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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.
My boy took a seat after being called into the living room. I asked, Renee, care for something to drink?"
"Thank you, coffee sounds great."
I left them to talk alone while I made some brew for her and retrieved a can of Sprite for my little one from the fridge.
"Here we go, Son, I figured you might like this."
"Thanks, Daddy! How did you know this soda was my fav?"
"Miss Carol told me! Miss Elliot, would you prefer to chat with my little one alone?"
"With Dylian's permission, I wish to speak one-on-one with him, then, we shall all get together. Young man, are you comfortable with this?"
"Yeah, I guess."
I left for my study to check emails and keep occupied while they conferred. I knew this was not going to be easy for my youngest, I prayed he could keep from crying.
"Do you think I am crazy?"
"Oh no, dear boy, not at all! Never say that! Your father asked me to speak with you, to teach you how to deal with stress. Now, please tell me what upsets you."
"You mean everything that's bothering me? Gee, it is going to take forever! Let me see, I worry I cost my new Daddy too much money, even though he says I don't. I am concerned about the project and playing the music for it. My brother's health and his boyfriend's cause me lots of worries, while I agonize over my friends. What others think, bothers me, and always messing up depresses me!"
"Wow Dylian, you are a worry wart! I am kidding! Everyone frets over matters important to them. All the things you listed, except for two, I consider legitimate. Now, I am sure other items bug you which may be of lesser importance. But, we will get to them later. I want you to tell me about the project you mentioned, and, specifically, your role in it!
"It's named after me. You see, I ran away from my old foster father who kept hitting me. Daddy found me. Afterwards, when I returned to my old school, people wanted to know what happened. Well, my brother told me to use what we went through to help others. So, I asked Mr. Dorn, my principal, whether I might talk to everyone. He agreed, setting up an assembly at which I told my story. It resulted in twenty-one kids coming forward to report being abused. As a result, they received help. Now, I need to repeat it so they can film it and show the video elsewhere to encourage others to step out."
"Wow, how impressive! But what about the music you talked about?"
"You see, the High School Chamber Strings, which is the top rated group in the state, shall record the sound track for the presentation, and I get to perform with them, because I successfully challenged the First Chair."
"You must be very good. I take it you are a cellist? Your instrument, standing behind you looks very impressive!"
"Thanks! She is Gadda, my pride. Daddy bought me two, when he found out my foster destroyed the old one! She cost a ton of money, but he got her anyway and then a second, a Stringline, to practice on at school."
"I hope to hear you in action one day! Now, Sweetie, we need to work on stress management. Please imagine the most important individual in your life."
She waited a few moments,
"Have you an image? If so, conjure the person hungry, dirty and homeless! Can you?"
"No! I refuse to picture anybody in distress!"
"Good, which is what I want you to consider every time you find yourself feeling bad or pressured. Without your good deed, many children might now be injured or dead. Everyone suffers whenever human beings refuse to act! Next, describe the consequences of declining to perform."
"Well, I would disappoint them!"
"My daddy and brother!"
"Is it your opinion not acting might upset them? Why participate in The Dylian Project?"
"To help other kids! No one should experience what we had with our foster!"
"Very good Dylian, so why should anyone care whether or not you spurn making the music?"
"But, I want to! I can't wait to play with the Chamber Strings! It was always my dream, to perform with them! Now, I will, but suppose I screw up?"
"Was it what happened when you challenged for first chair?"
"Then, why worry?"
"So, I won't fail and let Si and Daddy down!"
"What might your brother say?"
"'Dylian, you are so good, quit worrying, enjoy life! I try, but it's hard."
"Okay, let's find a way for you to enjoy life! Would your father agree with him?"
"Yeah, I suppose."
"Good, because I think he would. Now, how about costing your dad too much, how do we resolve the problem?"
"Easy, not let him spend any more on me!"
"Do you believe it possible? What about clothes, food, housing, among other items!"
"No, I didn't mean those things, but rather extras such as the computer and two cellos. He shouldn't have bought both, one was more than enough. Sure, I love Gadda, however she wasn't necessary. In addition, he purchased a new truck to transport it. I told him if I played well enough to earn cash, I could help with the bills or repay him. He said he would never accept a cent from me. However, should he lose his fortune, he may blame me, then return me to Child Services!"
"I understand your father presented you with a large stipend to use at your discretion, so, was he upset when you gave it away?"
"No, he said I made him proud."
"But, you're still not convinced, right?"
Arising, Renee came to my study, where I sat reading emails. Gently calling me, I looked at her, she waved me out to the living room, while stating
"Please call me, Drew!"
"Very well, Sir, your son remains fixated over spending too much of your reserves. I seldom recommend the following solution, however, your child is a special case. You did a wonderful job showing him the value of your fortune, but he still frets. I suggest you discuss your finances with him. Let him know where you stand with your holdings, and what funds you have. The boy understands you are wealthy, however what troubles the nine-year-old are all the extras you spend on him. Over time, this created a growing burden for him. Your son suffers from an overabundance of empathy and concern for others!"
