Posts Tagged ‘Fic’

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.

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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 17

November 24, 2014

Holding Eric part 17

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

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

“You ok what happen?”

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

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

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

“Maybe you should call the police”

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

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

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

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

“So I’m not far from it then”

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

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

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

“Ok that way right”

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

“I will thanks”

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

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

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

“Hello what’s your emergency?”

“I’m’ I’m”

“Hello can you talk?”

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

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

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

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

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

“The car what type was it?”

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

“What did he look like?”

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

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

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

He looked down “sure and you”

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

“What”

“I don’t like eating by myself”

“Sure its ok don’t mind the company”

“I’ll buy your lunch for you”

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

“Good food”

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

“So you have a name?” truck driver asking

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

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

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

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

“You about ready them?”

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

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

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

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

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

“Ok is it unlocked?”

Glenn just nodded back yes checking along the rear.

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

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

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

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

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

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

“So this is a newer unit?”

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

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

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

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

“Someday’ ready to roll”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“They Drowned?”

“No just to a better place” Glenn smiling over

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

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

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

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

“Yea it does”

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

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

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

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

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

“A card?”

“Yea maybe my dad can help you someday”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Holding Eric Part 11

October 8, 2014

Holding Eric part 11

Swinging back and forth enjoying Jon’s company together seeing who could reach the highest, one of the other kids hollered out for them to come inside, “We have to go come on” Jon said letting the swing stop dragging his feet, looking up to the house stopping with Jon heading up before him, Eric stopped as he was getting off the swing looking down the side of the house spotting her car, M.s Waterford’s frozen expressions wondering why she was here after dumping him over to Nolan, his eyebrows lifted even a small smile hoping his Aunt was waiting inside.

Jon turn around reaching the doorway “Eric come on” Eric hurrying next to Jon walking with him back to the office, stopping dead in his tracks as Eric spotted in the window Nolan with another Police officer and there she was Ms. Waterford sitting in the chair in front of the desk, lifting his head not seeing his Aunt inside quickly keeping himself out of eyesight next to the doorway. Jon knock on the door before opening it asking “You needed to see us or just Eric?” holding the door part way open.

Mr. Blanton stop talking looking up “Yes Jon you too’ Eric with you?” unable to see him.

“Sure he’s right here’ Eric they want you” Jon said leaning back waving Eric going inside

Mr. Blanton gestures them to two folding chairs by his desk, sitting down looking at the others staring back at them, Eric doing his best not to look at them looking around the room instead.

“Eric Just a few question to ask you if you’re up to it” Mr. Blanton asking

Eric looking over at Officer Nolan “Ok Why’… What happen?”

“Why you think anything Happen?” Mr. Blanton asked looking back at Officer Nolan

“It always something when Ms. Waterford brings the police with her and him”

Everyone silent watching Mr. Blanton handing the silvery hair officer the folder, before sitting at his desk, slowly looking over it, dressed in full uniform with small eagles on each collar glancing over at Eric and Jon a few times, while flipping thru the papers before closing it handing it back, Eric glued to his badges looking at the fancy designs and name printed just below it G. Dunkle turning facing Eric and Jon,

“Hello Eric looks like you’ve been thru a lot in the past?”

“So why am I here?” Nervously Asking

“Just needed to ask you a few Question as what happen”

“She knows what happen ask her” Eric frowning looking at Ms. Waterford

“Easy Eric this is a friendly visit …. When Officer Nolan brought you here did anything happen?”

“What at the station where he refused to get me water or anything to eat! Till I signed his paper” Eric said all tight lipped staring at Office Nolan, watching him turning away looking out the window.

“You didn’t give him anything?” Ms. Waterford snickered, her eyes almost popping out of the sockets with stares, Officer Nolan shook his head back and forth No “Eric I’m sorry they treated you that way”

“Eric’ everything ok here? They taking good care of you?”

“Sure everything’s just peachy’ so what do you want from me now?” folding his arms in front of him

Officer Dunkle seeing the bulge on his shirt, moving in front of him reaching down pulling his arm outward lifting the sleeve upward looking at the bandage, pulling it back down with a nod, turning looking back at Officer Nolan asking “Eric did you get this from Officer Nolan?”

“No’ hit it on the bed” Eric said looking up sideways at him

“Did Officer Nolan hurt you at any time or while bringing you here?” asking looking back at Nolan waiting staring down at Eric

“Sure when he yanked me out of the car” puckering his lips squinting to Nolan looking back straight face defining him to talk about him.

