Holding Eric part 22

March 28, 2015

Holding Eric part 22

Watching past the Buick parked by the front door, heavy traffic for six thirty at night, looking upward spotting the shopping center at the light, two lanes you think they would have put a turning lane by now slowly sipping past the steaming coffee, Jacob watching the gray suited guy holding that cup so still trying to get warm asking “You want a Donut or something Hot’ they have egg sandwiches if you like?”
“No Thank You I’m good here” trying not to spill his coffee sip after sip
“Ok I’m getting a donut you sure?” Standing waiting as he looked over at the donut rack for second lifting his hand with a small wave not far from the cup, Jacob frowned walking over, looking back seeing he was still looking at the fresh jelly’s she just put up, getting two cinnamon sugar donuts and one powdered jelly returning setting them down, Sean looked up checking them out mostly the jelly.
“It’s Fresh help yourself” Pushing the jelly over, Sean wasted no time taking it with the napkin, slowly a smile from him lifting it up taking a bite, watching him as if he never had a donut before licking the jelly off his lips with closed eyes, That was strange sight Jacob smiled back eating his two while watching him slowly enjoy each bite forgetting he was cold for now anyway.
“Thank You Mr. Mazzionie I wanted one for weeks”
“You can call me Jacob’…Weeks?” Frowning at Sean
“Needed to lose a few pounds, the wife said”
“Really you don’t look like you should be dieting?”
“Sugar cut back thing”
“Really Sugar?” Looking away from him giggled under his breath checking around the room and back to this Poor guy sitting holding that cup again so tightly, hope it doesn’t pop the lid he’ll get more than he bargained for, where they get guys like this anyway what lawyers working for lawyers, “ok” sitting upward looking at him. Sean looking up slowly at Jacob.
“The boy how bad was he?” Sean asking looking over his cup still a little unsure of himself
“Bad’ he had this pale powder white skin, his eyes seemed sunken inward just scary, then topping it off it wasn’t even Eric I was looking at it was some other poor kid around Twelve in that bed’ on the other hand that means he’s out there somewhere ..Wait a second” looking right at him “You said you were working on it before?” Jacob said watching him waiting.
“At the park I had talk to a few skater’s, before an officer scared them off’ asking me why I was even asking them questions” Sean taking another sip checking his cup
“What they say the skaters I mean?” Trying not to push leaning inward waiting as he took a bite of donut
“Eric stayed with them and left with Jon’ another skater” looking over seeing Jacobs reaction “Sorry”

Confuse a little watching Sean wiping his mouth off from powdered sugar “No, it’s okay you did good, we need to find theses skaters do you know where they are still?”
“They were in the park …. Till they were run off like I said”
“Maybe there still hanging around?” Jacob said raising his eyes with hope peering outside wanting to go check it out and find this Park

Sean taking a long breath of fresh donut air checking around the café, looking back at Jacob standing up gathering his cup and napkins, only nodding to go before walk away, hurried taking his coffee not to get left behind following him outside walking around getting in checking for his briefcase still seating on the floor, Jacob started the engine looking over at Sean sitting carefree looking at the donut shop
“Ok so where is this park?”
“Do you know how to get to the arch?”
“No’ hell I don’t even know where I am right now” pulling to the exit
“Take a left here and the fourth block take a right that will take us to the archway”

Jacob checking along streets counting each street wishing he brought his GPS this time, turning right spotting as big a day the archway standing tall among the street lights, following it to the end of the street intersection looking over spotting the park area just as Sean said “Take a right and that’s the park” more like a little kid excided Sean burst out “We’re here?” before realizing Jacob wasn’t happy looking over at him before pulling into the parking lot, Sean wanting to kicked himself for saying something so dimwitted sat quietly looking over the park. Parking in a space overseeing the dim light area, sidewalk with a few trees blocking most of the lights only casting on the sidewalk and bench area, older couples walking together without even one skater anywhere to be found, looking back and forth hoping to see at least one they could ask Jacob tapped the steering wheel glancing over.

“Don’t see even one skater do you?” Sean lifting his head still looking forward
“No’ any idea where they might be?”
“No, maybe we could call the Officer from the hospital O’Rourke wasn’t it?”
“We should check around first maybe will see them”

Backing out looking at the road next to the sidewalk fooling along while keeping an eye on the park area, even Sean lifting himself a few times checking as they went by a large tree blocking the view, Jacob not sure what to do besides drive around the area might turn up something, one block after another more circling and backtracking till the hairs razed spotting a young skater on the sidewalk, Jacob beeped the horn a few times, the boy only looking back footing himself faster along the sidewalk.

“Stop sign” Sean hollered bracing himself to the dashboard. Jacob hit the break checking quick not letting the young skater out of his sight, moving forward spotting him turning at a driveway without a second thought Jacob pulled right in stopping, quickly opening his door leaning outward “Stop I need to ask you a question that’s all’ wait please were looking for my boy’ Wait come back please” Jacob watching the boy rushing towards the house only looking back once at him before disappearing.

Jacob leaning down on the open door looking to the ground “Dam it one chance and he’s gone’ where is that boy anyway he’s got to know were looking for him”
Sean stayed still looking to the house when the porch light came on “Hey Look”

Jacob looked up over the roof top seeing a man coming out the front door with the boy right behind him walking over towards them stopping at the edge of the sidewalk, he didn’t look angry more concern what he wanted with his son Jacob moved around the car towards them “I didn’t mean to scare you son or anything like that’ I just wanted to ask you a few question” Jacob looking at the shaking boy staying close to his father, the father looked over at the boy and back over the car seeing Sean sitting inside.

“What type of question’ he do something wrong?”
“No’ nothing wrong’ I just wanted to ask if he seen this boy”
“What boy?”
Sean held the paper outward from the window “Here” staying in the car feeling safer
“The man thumb over to the son to get the paper, no one said anything while he looked it over flipping the paper over checking the notes on the back side Sean wrote as to the Hospital, Showing his son the flyer

“Well did you see this kid or not?” asking looking back and forth at the two waiting on his son.
“Maybe I did I’m not sure Dad” Holding the paper outward to his father.
“Please its very important we find him, look at again would you please” watching him again look at it seeing that nod yes was a good sign
“You did see him when and where is he close by here?” feeling that shiver crawling up his back side knowing they were close now smiling back waiting.
“He was’ he was over at Rodney’s” Handing the paper to Jacob stepping back next to his father
“Rodney’ what house?” Looking around at the house’s hoping it was within sight
“No he’s one block over’ it’s more a hangout for kids now, yea his parents left him the house”
That broke the tension between them with the father moving towards Jacob with his hand outward
“Rodney’s a strange boy around here some sort of skateboard wiz kid, this is Harold my son and I’m Tomas Collen, sorry you just can’t be too careful around here lately the way things have gone”
“Jacob Mazzionie, and that’s Sean Bradley in the car” Jacob shook his hand with only a nod back to Sean staying in the car holding his briefcase.

“One block over you said do you know the hose number off hand?”
“Dad it might be better us then them going to the door”
“What the boy do anyway that you’re looking for him?”
“Please’ I’ve got to get to him as soon as possible just tell me the number”
“I think it be better if we went’ you go knocking on that door and no one will open it”

“Look Mr. Collen’s I’m Sorry we just need to find him before the state picks him up”
“You a cop or something?”
“No just a rancher, Sean an Attorney sent to find him also”
“Attorney’ for you or the boy in the flyer?”
“Both’ Eric trying to find me, he wants to be part of my family”
“But why the state want him then?”
“I can tell him as we’re going if were going at all” Sean said opening the door holding his briefcase stepping back opening the back door waiting.

Mr. Collen’s smiled “Looks like we should go” Sean scooted over behind still holding his briefcase while Harold sat next to him. Jacob and Mr. Collen’s looked at each other then got in, Mr. Collen’s motions Jacob to the end of the road, with a right thumb next, while Sean explained some of Eric’s brief encounter with no family left being a ward of the State of Rhode island, and on the run trying to get to Texas.
“Texas’ so how he end up here with you two looking for him?” Sean said now more carefree “someone called it in saying they seen him here and my boos sent me here to find him, then Mr. Mazzionie here showed up also, we just” before he could finish Mr. Collen’s pop upward looking at the house’s “That’s it the fifth one on your side” lowering his head looking around the parked cars, Jacob pulled into the driveway stopping “OK they know us’ so sit tight” The two got out walking up the side driveway to the rear door.

Sean leaning forward watching for them “Hope this isn’t a trap or something that they will all come out of that house and be after us?” being nerviest trying not to move waiting, Jacob only looked at him in the mirror then back, Sure enough four others following right along with them towards the car, Jacob open the door standing up waiting on them, Sean stayed inside. Rodney right out in front holding the paper stopping at the car looking at Jacob, before lowering his view to the inside seeing Sean sitting

“Eric was here’ he’s not anymore he left with John”
Jacob swallowed hard asking “When he leave?”
Rodney handing the paper to Jacob “Sorry man we didn’t know”
“This John why would he take him and where?”
“John’s friend Toneckia took his brothers car and from what we know he was headed to some reservation’ cheap cigarettes and all”
“Reservation Around here?”
“Wait I heard him saying he wanted to go to Muskogee” One of the other boy spoke up
“Yea your Probably right John‘s been wanting to leave for some time, guess this was his chance’ he left without telling anybody he was even going”
“But I don’t understand why he would take Eric with him?”
“Maybe he wanted to go man’ anything Else?” Rodney Said raising both his elbows

“Mr. Mazzionie’ we should be going, thanks Rodney you helped do a good thing” Mr. Collen’s holding his hand outward not to shake it but more his fist butting together getting Rodney to do the same, Jacob followed along “Cool man hope you find them” Harold already heading to the back seat, Sean reaching over having to unlock the door for him, Jacob getting in watching them standing in the driveway watching them pulling out heading back to the house.

Dropping off Mr. Collen’s and his Son Harold, Back at the house declining to go inside wanting to get back as soon as possible thanking them for their help, Jacob had no idea where to look only knowing he was heading towards Muskogee, pulling over in the local quick store turning the inside light on, handing Sean ten dollars asking him to get them some coffee while he checked over the map, Without hesitation Sean was eager to get it.
Finding Muskogee in Oklahoma, seeing now it just below Tulsa checking the main highway roads from St. Louis to Tulsa on Route 44,Placing the map on the dashboard helping Sean at the door taking the coffees from him waiting for him to seat down with a few snacks also.

“Well Eric’s heading in the right direction alright if hes in Oklahoma he’ll be there before we are” Jacob said handing Sean coffee with cream offering him a snack cake.
“You said he’s going to Texas then?”
“Yes that’s the place and were going back to Kentucky”
“Kentucky what’s there I thought you said Oklahoma?”
“That’s where he’s go not us”
“Maybe I better call my boss?” Sean Said while frowning brushing the crumbs off the seat

Jacob unplugged his phone flipping it open, lighting up eight-forty three and then Jacob push contacts showing DAD’ holding his finger over the button not sure if he should call him or give Penny a call first, pushing the button hearing it ring, reaching over for his coffee tilting the lid back waiting.

Holding Eric part 21

March 22, 2015

Holding Eric part 21

Passing one car after another trying not to speed to fast keeping a lookout along with the gas gauge quickly moving to the empty slot, exiting into the service center checking the high price before pulling in behind a camper van getting gas, the guy just gave a small wave, waiting till he was done not knowing how long was ok too, Jacob open the door stretching looking around, spotting the sign Fresh coffee to go.

“Be right back getting a quick coffee” Jacob said to the man filling walking acrossed to the open door building, inside a young man reading a magazine only looking over at him and back, spotting the coffee machine seeing another sign next to it ‘Help yourself to coffee it’s free’ Not seeing any cups asking the young man “Any Cups or do you have a mug I can buy?”

“No cups plenty of mugs right over there to your left”

Looking to his left seeing the mugs seven ninety-nine each, frowning taking a blue one filling the mug dumping six sugars inside closing the lid shaking it in a circle as no stirrers’ but they did have creamers, taking it to the counter placing a ten on the counter hoping he could at least make change, looking outward to the pumps seeing he was just finishing was a good sign for a change, getting his change from the young man who more interested in is magazine, walking to the pump holding his hot coffee seeping from the top air hole out onto his hand, Jacob set it on the pump pulling the nozzle to the back thinking it should have been right there, not seeing it looked to the driver’s side “yep”  looking like a complete fool now pulling it over the trunk opening the door resting the handle on the small door getting the cap off falling right on the ground, “Shit” Jacob stuffed the nozzle in clicking the trigger nothing starting looking up towards the pump again while clicking again and again before hearing a voice over the speaker above the pumps.

“You have to put a card amount in before it starts” Jacob stood looking right at the window for a second before reaching down picking up the gas cap setting it on the trunk lid, only to have it start rolling down the backside. Trying to grab it before it fell smacking his fingers on the bumper missing it, quickly his foot stopped it from escaping to far from him picking it up holding it now.

Placing the nozzle back getting his recited walking around to the driver’s door then realized he forgot his coffee on the pump walking back around getting it looking one more time at the young man still looking at his magazine, pulling back out and heading into busy traffic, an hour or more had gone by reaching St. Louis following the signs to the hospital.

Parking the car in The Emergency waiting section hurrying inside, the large double doors open wide sending the cold breeze inside while he was looking around the room seeing six people sitting waiting to see the doctors, walking right up to the glass window having to tap to get the Nurse attention least letting her know he was there, Looking up to the small holes in the glass still writing on her clipboard with a confused look upward seeing him standing behind the glass.

“Hello I’m looking for the boy who was brought in last night?” trying to talk thru the glass

“Name?” looking back at her clipboard

“Eric something” raising his elbows upward trying to remember

“Something’ you a relative?” pulling the clipboard towards her now giving him a look over

“No’ but I need to see him right away he was brought in last night” watching her just stand tighten her lips a slight sideways while raising her head backwards, placing the pen on the clipboard setting it down, standing sideways looking at the others in the room and back at Jacob.

“I’ll check wait here’ let me check on the name” walking away from the window past the split doors

Not wanting to move from the window he stood looking around the room at everyone, one guy got up from his seat looking to the doors and back at Jacob, hearing the doors opening turning back looking for the nurse to return bending his head trying to see around the open doors, glancing down at the paperwork on the desk trying to read the names upside down without any luck, turning back quickly as the Main front doors open sending in a burst of cold night air watching one hospital Security guard along with St. Louis policeman walking right up to the window, Jacob moved aside while still looking to see if she returned yet looking back with a nod to the officers while spotting the other man now getting up again looking to the door only stopping at the doors watching them.

“You the guy looking for the boy brought in last night?” The officer asked checking him over

“Yes officer I’m him’ is he ok?” raising his eyes wide excided to find someone who could help

“How do you know the boy?” keeping still asking

“His names Eric’ somebody please tell me if he’s ok at least? I need to see him”

“He’ll be ok you got some Id?” Officer with one hand resting on his sidearm watching for any quick move’s Jacob might make, Jacob slowly reach back getting is wallet handing him his driver’s license, Slowly the officer looked it over while the short young security guard watched over his shoulders “Texas you’re a long way from home aren’t you’ would you mind stepping over here please” Jacob following his motion to move to the side outside the bathroom doors.

Setting everyone to look over the man at the main doors walking right over to them “Jacob Mazzionie’ Vinny sent me” holding his hand out for Jacob, reaching out shaking his hand before he even knew he was “Officer its ok I’m here to represent the Boy Eric and Jacob” The officer and Security Guard stood looking at this guy with his gray suite and shiny tasseled shoes smiling at them.

“Somebody want to tell me why you’re here?”

“Officer I’m Sean Bradley with Santino law firm sent here to find Eric’ my office called letting him know he was here’ That’s Jacob they called” Handing the officer a business card.

“Lawyer from Connecticut and your representing Mr. Mazzionie is that right” snapping the card with his thumb, looking back and forth at the two of them.

“Yes’ In the matter of Eric’s wellbeing, I just arrived today myself after finding out he was here’ Officer I didn’t make out you name” Trying to read his name tag popping his head around his chest looking

“O’Rourke”

“O’Rourke your Irish so am I’ Well on my mother side anyway”

Raising his hands to stop Bradley from babbling on “I check the list myself and I’m sorry but there’s no Eric listed that came in last night or today”

Security Guard moved forward “Hey Officer O’Rourke they did bring in someone last night like he said”

“In the Hospital here’ there’s no listing”

“But the Night officer at the desk said they brought an eleven year old boy in last night”

“Well you’re the Security maybe you want to check and find out if they brought in a boy last night for us’ you think maybe you could do that?”

