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I had set the alarm for 6:00 a.m. to make sure we were ready when the limo came to get us at 7 a.m. I knew this was going to be a killer, as neither of us were early risers. However, when the alarm went off, I saw Sean coming out of the ensuite in his robe after his shower. He was so excited about the trip that he didn't get much sleep during the night.
"So now I know how to get you up early in the morning; I'll just tell you the night before that we're going to Florida ," I said as I chuckled.
We had our breakfast and brought everything down to the hall to wait for the Limo. The hall was full, as there were two larger bags with wheels, 3 sets of golf clubs, 3 garment bags and 2 carry-on bags. I asked Sean where Teddy was and he smiled and opened his carry-on bag and out popped one of Teddy's arms.
The limo arrived 5 minutes early and we got it loaded and we were on our way to the airport. Thank goodness the limo was a Lincoln Navigator, as I wasn't sure the normal sized cars they usually sent would have accommodated all of our luggage.
It took us about 1 1/2 hours to get to Pearson International airport and into the private terminal, where we would catch the flight. There was still some snow on the roads from the storm two nights ago and it slowed down tne trip.
We had to go through airport security, but it was much quicker than the process for commercial flights. We had about 15 minutes before the jet was ready so we sat in the waiting area.
Sean was making good use of his new camera and was taking pictures of everything. He had figured out many of the features and was having great fun with his new 'toy'.
Sean looked around and saw that there wasn't anyone else waiting for the flight.
"Where are all the people?" he asked.
"You're probably looking at them," I said.
He didn't realize it was a private flight, so I told him what to expect.
"The seating is very comfortable, just like the big armchair in the living room," I said.
I told him that there would be a choice of movies and that we would have a flight attendant that would take care of anything we needed. He was really interested when I told him that we would also get a light lunch before we landed.
About 10 minutes before we boarded, a women with a young girl joined us in the waiting room.
"Good morning Anne, how are you?" I said as I kissed her and gave her a hug.
Sean couldn't figure out what was going on, as he looked at me with a puzzled look on his face.
"And is this your granddaughter Melissa? My goodness you've grown since the last time I saw you," I said as I turned and looked at Melissa.
Anne Morgan was a widow, whose husband had owned a thriving Engineering firm in Toronto. After her husband's death, Anne sold the business for a tidy fortune. Anne and I had spent some time together in the last couple of years, when we had been down in Naples together, as she owned a house down the street from mine. She was also a member of the golf club. It was more companionship than anything else, as we enjoyed each other's company.
She said that her granddaughter was almost 14 years old and that they were going to her house in Naples for the week.
"So are you going to introduce us to the young man with you, Al?" she asked.
I introduced Sean to the two of them and I could see that there was a mutual attraction between Melissa and Sean, but Sean was being very shy. By now the jet had arrived and we got up to board.
"It's a long flight, Sean and I'm sure Melissa won't bite," I said trying to encourage him to shake off his shyness as we were walking out to the jet.
Sean relaxed when we got into the air after we took off. He liked the comfy seat and the snacks and drinks the Flight attendant brought him. Sean also shook off his shyness as he and Melissa seemed to get along very well, especially when he brought out the chocolate chip cookies Dana and he had made. Anne and I were on the other side of the Jet from them out of earshot and that gave us a chance to get caught up on things, since we hadn't seen each other for 6 months.
I told her of the situation with Sean and that I was in the process of adopting him. I told her he was a really great kid.
"You're a brave man, Al, to take on raising an adolescent boy at your age," Anne said with a smile.
I told her I had a lot of trepidation at the beginning but I was very comfortable with my decision now.
"I can't trust my girls, so I need someone trustworthy to pick my nursing home in the future," I said as I laughed.
I told her that Jake was joining us the next day and that both of them were enrolled in Golf School. She told me she had enrolled Melissa in the same school.
"I hope Sean can pay attention to the golf instruction," I said as I smiled and looked over at the two of them.
I overheard Sean and Melissa talking about iPods when I got up to get a drink for Anne and me. Melissa pulled hers out to show Sean. I heard Sean tell her that his was packed in his luggage which was in the hold and that he couldn't show it to her. I almost said something, as I knew that his iPod was in his carry-on, but then I remembered that Teddy was in there.
When I sat down again, I asked Anne if she was going to the club for dinner that night and she said yes. I told her I would book a table for the 4 of us if she wanted and she thought that was a great idea.
We arrived at noon Florida time. The Flight attendant got the luggage packed onto a cart and we made our way into the terminal to go through customs.
"I guess you didn't want to introduce Melissa to Teddy?" I said to Sean as I smiled.
He scowled at me as he was afraid that Melissa had overheard me. I told him that we were going to have dinner with Anne and Melissa that night and his mood changed quickly.
