Recovered: An Unlikely Friendship
by Hunter Woods
Chapter 20: A Special Song
Entering the room I looked around spotting Boxey with a boy sitting on the ground and the dog licking his face while he giggled and hugged the dog tightly to him. It always amazed me how calm Boxey was when others hugged him because most dogs tended to squirm around. There was a man and a woman close by along with the security guard who had relaxed and was looking on glancing towards me for a second before making his way back out the door realizing the dog belonged to me.
It took a couple of seconds, but it finally clicked that this was Andrew Casto, the pianist who was performing this concert. It didn't help matters that he had tossed aside his grey suit jacket along with his orange shirt and tie leaving him in his grey pants and completely naked from the waist up except the towel draped around his neck. I suppose he had gotten hot so chucked his shirt to cool down, but it was a stunning sight to see him there half naked.
That wasn't the only thing which caught my attention because Boxey had his left front paw in the boy's crotch. The pants were already snuggled up tightly between the nine year old boy's legs, but the added weight of the dog's foot only emphasized a nice shaped outline from the two rounded mounds of his testicles along with what appeared to be about a two inch sized penis. I could tell he had most definitely popped a boner which seemed to indicate he had about an average sized penis for his age. The only oddity appeared to be with his knob which seemed kind of thick and round if the outline in his pants was any indication. It really didn't matter because the near nakedness of his body, plus the outline of his boy package, had my own disco stick inside of my shorts doing some fancy dance moves as well with me having to do some tactful shifting to get it positioned more properly in a comfortable manner where it wasn't so obvious.
The boy was sitting on his butt with his legs stretched out in front of him leaning over creating a couple of creases in his stomach forming some tire like rolls. He wasn't fat or anything, far from it having a modest build for a boy his age. He wasn't necessarily tiny, but seemed on the small side. The boy managed to shove Boxey out of the way scratching him behind the ears.
"You are such a good boy Boxey…yes you are." The boy giggled crooning in the same tone like you would with a little baby while getting up to his feet and pretending to brush himself off so he could adjust his boner discreetly, but it most definitely didn't go unobserved by me along with the rest of his gorgeous features.
Now that he was standing up he looked to be about the same height as Zak, maybe an inch taller coming in at around four feet two inches and sixty pounds. He had a modest thin build with small shoulders, slender arms, and willowy legs and when he moved it was with a lithe, agile, and graceful manner. Something about the way he moved sort of seemed familiar to me. Even his hands had the same nimble sprightly quality of his small stature tickling at my memory for some reason.
He noticed me staring while also seeing the confused look on my face because he had known Boxey's name. "You don't remember me do you?" He smiled while I shook my head completely baffled attempting to recall something, but also trying not to giggle when the smaller boy reached down between his legs and pinched the large crown of his knob clearly outlined and pressing against the silky fabric of his pants in a way that was somehow familiar too as I looked at him noticing the cute haircut style.
He had short brown hair cropped above the ears which managed to look both styled yet also a bit wild. It was a short layered haircut with the sides being wedge-cut over the ears and the sides. The back was tapered only slightly, keeping to short possibly-clipper-cut length. The top and crown were only slightly longer, and the entire head was textured using a point-cutting technique. With the crown in front a little longer he had styled it with a slight little flip that stuck out a tad in front. The angles of the points were steep and helped to remove bulk along with adding definition to the locks in the styled fashion he was currently sporting. I had to admit he was stylish yet had that cute little boy look.
Something about him was just at the tip of my memory when the rest of our group finally entered the room with Zak sidling right up in front of me putting his left hand into mine, and leaning his weight backward into me. I instinctively draped my right arm around his right shoulder rubbing his chest affectionately while he continued to hold on to my left hand. The other boy seemed to notice and smiled at the warm tenderness I displayed so openly towards the other boy while once more tugging on his little hard boy pecker quickly before crossing his wrists in front of his package in the way many boys tend to do when coverings themselves up tactfully.
"Hello," the boy greeted warmly with everyone sort of standing around a bit stunned at being in the famous boy's change room. He wasn't really like hugely famous, but we all knew he was well on his way so in our eyes he was already a star. "You still don't remember do you?" He asked focusing his attention back towards me with Boxey nudging the boy's hand making him laugh and once more kneel down to scratch his ears while he glanced up into my face and I stared back down at his adorably sweet features.
He had a triangular shaped face with a wide forehead and cheekbones that were well defined; especially, when he smiled which was almost all the time from what I could tell, and a pointed chin giving him an almost long like facial look. Despite this, on him it simply looked cute. Perhaps this was due to his perfectly proportioned almond shaped hazel brown colored eyes. They had a slight downward turn on the outer edges which seemed to balance things out along with his brown colored straight eyebrows matching the tint of his stylish hair. His straight smile with a thin upper lip and deep concave curved lower lip was always at the ready giving the boy a type of cheerful quality that was infectious. When he smiled his bright white teeth sparkled despite his two upper canines' and lower right canine being gone creating small gaps which looked adorably cute on him. Even his small button like nose with a slight widening and just a light dusting of freckles along the bridge, which were barely visible, helped finish off the balanced appearance of his elongated shaped face.
Then it suddenly dawned on me. "No way…it can't be." I began to laugh with the boy standing up, and extending his hand by way of greeting.
"Yup…it's me. By the way I don't think we even introduced ourselves back then." The boy chuckled with me taking his hand and giving it a firm shake. "I know you already know my name now, but please call me Andi…spelled with an 'i' at the end. I hate Andrew, and this is my mom and dad Harvey and Betty." He pointed out glancing at his parents who rolled their eyes making me smile because I knew where the boy was coming from.
"Hi Andi, I'm Sam Burke, it's Samuel actually, but I hate it. This here little guy in front of me is Zackary Kandoussi, but he prefers Zak. This is Harriet and Walt Weiler who I refer to as Aunt Harriet and Uncle Walt even though they really aren't related, but they are close friends of the family so are more like relatives to me." I introduced everyone with Andi pausing for a few moments longer when he shook Zak's hands.
"I like your style. Orange is my favorite color." The young pianist blushed at the admission.
"Way cool…um…I don't understand though…how do you know Sam?" Zak asked not one who was shy around other people getting right to the point.
"Oh…we met right before Christmas in all places a rest area bathroom." The boy announced with me chuckling at the memory of the meeting.
