturdays. I got up and put the plastic bag on to cover my cast and showered and washed my hair. What a PITA! It was a long process, made longer because I only have on arm I can use to wash myself. I dressed and checked the time. It was almost seven fifty. It took me over forty-five minutes to shower, brush my teeth, and get dressed. Before it would take me maybe 15, 20 minutes. That it took almost three times as long to get ready in the morning was one more thing that I blamed on Quin. I did that a lot, finding things to blame on Quin. It started when his father came calling yesterday. At first blaming him is something that I did in the back of my mind. Then last night I dreamt about everything he did to me and I put in my computer. That was such a great idea that I decided to do it today.
I sat on the edge of my bed and thought about how I had just started to blame Quin for everything. I’d been pissed at him, and mad at him, but I hadn’t actually blamed him before. Now I reacted to Quin three different ways, being pissed, being mad, and blaming him. If Mr. Santoni hadn’t shown up yesterday I probably wouldn’t have thought of any of this. It’s strange how the mind works. I probably had all of these things floating around in my subconscious, and seeing Mr. Santoni was the key that opened all of that up so I was aware of it in my conscious mind.
Dad stuck his head around my partially opened bedroom door and looked at me.
“Breakfast is on Brian. Are you ready to come down?”
I looked up at him. He was smiling, and that made me smile. That’s something else about how my mind works. Someone’s smile makes me smile. I stood up.
“I’m ready, Dad.”
“You looked like you were concentrating intently on something.”
“Yeah, I was thinking about how I’m reacting to Quin and how that changed yesterday when Mr. Santoni came to talk to me. I’ve been pissed at Quin and I’m also mad at him. But now I’m blaming him for all the little stuff. Like because of my arm, taking a shower is a big p.i.t.a. now, and I can’t wear shoes that tie, and I can’t set up my Physics experiments, and my arm hurts sometimes, and I’m being home tutored, and it takes twice as long to get cleaned up and dressed in the morning. I’m blaming him for all of that now, and I never thought about it before.”
“That’s easy to understand. Quin and his friends changed your life, and for what?”
“I don’t know for what. Because they could? Because they are just fucking assholes?”
I never swore like that, and Dad seemed surprised.
“I suppose it’s all of those things. You’re finally coming out of the shock caused by what they did to you. That lets you think about what they did and how it’s impacting you. That’s why you’re mad, and why you’re starting to blame them.”
“Don’t forget that I’m also pissed at them.”
“What’s the difference between being pissed and being furious? They sound like they might be different levels of the same thing to me.”
“Being pissed is how I react when I miss the bus to come home and have to wait fifteen minutes for the next one. Being pissed is low-level anger, it’s often from doing something that’s my own fault, and it can go away after a while. Being furious is high-level anger, and it doesn’t go away after a while.”
“I guess I understand the difference. But why are you pissed at them too?”
“When I first came out of my coma I wasn’t really aware of what was going on around me in the hospital. Once Dr. McFadden told me about what they did to me, especially the rape part, then I was furious and it was aimed at them. I think I’ve held that in the back of my mind, in my subconscious, ever since. Yesterday when Mr. Santoni came to see me it all sort of got connected together. That’s what it took for me to blame Quin for everything that’s been bugging me, and last night what I’ve been holding in my subconscious all came out when I dreamed about it, and this morning it’s all in my conscious mind. All right here.” I tapped on my forehead. “I’m still pissed about some things, like them dumping my backpack in the woods and the police holding it because it’s evidence. I’m furious at them for the big things, like my broken arm and smashed in skull. And I blame Quin for everything, the big stuff and the little stuff. When I woke up this morning I remembered in my dream where I put everything I blamed Quin for in the computer, and that’s such a great idea I decided I’m going make a list on my laptop. It will have what I’m pissed about, what I’m furious about, and everything I blame him for.”
“Now I understand what you mean, the difference between being pissed and being furious. Just don’t let it take you over.”
“I don’t intend to let that happen.”
