The Castaway Hotel: Next Generation Book 3

Avoidance

When we awoke the following morning, we ate breakfast with Dad, Pop, Dion, and Trey.  “Becky should be picking up Tristan and Wyatt around 10:00,” I began, “and please make sure the other boys are dressed and have had lunch by the time we get home from work.”

“I’ll do that, and I’ll fix you guys something that you can eat in the SUV,” Trey offered. 

“Ok, that will work nicely.  You can tell them a little bit about what we’ll be doing; otherwise they might give us a problem about going.”

“We can take care of that,” Dion confirmed. 

When we arrived home later, the boys were all ready and Trey handed each of us a bag and a bottle of water.  “I made you a sub, so that should tide you over.” 

“Thanks, it will do nicely,” I agreed. 

We then herded the boys outside, loaded into the SUV, and since Trey was doing the driving first, Brandon and I sat in the back with the boys and began to chow down.” 

“How come we have to go to see the campus with Noah?” Ryan asked.  “He’s the only one who will be going there.”

“We’re doing this for a couple of reasons,” I replied after chewing and swallowing what I had in my mouth.  “I thought if you liked what you saw at the campus, it might get you thinking about your future plans as well, but Penn State will also be having a home lacrosse game and I thought you might enjoy going to it.” 

“Yeah, ok.  That sounds pretty cool, and I’ll get to check out some of the other guys and girls while they’re watching the game.”  He was obviously bi-sexual.

“A true optimist,” I joked, and then I added something else.  “We’ll also be eating out, and this will give Grandpa Josh and Grandpa Jake a little break and some peace and quiet, so we’ll all benefit.” 

“Very funny,” Ryan spat back. 

“And it’s a fairly long drive, so you can take a nap while we’re driving there,” Brandon suggested. 

“Now there’s something that I can live with,” Noah grumbled. 

“And I think you’ll appreciate getting a head start on the fall as well,” I countered.  “This will put you in a much better situation than the other incoming freshman.” 

“Yeah, that too,” he agreed.

Trey was driving first, but Brandon was going to take over for him when we were halfway there, and then Dion and I would split the responsibility on the way back.  It didn’t take long before I noticed that Noah and Ryan were leaning against one another and sound asleep, but Benny and Joshie stayed awake.  They we’re busy chatting with each other, looking out the window, and listening to music.

When we arrived at the campus, we found a place to park and then we woke up Noah and Ryan so we could do some exploring.  “I downloaded a map, but I’m also going to use my iPhone to guide us around.  I’ll point out the places that you will probably frequent the most or may find interesting,” I informed Noah as we were getting out of the SUV. 

We then headed to our first destination and I spoke to Noah again.  “Seeing I don’t know which residence hall you’ll be assigned to, these are some of the places where you might end up.”  I then pointed out some of the nearby dorms. 

“This looks kind of neat, and since I’m used to living with a bunch of other people, this should be kind of fun,” he stated. 

Now that he had seen where he might be living, we began to make our way around the campus.  As we went, I pointed out some of the other places that might become important to him.  This included Old Main, which is the oldest building on campus and was completed in 1867, and I explained it now housed the administration offices.  I also made sure he knew where the Millennium Science Complex and the Life Science Building were, because they would be important to his major and where he’d probably spend a lot of time. 

In addition to those places, I saw to it that he knew where some of the buildings were that he might be spending some of his free time.  This included the Hintz Family Alumni Center, the Recreation Building, the Hazel Union Building, the Eisenhower Auditorium, and the Student Health Center.  I finished up by pointing out the location of the Bryce Jordan Center, where the basketball games, concerts, and various other activities were held.  Then, I pointed out Beaver Stadium, where the football team played, and the Penn State Lacrosse Field that we’d be going to later. 

“Man, this place is huge!” Benny stated in amazement. 

“But it’s also really nice and very interesting,” Ryan added.  “I wouldn’t mind going here.” 

“Then buckle down in school, pick a major from the catalogue, and send in your application at the start of your senior year.” 

“Ok, I’ll do that.”  My plan was working. 