"Yeah, and if I recall you were in a bit of a hurry." I laughed shaking my head. "He shoved right past me through the door jiggling around like a cat that had fallen in a lake full of water." I teased with the two of us laughing.
"Yeah, well speaking of lakes from the sounds of things that day you sure managed to empty out an entire lagoon so I wasn't the only one who was desperate." He countered with me holding up my hand in a sign of truce.
"So I guess the whole coming and going thing with you saying you were coming from an event must have meant one of your concerts?" I asked with the boy smiling looking pleased about me even recalling the incident much less the offhand comment he had made that day.
"Yeah we were on our way back home from a concert in Des Moines. I was totally beat. These performances wipe me out, but it was only a one day event so not too bad."
Nodding my head I could only imagine. "How on earth did you manage to spot us in the audience? I can't believe you'd even remember us."
"Are you kidding?" Mrs. Casto interjected and chuckling with her husband laughing as well. "Believe me that's all we've been hearing for the last six months. He's fallen in love with your dog Sam, and he's been begging us for one ever since." The couple laughed with me apologizing because I understood for some families getting a dog was a major undertaking while they waved it off.
"Yeah, but Boxey wasn't wearing a service dog vest back then. Is…um…I hope you don't mind me asking…but…uh…is someone sick or disabled?" The boy asked a bit hesitantly not knowing if he was getting into something private.
His question brought back to the reality of why we had come here with the boy picking up on it immediately. "I…I'm sorry Sam…I shouldn't be so nosy." He offered up with me shaking my head.
"Oh no Andi…it's alright…it…it's just…well…we've all sort of had a rough day." I replied glancing towards the Weilers who nodded their heads indicating it was alright for me to continue. "It's just kind of difficult to explain is all?" I sighed with Andi motioning for everyone to take a seat while his parents offered us some refreshments trying to make us all more comfortable and at ease.
With Zak cuddling up on my lap in the chair wanting to be close to me I sighed glancing towards the other boy who sat there giving me his full attention, but not pressing me. Slowly and hesitantly I began to tell him about Jamie. I began at the beginning because it was pretty much where our meeting began, and it would give the boy a bigger picture of how everything came to pass.
So I told him about my fight at school, which got me expelled and sent packing to the farm, where along the way I had literally bumped into him at the rest area. I told him about Jamie's autism, what had come about since I arrived along with Boxey's contribution to his slow climb out of his self absorption, and finally his complete transformation into what the experts coined as being "Recovered," since autism was considered incurable. I explained how to us though Jamie was now a complete typical twelve year old boy with no signs of his autism having ever existed. I told him how Judge Williamson, during the time Jamie was having problems, clarified how Boxey could become a service dog since he was so integral with helping Jamie's progress. Then I told him what had happened earlier in the day even admitting how it had frightened me so much that I had wet myself. I blushed at the admission, and I don't even know why I had said anything about it, but for some reason I didn't feel ashamed at admitting how this had been a very frightening experience for me.
When I mentioned losing my bowel control the small boy reached over affectionately and squeezed my hand. "That was a very brave thing you did Sam."
Shaking my head with tears openly trickling down my cheeks, I sniffled feeling Zak pressing his face up against my chest also affected by today's events. "How can you even say that Andi…after…after…you know? I mean…I froze and…and wet myself. I'm so ashamed that I didn't even help Jamie. I'm so ashamed that I didn't listen to Boxey who tried to warn us. If it weren't for Boxey my best friend in the whole wide world could have been hurt." I admitted with the younger boy now coming over giving me a warm heartfelt hug, the action catching me by surprise because for all practical purposes we were complete stranger.
"Don't you see Sam, that's what makes it brave? Even though you were scared, you still helped him even telling your Aunt what to do and not to do. Believe me I know how scary a seizure can be for others." He told me as he glanced towards his parents sadly who looked on with tears welling up in their eyes as well.
"Really?" I asked. "How would you know something like that? I mean…I've never seen anyone have a seizure before…not until today?" I admitted with the other boy taking a seat again across from me as his face sort of scrunched up and he fidgeted around nervously before looking over towards his parents.
We were interrupted at that point with someone coming into the room looking around questioningly. "Oh…yes I know. Can you give me another ten or fifteen minutes? Apologize to everyone for me, but I'll be out in another ten or fifteen minutes. This is important" Andi motioned towards the guy who I recognized was the gentleman who had introduced Andi to the audience at the beginning of the concert.
The man looked around again and nodded his head. "Yes Sir, I'll keep them occupied until you are ready Mr. Casto." The man announced in such an official way while Andi winced at the formality of the exchange and sighed looking towards his parents once more who smiled encouragingly.
"Um…Sam…not a lot of people know this about me, but I have epilepsy so know exactly how Jamie feels right now. It is a scary thing to deal with at times. I tend to have seizures once or twice a month. The doctors say sometimes stress can add to someone having a seizure, but they really can't explain why some of these things happen. I take medication and I hate how it makes me feel, but they are supposed to help." He admitted to me as he bit his lower lip nervously giving me the impression he was worried how something like this would affect our new friendship.
"Oh Andi…I'm so sorry. That must really suck, but if stress brings it on why even do these concerts?" I asked a bit baffled because surely putting on these sorts of things had to be nerve wracking.
The other boy shrugged his shoulders and smiled. "I don't know how to explain it Sam. I guess in some ways performing in front of so many people can be stressful, but when I play the piano it just does something to me. It is a part of me, and everything simply fades away into the background. I'm sort of released from all of my stress and worries. I've got epilepsy, but I can't let it rule me Sam. It's a very frightening experience, and it's one of the reasons why I don't have many friends. I try to keep that part of my life private though, because when I'm out on the stage I feel so alive in a way I can't explain." He sighed shaking his head making me chuckle.
"Yeah…I guess a sort of contradiction. You are damned if you do and damned if you don't." I laughed with all the others joining in.
There were others in the room, but for some reason they simply had remained quiet for the most part allowing Andi and me to sort of talk for a bit. I suppose they could tell this had been important for us, but now it was Mrs. Casto who spoke up again.
"Can Boxey really tell if Jamie is going to have a seizure?" She asked seriously with me shrugging my shoulders.
"Yeah it looks that way." I admitted.
"How is that even possible?" She wondered looking at Boxey almost longingly.