"See, I told you Melissa wouldn't bite. You were really turning on the charm, young fellow," I said.
He laughed and said "So were you. You really get around, don't you, Pop."
I told him not to be so cheeky as I laughed.
We had a bit of a hold-up at customs, as we got a young overly officious customs guard. He wasn't familiar with some of the documentation from CAS and was giving us the third degree. I finally asked for his supervisor and we were cleared. The limo driver that was picking us up was a little worried when we came out of the terminal 20 minutes late.
We arrived at the house about 30 minutes later. I paid the limo driver and gave him a good tip after he had carried our baggage into the foyer of the house.
The house was a 3000 square foot bungalow with a double car garage and pool with a Lanai. Sean was impressed when he walked into the great room which was open to a very large kitchen. I took my luggage to the master bedroom and I let Sean pick from the 3 remaining bedrooms. We had talked beforehand about Jake and him having their own rooms and maybe one night sleeping together if they wanted.
After we got unpacked he joined me in the Lanai to see the pool. I turned on the pool heater as it was a little cool for swimming.
"I guess we need to go shopping first to get you a swimsuit and some summer clothing, before we have a swim," I said
"How are we going to get there?" He asked.
I took him to the garage and showed him the golf cart and the Jet Black BMW M3 that were parked there. I had purchased the car, so that no one in the family that used the house had to rent. However, I certainly didn't need a 414 hp car, or the speeding ticket that I had already got in the last year. Cars were my weakness and one of the extravagances that I spent a lot of money on. The golf cart was also for the same convenience going back and forth to the club and when I played.
"Fasten your seat belt, young fellow," I said as I laughed as we got in the car.
I decided I would be good and kept to the speed limit most of the way, so as not to set a bad example for Sean. However, for a short stretch when we hit the Interstate, I couldn't resist the temptation and had the car up to 90 miles per hour. Sean thought that was cool.
"How fast does the car go?" he asked.
"Fast enough to break the sound barrier," I said as I laughed.
We went to the mall nearby and got Sean a bunch of summer tops, shorts and some sandals, as well as a couple of long-legged baggy swimsuits that most of the young guys wore. I also duplicated everything in Jake's size. I didn't want Jake to feel conspicuous, as I had a feeling that his clothing would likely make him feel self-conscious in the settings he would be in this week.
"Jake's going to feel really cool, Pop. Thanks," Sean said as he smiled at me.
We also went shopping at the grocery store for the few meals we would have at the house. I also picked up some wine and beer, in case guests dropped over.
On the way back we stopped at a big box mall and popped into Best Buy to pick up a Playstation controller to play the games Sean brought down. Before we left, Sean wanted to go into Walmart, but he didn't tell me what he wanted.
He was a little evasive about what he was looking for and wanted to look by himself. I remembered what Phil had said about giving him space, so I let him shop by himself while I waited by the cash for him.
He was so quick, that I didn't see him go through the checkout, so I could see what he bought. He just had a small bag.
"So what did you buy that was so secretive?" I said as I smiled at him.
I could see that he didn't want to tell me, so I just dropped it.
When we got back to the house, the pool was warm enough and the two of us changed to go swimming. I jumped in and expected Sean to jump in after me. When I came up from under the water, he was standing in the shallow end with the water about waist high.
"Do I have to splash you, or are you coming in?" I said as I smiled.
I could tell by his body language that there was a problem.
"I can't swim," He said as he dropped his gaze.
I told him that the pool was a Leisure pool and was 5 1/2 feet in the deep end and that he wouldn't drown. I then spent the next 1/2 hour giving him a swimming lesson and by the time we were finished he was much more confident.
We spent the rest of the afternoon playing in the water with a Frisbee and me tossing him from my shoulders. I hadn't done this in years and it brought back fond memories of me playing with my girls when they were younger, as we had a pool at the house that they grew up in.
By now it was almost time to get ready for Dinner. We dried off and went to the kitchen to have a snack before we went to get changed.
Sean got out his iPod and plugged it into the Bose iPod dock, so we would have some music while we ate. I use the term music loosely, as I wasn't sure I would classify the Black Eyed Peas as music. I also wasn't a big Country and Western fan, however, I did like Shania Twain.
After about 20 minutes of listening to his music, I decided to get my iPod and plug it in.
"Let me play you some real music, young fellow," I said as the first song started.
After the first verse he said, "I don't think I've ever heard that song. Who is that?"
"I'm not surprised, as that was recorded in 1969. It's 'Hearbreaker' by Led Zeppelin," I said.
After that had finished, I followed that one with another song I knew he hadn't heard.
"I don't know that one either," he said.
This one is by a very famous Canadian Rock star from Vancouver. It's 'Run To You' by Bryan Adams.