Security officer surprised “No one asked be before or I would have ok” walking away from them standing watching him pushing buttons on the code box to open the door, going inside looking back making sure no one was following him, dangling his keys around.

“Look you two maybe we better have a seat’ till we know for sure who they have here” Officer O’Rourke walking with them over to the line of chairs, Looking around seeing less now than when he came in.

“Eric around eleven last I heard he’s heading to Texas looking for me” Jacob said to Bradley sitting holding his black leather briefcase watching the officer standing checking out everyone in the room a once over looking for his next big bust.

“You know we tracked him here from one phone call”

“Phone call’ he tried to call me’ I was on the road”

“No it was a family he was with here he played along with them around the archway till they left only later spotting his flyer and calling to report seeing him”

“And they sent you here?”

“Yep Vinny was clear to the point to get here ASAP and find him and I did”

“Well thank you I don’t know what else to say right now”

“That’s ok’ I call Vinny and told him we found him and now we can start your paperwork”

“Paperwork?”

“Well sure’ Adopt him before the state takes him that is what you were doing right?”

“Yes’ Adopt him”

“Look here comes the Guard with a doctor” Bradley said standing up with Jacob

Doctor came out looking at the three while walking towards them, Jacob standing right up front waiting to hear some good news “You’re looking for the boy?”

“Yes doctor is he going to make it’ how bad is he?”

“He’s in ICU right now holding on for the moment”

“O’h no I’ve got to see him Doc” Jacob feeling bad holding back a tear starting

“We found no Id, whatever he had was stolen”

“Can I see him Doc Please?” Jacob Pleading with him

“I’ll bring you to him’ but just prepare yourself’ come with me”

“Doc what about him” Security Guard asking not sure what he should do stay or follow

“He can come too’ Officer would you also join us”

Following the Doctor to the ICU slowly staying together down the hallway, stopping at one nurse’s station, Four Nurses monitoring screens “Just one second wait here please” Doctor said walking around the desk talking to one nurse, Coming back around  “You sure you’re ok?”

“Yes ‘I’ll be fine Doc”

“Ok You three better wait here” Doctor said taking Jacob only passed two window to the door, Standing outside looking in Jacob at the window leaning inward, not sure if he wanted to see him like this, watching the Doctor walking in.

“You know this boy Eric?” Officer O’Rourke Asking Bradley

“Yes Jacob is getting custody of him before the state takes him” seeing Jacob at the window.

“Custody of him what he do?”

“Ran from a halfway house, and was heading to find Jacob”

“Wait a second he’s a runaway then?”

“Yes well he was but we tracked him here and that why I’m here to find him”

“Guess you were a little too late by the looks of things”

“Well the desk officer looked at the flyer and said he was here” Showing the officer the flyer standing ahead watching Jacob still leaning on the glass.

The Doctor waved Jacob inside the room with the Security Guard walking up standing by the door watching, Eric’s was facing the window away from them covered to his shoulders with the blanket, Jacob looked at the monitors beeping above the bed, The Doctor stood by the bed waving him over to the window side, feeling his hurt seeing the bandage around his head slowly Jacob walked, looking down his hand laying on the cover with a tubes hanging next to him, Jacob leaned into the bed getting closer taking his small hand trying to look upward at Eric.

All of a sudden Jacob letting his hand go standing right up looking at the Doctor “This isn’t Eric Doc” slowly getting his breath looking again at the boy laying there. Both stood looking at the boy.

“He’s got a lot of swelling you might not recognize him” shocked from Jacobs statement standing looking at the boy again checking the monitors. Even the Guard heard him say it turning his head looking in.

“It’s not Him Doc, believe me it’s not I’m Sorry Doc” Turning leaving the room, watching the guard stepping aside letting him by going right over to the nurses station

“Wrong Boy he’s not our Eric’ not even close” Jacob gasped looking at Sean and the Officer

“What they looked at the flyer and said it was him” Sean insisting holding the paper up to Jacob, Jacob reach over taking it, looking right at the guy sadden looking downward at his tasseled shoes before glancing to the window seeing if he could see the boy.

“Well it’s not him’ so where is he…. what did you find out when you got here?”

“Ok you two let’s take this to another area and discus it”

“I did have another lead just before the officer stopped and told me he was here”

Walking away Jacob turned back looking to the window, It caught Jacob off guard standing looking at him for a second, with one hand halfway up stopping him.

“Officer’ I’m sorry we put you thru this maybe we can buy you a cup of coffee?”

With a smile back “That’s alright there’s a Donut shop just down the street”

“Will you join us? It’s the least we can do for your help”

“Maybe another time, here take my card and call if you fine him I’d like to know how it turns out”

“Ok’ I’ll call Thank You Again” watching him walking away to the doors “Come on we need so coffee after this?” The two stopping just outside the main doorway looking to the parked cars, Sean pulling his coat closed standing next to a trash bin resting his briefcase on it, Jacob looked at him more or less just looking around the area “You need a ride?” Jacob asking. Nodding yes pulling his case down following Jacob in the parking lot to the Buick.

The two ordered coffee’s and a donut sitting at the table by the window, Sean holding his dark roast cup with both hands trying to warmup, Jacob watching the steam rising after taking the lid off mixing three sugars scooting the box over only his eyes moved shaking like a cold winter leaf ready to fall off its branch. “Cold here’ that’ll warm ya up drink it slow” placing his lid back on.

Holding Eric Part 20

March 10, 2015

Holding Eric part 20

Texas bound leaning on the door watching the roadway once again, glancing around the cab spotting his CB setting not even bolted down with only a green bungee cord holding it just below the switches, even the antenna wire draped over the steering wheel to the window, trying hard not to look over at him knowing John might have been right not to go with him, Sign after sign along the highway he was trying to stay in the center lane passing passenger cars like they were standing still with a bang on the wheel getting Eric’s attention over to him seeing he was upset slapping his turn single on, with a quick look upward Eric spotted an Exit sign, knowing they hadn’t been that long on the road.

“You stopping already everything ok?” Eric Asked hearing him gearing down hard on the engine

“You got to get out sorry kid your just too big a risk for me”

“Why I didn’t do anything?”

“You’re a runaway someone’s looking for you’ sorry you’ll have to find another way”

Eric stayed quite waiting for him to slow down on the ramp exit, slowly stopping at the stop sign “Wait till the cars pass then you can get out sorry kid Toneckia told me they were looking for you it’s just too risky you’ll get a ride here just go down to the plaza and ask around”

“Sir I do thank you for helping anyway and I understand” Eric said climbing down stepping back from the cab in the soft dirt just watching him pulling back across the street on the highway, after he was out of sight standing not sure about this area tilling down around the brush spotting the small plaza area and started walking towards it slowly on the shoulder.

“John was right about him even if Toneckia said it was ok’ sure it was ok just missed my bus what a line he tried to tell him before he told him I was a runaway, sure he just wanted me out of the way so it was just him and John, well I’ll find a ride and show him I can get to Texas on my own” Eric talking to himself as he walked along. Eric made his way passing a few cars to the buildings checking out the vending units before heading for the restroom, washing his face and hands with a wet towel feeling refresh finger comb hair placing his cap on “Ok Trucker Eric let’s get something to eat and find a ride” with a nod to the mirror before heading out, stopping at the map area near the service area looking where he was to Logan, Texas.

Checking the Letters with numbers using his fingers finding he still had a ways to go more at the bottom of the pages lower right side, looking over his shoulder wondering where the driver area was then it was clear Eric snapped around looking at one guy looking at him almost on top of him, slowly moving to his side “Sorry just looking” telling him hurry down the aisle to the café area.

Intercom blared out “Mr. Mazzionie’ Come to the Office”, Jake head rose high to the stall opening away from the Black then to Grandpa “They calling you Grandpa?” Eric asking staying with the vet checking what he was doing looking in the ears.

“Sure your dad will get it if it’s for us” holding the horse still

“Grandpa where not in any evens why would they be calling us?” Watching where he was stepping

“Jake’ let’s just take care of the Black ok?” David was concerned but not showing it

“Ok” Jake quickly said walking around with the vet watching him lifting her legs upward feeling down to the hoof.

Standing at the end looking her over twitching his noise a few times, with a pat on her side “She’ll be ok maybe some good food and care she’ll fill out real well, you got yourself a good mare here Mr. Mazzionie”

“It’s Jake’s Black he found her” smiling over watching Eric smile back standing straight up with pride.

Headed outside the stall “So the Palomino mare and colt and even the trotter Morgen were a good buy all in real well shape, you plan on getting a few more?”

“Might fine one or two still looking around”

“Ok well call me anytime” gathering his small bag checking around the stalls

“Will let you know if we find another good one”

“Thanks’ Doc for checking my horse” Eric raising his head saying before he walked away.

Jacob had finish with paperwork heading back to the barn, hearing the speaker from the stands calling his name just as he reach the stalls, turning around heading back to the office while checking over the papers before he got there making sure he sign everything, walking up the stairs heading inside stopping at the front desk “Someone just page me?” asking the Elderly lady holding the phone to one side while checking over paperwork, sitting behind her small desk only looking up over her long looped chain hanging holding her white and gold specked glasses hanging around her puffy cheeks “Name?” “Mazzionie” “That’s Mazzola?” “No Mazzionie someone just page me to the office” how many pages do they call lady? Jacob wanted to say but held back waiting on her as she started looking around her little notes.

Jacob looking over to the other section he was just at seeing Dora a bright middle age Lady waving to him to come over, looking down as the older lady fumbling with small note’s she had from phone calls, walking over to Dora

“Did you need to see me’ someone just paged for me?”

“No everything was in order, maybe dinner later?” sitting back in her chair cheerfully batting her eyes

“Sorry’ here with my Father and son” folding his papers placing them in his back pocket looking back watching her still thumbing paper’s.

“They have a dance Friday night maybe if you’re not doing anything?”

“Maybe another time you understand” Jacob said showing his wedding ring giving her a cheerful grin as she nodded back with a smile.

“I’ll look forward to it” Sitting back in her chair pointing to the other desk

“Hey Mazzola here it is’ you still want it?” Waving a pink paper back and forth watching them.

Jacob smile with a wink from Dora returning, she’ll held the paper like it meant something to her frowning as he took it reading it.

Jacob Call home emergency very important call as soon as possible Penny, Jacob reaching in his pocket dropping the paper pulling out his phone flipping it open seeing no calls with no single receiving, Reaching down for the paper tapping the phone quickly

“Dam thing of all times”

“You ok” Dora asking from her desk watching Jacob “Fine’ how long ago this come in?” harsh tone back

“The time on it” not even looking up going back to her paperwork

Looking again still trying the phone “Dam it’s an hour ago why didn’t you call when it came in?”

“Look I’ve got plenty other things to do around here than page people”

Turning his head away from her before he said something he would most likely regret later

“Jacob everything ok?” Dora asking heading over being concerned watching him

“No it’s my wife with an Emergency and dam phone not working” pushing the side of the phone again trying to get it to come on squashing it in his hand with the pink paper also.

“Here use mine” Dora handing him her phone

“Thank You”

“Better take it outside better reception” Dora saying looking at the desk seeing the elderly lady looking at the two standing together.

Barely able to control himself fumbling with the door knob, hurrying outside not even closing the door trying to push the small buttons, spotting error connecting’ seeing he forgot to put in the area code, retrying letting it ring, “just as it stopped’ before she could answer “Penny what happen everything ok’ the girls fine’ you ok?” leaning on the railing with his eyes closed waiting for the bad news, hearing the door closing looking around seeing the Dora behind him watching trying to hear what happen.

“Everything’s ok here where all fine relax Jacob” Penny trying to reassure him they were fine

“What’s the emergency’ why didn’t you call?” Holding the phone tightly to his ear

“Did try’ your phones off or dead as normal”

“Dead’ I’m sorry”

Reassured him she was there for him giving him a small pat on his back leaning to the rail, Jacob turn to Dora looking down hearted while he held the phone to his shoulder “It’s ok’ I’ll be right in”

“Sure Hon’ just take your time” Slowly brushing his shoulder before going back inside

“Jacob you still there?” Penny asking not hearing him clear

“Yea sure just having a major breakdown here so what happen?”

“Jacob’ you did everything you could”

“What’ I don’t know what you’re trying to tell me?”

“It’s what you did on your last run” Penny sitting at the table looking at the papers again seeing Eric photo trying to control herself from crying again after she got the call.

“You talking about my cousin he didn’t wreck the truck did he?”

“No” In a broken voice looking away from the table to the window

“What happen’ should we come home?”

Penny hold her breath before telling him “Jacob where find here’ it’s the boy”

“Jake he’s fine stop you’re worrying”

“The other boy you came in-contact with Eric…. I received some bad new a little while ago”

“What kind of news”

“Eric’s’ in the hospital in (St. Louis)”

“Hospital what?”

“Jacob he was found in an alley last night…. it’s not good Jacob” Trying to control herself

“That poor kid’ who called you?” Looking around leaning over the railing just as he spotted Jake waving with his Dad walking towards him, Jacob waved his hand back and forth looking over seeing the stand pointing to it, Dave quickly seen what he was trying to say reaching down for Jake tilling his hat forward.

“Come-on Jake let’s get a hot dog how’s that sound?” Jake looking up to his dad waving to go ahead, Jake smiling back making like he’s eating pointing to Jacob they were going for hot dogs, Jacob just smiled back trying to get back on the phone, leaning sideways on the step watching them walking away

“Jacob you still there Jacob?”

“Yea’ right here so what happen?”

“Vinny Santino’ a friend of David been looking into Eric case, he had track him down to St. Louis where he was last seen by a truck driver passing thru and later found out he was dropped off at a plaza nearby, that’s when someone found him, he was beaten and left in and alleyway”

“Is he going to be ok?”

“We don’t know at this point Jacob”

“Did you find out what Hospital?”

“I’ll call’ I’m sorry to call you with this but felt you should know”

“Its fine’ I hope he ok look I’ll call you later with a number you can get me at”

“Ok’ better tell David, better not say anything infront of Jake”

“Look I’ve got to go’ I’ll call you Love You”

“Jacob’ you just take care and come home soon” Penny held the phone till Jacob hung-up, looking down at the papers hearing the door open quickly gather the papers turning them over seeing the girls coming inside.

Jacob return Dora phone after a quick thank you telling her it was bad news and he might have to leave early than expected, but thank her for carrying, Dora reach over rubbing the top of his hand with one finger stopping at the ring “You have a great wife that cares that’s a rarity around here”

“She is a good Mother also I have Three great children”

“Well you can use my phone anytime you need to no strings”

“Thank You’ My son and Dad are waiting at the hot dog stand”

“Well better get going then cowboy” smiling back.

Jacob walked over to the hot dog stand seeing them sitting waiting for him, Jake moving over to let him sit down, sliding over two hot dogs over “We got you two dad” Jake remarked taking a drink from his soda before finishing off his watching Jacob unwrapping one looking up at

“Jacob everything ok with the mares?” David sitting back in the stool

“Yea Dad everything ok” placing mustard and ketchup slowly

“Dad the vet said she was a good one I found” excided

“That’s good Jake that you found her”

“Jake if you’re done you can go looking around for a while”

“Ok grandpa’ maybe I can go to the stands and watch the new colts?”

“Ok just watch them and becareful”

“I will’ gee you think I wanted to buy them or something”

“Jake just look at them will be right along”

“Ok’ I’ll save you a seat” Jake said scooting off taking the empties

Jacob watch him standing straight upward making sure his hat was tilted back just a little, unwrapping the second spreading mustard only , looking upward at his dad frowning back slowly squinting his eyes

“So what was with the phone?”

“Dad it was Penny calling she had some bad news… everything’s ok at home, seems the lawyer you called tracked down Eric, and found him a little too late…. he’s in the hospital”

“Sorry son what happen’ is he going to be ok?”

“He was found in and alleyway, he had been beaten Dad why would someone do that?”