"I'm not sure. I think part of it is because he's become very attached to Jamie so knows his behavior really well. Some seem to think he might be able to smell a chemical imbalance or something. We talked with Jamie's doctor about it, and he says no one is sure why some dogs can sense these sorts of things. There are trained service dogs out there, but I guess it is difficult to find them and match them up with people. Tomorrow we will find out more about Jamie, but if it looks like he might have more seizures in the future then when we get back I need to talk with Judge Williamson. He might know more about how Boxey is able to do what he's doing because he breeds dogs. As a matter of fact he bred Boxey here with one of his prized dogs by the name of Molly. She had a batch of puppies and Judge Williamson is hoping to train them as service dogs for kids with autism and all. He seems to think Boxey has the right kind of breeding for it."
Andi reached out and squeezed my hand making me grin because it was such a sweet gesture. "Sam I've got to get ready to go back out on the stage, but please tell me you guys will come right back here after the performance. I want to visit some more with you guys and Boxey. I missed him so much." The smaller boy begged with Aunt Harriet and Uncle Walt looking at their watch and frowning.
"I'm not sure we will be able to do that Andi." Uncle Walt apologized seeing the disappointment on the boy's face trying to explain. "You see we don't even have a hotel room yet, and we need to get up early in the morning to go to the hospital. Jamie hates them, and he's being forced to stay overnight. I'm sure he will want to get out of there as soon as possible." He clarified standing up.
It was Andi's parents who seemed to have the solution. "Oh…well if this is all what's holding you guys up from coming back and visiting we can take care of it for you. We will simply have the concert promoters get a couple of rooms for you in the same hotel we are staying in…our treat. Believe me you will be very comfortable in the rooms." They offered holding up their hands when Uncle Walt was going to protest about them paying for the rooms. "It's no problem…really. It's in our contract with them having to provide rooms for us and any guests of ours who are family and friends that attend the concert. They usually block off a section of rooms for us anyway so it shouldn't be an issue." They assured the Weilers.
While Andi's parents were offering the hotel rooms for us the smaller boy had stood up and was quickly putting on his shirt smiling at us happy because it looked like we would all be staying together tonight. I chuckled silently because he had opened up the front of his pants and I noticed him wearing a pair of orange colored batman boy's boxer briefs with black piping along the hem of the legs, both sides of the crotch and fly opening, and the waistband which also had blue lettering spelling out the name "Batman" on either side of the centered blue batman logo. In his crotch area between the borders of the two black piping there was an actual gray and blue colored bust image of Batman from the knees up with a muscular chest that was currently puffed out even more because it was accommodating Andi's nice sized little boy bulge giving Batman's muscles even more definition. This most definitely didn't go unnoticed by Zak who tried to stifle a giggle at the sexiness of the other boy's nice little bulge. Andi seemed to have heard because he blushed and quickly tucked in his shirt, but not before both Zak and I got an eyeful of the orange colored batman briefs which looked so delectably delicious on the other boy.
Just before he tucked his orange shirt over his underwear I also noticed a large black batman logo on the right thigh enclosed in a black outlined circle with the orange background. Around the black oval circle surrounding the orange fabric and the black logo was a silvery starburst pattern with many points all the way around the dark outlined circle. It reminded me of the old batman shows where the words like "Pow" and "Bam" would pop up on the screen surrounded by a starburst thing similar to what it was like in the comic books. On his left thigh in big black bold letters where the words "The Man With A Plan," making me wonder exactly what kind of plan the talented boy had in mind with his nice little bulge. It was a naughty thought and when I looked up Andi was looking at me with a quirky kind of smile almost like he had read my mind. It was a bit unsettling because it sort of dawned on me just how much older Andi's conversation had been with me making me forget he was only nine years old.
Just then Mr. Wimberley appeared out of nowhere ushering us back to our seats, but not before Andi gave Boxey a big hug. He hesitated a moment before walking over and giving me a quick hug as well blushing not sure if I had been alright with it. I smiled at him and ruffled his hair thanking him for the hug. He had no trouble whatsoever from Zak because the small little guy simply stepped up and gave the pianist the biggest hug ever squeezing him tightly not letting go with a big goofy grin spreading over Andi's face as if he was relieved to have the other boy as a new friend.
Zak, never the shy one stated what both of them were thinking about each other. "I like you bunches Andi. I hope we can be good friends. Sam, Jamie, Austin, and Jake are a lot of fun to hang out with and are cool friends to have, but I don't have other kids around my own age to play with. I can't wait until later when we can hang out together. You are so cool." The smaller boy piped up surprising Andi.
"I…um…yeah…I think that would be way cool. Besides, who can't like someone else who is into orange?" Andi teased with both boys giggling and now blushing because everyone was watching. Mr. and Mrs. Casto wiped away some tears because their son really didn't have a lot of kids his own age to hang out with either. I could tell this would be a great opportunity for both Andi and Zak so I decided to do something about it later on tonight when we had more time.
When Andi got back on the stage he had such a bubbly smile apologizing to everyone for it taking a little longer than usual, but explaining there were some important issues which he had to get squared away. He also apologized to The Omaha Area Youth Orchestra, but thanked them for keeping the audience occupied for him while everyone had waited.
"Isn't their music simply fabulous everyone?" He shouted out clapping his hands and pointing to the group with the audience erupting and standing up as well. "Now you know why I invited them here with me. Without them I wouldn't be able to take you on my musical time machine. Is everyone ready?" He shouted getting the crowd all jazzed up while also providing a good way of apologizing to everyone.
Taking a seat with a flourish he began his tour. His musical time machine essentially involved taking them through the musical era at various times giving a brief description of each song and not doing them in any chronological order, but simply bouncing around. He began with Mozart's "Rondo Alla Turca," followed by "I will survive" with a surprise visit for the audience from Gloria Gaynor herself. Everyone was shouting and screaming and dancing in the aisles. Next he took the audience into the nineteen sixties donning on a felt fedora hat along with sunglasses as he played Bill Evans' "Waltz For Debbie." Next he took the crowd to the nineteen fifties announcing he needed a cool jacket for Rock'n Roll playing "Good Golly Miss Molly" by little Richard and actually singing the lyrics. He was simply adorably cute in his glittery silver jacket that sparkled in the lighting. It was just too sweet with once more people getting up and dancing to the groove. Next he introduced Arturo Sandoval on stage with his trumpet to help him play "What A Wonderful World." Then he announced his next song was from one of his all time favorite bands…The Beatles, which happened to be one of my favorites as well, and for this he needed "the" glasses which he promptly put on before playing and singing the lyrics to "Let It Be." Next he launched into a song he had written himself called Snazzy Jazz with a catchy tune making you tap your toes and waggle your head because indeed it was a snazzy little tune. After getting everyone jazzed up he invited out a group called the Canadian Tenors with them singing "You Raise Me Up."