We had been walking around for quite a while and I’d pointed out everything I wanted Noah to see, so I decided to end our tour of the campus.  I led the boys to State College next, the college town that has many shops, restaurants, and other places that cater to the University and student body. 

We found a restaurant to have dinner, and then I drove them over to the Penn State Lacrosse Field to watch the game.  Penn State was playing a 7:00 contest against Maryland, and it was quite an exciting game.  I could tell the boys were really getting into it as the cheered for the home team, but to their dismay Penn State lost, 12-13. 

As soon as time expired, we made our way out to the SUV and I took the first shift on the drive back.  Before long, all four boys were nodding off, and that’s when Dion made a comment. 

“At least the ride back will be quiet,” he stated. 

“And hopefully uneventful,” I agreed. 

We only stopped long enough for Dion to switch with me so he could drive the rest of the way, and I took a little snooze as we made our way home.  When we got there, the boys headed into the family room because now they were ready to keep going, seeing they’d just taken a little nap.  While they were doing that, the rest of us went out to chat with Dad and Pop. 

“So how were things around here while we were gone?” Trey asked. 

“Very quiet,” Dad responded tongue-in-cheek.  “Nothing out of the ordinary happened and Jake and I spent some quality time together.  How did your trip go?” 

“It went very well and I think the boys enjoyed it,” I answered. 

“Except for Penn State losing the lacrosse game,” Dion added. 

“Yes, they were kind of bummed out about that,” Brandon agreed. 

It was getting late so we decided it was time to turn in, but we stopped to speak with the boys first.  “You should probably go up and get ready for bed, because we’ll be going to church in the morning.” 

“Yeah, we know,” Noah answered. 

“And please don’t say anything to Tristan and Wyatt about our trip, because I don’t want them to get upset because they missed out on something.” 

“Ok, we won’t say anything to them,” Benny agreed. 

“But they were with the Kramers, so they probably got to do stuff we didn’t get to do,” Joshie countered. 

“I understand, but they might still get upset, so please don’t say anything to them about today.” 

“Ok, we won’t,” Joshie agreed. 

We went upstairs and got ready for bed, and we heard the boys do the same thing about a half hour later.  I guess all of the walking around had tired them out enough that they did as we asked. 

We woke the boys the following morning and had them get ready for church.  We picked up Becky, Revin, Tristan, and Wyatt on the way, and the boys immediately wanted to tell us what they’d done the day before. 

“Mrs. Kramer took us to visit one of her friends yesterday,” Tristan told us, almost unable to contain his excitement.  “He has a farm and he let us ride his horses.” 

“Really, that sounds like fun,” I agreed. 

“Yeah, it was,” Wyatt confirmed.  “Tristan and Revin got to ride their own horse, but I had to ride with the man that owned everything.” 

“I suppose those horses were a little big for you to handle alone,” Brandon said reassuringly. 

“Yeah, but it was still fun.” 

“And the horses the boys rode were very gentle,” Becky added. 

“Did you ride too?” Brandon followed. 

“No, I chatted with my friend while her husband and son took the boys out on the horses.” 

“Then it sounds like it worked out for everyone,” I stated as we were pulling into the church parking lot. 

Once we entered the church, we went to our appropriate Sunday school classes, and when those ended we met up again for the church service.  The sermon was much shorter than the Easter homily, and then we went to the diner for brunch. 

“We were thinking about taking the boys to the movies after this.  Would you and Revin like to join us?” I asked Becky so the boys didn’t overhear. 

“I don’t want to go, but are you sure you want Revin to go with you?” 

“Yes, he’s never a problem.” 

“Well if you don’t mind, then he can go if he wants.  It will give me a chance to get some work done in peace, since we were away for a few hours yesterday.” 

After we ordered, Wyatt filled us in about something else.  “Revin’s mom made sketti and meatball last night and it was really good.” 

“Yeah, and she played some games with us after we ate,” Tristan added. 

“Then it sounds as if you had a very good time.” 

“Yeah, we did,” they both confirmed. 

When we finished up there, we went out and got in the SUV, and that’s when I told the boys what we were going to do next.  I’d waited until then because I knew they would get excited and I didn’t want them disturbing the other patrons at the diner. 