“Son’ a lot of crazy’s out there they do anything for a few dollars”

Jacob crumbled the wrappers together placing them in the empty cup holding it tightly, glancing over to the colts by the stands seeing Jake standing at the bottom rail watching them slowly walking around the track, one foot on the rail like a small cowboy along with two older boys close by.

“Well he be ok?”

“Hard to say right now, Penny said they would call and let her know”

“Jacob maybe you want to take a ride to Rhode Island”

“He’s in St. Louis dad” swallowing hard looking back again at Jake

“We’re not that far from there you could rent a car” David reached over placing his hand on Jacobs arm getting his attention.

“What about Jake what would I tell him?”

“Will be fine’ I think you should go Son!” David nodding his head yes

“Dad’ I don’t know if I should’ the horses and all”

“Never mind the horse’s, let’s get you a rental” waving for Jake to come back

Jake rushed right back hoping to get another hot dog, Jacob explained that he had to take a small trip to St. Louis something just came up, it would only be a day or two, Jake frowned lowing his head, Jacob said he could stay with Grandpa so not miss any events, Jake said ok but hurry back soon before the weekend events started, the three took a ride to the local car rental not far from the fairgrounds, only to find out they had three large autos to choose from, Jake spotted right off the Black Buick being it was the same color as the mare it was agreed, Jake rode back to the motel with Jacob enjoying the full seat.

Jacob and Jake gathered things inside, sitting on the bed Jacob called Penny telling her he was heading up to St. Louis, Dad and Jake would stay at the fair, Penny told him about the paperwork that she received the day before in brief but detailed, Jake wanted to talk to her interrupting him, Jacob cut it short letting Jake talk for a few before asking him to take his bag to the car.

Waiting by the car Jake lean waiting while Grandpa talked on his phone till Jacob came out closing the door, David pointed to the power core laying on the seat for his phone, handing it to Jake to plug in the charger, while the two looked over a map on the hood, folding the map setting it on the seat giving Jake a big lift upward hugging him “Mind your Grandpa and behave” before setting him back down, David raised cheek grin and his slight nod everything will work out way while he shook his hand saying take it slow and call him when he finds out anything. Jacob agreed getting in waving bye slowly back outward into the driveway and down the street, Jake and Grandpa Return to the fairgrounds.

Holding Eric Part 19

February 25, 2015

Holding Eric part 19

Too My Fateful Readers sorry that I have not been able to post in the last few months as recouping in hospitals after illness due to the northern weather here, back on track again and I do want to thank all for the quick recovery well wishes received by so many the past few months. Thank You Again Will.

Here part 19 will follow the beginning of Part 18 in a small Revised Edition: by request from readers asking for more alternatives during the meeting in the park, curiously we looked more into it finding the emotional motivations were needed in responds to Eric experience hopefully it will satisfy our readers here.

Thank you all for the responses to each Part’s; reaching so many now on the internet as well.

Holding Eric part 19

While in St. Louis late in the day Eric keep near the buildings looking into windows sweating on and off, the rim of his hat soaked from the high muggy over cast with potential storm coming in temperatures the last time he spotted a sign was 72 degrees, finding the city was so busy all the signs above try to get you inside to spend your money and have a good time, Eric could only see it as in the movie he seen where James Stewart found the town that he was never been born, wasn’t there anymore changed into a spruced wild town of large street lights and gaming halls, avoiding the crowds walking more in a fast pace wondering if they made the movie here, looking at the Lights flashing signs above as he walked under them down the sidewalk able to find a small store going inside getting himself a soda and hot dog out of the rack, along with a bag of potato chips, finishing off the Hot dog following a few boys on skate boards towards a small park sitting down watching them skate.

Two of the boys past by and one came back, Eric looked up offering him some chips, holding his skate board reaching over taking the bag to him taking a hand full handing it back asking,. “So what brings you down here?”

“Just watching that’s all” trying not to look just watching the others skaters

“Looks like your lost or something” finishing off reaching while motion over for the bag again

“No just sitting” letting him have almost an empty bag

“Really you come here to find a raft and float down the river?” stuffing them in crunching

“What no!” turning looking up at him with a snickering back

“Right so why you here then’ you’re not from around here” raising his eye brows bending over more

“Just visiting” looking around the park area

“Sure you are’ look you’re a runaway aren’t you?” tossing the bag over while flipping his board

“NO!” Reaching for the bag before it fell to the sidewalk

“Ok’ if you say so” bouncing it a few times with his foot

“It’s getting dark I should go” Eric said getting up swigging on his soda holding the chips

“Sure Where?” Snapping he board down next to his foot

Eric turn around looking at him “Home”

“Home where’s home up north?” sucking his cheeks inward waiting looking sideways tapping his board off his foot upward holding it looking at Eric waiting for his reply, while he spin the wheels a few times

Surprised moving his head back over at him looking at the painting on the board, slowly tilting his head down to the ground “Texas ok that my home” moving the dirt back and forth with one foot.

“That’s better’ I’m John and what’s your name again Tom sawyer?”

“No it’s Eric’ I’m traveling west ok … by myself you happy now that you know?” wondering more if he should run from this kid asking him all kinds of question.

“Not around here at this hour you aren’t they’ll pick you up so fast your head will spin all the way back to where you came from, you better be coming with us, before they find you out here wondering the streets”

“You’ no’ I don’t think so’ I’ll be fine just need to find a truck stop” looking back towards town

“Not tonight you won’t it’s too far anyway so you better come with us” dropping the board tapping it a few times waiting watching what Eric response was going to be.

Eric turn trying to walk away looking around at anything possible saying “I have to get a ride tonight” mostly trying to avoid him following behind him

“Wrong again’ look you’re not going to make it the night around here so just come with us we have a house you can stay for the night ok” pulling in front of him stopping him with the others coming up behind just Eric stopping looking him over a few times carefree.

“What do you want from me?” Eric busted out with watching them.

“Eric right look just trying to help that’s all dude, you want to come fine if not good luck” dropping his skate board his two friends making little moves in circles waiting watching, looking down at Eric “Well you coming?”

“Ok just don’t try anything I only have two dollars on me” knowing ahead of time about kids in the streets always looking for cash, Eric already hid his under the soul inside of his shoe and some in his sock, keeping only a few dollars out, hesitant to leave feeling that strange beating in his chest, more racing with suspiciously more of a feeling and so confusion in accepting to go with him..

“Come on I’ll walk with you” Waving the other two back over.

“Guys we have a new boy in town he’s Texas bound” smiling outward like he just made a new friend

The two holding their boards just nodding carefree just as the street lights came on’ looking at them “We got to go John if he wants to stay let him it’s getting late” pushing off heading down the sidewalk, John held his skate board “I’ll walk so you don’t get lost out here” Eric finished off his chips and soda sticking them in the waste can as they walked by it, down the street passing eight or more houses before seeing the boys in the driveway heading towards the rear, John and Eric followed going inside the back door. Just as they stepped inside a heavy pressure to Eric’s chest pushing him into the side wall, not even seeing it coming, Eric looked up gasping his air feeling like he was going to faint holding his chest eyes wide.

“Who is this kid and why you bring him here?”

John quickly jumped in “Eric he’s a runaway heading to Texas”

“Texas hum’ what’s in Texas kid?” Reaching over taking his ball cap, Eric started to reach for it the big boy pulled it away looking it over. “That a nice hat maybe I should keep it”

“No its mind give it back” Eric moving forward reach for it only to be held back again by the boy.

“No you just gave it to me” holding Eric’s shoulder tight pushing him back into the wall.

“It’s mine give it back” Eric said just getting his breath back in his voice drenched by fear, staying still while six or more other boys stood in the hallway watching what was happening.

“Let the boy go Rodney” John said forcefully ready to battle him

“Ok he’s you responsibility if he gets caught” tossing the hat at Eric landing on the floor next to him, Rodney turned walking back into another room

The others watching quickly went back to what they were doing leaving them in the hallway.

“You ok?” replied John through a gasp picking up his hat handing it to him

“Shit yes – I’m still alive who’s he’s the boss here?” gasping still watching everyone leaving

“Sort of he’s harmless really, come on you can meet the others”

Slowly walking by the room looking in at Rodney sitting muffled whispering to himself, watching Television setting on a long broken down couch with his feet on a coffee table holding a beer. Eric eyes glistened in the room holding back with everything he had from crying hurting all over again feeling the heat inside stopping.

“Over here!” John Shouted back, Eric slowly walked into the kitchen area, seeing John staring in the refrigerator door. Not even looking up to Eric, pulling out a box of Donuts holding them outward, Eric took the box looking inside at Glazed and sprinkles tops.

“I’ve seen so many kids come and go around here, most all forgot by now’ you to will be gone soon and I’ll be back the same as always riding my skate board till something good comes along, hey maybe your it this time you’re going somewhere and know where you’re going that’s a change”

“What me I don’t understand?” shifting one cheek upward looking at him

“Texas you’re going home’ so what it like out there tell me?” excited

“I don’t know I’ve never been there” raising his shoulders upward

“But you going? What the hell you don’t have a place to go to then?” frowned turning his head to looked right into Eric’s eyes waiting unsure taking the box pulling out a gooey donut.

“Yes when I get there I know someone”

“Well ok’ so you do know someone that’s a good sign you’re not going blind” holding the box open to Eric, reaching inside pulling out one gooey glazed sticking to his fingers taking a bite.

They stood at the counter leaning down on it glancing out the window at the alleyway.

“Have you ever gone back you know Home?” Eric asked licking his fingers off

“No that was three years ago when I left and came here looking for a fairy tale dream”

“God that’s sad why you stay here then?”

“I don’t know just do I guess” tossing the empty box in the little trash can licking his fingers also

That long nagging silence fell between them finishing off the rest of the donuts “Maybe we should check in and see what the other are doing give you a chance to meet them now without Rodney around” John suggested to Eric somewhat nervously controlling himself walking with John to the other room.

Entering the room looked like any other livingroom with everyone watching Television just waving hi as they walked in sitting down on the couch.

“We have cable, staying here during the early morning till around three then it’s safe to go outside and just do what we want’ mostly keeping to ourselves staying out of any trouble with the locals”

“So all of you just live here?”

“Yep it’s our home sort of”

“Who owns it?”

“Rodney’s folks did’ they moved to Florida leaving him the house”

“Maybe I should leave before he comes back after me”

“He won’t he’s just letting you know who’s in charge here”

“Ok so what now”

“You’ll spend the night here and tomorrow will see about getting you a ride to Texas how’s that”

“Sleep here looks a little full”

“You can crash on the couch I’ll get you a blanket” Eric just looked at the couch “Don’t worry I’ll be on the other one have a seat, that the boys they keep mostly to them self’s so don’t worry about them your be ok with me”  Eric sat down checking what they were watching.

“Look kid if you get hungry just help yourself to the fig ok” one of them said getting up heading out with other boys. John came back in handing Eric a folded light blanket sitting near the end.

(Special Acknowledgement to Denice and Mark G. For their support in asking for more.)

Having an uncomfortable threatening feeling sleeping on more springs than couch, Eric was unable to get much sleep tossing and turning sitting upward a few times in the frightening darken room with one scary presence that Rodney would show up again, Eric beginning to panic leaning on the edge spotting the flickering lights from the television in the other room. Looking over seeing John fast asleep resting on his arm. Eric curiosity walked down the hallway standing at the doorway looking in, not seeing Rodney only two of the boys still up watching TV, it was the same two he had seen earlier at the park when one of them looked over telling him to come in setting down his Gameboy while trying to watch the movie.

Joining them sharing Popcorn and corn chips with Carl and Travis after they introduce themselves while watching some documentary about UFO’S, during a commercial Carl headed out to the kitchen pointing at us if we wanted a soda, realizing how salty the Popcorn was after they added more salt and cheese flavoring to the package, Carl return just as the movie started backup handing them out, Carl had to wake Travis a few times he fell asleep on the edge trying to stay awake his eyes barley open. Once the movie was over Carl smiled down at Travis only raising his eye brows a few times to his calling him before waking sitting up ward asking what happen it’s not over is it?” Carl help him up grinning at Eric heading to the doorway saying to turn off the TV when he was ready and he could crash here for the rather than go in with John.

Stretching out in the darken room pulling the light blanket down over him curling up falling asleep without worry, only to be awoken by John leaning over shaking him a few times while sitting on the coffee table watching him. Slowly Eric sat upward rubbing the morning edges from his eyes, seeing John unfolded a paper sheet that looked familiar, checking his back pocket finding it was his flyer he was looking at. “So you’re this missing eleven year old from Rhode Island?” Holding the flyer upward.

Eric nodded yes checking around John seeing they were the only two in the room, John folded it back up handing him back his Flyer smirking, Eric taking the flyer shuffling it back in his rear pocket checking the window seeing the sun shining, not hearing any other sounds asking “Where’s the others?”

“All ready out for the morning, just like were going to be soon” standing up with his hand outward.

“Huh? We going’ somewhere? You know now there are looking for me”

“Yep’ and you’re getting you out of dodge’ besides’ no one really looks at them things anymore”

“But I found it in the truck stop here”

“Look’ don’t worry about it, get cleaned up some then will go to see a friend”

John was like taking him under his wing like an older Brother would, hurried washing his face in the bathroom looking to the mirror as the water ran down off his chin, reflected back looking into his pale blue eyes now very tired not with that sparkle he once had before, combing his hair back making sure the sink wasn’t dirty before meeting John in the kitchen, John pouring coffee while talking on the phone, Eric pulled the chair out sitting down waiting not saying anything; John taking one cup at a time placing it on the table just pointing to the sugar bowl, Eric reaching over keeping quiet mixing in three spoons while he talked.

“Your ride is going to Oklahoma in about one hour’ you want milk?” looking at the cup before sitting down Eric shook his head no slowly sipping the hot coffee asking “How far’s that from Texas?”

“Close but it’s the best I can do in such a short time”

“So who’s taking me?” sipping on the hot cup trying not to burn his lip

“A Friend ok’ I’ll be going along to Oklahoma also”

“Why are you even helping me?”

“Well don’t thank me’ you’re my ride out of here now” He laughed softly with his small smile

“Thought you were set pretty good here?”

“Wrong’ it’s time I moved on like you” Gulping his coffee till it was empty “we’ve got about twenty minutes’ walk form here so finish your coffee while I’ll find you a jacket” Setting his cup in the sink walking out of the room, Eric hurried setting his cup in the sink next to Johns, reaching up turning the facet stopping the dripping with John returning handing him a light green jacket.

John had a small backpack checking around the house while Eric waited for him at the door holding his backpack, “Let’s get going before we miss our ride” John placing his pack on not even locking the door behind them, hurry out the back and down the street before stopping at the curb, setting down his backpack near the edge, his toes to its end leaning outward looking down the street, mostly feeling the morning sun with a slight breeze from every other car that sped up the street, John rose upward looking shaking his head checking at his watch each time, he was getting uptight waiting as we could smell the scent of fresh Pizza cooking nearby only making both of us hungry.

“Man they start early’ It’s not even lunch time” Eric said lifting his head smelling the aroma

“Finely our ride’ just let me do the talking” Jerking up his backpack waving as the car came up

Eric stood still next to John asking “John’ you sure you want to leave?”

“Time to move on’ just like you” he announced, with his freedom of being more liberated throughout his voice.

Slowly cream colored two door small car pulled over to the curb, Eric bent down looking in the inside seeing young Boy not much older than John reaching over opening the door, John leaning inward saying something to him before raising back out holding the door open lifting the seat forward tossing his backpack in the rear seat while waving to Eric to get in before he got in closing the door. Driving off the with his long dark hair weaving on the head rest of the seat every time he would look back at Eric looking up at him in the mirror, before having to change lanes. Offering John an open pack of Kool cigarettes, John took one then offer it to Eric just refusing watching them blowing smoke at the front window before cracking the windows.

“So you’re the kid going to Texas”

“This is the boy I told you about alright he’s a lost soul going home now”

“Were going to Muskogee, you can get a ride from there without any problem”

“Muskogee is far from Texas?” Eric Asking leaning forward in the seat, nervous and unsure of his new ride even if John was there it was something about the young boy that bother him sitting back glancing toward John looking back at him dangling his cigarette before turning back around.

“Real close maybe you can call home and they can pick you up?” Toneckia said looking back at him hugging the side near the window trying to get more fresh air from the front lifting his head after finding out the windows in the back didn’t open more just for show.