With that he stood up and walked to the front of the stage. "Ladies and gentlemen, usually at this time I invite someone from the audience to tell me a personal story so I can show you how I come up with a song from scratch." The boy sighed looking at the audience with some of them looking disappointed because it sounded like he wasn't going to do that tonight as his gaze suddenly settled on us.
"However, tonight I'm going to tell you a story of someone I met just before Christmas and his incredible dog. It was only a brief meeting, and I never saw him again until tonight. I apologized to you earlier for being late, but hopefully after this song you will understand why it took me so long to come back up here. I didn't even know it at the time, but this is a story of bravery, loyalty, friendship, kindness, brotherhood, family, and love. There all sorts of love out there, but this is a love and bond between a small group of people and an animal which will never be broken and should always be cherished. When I heard this story tonight it simply blew me away. This song is their journey, and if Sam doesn't mind I'd like to invite Boxey, a very special dog up here on stage. Boxey, come here boy." He yelled out with me motioning for the dog to go to Andi.
Boxey looked at me before making his way down the aisle and around the stage until he found a set of stairs. Everyone in the audience was squirming around in their seats trying to see what was going on. The dog walked right up to Andi who promptly knelt down scratching him behind the ears with many spectators chuckling and "awing" at the cuteness of the moment before the boy stood back up.
"If you all notice Boxey is a Service Dog. Many do not realize this, but in our country these dogs have the right to go anywhere and have access to all public facilities. They are special kinds of dogs who help in many different ways. We are all familiar with dogs for the blind, but Boxey here is a different kind of service dog because he has two special abilities." He announced taking a seat at the piano with Boxey taking a seat next to the boy by his feet while he flexed his fingers.
"This story begins with a boy; his name is Sam, who gets into trouble at school." Andi starts out the story, the tune on the piano giving off a sense of tension while he spoke as he made up a melody off the top of his head showing how he created songs. "You see there was this older bully who was picking on a much younger kid so Sam stuck up for this boy getting into a fight." He related the tone of the piano going from one of tension to one of action. "But the principal didn't even ask his side of the story so he was expelled." He announced promptly getting boo's from the audience as the tempo changed to one of oppression. "Well when he got home his dad didn't listen either because he had been getting into a lot of trouble lately so they decided to send him on his merry way out to a farm just before Christmas." He continued, the tune constantly changing to match the story as he spun the saga with people once more booing my dad which made me giggle.
The boy had the entire audience wrapped around his fingers with this narrative. "Well, on his way to his exile he had to stop at a rest area because it was a long drive. He hurried over to the restroom, and just before he opened the door a small little kid shoved passed him because this little boy had to take a tinkle really-really-really bad, sorry about that Sam, but I really was about to explode." He announced the tune changing to depict the urgency of his burgeoning bladder which made people all around giggle knowingly. "Anyway, I did that funny dance as I hustled up to the toilet because if I hadn't said it already, well I was just about to wet my pants." He announced with everyone roaring in laughter.
"I barely made it in time with me finally able to go." He giggled along with the audience as he tickled the ivories on the piano making a raining sound representing a little boy taking a piss. "Well I guess I wasn't the only one who had to go badly because Sam stepped up as well and…," he paused his fingers doing the talking as another sound of rain was added to the first chords making it sound like two kids taking a piss now. "Anyway, needless to say the two of us really-really-really had to go bad so before we knew it we were at Niagara Falls, and if anyone has ever been there it sort of sounds like this." He added with the crowd erupting in laughter again because it truly sounded like the roar of a huge waterfall. "Well, even though we both had to go really bad let's face it neither one of us have that much water inside of us so before long it simply trickled off." He announced his tempo slowing down to a slow agonizing frustrating dripping noise like you would hear from a leaky faucet with the audience chuckling and shaking their heads in amusement.
The spectators were eating it all up totally enthralled and entertained now. "That's when I noticed the dog. I've been begging my parents for one so started talking to Sam and he introduced me to Boxey." The tune now had sort of mellowed out and everyone laughed and "awed" when Boxey settled his head on the boy's lap prompting Andi to scratch him behind the ears briefly with his right hand without missing a beat on his song as his left fingers kept tickling the ivory keys on the piano.
"Well I was coming and Sam was going…that is to say I was coming from one of my concerts and Sam was going to his family friend's farm where he had been exiled so we never even got to find out each other's name as we left since my parents were in such a rush." He announced sticking out his tongue at his mom and dad who were standing on the edge of the stage and laughed along with everyone else the music having shifted to a bit of a somber one.
"So Sam finally makes it to the farm and this is where he meets Jamie. This boy is special because he has autism. It is a difficult time for Sam because Jamie's situation is severe and he can't be touched or talk so Sam feels all alone." Andi explains the music reflecting the mood as it becomes somber. "But something wonderful begins to happen because Boxey doesn't know Jamie can't interact with him so everyday first thing in the morning while Jamie sits on the floor next to his bed the dog slowly approaches. Jamie whines and protests every time Boxey puts his head in the boy's lap, just like he is doing now with me, before shoving him away." He chuckled along with everyone else the music now going back and forth portraying how the dog slowly moves forward before being shoved away moving back. "But you see Boxey is one smart dog, and he is very gentle so he keeps at it, and then one day Jamie accepts him actually scratching him behind the ear and speaking, yes I say speaking to the dog which he doesn't do for anyone. It's a breakthrough, one that hasn't happened for many years." He announces the tune becoming more pronounced and joyful.
"Sam witnesses this and sees a spark there which no one seems to notice. He goes out and researches at the library learning as much as he can. Over the months between him and Boxey they work with Jamie doing activities, therapy, and games along with changing his diet. It all seems to help because he is making progress. It takes a lot of time and patience, but Sam is such a kind, loving, and caring person persisting until slowly Jamie begins to respond. There are good days and bad ones, but both boy and dog work hard because Jamie is now their friend. People say how can someone be friends like that, but it started right from the beginning. The changes are in little ways at first, but then better and better all the time." Andi continues to tell the story with the tempo changing to show excitement at times and then letdowns as the trials and tribulations of life in general are acted out.