“We’re going to take you boys to see a movie now,” I announced. 

As the other boys began to cheer, Revin asked his mom a question.  “Are we goin’ too, Mommy?” 

“Dr. Currie has invited you to join them, but I’m going home to finish up a few things while you’re doing that.” 

“Thank you for lettin’ me go with them.” 

While we were dropping Becky off at her place, Dion and Trey were dropping Dad and Pop off at home.  We had talked this over while we were waiting for the boys to join us for the church service, and once again Dad and Pop had decided not to go. 

We met Dion and Trey at the cinema complex and then we looked to see what was playing.  “I want to see A Quiet Place,” Ryan announced excitedly.  “I heard it’s scary.”

“Yeah, I heard that too,” Noah concurred. 

“I want to go see that movie,” Benny quickly added. 

“Me too,” Joshie agreed. 

“I can already tell that you and Dion want to see it as well,” Brandon stated, “so Trey and I will find something for the younger boys to see.” 

“Dion you can go with them too and I’ll go with Wyatt, Tristan, and Revin,” Trey agreed.

“Is that another gnome movie?” Wyatt asked when he noticed one of the posters hanging on the wall. 

“Yes, it is,” Trey confirmed.  “It’s called Gnome Alone, so I guess that means it is a take on Home Alone.”

“What’s that?” Wyatt wanted to know. 

“It’s an older movie about a boy who mistakenly got left at home when his family went on vacation,” Trey explained. 

“Yeah, let’s go see that then,” Revin suggested. 

“I’ll go see it too,” Tristan agreed. 

“Then I guess we’re all set,” I confirmed.  “I’ll buy the tickets and then we’ll go over to the concession stand so I can buy all of us a drink.” 

“Let us do that,” Dion offered.  “You’ve treated us before, so now it’s our turn.” 

Since that had been agreed to, I got in line to buy the tickets while the others moved to the concession stand to get their drinks.  Brandon knew what I wanted, so he’d just hold on to it for me until I exchanged it for their tickets. 

Once everyone had what they wanted, we went to the appropriate theaters and found a good spot to sit, and then we waited for the movie to begin.  I didn’t know beforehand what it was about, but it didn’t take long to figure it out.  People were being hunted by creatures that used sound to locate its prey, and as we discovered it was because they were blind.  Due to this, the people had to be absolutely quiet if they didn’t want to die, since even the slightest sound – a footstep, a cough, or even a gasp could give away their location. 

The boys’ sources had been correct and the movie was truly scary.  In fact, at times it was utterly terrifying.  Needless to say, Benny and Joshie grabbed a hold of us in fright on more than one occasion, but they somehow made it all the way through the film. 

“That was way awesome,” Ryan said as we were leaving the theater. 

“Yeah, I thought I was going to pee myself a couple of times cuz I was so scared, but I liked it too,” Joshie confessed. 

“You’re lucky it was only pee, cuz I nearly crapped myself,” Benny admitted. 

“I think we all had moments like that,” I concurred hoping it would make the boys feel better. 

“You guys are a bunch of wusses,” Noah mocked.  “It was scary, but not that bad.” 

“Ok, Mr. Macho,” I mocked.  “We’ll see who has nightmares tonight.”  I think my comment put a bit of doubt and concern in each of their minds. 

When we met up with the others in the lobby, I asked how their movie was.  “It was another gnome film,” Trey answered while rolling his eyes. 

“I liked it,” Wyatt announced with a grin. 

“We did too,” Revin and Tristan stated next. 

“It was ok and not awful, and there were some scary parts in it too,” Brandon added.  I knew the first part of his comment meant that he and Trey had suffered through it for the boys’ sake, but I wondered how scary those other parts were. 

We dropped Revin off at his house on the way back, and he hesitated before he got out.  “Thanks for talkin’ my mom into lettin’ me go with you.” 

“You’re more than welcome and I’m glad you enjoyed the movie.” 

“Yeah, I did,” he stated before closing the door and racing to the house.  Becky was there to greet him and waved as we drove off. 

Dion and Trey were already in the house when we arrived, and the boys immediately took off to do other things.  After they left, Brandon and I went out to the kitchen to chat with Dad and Pop. 