“Toneckia case you’re wondering” keeping with the traffic the young boy spoken back to Eric

“What? I did catch the name?” Eric asked leaning forward looking at him

“My Name Toneckia just so you know and yes I’m Indian” he smiled at the rearview mirror

“Stopping for Breakfast soon?” John asking Toneckia cracking his window down more, checking behind them before tossing his bud out, watching it spark on the roadway

“Country Pride off 44 will stop just past Springfield’ I could eat a horse you’re buying”

“You taking the toll road?” John asking looking sideways at Toneckia blankly

“Better than the old route takes too long and will be less noticed”

Eric sat back looking out the side window upward at the street sign getting on the Will Rogers Turnpike Route 44, Toneckia telling John it was about seven hours of driving and almost four hundred miles, with his hand open towards John for the gas money, Quickly leaning back against the door reaching in his pocket John handed him a wad of bill’s rolled in a rubber band, keeping it low in the seat handing it to him, Toneckia smiled placing the roll in his pocket. Eric made like he didn’t see him thru the split seats making like he was looking out the back window relief flooded itself throughout looking back to John never even asking if he was chipping in.

It didn’t seem to take that long before they were pulling off the highway pay a toll as they exited even if they were getting right back on after stopping, Toneckia locked Johns backpack in the trunk before they headed inside to the restaurant area, passing the Travel store only looking as they walked, Toneckia told John to get a booth not some chairs heading towards the bathrooms, Eric following John while looking around the drivers section as they walked, John checked out a booth near a window to look out , it was the only one with the shade still halfway up. Sitting seemed strange on this side of the area as Eric still looked over hoping to see Jacob even if it was a long shot he had to look, being more to Family travelers.

John pulled two menus down gliding a menu over telling Eric “Get what you want” Eric turning it to the back section for breakfast specials, only pointing to eggs and bacon with hash-browns setting the menu with the Johns, Toneckia return scooting in next to Eric “No hat’s at the table” flipping his hat off to the seat, Eric grabbing for it before it landed on the floor, setting it under his leg glancing over to John looking the other way waving to the waitress walking by another table only saying “Be right with you”

Toneckia sat playing the small tringle game losing a few times before the waitress came over, Toneckia looked up at her while sliding the game over to Eric, “Scrambled with ham-steak, home fries with Grits on the side” still able to see the waitress as he quickly point at Eric, “Eggs easy over with hash-browns and bacon and could I get a Regular coffee?” Eric Said almost daydreaming looking at her shinny brown wavy hair hanging on her shoulders writing it down smiling as she wrote it at Eric.

“And how about you?” she asked John “Coffee… eggs easy over …Bacon and toast”

“Juice or tomato? it comes with it” all of them agreed on Juice, watching her slowly heading down the aisles to drop of the order.

“John’ No poster’s here” Toneckia said leaning over towards him, before sitting backup checking around the room stopping at one table tapping on the table getting Johns attention to look over at a table, Eric also had to look over the booth back seeing what they both seemed interesting, not sure what they were looking at Eric did see a table with a young girl looking over at them mostly making eyes at Toneckia, last thing they needed at this point was to start something with a family the father looked more like a pro football player sitting next to his young son.

“She’s fine looking young thing there” Toneckia said smiling at her flashing her eye lashes back

“Little young don’t you think?” John slyly remarked back tapping the table

“Na’ she’s sure a fine looking thing” looking back at the table before looking back at her again

“Better look at her daddy before you start anything Chief!” John said pushing his thumbs upward on the table at him, as he looked seeing him staring right at him.

“Man where’s the Coffee anyways’ she go make it or what?” Toneckia making like he wasn’t looking at her, only around at another tables then looking towards the kitchen area.

“Chill she’s right behind you”

“Coffees and Juice’s coming right up”

Returning with our coffee and juice placing them on the table, snapping the lid chrome creamer after checking inside, Eric quickly jumping back in the seat cringed with the sound.

“Egg’s coming right up you want ketchup?” checking around the table for the dispenser packets

John nodded yes reaching for the sugar packets, leaving the small blue box in the center of the table, Eric quickly took four packets only after inhaling how strong it was, shaking them inside eyes wide hoping the cream might ease the smell, John impatiently waving his finger to Eric pouring just enough not to over fill it watching inside circle slowly before sliding the creamer over.

Toneckia was first to finish taking the check telling them to take their time he needed to check on a few things, John didn’t seem to concerned mixing his Ketchup in what was left on his plate before asking for more coffee, Toneckia came back with a big grin sitting down, it was spontaneity John and Eric turn looking to see the young girl and her family had left.

“You ready to hit the road’ I’ve got good news for you two also”

“What kind of news?” John asking getting out slowly

“Got a trucker who’s going to Texas!” Saying smiling down at Eric

“Really a ride to Texas” Eric Excided scooting out following right behind them outside

All three walk along the trucks Toneckia was talking to John that he just happen to run into the guy inside hearing he was heading to Texas, when he was done talking to the other guy Toneckia ask if he could give Eric a ride home only telling him he miss some bus after it stopped last night, falling asleep in a chair only to wake up and find out he missed his bus, wanting to get home as soon as he could or maybe find his bus along the way, the driver ate it up so it was a good sign from the spirts, John just made a sly look back walking till they stopped at the Truck Toneckia pointed at.

John wasn’t too happy about it leaving Eric now it was more than a gut feeling that something about this wasn’t right, stopping Eric turning him away from the truck with both hands on his shoulders asking Eric that if for any reason he wasn’t comfortable with this truck driver, he needed to know before hand and it was ok they would find another way to get him home. Eric just nodded yes looking up at the driver’s door seeing him looking down.

Toneckia stood smiling at the driver pointing at Eric, slowly opening the door stepping down backwards turning looking right at Eric standing with his head raised trying not to stare at him.

“Going home to Texas? Miss your bus did ya?”

“Yes Sir” Eric replied in a low voice

“Well better get in it’s a long trip”

“Thank You sir” Eric turning right to John waiting “It’s ok I’ll be fine”

John grabbed at Eric’s hand “You take care’ maybe I’ll come visit you soon” knowing Eric a short time yet something about him change inside more his way of life now also starting a new life in a new town

“Logan Texas I’ll be there waiting” Eric held his hand out saying goodbye to Toneckia as well before getting in the passenger side watching them from the window standing back

Toneckia stood next to John saying it was best this way now they didn’t have to worry about someone finding him with them, it was the right thing that had to be done better than just dropping him off later, John noticing his hesitance and felt maybe he should stop Eric before it was too late, just that little looking back at him when the lights came on lighting up the area, his small face looking so pale and wanting to stay with them sending the shivers up Johns back side, stepping back as he started pulling outward John wanting to stopped him calling Eric back to them as it continued outward stepping back only waving to them as it past.

Holding Eric part 18

November 29, 2014

Holding Eric part 18

Pulling in the Truck Stop David able to fine two spots to pull into ear the end, Jake excided and ready for breakfast, the three headed inside, Jacob sat at the booth while waiting on Jake and David calling home, Penny said everything was going ok the hands took care of everything and asked about how Jake was making sure he was still feeling ok not coming down with something, Jacob assured her everything was fine and they were in Winchester Kentucky already, David drove only stopping for a quick bite wanting to arrive before to many showed up for the horse show, Jake return talking with her telling her every little detail that he could come up with seeing so many horse trailer’s following them like a caravan down the high way. Jacob had to cut Jake off as there meal arrived and would call back after they were settled in at the motel, David already made reservation all week.

David was excited to see all the new breeds wanting to get a few good quarter horses. After dropping off the trailer in the parking lot near there motel room, the three headed spent the night going out to dinner and stopping at the western store to get Jake a western cowboy hat Brown and even bought him a new pair of western boots Grandpa went all out to make him feel at him with everyone around wearing western wear, Jacob broke down and got himself one also before heading back to the motel for the night.

While in St. Louis late in the day Eric keep near the buildings looking into windows sweeting on and off, the rim of his hat soaked from the high muggy over cast with potential storm coming in temperatures the last time he spotted a sign was 72 degrees, finding the city was so busy all the signs above try to get you inside to spend your money and have a good time, Eric could only see it as in the movie he seen where James Stewart found the town that he was never been born, wasn’t there anymore changed into a spruced wild town of large street lights and gaming halls, avoiding the crowds walking more in a fast pace wondering if they made the movie here, looking at the Lights flashing signs above as he walked under them down the sidewalk able to find a small store going inside getting himself a soda and hot dog out of the rack, along with a bag of potato chips, finishing off the Hot dog following a few boys on skate boards towards a small park sitting down watching them skate.

Two of the boys past by and one came back, Eric looked up offering him some chips, holding his skate board reaching over taking the bag sitting down next to him taking a hand full handing it back asking,. “So what brings you down here?”

“Just watching that’s all” trying not to look just watching the others

“Looks like your lost or something” finishing off reach for the bag

“No just sitting” letting him have some more

“Really you come here to find a raft and float down the river?” stuffing them in crunching

“What no!” snickering back

“Right so why you here then’ you’re not from around here” raising his eye brows bending over more

“Just visiting” looking around the park

“Sure you are’ look you’re a runaway aren’t you?” Standing up flipping his board

“NO!”

“Ok’ if you say so” bouncing it a few times with his foot

“It’s getting dark I should go” Eric said getting up

“Sure Where?”

Eric turn around looking at him “Home”

“Home where’s home up north?” sucking his cheeks inward waiting

Surprised moving his head back over at him, slowly tilting his head down to the ground

“Texas ok that my home”

“That’s better’ I’m John and what’s your name Tom sawyer?”

“No it’s Eric and yes I’m traveling west ok by myself you happy now that you know”

“Not around here at this hour you aren’t they’ll pick you up so fast your head will spin all the way back to where you came from, you better come with us, before they find you out here wondering the streets”

“You no’ I don’t think so’ I’ll be fine just need to find a truck stop”

“Not tonight you won’t it’s too far anyway so you better come with us”

“I have to get a ride tonight” trying to avoid him following behind him

“Wrong again’ look you’re not going to make it the night around here so just come with us we have a house you can stay for the night ok” pulling in front of him stopping him with the others coming up behind Eric.

Looking at the other two boys looking him over not knowing what to do “What do you want from me?”

“Eric right look just trying to help that’s all, you want to come fine if not good luck” dropping his skate board ready to follow the other two heading away, looking down at Eric “Well you coming?”

“Ok just don’t try anything”

“Come on I’ll walk with you” Waving the other two back over.

“Guys we have a new boy in town he’s Texas bound” smiling

The two holding their boards just nodding carefree just as the street lights came on’ looking at them “We got to go John” pushing off heading down the sidewalk, John held his skate board “I’ll walk so you don’t get lost out here” Eric finished off his chips and soda sticking them in the waste can as they walked by it, down the street passing eight or more houses before seeing the two boys in the driveway heading towards the rear, John and Eric followed going inside the back door. Just as they stepped inside a heavy pressure to Eric’s chest pushing him into the side wall, not even seeing it coming, Eric looked up gasping his air feeling like he was going to faint holding his chest eyes wide.

“Who is this kid and why you bring him here?”

John quickly jumped in “Eric he’s a runaway heading to Texas”

“Texas hum’ what’s in Texas kid?” Reaching over taking his ball cap, Eric started to reach for it the big boy pulled it away looking it over. “That a nice hat maybe I should keep it”

“No its mind give it back” Eric moving forward reach for it only to be held back again by the boy.

“No you just gave it to me” holding Eric’s shoulder tight pushing him back into the wall.

“It’s mine give it back” Eric said just getting his breath back in his voice drenched by fear, staying still while six or more other boys stood in the hallway watching what was happening.

“Let the boy go Rodney” John said forcefully ready to battle him

“Ok he’s you responsibility if he gets caught” tossing the hat at Eric walking back into another room

The others quickly went back to what they were doing leaving them in the hallway.

“You ok?” replied John through a gasp picking up his hat handing it to him

“Shit yes – I’m still alive who’s he’s the boss here?” gasping still watching everyone leaving

“Sort of he’s harmless really, come on you can meet the others”

Slowly walking by the room looking in at Rodney sitting muffled whispering to himself, watching Television setting on a long broken down couch with his feet on a coffee table holding a beer. Eric eyes glistened in the room holding back with everything he had from crying hurting all over again feeling the heat inside stopping.

“Over here!” John Shouted back, Eric slowly walked into the kitchen area, seeing John staring in the refrigerator door. Not even looking up to Eric, pulling out a box of Donuts holding them outward, Eric took the box looking inside at Glazed and sprinkles tops.

“I’ve seen so many kids come and go around here, most all forgot by now’ you to will be gone soon and I’ll be back the same as always riding my skate board till something good comes along, hey maybe your it this time you’re going somewhere and know where you’re going that’s a change”

“What me I don’t understand?” shifting one cheek upward looking at him

“Texas you’re going home’ so what it like out there tell me?” excited

“I don’t know I’ve never been there” raising his shoulders upward

“But you going? What the hell you don’t have a place to go to then?” frowned turning his head to looked right into Eric’s eyes waiting unsure taking the box pulling out a gooey donut.

“Yes when I get there I know someone”

“Well ok’ so you do know someone that’s a good sign you’re not going blind” holding the box open to Eric, reaching inside pulling out one gooey glazed sticking to his fingers taking a bite.

Both stood at the counter more leaning on it glancing out the window at the alleyway.

“Have you ever gone back you know Home?” Eric asked licking his fingers off

“No that was three years ago when I left and came here looking for a fairy tale dream”

“God that’s sad why you stay here then?”

“I don’t know just do I guess” tossing the empty box in the little trash can licking his fingers also

That long nagging silence fell between them finishing off the rest of the donuts “Maybe we should check in and see what the other are doing give you a chance to meet them now without Rodney around” John suggested to Eric somewhat nervously controlling himself walking with John to the other room.

Entering the room looked like any other livingroom with everyone watching Television just waving hi as they walked in sitting down on the couch.

“We have cable, staying here during the early morning till around three then it’s safe to go outside and just do what we want’ mostly keeping to ourselves staying out of any trouble with the locals”

“So all of you just live here?”

“Yep it’s our home sort of”

“Who owns it?”

“Rodney’s folks did’ they moved to Florida leaving him the house”

“Maybe I should leave before he comes back after me”

“He won’t he’s just letting you know who’s in charge here”

“Ok so what now”

“You’ll spend the night here and tomorrow will see about getting you a ride to Texas how’s that”

“Sleep here looks a little full”

“You can crash on the couch I’ll get you a blanket” Eric just looked at the couch “Don’t worry I’ll be on the other one have a seat, that the boys they keep mostly to them self’s so don’t worry about them your be ok with me”  Eric sat down checking what they were watching.

“Look kid if you get hungry just help yourself to the fig ok” one of them said getting up heading out with two others. John came back in handing Eric a folded light blanket sitting near the end.

Early morning Monday checking in at the Horse show, David picked up there passes and card for the truck finding his parking space already assign. Jake needed to change back into his old boots as his new boots were too much to break in hurting his feet, Jacob suggested he bring them along just in case he needed them, Jake was sure he be alright after his feet were still sore when they got back to the motel.

Heading right to the stables after receiving information to all participants of each classes being held and what times, checking out all the horses waiting in stables being groomed before this week’s showing, David wanted to get in early before next week’s big event finding a nice six year old Palomino mare, who also had a small foal, the owner said she was good with smaller riders, not frighten by others only wanting to please any rider, she needed someone with experience with horses to take that extra time with her as she hasn’t had anyone to take the time to care for her before, he started to tell him she was saved from an old farmer.

David stopped the man before going into too much more and agree to buy her and her colt for the asking price of five hundred, David agree to taking over the box stall and care of her and the colt, the two went to the main box to fill out the paperwork taking ownership, Dave said he was getting a few more and would let them know how long they were staying not entering the show just buying for his ranch back home in Texas, The vet would check them over before they left making sure they were fit.

Jake liking the amateur owner classes exciting showing what they could do before the show started, Jake even talking with a few looking over quarter horses like a pro fitting right in watching so many speculator horses doing what they do best prancing around with their heads high, Jacob staying close by keeping his eye on him making sure he didn’t get in the way spotting a nice black four year old fillie checking over its shiny coat and long mane needing brushed, Jake came rushing over looking at it also tilting his hat back looking at the rider.