My stomach growled, and I laughed. “Okay, that’s my food alarm. Let’s go down and get breakfast,” and dad and I headed downstairs.
“Mom, can you change the bandage on my head?”
“Sure. Let me get my box of bandages.”
After she took off the bandage, which was very easy because it was wet, she looked at my wound.
“How’s it look?” I asked.
“Very good. The incisions have almost disappeared, and your hair is starting to grow back. Soon I won’t be able to see anything there except hair.”
While Mom assembled the bandage, Dad looked at the wound.
“That is amazing. You’re healing very quickly, Brian. Must be good genes.”
I knew what he meant, but I thought I’d pull his leg. “Good jeans? Does that mean you’re going to let me buy two or three pair of those expensive Abercrombie jeans? Those are really good jeans. That’s sweet.”
“No, of course I meant genetics, not clothing.” He was smiling, so I knew I wasn’t in trouble. I smiled back at him.
Mom dried the side of my head and applied the new bandage.
When she was finished she asked, “What would you like for breakfast, Brian?”
“Just cereal, with some sliced banana, please.”
“Are you sure that’s enough? How about some toast as well?”
“Okay, but just one slice. What time is the physical therapist going to be here?”
“Nine thirty. There will be both a physical therapist and an occupational therapist who will meet with you.”
“I don’t remember. What’s the occupational therapist for?”
“The occupational therapist looks over your room and bathroom and other parts of the house you use and will make suggestions about how to make them safer for you.”
“Will I be doing any exercises today?”
“I don’t know. They told me they would be evaluating you to decide what exercises you need and if it needs to be done at home or if you can go to the hospital physical therapy department. They have exercise equipment at the hospital, so that’s their preference.”
After breakfast I went to my room and did some homework. I got bored with that and decided to look at the get well cards from kids at school, the ones that Nate brought me yesterday. I counted them before opening any of them. Oh my god! There were thirty seven cards. Mom had given me the list of names of the people who’d come to the house when I was thought to be missing. I decided to check off the names of those who left cards for me on the list. I looked at the list. The names were in the order that the people came and signed the list. That made for three problems. First, I had to decipher people’s handwriting. Second, a few left only their first name. Third, and most important, the names weren’t in alphabetic order. Ugh.
I heard the doorbell. I figured it was the therapists, so I went downstairs. Mom led a young guy and an older woman into the living room and I joined them.
“This is my son Brian. Brian, this is Larry Tefford, your physical therapist, and Roseanne Coburn, your occupational therapist. I’ll let them tell us what they want to do today.”
Larry Tefford, with a nod from Roseanne Coburn, started describing what he would be doing.
“Brian, I will measure your muscle tone by a few resistance tests. I’ll have you sit down in a chair then stand up. I’ll check your balance. I see that you have a broken arm. When is the cast scheduled to come off?”
Mom answered, “The twenty-third of March.”
“That’s about a month from now. Having a cast will limit your ability to use most of the exercise equipment at the physical rehabilitation clinic at the hospital. After your cast is removed your orthopedist will let us know when you can begin physical therapy on that arm. In the meantime, we will plan a series of exercises you can do at home, and periodically appraise how you’re improving and decide when you can start going to the PRC, sorry, that’s the abbreviation we use for the Physical Rehabilitation Clinic. Until your orthopedist clears you, you will be limited to manual exercises similar to what you can do at home but directed and more intensive. You’ll continue doing exercises at home as well.”
Roseanne turned to my mother. “Mrs. Anderson, can you show me Brian’s room and the bathroom he uses? I can start the occupational therapy evaluation for my report.”
“Yes. It’s upstairs. Follow me.”
“Nice to meet you, Brian.”
“Nice to meet you too, Roseanne.”
“Brian, have you ever taken any directed exercise programs? Perhaps as part of going out for a sport at school?” Larry asked me.
“I was taking weight training instead of regular PE until I got attacked. But it wasn’t for sports. I wanted to build up my strength. Too bad I got started just last month at the beginning of this semester. Maybe I could have defended myself from those three guys who grabbed me.”