By now he was seeing a different side of me he hadn't seen before. All I had been listening to at home was Jazz and classical music, so he didn't realize that I loved Rock music as well. There were many things that neither of us knew about each other and as time passed we would learn what made each other tick.
"See, I'm not such a stuffed shirt as you think. Some day I'll have to tell you about my days playing in a rock band," I said as I smiled.
He wanted to more about the band, but it was time to get dressed and ready for dinner at the club.
I was almost dressed and Sean called from his room for me to show him how to tie his necktie. When I walked in I was hit by a cloud of fragrance.
"Whew, so that's what you bought at Walmart," I said as I held my nose. "What is that Sean?"
"It's Axe," he said with a smile.
"Did you bathe in it?" I asked as I laughed.
He gave me a look and said "Just show me how to tie this, Pop..... please!"
When he was finished dressing, I couldn't believe how grown up he looked in his blue pinstripe Hugo Boss suit with the white shirt and yellow tie with blue stripes. He looked so handsome as the suit accentuated his sandy blond hair, blue eyes and pale complexion. The topper was the deep burgundy Bass Weejun penny loafer shoes that completed the sophisticated look. He was so proud as he looked at himself in front of the mirror, and so was I. It was a far cry from the kid I found outside the rink a few weeks ago.
When we arrived in the lobby of the Club outside the dining room, I could tell that Sean was a little anxious as he was a couple of steps behind me.
"Are you a little overwhelmed?" I asked.
"I've never been in a place like this before," he said as he looked around the lobby in awe.
"Well you look like you fit in. Just relax and you'll be fine," I said as reassuringly as I could.
When we sat down he looked at the menu and he asked me to explain some of the dishes to him. We ordered drinks; a Pellegrino sparkling water for Sean and a Wolf Blass Cabernet Sauvignon for me. I ordered a Bruschetta bread appetizer for the two of us and held off on our main course order, as Anne and Melissa hadn't arrived yet.
"I think something's still bothering you isn't there?" I said after our drinks arrived.
"I don't know how to act and stuff," he said.
I told him how to manage the cutlery and how the various courses would be served. I told him it was like any other restaurant, just a little fancier. He seemed to relax somewhat, but I knew that there was more bothering him.
"So there's something else isn't there?" I asked.
"I don't know what to say or anything to Melissa," he said.
I told him to talk about the things they talked about on the flight. I reminded him that they were at ease with each other in the plane, and that nothing would have changed in the meantime.
"Besides it won't matter what you say. She'll be hypnotized by your cologne and she'll be eating out of your hand," I said as I laughed.
He laughed and finally relaxed.
When Anne and Melissa arrived, Melissa sat next to Sean and Anne next to me.
"Aren't you the handsome young man in that suit," Anne said to Sean.
"And you're a beautiful young lady," I said to Melissa.
Both of them had big smiles on their faces as they looked at us and then each other.
We ordered our meals and had a leisurely Dinner, as we all had a great time chatting and eating the great food. Both Melissa and Sean seemed taken with each other. They were very comfortable in each other's company, which gave Anne and me a chance to talk. I knew if we gave it half a chance that there would be something there other than companionship, but I just wasn't ready at this point to let that happen, especially now that I would soon have the responsibility of raising Sean.
After our dessert, Melissa suggested she take Sean on a tour of the rest of the clubhouse as Melissa had been there a few times in the past. Anne and I finished our tea and chatted. After about a half an hour I thought that I saw the two of them out on the terrace and I told Anne that I would go round them up as we were getting ready to leave.
As I walked through the door to the terrace I stopped as I saw the two of them in an awkward embrace, kissing. I was so surprised and shocked to see the two of them that I didn't know what to think. It was a touching scene and I was glad I was able to witness it. It didn't last long and I ducked back through the doorway when I saw them breaking the embrace and walk toward the door to come back into the Dining Room.
When I got back to the table I told Anne that they were on their way. She knew something had happened by the big smile I had on my face. I told her it was a private moment when she pressed me as to what I had observed. She smiled as she understood and we left it at that.
When we finally got back to the house it was about 9:30 and the two of us got ready for bed, as it was going to be an early morning for both of us. Golf School started at 8:30 and my tee time was for 9:09.
"I guess you have a lot to tell Teddy tonight," I said as I sat on the side of his bed.
"Yeah," he said as he had a very satisfied glow about him.
It was on the tip of my tongue to say something about what I witnessed on the terrace, as I was sure that that was his first kiss. However, I decided that it was something that should remain his private business.
"What?" he asked as I looked at him with a big smile.
"Nothing," I said as I leaned down and kissed his forehead and tousled his hair.
He gave me a big smile, as I knew he realized why I was smiling at him.
I tucked him in and said goodnight. As I left his room, I smiled to myself, as I realized that my young boy was becoming a man.