“What’s her name mister?”

“Jazzmen don’t get to close”

“Fine looking animal you got’ so what’s she do anyway?”

“Jake do you like her?” Jacob asking lifting the front leg upward

“Don’t know dad maybe’ does she Barrel or just ride?” Jake asking looking at the handler trying to hold her still, horse trying to avoid him

“Harness competition and rides the trails well”

“Really she can do Harness or just pull a two wheeler?”

“Racing Harness that’s all now”

“Not much good if she can’t pull a two seat buckboard then”

“She was trained for Harness racing”

“Sorry he asks too much sometimes” Jacob said watching the horse getting jumpy, Jake moving back

“That’s quite alright he should ask about any horse he find interesting”

“Jake what do you think we might be able use her?”

“She pretty skinny Maybe better ask Grandpa Dad”

“Here my stall number you can come by after lunch and see her”

“Thanks after lunch then?” Jacob taking the slip holding Jake away from the horse.

Jake smirked as he walked away watching the rear tail swinging, pulling away from the handler.

“What do you say we find your Grandpa and gets some lunch?”

“Sounds good I’m hungry for barbeque and maybe a Brown-cow”

Watching from the stands while eating lunch with Grandpa Jacob menschen about the black, David said they could check it out after lunch, then told Jacob he bought a nice the palomino and her colt, during lunch they watched the barrel racing competition for the young groups showing what they could do, Jake got the biggest surprise seeing only a few judges around in all black tuxedos and old fashion tall western wear hats, David told him they mostly only wore them during the evening at Nationals, some of the females’ even sported formal length evening gowns.

After lunch the three headed over looking at the Black, David taking back looking at it stepping right in  the stall asking about the horse and what type of supplements they used for the shiny coat, the guy showed him a small tub of something, David frowned looking at it with a nod, then the man said the horse was on a healthy diet to keep her digestive system from acids building in the stomach that’s why she look so skinny and skittish, David spotting she was afraid more of the owner than anything trying to keep away from him with fear in her eyes watching his every move. David looking over at him, then quickly down at Jake pointing him to the doorway Jake already pointing to the water David only glanced at it Loking back at Jacob to keep Jake outside the stall.

“So you take care of this horse or have someone here take care of her?”

“Yes we have a stall person come in once a day”

“Well he’s not very good at it look at the water and that fifthly blanket and no salt block”

“Little brown I’d say I’ll get it changed later”

“What’s the price of this skinny sweaty animal?”

“Six hundred fifty and the blanket”

“Does it ride and drive like my grandson said?”

“Some used now for harness racing”

“Racing’ don’t you feed her that pathetic how skinny she is’ Jacob it’s your call”

“No dad it’s we should keep looking she’s way out of range”

“Jake what do you think she’ll be a good one?”

“It’s up to dad Grandpa he likes her to right Dad?”

“Dad let’s just look around will find a few more in better health”

“I’ll give you say four hundred and you can keep that blanket”

“Well I’d like to have all six hundred and fifty’ she’s a good racer”

“You would for this pathetic looking mare you better think again sonny” David stepped towards the man back away from him letting the horse walk away to the other side of the stall right for the water, David reach over knocking the water over, just looking back at the man standing outside the stall now.

“Fine you’ll pay all the stall fees and she yours”

“Jacob take this man to the desk and fill out the paperwork’ Jake you stay here’ Jaacob I don’t want him around this horse’ find out if he has others here also that need to be looked at”

“Ok Dad come on Mister I’ll take you to the booth and get your moneys”

“Grandpa you buy her than she’s ours?”

“Yes I don’t like seeing a good horse pampered like a toy” unhooking the blanket tossing it over the railing, Handing Jake the rains “Lets walk this poor animal before she gets sick’ well have to scrub her down good and dry her”

“She looked nice and shiny before lunch what they do to her?”

“Must have ran her and without walking her afterwards will get the vet over to have a look ok”

“Ok so we have three now cool’ Grandpa real cool” Smiling walking together.

“Will pick up some good food and have the stall cleaned before she’s put back in ok?”

“Find I’ll take care of her too ok Grandpa”

David smiled down walking with her petting her side seeing she was becoming more relaxed.

David had made a few calls like he said before they left, having only a law degree helping keep the locals from spending the night in Jail.  David finding that Eric was not an easy thru the channels of the Law. Agreeing to help out so he called a colleague in New Haven to see what he could find while they were in Kentucky, Vinny Santino being a family lawyer friend said he would be glade to check into the matter,

Having a made a few phone calls getting a royal run around to Eric’s or anything about him, Attorney Vinny Santino along with two associates from his office took a trip to Rhode Island Family Court house, first thing on Monday, Able to get Judge McMarinburg handing Child custody cases, quoting Petition of Loudin as the best interests of the child by the Judge in making a implementation determination.

Judge McMarinburg After hearing that Jacob only gave the boy a ride in Colorado, from a truck stop there and then only delivering him to his Aunts doorstep as he was a Parent fearing for Eric’s safety on the streets, Now finding Eric maybe heading to Texas to find Jacob and his Family wanting to live with them, Judge McMarinburg agreed signed the rid releasing the information needed to obtain any and all information regarding Eric with the best interest of the child’s welfare, advising Santino he be kept informed if he found out the location of the Child Eric beforehand, Santino agreed to comply any information he found with him and Eric’s Social worker Mr. Waterford.

During Lunch Santino sent his two colleagues to the police station to retrieve more information, while he meet with Ms. Waterford in her office to review Eric’s file taking the proper steps to locate him, starting any proceedings to send Eric to Texas as a foster child of the state of Texas, thus another roadblocks to file a rid of motion to the Family Court Judge, the Judge would look over the case and only then could he or she make a determination to Child Custody and Child Visitation placement that would entail in Rhode Island or In Texas, being the fact the Family court can award either sole legal custody to a parent, Mr. Waterford informed him.

Knowing that the Father was in Jail that brings to fact that unless a relative cannot take him into their home he would still be awarded to the state, whereas the only person that was a relative was the sister of the wife now unquestionable, giving Eric to the state. Santino informed her that his client in Texas was looking into the matter only after hearing about this case, therefore he would check with him and get back to her with any new information if they had any.

Returning back to New Haven, Vinny Santino and his colleagues looking over the files then copied the files, faxing the forms to Jacob’s home in Texas, Were Penny heard the Fax starting going in watching the printout coming thru. Surprised seeing the Missing Flyer of Eric, with his Photo coming thru upside down trying to look at it before lifting it up holding her hand on her chin looking at it.

Missing Runaway Eric Leiski, Born 7/24/2002 last seen 8/10/2013.  4’ 8” 90 Pounds with Sandy brown medium length hair, bluish eyes, freckles, last seen wearing blue jeans and green pullover shirt, light blue jacket and baseball cap and sneakers. Notify Mr. Waterford State social worker Rhode Island if seen or missing children center.

After the flyer came thru a note from Vinny Santino’ David better look into this and have a talk with Jacob see that he understands what going on and whatever you do tell him not to say he pick the kid up here, he was pickup in Colorado truck stop only! Then see if he still wants to find this child and become his parent or if they find him he’ll be lost in the system we need to work fast here, get back as soon as possible will keep the file open till we hear from you, in the meantime will send out searches to a few truck stops that were already looking into for the boy, we know he’s heading that way so will look for him before someone else finds this kid that we don’t even want to think about, I’ve sent one colleague out to truck stops with his flyer we should hear something soon. David’ you owe at a cost of pro-bow-no’ Maybe a nice Big steak dinner on your ranch when it’s all settled. Vinny.

Page after page printed out with Penny watching each page print, taking all the sheets setting them on the counter looking them over before the girls got home from school.

These factors are used by the court in determining both physical and legal custody of children *1. The wishes of the child’s parent or parents regarding the child’s custody. *2. The reasonable preference of the child, if the court deems the child to be of sufficient intelligence, understanding, and experience to express a preference. * 3. The interaction and interrelationship of the child with the child’s parent or parents, the child’s siblings, and any other person who may significantly affect the child’s best interest. *4. The child’s adjustment to the child’s home, school, and community. *5. The mental and physical health of all individuals involved. *6. The stability of the child’s home environment

*7. The moral fitness of the child’s parents. In many contested child custody cases, Professionals such as Social workers, Therapists, Psychologists, and the Guardian ad litem for the children may play a major role. Rhode Island Attorneys legal Notice per RI Rules of Professional Responsibility: The Rhode Island Supreme Court licenses all lawyers / attorneys in the general practice of law, but does not license or certify any lawyer or attorney as an expert or specialist in any field of practice. The Court must also award to one parent physical placement of the child or children. Physical placement is where the child will be living on a day to day basis. Physical placement is also commonly known as “physical custody” The parent who does not have physical custody of the child will have reasonable visitation rights. The parent with physical placement of a minor child has the right to receive Rhode Island Child support from the parent who has visitation rights. Child Support is typically determined by the Rhode Island Child Support Guidelines.

“Wow Jacob what have you gotten into now” Penny said looking again at Eric’s photo.

Holding Eric part 17

November 24, 2014

Holding Eric part 17

Eric felt himself becoming confused to the roads leading back to the truck stop, looking back and forth trying to place every building knowing one of theses’ roads would lead him back, it was a long walk back being scared and starting to sweat walking from the dumpster looking across the street at a day care not knowing what way to go Eric wanting to scream for help, but the eerie feeling which seemed to have possession over his emotions would not allow it only a  tightness starting to cry, hurrying seeing a man just up the street hurry to reach him.

“Hello’ Hello” reaching him out of breath, tears down his cheeks wiping them off, as the man stopped looking down at him reach over touching his shoulder bending down.

“You ok what happen?”

“Some guy in a green car just tried to pick me up”

“When just now?”  Looking down the road not seeing any cars

“Yea by the day care back there’ I marked the plate number by the dumpster”

“Maybe you should call the police”

“I would but I don’t see any phones around you have one?”

“No Sorry’ look I’ll phone them maybe you better come with me?”

“No I got to get back to the truck stop’ I got side tracked somehow from it”

“You sure the only trucks stop is down the street just under the thruway”

“So I’m not far from it then”

“It’s a walk you sure you don’t want to come with me”

“I’ll be fine now what street is this?”

“19th Street you need to turn on East Grand to the truck stop”

“Ok that way right”

“Yes just thru the underpass you really should get to a phone as soon as possible”

“I will thanks”

Hurrying down the street looking behind him every so offend with traffic heavy making sure it wasn’t the same car, staying on the sidewalk spotting the overpass walking a little faster only looking over at a tire shop, seeing the on ramp and a few trucks waiting at the light to get on hurry crossing the street stopping under the overpass embankment making sure the dirt was off his pants relived, walking down to the end of the street it wasn’t the same truck stop but it was a truck stop seeing the trucks parked in the lot.

Across the street pass the fuel pumps going to the door, Three persons coming out the last holding the door for Eric, hot and sweaty, headed inside seeing it was a travel store with only a quick meal and booths. Heading right for the washroom, into the cubicle seating down cradling his face to his knees, trying to control his tears, wanting to hold his mother again in his arms knowing he couldn’t anymore was just now hitting him even more, that feeling of being all alone with no place to go, no one could help him now his only hope was to get to Texas even that was unsure what would happen.

Controlling his feelings opening the door walking out looking at the sink, moving to the second one washing his face and hands off, two men came in and left before Eric finished washing his face and hands combing his hair back and placing his cap on return looking around the travel store radios and gloves on the shelves, looking up seeing two pay phones not far from the restaurant, hurry over checking seeing how much change he had looking at two quarters, picking up the receiver looking at the information hitting 911.

“Hello what’s your emergency?”

“I’m’ I’m”

“Hello can you talk?”

In a low voice looking around him “Yes it was this guy tried to get me in his car”

“Where are you now? … What is your name?”

“Look I’m ok now’ the Building number is 4560 near the dumpster on 19th street just down from the big water tower in the middle of the road”

“What’s the location of the person that trying to get you?”

“The plate number of the car” pausing as his expression dropped checking around him

“The car what type was it?”

“Look I can’t stay on the phone it green two door he tried to get me!”  Eric lifted his head and peered up towards the ceiling tiles, his chin began to tremble fearing someone was watching him, eyes moving back and forth seeing only the cashier and doorway of more person’s coming in.

“What did he look like?”

“I don’t know!,4560 on the building just across from some day care’ his plate was out of state Ill … something … I …I Got to go” Hanging up the phone looking around making sure no one heard him, only see one guy looking at DVD tapes.

Disappointed in himself for even making the call now slowly walking to the restaurant area looking around the yellow booths, Hungry and thirsty looking around for any truck drivers seeing a few families together and three other men together talking, then spotted one guy who looked like a trucker just coming in standing at the counter, Eric quickly walked up standing next to him looking what they had.

“You a truck driver” Eric asked looking up at him”

He looked down “sure and you”

“Not yet’ food looks good ok if I sit with you or you waiting for someone?”

“What”

“I don’t like eating by myself”

“Sure its ok don’t mind the company”

“I’ll buy your lunch for you”

“I can pay for my own” taking his sandwich going over sitting down, Eric ordered a sandwich and soda taking them over, the driver waved his hand to the open booth scooting in across form him

“Good food”

He just nodded taking a big bite, Eric trying not to look at him without staring seeing his tired sun wrinkles above his cheeks seemed to blend in with the rest of him, brownish gray goat tee and worn Red ball cap, tattered jean jacket with wool around the collar from many years of wearing them in pride.

“So you have a name?” truck driver asking

Eric quickly looking back “Eric” holding out his hand to him, He looked up and reach over shaking his hand “Well hello Eric the Names Glenn” Eric with a nod and smile, back after taking a big bite.

The two sat talking for a short while over there meal, Eric said he was still going to visit The gateway to the west and the Museum they had near it, he was supposed to go with his friends only forgetting to set his alarm clock, sleeping late after staying up watching television, right into telling him the bus runs right along the highway and he had to switch getting a few other busses, but he would get there after a few hours so that wouldn’t’ t be too bad, giving his sad looking face wiping his mouth off of mayo’ then right back, that he find his friends and maybe still have time to see some more sights before they headed back.

Glenn was able to get a word or two in asking if they were expecting him to show, Eric of course said they were he was told to meet them at the gateway lobby so they could page them when he arrived, Then Eric started laying it on Glen getting his full interest about what was like at the Gateway looking out over the highway watching all the cars and telling him you could see for miles around it was huge you could even take and elevator if you didn’t want to walk. letting him talk as he finished off his Sandwich, only taking a break from Eric to refill there cups, As soon as Glen sat down sipping on his soda Eric telling Glenn the busses were running about every hour and he still had a sometime before he had to go, Glenn smiled at him “Look Eric I can give you a ride how would that be?”

“What ‘well I don’t think were strangers anymore so ok”

“You about ready them?”

“Sure you need to check with a dispatcher or someone first?”

“No were good you can take it with you” Glenn said after seeing him trying to finish his soda fast watering his eyes being so cold.

Glenn waited for him to clear the table taking the trash to the waste can before the two head outside holding there sodas, stopping at the door Eric spotted two Police cars just outside, Glenn open the door for Eric letting him go first, Eric quickly tilted is head down dropping his hat, Glenn reach down picking it up as one policeman looked over only back to what he was doing as Glenn placed his hat back on walking past the pumps to the trucks park in a row, Glenn stopping at a Red Peterbuilt open the side door pulling out a small club starting to walk down to the tires, Eric following close behind.

“Watch the bounce right if it Thuds it flat right?”

Glenn looked back smiling “Yes that right’ why don’t you go ahead and get in”

“Ok is it unlocked?”

Glenn just nodded back yes checking along the rear.

“Nice Truck” Eric smiled with pride looking at the name plate walking around the front checking the headlights and tall CB Antenna’s with amber lights string around them to the top., getting in the passenger side like it was old times setting his drink in the tray looking above the visor for the log book, Glenn open the door getting in, setting his drink in the open slot checking out the window.

“You have to mark it in your log?” Eric asking buckling his seatbelt still looking around the inside

“It will be just a second and yes” Glenn watching the Police men talking to each other outside next to the patrol cars, reaching down pulling Log book out from the panel next to him.