“Officer Nolan’ he said you Yanked him out?” Officer Dunkle turning towards Nolan waiting

“Sir it was a little ruff maybe that’s all”

“Ruff’ you yank me out and held me almost slamming the door on my hand” raising up in the chair hit the rear metal starting to breath fast

“Eric what arm did he Yank you out with?”

Eric stopped staring at Nolan looking down at his arm bandage “Well if I was I the driver side I think maybe it was the left one” holding his head sideways, watching Nolan squirming enjoying watching him getting in trouble.

“Same arm’ you said before you did this here … how?” Dunkle asked

“I broke the bed!” Eric said reluctantly raising his eyes up

“You broke the bed?”

“I already told you I did just ask Mr. Blanton he seen it”

“Yes it’s true he did’ it was an accident nothing more” Mr. Blanton reaffirming him

“What do you want form me? … ask Mrs. Waterford she knows everything about me why you think I’m here in the first place she put me here” Looking over at Jon hanging his head after making a grunt sound

“Eric take it easy’ just need to know what happen before you left home and how you ever got to Denver on your own did anyone help you” Mrs. Waterford said holding her purse in her lap.

Eric eyes became transfixed to the ceiling texture slowly circled the room trying not to recall what happen, without any thought of them around the room waiting for his response, everything seemed to pour in just as it did when he came home after playing with his friends, walking up the sidewalk together stopping in the driveway looking at the house, hearing his parents arguing inside as they watched Eric walking to the back of the house.

Standing at the back door for a second before going inside knowing what to expect after hearing the eerie sounds of his mother crying while hollering, walking into the messy kitchen seeing them standing in the doorway to the livingroom, His Father turning looking at him sipping on his beer bottle “Look what the cat dragged in” he said moving towards him, Eric trying to avoid him going around the table, when he push the table aside reaching over grabbing Eric slamming him across the chair to the floor standing over top with his bottle drawn back after kicking him in the side, Eric curled in a ball hiding his face waiting for him to stop, all of a sudden his mother pulled him away screaming at him to leave him alone looking thru his fingers watching her pulling him backwards, following after her in the livingroom giving Eric a chance to get away hurrying to his room closing the door.

“Eric’ Eric you ok’ something you what to tell us?”

Eric surprised looking at all of them looking right at him, Jon somehow reach over his hand on his looking up at him, while Mr. Blanton with one hand on his shoulder watching a single tear running down his cheek. “It was him just like before I got out” Eric said in a broken shiver voice

“I never touch the kid” Nolan blurted outward

“You’re ok now just relax” Mr. Blanton said turning looking at the officers and Ms. Waterford standing watching Eric wiping his eyes with his sleeve.

“Maybe we should do this another time” Officer G. Dunkle said worried tone in his voice.

“You wanted to know it was him my father it was his drinking ok’ he did this to us all the time ok” lowering his pale face trying to control his tears,

Officer Dunkle turn looking over “Nolan maybe its best if you wait outside”

“His Aunts not coming for him anyway” Nolan said reaching for the door knob

“What my Aunt not coming for me what do you mean by that?” Eric standing right up heart beating fast

“Will explain it to you please sit back down, Nolan close the door behind you” Officer Dunkle said

“Sir’ … Yes Sir” Nolan replied leaving the room.

“What did he mean my Aunts not coming? Why” Eric said through an unexpected sniffle.

“Will talk about that in a second Eric, Would you two mind stepping out please” Mr. Blanton said with his hand gestured to the door.

“See you soon’ take care of yourself Eric I’m here for you if you need me just call” handing him her card

“Sure just call” holding the card watching them leave the room closing the door behind them talking in the hall way.

“Mr. Blanton will need him to sign the form before we leave”

“I’ll take care of that, and get back to you or if you want to wait you can here in the hallway?”

Jon and Eric leaning forward hearing them with the door cracked open enough to hear what they were saying, getting back upward in their seats with Mr. Blanton coming back in, walking to his desk picking up the folder returning pulling the stool over to Eric pulling out one paper letting Eric read it. Jon sat closed to him as he read the paper reaching over placing his hand on his leg to reassure him he was there.

“Eric would you sign on the bottom here, this will put him in a place that he will never harm you ever again” Eric looked at the paper, glancing between tears seeing the pen reaching for it, taking a deep breath looking where he was pointing signing his name while taking a deep breath of release.

“What going to happen now to me?” Eric handing him the paper and Pen asking

“Will talk a little later you relax some first, Jon sit here with him I’ll be right back” taking the paper with him going out into the hallway talking to Officer Dunkle and Ms. Waterford.

“He won’t ever hurt you again” Jon Said with Eric stared back in Jon’s sad watery eyes

“This happen to you too?”