“If it was three against one and they were bigger than you, you would have had a tough time defending yourself. You might have been able to escape, or at least you could have inflicted some serious hurt on them. A weight training class is a great way to get the kind of directed exercise you can’t get at home. I assume that you go to Deer Valley, and I’ve seen their weight training room. It’s excellent, and the exercise machines they have aren’t just for looks. Do you have any exercise equipment here at your home?”
“No. I wanted an elliptical trainer, the non-motorized kind, but we don’t have a place to put it. We don’t have a basement, and the garage isn’t heated. There isn’t space in my room for it, and Mom doesn’t want it in the family room. We have a guest bedroom, but Mom needs convincing that it could go there.” Brian grinned, “Maybe you could help me convince her. Dad said he’d buy it if I could get Mom to agree. By the way, is that a good exercise machine? The elliptical without a motor drive?”
“It’s okay for your legs and butt. A rowing machine is a better, relatively inexpensive, all-body exercise machine. But honestly, all you need is a set of dumbbells, a door frame pull up bar, an exercise ball, and a collection of resistance bands in light, medium, and heavy resistances, and perhaps an extra heavy as well. The whole collection will be well under two hundred bucks compared to around a thousand for a good rowing machine. I’ll give you an exercise ball and a set of resistance bands when I come back for your first physical therapy appointment. Right now I’d like to walk you through some simple exercises so I can see your fitness level. Don’t overdo. I’m not here to be impressed by how much you can do, I want to see what will be normal for you to do now, having just come out of the hospital.”
So, that’s what we did. It was simple stuff, like sitting upright on a kitchen chair and standing using only my leg muscles. I couldn’t believe how hard that was! It showed me that I’d lost a lot of muscle strength in just two weeks. He also had me push against his hand with my right fist, lay on the floor and put my legs up and push my feet against his, slowly swing a two pound barbell from a starting point with my right arm hanging down and holding the barbell at rest then slowly raising it so it was pointing straight out in front of me and holding it for a count of ten then slowing lowering it. That wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be, especially when he had me use a five pound barbell.
During this whole evaluation process he put my results into an iPad. When we were finished he told me his findings.
“Brian, you’re in fair shape, but if I consider what you went through I’d say you’re in very good shape. You have a ways to go, but if you stick to the exercises I’ll give you then you should be back to normal about twelve weeks after they remove your cast.”
“Oh, man, that seems like such a long time. That’s like the middle of summer before I’ll be back to normal.”
“Just keep thinking about where you’re starting from. Now, let me show you the resistance bands. Note that they are colored to show their resistance, yellow for light, red for medium, and green for heavy. There are several types of resistance bands. Some have a handle at each end connected to a stretchable rope. Others are manufactured as a loop, like a big oversize rubber band. You attach one end to something heavy, like a sofa, and you put a foot or arm or your torso through the other end. Then you pull against the band’s resistance for strengthening exercises. Your bedroom is too small to do exercises using the resistance bands, so if your mother doesn’t object let’s use your family room.”
He showed me how to loop a yellow colored light resistance band around the foot of the armchair then back through like a single knot, then I had to stand in position with my right leg swung out about two feet parallel to my body with my right foot on the floor in the loop of the band. Then I’d slowly pull my right leg so it was alongside my left leg but maybe a half inch above the floor, then slowly let my leg swing out to the original position where there was no resistance. That was tough! I didn’t even want to think about using the other two heavier resistance bands. Maybe in a few weeks. Then he showed me how to make sure I’d be safe doing the exercises. He didn’t want me to do anything where I might fall and injure my broken arm or my head.
We were finally finished working on my evaluation he went to the living room to finish entering his comments about my condition and I went looking for Mom. She was in the kitchen fixing lunch.
“Mom, where’s uh... Rebecca? The OT person?”
“Her name is Roseanne. She left. She finished her assessment and will be sending us a report with recommendations.”
“Oh. I thought that she and Larry had come together.”