“Don’t most truck drivers place it over the visor” smelling the in-scent hanging on the dash looking at it

“I like it in the pocket here” flipping the pages around only glancing up a few times to what they were doing, filling out his log, holding it watching one car pulling out going down the street.

Eric looking down at the panel below the drink tray, then at the gauges finding them newer

“So this is a newer unit?”

“Just a few years old, better than the last one they gave me”

“They gave it to you? Excided with a big smile

“Sure it mine as long as I’m with the company”

“Oh’ you ever going to get your own rig?” watching the dash light switched from green to amber

“Someday’ ready to roll”

Eric nodded watching the truck ahead pulling in to the fuel area giving them room to leave, pulling out heading down the line of trucks to the exit, shifting making it bounce a few times heading down the street shifting between the slowing cars towards the expressway ramp.

“Why’d it bounce?” asked in curiosity.

“It’s a little over loaded but were good” watching his mirrors staying in the center lane.

“Did you ever hear the song Running Bear by Johnny Preston?”

“On the banks stood Runny bear on the other side of the river sat, Little white dove Runny Bear”

“Yea that the one I like that old tone don’t you?’

“Yes it’s a sad song did you know that the water drown them”

“Huh’ It Did?” Eric became puzzled, and strangely interested

“You just here Running bear as the tone pulls you in’ you don’t hear the whole song next time you hear it follow the words ok”

“They Drowned?”

“No just to a better place” Glenn smiling over

“You must listen to a lot of them riding all day?”

“Years’ at the time songs meet something to everyone”

“They don’t anymore we follow them’ maybe it’s just like you said”

“We sing along’ you sing a long so it moves us right Eric?”

“Yea it does”

“Not much More Look” Glenn pointing to the arches changing lanes.

Getting off the ramp looking at the road construction slowly pulling out wide to avoid the cones setup following the signs to the parking lot area pulling over to the side out of the way of traffic looking upward at the arch. “Wow it is kind’a big” Glenn said amazed

“What to go in and see around I’ll show you it’s great” With a big knot in his thought trying to smile looking at it so high himself, keeping his cool not to show it was scary.

“No maybe another time you have a good time and enjoy yourself”

“Yea sure’ Thanks for the ride’ hey you got a card or something?” leaning back over the seat

“A card?”

“Yea maybe my dad can help you someday”

“Here it’s the company’s my phone numbers on the bottom tell you dad I gave you a ride ok”

“Sure I’ll tell him and how nice you were and well Thanks again” Holding out his hand shaking it before climbing down, closing the door looking up at the window hearing the gear shift slowly pulling out in to the lane, Eric waving while he drove off sadden that he was leaving, Eric was just getting to like him, waited for the traffic before crossing the street walking towards the arch, head raised tilted so the sun blocked some by his cap rim, still it glowing back its reflection off the arch.

Eric experiencing everything around him letting it soak in walking around checking out the benches and trees mostly seeing others reaction almost the same for the first time seeing anything so big, looking at the door way leading inside, Eric decided not to go fearing he would get sick from the heights so far up, last thing he wanted to draw any more attention to himself, Posters showing the theatre walking closer among the family’s excided going inside already, spotting a pamphlet on the ground picking it up showing the Arch way and Museum of the Westword Expansion, Nature History of the west and even a movie show, gift shop and a small snack bar. Wanting more than anything to go inside holding back afraid of the heights looking in the window trying to see if it was on the same floor not in the Arch someplace.

Flipping it to the backside not finding anything about how much it cost decided to following along with a family with two young girls around his age and a younger brother holding their hands walking together, Eric stayed right behind them hoping to get inside without paying, finding out it was free to the public was a relief to find relaxing more, slowing walking along with the crowed keeping up with the same family experiencing everything for the first time together looking at all the murals and exhibit’s.  It was strange to Eric seeing someone’s reaction to almost feeling like you were travelling back in time, enjoying each one explaining how they traveled in the wagons heading westward, stopping at the River boats on the Mississippi to St. Louis down the river just as Tom Sawyer did, while the girls giggled and smiled looking at Eric reading more of the western adventure, talking a few times with the girls as they walked along Cindy and Beth were their names with little brother Clifford, stopping at the tables near the gift shop in the front area, Eric was asked to join them by Cindy finding him attractive while they waited on their parents before going in to the theater to see the movie.

Eric agreed asking where they were from after Clifford asked for orange pop to drink, finding it strange asking what is pop, Beth said he sounded strange also saying they were from Michigan and Soda there is called Pop!. Smiling back after she said he also talked funny’ Eric telling them he was from Rhode Island and had picked up some of Maine’s way of talking also, they laughed and had a good time sitting waiting finishing off the sodas and pop’s till their parents showed up, only saying Hello and moving quickly to the line where Everyone had already started gathering around lining up at the doors, getting in line together Eric staying along Cindy while Beth and Clifford carrying on about what they seen shuffled their feet against the carpeting going in finding seats not far from the door, Eric sat on the end only having to scooting in two seats sitting next to Cindy waiting in silence waiting for the movie to start, everyone inside as the lights faded and the curtains were drawn and finely silence in the room as the music started.

Lights slowly came back on as the movie faded outward and gray till everything was bright inside showing the exit doors open same ones they entered, walking out standing at the gift shop window as they went inside only waving to Cindy and Beth as they headed inside, Watching from the window seeing them looking at the Indian dresses apparel with lots of beads, the feeling was a hard and sad Eric walked away heading outside but not before getting another Orange pop, looking to the Arch walking to an empty bench sitting down having a nice view to the river, almost seeing Tom and Huck on a raft following it down stream’ frowning at the river holding his cold soda can knowing time never changed the river, but only the people around it.

Eric looked at the river feeling the chill breezes shifting his arm upward over the backside, watching the people walking around it was something he missed being a family knowing he lost everything wishing he could end all the pain and misery that made up his life wishing that it would change and be back the way they were as a family, looking sideways to the Arch only seeing more families enjoying themselves, changing his look crunching the can in his hand tossing it to the trash can watching it fly right in getting up from the bench, this was not the place to be it Eric started walking down the street towards town not even caring anymore just like his parents didn’t care always fought with each other, always forgot about his birthday even last year, so confused and scared trying not to cry walking faster down the sidewalk.

Holding Eric part 16

November 17, 2014

Holding Eric part 16

We checked as you asked and did find the error’s, we thank you as the editor was out for the day, only wanted to get the post up as soon a s possible, hope you understand. Now here’s what we like seeing from time to time Thanks’ PAT. Now will take Eric to your part of the Woods.

Hello!  I just got through reading, Chapters 14 and 15. They were two very enjoyable chapters, with lots of mystery and Suspence!” you don’t know if Eric is going to get into any problems trying to get to Jacob!”   Or is Jacob going to find Eric first?  And what connection does the mirror have with Eric and Jake?  But time will tell. It’s becoming a great book, looking forward to the next chapter, Pat. St. Louis. Mo.

Megan placing her basket in the back seat checking the blankets while David finished hooking the trailer checking everything with a flashlight before getting in together heading over to Jacobs house, Pulling in seeing only the porch light on.

“They must still be sleeping” Megan said looking at the other windows darken

“Looks that way not for long” tapping the horn once

“David the Nabors”

Only looking over smiling at Megan stopping next to the blazer, With a few rings on the doorbell before opening it going inside, Megan headed right for the kitchen starting the coffee and placing cups around the table, David tapped on the door jam to their bedroom “Morning you two daylights braking soon” heading back to the kitchen sitting down. Jacob sat up looking at the Clock 4:30am slowly placing his robe and slippers on, waking Penny up “It’s time honey” walking out to the kitchen sitting down looking over to David already reading the newspaper just looking over it at him sitting down.

“Morning Mom” Jacob said brushing his hair back with his fingers

“Morning you get any sleep last night?” pouring his coffee

“Some not much between work and nightmare dreams”

“I can see that son you look over worked”

“Mom I’m fine’ the coffee smells good Thanks Mom”

Megan spotting Penny coming around the corner pouring her a cup setting it down on the table.

Penny Yawning coming in sitting down next to Jacob leaning over to him “Morning Dear”

“Morning”

“Morning Mom, David” wanting to close her eyes and go back to sleep

David just nodded setting the newspaper down pulling his coffee over “Jake up?”

“No Dad” Jacob said holding his cup snaring over

“You keep the boy up all night?” lowering his head asking Jacob

“No he went to bed right after you left Dad” glaring right back

“So whys he still sleeping?”

“Dad its 4:30 in the morning”

“Ok you two drink your coffee” Megan said sitting down interrupting them

“We leave at 5:00 son!”

“Dad I’ll get him up ok should I jump now or finish my coffee?”

“Boy’s now you have a long ride ahead of you so stop and drink your coffee” Megan told them

“Penny did you square everything with his school” Jacob grinning looking over to Penny asking

“Yes everything’s ok’ he has his school work to do in his backpack”

David finish off his coffee standing up looking at them sitting looking up at him “You want me to take your stuff out so you can get dressed” looking at his watch

“Dad I’ll get it”

“Maybe I’ll just get it so you can get dressed and maybe bring Jake out and set him in the back seat so he can sleep on the way?”

“Dad’ He’s been over tired not use to the new hours for school”

“Seven in the morning David to get a bus for school” Penny quickly said getting up going to wake him

“Ok I’m sorry just we have to be on the road before the traffic starts”

“Go ahead Dad take the bags will be right out”

Penny went in waking Jake sitting with him, while he woke making sure he didn’t fall back into his pillow like every morning once school started., Before long everything was loaded even Jake half-dressed climbing in the back seat curling up after he hug them and said morning not wanting anything to eat before going, Penny did give him a pop tart when he felt like having it. Penny and Megan waved as they left going back inside sitting at the table.

Down in North St. Louis the rig stopping for refueling dropping Eric off, slowly walking inside to the Truckers area food counter eyes barely open as the waitress came over.

“Just get up little guy?”

“Yea have any orange juice?” Eric with a mischievous grin on his face tilting his hat back

“Sure be right back” Looking to the door seeing a few drivers walking around.

When she return Eric was leaning over the counter asleep, letting him sleep taking care of others around but keeping an eye open making sure he didn’t fall off the stool.

Soon a driver seeing only a few stools open sat next to Eric looking down at him.

“What’ll it be” Looking over seeing Eric stirring “hi Peterbuilt wants some Orange juice now”

Eric looked up nodding yes looking around him at the place jammed with truckers, seeing the guy looking at him asking “Morning Dad here?”

“Who’s your dad son?”

“Jacob he was here’ must be in the truck sleeping”

“Nice dad leaving you to yourself” smiled over briefly

“Coffee and Juice boys” smiling at Eric wiping his hair back reaching for the glass.

“Special and English no toast”

“Sounds good anything for you?”

“No this is fine I’m Eric not Peterbuilt”

“Ok your hat says Peterbuilt, before you feel asleep” grinning at him showing her cheeks getting red

“Right our truck’ Peterbuilt’ You see my dad?”

“No didn’t see him come in yet”

“Ok thanks, what do I owe you?”

“It’s ok go get your Dad so you two can get some breakfast ok”

“Ok thanks, nice meeting you” Eric said getting down heading for the door.

“You know that kid?”

“No but he is cute his eyes were the deepest shade of blue”

“I’ve seen him someplace just trying to remember where”

“Lot of Truckers have families come in here”

“Something about him that’ well looks like its ready” Pointing to the window.

Eric stopping at the restroom first, seeing feet against the cubicles door hurrying to leave the room before they came out only to see himself in the mirror stopping, he needed to wash his face, slowly looking around taking down a few hand towels soaking them under the soap with nothing coming out, moving to the next one soaking it with water before it shut off, washing his face combing his hair back pulling a few times seeing he had a few hairs, pulling them off smiling at the comb placing it back in his pocket,. Suddenly the sound of gushing water echoed throughout the entire room placing his cap back on feeling awake and ready for a new day, heading to the service counter picking up two candy bars before leaving stopping just before the door looking over a bulletin board seeing his own face on a missing flyer, checking around having to wait on one driver to leave reaching up taking the flyer down without anyone seeing him, holding it to himself hurrying to the side of the building to look at it.

Holding the Flyer seeing the same jacket he was wearing knowing he had to get rid of it before someone else had seen the same flyer, truck stops were no longer a safe place to get rides so Eric took off his jacket dumping it in the trash can eating one of his bars headed towards what looked like a town, only a few blocks away stopping along the roadway spotting a cigarette pack crumbled seeing something inside, reach down heart started pounding unwrapping it with a frown, “One of them dump religion bills” pulling it out seeing what it said anyway, unfolding it seeing it was the real thing Two twenty dollar bills folded and toss out someone’s window.

“Boy is someone going to be mad when they go looking for this money’ Thank You’ Thank You” Eric said out word smiling placing the bills in his pocket tossing the wrapper down hurry now up the street, most of the traffic seemed to be on the highway Mark Twain Hwy. Getting very tired walking towards a water tower hoping a restaurant was close by getting hungry again only to find boarded up building  before reaching the water tower in the center of the street, looking at it all paint peeling sort of match the whole rundown area.

Sitting down on the sidewalk looking up and down more building maybe a town further up but he had to rest a while, Finishing off his last candy bar when a car stop next to him the window went down

“Hey you need a ride” said the guy trying to open the door.

Eric jumped up “No I’m good” standing watching him.

“Look come on get in its just a ride its ok” scooting more over to the door.

Eric looked at him slowly backing up checking around himself, looking back at the door seeing he already had a foot on the ground Eric dropped his candy bar and ran down the street hiding near a dumpster checking around it, seeing the car plate Illinois  marking it down in the sand, watching it drive off and out of sight Eric looked around for any phone to call “No phone’s to get help what if they don’t have cell phones what they do them” talking out load mostly to hear his own self talking started kicking the dirt heading back to the truck stop to get something to eat looking at the building number before starting back.

Holding Eric part 15

November 14, 2014

Holding Eric part 15

Jacob stopped off getting Chicken for dinner with the Kids, hurrying inside before it got cold setting it down on the table, Penny already had plates and silverware ready, Sitting down Jacob felt something was up by the look on Penny face asking if everything was ok, moving her lips a few times looking sideways was a signal that it wasn’t and she would talk about it after dinner, passing the bucket around Jake getting the legs as usual while the others didn’t mine as long as he left them plenty of coleslaw, Jacob was a big fan of the potatoes and gravy, soon after dinner the kids went to watch TV, so they could talk alone.

Penny told Jacob about the phone call and how he asked for Dad right off thinking it was the wrong number before he said it was Eric calling looking for him saying he would see him soon, Surprised Jacobs asking if he was upset or just wanted to talk, Penny said he wasn’t making much sense and before she could ask he had already hung up the phone, but she had it on the id if he wanted to try and call him back, Penny asked him if he said anything to make him think he was his father or sometime to that sort, Jacob said he only help him out of a bad spot he was in and nothing more that he could recall, Penny retrieved the phone handing it to him sitting down with fresh coffee.

Jacob looked at the number before pressing redial, The phone rang several times before someone pick it up saying hello, Asking if Eric was around’ the man unsure said hold on I’ll ask, holding while Jacob could hear him calling for him before coming back on line No he’s not coming to the phone maybe you can have him paged at the desk, Jacob again asking The desk I’m’ sorry someone called from your phone looking for me and I called this number back and I’m not sure of where it was from could you please tell me where this phone is?.

The guy looked at that phone hesitated “where you calling from your truck?”

“I’m calling from Texas that’s why I needed to know where this phone is please its very important that I get a hold of Eric he was calling for me”

“Sure I understand now this is the TA in Bradford Connecticut, I can go the service counter and ask if you want to hold”

“Thank you I’ll hold.

Jacob leaning over hearing the phone beeping looking at it seeing it was his dad calling letting it go to voice mail while hoping Eric would pick up, telling Penny “He called from Connecticut there checking now” hearing that he was being paged  “Eric Mazzionie you have a phone call in the lounge” a few minutes went by and still no one pickup, when the man returned picking up the phone “Sorry he doesn’t seem to be here, the dispatcher said he was here quite a while waiting but he hasn’t seen him in a few hours sorry”

“Thanks anyway for trying” Jacob hung up the phone with a beep back dialing out to his dads

“Yea dad you called?”

“Just calling see how you made out?”

