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Holding Eric part 30 it’s here

July 15, 2015

Holding Eric part 30

Penny unable to sleep under the circumstances tossing and turning before sitting on the edge looking to the window pulling her robe over while slipping into her slippers, Tying her robe as she walked down the hallway stopping at Jakes room looking in at his empty bed, only a second before checking his night stand with his small cars and game he wasn’t allowed to take, Penny smiled closing the door halfway heading to the living room, hesitating looking at the front window like she did every morning seeing if Jacob had come home during the night sacking out on the couch not waking everyone.

Only the Welcome Home banner they rush to put up last night had fallen halfway down behind the couch, with a rise in her shoulders turning to the kitchen, at the sink pulling her Best Mom cup from the drainer placing it next to the coffee maker, pulling the filler cup outward making sure she set it up before turning it on, placing it back pushing on the light button while checking to see it was lit, glancing out the kitchen window to the rear yard watching the rain diminishing into small puddles before the first grouping of coffee water was sent to the filter.

Sitting down in Jacobs chair at the end of the table, able to watch the rain dew dripping down in streams on the front window glass while the sun started breaking outward among the trees branches, morning dew steaming upward as the birds played in the small puddles while finding a few worms at the end of the driveway near the edges, after a few minutes the perking stopped, Penny turn looking at the pot “Wow that was quick” getting up pouring herself a cup, blowing on it feeling the heat on the handle setting it on the table checking above the refrigerator at the clock, six thirty four; deciding on breakfast before the girl’s got up only knowing them too well grabbing themselves an English or pop tart and off they go.

Pulling the pans out trying not to make too much noise setting them on the burners, opening the refrigerator door casting the light into the livingroom brighten the walls, leaning on the door looking trying to decide ham steaks or beacon taking both out, retrieving a sharp knife opening the packages letting them slide outward into the pans, turning the flames up looking at the three pans full “Jee’s you need eggs and butter what was I thinking” reaching inside pulling out the egg package and stick butter, with only a glance before closing the door, reaching down pulling out the large griddle, flipping the beacon curling separating what she could letting it slowly sizzle, checking her mug drinking it slowly while it was still cooling off, a few strips at a time placing the bacon on a paper towel letting it drain, placing the griddle on the front two burners able to start the eggs, sure enough it worked alright Colleen walked in sitting down just barely keeping her eyes open looking to the stove “Morning Mom”

“Morning where having breakfast eggs this morning” Penny said taking down a stack of plates setting them down as she gatherer the silverware placing it on top, with a quick check to the griddle taking the plates to the table setting them around skipping her own seat, stopping at Jakes looking at the empty chair hesitant stare before setting them down returning to the stove.

“Mom I’ll do that” Colleen said watching her stopping, reaching for the napkins placing them around the table, while Penny removed the Hams setting them on a platter along with the Bacon, shifting the eggs to one side of the griddle some got crisp on the edges, cracking a few more eggs on watching them, “Juice Mom?” Colleen asking while reaching inside the refrigerator pulling out the glass jug holding it, Penny stood shifting the eggs around on the griddle absorbed to it.

“Mom Juice?” Colleen asking again’ standing at the cabinet looking over a few times with her not responding, gathering smaller glasses placing them on the table.

“Sure honey’ it’s in the refrigerator”

Carefully holding the jug so it didn’t slip from the moisture around the glass pouring it slowly, just moving the last glasses over spotting lights casting on the wall looking right up to the window seeing car lights coming in the driveway “Mom they’re here! Mom”

“Already it can’t be them? It’s too early” Penny surprised leaning back looking to the window unable to see anything, turning off the stove, Colleen already headed for the front window.

Colleen her knees on cushion, pushing the fallen banner to one side pulling it towards the front before it dropped behind the couch checking outside. “It’s Grandma’ Mom it’s not them Grandma’s Here” getting off the couch hurrying to open the door, waiting for her walking up, seeing it cleared up outside waiting.

“You’re up early’ expecting someone maybe?” with a simple kiss on Colleens forehead hugging her “Grandma you know there all coming home today”

“Yes I know’ around Noon you ready to meet him, Eric?” Colleen nodded smiling walking together to the kitchen, setting her purse down on the floor seeing the empty place setting, which Penny always sat at sitting down, looking over to Penny fixing her a cup of coffee already

“Morning Grandma’ she’s all excided all right” setting her cup down with two blue packets

“Becky is too’ maybe more so” sitting down looking over the bacon, then spotted the jug getting back up “Grandma Juice?”

“No Thanks’ Coffees fine”

“Breakfast is ready, better get your sister up! Grandma plenty of Eggs? Ham Steak also”

Colleen placing the jug back before rushing off to get Becky up, Penny cracking three more eggs on the griddle, “Over easy and some warm ham steak?”

“That sounds good, you need any help with the toast, English?” spotting the plates stacked

“No English today’ regular breakfast for a change” Penny smiled lifting the platter

“See you have Extra plates someone coming by this morning?”

“No’ just habit normal five plates” Scooping the eggs onto the plates, topping off her coffee before sitting down, only to get back up for the salt and pepper.

Colleen coming in sitting down, reaching over for the bacon “She’ll be right along she said”

“So did Jake get that pony he wanted?” Grandma asking Penny

Colleen surprised lips tighten “Grandma what pony he just got one for his birthday?”

“Dearie he was looking for one to pull the old wagon”

“Wagon’ Mom did Jake get one’ he better not have I’ll end up taking care of it also” Colleen snapping down on a slice of bacon glaring at Jakes chair.

“Colleen your Brother can take care of his own horses”

“Right so he did get one’ well he can clean his own stalls then” stabbing her eggs letting the yoke run outward among her toast, moving her beacon aside.

“Thing’s will soon be different you’ll see” Grandma said as she smiled holding her cup.

Colleen looking at both of them smirking not even looking at her. “Grandma you know something you’re not telling me? What are you hiding a secret?”

“Why dearie what would I ever keep from you” Smiling at her “Pass the toast dearie”

Becky walking in looking among them, leaning forward gritting her teeth “Egg’s we out of muffins?” sitting down next to Colleen dipping her toast in the yoke “Gross”

“Good Morning to you too’ Eggs, toast with jelly and Good Morning!” Penny said looking over

“Right Morning’ Hi Grandma’ they here yet?’

“Do you see them’ and Jakes getting another pony” Colleen busted out waving her toast

“What’ Mom’ ….  Dad didn’t buy him a pony did he?” eyes wide waiting

“Not that I know of’ beside if he did he has his reasons now eat up chores to be done still”

“Boys seem to need a lot of little things, Morning Becky don’t we look nice”

“Morning Grandma’ Jake always gets what he wants”

“Sure Just buy him whatever he wants’ he” Stopping looking over her mother looking at her tighten face “Mom’ Dad buys him everything” Colleen scooping the last bacon over stopping

“That’s plenty from you two’ be grateful you even have him after what just happen”

“Mom?” Becky and Colleen stopped surprised looking over waiting to find out what happen

“He’s fine now’ and just so you know Eric’s the same age as your brother”

Grandma sat finishing off her coffee holding the cup upward to Penny already getting the pot “Well Looks like we got our hands full this morning with everyone coming home”

“Yea he’s probably still sleeping, I can’t wait to meet Eric!” Becky smiling raising her head posing like a photo star on her finial photo shot

“Becky he’s not’ what a dork he going to be our brother”

“Mom” Becky said frowning over “Its looks dry out can we set our banner by the driveway?”

“After your breakfast and I sure hope you’re not going out in your nightgowns?”

Colleen finished first taking her plate to the sink asking “Grandma you making cupcake’s?”

“Well see’ Grandpa and Jake like the strawberry type’ I didn’t pick-up any up from the store”

“Why Grandma you forgot?” Colleen saying taking her mothers and Grandmothers plate

“I was going to get some beforehand”

“We’re done can we go?” Becky not finishing her toast

“That’s ok’ I got three boxes” Penny butted right in watching Beck leaning on the chair becoming irritating “Don’t forget you have to check the new colt stalls today”

“We will after we get Eric’s banner up” quickly smiling to the hallway with Colleen following behind her shaking her head back and forth.

David watching both mirrors pulling into the rest area getting close to the building as possible, Jake followed him around the trailer checking on the colts making sure they were holding up ok before heading up to the building together. “Pepsi Jake” asking watching Jake heading to the side. “Yes be right out”

David pressed the button waiting looking around before the bottle fell to the bottom, Another dollar and another Pepsi, taking both over to the road sign setting Jakes on the trash can while opening his, Jake came right out taking his “Thanks’ Grandpa” Twisting the cap with his shirt cleaning the top off before drinking it.

“Looks like we won’t be much longer now”

Jake taking a big drink asking “before dark?’

“Should be home just after one” twisting his lid back on ready to walk looking down, Jake quickly turn his closed walking back to the truck getting in looking for his chips, Grandpa was checking the trailer once more before getting in, seeing that Jake was already into his corn chips “Jake chips’ you’re going to get thirsty and look you almost finished your soda?”

Jake tilted the bottle frowning, setting it down in the holder folding the bag up.

“Here go get another one” David handed him a dollar, Jake hurried to the vending machine, David watching him returning trying not to shake it.

“Now were good Right Grandpa?”

