When I woke up the next morning, I wondered if Brandon and Danny had discussed their situation in bed last night and decided what they were going to do. I wasn’t going to ask them, but I was wondering if they might come up and tell me they’d made up their minds. However, that didn’t happen and Friday started out very similar to the previous day. After the boys downed their breakfast, I hustled them out to the van, so I could take them down to their tryouts, before I went on to my school to finish up some work. I still had a few of the younger boys in tow, because they wanted to play on the middle school’s playground, rather than hang around the high school and watched their brothers. It wasn’t a problem for me, so I agreed.
After we got there, I worked for over three hours before I stopped. By that time I had accomplished enough for the day and had everything ready for Monday’s meeting. I could now relax over the weekend, but first I had to pick up the older boys from their practice and then take us all home to eat. With that in mind, I rounded up the boys who were at the middle school with me, got them in the van and then drove over to the high school to pick the others up.
When we arrived at the high school, I immediately noticed that Danny and Brandon were among the boys with the cheerleaders. That left Kevin as the only one not hanging out with the ‘scream team.’ As I pulled up, the boys quickly spotted the van and said their good-byes. Some merely gave a little peck to the girl they were with, while a few of the others were swallowing tongue, but it wasn’t long before everyone was racing over to join us.
I decided not to comment on Danny and Brandon’s actions just yet, figuring I’d let them be the ones to bring it up and tell me about their decision when they were ready. I was right, and we weren’t home long before the duo approached me.
“I’m sorry we didn’t tell you what we decided first, Dad,” Danny began, “but we really didn’t make up our minds until after practice.”
“Yeah,” Brandon added, “we talked it over a little last night, but we didn’t really decide until after we took our showers after practice today.”
“Hey guys, that’s not a problem,” I told them. “You don’t have to explain all your decisions to me. I’m always happy to listen if you want to bounce things off me or fill me in later, but you don’t have to apologize for not telling me first.”
“I know, Pop,” Brandon replied, “but we did tell you we’d let you know. We just didn’t think we should waste another day before we went ahead and did it.”
“Like I said, it’s not a problem.” I paused. “So how did things go?”
“Okay, I guess,” Danny told me. “The girls included us with the others and a couple them were extra nice to Brand and me.”
“Yeah, Pop. This one girl was all over me.”
“Well, you boys are good looking, even if I say so myself,” I explained. “If you need anything from me or if you want to discuss the situation further, my door is always open.”
“We know, Dad,” Danny said, smiling. “You’re always there for us if we need you and we appreciate that.”
Friday night we had another driving lesson, incorporating the skills the boys had learned from the earlier two lessons. I had them spend their time pulling into empty parking spaces and then backing out again. Everyone did really well, remembering their other lessons, and I was pleased with their progress. I was also delighted that none of the girls had showed up to distract us and the boys were becoming more comfortable sitting behind the wheel. I congratulated them on their progress and they all seemed pleased.
At home, the boys were enjoying their evening together, doing what they wanted, since they knew they’d have to be on their best behavior, once the Lawrences arrived. That meant no nudie hour, no sex in the rooms and no going anywhere, except with the family. I wanted to give the Lawrences a good impression, so they’d feel comfortable leaving their son with us.
Saturday, we all got up early, in order to make our final preparations before our guests arrived. Everything was spotless, including the boys, who were dressed quite sharply. Not only that, but the house looked better than I could remember it ever looking before, which included the boys’ bedrooms.
Around noontime the Lawrences showed up and I began by making all the introductions. I was pleasantly surprised that Nick’s parents stopped to chat with each boy after they were introduced, as if they really wanted to get to know them better. After the introductions had been made, I had some of the boys go out to the rental car with Nick and retrieve their bags. We put Mr. & Mrs. Lawrence’s luggage in my room, and the boys took Nick upstairs to show him around. We adults went into the living room to sit and chat briefly, before the boys returned.
Mike and Julie, as they asked me to call them, told me they were impressed with the boys and were shocked by the assortment, as I never mentioned we had a multi-racial family. They had no problems with it, but they were also amazed that none of us seemed to even give it a second thought. I told them the only time it was even brought to the forefront was when someone else made a comment about it, either positive or negative.