Cutting him off “Fine dad look I’ll call you back something important come up”

“Sure son”

Jacob set the phone down reaching over taking Penny’s hand “the boys on the move again’ he ask for me”

“God Jacob how old was this boy”

“Eleven that’s what worries me’ he’s out there and I just know something happen to him”

“Jacob you did everything you could for him”

“I don’t know maybe I should have”

“Jacob stop will check into it look” Looking to the window with lights coming in.

All three kids got up to looked who it was coming in the driveway “Grandpas here”

“That didn’t take long for your Father to show up” Penny said getting up to get him a cup of coffee

Jacob sat looking at the door with all three waiting for him opening the door as he walked up, after a few hugs David looked on seeing Penny setting his cup on the table, Letting the kids back to their TV show, David sat down checking his cup looking at the two sitting, Jacob resting his hand on penny’s.

“Well someone want to tell me what’s going on?” David Asking

Jacob tilled his head around him seeing the three involved in the TV “Dad It’s this Boy’ I don’t know where to start”

“This kid you picked up?”

“Eric called here’ Dad’ something wrong I can feel it”

“He called?” Looking over at Penny nodding yes “What did he say?”

“He called him Dad” Penny Said Checking Jacobs cup

“Dad’ wait a second this is the same Eric that you pick up right?” leaning towards them

“Yes the same’ he’s was taken back to Rhode Island left to the state”

“Jacob I’ve hear only some things already about him maybe we should find out more before it starts effecting everyone here mainly this family, its already starting to effect all of us now”

“He’s just a boy no older than Jake”

“Ok’ I know someone in New Haven not far from Rhode Island he can check into it”

“Thing he would?”

“He’s and old school chum, besides he’s a lawyer, so I’ll call him”

“He’s just a small boy with brownish Blonde hair just a sad looking kid you can’t help but want to help him”

Jacob sat back slowly moving his cup around watching the coffee inside.

Jake looking over from the chair heard him scooting to the end looking back and down the hallway, slowly getting up taking small steps looking at the covered mirror, stopping in front of it pulling the towel down, Penny had been watching him getting up herself standing looking down at him staring at the mirror.

“Jake do you see him again?”

“Mom look” Jake pointing at the mirror

Penny quickly walked behind him looking holding his shoulder not seeing anything only their own reflections back. “You should ask you Dad about him”

“He has brownish Blonde hair just like dads said the other boy did maybe it the same boy?” looking back up at her

“Jacob you need to come in here” Penny saying just looking at the mirror staying with Jake.

Jacob wasn’t the only one going to see what was going on in the hallway, David and the girls also looking at the mirror trying to see what it was that Jake had been seeing, not seeing anything.

“Must be your friend again” Becky said doubtfully returning with Collen to the TV show

“Jake you seen the boy again?” David asking

“No he’s not here now” Jake said looking to his Grandfather before looking to Jacob sadden that he couldn’t see him in the mirror as he did before.

“What’s is it Jake the boy you’ve been seeing?” Jacob asking not seeing anything

“Jakes been seeing this boy in the mirror asking for help, and scaring the crap out of him” David said standing with Jacob looking together at the Mirror

“Jake tell me about this boy your seeing?” Jacob bending down next to Jake, Jake quickly into his arms holding him

“You were talking about Eric is that the boy I’m seeing?”

“Why would you think they were the same?”

“You said he had brownish blonde hair and he was young like me”

“Jake the boy you’re seeing is only fictional he’s not real”

“But he sounded the same as you said”

“Why don’t we just put the towel back for now ok?” Penny said reaching down placing the towel back over the mirror, Jake pouting lowering his head walking away from them to his room, they returned to the table to continue their discussion.

Jake came back handing Jacob a drawing he made, Jacob looked at the drawing and back to Jake

“Jake this is the boy you’ve been seeing?”

“Yes so I draw him, see he’s behind bars like I see him”

“Bar’s it is Eric’ Jake I seen this hat before it’s the same boy” Jacob said

Jake and fell into him, embracing him as tight as he could manage.  Jacob returned the emotion and wrapped his arms around Jake’s waist, Jake letting out a deep breath of relieved they believe him now.

Shivers between David and Penny looking at the drawing, Jacob sat holding Jake knowing he wasn’t the only one feeling the same way as he was now.

“Dad that’s Eric” Jacob said looking on, David held the drawing rolling it up looking at the two “Son take care of him I’ll check into this right away can’t have my family worrying about someone that needs are help, so I better get to work”

“Thanks’ dad”

“That’s what us Father are around for to help and specking of that were still going?”

“Yes Dad of course, Jake you have everything you need?”

“Yes I’m packed and ready”

“I’ve got food and drinks ready for you also David” Penny said smiling over

“Good around Five then? ,.. Grandma Megan will be over to help you around here”

“You going to be ok now Jake’ don’t worry about it let us do the worrying ok?”

“Ok Grandpa, Kentucky here we come”

David held the drawing rolling it up giving Penny a hug with a Nod to Jacob and Jake saying goodbye to the girls and off he went.

David return home placing the drawing on the desk pulling his yellow pad over checking his notes already from Penny, adding a few more looking at the Letter inside, jotting down the address and names. Before checking in his address book, picking up the phone dialing out.

While Eric is enjoying a ride with another Truck Driver heading to St.Louis.

Holding Eric Part 14

November 8, 2014

Holding Eric part 14

Eric rushing to the other side checking out the chrome plated steps with lights running across each step, one step up taking the handle not to make the same mistake again with the exhaust, opening the door with a quick boost upward inside while holding the door, feeling the cold seat scooting upward avoiding the empty coffee cups on the floor and small fast food wrappers while checking around the cab, finding it a small area with no bed setup area behind the seats for overnight bags or storage.

Gene got in looking over “Little cold but she’ll warm up quick by the way names Gene and you are?” Pushing the heater button on high, reaching over a pushing buttons watching the screen change on the dash board, Eric sitting back relaxing “Eric” as they started pulling out form the docking area to the roadway, Erick spotting a photo on the center dash just like Jacob had showing his family “Your Family looks like you made out well” with his sad grin knowing he had no photos grafts of his own Mother or Father to show anyone let alone why would he want to show what type of family he had it only brought back bad memory’s.

“What’s the box do?” Eric asking leaning over looking at it more

“It’s set up the route plan” Gene pointed to the screen showing the street map with numbers

“You don’t use Road Atlas?” Eric said puzzled

“My company like us to use these, telling us we’re where supposed to go”

“Isn’t a log book for that?” frowning at the screen changing

“No that just records our hours driving and down time” Gene pointing to his in the slot next to them

“Oh’ every time we stop we’d always marking it do you?”

Gene shifting into gear pulling ahead into traffic” Your dad teach you about logs”

“Sure and Someday I’m going to be a driver like he is”

“We always need trucker’s … sounds like your dads been around awhile what’s his name?”

Eric hesitated a second avoiding a rolling cup “Jacob he has a Peterbuilt big one with the sleeper bunks and its long with painted green with white strips down the side with lights also like your lights”

“Big Peterbuilt and green too” Gene said smiling over watching the traffic on the side

“White Star what kind is that? Who makes it?”

“Good question never even gave it a thought who made it I just drive them”

“White Star maybe GM? What about the engine does it have a cat?”

“No just regular old diesel’ so Eric you going to school now?”

“Next week I’m starting my freshman year” only looking out the window at traffic not over to Gene

“Junior high so you like school, what your favorite subject?”

“It’s ok, mostly history of the western civilization like the Oregon Trail stuff like that”

“Good to know some things about the past never know what happen till you read about them or watch it on the Old western television shows” Pulling into the center lane watching the traffic getting congested slowly shifting holding the knob more resting his hand vibrating while holding the wheel steady.

Eric sat back watching the roadway checking the gages spotting the CB channel

“You’re not on sixteen why nine?”

“Right it’s not hooked up right it starts on that channel you can change it if you like”

“No that’s ok just asking my dad … has he’s always on”

“Some like nineteen but I like twenty-one late at night”

“But aren’t the drivers on sixteen at truck stops?”

“Sometimes if it’s too busy they switch over”

“See any bears on the side?” Eric said looking to the side of the road seeing a few cars on the side.

“No but we will soon they like hiding on us a lot”

Eric looked to the back hearing a hissing sound or something like it was dripping through a pipe, when a light on the dash started blinking “What’s that flickering?” eyes wide pointing at it, Gene reach over flipping the switch “That’s for the reefer unit in the back telling me its recharging nothing to worry about”

Eric leaning over feeling dimwitted checking the gauges stopping at the photograph

“My two girls and wife”

“My dad has one of us also”

“You have brothers and sisters?”

“Yea two and a brother” Eric remembering quick from the Jacobs photo smiling

“So where’s home Eric?”

“Texas”

“Texas big state, what in the world you doing out here?”

“Visiting a Uncle for the summer glade that trips was over to”

“You said you were taking the Bus to New haven?”

“Then it was going to New London or something but I was only going to Branford with my dad”

“Maybe we can hook you up in Harford all the way to Branford were about two miles from the truck stop so will see what we can do for you”

“Really Thank You’ then I won’t have to ride in that smelly bus” Smiling watching them pulling to the exit ramp.

Parking the Tractor the two went inside to the truckers lounge, Gene asking a few who were heading that way finding one driver going to the Litchfield area and he could give him a ride but not for another hour, Gene and Eric went to the service area for coffee, Eric excused himself and went to the Convenient area looking over thermoses, pulling down a med size one taking it to the cashier returning handing it to Gene.

“Got something for you that I thought you could use” Handing him the sack.

Gene pulled it out looking at it smiling over “Thank You but I really shouldn’t accept it”

“Why not you helped me it’s the least I can do for a True Friend”

“Thank You Eric it’ll come in handy”

“Got to be better than those cups to go”

Gene Smiled setting it on the counter calling the waitress over, She walk right over taking the thermos “Fill it?” It’s new could you regular and Eric you hungry or something my treat?”

“Coffee and cherry roll sounds good”

“Your dad must be so proud of you I should tell him”

“Well maybe someday you can, if we meet up again”

“Texas is a long ways from here, I’ll give you my card so you can give it to him next time you two are in the area we can go for coffee how’s that sound?”

“Great to me Dad would like to meet you to I’m sure beside you took care of me for him right”

“So right I’d be proud to have you ride with me anytime”

Eric said good bye to Gene watching him leave the lot returning to Mr. Klaus waiting at the pumps.

Klaus was an older man driving for many years, you could see it in his face all tired and sore from the sun beating on his weathered clothes, his ball cap worn with the name barely readable anymore, he still had a lot of get up and go left making sure he looked groomed and clean shaven, how much can you comb a flat top hair anyway pressing a ball cap on it, Wearing a light jacket just to keep from getting chilled on windy days, Klaus walked around the truck tapping each tire with his large black stick only glancing at the lights making sure they were all working.

Opening the driver’s door getting inside looking back down at Eric standing watching him holding his jacket and small books.

“Well you going or what?” in a harsh voice closing the door

Eric hurried around getting in  sitting trying not to make any wrong moves that might upset him, sitting holding everything in his lap looking over the dash out the window.

“Belt son” Klaus harshly said pulling out into traffic

Eric very uncomfortable about Klaus looking over a few times at him moving his lower jaw up and down chewing on something then spitting it in a paper cup wiping his mouth on his sleeve, with a frown Eric sat back glancing down at the door knob not wanting to even talk just an overall uncomforted feeling along with the smell inside.

“Maybe I should” Eric started to say be interrupted by Klaus “What you want to walk?”

“Well no …. but I don’t”

“Relax I’ll get you there in one piece”

“You must drive a lot?”

“All my life’ so meeting Your Father are you’ you’re not a runaway now are you?” spitting in his cup

“No I’m meeting my Dad in the Truck Stop”

“That an odd place to be meeting someone?”

“He’ll be there”

“Gene said you missed your bus is that right?” holding his cup shifting almost spilling it on the floor

“Yes it was heading to New London for the bike expo”

“Charter bus fancy pants riders taking our roads making us slow down more so they can peddle their little bottoms down the road think they would be better off getting a car and driving not riding some bike”

Eric sat back more trying not to say anything only hoping it wasn’t too long a ride, feeling more sick mostly from the smell inside even thou the windows were cracked open it still becoming more overpowering.

“Hey a’m I supposed to take you to your Father or just drop you off?”

“You can just drop me off less you’d like to meet him?”

“No Gene forgot to tell me that’s all ok where almost to the TA Stop so I’ll drive in the lot and if you see the truck give a holler”

“Thanks’ I really appreciate the ride”

“Don’t have many riders if any’ just an old trucker you might say”

“Maybe I could get you a coffee or something?”

“No need to be getting on my stop”

Down shifting hearing the roaring of the engine holding it back before coming to the end of the exit stop signal, watching traffic passing waiting on the light looking to the truck stop, one big lean over spit in the cup shifting while holding a knob on the wheel turning the corner, slowing turning into the parking lot passing the trucks parked, Eric sat upward looking back and forth at all the trucks, hoping to see only one the green Peterbuilt, passing all the truck stopping by the building looking over.

“Didn’t see him’ you can wait inside he’ll find you”

“Sure he’s running late or I’m just early Thank You for the ride”

“Ok kid you take care nice chatting with ya”

Eric quickly made it down closing the door standing back watching him pulling back out to the main roadway, one more glance down at the trucks lined up, before going inside, Looking at the ground same wrappers on the ground when he was there the last time, Eric smiled walking in with a wave to the cashier walking thru to the counter stool sitting down, reaching up to adjust his cap eyes opened wide surprised he left it in the truck, turning looking out the window it was too late no way could he retrieve now, lowering his head as the waitress just came up holding a glass of water.

“Hi Coffee and a Cherry Roll Warm ok?”

“No’ out of Cherry”

“What ya got then?”

“Apple or Prune”

“Apple’ Ok if I go get something I’ll be right back”

“Sure”

Eric scooted around the seat hurrying to the convince store looking in the isles, stopping at the hat rack with his finger up and down before spotting the one he wanted reach up pulling it off taking it to the cashier setting it down looking up smiling at her excided on getting a new cap.

“That it” skinny girl chewing gum said in more a cold tone

“Left mine in the truck”

“Sure eighteen sixty-four cash or charge” placing it in a bag

“Cash” Eric holding the twenty towards her, reaching over taken the twenty and looked at it, then marked a pen acrossed it looking again at it then to the light and made a sour face hitting the register keys.

“What’s wrong with it’ it’s good” Eric said getting upset at her taking all day

“Just making sure it’s good here” Handing him his change and receipt together.

Eric looked at the receipt and change in his hand setting them on the counter looking at it, Not knowing someone was behind him “Hey you shorted me ten cent’s”

“You must have dropped it, would you mind moving” not even looking at him

Eric turn around seeing the large man in a plaid shirt standing holding a few things waiting, moving over looking at the cashier waiting on his dime, she just started ringing the stuff he had placed on the counter.

“How much she short you?” The man asked looking down at Eric

“Just a dime’” frowning “maybe she needs it more” Eric said taking his bag going back to the counter stool, shifting his sweater over to the next stool before sitting down seeing the coffee steaming, pulling out his hat adjusting it a few times before it was set to his headband, feeling like he belonged now taken two sugar pack shaking them into his coffee looking up with a smile as the waitress headed down with his Warm Danish with melted butter on top.

“Nice Hat you need anything just holler”

“Thanks” looking over seeing the same guy from the counter sitting next to him looking over.

“You like Pete’s I can tell, maybe you should take the tag off” Smiling over

Eric pulled it off looking at the tag pulling on it a few times not budging afraid it might rip.

“Here let me do it for you’ names Patrick” Reaching over taking the hat, pulling out a little knife cutting the plastic off handing it back watching him adjust it again placing it on.

“Eric and Thank you I was sure I was going to rip it”

“I’ve ripped a few myself” Folding his knife placing it back on his side case looking up with the waitress bringing him coffee and Water setting them down glancing over at Eric eating

“I’ll have one of those also”

“Sure thing Buffet open”

“Just the Apple roll thanks”

“Wait a second” the waitress said looking at Eric “Denver’ Two weeks ago Right?”

Eric shocked looking over smiling at her, finding she remembered him “Yep that’s me”

“So how was it Denver I mean?”