“Yes we are let’s make tracks maybe will see your dad along the way”

“Didn’t he leave early?”

“Your Dad’s not a morning person”

“He’s always the last to get up at home”

“Even when he was your age’ just like you” smiling over pulling back on the highway.

Grandma Meggie frosting the last batch of cupcakes with happy faces, spotting a van pulling in “Penny dear Mail truck here” looking to the side not hearing her she got up walking to the door, opening it standing with a box.  “Just about to ring” holding the box outward for her and his small pad for her to sign “Just sign here and it’s all yours” Meggie looked up at him still wiping frosting off  asking “That’s for Mazzionie?”  Holding the box signing her name “Yep that’s what it says here Jacob and Penny Mazzionie” handing the pen back holding the box “You have a good day now” Maggie said watching him walking away, closing the door as he back out the driveway.

Taking the box to the kitchen setting it on the counter seeing who it was from, hurry around to the bedroom. “Penny dear you got a box you need to see, Penny”

Penny raised her head “Ok be right in”

Meggie went back to the kitchen cleaning up what she could, setting up the coffee pot with two cups waiting next two it. Penny came in “Sorry Grandma was just so tired”

“I know dear the box is on the counter I sign for it” Moving the plates to the side sitting down

Penny pick the box up looking opening the draw for a knife to open it stopping short, looking at the box pulling the strip open looking inside with a note on top of a brown book pulling it out looking at it.

“Look what she sent’ I don’t believe it” Penny started reading the note, sitting down smiling reading the note.

“What’s the note dearie?”

“It’s from the Ms. Waterford the social worker in Rhode Island, she said’ hesitation looking at the book handing it to Grandma, “She wanted us to have it for Eric, It’s his Album with his first photos with his parents, some extras also included a few years ago that she found. She also goes on about the paperwork has all been signed for his adaption to us and so glade she could help out, then said that Mr. Santino was very professional Lawyer inevitably swaying the judge to sign everything in such a short time than she had ever seen anything like it before, and he was willing to work with our state in relocating other youth here, oh Grandma she’s Asking if when the time came to tell Eric she was only doing what she felt was best for his wellbeing having only his best interest in mind always, and again thanking us for opening our doors to him and so glade he has a family that will care for him that he always wanted, with just her name and phone number” Meggie turning the photo album pages smiling with Penny looking at each page.

All of a sudden the front door flung open Colleen running in “There here Dad’s home’ Mom Grandma come on there here” Rushing back outside watching the car pulling in horn beeping.

Penny and Grandma stood on the porch watching them pulling up, Colleen rushing to the passenger side looking in, Becky pulling right up getting off her gator, Eric sat looking over “This is my Family now?” Jacob smiled “Yes this is your home also ready?” Eric smiled over opening the door.

Note: Computer Malfunction on 6/29/2015 just when it was going to be uploaded, it made a bang and sizzle sound, yep it lit up upright and two weeks later Tec Rodger found the rest from hard drive, thankfully we were able to place most of it back together and posted it. Remember to back up on a flash drive or a disc not just the computer. Well a new Computer helps run things faster now.

Hope you enjoy the story, we wanted to thank you for following, were so glade by the response’s you’ve sent. Only wish we could have gone on. It’s up to you to fill in what happen in your own way now. Looking forward to the next story in the works &Thanks again Will.

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Holding Eric part 29

June 22, 2015

Holding Eric part 29.   Wednesday night 6:30pm

Jacob at Bert’s with Eric.  Helping wipe off his tears standing in front of him, Jacob still on one knee trying himself not to cry seeing him was like seeing Jake upset allover, Eric embracing him again,

“Come on now everything’s going to be ok” Jacob said in a low voice smiling with his hand reaching under Eric’s chin lifting it upwards to him “So you just decided to come find me right?” handing him his handkerchief while using his finger wiping down his tears, “Ye … ss but I …I had too” leaning back wiping his face off “do you still like me?” Jacob reach outward holding his shoulder “What’s not to like about you?”

Eric reached for his arm leaning into him in a soft broken voice “I just couldn’t stay they were going to lock me up” another tear rolled down his chin reaching up wiping it away waiting, Jacob turn his head seeing one of the other boys waving him back, with a nod back to him returning to Eric watching him before Jacob could say anything Eric reverberating his words “I can find someplace else if you want?”

Jacob stood up looking down at Eric controlling his tears ready to do whatever he asked him to “No Eric you cannot find some other place you’re with me now! no more running ok?”

Eric smiled thru his teary eyes leaning inward, Jacob couldn’t help but hold him again only for a second “Hey’ you can breathe easy now and Blow your noise its running” Eric blow his noise a few times trying to control his excitement, his cheeks all red and puffy yet he was smiling holding out the handkerchief for Jacob to take.  “Put it in your pocket for now”

Eric placed it in his back pocket hearing Casey calling his Name turning looking back at the yard.

“Maybe we should join them what do you say?”

“I have to tell you something” Holding his breath looking up at Jacob

“Yes?” brushing Eric hair aside looking at his watery red eyes.

“I called a few times looking for you” reaching in his pocket pulling out the cards showing him, and I told them you were my Dad sorry” slowly looking sideways upward hoping he wouldn’t be mad.

Jacob looking at his hand holding two bent dirty cards, closing Eric’s fingers holding the card “You keep the cards ok” Eric stood looking at his hand closed for a second then quickly looked up holding his hand back outward open showing him the cards again “One here for you’ I was told to give it to you” Eric handing him the other card “I forgot his name but he was a Trucker and said to give him a call”

Taking the card looking at it not sure why placing in his shirt pocket

“So I heard’ Penny my wife talked to you?”

“She talked to Bert also and it was a long time before she hung-up is she mad at me?”

“She’s very concerned for you and she’s looking forward to seeing you very much”

Eric frowned placing the card back in his pocket trying not to look up “She is?”

“Yes she was even going to come get you here with the girls Becky and Collen”

“Right your two girls’ …. You had a son too’ I saw him in the photo”

“Photo’ Yes, yes Jake he’s in Kentucky with his Grandfather”

“He doesn’t live with you?’

“He unquestionably lives with me’ he’s at a Horseshow till Monday” with a big smile looking upward seeing Casey walking towards them, Eric also turned around.

“Hello’ my Dad said to tell you to join us in the back’ Hamburgers are already getting cold”

“Ok we’re coming’ sounds good Hamburgers!” Jacob said reaching down around Eric shoulder letting Casey leading the way.

“On a Fire too … Barbequed” Eric said while smiling walking together.

Bert just taking Hamburgers off the grill as they came around the corner, “About time you two have a seat Jacob’ cold beer?” Bert looking to Herb to get him one from the cooler.

“Sound’s Good’ smells good also”

All of a sudden Eric pulled away looking up at him “You Drink?” his face dropped scared all of a sudden

“Sometimes I’ll have one not always” Jacob said watching him backing away “Eric what is it?”

Eric stood for a second as if he was dazed as both his eyes started watering staring at Jacob thru his tear.

“What’s happen Eric?” Bert quickly setting the plate on the table, watching Jacob surprised more than anything looking at Eric, Herb stood over the cooler pulling out a beer holding it looking over, Casey sat at the table holding his Hamburger not moving a mussel, Jacob turn seeing the others looking over then everything fell into place seeing Herb holding the dripping beer bottle, turning around staring right to him “Eric did something happen? Oh shit Eric I’m sorry’ Eric it’s not what you thinking” Jacob waited.

With both tears rolling down Eric rushing to him if he hit him any harder they both would have been on the ground. “Eric No matter what no one’s ever going to harm you ever again” Jacob held him meanwhile Bert handed Herb his Beer to put in the cooler pointing to it then to the house, Herb quickly placed the beer in the small cooler taking them to the house, Casey finishing his corn chips looking at his father asking “Dad what happen he was just fine” confused looking back and forth.

“I’ll tell you a little later it’s ok’ you too want cheese on your burger?”

Eric turn his head around with a nod yes, then looked up to Jacob “I’m sorry it’s just’ It just came back … why did he do it why? My mom” closing his eyes with each hurting tear rolling downward

“Eric I don’t know why I can’t give you an answer, just sometimes it happens”

“I know it just that my Mom’ why she let him?”

“Let’s talk about it later ok’ let get some Hamburgers ok?”

“I’m sorry I’m to blame again like always’ me ruining everything” starting to move away

With a firm grip on his arm making him turn back looking at Jacob pulling him back to him

“No Eric’ it’s not your fault you’re not to blame for anything that happen before”

“But maybe I could have changed” Jacob stopping him “No stop’ It wasn’t you! you did everything right or you wouldn’t be here today’ with any of us here” Eric with a big swallow shaking his head back and forth trying to pull away. Jacob holding him pulling him to him harder holding him.

Herb came back to the table just in time to see Eric being pulled into Jacob, glancing to His Dad asking “Dad what just happen’ I thought he was fine then this? What’s with this kid?”

“Herb! Leave it for now eat your burger”

“Dad what happen to his Mom? Did she run off?” Casey asking flipping the soda can open watching them

“No it was much worst’ hush up now”

Moving Eric back a little but not letting him go holding him by his shoulders just in case he wanted to run “You ready to eat something I’m starving?” trying to cheer him up changing the subject

“But what abo”

“No let’s eat and forget about everything else for a later time, there waiting for us”

“Ok” Walking over to the table sitting down next to Casey, checking around the table seeing something was missing “Where’s the beer?”