"If you think it might help I am happy to comply. I gladly attempt anything for my darling."
"Good, start after I leave. Revealing such information in my presence makes me uneasy. Lastly, I wanted to talk with you, Dylian, about causing the governor work. Fixing problems such as the CPS is a major component of his responsibilities. What you accomplished by bringing this situation to his attention helps every person in this state, understand?"
"Yeah, Daddy said I shouldn't feel bad about making Uncle Tom do his duty. He said it's about time!"
We adults burst out laughing at his reply.
"So, young man, take my card with my phone numbers on it. Please call me anytime you feel anxious. Together, we shall control the situation, before it becomes a problem."
"Son, I will program her numbers into your cell so you have them at hand, alright?"
"Great, thanks! And, you, Miss Renee, for visiting. I feel a lot better now." my child answered, rising to hug her.
"Good, I am glad I could help. Remember to call me if you need anything. Drew, I plan sending the bill to my cousin, so you shouldn't fret!"
Again, the two of us laughed, but my nine-year-old remained clueless as to why. After a few moments of small talk, the lady departed. I made my little one a snack then sat with him while he ate it.
"Okay, my Little Prince, the Miss Renee suggested we discuss my finances."
"What does that word mean?"
"It refers to my worth, property, money, stocks, bonds.... In other words, it comprises my wealth, everything I own, my companies, buildings, homes, planes, cars, and all my material acquisitions. Before I tell you about them, I want to mention how they came to be mine. Are you prepared to listen?"
"My grandfather started with a small shipping company transporting logs across the Great Lakes. At the time of his death, he employed thirty loggers. My father inherited it, adding long haulers along the way. So, until the late nineteen sixties he owned ships as well as trucks. At the end of the decade, he sold off all the vessels. He invested the money in new vehicles. By the time my old man died I established my own company which I developed into a successful enterprise. I became a multimillionaire in my own right. He left me his businesses in addition to his other assets. It upset me, because he snubbed my sister, Kari, who received nothing. When my sibling died in child birth, I insured my niece would always be taken care of. I shared my inheritance with her, dividing the cash while I kept the companies and lands. I set up a trust of nearly three hundred million dollars for little Lisa."
I saw my cellist's eyes grow huge at the mention of the amount. His reaction sounded an alarm which led me to say the follow,
"Son, I mention this to alleviate your stress concerning money, nevertheless you must keep this knowledge a secret."
"Good, well, by the time my father died, I established DJ Enterprises, which grew rapidly. Today, it's worth around seven hundred million. AT Trucking is equally successful, evaluated at over four hundred million. Thomas Consulting Corp thrives with assets of one hundred ninety-five million. I am the sole owner of all three. In addition, there are the land, the country house, the office building, the hangers, and one hundred acres in Door County, Wisconsin. There is no cabin or house on the parcel, I dreamed of building one however never have. Now, none of this includes my cars, planes, or private helicopters however no yachts, ships or boats. Although I toyed with the idea, I never found the time to enjoy one. In addition, I possess significant amounts of cash."
My boy sat staring at me with huge eyes. I wasn't sure he understand what I said.
"You and your brothers are very wealthy in your own right. Darling, do you know what a trust fund is?"
"Kind of, it's where you own money, which you can't use until you get older!"
"Yes! Well, each of you has an amount of seventy-five million, accessible if something occurs to me, or when you reach the age of twenty-one. Now, suppose I become incapacitated all my assets would be split equally among you three, Bradley, Simon, and yourself. Miles will remain in control until you reach the age of twenty-one."
I watched him absorb the last statement. I became concerned I overloaded his brain.
"But, nothing is going to happen to you, right? Please don't die!" my baby pleaded with tears running down his rosy cheeks
"No, my Little Prince, nothing bad shall occur! I plan doing everything within my power to protect you, your siblings, as well as myself."
"That makes you a billionaire, right?"
"Yes, Son, I am. So, quit worrying about my money, okay?"
"Yeah, however since you bought the new truck can you sell the old one, which you found me in?"
"Hell no! It is one of my favorite vehicles, a 1980 Ford Bronco, which was restored in two thousand to mint condition! I love it! It reminds me of when I found my little progeny who helped me start living a real life!"
"Okay, but it looks old!"
I hugged my compact treasure until he fell asleep. Taking him to Donnie's room, I laid him down on the bed then pulled the covers up around his chest. I kissed him, before leaving his door open a crack then retired for the night.
Nodding off, I dwelled upon how much my life improved since my three sons entered it.
Thanks for your support! Thanks for being the best editor, Brauch!
Please remember that kids are our future. It's time to protect them.
No Child Should Have To Sleep On The Street Tonight!