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This story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously and any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental.
This story is copyrighted by Darrin Thomas, all rights reserved. Distribution, including but not limited to: posting on internet sites, newsgroups, or message boards, or in book form (either as a whole or part of a compilation), or on CD, DVD or any other electronic media, is expressly prohibited without the author's written consent.
"If you think so Simon! Dr. Powers, let's do this thing ASAP! Bruce,... I need you to go by and get Dylian first thing in the morning and bring him here! His day at school is going to have to wait!"
I was starting to make arrangements to get things done, then my older boy started clapping.
"No Dad! Let Dylian go have his day at school! He needs it! He is a nine year old and shouldn't have to deal with this crap! I want him happy and laughing. No matter what happens to me that is my wish! He must have the carefree life he has never known!"
"Okay, son. I won't stop him from going to school tomorrow. Bruce, make sure I have Thorn's phone numbers so that I can get a hold of my younger child if it becomes necessary!"
"I will, Boss."
"Simon... You must try to get a good nights rest, so I am going to have the duty nurse give you a sleeping aid. She should be here in just a little while. And, I will see you in the morning. Goodnight." added Dr. Powers.
"Goodbye, Sir!" I said, as he was leaving.
"Thanks Doctor for everything!"
"Bruce, would you do me a favor? Please relay a message to Dylian!"
My friend was intrigued, as he nodded.
"Ask him to use our experiences to support another child! Remind him that there might be other kids in his school that are going through what we experienced. Now we know there are good people out there that WILL help if we let them! Maybe he can assist another guy like Dad has done for the two of us!" Simon said via his computer.
"Sure Simon! It would be my honor to pass on that message to him and help your brother accomplish that goal."
"We are going to head home to our herd now. I will check in with you in early tomorrow, Boss."
"Simon, I want you to know that I am so very proud of you! I will be here in the morning, is there anything you desire?" Nancy asked.
"No, thank you. That's okay. There isn't much I can do anyway."
I could tell he did want something.
"What do you need? Would you like some music? A movie to listen to? Something special to eat? You must tell me, or I can't get it!"
"Maybe you could find the 'Order of the Phoenix'? But, if you did someone would have to read it to me!"
"Well, perhaps not! How about I get you a copy on audio book! That way you would be able to listen without anyone being here! You could play it right through your computer! I will get you a set of head phones as well! Sound good to you?!"
"Yeah!... That would be awesome! Thanks so much, Aunt Nancy! I had just started the story when all this happened. I didn't know if I would ever get to finish it! Are there lots of books on CD?"
"Yes, there are! The public library has hundreds, and other places exist that cater to the needs of the blind! I take it you like to read?"
"Oh yes Ma'am!... I always did. This is really kewl! I was afraid that I was going to have to give up my books. But, maybe, now, I won't need to!"
My son seemed really excited about this idea.
Nancy leaned over and gave my boy a kiss on his cheek.
"Goodnight Sweetie, I will see you in the morning!"
"Good bye Aunt Nancy! Thanks Uncle Bruce for rescuing me!"
"You are very welcome! Sleep well, Son!"
Nancy and her husband left.
"Drew!... I think you should go home and get some shut eye as well! Maybe take a shower and, perhaps, change your clothes!" Tom suggested.
"Yeah Dad! They are going to give me a sleeping pill. You should get some winks, too. I heard that you didn't get any last night. I don't want something bad to happen to you!"
"All right!... As soon as you get your medicine I will head home. Tom, do you need a ride, or is an escort waiting?"
There was a soft knock at the door. The governor went over to opened it: Two large men stood there in black suits. I knew they weren't with my company.
"May I help you, Gentleman?!" I asked getting up to move between Simon and them.
"Sir!... My name is Paul Franklyn, Special Agent Secret Service assigned to protect one Simon Thomas. This is my shift partner, Agent Dan Flanery. We have been conscripted to protect the boy until a permanent detail can be arranged." the one on the right told us.
"Wait!... One moment! Who assigned you?! I am the Governor of this State, and I sure as hell didn't call for a security detail!"
Tom appeared visibly upset.
"Well!... Mr. Governor! All I can tell you is our orders. And, as you know, we have no choice but to follow them! I figure it is someone high up the ladder, because it is very rare to get a new assignment when those involved do not know about us! It is also unusual to be deployed to a civilian child!" Agent Flanery answered for the pair.
"I am calling Bruce!"
I retrieved my cell phone and punched in his code.
"Do you know anything about a Secret Service detail assigned to Simon?!"
"No, Sir!, but let me ring up Thorn. I bet he does!"
My man hung up, and I waited for him to call back. Things were a little uneasy in the room. My eldest looked a little worried about what was going on. I gently took his hand and gave it a squeeze. It didn't take long for me to get a reply.