"While Sam unselfishly helps Jamie he has received a phone call from his parents. You see the fight he got in school really wasn't the main reason why his parents sent him away. His mom was sick and needed treatment. When he found out he visited his mom, but stayed with his Uncle and Aunt. It was a tough time for Sam, but finally his mom got better so he was going home. This was a very difficult choice for Sam because Jamie was his friend now, but this also meant Boxey would be leaving. Sam knew this would be a set back for Jamie, so before he went home he gave Boxey to Jamie. The dog meant the world to Sam, but in the end Jamie meant even more, and he knew if Boxey left Jamie would suffer so he sacrificed his feelings for his best friend's well being. So with a torn heart he left for home without his good friend Boxey." At this point I could see tears welling up in everyone's eyes as the melody turned mournful.
"Sam returns to his life, but even though he is happy to be back with his family and friends he is still sad. He even meets the boy who he protected before his exile began. They become fast friends, but still Jamie and Boxey are so far away and always in his thoughts. Then one day he gets a call from one of his friends saying Jamie is in trouble. He goes right over taking the three hour train ride to Jamie's town. He confronts the bully and kicks his butt, but is again in trouble. This time though people stand up for him and all turns out alright." Andi giggles the passion of his piano playing on everyone's emotions. "So once more Sam decides to stay with Jamie so he can help and protect him."
"Then one night a thundering storm rolls through booming loudly in the night rattling the house with everything flashing brightly from the lightning. It is a frightening experience." Andi's voice rings out excitedly while his fingers fly over the keys as the noise from his piano boomed and rattled around having everyone sitting on the edge of their seats. "Jamie's terrified, but he still doesn't know how to tell anyone. He still can't be touched because for him it is such a painful experience. No one really understands why this is the way it is for some who have autism, but for Jamie it is simply horrifying. The thunder though has him terrified so he stands by Sam's bedside." Everyone is now holding their breath because he tells the story so engagingly.
"For some reason Sam wakes up, maybe because of the noise, and when he sees Jamie standing there he holds up his blanket and to his surprise Jamie climbs in next to him and even allows Sam to hold him protectively. This was another miracle and breakthrough because no one has been able to do this in many years. They both fall asleep and from that day forward they cuddle up together at night. It is the only time Jamie allows himself to be held in a loving brotherly kind of way." Andi sniffled along with the audience as the tune became touching and soft.
"Several days go by and then one night Sam wakes up and Jamie is staring at him which is unusual because he simply doesn't do that. Then he whispers to Sam like there's never been anything wrong. It was like he had finally woken up from a very-very long sleep. Sam can't believe it because Jamie is talking to him just like any other normal boy. The doctors are amazed and when Sam announces Jamie is cured the doctors tell him no because they say there is no cure for autism. This is so confusing because Jamie is just like any other boy now. He makes friends with other boys in the area, they all go to the lake and have fun together, and he laughs, teases, jumps around, and wrestles no longer afraid of being touched. He does all the normal things other boys do, interacting with people so despite the stupid doctors everyone accepts Jamie for being cured while the doctors say he is 'Recovered,' which is really silly if you ask me." Andi announced the tenor of the piano expressing the joy and frustrations.
"Everyone is very happy and rightfully so. Jamie and Sam are the closest of friends, best friends in the whole world. Then today things begin to change. You see Boxey is acting very strange all morning long for several hours. He is whining and pawing at Jamie. By this time both dog and boy have become close so Jamie doesn't understand why. Both Sam and Jamie were preparing to go to the lake like they always did, with Zak waiting for them in the barn, when suddenly something awful happened. Right in front of Sam, his very best friend in the entire world, suddenly collapses and has a seizure. Boxey is there to save the day, breaking Jamie's fall with his own body. It is very frightening for Sam, and he is frozen in place his world totally collapsing in front of him. Despite his tremendous fear he finally comes to Jamie's aid making sure nothing is in the way, turning his friend on his side so he doesn't choke, and calls out for help. When his Aunt arrives he tells her what to do, and he rushes downstairs to get his Uncle." Andi explains with the audience totally enraptured in the music as it carries them along on the roller coaster ride of emotions.
"They rush him to the hospital, but they don't know why he had a seizure. They have to observe him overnight and wait for the tests, but the doctors inform them this isn't the end of the world only that it simply means things may be a little different from now on. To my friend Sam, all I can tell you is this, Jamie is still the same boy…talking, speaking, and carrying on like a normal boy so this is all what should matter." Andi offers up looking in my direction as his fingers settles into a gentle melody.
"Sam, I just want to tell you I am glad you guys decided to come to my concert today because I was able to meet up with Boxey once more, and talk to you about this amazing story sharing it with my audience. Maybe it will also convince my parents to get me a dog just like Boxey while we are in the process." He laughed with his parents rolling their eyes to the laughter of the crowd.
"Sam, I just wanted to say you simply amaze me with your bravery and kind loving heart. Because of you I am able to tell my audience a secret, one that I've never told any of them before and have kept to myself. I just want to tell all of you I understand how seeing someone having a seizure can be a frightening experience. A person who has seizures affects all those around him. It affects their family, friends, and all their loved ones. You see I understand all of this, and I want to help you and Jamie because I know what it is like to have seizures since I have epilepsy. I have seizures and it is a very frightening experience for me too because I can't control it. You have one thing though which is very important. You have Boxey who can warn you when Jamie has a seizure. I am so proud to call you guys my friends Sam because I don't have to hide behind my epilepsy anymore, and it is because of how brave you have been, always being there for a friend. That is what brotherhood and friendship is all about, and I am proud to call you, Boxey, Zak, and Jamie my friend." He finished off with a flurry to a stunned audience who remained quiet for several moments digesting what he had just admitted before suddenly bursting into the loudest roar I've ever heard.
Andi simply got up and collapsed into his parents' arms crying because it was such an emotional moment for him. He managed to wipe away some tears and wave before exiting the stage with Boxey close by his side and people still cheering him on. At that moment as if by magic Mr. Wimberley appeared at our side with several large guards hustling us down the aisle to get us away from the crowd who suddenly all wanted to speak to me. I could feel them pressing in from the sides making me thankful for the prompt and insightful forethought of this individual.
When we got to Andi's change room the boy was crying his eyes out confusing me as I hustled to his side. "Andi? What's wrong?" I asked with him stepping away from his parent's embrace and literally collapsing into my arms.