“Yes a long time ago’ its over now, I’m better like you will be soon”

“Better than what’ I’m going to Denver to live with my Aunt”

“That’s good Denver nice place to live” hesitant

“After we go to the funeral will be going back”

Jon sat back lowering his head, Eric looked over “What you know something tell me”

Breaking the stares waiting for Jon to tell him with Mr. Blanton coming back in the room sitting back on the stool reaching outward taking Eric’s hand “Eric you know your mother didn’t make it”

“Sure I know that’ what my Aunt told you were going back after the funeral right?”

“Not exactly’ your Aunt has taking over the arrangements and as far as you, she well”

“She what?”

“Eric she sign you over to the state as she cannot take care of you”

“What why I don’t understand why not?” Eric’s face shifted from intrigued to terrified

“She has other problems in her life and feels you’re better off staying here”

Eric’s eyes bulged as he looked up at Mr. Blanton’ holding back another tear all pale “What about the funnel will I still be able to go?”

“No she felt it best you not be there”

Sitting dropping his head downward to his knees grabbing at his ankles trying to hold back his tears, Mr. Blanton and Jon stayed with him till he could get hold of himself before taking him back to the bedroom to lay down for a while, after two weeks staying in the halfway house it was more than Eric could stand.

The older boys Frank and Derek the oldest and biggest instigator’s keep poking jokes and fighting with him about his father, while Jon and Scott did everything they could to stop them only getting themselves in trouble, Eric told Jon he had to leave and wanted him to go with him, just after finding out the truck driver accent was from Texas, far from here but anything had to be better, planning his route looking at maps trying to remember what was on the side of the trucks door, hoping maybe he could look him up, maybe he wanted him as a partner to ride with again smiling looking at photos of trucks at truck stops, pointing out what he could remember where they stopped at.

Jacob sitting in a rest stop dropping his log book next to the seat bending over picking it up spotting the letter, hesitating looking at it before reaching down for it, with a smile setting it with the log book over the visor finishing off his coffee, before reaching over taking his phone from the center.

Waiting on the third ring “Hello”

“Hi it’s just me!” In a low tone voice

“You’re calling Early everything ok?”

“Sort of thinking about going to Denver”

“Ok’ you going to stop and check on the boy?”

“Found his letter so I was thinking its not far off track, I can make up the time”

“If you want to just be careful and call after you’ve talk with him ok”

“Ok the kids out riding with dad still”

“Your Fathers has them trailing again”

“Jake was asking for the key”

“Only if he did his chores”

“I know so when you heading over?”

“I’m about three hours away then I’ll be going down to Utah”

‘So you’ll be home Thursday and you can take the kids shopping”

“Sure thing you pick up the school clouts already”

“Yes and you get the supplies with them”

“Ok’ well tell them I’ll be home soon and love ya dear”

“Me too drive careful love ya too”

Getting off at the exit seeing the plaza parking, walking inside looking at school supplies placing a few in the carriage heading to the front checkout.

“See you’re getting your stuff early before it’s jam-packed with kids”

“It’s for a friend, hope I got everything he’ll need”

“What grade he in?”

“I don’t know he’s eleven mine is the same age so fifth or sixth”

“This should start him off” placing it in the bag

Taking the package walking to the office talking with the manager before heading back to the tuck watching a few parents walking children into the store, Jacob set the package on the seat pulling around back of the store unhooking the trailer so he could bobtail to the Aunts hose without any problem of a trailer, looking again for the street hoping it was clear so he could park on the side. Finding a few open spots opened pulling in shutting it down taking the package to the door, Aunt Ginger cracked open the door looking at him standing outside.

“Hi I’m here to see Eric is he here about?”

“Eric’ who are you?”

“I brought him here before, about a week or so ago”

“Yes I remember you”

“Can I see him if it alright’ I pick him up some school supplies” holding the bag upward

“He’s not here he’s back in Road island” looking back in the house at someone inside

“Not with his father is he’ did he go to his mother funeral?”

“No’ that would have been too hard on him his birthday and all”

“His birthday?”

“The same day’ look I’m kind’a busy here”

“Who’s he with then not his Father?”

“No the states took him”

“I thought you would”

“No I can’t handle a teenage boy’ anything else?”

“Road Island”

“Yep anything else? I’ve got company” closing the door before he could say anything

“No thank you’ sorry to bother you!” Raised voice back, Turning walking back to the truck.

Starting it up hightailing it back to the plaza, backing under the trailer. Taking a deep breath banging on the steering wheel looking at the phone, reaching over hitting redial.