“Herb took them in the house” Casey said handing him the bag of corn chips

Hesitant “It’s ok if you want it’ I said I was sorry” Eric said holding the bag

“That’s ok we can have Soda also or maybe Jacob would you like some coffee?” Bert asked

“Soda’s good for me also, still have got quite a ride yet tonight”

“You like Pepsi? Seems that all they like around here” with a nod Yes Bert reach down handing him one waving to the food to help himself, sitting down across from him with a smile picking up the rolls seeing that Eric biting on the burger like nothing happen.

Casey reaching for the corn chips again remarking “Did you know this was an unofficial Nation holiday”

All of them looking over waiting for him to finish getting what he wanted from the bag

“Don’t let us hang little brother now like you know something here what is it?”

“It’s National Tooth Fairy Day and so even celebrate it on February twenty eight” stick a few chips in

“You’re so lame” Herb said looking away from him

“That’s enough with the insults we have company you two”

“Yea Herb do you still believe in the tooth Fairy or didn’t you get your quarter?”

“Shut up”

“Boy’s I’m not going to say it again!”

“Ok Dad bet Herb didn’t know the President Roosevelt became the first United States chief executive to ride in an automobile on the twenty second also that was back in nineteen o-two take that an smoke it” Casey said smiling reaching for another bun, Eric started laughing watching the two, Bert sat trying to ignore them.

“You read too much junk that serves no purpose at all”

“Well it does it’s what happen in our history”

“Boy’s I’m not going to tell you again!”

“You got quite a place here’ horse and all”

“It’s a lot to keep up on”

“Believe me I know what you mean, we have twenty horse and I forgot how many heifers”

“Wow you got a good size spread then”

“Mostly my Fathers he bought it from his uncle back in the day”

“Just the three of us here, we manage what we can to hold on to it”

“You drive and Horse’s so you looking for more work?’

“That’s easy it’s finding someone to hold the fort without them two getting on each other”

“Jake a real handful for me and Penny, seems he’s always getting the bunt from his sisters”

“Boys if you’re done go play frizz-bee or something no computer games till later go”

Eric finishing off his plate wanting to join Casey waiting for him to finish off his chips, Herb didn’t waste any time heading for the house after showing his father a phone jester.

Eric holding his empty plate asking” is it ok that I go with Casey?”

“Sure you don’t have to ask” Jacob said

Eric leaned into him with a nod then took off with Casey down the yard with all three dogs running with them, Jacob and Bert sat watching them going back and forth keeping the frizz-bee the best they could from the dogs, Tossing a tennis ball for them to get the frizz-bee back.

“Look if you want you can spend the night we have plenty of room”

“Really I should take him, he’s already put you out here”

“No’ it’s going to be late and if you don’t mind the couch?”

“Sorry to hear about his Mother, Penny informed me what happen”

“Bet she gave you an ear full”

“That she did, all right, He’s going to need a lot of help and support”

“He’ll defiantly get it at our house”

“You must have made one hell of an impression on him hearing what he’s done to find you”

“Hard to say what he was thinking so easy going when I gave him a ride”

“Something he wanted that’s for sure’ like being part of a family looks like to me”

“Family, he was looking at my family photo in the truck”

The two sat watching the two running around with the dogs enjoying themselves, Herb came out with the small cooler setting it down on the table, Bert watching Herb sitting down reaching for his Pepsi and Corn Chips, Bert flip it open checking inside, Jacob raising his head looking also spotting four beers around ice, Bert reach in handing Jacob one taking the other with the bottle closing the lid back over sitting back smirking at Herb. “Did you enjoy it?”

Herb popping the tab “What?”

“The One that missing here?”

“I dumped it’ you don’t like warm beer” taking a hand full of chips popping them in one at a time

“Ok your right’ just checking’ so Jacob you two staying the night

“Well it sounds good and all but”

“You can get an early start have breakfast with us what do you say?”

“I could’ you sure were not putting you out?’

“No not at all, I’d like to hear more about your Horse’s and more what you do” tossing the bottle to the side reaching for another “So call Penny and tell her you’re spending the night”

“Ok I’ll call her she’ll understand” Jacob took his beer checking his phone seeing he had bars “Well good bars I’ve to get some things from the car anyway be back in a few”

Bert holding his bottle upwards gestured to him smiling as Jacob headed towards the front, leaning on the car waiting for the phone, Penny was happy he was with him after so long, Jacob told her they would be spending the night with the rain coming in better not to chance it till morning, Penny said that would be fine as the girls are making a big welcome sign for Eric, Jacob laugh a few times as she told him that they even made him a cake decorating it welcome to the family,  Then asked if he talk to Jake within the last few hours?, Jacob worried look when Penny told him he called and said they be leaving early also dishearten because they were canceling some events due to the weather, David said even the state fair might closed, then told me that Dora was sending a truck down with the rest of the horse’s seems David bought a few like twelve horses and six colts, wondering just how many Jacob was involved in without asking him, Jacob said he’d call his dad to find out when they be leaving.

David rapping up another sale with Jake watching each horse walking bye him trying to count his hands on top of each other to the horse, mostly only getting to ten hands before they past him.

“Well Jake looks like we got another fine colt” David said patting down the brown filly

“Look’s good how many we got Grandpa? We got room for the horses?” again placing his hands seeing the height of the Brown quarter horse “Grandpa I got eighteen hands is that right?”

“No’ Jake he’s only about twelve hands he needs to mature more yet”

“But why do I come up with more?”

“You have smaller hands than men do”

Smiling down Jake nodding comparing his hand with his Grandpa’s.

“See ponies like this one is thirteen hands so it would be fifty-two inches”

“So if that’s all the bigger they get then we use them for small wagons”

“Right Jake typically the horse stands between fifteen and sixteen hands”

“Oh so a few inches more or less”

“Jake it’s measured at the withers’ more the point here where the neck meets the back” showing him the line on the back feeling his well sloped shoulders and lean legs.

“They do grow fast wish I could”

“You will soon enough cowboy” Smiling rubbing his hair.

“Grandpa they have the Junior Exhibitor show for thirteen and under championship”

“Equitation Riders seventeen and under also then will get some dinner what do you say?’

“With Michael and his Mom?”

“Dora sure we could if you like”

“Cool there moving to Texas also’ Michael said they were moving near Huston”

“Huston? Maybe will see more of them” (rolling his eyes upward to the sky)

“That’s great Huston, its Houston … Jake HOUSTON ok?”

“That’s what I said Houston anyway it’s not that far from us”

David reached over handing Jake the rains to lead the colt around the pen, Jake walked around a few times with the colt raising his head a few times, David open the gate letting him walk down to the stall’s Jake stopped at the stall door, looking down only for a second then followed David to the walking stall, checking his water and then let David finish what he had to before he join Jake heading to the ring show.

Penny and the girls working hard on the kitchen table making a banner for Eric, waiting on the cake to finish so they could decorate it, more ecstatic than normal to welcome Eric to his new home, Taping the banner on the front window so they could see it when they arrived, Now it was a tossup who would pull in first Jacob or David, after talking to Penny. Jacob called David still at the restaurant with Jake having dinner along with Dora and the kids as well, David said they would be leaving in the morning most of the shows were being canceled due to the weather coming in, should be arriving home around three along with bringing the colts and one Morgan with him.

Jake talked only quickly asking if he was there and how was he, also saying that Michael beat him on the game and they didn’t own any horses even asking if they could come down so we could all go riding, Jacob said he see what he could do of course, Jake frown handing the phone to Dora, surprised talking it with everyone looking over waiting to see if it was ok’ She just waved her hand at then back and forth sideways, seeing that everyone just started talking amongst themselves again was able to get a few words in and then finding out about Bert and his farm, she remembered him from a few years back, driving a few horses in from Texas.

Later that night Jacob and Bert sat up talking after the boys all went to bed with the dogs following right in the bedroom with them, Bert enjoy the company telling him things were slowly coming along but it was hard with the boys, picking up local jobs around town not any state to state less the boys were home from school or staying a weekend with friends, Asking about Dora saying he had a house if she needed one a few miles away and besides they were always looking for someone with people skills around here.

Thursday morning.

Bert and Herb where making Breakfast, the smell of eggs cooking woke Jacob up sitting upward on the couch looking around the room adjusting his eyes to the sunny day starching looking back towards the kitchen. “Good morning sleep well” Bret asking

“Didn’t wake once, is that the right time?” looking at his watch putting it on

“Sorry we get up early around here”

“Do you sleep late we don’t always good to start your morning early so you get the full day out of it” hh said placing plates on the table.

“Eric up?’

“Been up with Casey over an hour or more should be in any time”

“Six-thirty and sunny great” Getting up walking to the window, then headed to the bathroom just as he was folding his blankets adjusting the cushions.

Bert sitting down at the table saying “Coffee’s hot when you’re ready”

Jacob just nodded back setting his duffle bag on the couch before heading to the kitchen, sitting down   filled his cup asking if he wanted cream or milk, refusing just sugar fine looking to Bert.