“They drove separately and met out front. Are you finished with your physical therapy session?”
“Yeah. It wasn’t really a physical therapy session because I didn’t do any exercises with repetitions the way I will from now on. I was doing things so Larry could evaluate my strength and balance and agility. I’ll only do the exercises I can do using one hand. He showed me how to use resistance bands and other simple exercises to get started. He also showed me how to be careful and not injure my arm or my head when I’m doing the exercises. Anyway, we’re finished and he’s in the living room. I thought you’d want to say goodbye.”
“Yes, thank you, Brian.”
We walked to the living room and Larry stood.
“Brian, I’ll be back on Monday to go through a one hour session with you. Is two o’clock a good time for you?”
“Yeah, that should be good. A friend from school is coming by at about four to go over what was covered in my classes, so as long as we’re done in time for me to grab a shower before Nate comes over it’ll be good.”
“We’ll be done by three. I’ll bring printouts of how I want you to do the exercises. We’ll start slowly and build up as you’re able.”
“Okay. See you then, Larry.”
“Nice to meet you, Mrs. Anderson. Brian can fill you in on what we talked about. I’ll bring a lot of material with me on Monday, including resistance bands and an exercise ball.”
“Thank you, Larry. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.”
“Thanks, I will. See you Monday.”
After Larry left I went back upstairs to figure out what to do about the list of names. I decided it would be easiest if I keyed the names into a spreadsheet. Then I could sort it and check off those who left cards for me, and add those who left me a card but hadn’t come to the house. It took me over an hour to enter all the names from the lists. I highlighted those on the list that I couldn’t read; maybe Mom could help me decipher them. The few that listed a first name only were all good friends, at least I assumed they were, because they weren’t on the list with their last names. When I was finished there were one hundred and two names on my spreadsheet, and four that I couldn’t read because of their writing. I coded them as F = friends, R = relatives, S = school staff, T = teachers, and U = unknown.
I sorted the list by last name, and went through the get well cards and marked the list to show that person sent me a card. Twenty three of the thirty seven cards were from people who weren’t on the list. Once everything was entered in the spreadsheet I sorted it by the code then by last name.
I was amazed. The list of those who came to the house to visit had one hundred and two names, plus the four names I couldn’t read. I looked at the totals.
All I could think about was ‘Wow’. I expected that a lot of relatives would have come by to see and support my folks. My grandparents and a bunch of my aunts and uncles and cousins all came to the house. Five of my teachers, my counselor, and, can you believe it, the principal of Deer Valley High. Wow. But what amazed me the most, seventy seven kids from Deer Valley High came to my house to talk to my folks when I went missing. I marked them as friends, but a lot of the names I didn’t recognize. That’s totally amazing.
“Hi, Brian. Your dad’s home. Are you ready for lunch?” Mom was standing at my bedroom door.
“Sure. And I’ll tell you guys about the get well cards I got at school and what I found out about the people who came to the house when I went missing.”
“Alright. Come on, I made a green chile casserole, and we need to eat it right out of the oven.”
I love Mom’s green chile casserole. It’s sort of like chiles rellenos. She stuffs pasilla peppers, which are mild to medium green chiles, with cheese and veggies, carrots, zucchini squash, and tomatoes that are cut up into small cubes. Then she puts the stuffed chiles into a casserole dish and puts her homemade green chili sauce over it, tops it with grated manchego cheese, and bakes it in the oven. Somehow the chiles puff up and for me it’s eating the best thing ever. I could eat a whole casserole all by myself. Someday I will.
So we sat down to lunch.
“How was your physical therapy, Brian?” Dad asked.
“Well, it wasn’t really a physical therapy session. My PT guy’s name is Larry, and he’ll be back Monday morning and that will be a real physical therapy session. He said he’ll be here about an hour, and he’s bringing one of those big exercise balls and some resistance bands. They’re like huge rubber bands. He’s going to bring me a set of exercises I can do without hurting myself. He said that considering my injuries I’m in good shape.”
“What about the occupational therapist? What did she do with you?”