“Cold and Wet”

“Bet you glade to be back here (Looking over) Apple’… be right back” she said heading to the back

Eric enjoying the company of his new friends talking how hot and humid Denver was, having to spend a week at his Uncles house in Rhode Island and missing the Bus, Jacob was picking him up as soon as possible or would call to let him know how long he was out before arriving. Patrick was taken in by Eric liking him right off offered to stay with him till Jacob showed, Eric said he had to check the desk again see if he called in yet and would let him know when he was showing up. Finishing off his coffee the two headed to the Receiving area, Eric asked the Guy if any Call’s came in for Him another big one he asked for Jacobs last name, Eric reach in his Pocket remembering the card handing it to the Guy at the counter.

“Texas … Mazzionie no he hasn’t called want me to call you when he does?” Eric nodded yes taking the card back placing in in his pocket turning looking at Patrick.

“Well looks like he’s a way’s out yet I’ll wait for him in the lounge”

Patrick walked with Eric sitting down watching part of a movie that was on and some News, before going checking again

“No call’s yet” the Guy said seeing the two walking up.

“Thanks’ I’ll be around you can page me right?”

“Sure Mazzionie”

“Patrick want some coffee or something to eat?”

“No’ maybe you should give him a call?”

“Maybe I should”

“You have a card?”

“Card?”

“For the phone”

“No”

“Come on I’ll use mind”

Eric followed Patrick back to the lounge area phones, Patrick sliding his card in”

“Go ahead you can dial out now”

Eric checking the card taping the area code and number waiting as it rang”

Penny standing in the kitchen reaching the phone “Hello”

“Hi is dad home?”

“I’m sorry do you have the right number?” Penny looking down at the phone return caller id

“Yes this is Eric”

“O’h … Eric’ Jacob is out with his father want me to give him a message for you?” smiling now remembering who Eric was from Jacob

“No that’s ok tell him I’m here and see him soon”

“I’m not sure how long he’s going to be but I’ll tell him you called” glancing out the window

“Ok Thanks” Eric quickly hung up the phone. Lowing his head

Patrick standing a few feet away waiting “Everything ok?”

“Sure he’s just delayed he’ll be here soon”

“Ok well I should be going you going to be ok here till he gets here?”

“Sure done it lots of times before you know loads sometimes they take longer”

“Well say hi to your dad for me and take care Eric, maybe will meet again someday”

Shaking his hand “You take care too’ it’s been nice meeting you”

Patrick headed for the exit, Eric watch him from the window walking down pass all the truck till he was out of sight, returning to the restaurant getting hungry finding it was very crowded inside, he felt it was better if he returned to the lounge area for a little while and plan what to do next.

Holding Eric Part 13

October 23, 2014

Holding Eric part 13

Hurry inside excided to show him his new pants spotting his sisters already cascading over him, without even a pep that he was there, Jake walk to his room tossing the bag on the bed returning to the livingroom sitting on the couch while they showed off more what they had gotten, Jake taking the pillow leaning into it on the edge watching golf already on, Jacob looked past Becky spotting Jake was upset ignoring them.

“Jake’ what’s up’ didn’t you find anything you needed?” Only nodding his head yes sitting upward still to the television set. “You two go put your stuff away ok’ you both look real nice, Jake come here” Jacob said lowering his eyes watching Jake slowly moving over, standing at the edge of the chair with his head down.

“Everything go ok at the store with grandpa?”

“Yes”

“Something on your mind? That you want to tell me”

“No”

“Jake” Jacob reach out pulling him over on his lap “Ok I said I would take you’ were still going ok”

“That’s not it dad it’s just they have to have everything and the other they said’ I should see a Doctor because my seeing things in the mirror”

“The boy again?”

“Yes Grandpa said it’s a good spirt reaching out to me’ is there such a thing?”

“Spirts can reach out’ but only to some people not everyone”

“Why me?”

“Something made it reach out just to you, maybe because you’re special”

“Special pain in the butt mom said”

Smiling looking to the door as they came in “Did you find the right jeans you wanted?”

“Yea two pairs all blue not green or black’ we had frosty’s too”

David stood by backside of the chair looking over at the two of them, While Penny headed for the kitchen. “Jacob when you have a few!”

Jacob looked back at him “Sure Dad” Bouncing Jake off his nee “Maybe you’ll show me later ok?”

Jake smiled at him standing making his cheeks raise while smiling waiting

“What’s up come on what you want Jake?”

“Ok if I ride some?” Smiling nodding his head yes

“Go’ and always careful right?”

“Yes I’m not nuts like Collen going over stumps”

“No’ tattling remember” Jacob looking upward seeing his face drop sadden

“Sorry dad Can I still go then?”

“Yes ask your mom for the key”

Another big smile two them before rushing to the kitchen “Mom’ dad said I can ride for awhile”

David sat down on the couch while Jacob turn the golf off waiting to find out what happen, at the store with the girls or Jake, Instead David asked him about Eric wondering why he even gave him a ride to Denver in the first place telling him it was the wrong thing to do, Jacob defended himself, as a father telling David that Eric was in trouble beaten and just lost his Mother, doing what he felt was helping by taking him to his aunts, better him than someone else, David informed him it was against the law to take the boy out of the state in the first place, Jacob defending himself again before David eased up, agreeing  to help and would check into the boys wellbeing.

Jacob agreed telling him about the letter having his name and address on it that he found in the truck, Becky ran out retrieving it for him, David looked at the letter inside showing it to Jacob as he didn’t even look inside the envelope, finding a letter from his Aunt, telling him about the big farm they lived on and how everything was great in Denver, she was looking forward to seeing him on his eleventh birthday, stopping at the date, two day after Jake’s own birthday turning Ten, looking at the date on the envelope one year ago.

What a shock he knew it was somewhere around Jakes age but he didn’t seem to feel they were the same age showing Penny the letter inside, all three felt it best to do what they could to find out more and see what they could do to help him, David said he would make a few calls and find out what he could but no promise’s, David said he would even take a ride up after next weekend’s Kentucky trip.

Meanwhile at the halfway house Jon found out they were sending him to another place, Jon asked how long before they would be sending him to another halfway house, then the bad news was reviled as the other possible places could not accommodate him, therefore he would have to go to the juvenile detention center till he reached eighteen, Jon was upset knowing this was the end for him, ending up in a place where all kinds of things could happen to him at his age, Mr. Blanton was sorry it was required by the state’s related stay time in any halfway house, Jon had already expired that time, Mr. Blanton said he still had one more chance that he hoped it would work before Monday and would let him know.

Jon informed Eric that he would not be around after Monday, knowing they already made plans on Eric heading to Canada next weekend, Eric hesitated a few before asking Jon to come with him to Canada it would have to be first thing in the morning after breakfast saying that no one would think anything other than they were going to the park as they had been doing every Saturday now.

Jon agreed to go with him it had to be better than being in the detention center, Jon did say he never before wondered off by himself, Eric quickly cheering him said it would be an adventure cross country and in Canada they could even work on ranches and become real cowboys on farms or even ranches they had plenty of them with young boys called something like dude ranch in that line sort of, more trying to convince him it would be ok along with himself dreaming of ranches.

Playing in the game-room along with everyone following everything they did before so no one would think any different, Eric asked Jon not to tell the others about Monday till the time was right, while he plan ahead the routes they would take, mingling with the others in games before dinner, washing before dinner making sure his hair was comb just so waiting at the table to be seated. Mr. Blanton stood at the end looking down the chairs looking at hands slowly walking around the table stopping at Eric, Looking back at him with his hands upward showing the were clean.

“Eric you comb your hair about time” saying with a slight grin walking to the other side stopping at Derek with a thumb Derek quickly took off for the bathroom “Sit” Everyone sat down waiting on Mrs. Darvan to server the dishes before anyone could start eating, Derek return showing clean hands and sat down then we could eat, Frank made a few comments to him before quickly told to stop.

Eric started feeling funny rubbing his noise a few times sniffing also after dinner while sitting on the bed with Jon checking out the atlas map, Frank walked in as usual quickly hiding the atlas grabbing the magazine they already had handy looking at it together laying back on the atlas watching Frank, getting his bathroom comic book giving them his sneer look over before heading out without saying anything, Jon jumped up checking the hallway making sure he wasn’t heading back for another comic book, gathering what was needed bundling everything in sweaters taking small twine rope tying them together lowering them out the window just getting dark outside, returning getting ready for ben everything layed out for morning, Frank came back in only checking what they were doing hitting the light off plopping on his bed not giving them any light left, with a half moon was plenty Eric had a hard time sniffing most of the night hoping he wasn’t coming down with a cold or something.

Saturday Morning Eric first to wake after a hard night mostly waking from a runny nose, standing on the lower bunk seeing Jon sound asleep still, slowly waking him before Frank woke up, hurry to get dressed and made sure their hair was combed just right before breakfast, just as they headed down the hall Mr. Blanton stopped them in the hallway wanting to see Jon after Breakfast then telling Eric he needed to see Mrs. Darvan before his sneezes get any worst, having Breakfast Eric didn’t seem like he needed to see her but felt he better while Jon was with Mr. Blanton.

Mrs. Darvan check his temperature finding it was a little high asking if he had any allergies, Eric stated he didn’t, telling him he could be coming down with a cold and it would be best if he stayed indoors today just to make sure, handing him a package of honey cough drops along with a small tissue package sending him to his room till later when she would check on him around lunch time.

Eric sat on the bed waiting for Jon to return having to tell him somehow they had to wait till after lunch before they could leave, Sniffles right and left while lying on the bed mostly near the pillow pulling it up stopped black spots around the sheet and bottom of the pillow case smelling it Sneezing right off a few more times tossing the pillow down it was Frank playing one of his mean trick again., wiping off what he could when Jon came in all sadden sitting down on the bed looking over.

“Gee’s man you ok?”

“Yea guess so but I’ve got some bad news”

“So do I and Frank … I’m not done with him yet look what he did Pepper” Showing Jon the sheet

“The trips off Eric I can’t go”

Stopping looking over sitting down with him “What’ What happen?”

“I’m being taken today”

“Look we can leave right now come on we can do this” Getting up looking back at Jon sitting only looking at him, closing the door returning to the bed “Ok so what they tell you then?’

“A family came thru last night to take me” lowering his head leaning next to him tear slowly dropped down on his leg looking over.

“So that’s good news then so why you crying you got a home”

“But we were going to be ranchers and do all the cowboy stuff together”

“That’s ok Cowboy stuff is hard work anyway and besides you’ll be happy now with a family that wants you that’s more important than being a cowboy riding ranges with no water or food right”

“But we were…going”

“No I was going’ till things with you change ok?”

“Will you stay here till they come for me?”

Eric looked around then in a low tone “I’ll see you off when the time comes, then I’ll be going”

“Thank you we had fun while you were here … will you write me”

“Sure you know I will’ just need your address before they take you”

“I’ll find out don’t worry … you will write?”

“Yes I need to know you’re ok’ right and if not I’ll come rescue you ok?” Smiling at him

“I better get the stuff outside before someone finds it you watch the door” Jon said hurry outside to the window tossing the sweaters back inside, Eric quickly placed them under the bed hurrying back inside before anybody spotted him, Jon placing what he could in a copy paper box Mr. Blanton gave him.

Derek came running in saying they wanted him in the office and bring his stuff with him saying it was going to be his room now with Eric and Frank. Surprised it had happen sooner than either expected

“Looks like this is it”

“Well better get going don’t want your new folks waiting now”

“Eric I’m sorry you’re not coming with me”

“Don’t worry I’ll find my friend and be happy again”

Walking down the hallway together to the office, Jon set the box down giving Eric a hug before going into the office, Eric sat down looking at the box of stuff not very much stuff for the time he was here, slowly the voices stopped and the door was opening Eric looked up to Mr. Blanton “Eric would you like to carry Jon’s box out for him?”

“Sure thing” Watching them together walking to the door following behind with a smile Eric could see they wanted him holding his hand together to the car, a younger boy slid out shaking Jon’s hand smiling it was his new friend he would be happy now, Eric holding back his own tears of joy handing Jon his box giving him a hug shaking his hand with a nod “Later Jon take care of yourself” Was all Eric could say heading back to the door watching the car pulling away Jon waving out the back window,

“You feeling better Mrs. Darvan give you something to help”

“Yes much better Thanks”

“Frank giving you any problems?”

“None that I can’t handle but Derek might have a problem with him”

“I’ll talk with him everything working out for you here”

“Sure just wonderful”

“Well if you need anything just come see me”

“Ok can I go to the game-room need to see what my new roomy doing?”

“Sure have a good time”

Jon never gave him that address to write maybe it was best thing not knowing, Eric slowly looked in the game room seeing Derek playing a board game with two others no one came out to say goodbye to Jon, was that what it was one day here next your gone without even a goodbye to everyone. Eric went to the bedroom sitting on the bed only glancing to the window reaching down pulling his bundle out, quickly pushing it back under spotting the atlas on the table, taking it opening it to Canada route rending the page out folding it placing it in his back pocket before setting the book right in view smiling tossing his bundle out the window before heading to the back door.

Heading into town stopping at the locale store seeing a charter bus in the parking lot with a bunch of kids coming from the store lining up around the bus, slowly walking over seeing what they were doing asking a few finding they were touring on bikes once they were dropped off at the cape, one asked if he was riding with them “sure right away” hoping to get a ride hurry inside the store gathering a few things along with the other kids, candy bars and extra cough drops just in case along with a large soda returning standing with them in line to the bus. Eric followed right along spotting a grownup asking for a paper, not sure watching moving ahead till it was his turn looking at the guy holding his hand outward.

“Well got your pass?” He stood looking down

“Not sure where I put it?” looking thru his pockets making sure the guy could smell the drops

“Hurry up your holding up the line”

“I’m looking hang on” Looking pulling out the map from his pocket “Nope this ant it where I put it”

“Look just get in we got to get moving” Keeping his head away from him pointing to get in

“What about the paper?”

“Get in already find it later” Avoiding hi

Eric quickly boarded the bus walking near the back sitting down watching the front as the others got in one boy scooting in next to him. “So ready to tour’ you got everything?”

“Sure want a candy bar?” Handing him one opening his looking out the window as the door shut

Pulling out into traffic watching the town slowly go by his window with a smile he was on his way.

“Names Gene ever been to the cape before?”

“Eric’ no you?” asking back biting into the last part crumbling the wrapper

“Once or twice but not touring just visiting the beach”

“Heard it’s nice … how long before we get there?”

“A few hours the coach said, then will have Fifty miles of coast line to ride”

“Cape Cod right”

“Yep well I’ll rest some you better to it’s a long ride”

“Sure rest ok” Eric said leaning back watching out the window

Next thing Eric knew the bus was stopping everyone was getting off, Following along with the other walking around the back side as they started unloading bikes from the rear, Eric looked to the stores

Gene by his side looking over “Yours should be out anytime now right”

“Good I’ll be right back nature calling”

“Ok hurry back I’ll wait for you with the rest of them

Eric hurry across the street to the gas station walking down the side and watching them from the back fence, Gene keep looking over before finely heading out with the others to a meeting area, Eric slowly walked around checking the stores and down the roadway to the beach, stopping in a café away from the road not to be seen ordering a cup of coffee sitting by the rear still able to see the roadway checking over the lunch special seeing the prices surprised ordering a tuna sandwich with fries

Giving them amble time to disburse on their touring, Eric walked around sightseeing before spotting a Truck unloading at the grocery store side door, walking up looking over the truck. Checking the tires walking around stopping at the cab looking to the doors inspection sticker, Hearing someone walk up behind him turning around looking at him holding a pad.

“You check your tires lately they look low” Eric said watching him

“Low what my tires low?”

“The inside left rear over here see” Eric pointing at it.

“Your right you know a few things about truck your dad a driver?”

“Yea he’s on his route to New Haven I was supposed to meet him in Bradford something”

“How come you’re here then?”

“I just missed the charter bus now I’ve got to get the next one”

“Hell I’m heading most of the way Hartford anyway you can still get the bus there right”

“Sure Hartford that’s near a truck stop too”

“Look that’s not it is it” Pointing to a charter bus going by them

“No that was for the Road bikes tours”

“Right so want a lift’ maybe we can get you to your dad quicker than the bus can”

“If it’s no problem wouldn’t want to put you out or anything”

“No always helping a trucker or trucker’s son in need climb in”

“Ok thanks”


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