"Drew!... Bruce here. Yes, Thorn called in a few favors to help us out until things die down. I don't know for sure who or what that involved: He just laughed when I asked. But, these guys are for real, and they have Federal backing! No one is going to get past them!... Also, Boss, I received a call from Admiral Grotenhouse. It turns out that his grandnephew was one of the kids 'misplaced' by CPS. The Admiral now has him but wanted to pass on his thanks. And, he told me that the hospital will have SP (shore patrol) guarding each exit until your son is released. This thing is going all the way up the chain of command to the top my friend! And "Our Simon" is being treated like a hero!"
"Wow! Thank you, Old Buddy. Keep me posted on everyone involved with this!"
"All right, agents. While I am not saying to you that I am all that thrilled with this arrangement, I was just told by my head of security that I must accept your aid! He also informed me that the hospital is being guarded by SP officers at each exit! Now, I will introduce you to my son!"
"Sir, may I say it is an honor to meet you, and it will be a privilege to be your security detail!" Agent Franklyn said.
"Simon, I agree totally with my partner. We will be right outside your room all night. If you need anything, all you have to do is call us. No one will bother you!" Agent Flanery added.
"Do you guys have guns?!"
"Yes, Simon we all must carry weapons. But, don't worry. We don't show them off. I have been with the Secret Service for six years now, and not once have I ever needed to fire my weapon in the line of duty! We use other methods to protect our charges!" the same agent answered.
"Good!... I don't like guns! They make me real nervous!"
The men left the room to take their positions.
"Drew, Simon it appears you are settled for the night, so I am going to head home. I will check in tomorrow to see how things continue to progress. I have that fly by tomorrow, are the birds going to be airborne?"
"Yes, Tom, I reactivated them right after I called you! There is no need to loose inordinate sums of money with the birds sitting on the ground!"
My friend went over to his nephew, bent down and gave him a kiss on his forehead.
"Goodnight Son! Remember you are loved very much!"
"Thanks, Uncle Tom! And, please give Lisa a kiss for me! Sleep well!"
"Pleasant dreams, Bro! And, many thanks for all that you have done for us today!"
I gave him a big hug.
"Goodnight guys!" the governor said, as he headed out of the room.
About that time the nurse came in to give my boy his medicine.
"Okay, Dad! I have taken my sleeping pill. You promised me that you would leave and get some much needed rest! I have two guards outside my room, so I will be fine. GO TO BED!"
"I thought that I would go home, shower, change clothes and, then, come back. There is a second bed in here: I really don't want to sleep at home alone! I would rest better if I could stay here with you!."
I really wanted to be with my son. I was worried that now having two minors to care for, bad things might happen, and I would loose my newly established family!
"Okay!... I guess I won't yell at you for that! I will most likely be asleep when you get back anyway. I really do love you!"
"Like wise, my son! I love you too! I will return shortly."
After kissing Simon on the forehead and hugging him, I went to retrieve my Bentley. I saw an unbelievable scene upon reaching the emergency room exit where I had parked it! There were press and cameras everywhere! The SP held them at bay. One of the guards spotted me standing there and asked,
"Sir, may I help you?"
"I was going to go to my car, but I think I might need to find a different way out."
"Are you Mr. Drew Thomas?"
"Yes." I answered blankly just wondering about how I would leave the hospital.
"Please give me your keys, Sir, and tell me where your vehicle is located. I will bring it to the service entrance. In the meantime, Seaman Peters will take you there."
"That would be great! Thank you! I am going home to care of necessary business and, then, return to spend the night. Is there someone who can meet me at the ingress to park my vehicle when I come back?"
"Yes Sir! There will be a guard waiting at that station upon your arrival. He will secure your transportation until you require it. We are under orders to shield you from the press and to insure the complete privacy and safety of all of your party. Sir, my name is Petty Officer First Class Emory, and I am in charge of this detail. If there is anything you need please let me know. Here is my issued cell phone number."
He handed me a card.
"Thank you! Here are my keys! The auto you are looking for is a platinum colored 2007 Bentley Continental GT. It's parked in the second row, I think."
"Awesome machine!... I figured you had a nice set of wheels, but WOW! Are you sure you want a stranger driving it?" The young man asked looking nervous.
"What is your first name?"
"Well, my friend!... I am going to tell you something, and I want you to listen real carefully! Is that clear?!"
"Yes, Mr. Thomas!"
"It's only a means of transportation. Vehicles are replaceable, but people aren't! If I ever put a material item above a person, then I don't deserve to have nice things! Does that make sense to you?"
"Sir!... I never looked at it that way! Thank you!"
Heading out the door to retrieve my car the officer stopped by a youthful looking guard. He told him what to do.
"Mr. Thomas, Please follow me!" Seaman Peters politely stated leading the way to the service entrance where Petty Officer Emory was expected to deliver my Bentley.
We had to wait a few minutes wait before I heard my "Pride and Joy" approaching.