After a few minutes, the boys came bounding back downstairs and offered to take everyone on the grand tour of the house. The Lawrences accepted their invitation and I agreed it would be a good idea. Shortly, the boys were showing them every room and describing basically what went on there. When they went upstairs I followed, hoping to learn what Nick had decided about sleeping arrangements. As we made our way down the hallway, Nick announced to his parents that this would be his room and he’d be sharing it with Pat. I take it the decision had been made and everyone was happy about it. That meant I could sleep on the twin bed in the spare bedroom tonight, instead of on the couch in the living room. After we finished the tour of the upstairs, I took everyone outside and we all squeezed into the big van, so I could show them our town and the school.
Mr. & Mrs. Lawrence rode in front, with me, and the boys got in the rear, with the smaller ones sitting on the laps of the older ones. I told them about each of the places we visited and then I drove them around the schools and the athletic fields. The high school was an older facility, but had always been well maintained, and they could see the community cared about their educational system.
Before we went back to the house, I took everyone out for lunch. This would give the Lawrences time to get to know us better, without having to worry about what was in the oven. Everyone seemed to have a good time talking to each other while we ate and Mike and Julie carried on conversations with the boys. Sometimes they talked to the same boy together, while at other times they carried on separate conversations with different boys.
All of my sons were eager to tell the Lawrences about their lives, both before and after they came to live with me, and they were also anxious to fill them in about our last vacation. Nick’s parents just smiled at me when they learned we had discovered Nick in Arizona, but never said a word about it afterward. I think they were even more impressed with the boys’ tales of our time in England, without the mention of the nude beach, of course. By the time we had finished our meal, Nick’s parents knew a great deal about us and had a better basis for making their decision.
After returning to the house, the Lawrences and I went back into the living room, so the boys decided they would give Nick a look around the rest of the property. Of course, they told me what they had in mind and asked my permission first, so I told them to go ahead. Mr. Lawrence spoke to Nick before they left.
“Nicky, please be careful…” Nick interrupted him.
“Dad, I’m too old to be called Nicky any more. Can you please just call me Nick from now on?”
“Yes, Nicky… Nick, I suppose you’re right about that, but just be careful out there. You don’t know the area, so stick with the other boys.”
“I know, Dad, and I’ve been on my own before,” he announced, before giving his dad a wink. His father immediately understood what his son meant by that comment and didn’t say anything more.
As the three of us sat in the living room, I decided it was time to give them a chance to lead the discussion. “So, now that the boys are gone, do you have any questions I could answer for you?” I asked, hoping to get them started.
“No, things seem quite nice here and the boys all appear to be very happy,” Mr. Lawrence told me. “They also seem to get along quite well with Nick too.”
“And the boys are so well mannered,” Mrs. Lawrence added. “I can’t believe so many of them are able to live together without fighting or arguing.”
“Oh, that’s not totally true,” I admitted with a wink. “We do have problems from time to time, but each of those instances has been settled fairly quickly. It IS getting a little harder for them to always be in agreement, now that they’re getting older, since bigger boys need more space to stretch out, if you know what I mean.”
“Yes, we know that very well,” Mr. Lawrence told me. “However, the thing that amazes me the most is, if you hadn’t told me some of the boys were gay, I would never have suspected any of them. None of them give you the feeling that they’re anything more than normal young men.”
“And that’s exactly what they are,” I quipped, as a way of reminding him that being gay doesn’t mean you’re aren’t normal.
“Not that it matters, but is Nicky’s roommate gay?” Mike followed. I wasn’t sure where he was going with this, but I was going to be just as honest with him as I could.
“I don’t believe so, since he’s going with a cheerleader right now,” I replied
“Well,” Mr. Lawrence continued, “like I said, it didn’t really matter. They all seem to be a group of very fine young men.”
“They are, they just all don’t have the same inclinations,” I reminded him.
“You don’t have to worry,” he continued, “I think my wife and I had already decided to let Nick try this, even before we got on the plane. There has been such a drastic change in his behavior since he’s been back, which led us to believe that you’ve had a great deal to do with it. We felt if that were the case, it could only get better if he spends more time with you. We would have had to discover you were the Marquis De Sade or that this was the ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ for us to change our minds. If you’re still willing, we’d like Nicky to stay here and go to school with your boys.”