“Nothing. Her name’s Roseanne and she spent her time with Mom while I was with Larry.”
Dad turned to Mom. “So, tell me about the OT person and what she recommended that we do.”
“I walked her through the house, to Brian’s room and his bathroom, especially the shower and sink, the stairs which she inspected closely, our front and back yards, all of the other rooms in the house that Brian would use. She said she’ll have her report for me early next week.”
That was interesting for me since Mom hadn’t told me what she had done.
“So she didn’t tell you what’s going to be in her report?”
“No, she said she’d send it to me and phone me the next day to go over her recommendations.”
“That’ll be interesting.”
“Yes, it will,” Dad added.
We chatted about exercises I’d be doing, and whether I’d be going to the hospital rehabilitation department or have sessions here at home.
“They have exercise machines at the hospital rehabilitation clinic, but he doesn’t want me using most of them until my cast has been removed and Doctor Linscomb clears me to use those machines. He said I’ll need to exercise from now to twelve weeks after my cast comes off.”
We chatted about that for a while, especially having to go to the hospital a couple times a week, and how I’d get there. Mom said she’d have to drive me there and back.
“I spent a lot of time today working on the list of people who came to the house when I was gone. I got a lot of get well cards that were turned in to the office at school. I want to reply to everyone, but other than our relatives and some of the friends of mine I don’t have any mailing addresses or email addresses or phone numbers. What do you think would be the best way to get addresses for these people?”
“Well,” Mom suggested, “since you know our relatives addresses, or you can get them from me, the first thing to do would be to send a thank-you card to each family.”
“Do they know what happened to me? Should I write something about that and send it with the card? Sort of like the Christmas letter you send with Christmas cards each year.”
“I think that would be nice. But you shouldn’t include any details, or names of people.”
“I agree,” Dad added. “Tell them that you were injured and were in the hospital for two weeks, and now you’re glad to be home. You can say that you’re being home schooled this semester, and you hope to be ready to return to school next year. Something like that.”
“Okay, except I’m being home tutored, not home schooled. I could say I have two tutors and each comes once a week, that a friend from school comes by after school to give me assignments and help me study for tests, that I’m doing physics experiments and Mom is freaked that I’ll burn the house down, that I’m getting physical therapy, and I’ll be getting the cast off my left arm in about a month. Something like that so it’s long enough to actually print out so it can be inserted with each card.” I grinned.
“Sounds like you’ve got it nailed.”
“Now, what do I do about the students and teachers and staff at school who are on the list and that I don’t know how to contact?”
“Why not ask your principal, Mr. Eamonds? He should be able to help you come up with a way to get contact information for those students and certainly for the teachers and staff,” Mom suggested. “You can call him Monday morning.”
Dad added, “He probably won’t let you have the information, it’s confidential. But there should be a way for you to respond. Maybe it could be something in the school newspaper. Think about what sort of options you can come up with.”
“What about Facebook? Aren’t most of the kids at Deer Valley on Facebook?” Mom asked.
“I’m embarrassed. I should have thought about that. That’s a great idea, Mom. It’ll take some searching but I should be able to find that a lot of the kids who signed the list are on Facebook. Thanks.”
“You’re welcome, Brian. I guess now you know your mother is more technologically aware than you thought.” She grinned, and Dad and I both laughed. She was right.
We finished lunch and were cleaning up the kitchen when the doorbell rang.
“That must be Brian Kozara. I’ll let him in. We’ll use the living room,” Dad said.
We all sat down, and Inspector Kozara handed me a shopping bag with the contents of my backpack.
“Thank you!” I looked through the contents of the bag. “I can really use these textbooks. There are two library books here. They’re overdue, eleven days. Someone will have to go fight with Ms. Shields about the fine. I don’t think I should have to pay it. Maybe the police department should pay. You’re the one who had them, Inspector Kozara.”
“Actually, we didn’t have them. You’ll have to try to squeeze the money out of the District Attorney’s office. I suggest you phone Ian Kilpatrick.”