“He likes cooking’ said he’s going to be a chef someday”

“Why not’ Chefs make a good living”

“Here they come” Bert said just as the door flung open with Casey trying to get in before the dogs did making the door crash into the wall, Eric cracking up laughing coming in right behind him, dogs running in the kitchen as Herb was bring everything to the table, “You must smell food” he said watching Michael sitting down smelling over the table. Eric sat down next to Jacob smiling up at him.

“Boys wash up” Bert said

Hurry to the bathroom returning all clean hands and face brushed hair sitting down, Eric looked at the plate asking “Rice?” Herb looked “No it’s Grits in butter”

“Do I have to eat it, I’d just like eggs and toast ok?”

“No bacon? Bert holding the plate over

“O’yea I like beacon’ ok if I have three?”

“Have four if you want Eric there’s plenty”

Eric looked at Jacobs’s plate seeing he also had three taking three himself, Jacob didn’t have any grits asking “You like grits?” Jacob just shook his head no, Eric smiled looking up seeing Casey holding the bowl of potatoes towards him, taking a few passing them down.

Casey gave Eric a few things that he outgrown, even giving him his old backpack, Jacob shook hands thanking them for everything for complete strangers that not the case anymore setting up to meet again, Jacob gave Bert, Dora’s number so maybe that could set something up, making suggestion that they all get together at the farm and have one big cook out, Herb might even Show David a few things, they chuckled on that, Eric sat it the front seat waving as they pull out.

David and Jake heading back way before Jacob was even up starting out three in the morning to avoid the heavy traffic, Jake fast asleep next to his Grandpa after they talked about Eric living with them, Jake even asked his mom to take down all the covered mirrors not to tell him why, light rain crossed the windshield with only truck lights heading both ways

Just a quick Thank You to everyone here so glade you enjoyed the story with only one part left we must end this story even know we could go on about it there was so much left to say but as it is we must move on. So will be getting out the last part before the end of June. Thanks again. Will

Holding Eric part 27 Wow have we got news

June 1, 2015

Holding Eric part 27.

Hello everyone Thanks for everything, This has been a very busy week as Holding Eric has gone to Paramount Production after so long time wanting this story I gave in’ we will be working reviewing together over the next few months with the technical services as well. Don’t worry we will finish off with Part 30. So again I thank all of you for the following making Holding Eric worth the time to read to so many response’s on the internet. Will.

Starting out the story on August 21st Wednesday mid-morning

Crushing the can checking around for the trash, Bert pointed to a bag near the door with uncrushed cans inside, with a cringed look over at the bag getting up placing it inside, looking down the hallway  before sitting back down waiting.

Bert finally was able to get a few words in after hearing about Lawyers and everything about Eric “Penny’ Eric’s fine and looks fine he’s has been thru a lot I understand”

“Great he’s something all right how he’s managed to get as far as he has without getting pick up already by somebody before this I don’t know’ he’s so young” Bert cutting her off “Penny’ Penny I’m just outside Houston a few hours away’ I could drive him down as soon as my boys get out from school”

“Right what was I thinking’ My husband was looking for him in St. Louis and just drove back to Kentucky they’ve been at the Horse show there”

“No that’s quite alright I understand about horse shows been to a few myself”

“No it’s no problem I can bring him’ really it’s no problem” looking to a pad on the table pulling it over

“That’s great I’ll call my husband and let him know’ you’ll be bring him here”

“Right now I believe Eric needs to get some rest and cleaned up, we should be starting out around five’ o’ wait the boys have practice so it won’t be till seven before we could leave, tell you what if its ok I could drive him down in the morning would that be better? Or you could come here before night fall?”

“Yes perhaps he should get some rest’ you sure he’s no problem staying the night?”

“Sleeping in some woods the past few days he a little ragged, I’d feel better knowing he was rested”

“Thank You Bert’ you’re a life saver”

“Well take my number and give me a call in the morning or later if you like”

“Let me get a pen’ seems there’s never one around when you need one’ my boys are always taking them for one thing or another’ ok found one” opening a few cabinet draws before finding one returning to his seat. Exchanging Numbers.

Eric waited looking out at the horse’s in the field again, Bert smiling over seeing he was enjoying himself. Penny went on giving him Jacob’s number also just in case Eric wanted to talk to him, Bert hurrying trying to get her off the phone “Ok will see you then” Holding the phone outward for Eric to hang it up relaxing looking at the paper, Eric sat down looking over at it while brushing the crumbs in a pile, Bert clean off the table placing the coffee pot back on the counter “Boy she talks a lot’ hope you know what you’re in for kid” smiling over waving for him to follow, “Eric you’ll really need to wash up and get into some clean clothes”

“Clean clothes? Wash up?” checking his pants over frowning at the wheat and mud

“Yes that’s what I said Shower and clean clothes” nodding yes waving his fingers to follow walking into a bedroom, Eric looking around among the Baseball posters and bedspread everything baseball, Eric started for the bed just as he was going to sit down on the bed “Don’t sit on Casey’s bed I’ll never hear the end of it” Bert open the closet door waving his hand towards shirts hanging “Any color you like Blue or Green?” turning back looking down at Eric dumbfounded with his shoulders rising upward.

“It doesn’t matter Blue’s good” Gratefully looking them over, Bert lifted a short sleeve handing it to Eric, turning to the dresser opening draws pulling clothes out setting them on top, stopping looking back Eric just watching dangling the shirt hanger on his finger, with a snap outward opening pants checking to see if they were big enough draping them over his waving arm, getting the rest. “Ok this should do you’ shower that includes Hair and place yours in the hamper not on the floor”

Bert walked out of the room heading back towards the kitchen, Eric stood in the hallway watching him at the counter, with a quick look at the screen door then into the bathroom, overly clean room with small green rug on the floor and towels placed neatly on the rack, placing everything on the toilet seat checking out the Mirror “Right dirty I am”  tossing his hair back frowning, pulling down a wash cloth and towel from the shelf setting them on the sink reaching over checking the shower before bending down turning it on, watching the water while getting undressed, stopping just before getting in looking back at the door hearing the screen door closing, slowly opening the door peaking around outward first at the kitchen turning back at the screen door seeing Bert sitting on the steps with the dogs running up to him.

Penny wasted no time calling Jacob waiting with it going to voice mail, frustrated hanging up calling David, He pickup on the third ring “Hi Penny” Penny with a slight smile relived asking “Jacob around his phone went to voice mail?” eye’s wide looking outside the window “Hold on” David sitting at the table handed the phone over to Jacob “Your Wife” going back to his breakfast.

“Hi honey phone charging”

“That’s fine you will get another phone when you back’ and I’ve got some news for you”

Jake wanting to talk excided waiting on the phone watching him, David pointed down to Jakes plate, Jake frown slowly taking a bite. “Jake wants to talk to you when were done so is it Good or bad?”

“Good news he’s here in Texas!”

“At the house now?” suppressed looking over at David

“No a Mr. Gallagher said he found him, told Eric called here”

“So where is he?”

“Just outskirt of Houston so When you headed home’ today? He’ll be here looking for you!”

Dropping his fork looking over to Jake “Ok’ will be heading home then!” moving his plate aside

Jake stopped eating looking up “No you said we could stay till Sunday Dad!” tossing his fork on the plate

“Jake we have to go home”

Pouting turning lowering his head, David reach over bringing closer to him looking at Jacob.

“No’ dad were supposed to stay you said we could” looking away saggy his shoulders

After shaking his head watching Jake with his Grandpa “We still have the rental till Monday”

“Monday Jacob’ No you need to come home he expecting to see you”

“Honey we just can’t drop everything and head home”

“Jacob you started this with Eric’ he’ll be here tomorrow!”

“I understand that’ I could drive the rental home but … could Jake stay here with Dad?”

Jake quickly turn looking over with David waiting to see what she said

“Jacob your too soft’ how many times Jake gets his way’ that boy’ Let me speak to him” looking around the kitchen at dirty dishes holding the phone smiling at photos on the refrigerator of the kids playing.

“Jake your mom?” Jacob holding the phone to Jake pressing his lips together staring at his plate not wanting to take it looking away, David with one finger getting his attention pointed to the phone, Jake frowned reaching over taking it with his upset voice “Hi Mom why can’t dad just come home I want to stay with Grandpa It’s the big show and I’ll be fine and Grandpa can watch me” broken voice frowning waiting.

“Jake if you want to stay and come home with your grandpa its ok’ I miss you”

“Mom it’s the real big show event please can’t I stay? Give me gimmy kiss’ Love you Please”

“I said yes Jake’ behave and mind your grandpa ok dear?”

“Thanks Mom I’ll stay out of trouble’ I’ll be good” handing the phone back to Jacob smiling with his tong hanging outward nodding “Grandpa I can stay’ we won’t miss the show” picking up his fork cutting his sausage link smiling.

“He’s better’ so you told the girls about you know who’s coming?”

“Yes there taking it well and how’s Jake taking the news?”

“I … Sort of told him in a roundabout way” looking over at Jake trying to hear what she was saying now

“Who’s coming Dad?” Jake asking looking back and forth at the two of them “Who coming Grandpa?”

“I’ll tell you after quite’ finish eating” David said getting his attention back.

“Hello Jacob you still there?”

Holding the phone hesitating “I’m here”

“Really’ what’s going on Jacob that you’re not telling me something besides the show?”