"Oh Sam…I'm so sorry. I shouldn't have done that out there without asking you first. That was such a private thing, and I didn't even ask you. Please forgive me. I didn't even realize how wrong it was until I was done, and then it dawned on me just how private this was for your family. It took me years to finally admit I have epilepsy, and here I was sharing something so private about you, Jamie, and all of your friends. Sometimes my music gets in the way of my common sense. I feel so awful with how I betrayed you like this. Please forgive me." He wailed his body heaving in big huge gulps beginning to frighten me because he had mentioned earlier how stress and emotions sometimes trigger his episodes.
Glancing over towards his parents I could see they were concerned as well, but they also didn't want to interfere with Andi's apology knowing he had to work this out with me. To me though there simply wasn't anything to work out. The boy had given me such a wonderful gift.
"What…are you kidding?" I countered totally surprised by his reaction. "That was one of the nicest things anyone's ever done for me. It was beautiful Andi. You are my friend now, Zak's too, and even though you haven't met Jamie he will love what you just did. It was such an amazing thing. How do you do something like that, simply invent a song right at the top of your head?" I asked completely bewildered holding him out and wiping away his tears from his sweet adorable face.
Bending over slightly I held him to me hugging the boy tightly to my chest the same way I always did with Zak. "Oh Andi, I'm so glad you recognized Boxey tonight when we came in because I got to meet one of the most special boys ever. You have no idea how often I've thought about the day we met." I admitted to him although I didn't tell him it was for my fantasies sometimes when I jacked off.
I felt my penis twitch at this thought so continued before my fantasies got the better of me. "I don't know what I've done to deserve such good friends in my life. All of you mean the world to me." I began to cry realizing just how lucky I really was as I knelt down dragging Andi with me. Reaching out I tugged Zak into my arms too with Boxey automatically sticking his wet nose in our faces since we were on his level now. The dog never missed an opportunity to stick his nose in people's faces as we all huddled together on the floor.
Without even thinking I whispered the words so many boys in our society find hard to utter, but for me it simply rolled off my tongue easily. "Andi I love you so much." I stated kissing him on the cheek noticing him blush and glance towards his parents before I turned towards Zak. "I love you too buddy. You've been such a precious gift in my life, despite my dad being such a butt." I giggled with Zak chuckling as well at our inside joke kissing and hugging him tightly before turning to Boxey. "You too boy." I stated grabbing his snout and kissing his nose making the dog recoil, huff disapprovingly, and shake his head with all of us laughing. "See it serves you right. Now you know what it's like to have someone shove their nose in your face." I giggled with all of us laughing and sitting around together on the floor while our folks chatted away making plans.
"Sam, you really didn't mind?" Andi asked shyly with me shaking my head.
"Are you kidding?" Zak giggled. "That really was awesome and I'm glad someone finally gave Sam some praise. Andi you really have no idea how wonderful Sam really is. He's the bestest biggest brother ever." He interjected noticing my shocked look. "What…you really are the best Sam. I don't know why you are always embarrassed by it" The smaller boy admonished snuggling up next to me with Andi making room to accommodate him because he was curled up in my arms as well.
"No Andi." I responded to the boy's request. "I'm flattered really. I couldn't have asked for a better birthday present other than Jamie being alright." I admitted with Andi looking at me.
"It's your birthday?" He asked with me grinning and nodding.
"On Monday, the day after tomorrow." I told him. "Which reminds me…," I raised my voice getting everyone's attention including Andi's parents as I gazed in their direction. "I just told Andi that his song was the perfect birthday gift, which is on Monday. So I won't have any arguments because he's invited, and you can't say no since he gave me such a great gift. As a matter of fact he's coming home with us tomorrow after we pick up Jamie because he's going to be really upset we went to the concert without him. I hope someone took some videos of the show because Jamie's going to want to see the special song about him." I announced brooking no arguments even though I saw Andi's mom begin to say something, but his dad put a hand on her arm calming her down.
"Betty…Andi deserves to have some friends. He's always on tour, and let's face it he can't ask for better friends than someone like Sam and Zak. We can't constantly be worried about him having a seizure. We can let the Weilers know what to do with the medication. If anyone is qualified to look after Andi in our absence it surely has to be them. After all look what they had to go through with Jamie because of his autism. I trust them Betty, and we need to let Andi have a little more space and privacy. He's getting older and he deserves that much." He announced with his wife smiling and nodding her head.
Andi immediately leaped to his feet giving his parents a big hug before giving the Weilers one as well. He spun around and jumped into Zak's arms as the two smaller boys hopped up and down excitedly. It made us all smile, and I was glad not only for Andi but Zak as well because he really needed a friend closer to his age.
By the time we arrived at the hotel room just five minutes up the road from the concert hall we were kind of wiped out. It wasn't all that late, only eight thirty in the evening which kind of surprised me even though it shouldn't have since the concert had started at five. Looking around I was pleasantly surprised at the accommodations. It was more like a suite than a regular hotel room with the bedroom separate from a little living room area that had a sofa, lazy chair, and a desk along with a stereo system, television set, and a balcony. The bedroom though had two queen sized beds in it and was about the size of a regular hotel room including the bathroom area, so this place seemed to be about three times the size of a regular hotel room I was familiar with, having stayed in a couple of them in the past.
Looking inside the bathroom I noticed a large Jacuzzi making Zak grin and me giggle shaking my head. We had a separate suite with Uncle Walt and Aunt Harriet just across the hall from us. The Casto's were in the Presidential suite a few doors down which evidently had two separate bedrooms inside.
"I'm hungry." I heard Zak comment which kind of made sense because we had eaten around two in the afternoon at the hospital.
"Alright buddy…why don't you take a look at the menu to see what you would like to eat." I offered up getting the book out with the hotel's menu in it.
There was a light tapping on the door so I went and answered it smiling at our little visitor who shyly asked if he could come in and visit for a while. He had changed out of his other clothes and looked absolutely adorable. I immediately recognized trendy attire just by the way it looked, and the quality of the material and design making me realize sometimes pricey clothing can really make a difference. Just by looking at his clothes I could tell the amount it would cost could buy me about ten complete outfits.
The boy had slipped on an Italian two shaded orange Aeronautica Militare boys polo shirt making me grin because he had mentioned he loved that color. The material was made from soft cotton jersey with a turn up collar, chambray fabric underneath, stretchy ribbed cuffs, and an 'Aeronautica Militare' lettering and logo embroidered on the front.