"Wow Sir!... What a beauty!"
"There you go! I am indebted to you for letting me drive it! It is an awesome piece of machinery, Mr. Thomas!"
"Thank you Emory! I will be back within an hour."
After entering my baby, I drove off: Of all my "Babies" this is one of my favorites. I don't smoke, I don't drink, and I don't gamble. However, I do have is an enormous obsession for anything with an engine and body having four or more wheels: Trucks, cars, RVs, old, new, classics, sports, and "everyday drivers"! It really doesn't matter what it is: I love them all! I have tried not to let my addiction of the automobile overtake my life. It has been hard, but so far I have been able to keep my lust under control.
Arriving at my condo I showered leisurely, dressed and packed a bag. I made sure I had a change of clothes and my phone charger, also grabbing my PDA and laptop so that I could get some work done. Hurrying out of the condo I descended into the parking garage. I tried to decide which vehicle I should take. With all the press coverage I determined we needed something that could protect us. Hence, I chose my "little" truck. After entering it, I returned to the hospital's loading docks.
"I am sorry, Sir, this is a restricted area!." A young seaman stated, as he and another SP officer stopped me from accessing the service area.
"My name is Drew Thomas. I was told to come into the hospital through here."
I handed him my ID.
"Oh!... I am sorry! We were instructed to look for a Bentley. Not this monster! Nice wheels, Sir! If you will continue driving straight ahead Seaman Peters is waiting for you, Mr. Thomas!"
Restarting my vehicle I went down the ramp. The waiting guard's face was priceless when he observed my truck!
"WOW! That is some kewl machine, Mr. Thomas!"
"Thank you! It's a 2005 International CXT! The largest production pickup ever made! This is my little 'powerhouse'."
I laughed, continuing:
"Petty Officer Emory mentioned me that you would take it around front and park my 'little truck'!"
"Yes Sir! That is affirmative!"
"Think you!... Can handle this monster?!"
"Mr. Thomas, I have my CDL! My dad is a trucker and drives for AT Trucking. He has been with them for over twenty five years! I plan on going independent when I complete my service!"
"Your father must be Calvin Peters!"
"Yes Sir!... He is!... Do you know my father?"
He looked confused.
"Yes! Indeed!... I do! AT Trucking was one of Dad's companies, that I inherited. It stands for 'Alfred Thomas Trucking'. I gave your "old man" his five million mile award last year! He is a great guy! I will let him know that you were helpful!."
Leaving the young man I headed up to my son's room. As I entered, my boy was turned on his side facing away from the door. I thought I heard him sniffle, but I wasn't sure. I didn't turn on the light, but I put my bags down by the bathroom door ensuring they were out of the way.
"Son!... Are you awake?!"
Simon rolled onto his back and started to snake up the bed. I handed him his computer, and he started typing.
"I can't get to sleep! Dad! They are going to drill a hole in my head tomorrow! Why did I say they could do this?! Is it too late to change my mind? I don't care being blind: I really don't! My head doesn't hurt or nothing!"
Simon cried while typing.
"Oh, son! Scoot over!"
I sat down next to him.
"Look! I won't force you into having this operation! But, I would be lying if I claimed that I don't want you to do this, because that's not true!. You need your sight back! We all wish you to be happy and live a great life. But, not if the surgery makes you so nervous! Maybe it would be a good idea that we postpone it until after our talk with Dr. Powers tomorrow morning. Then, we will be better informed. Simon, I will respect your decision whatever you decide!"
I held my son tightly.
"Thanks Dad! I don't want to be looked at like a chicken! I have a chance to get to see again in one eye! I should go for it! BUT DAMN: A DRILL!"
He kind of laughed.
"I am sorry Dad: I am just plain scared! I have to go through with this! I know I don't have a choice!"
"Yes!... You do Simon! And it's all right that you are skittish: Hell! I know I am! Son, there is nothing wrong with being afraid! The important thing is to meet your anxiety straight on! It is fine to cry if you are fearful! I will stand behind you no matter what you decide! Simon, I love you, and I only want you to be happy! If that means that you don't have this surgery, then so be it!"
I hugged him to me.
"Now, why don't we get some sleep and see what comes in the morning!"
"Okay, Dad! Thanks for being here for me! I just got scared when I thought I was alone! I love you!" .
"My son, you mean everything to me! Now, get some shut eye!"
"Good night, Father!"
"Sleep tight, Son!"
We both laid down and went to sleep.
Thank you for all the feedback. I can't get over how many people like my narrative. I hadn't planned on it going this far. But you all keep encouraging me to continue writing this story! And, that is what I am going to do, as long as there is a demand for it. I also want to thank my Editor! You are a friend and a great editor! Thanks for your support!
Please remember that kids are our future. It's time to protect them.
No Child Should Have To Sleep On The Street Tonight!