“Well Yes’ one of the workers here from the office’ Dora her name and she’s bringing her two children by in the morning so Jake can have someone more his age, she’s really good with Jake.

“Dora’ she called me telling she was helping Jake”

“Well we all went for dinner last night I told you didn’t I?”

“Jacob you did and did you hire her?”

“Sort of’ she’s moving to Houston she can help selling some of the horses”

“You told me’ look have a good time just becareful, as soon as you get here we got a few papers to fill out that need to be brought in and filed in courthouse”

“I understand honey’ he’s been thru a lot for his age ‘just thing if it was Jake”

Jake looked over only hearing his name “Me I didn’t do it dad”

“Drink your juice Jake” David said hurrying Jacob up as the waitress took the empties refilling there cups.

“I be home soon I’ve got to go don’t worry’ I’ll call when I’m ready to leave”

“Ok’ give my gimmy kisses to Jake and thank David for me”

“Me too love you” Hanging up handing the phone over reaching for his coffee.

Bert turned seeing Eric at the door holding his shoes “Set them here in the sun and get yourself a soda”

Eric without hesitation retrieved a soda, returning sitting on the porch next to him watching the dogs playing. Bert smiled over “You look a lot cleaner’ feel better?” checking his messy hair over

“I needed a good shower, his clothes fit, and your Casey around my age?”

“Casey’s almost twelve mostly outgrown his clothes already”

“He won’t mind me wearing his stuff?”

“No’ he won’t mind”

“So you ran away? And heading to the Mazzionie’s?”

“Trying anyways”

“So think you’ll like it? Penny seems pleasant even if she talks a lot” Smiling over watching Eric wiggling his toes in the sun light, Eric smiled back taking a swig setting it down on the water ring, looking around the yard rising up a little spotting more horse’s.

“The dogs don’t bother the horses?”

“No they get along good together, let me ask you something Eric why did you leave?” Eric frozen glancing over “Its ok she told me some of it’ didn’t sound like a fun place to be anyway right”

“It was the pits’ and juvenile was there next order of placing me, so I ran away’ besides I’ve managed before” taking a deep breath laying down on his back checking the porch boards, pulling himself up by his fingers gripping the edge sitting back up.

“Well you’ve been thru a lot the past few weeks” reassuring him watching him tensely gripping into the wood edge turning his fingers white, his dazed eyes closed “Eric it ok son you’re going to be living with them, Penny already said you were so you can relax a little”

Eric looked up shocked “She did and Jacob?” relived relaxing his fingers reaching for the wet soda can.

“I’ll be taking you’ how’s that sound?” waiting watching him finishing off the can without crushing it this time setting it down nodding yes, wiping the drippings on the pant leg.

“That be great we leaving now?”

“No in the morning’ you’ll stay here the night and get some needed rest”

“Is it far from here?”

“No about three hours’ drive’ the boys have no school till Monday, sure they’d like to meet you also”

“No school?”

“Teacher’s planning days so they have a long weekend”

“You like cookouts?”

“I’ve been to a few not many”

“Will have one tonight

“Tonight’ you mean you can have one here whenever you like?”

“Of Course we can anytime”

“Up north we can’t city zoning something that’s what I was told anyway”

“Hamburgers maybe hotdogs or whatever you like how’s that sound?”

“Cheeseburger’s ok?”

“Sure I’ll take you to town we can stop and get a few things for tonight and pick up the boys from practice, then will start the cook out will even have ice cream”

“Great’ Ice cream too” smiling checking his shoes “it’s not been that easy getting here’ last night was so scary this space monster came out at me with its glowing eyes and a leather coat, it was so long and moving its legs right at me” holding his arms and hands outward showing how big it was, Bert smiled moving his head back and forth trying not to laugh at him.

“It almost got you did it” cheeks getting red from grinning smiling over

“It did’ it was after me, so I ran as fast as I could getting away from it”

“Did it follow you?” spilling some of his coffee on the step

“No I found a place near the creek and stayed the whole night waiting for it to show up”

“Eric that was an armadillo not a space monster” smiling not able to drink his coffee setting it back down, reaching over rubbing Eric messy wet hair.

“I washed it and had to do it again so much dirt just spinning around the drain”

“You needed a showed”

“I put the clothes in that box thing and folded the towel setting it on top that ok?”

“Fine’ anything in the pockets that you’ve forgotten?”

Eric’s eye open getting right up rushing inside, returning holding his bill’s and Two Cards

“You have two cards?”

“One from another trucker who gave it to me for Jacob” holding the card so he could see it

“Did the driver say why he gave you the card?”

“Just so he could call him I guess”

“Did you do something that made him give you the card?”

“No he just gave it to me he was friendly making sure I was ok before he left”

“So you just got rides all the way here”

“Pretty much … some walking, and sleep in alleys other than the trees”

Penny sat down with papers in front of her holding the phone as it rang

“Santino Law Firm how may I direct your call?”

“Mr. Santino”

“I’m sorry he’s out of the office right now would you like to speak top someone else?”

“Maybe do you know who’s handling the Leiski or Mazzionie case?”

“Sure hold on” placing her on hold “That would be Sean Bradley he’s here would you like me to transfer you?”

“Yes please I’m calling from Texas”

“Yes hold on”

Holding hearing music waiting checking what papers she had, while Bradley pulled the file sitting down pushing the phone button “Hello Mrs. Mazzionie I may I help you”

“Are you working on The Leiski case?”

“Yes I’ve worked with Mr. Santino on the Family court case”

“Fine Mr. Santino said we needed to get the paper work started before he got here’ well he’s here”

“What Eric’ there now with you?”

“No he’s here in Texas, arriving in the morning or around noon” thumbing over her papers.

Stopping from his folder looking to the doorway seeing Mr. Santino waving him in pointing to the folder, walking in seeing the folder waving for the phone.

“Hello this is Mr. Santino how’s everything?”

“Great Eric here in Texas”

“He made it well that’s good news”

“Good? what about the social worker is she coming for him?”

“That’s not going to happen Mrs Mazzionie”

“So were good’ no one coming looking for him?” holding the phone waiting

“No he’s out of their jurisdiction’ so they say besides costing the state to much to take him back to Rhode Island just to place him in a juvenile facility till he was eighteen”

“So what’s our next move than?”

“Is he with you now?”

“No he’s here in Texas, arriving in the morning or around noon”

“That’s a good sign, will file a few more papers and will see you say Monday that good for you?”

Hastate looking down shocked “Monday?”

“Sure around Ten and bring Eric I’d like to meet him also”

“Mr. Santino we live in Texas”

“Yes I know’ Say lunch in town’ I’ll call when we arrive and set up a place”

“That be just fine’ Will have lunch”

“Good will see you on Monday Mrs. Mazzionie you have a good day now”

Penny just smiled at the phone hearing it disconnect sitting back in the chair with a big smile.

“Lawyer’s they don’t know if there coming or going’ Lunch Ta Ta” Smiling closing the folder.

Holding Eric part 26

May 18, 2015

Holding Eric part 26. August 21st Wednesday

Eric pushing the wheat as tall as he was aside reaching the roadway, looking straight ahead into the brighten sun area while walking towards the opening spotting two farm house’s off in a distances lifting his head more checking looking along the wooden fence towards horses back in the field Eric Smiled, Then suddenly below there was no step sending him in a downward fall towards the pavement, with his palms outward bracing himself hearing screeching tires following with blaring sound of a horn, Eric turning his head seeing the car as he was falling, closing his eye seeing only the bumper while hitting the pavement.

Laying on the ground looking at his hands white with small stones on each palm trying to brush them together letting the rock fall off, glancing sideways seeing the bumper raised his head turning around spotting a man standing over him wearing a western hat holding his hand outward to Eric.

“You ok?”

“Yes Sir just fell”

“Thought you was a deer coming out of the field’ did I hit you?”

“No just fell or something?” with a deep breath rubbing his hands off on his pants.

“You must have lost your step in the ditch”

“Ditch, oh yea, the ditch” looking back seeing the incline in the ground

“You need a ride?”

“Where am I anyway?”

“You sure I didn’t hit you?” Eric frowning with help standing up.

“No I fell’ I was taking a short cut thru the wheat”

Lifting him from under his arm, while checking his hands over seeing they were hurting.

“Short cut that’s strange’ come on I’ll give you ride home I’m Bert and it’s only a scratch”

“What? Oh Eric’ Hello”

“You only scratched them nothing broken no blood your fine” checking over his dirt mixed pant legs.

“Right it just hurts like hell”

Bert smiled gestures to the car, the two walking to each side Eric soar lifting the handle looking back and forth along the roadway opening the door, hesitating for a second before bending down looking in.

“Well you coming? Where’s home?” One quick look around before getting in.

“You need to wash your hands’ so where’s your house? What street?”

“I don’t exactly live around here I’m!” keeping his head low better

“You don’t live around here? Where are you from?” frowning slowing down

“Logan” tilting his head upward

“How’d you end up here? From Logan?” Driving around the UPS Van

“Drove here then the car broke down” checking the Van over seeing what the guy was doing inside

“Ok’ so what now then? You heading home or going someplace?”

“Was heading to the truck stop for something to eat”

“Truck stop?” only glancing over before checking the mirror watching the dust kicking up behind them

Slowing down turning on a dirt roadway heading to a farm house, watching his dogs rushing off the porch heading towards them following them back to the house, the two got out fussing over the two dogs.