“Well, we managed to keep the boys out of the house for most of the weekend.  Did anything happen while we were gone?” 

“No, it was very peaceful.  Jake and I even took a walk around the perimeter to see if we noticed anything, but nothing jumped out at us.” 

“And no one threw anything at us either,” Pop added. 

“That’s good, and tomorrow your friend will show up and hopefully take care of the problem for us.” 

“Yes, that’s what we expect will happen.”

“Then I’ll say a special prayer tonight to make sure it does,” I offered. 

“I will too,” Brandon concurred. 

“I’m sure that won’t hurt,” Dad replied, “and I hope the medium is up to the task.” 

“I think we all do,” Pop agreed. 

A short time later Dad announced that dinner was just about ready, so we told the boys to wash up and get their butts out to the table to eat.  They must have been hungry, because they did it in no time flat, and then we sat down to join them. 

“I had a lot of fun this weekend,” Wyatt told his grandfathers as he was eating.  “We rode horses, ate sketti, and saw another movie ‘bout gnomes.” 

“Wow!  You did all that?” Dad said, making a big deal out of it. 

“Yeah, me, Tristan, and Revin did that.” 

“You’re very lucky boys.” 

Dad and Pop knew better than to ask the other boys what they’d done this weekend, because they knew we didn’t want the younger ones to know about our trip to Penn State.  It might not have bothered them, seeing they had such a good weekend, but I’d rather not take the chance. 

When we finished dinner, Dion, Trey, Brandon, and I had to get ready for work the next day, since we’d spent so much of the weekend out of the house.  We told the boys they were on their own and could do what they wanted, within reason, and the older pair went off on their own, while the younger trio headed to the family room to play video games. 

“By the way, does everyone have his homework done?” I asked before they disappeared. 

“That’s what I was going to do now,” Noah replied. 

“Me too,” Ryan seconded. 

“I don’t got, I mean I don’t have any,” Wyatt responded, correcting himself before his poppy did it for him. 

“We did ours already,” Joshie confirmed for Benny and him. 

“We didn’t have very much, so it didn’t take us too long,” Benny added. 

“Ok, then bring it to me so I can check it, and Noah and Ryan I expect you to do the same when you’re done with your assignments.” 

“Yeah, we know,” they both echoed. 

After I’d checked Benny and Joshie’s homework, they went into the family room with Wyatt, and then I took care of my own business until Noah and Ryan showed up.  After checking that they had completed their assignments as well, I told them they were on their own until it was time to turn in. 

About an hour later I sent the younger group up to shower and put on their pajamas, and then we went up to tuck them in.  I wasn’t worried about Tristan and Wyatt, but when we said goodnight to Benny and Joshie, I offered them a piece of advice. 

“If you two happen to experience some bad dreams tonight because of the movie, you can always come in with us if it would help.” 

“Thanks, but I think we’ll be ok.  We’ll just hold on to each other,” Benny countered. 

“But we might have done that if we were sleeping alone,” Joshie added. 

“Ok, goodnight and I hope you have pleasant dreams,” I said before kissing them on the forehead. 

“Sleep well, but don’t be afraid to wake us up if you need to,” Brandon reminded them. 

”Thanks, but I think we’ll be ok,” Benny replied.

We finished up what we had to do first before going to our bedroom as well.  “We managed to avoid any problems over the weekend,” Brandon pointed out as we were getting in bed.  “I just pray that the medium will be able to put an end to Hubbard’s attacks tomorrow.” 

“I do too, and I’m sure it will be on our minds all day tomorrow, at least until we get home and Dad tells us what happened.” 

“Yeah, you’re right.  I hope you know how much I love you.” 

“Oh, probably as much as I love you.” 

“And I’m glad you thought about taking the boys to Penn State.  I think they were all impressed with what they saw, and now I believe they’re starting to think about attending college too.” 

“I think you’re right about that, but only time will tell if it actually happens.” 

When I went to kiss Brandon before going to sleep, our passion soon took over and it became more than a goodnight kiss.  It led to a rather passionate love making session, and then we had to wash off the sweat before we cuddled together and fell asleep.