I looked at him. He was trying to hide a grin.
“I guess there’s no chance of getting it out of the D.A., right?”
“That sums it up neatly, Brian. You’d do better trying to squeeze the fine out of a turnip.”
“I guess I’ll have to get Nate to sweet-talk Ms. Shields so she removes the fine. Otherwise I’ll ask Principal Eamonds to get it rescinded.”
“How much is the fine, Brian?” Mom asked.
“Thirty cents a day times eleven days is $3.30 for each book, $6.60 total. But that’s as of today. Add Sunday and Monday and that makes it $3.90 for each book, $7.80 total.”
Dad ended this discussion. “We’ll get the fine rescinded. Don’t worry about it, Brian. Now, Inspector Kozara, tell us what’s going to be done about Mr. Santoni’s visit.”
“Not much. Ian is getting a stay-away restraining order so he cannot come within six hundred feet of your home or any place you might be until the trial is over. That, of course, excludes the courthouse.”
“Is that all? He isn’t going to be charged with anything?” Dad asked.
“He actually didn’t break any laws. If he comes back, then he will be in violation of the restraining order and he can be charged.”
“But he told me he wanted to offer me something that I’d find interesting. It had to be something so I’d withdraw my complaint against Quin,” I said.
“But he didn’t actually do that,” Inspector Kozara explained, “if he had that would be a felony and we could arrest him and bring him to trial. But he didn’t make an offer. So he didn’t break any laws.”
“Brian, don’t swear!”
“I need to leave now,” Inspector Kozara told us. “It’s been a long week and I want to have the weekend, what’s left of it, to myself for a change.”
“Thanks for coming over Inspector Kozara,” Dad said. “I’m sorry you had to come here on your day off.”
“No, that’s exactly what I had to do. First, it’s part of my job.” He looked at me. “And second, and most important, I never, ever, forget about Brian and that I always have his back. So I wanted to get him his books. Even if he does owe the school library a lot of money in fines, which I’m sure he’ll figure out a way to get out of paying.” He grinned, saluted, and headed out.
“Thanks Brian,” I replied, “and have a great weekend. You’ve got my back, and remember I have yours.”
“Thanks. And you have a great weekend too.”
He shook hands with Dad, said goodbye to my folks, and left.
“I’m going up and see how much homework I have left.” And that’s what I did.
I still had some reading to do in European History and I had to finish a story for Creative Writing. We had to write two flash fiction stories, at least four hundred words but not over five hundred words. I decided to leave that until later, probably after dinner. I sat back and thought about what I could do that was more social than schoolwork oriented. All of a sudden I realized something that I should do. I should phone Ron Anderson. We were pretty friendly for the last couple of days at the hospital in Weatherford. I decided to phone him. I picked up my cell and found his name with his cell number and home phone number. I pressed the cell number to make the call. The phone rang about five times and then he answered.
“Hi. This is Ron.”
“Hi. This is Brian. We met in the hospital in Weatherford. Do you remember me?”
“Hi, dufus! Of course I remember you! I beat you at some video game or three when we were sharing a room.”
“You beat me? That’s not my recollection.”
“Jeez, your brain is still muddled. Maybe they put that bandage around your skull on too tight. How the heck are you, Brian?”
“I’m good. My hair is growing back and Mom says she can barely see where the incisions are. I get the cast taken off my left arm in a month. I’m being home tutored, and I have two TA’s who come once a week. I met a guy from school who volunteered to come by after school and give me the homework and help me study for tests. What’s cool and a surprise is that he’s the quarterback on our football team.”
“Is he cute?”
“Majorly. If I wasn’t straight I’d be all over him.” I laughed and I heard Ron laughing. “How are you doing, Ron? Can you swallow now?”
“Yup. Mom finally figured out my sobbing when I’d swallow Brussels sprouts or broccoli saying it hurt was a sham. I’m being punished by being forced to eat nothing but broccoli for a week.”
“I like broccoli. Send it to me. I’ll send you French fries. You have a boyfriend yet?”