“Your Dogs sure are friendly?”

“Overly friendly’ Maybe you should call someone after you wash up a little”

Heading over to the porch Eric’s head lifted upward hearing another dog inside jumping at the door, Eric stopping on the porch stairs, “Ok you two leave him be now’ Come on they’ll be ok”

Really what about that one is he friendly?”

“Bam-bam a big mush”

“Right Bam-Bam”

Bert open the screen door letting the big yellow lab out, Eric just frozen letting it sniffing him while Bert holding the door open for Eric slowly moving towards it “Ok Bam-Bam go” Running off with the other two towards the fields, Eric entered the hallway Bert just pointed down the hallway, looking upward seeing he meant the kitchen area heading right for it turning quickly out if the way, after hearing the echoing thru the house of the door banging closed.

“Have a seat the phones on the wall” Eric spotted the green phone hanging with a coil cord drooping downward in spots, only time Eric ever seen one of these old phones was on TV “This work?”

“Sure it works has for the last twenty or more years” Eric’s face cringed as the sound of the metal coffee lid fell on the floor vibrating before it stopped, “You making coffee?’ anyone else here?”

“No in School’ what about you no school today?”

“No I’m on vacation”

“One of them privet schools’ local good enough for mind” sitting across from Eric check outside the window, spotting the dogs running around. “Bathrooms first door when we came in, clean towels and soap when you’re ready” Eric turn back watching him sitting down with one cup “Soda’ I have juice and some other stuff you boys drink” opening the refrigerator showing Eric the inside waiting.

“You got Pepsi?” With a nod reaching in pulling one from the box handing it to him.

“Maybe you could call your dad or Mom at work?”

“Sure my Dad’ if he’s home” sipping on the soda little too fast buzzing in his eyes from carbonation, feeling the moisture from the can wet dirt mixed, reaching down wiping them off on his pants, finding it was just as dirty, setting the soda down spotting Bert holding a towel over the table for him, reaching over wiping his hands off. “This is all I have with me”

“Casey is about your size”

“You have a son?”

“Casey Thirteen and Herb fifteen”

“What about your Wife is she working?”

“Nope ran off with some singer a few years back’ we said good ridden as she got on the bus”

“Sad’ so what do you do for work around here?”

“Horse’s”

“My dad has Horse’s”

“What kind?”

“Horse’s” palms upward from the soda can looking confused “Not the real big ones just Horse’s”

Bert sat upward looking over at him for a second not saying anything just that single look “Look’s like my Coffee ready’ sugar bags just above your head’ mind getting it” Bert holding the pot pouring almost to the top, watching Eric getting the bag setting it on the table. Bert set the pot down on the table taking the bag just pouring some in his cup, reaching back over opening one draw getting a spoon with a quick stir before blowing on the cup taking a sip, while checking over Eric looking out the window.

“You said you were coming from?”

“Yea Rhode Island” Holding his soda then slowly looking upward

“Rhode Island you live there or here?”

“Kinda like both My Dad’s here and I stay with Mom”

“That makes scents, so you’re here visiting then?”

“Yep’ hitch hiked all the way” Smiling watching the dogs playing then turn back around looking up to Bert.

“Let me ask you something does your dad even know you’re coming?”

“I called’ so he should know”

“You called and when did you call?”

“The other day maybe Sunday or was it Saturday’ I’m not real sure but I called”

“Maybe we should call him’ what do you say?” Pointing to the Phone

Eric looked over with a nod back lifting it off the base stretching the core over, only then looked at the phone and back at the wall.

“Yes you have to dial the numbers”

“I knew that just checking” Reaching in his pocket for the card, Bert raised his head watching him, Eric set the card down then turn spinning the dial a few times, Bert interrupted him “Dial one first then put the area code in before the number” holding his cup watching him dial waiting still checking the card number and name of the company he was calling.

Holding the phone to his ear Eric waiting hearing it ring, sliding the card closer to him wanting anything to hang it up before someone pick up. “Hello?” Eric surprised looking down his cheek at the phone “Hi Dad home yet?” in a low voice casting his eyes over to Bert watching waiting.

“No Jacob is in Oklahoma till Sunday” Stopping what she was saying for a second “Eric is that you are you ok?” Eric sat upward dropping the phone his chin wobbled up and down, Bert reach over taking the phone hearing someone calling out for Eric “Hello’ Eric’s right in front of me he’s ok”

Penny with a sign of relief “Thank God he’s ok’ who am I speaking to?”

“Bert Gallagher and your Eric Mother?”

“No My names Penny’ we’ve been looking for him over a week”

“A week he’s been gone’ he said he was from Rhode Island heading to his Fathers”

“Eric is not our son and how do I say it’ he’s trying to get here hoping will take him in”

“I’m not sure I understand’ all this but I have plenty of time”

“Mr. Gallagher Eric just lost is parents and was placed in a home, that he ran away from”

“Ok’ I understand’ Eric just sit down everything’s fine here” Bert reach over taking a bag off the counter setting it in front of Eric, Eric slow took the bag looking inside seeing bagels, smiling back pulling one out, While Penny explain on the phone about Eric, Bert got out the cream cheese and shared it with Eric letting the phone rest on his shoulder while they enjoy bagels together, penny just keep talking Bert could only smile at the phone a few times with A’ha  O’yea understand, sure a’ha. Watching Eric sitting enjoying himself smiling like nothing happen as long as he was eating.

Holding Eric part 25

May 9, 2015

Holding Eric part 25

Hello Reader’s due to request not to end the story at part twenty five. We thank all our readers who like the story so will keep it going just a little longer and so many thank you too everyone’s emails. It’s odd so many have found it on the web channel more so, its two years with good response back.

WordPress is still holding’ we will keep both sights also, so don’t worry WordPress readers the story will go on just as it did before’ Thank You again Will.

Holding Eric part 25

Dora standing on the porch having a cigarette checking out the horses being walked around when she spotted Jacob sitting on the bench talking on the phone, Jake standing in front of him, raising her eye brows with a smile tossing her cigarette in the sand headed inside gathering her things together.

Jake stood watching his Father on the phone, David called Jake away letting Jacob finish talking with Penny, Jake did get his attention once again before leaving the benches “Dad tell mom we want to stay till Sunday for the big event’ Please” pleading more or less to slowly making his way down the benches watching for a reply’, nodding back holding the phone away from his ear with Penny not so happy he wasn’t there, David reach up taking Jakes hand pointing to the Hotdog stand, Jake looked back rising his voice “Dad were getting Hot dogs hurry up!”

Dora headed straight over to the Hot dog stand with a quick rub of Jakes hair “Hi doing better?”

“Fine you want a hot dog’ my dad’s here”

“No maybe later’ talking to your Mom I’ll bet” smiling over at David.

David smiled back “She giving him an ear full, sure you don’t want one?”

“I’m good just thought I’d say hi to Jacob before I go”

“Good timing here he come’s now”

Jacob eyes wide looking at the three together “Hi again Dora you met my Father and Jake?”

“Yes in the First Aid earlier” Dora watching Jake with his hot dog

“Thank You for looking in on him”

“That’s what Mother’s do, did she chew you out?” Smiling over Jakes head

“Somewhat” Looking down at Jake ketchup on his chin “Jake napkin”

David reach over to get one Dora already pick it up wiping his chin off

“Little cowboys love these dot dogs” Dora said handing Jacob the wet napkin

“Hope he still has room for dinner we were heading out to a nice place tonight”

“Nice place not fast food what you have in mind?” Dora asking while David rest back on the counter looking back and forth at the two hitting it off together, censing what she was hinting up to.

“Pizza Dad?” Jake asking. All three just looked down at him tilting back checking them.

“We have a few nice place’s here what type of food you guys like?” Dora asking

David and Jacob surprised looking over, Jake finishing his Hot dog looking upward at her.

“We have Pizza or a nice family type?”

“We’ve got a rental so it doesn’t much matter what would you suggest?”

“Nice Family type” Looking at Jake licking his lips off, then wiping with his sleeve.

“Really and where would that likely be?”

“Not far I can show you I’ll be going myself after picking up my two at the park”

Jacob was taking back not expecting it, Nodding yes only glancing to David Smiling back.

“Ok so what do you say want to make it us six together?” smirking looking sideways to Jacob while reaching for another napkin handing it to Jake.

“We could do that’ our cars right over there will follow you ok?”

David started walking with Dora, Jake taking Jacobs hand walking behind them

“By the way Jacob your wife said hi” Smiling walking over to a blue compact car.

Jacob face dropped watching her, Jake pulling his hand towards the Black Buick.

Eric was excided entering Texas more relaxed leaning on the window slowly he fell asleep being awoken with the truck stopping, opening his eyes looking around seeing they had stopped in a rest area.

We stopping?”

“Yep you’ve got to get a ride from here”

“Here?”

“Yea’ look I’m on a tight run and I just can’t make any Detour so this is it”

“Were are we?” Stretching outward

“Texas just outside Dallas”

“Dallas?” Frowning opening the door “Well thanks for the ride”

“Maybe you better call home and have your Dad pick you up”

“That’s sounds like a good idea to me’ I better call him” nodding his head holding the door while stepping down, avoiding the small lights on each step, before the last step closing the door hopping off stepping back so he could pull out, adjusting to the low lights around the lot, as the semi slowly pulled forward away from him tail lights slowly blending with traffic on the highway.