“That would be splendid,” I responded, pleased they trusted us enough to leave their son here. “I’m sure all of the boys will be happy to hear the news. I’ll take you all out to dinner tonight to celebrate.”
“Our treat,” Mr. Lawrence insisted. “Believe me, I don’t know how you survive as it is.”
I gave him a brief recount of how we got some of our money and they were surprised when they realized they’d seen the same magazine article that our benefactor had, before he left us all of his money. They just never put the two things together, even after meeting all of us. They were quite flabbergasted by the coincidence. While they were talking about this between themselves, I called and made reservations at our favorite restaurant. Everything was set for later that evening.
When the boys came back in, they were all breathless from running around outdoors and having a good time together. I quickly told them about our dinner plans and suggested they should begin to clean up now, as it would take them some time to get ready. I told them to use the two showers upstairs and the one bathroom downstairs, but the bath in the master bedroom was only for Nick’s parents to use while they were here. They all nodded in agreement and I could see they were already working out the shower schedule in their minds. Their cooperative nature impressed the Lawrences even more and the boys were terrific at explaining everything to Nick.
When it was time for us to leave, the boys looked very nice and we all got back into the big van. We disembarked after parking in the restaurant lot and were seated almost immediately after entering the building. Dinner was very enjoyable and we had many pleasant conversations as we dined. Mike and Julie continually commented about how good the older boys were with the younger ones, helping them whenever they needed it and making sure nothing went wrong. I explained that with so many sons, some of the older boys also had to serve as junior fathers at times and they eagerly accepted the responsibility. I then told the Lawrences the boys were even better with my grandsons, their nephews, and then told them a little about Nicky and Jordan.
“Ah, and Nick has met those two?” Mr. Lawrence asked. I nodded. “Now I understand why he decided he was getting too old to be called Nicky.”
“Does that bother you?” I asked him, mildly concerned.
“No, not at all. I expected it sooner or later. I just didn’t expect it today,” Mike explained. “I’ve always known it would be his decision and he’d let me know what he wanted when the time came, so I’m fine with it.”
“I’m glad to hear that, because I’m afraid I might be partially to blame for it,” I admitted. “I told Nick that’s how we’d refer to him while he was with us, to avoid confusion.”
“It’s not a problem. Really!” Mike insisted.
After dinner, we went home and watched a video with the boys. I saw the Lawrences watching each of them throughout the evening, noticing how close they were and how they did things for each other, such as when Trey and Dion went out and made popcorn for the whole crew, and then Danny, Brandon and Pat went out and brought everyone back a drink. I think they were flabbergasted at how the boys just got up and did these things without any prodding and especially without complaining.
Not only that, but they saw how Andrew, Sammy and Graham cuddled up against their older brothers and how the older boys relished having them around. At one point Nick even had Andrew curled up on his lap, as they watched the movie together, and I glanced over and saw his mother beaming as she watched him. I knew seeing that had probably cemented his staying with us, even though they’d already told me they’d made up their minds.
I was surprised to learn they hadn’t told Nick about their decision yet. They told him when the movie ended, which caused Nick to start whopping it up. After jumping around the living room and high-fiving the boys, he ran over and hugged and kissed each of his parents, while thanking him for allowing them to do this.
“Well, we’d already prepared ourselves for you to go away to school this year,” his father teased, “although I first thought it would be to military school. However, I now suspect you’ll learn more here and have a better time, just don’t forget to call once in a while and let us know how you’re doing.”
“I won’t, Dad. I promise,” Nick told his father. “And I love you both.”
Nick gave them each another kiss and hug, and I could see the tears in his mother’s eyes, even through all the activity. She later confided that Nick hadn’t shown them that much affection for a few years now and it was nice to have her son back.
Once the commotion died down, the boys all went off to their rooms. The Lawrences told me they’d be leaving right after breakfast tomorrow, in order to make their flight, as they still had things to do at home. I assured them I’d see them at that time and then went upstairs to the twin bed. As I settled in, I was actually amazed by how quiet the house was, since there was no fooling around this evening.
It didn’t surprise me, however, when I had visitors show up at my door a short time later, as Ricky, Cole and Graham came over to see me. What did surprise me was that they just came over to keep me company and not to pull a prank. They brought a couple of their hand held games with them and challenge me to some contests, so for the rest of the night I was just one of the boys.