According to Andi it featured the official insignia worn by the Italian Air Force from the Grosseto Base, home of the Fourth Stormo, equipped with the Eurofighter Typhoon jet plane. The main body of the shirt had that deep dark orange coloration with the collar and the top of the shoulders and sleeves having a lighter orange shade. On his left chest he had a silver embroidered official Italian military insignia with the screaming eagle and the crown above it. Below the logo he had in the same silver embroidery the "Aeronautica Militare" along with the "4th Stormo Cassia." Under all of this in a darker grey the words "Grosseto Base Airport was stitched in. On his right chest he had the "4th Stormo" logo along with the air groups prancing horse and the year 1931. On his left sleeve the bottom view of the typhoon fighter jet was depicted along with a list of ordinances it carries, on his right sleeve was the side view of the plane. It truly was an amazing shirt, and even Zak got all worked up over it checking out the shirt closely asking all sorts of question about the fighter jet.
The nine year old musician also had on a pair of Fendi Boys lightweight beige colored shorts made of high quality lightweight cotton featuring Fendi's classic zuccha logo print to pockets, turn-up cuffs on the hems of the legs that were held up in place with tabs, a four pocket design, adjustable waistband, and a fly zip fastener. On his feet he was wearing a pair of taupe colored standard two strap leather suede Birkenstock Arizona sandals along with a pair of beige colored Ralph Lauren Boys' Ribbed Dress Socks. The beige color of the socks matched his shorts. It had the riding polo logo on the calves; the sock's heels, toes, and ribbing at the top was an orange color complementing his shirt.
I had to admit he was sexy-sexy-sexy hot in his complete outfit making me salivate lustfully along with my penis once more doing some fancy dance moves in my own shorts. "What are you guys up to?" Andi asked conversationally with Zak tugging on his arm and taking him over to the table in front of the television set.
"I'm starving." Zak told his friend who nodded in agreement.
"Me too…my folks said we can order some stuff if we want, and it will be taken care of on the concert promoter's tab. Did you have something in mind?" He asked Zak as he leaned on the table so near to his newfound friend their arms were rubbing up against one another neither one of them taking any notice of the close contact.
The two of them were thick as flees on a farm dog huddled up so closely together their heads almost knocking into one another as they perused the menu items. It was almost like the two of them had been friends forever, and I had to admit in their color matching outfits you'd think they'd been attached at the hips since birth. They even giggled conspiratorially whispering now in each other ears with Zak glancing my way first as he whispered in Andi's ear with the other boy blushing and looking towards me as well making me roll my eyes as I took a seat in the sofa turning on the television set.
"What about some pizza?" Andi suggested with Zak pausing a moment.
"Yeah, but Sam can't eat that stuff." He replied with me craning my neck.
"Thanks for being so considerate Zak, but you two guys order whatever you want. Just add a nice veggie platter or Fruit platter for me to snack on." I suggested with Zak looking on the menu items again.
"Hey, they've got like a veggie, meat, and cheese platter here. I know you can't have any cheese, but at least there's meat here along with the veggies. It looks like a pretty big tray so Andi and I will order a small pizza to share and we can also all nibble on the platter." He offered up making me smile warmly at how considerate the smaller curly haired boy had become towards me in such a short period of time of us knowing one another.
"That sounds delicious Zak, thanks. If they've got regular iced tea I'll have some of that, if not then water will be fine." I added with the smaller boy nodding his head and picking up the phone.
While Zak was on the phone with me listening in just in case he needed some help with something Andi plunked himself down next to me and glanced over towards me. I could tell he was curious about something so I saved him the trouble with asking the sensitive question. Reaching out I pulled him over closer wrapping my arm around his shoulder so he could lean into me. The boy smiled appreciatively as he yawned making me realize he was probably tired from his performance today.
"Listen Andi if you ever want to ask me a question I'll never be offended. You can ask Zak about it too because I've told him the same thing. It saves a lot of time and hassle." I chuckled giving him a quick squeeze for emphasis before I explained to him about my dietary needs like I've been doing for years now for other people.
After I got done explaining it to him he looked over to me a bit sadly. "That's got to be awful." He admitted with me shaking my head.
"It's not too bad, and I can cheat a little every once in a while so long as I don't overdo it. As a matter of fact I might have one slice of pizza too if you guys can spare one."
Andi immediately responded. "Of course…you can even have one of my slices if you want." He offered with me rubbing his hair and thanking him for being willing to share.
Zak had also joined us sitting next to Andi, but then got up and snuggled on my lap making me chuckle. "For real Zak?" I asked laughing and shaking my head.
"What?" he countered.
"What did you ever do before you had me to snuggle up to?" I sighed with him squirming around shrugging his shoulders.
"Died of loneliness." He replied easily with Andi giggling now at the carefree response.
Just then someone knocked on our door and I knew it wasn't the food delivery so soon after so I unceremoniously dumped Zak into Andi's lap the two of them getting tangled up in a heap of arms and legs. "Here, snuggle up with Andi for a bit." I teased wrapping my arms around both of them and squeezing tightly.
Stepping over Boxey who had curled up next to the sofa I made my way to the door and opened it up. It was the Weilers with Andi's parents.
"We just wanted to check up on you boys." Andi's parents offered up stepping inside when I motioned for them to come in. "Did you boys order anything to eat?"
"Yeah Zak and Andi managed to wrangle something up. I'm sure it will be up soon enough." I smiled looking proudly at my little Zak who was currently wrestling around with Andi who suddenly yelped because it looked like he got kneed right in the nards, but it couldn't have been too painful because he simply wriggled out of Zak's grasp as he went on the offensive attacking the other boy making us all smile and laugh at the two boy's seemingly endless supply of energy.
"Andi?" Mrs. Casto looked over at her son with both of the younger boys pausing in their horse play. "After you get done eating you need to come back over to the room so Sam and Zak can get some rest. They have to get up early in the morning and head over to the hospital…remember?" She told her son sweetly.
"Awe mom…do I have to." Andi whined making me smile and interject on the smaller boy's behalf since I knew he really wanted to spend more time with Zak.
"Listen why doesn't he just stay here with me and Zak. I'll look after them for you guys. It really isn't a big hassle, besides the casino is downstairs so maybe you guys would like to go and gamble a little. I'm sure if nothing else maybe you guys can have some dinner or something as well and chat. I know how you adults like to sit around and visit." I offered up with my Aunt and Uncle looking at each other shrugging their shoulders before glancing at Andi's parents.