Eric walking to the sidewalk pulling his jacket together spotting a few cars near the building, looking over one person resting on the window for the night, glancing to the other car not seeing anybody, walking around a green trash can chained next to the building “Chains who going to seal a trash can?” checking the worn Welcome Center sign missing it glass front, Open eight AM to Six PM. Looking to the skyline unable to see much with the street lights glaring around the building, Restrooms one side female the other males staying close to the building walking to the male side stopping at the entryway for sounds not hearing anyone curiously entered around the wall into a dim lit room, right away reaching up grabbing his nose from the stench aroma lingering.

Only one other area smelt worse than this place did that was an old outhouse after you lifted the board up hoping no flies were waiting for you to sit down. Looking stalls all without paper, walking into the last one just in case someone came in he could always hide and wait for them to leave, checking behind him glancing at the mirror showing the other stalls, wondering where it all was coming from taking so long. Standing relived leaning inward into a faded mirror at himself, hair messy sticking up in a few places with a frown brushing it over with his hand before someone entered hurry back outside, stopping trying to make out the torn Map on the wall to where he was in Texas unable to make anything from it walked to the end of the building towards the parking lot.

Spotting a few travel trailers parked next to each other no lights on either one just be on them one moving company semi parked more on the outer section. Watching the traffic on the highway leaning on trash can seeing the wooded area headed towards them for shelter away from the lilted area, before someone spotted him walking around by himself, leaning himself on one large tree trunk able to keep an eye open for any trucks coming in resting the night, barely able to keep his eyes open surprised by a movement of some sort by the sounds of It, Eric sat still looking with his eyes trying to see what it was knowing it was moving closer, looking around the tree eye brows raised shivers up his arms spotting it moving, standing right up as ruffled in dried leafs looking at the ground intensely while it still moving closer toward him.

Watching intensely at this barreled round long noise critter moving leafs as it walked then all of a sudden lights from a car coming into the lot just lit it eyes up glaring at him, shiver be on anything scared Eric quickly escaped the raft of the critter running the outer section of trees to the ramp area, Out of breath stopping bent over sweating checking the surroundings for another place to hide, looking over just below the ramp area a declining area hearing water rushing, Eric carefully watching his steps into the wooden area reaching one small stream passing over shallow rocks, seating down he could see the moon above feeling relived away from sight from anyone. Just a few feet from the stream laying down on dried leafs looking up to the stars slowly closing his eyes feeling safe.

Dora pickup her two children and smiled back waving to follow her pulling around the lot to the exit Jacob following right behind her, only a few blocks later they stopped at a locale restaurant finding two space’s next to each other, Dora stood by the front of her car waiting with her kids while they exit the car walking over, Jake spotted the boy playing a game looking over.

“Mike’ this is Jake, his Father Jacob and David”

“Well hi” Jake said smiling with his hand outward trying to see what game he was playing.

“Level six and that’s my sister Tora” Mike said tilling his head to Jake to follow him first to the door.

Jake turn to his dad seeing him nod it was ok, before rushing off with them to the front door.

“Wait for us!” Dora said watching the three walking checking the game to the doorway

“Well we going to eat or you two just going to stand there?” David asking with the two just standing watching them walked, David just walked in front of them smiling.

“Ok’ Dad were coming’ Dora shall we?”

“A little Surprised?”

“Sure’ and Husband?”

“Sorry’ not with us anymore” smirking waving him on

“Didn’t mean to pry”

“No it’s been Ten years’ Mike was just a year old”

Inside the waitress set them up at a long table handing them all menus, Jake, Mike and Tora enjoying coloring the placemats, only after Dora told Mike to put it away till after dinner, Dora and Jacob talked about everything under the sun it seemed to David keeping more an eye on what the kids were doing, David was able to getting in a few words between them during dinner, David took the check said it was on him this time, Jacob hit it off pretty good together before they said goodnight. Dora agreed to bring Mike and Tora in the morning they could hang out with Jake giving them a break for a while after all being almost the same age and interest, not so much in games but horse’s also.

Returning to the motel, Jacob sat on the bed talking to Penny, telling her about their evening with Dora and the kids, while Jake curled in next to him watching the TV while he talked, Jacob Advising Penny it might be better to explain Eric to the girls before Eric just showed up knocking on the door, maybe or just in case he did before they got back. Sitting looking towards the window sides watching the amber lights casing around the curtains inside. Penny also shared news to Jacob the paperwork starting the legal proceedings with the lawyer had been filled out already and sent back just in case he was picked up beforehand. Jake of course falling asleep being such a long day for him, Jacob trying to wake Jake to talk to his mother but he was to tired not even budging off the pillow.

Eric leapt to his feet when he heard something approaching among the tree lines, adjusting his eyes wiping dried leaf’s from his chin amongst the misty air coving the area, having one of his night mares about his father beatings again being scared sweating, looking outward after hearing heavier steps coming right towards him, then there right in the opening was the silhouette “Bear” Eric could only say to himself eye wide looking at the silhouette moving, feeling scared quivering his chin frustration set in knowing this was it dropping as closed to the tree as he could holding his head between his legs, arms wrapped around holding them closed all cringed in fear shaking starting to cry waiting for the attack.

“Danny!  Shit! You ok kid!” hurry towards him then stopped next to him looking down, “Holy shit” Danny said seeing him curled up shaking back and forth., “Go back and call in the police!” turning rushing back while the other man stood looking down asking “Hey you ok?” Eric let out a scream as the man touch his shoulder backing away from him now watching him shaking holding his legs together, only now recognizing it wasn’t the Bear grunting it was more human, slowly bringing his head upward his watery eyes squinting looking at the heavy set man standing bent over towards him “Easy kid helps on its way” mumbling “Bear” the man looked around himself “No Bear’s here were you attacked by one?”

Eric sat up more looking at him starting to get closer, Eric back into the tree with a grunt hitting it while watching the palm of his hands upright stopping him “Ok kid just take it easy’ helps coming” Eric looked over to the trees then back over to the stream spotting a farm house off in the distances.

“I’m Glen what’s your name?” Waiting for a reply Eric Brushed his jeans off with another quick check around setting his eyes on him again “Bobby I must have fallen asleep here last night”

“What where you doing out here last night?”

“Looking at the stars by the stream” brushing leafs from his hair feeling sticky on the ends

“Bobby’ helps coming will get you home’ why don’t you come with me?” holding his hand outward to Eric to take, Eric looked down and back up leading himself back straight upward next to the tree

“Home’ man my dad’s gonna whoop me’ I gonna go” Eric starting to move away from the tree

“Hold on a second” with one foot moving closer towards him.

Eric quickly responded darting his hand hurrying around the tree into the stream rushing around rocks, crossing it as fast as he could feeling every rock beneath him, into a golden greenish yellow field of wheat, stopping bent over anxiety sweating now gripping his jeans on the knee caps hidden away from view getting his breath, looking to the ground spotted his shoes and pant legs soaked covered in wheat, he had to look back just to make sure the guy didn’t follow, slowly turning popping his head up just over the wheat looking back, with a sign relived no one in sight turning for sight of the house, only to spot it to the right of the field, with a snap back hearing a truck coming raising upward looking towards it spotting a UPS van going around a curve, seeing it wasn’t far making his way in the wheat.

Holding Eric 24

April 20, 2015

Holding Eric part 24

Spending the night behind the plaza hidden from view by a large recycled paper bundle, hoping no one would bother him Eric curled himself around one folded cardboard box keeping the wind and coldness away, disturbed twice by motorists taking a short cut around the buildings to the roadway.

Sitting upward pulling his jacket together slowly waking looking to the sky seeing the sun  rays casting in the alley, pushing the cardboard cover aside standing up, hearing only motors from the other side running  checking over the bundle while scooting closer reliving himself not a moment too soon, turning his head quickly around something moved seeing it was the soda can rolling, smiling for a second before looking down brushing off his pants finding he slept near a dirt pile, walking around the sun warm building towards the front area checking trucks and cars before going inside.

Walking inside the travel store was like walking in an old Stucky’s almost everything the same layout having to walk along shelves of cheap travel store specials mostly to take back home with you telling you were there every state seemed to have the same type of junk trinkets, Eric checking the shelves as he walk to the rear past the small with yellow plastic booths to the counter area with only five stools.

Seating himself down two stools away an older man, bending over eating his eggs scooping the yoke with the toast watching the yoke dripping back on the plate Eric trying not to stare at him retrieving the menu almost knocking over the glass sugar jar from of the holder, glancing sideways at the waitress cooking hearing the sizzling seeing it was Hamburger with a smile smelling it “I’ll take one also and fries” Eric said to her she turn looking at him “Coming right up honey wants some coffee?” nodding yes back as she placed fries in the basket dropping them, going back to finishing walking around the counter setting it down at a table with one younger couples returning with the coffee setting it down “Cream?” smiling down Eric like her right off very cheerful older more like a grandmother helping out than a waitress.