“Close, but no cigar. I met a guy the weekend I got home. I went to the mall and decided to see what was playing at the Cineplex. There was the majorly cute guy looking at the schedule too. We started talking and pretty soon we decided to see a movie together. I don’t even remember what it was. He goes to my high school, and we never saw each other at school. Go figure. And if you’re wondering, he’s gay too.”
“Man, that’s great. Congrats. But you said ‘close but no cigar’ so what did you mean by that?”
“We haven’t done the nasty yet. His folks don’t know and he’s not sure about telling them. My folks know because they met him and figured it out, so we’re relegated to being in my room with the door open at all times or being in one of the other rooms like the family room or kitchen.”
“That sucks. Or, in your case, doesn’t.” I laughed.
“That’s harsh, Brian. Harsh. Anyway, you won’t believe what happened. I don’t have the piece of paper you wrote your information on. I had it when we left the hospital, then I changed clothes when I got home. Mom washed my clothes the next day. I think I left it in my shirt pocket. When I went searching for it I checked that shirt and found a little wad of paper in the pocket. I’ve really been bummed. I was hoping you’d email or text me or call me. So I am so glad you called me today.”
“I’m glad I called too. Here, I’m sending you an email with my info.”
“So what’s happening to the guys that beat you up and dumped you in Texas?”
“Two of them are in jail with no bail. That’s the perp, Quin, and Tom. Turns out the third guy wouldn’t participate once he saw that they were going to rape me and beat me up. He took off, and his only part of it was when they grabbed me. He thought they’d let me go. Anyway, he’s doing a plea bargain and is a witness for the prosecution. He even came to our house and apologized and turned himself in to the police because they thought he’d skipped out of his bail. He was the only one who’d been allowed to have bail.”
“Oh man, that’s so cool. Just like on the TV show ‘Law and Order’. So when do they go to trial?”
“I don’t know. The guy from the D.A.’s office doesn’t have it scheduled yet. Oh, another good thing is that Quin and Tom are being tried as adults.”
“Tell me about your football player. So he’s majorly cute, ‘eh?”
“Absolutely. You’d cream your jeans if you met him. Guaranteed.”
“Oooo! I have got to have a pic of this guy. Send me one, Brian. So what’s he like? He’s obviously not a typical jock ‘cause I’m sure you wouldn’t have anything to do with one of those Neanderthal types.”
“He’s smart, he’s taking AP European History and pre-AP English 2 and Algebra 2, all the same as me. He’s also taking the Sports Medicine class and wants to be an orthopedic surgeon. He doesn’t want to play football when he gets to college because he thinks it would distract him from his pre-Med classes.”
“So he’s not a typical jock at all. That’s totally amazing.”
We continued to talk until Mom called me for dinner. I looked at the time. It was almost five.
“Hey, Ron, I gotta go, Mom’s calling me to go down to dinner. Do you know we’ve been talking almost two and a half hours?”
“You’re shitting me. Oh, my, god! You’re right. It’s almost five. It seems like maybe a half hour.”
“Yeah, I agree. But you know we had a ton of stuff to get caught up with. Do you have Skype?”
“Do you have a vid camera on or in your computer?”
“Well, what do you think? I think we can use Skype and do vid calls.”
“I think it’s a cool idea. Email me your Skype name and I’ll email you mine.”
“Done. The email is on its way.”
“Same from this end.”
“I gotta end the call, Ron. Mom just called me again. Let’s Skype each other tonight. Why don’t you make the call. What time do you want to call?”
“How about nine thirty?”
“Works for me. Bye until nine thirty tonight.”
“Bye Brian. I’m looking forward to actually seeing you.”
“Me too, Ron.”
I ended the call. Getting on Skype on a vid call would be a lot of fun. Talking to Ron made me happy. It was the same kind of happy as when I was with Nate, but different because we weren’t actually together. Seeing him on the vid call would make it much more personal.
Thanks to Cole Parker for editing I'm Sticking Around for a While
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