"You know…Sam's got a point. I don't know about you guys, but it's been years since Harriet and I have been able to go out on a sort of date with other adults. If Sam is offering up to watch over the two little ragamuffins then I'm game if you guys are comfortable with him watching over Andi. He really is very responsible, and since we will only be downstairs I'm sure he can get a hold of us if anything happens." They suggested.
Mrs. Casto pursed her lips looking towards her husband who smiled at his wife. "You know honey; I think it's really a good idea. Besides, just look at how much fun Andi is having." He pointed out.
"Yes, but he hasn't even had a bath yet." She exclaimed with me chuckling.
"Neither has Zak. I'll be sure the two of them get cleaned up before bed. Besides, Zak's already been eyeballing that huge Jacuzzi in the bathroom. After we eat I'll let them goof around a little before they take their bath, then I'll get them tucked into bed." I offered up with Mrs. Casto getting a surprised look on her face.
"Bed…you mean…him staying here?" She asked with me confused now.
"Yeah sure…I mean there are two beds here. Zak and Andi can share one, and I'll sleep in the other one. It's not like there isn't plenty of room. Besides Zak snuggled up with Paavo when he was staying with us and that was in a little bed. Now he's been snuggling up with me and Jamie in our queen sized bed so I know there's plenty of room for the two of them." I offered up not seeing the big deal.
"Oh…um…it's not that Sam…it's just…well…he's never spent the night with anyone else before." She explained with me glancing at Andi who blushed and looked a little embarrassed about it.
"Really…oh wow…well then this will be a treat for him. Besides, at the farm he's going to be snuggled up with Zak anyway." I chuckled seeing Andi perk right up with his mom glancing towards him her worry disappearing.
I guess she must have worried about her son being a little scared or something. "Are you sure Sam you don't mind?" She asked with me shaking my head.
"No I don't mind. I'm sure Zak will be happy too because he's been hanging around with me and my friends who are like a bunch of OLD FARTS according to him." I bellowed out to Zak who chuckled and retorted.
"Well I wouldn't call you guys old farts, but close enough." He giggled with Andi joining in while I rolled my eyes making the Weilers and Castos all smile as well recognizing the whole eye rolling thing.
"Well then I guess we are due for some adult time." Mrs. Casto smiled at her husband. "We really appreciate this Sam and I know Andi does as well. I can't believe you are so willing to do this after just having met us. It's also very sweet of you to include Andi at your birthday party. Between his schedule and…well…other things…he doesn't get to go out all that much and play with friends. Going to a birthday party with other kids to play with is such a treat for him." She stated sincerely walking up to her son and instructing him to behave.
"Really?" Zak asked regarding the whole birthday party thing watching Mrs. Casto give her son a kiss, and then reaching out to her for his kiss which sort of caught her by surprise for a moment, but she couldn't resist as she leaned over giving the small little guy a big hug and kiss as well.
"Yes really." She chuckled releasing the boy and ruffling his curly hair.
"You smell really nice just like my mom, but different." Zak never the shy one stated in a matter of fact kind of way making Andi's mom blush.
"Oh my…that's so sweet of you to say Zak." She replied with the boy shrugging his shoulders.
"That's alright, but why doesn't Andi get to go to any birthday parties and stuff?" Zak asked innocently looking seriously at his friend now completely baffled.
"Oh sweetie it is kind of difficult to explain. I suppose people are just frightened…you know…in case Andi has a seizure like Jamie did." She tried to explain.
"Well that's not fair and totally bites." He offered up in a way that made me roll my eyes because he must have picked that up from us older kids as I looked over towards the Casto's apologetically, but they just seemed to chuckle about it.
"Yes it does Zak, but it doesn't matter now. He's going to Sam's party." She replied smiling at her son who beamed happily.
"Well my birthday is next month and you are invited. I haven't invited anyone official like yet so you are the first one. You will come…pleeeeease Andi…promise me you'll come. I'll simply die if you aren't there." Zak pleaded like this would be the end of the world.
The other boy blushed, his mouth hanging open not knowing what to say since no one's ever really wanted him to go before, not until now with both me and Zak. "Geeze Zak…um…I'd love to, but when is it? I'm not even sure if I've got any concerts." He offered up with his friend smiling confidently now.
"Mine's on a Tuesday this year so unless you have concerts in the middle of the week you can come…right?" he asked jumping up and down on the sofa excitedly while Andi looked over at his mom who smiled and nodded her head.
"Yes…yes-yes-yes. That would be totally awesome." Andi jumped up and down excitedly now along with his new friend as they both crashed into each other and hugged tightly while still jumping up and down on their knees making us all laugh at their rowdiness.
The Weilers and the Castos finally said their goodnights thanking me once more. Before they left Mrs. Casto gave us their phone number just in case I couldn't get a hold of my Aunt and Uncle. Soon after they left our food arrived, and it was funny watching the two little guys inhaling their pizza. Andi was so sweet because he handed me the first slice giving me a brilliant smile in the process while Zak looked on smiling at his friend. Even though Zak dug into his pizza he was extremely careful with his hands not wanting to mess up his outfit. I noticed Andi doing the same thing. The two of them were so cute in their color matching outfits I couldn't resist taking out my phone snapping a couple of pictures to have as a memory keepsake.
I just wanted to make a quick reference how in chapters nineteen and twenty I used the inspiration from a boy who has performed in real life concerts. I don't want to mention his name in writing here because it is an inappropriate thing to do in light of this type of story. Even though my Andi character was based off of him regarding the concert performance, the physical attributes along with personality or anything else wasn't based on this boy. I only used the concert part for the inspiration in these two chapters. Since I think you might be interested in hearing the concert in which a part of this section is based on I thought you might like to see it on youtube. So even though I don't mention his name personally you will be able to find out he is and where the inspiration for this part of the story comes from. There are several video's of this kid and he is simply talented beyond belief. I hope you all enjoy the performance.
[For those who use webmail, or whose regular email client opens when they want to use webmail instead: Please right click the author's name. A menu will open in which you can copy the email address to paste into your webmail system (Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo etc). Each browser is subtly different, each Webmail system is different, or we'd give fuller instructions here. We trust you to know how to use your own system. If the email address pastes with %40 in the middle, replace that with an @ sign.]