“No thank you wait do I need it?” frowning raising upward from the burnt smell “Let me see here smells strong maybe you better” leaning over the holder with her low cut blouse showing her lacy bra Eric tried not to stare as hard as it was looking down at his cup “I’ll make fresh just for you sweetie” Eric smiled back spinning in the stool checking the tables again seeing how the hamburger was cooking on the grill.

Hamburger juice and ketchup dripping down on his fries, Eric wiped his mouth a few times finding the napkins so thin and small using four at a time still getting on his fingers licking them right off, luckily she was getting busy with other customers piling in for something to eat, one or two families came in with their children playing with table toys while they waited,  She didn’t forget Eric more less letting him eat in peace keeping an eye open making sure he had plenty of coffee, she even brought him an orange juice.

Eric finished looking back towards the restrooms spotting the clock above the doorway just as the waitress walking around the counter Eric asking “Eleven thirty is that the right time?” holding fresh pot of coffee ready to pour him some, Eric placed his hand over the cup “No I’m good too much already” smiling leaning over setting the check down staring right at him “That’s be about lunch time around here…. such beautiful eyes anyone ever tell you that before?” and of course had to lift his hair upward showing both eyes better “Yes and they’re mine not some contact lenses that change color”

“Very Bright Blue” Raising her head checking his hair waving from the air conditioner blowing, Eric again brush it back “Amber?” She raised her cheeks smiling down “Amber”

Husky guy asked looking over after sitting himself on the stool. “Hey how about some service over here”

“Sure thing the menu, Right in front of you” change in her tone towards him, looking back at Eric

“So you live nearby?” not even looking to the guy just smiling at Eric

“No just traveling with my Dad”

“Didn’t see him with you?” check outside the window

“No he’s resting”

“Can I get some coffee when you have a time from your chatting?” with on hand raised waiting

“Well looks like back to work, I’ll be back in a shake of a stick”

Eric watching her walking over to the rude guy with a cup and pot of coffee, pointing her finger at him then to a sign, (No rudeness allowed …You don’t like the Service Leave!) filling his cup right to the rim leaving no room for cream “Well what will it be I’m busy here?” Holding her small order book waiting.

Eric not wanting to stare at them looked away checking out how much it was, the price more than he realized it would be, he only had a few dollars in his pocket, smiling at himself reaching down taking his shoe off bring it to his lap lifting the inside foam padding removing two twenty’s setting one on the check, finishing off his cold coffee waiting for her to return. One lady frowning over her blue sun glasses.

As the waitress went by retrieving the check and cash hurry down making his change returning spotting more coming in waiting for service “Take care Honey it’s been nice talking with you stop in anytime” “Thanks’ on our next run will be sure to stop” placing three dollars under the cup spinning around after spotting the bellowing upward smoke from the grill, getting much loader inside fading the background music out.

Remember the candy rack he passed going in picking up four candy bars and bottle of mountain dew, even grabbed a small free traveler’s guide before heading outside, checking out the newspaper racks before dangling his feet seating on the pipe railing next to them, enjoying his candy bar watching the trucks backing in or just leaving after getting fuel, sure enough drivers spotted him asking if he needed a ride some just looked mean or creepy, dishearten with some heading the other way before the right one came along heading to Austin then to San Antonio, Eric wasn’t about to say no it was Texas he waited over an hour already finished off three candy bars and his mountain Dew.

Following alongside the driver he seemed friendly enough not to old nor to young clean shaven knowing he couldn’t be too bad, stopping in front of a large red Freightliner he pointed to it “This is it” looking down seeing he was hauling something under a large tarp on the flat bed “Go ahead the doors open” walking on past the door, checking for the exhaust pipe making sure it wasn’t hot or anything carefully stepping on the bent on one end steps opening the door, hanging onto it pulling himself upward into the seat, checking it out inside hearing the CB set squeezing before seeing newspapers, travel mugs then Eric smiled at a few girl magazines laying on the floor, straighten right up watching the driver getting in, starting it up with a quick check on the gauges pushing buttons on a black box near the dash with words that Eric was unable to see without moving over, already moving towards the roadway Eric checking above the visor and around the dash not seeing a log book, turning back looking at the single bunk with one blue blanket tossed on it with a faded pillow case cover.

Crunching his noise from a smell of sourness asking “No log book?” watching him shifting.

“Nope don’t need it all electric now”

“That save’s you time from writing so much”

“So why you going to Texas’ running away from home?”

“No just missed Greyhound after it stopped for a rest stop”

“Didn’t they know you didn’t get on?”

“No I don’t think they even checked who got on or off”

“That doesn’t sound so convincing!” looking over at Eric in doubt

“No really – it’s stopped and we got out to rest! Then they took off while I was in the shitter”

“That’s too bad that they just took off without checking”

“I know and I got left behind”

“Why didn’t you just call home?”

“Sure that would really piss my Dad off, that’s why I’m hitching rides home so he won’t find out, he’d say it was my fault and beat the hell out of me for missing the bus” lowering his head towards the floor

“You okay?” He asking softly glancing over at Eric feeling embarrassed by his anger tone coming out.

“I’ll be ok’ just want to get home before the bus arrives” sweeping his hair aside from the air vent tossing his hair upward checking the road and cars alongside.

“Understand’ it shouldn’t be too long before where in Texas what part?”

“Logan you know where it is?” Eric smiled feeling better knowing he believed him now

“Gee’ not quite sure were that is”

“It’s more the lower right side”

“Ok’ will check the map when we stop next”

Eric looking over at the tires passing them more on the right side, looking up another sign Welcome to Texas, “Wow” Eric said excided looking over with the driver smiling back checking his mirrors pulling into the right lane opening another sign Weight station Closed going right pass it seeing a few trucks parked inside.

Penny and Grandma were making Danishes from scratch the phone rang, Grandma said she’d get it seeing Penny had her hands full of dough “Hello”

“Hi is this the Mazzionie residents?”

“Yes can I help you?”

“I’m calling for Jacobs wife is that you?”

“No she right here can I ask whose calling?” Frowning looking back at Penny

“Dora’ I’m calling about Jake her son” shifting her eyes to one side

“Hold on one second – Dear it’s Dora about Jake”

Penny quickly wiping her sticky hands off on a towel taking the phone “Hello this is Penny is Jake alright?” holding the phone with the towel waiting

“Yes he’s doing better he’s up and talking with everyone’ I wanted to call and let you know he’s fine”

“Dora you’re the nurse there?”

“No your husband used my phone before to call you” Embarrassed grinding her teeth checking the phone waiting unsure what Jacob might have told her about them.

“Right’ Jacob called before he had an emergency call”

“I’m a mother also I work in the office and heard about what happen and just felt it would be best if a mother was with him when he woke up”

“Thank you so much he’s our little boy I mess him already”

“Well he’s in good spirts now wanting to go outside and play”

“I can’t thank you enough for caring for him I wish I there with him”

“His Grandfather is with him every second now along with a few others keeping an eye on him”

“Dora how can I ever repay you for your kindness”

“Its hard being away from your children I have two myself and try to get home before they do from school, sometimes I work to late and we go out afterwards”

“Well our house is always open if you need a break”

“Thank You’ I’ve got to get back now you take care and I’ll keep a look out for Jake also”

“Thank you again Dora”

Dora hung up the phone watching Jake and Grandfather playing horse shoes.

Returning back to Winchester Kentucky Farms Jacob hurried to the truck not seeing David or Jake walked to the first aid center asking for Jake, the doctor stepped outside with him telling him everything would be ok, Jake seen what happen but didn’t see anything while it happen only seeing the horses blood most likely set him off into a shock, nothing to worry about and he’s already playing with the other kids and looking at horses, besides having plenty of company staying with him at all times.

Jacob found the two sitting watching a match in the benches, Jake spotted him rushing over with open arms happy to see him back, David stood behind him watching the two embrace, Jacob held him tightly not wanting to let go lifting him upwards holding him walking to David.

“He’s going to be fine Jacob”

“Dad I should have been here”

“You’re here now that’s what he needs”

“Jake you ready to head home?”

Jake lean back with a frown “But we need to find a good horse or two”

“Jake have you talked with your Mom yet?”

“No”

“Jake she’s worried maybe we should call her?”

“Ok I didn’t want to’ Dad she gets upset over little things”

“Little things”

“Well you know what I mean dad all this do we have to tell her?”

“Just call and let her know you’re ok”

“Ok dad’ can I tell her first?”

“Sure’ if you’re up to it”

“Yea’ Mom will cry if we don’t call”

Seating down on the benches together Jacob handed him the phone, Jake held it looking at the two then pushed the button waiting.

“Hello”

“Mom its Jake miss you’ here’s Dad” handing Jacob the phone.

“Jake’ Jake”

“Hi honey he’s right here everything fine”

“Well put him back on the phone now!”

“Jake she wants to speak with you” handing Jake the phone again

“Hi Mom really I’m fine where checking horse’s out having a good time”

“I miss you’ you coming home soon?”

“Yes Mom dad wants to leave” Frowning looking over

“Well maybe you should come home now you’ve had a busy few days”

“But Mom will miss the events can’t we stay a little longer?” Disappointed shaking his head no

“I’ll talk with your Dad about it, doing ok anything you need?”

“No just wanted to stay I miss you and will be home soon love you gotta go”

Handing the phone back Jacob smiled at him taking the phone.

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 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.