Richie and Jimmy
All the next day, I couldn't get that dream out of my head. I rode to work with Gramps, "Did you sleep ok?"
"Yes, Gramps, the bed was very comfortable. I spoke to Brandon last night and invited him to visit. I hope you don't mind."
"No, I think that would be a good idea for them to visit. I know I'd love to see them and I'll bet Gram would like to see them as well. The next time you speak to him tell him that."
"Gramps, if you come up to the apartment after dinner, we could Skype him again and you could tell him yourself?"
Arriving at work was something else. Guards where at the entrance, the car stopped, Gramps introduced me to the guard as his grandson. The guard gave me a badge and told me to wear it at all times when I was inside. I clipped the badge on my suit jacket then Gramps told me when I took off my jacket to clip it on the pocket of my shirt.
Walking through the door to the administration building, Gramps walked me over to a desk which was manned by two people in uniforms. "This is my grandson and he will be working here. His name is Jaime Ricardo."
One of the men scanned my ID card and typed in my name. "He's all set sir."
"Thank you. This way James, whenever you enter this building always announce yourself at the security desk. And don't forget your badge."
We rode the elevator to the third floor, Gramps led me to an office marked personnel. "Grace this is my grandson and he'll working here this summer."
Grace scanned my badge, "This is the new personnel packet. It should answer most of your questions. If you have any question after reading this, please come and see me. Welcome to Bishops."
"Our next stop will be payroll. I'll pay you just like any of our interns."
"Gramps do you think it's a good idea to introduce me as your grandson? I'm sure if they know they will treat me differently than if I was just someone that was hired for the summer."
Gramps thought for a while and decided that would be a good idea. So from that point on he introduced me as a summer intern who was attending Ohio State. After payroll, he turned me over to one of his managers who would be my boss this summer. Later Gramps told me he went back and told those people who he had introduced me as his grandson to keep it confidential.
It didn't take me long to fit in Gramps company. He was well liked and thought to be fair. Now we had a problem in that I could no longer ride to work with him. This meant I had to drive the new BMW to work, ahh poor me.
Work kept me occupied during the day, nights I tossed and turned thinking about Richie. After three nights, I sent an email to Richie asking what's up. I did the same to Mike. Within an hour I got a response from Mike. Everything was still on track, he and Linda have decided to cool things till they see how school goes. Then the bomb shell, Richie got hurt on the job. Someone found out he was gay and pushed him off a scaffold. The man was fired and Richie's dad was very angry. He knew Richie was gay and it didn't bother him. He blamed himself for putting Richie in that position.
"Mike, I didn't know he was gay. Did you?"
"Yes, he told me one afternoon. He wondered if you would be mad if you found out. I told him about Brand so I guess he thought you would be mad. I tried to convince him otherwise but he said he didn't want to take the chance and lose your friendship. I think he likes you."
"Mike how can I get in touch with him. I sent him the same email but haven't heard anything back."
"Give him a call."
"I don't have his phone number."
"Yes, you do. Check your yearbook I think he wrote it in there. He wrote it in mine as well."
"I'm going to do that right now. I'll text you back."
It took me about 45 minutes to find my senior year book. And sure enough Richie had written his phone number in the book. I took my cell phone and called him. It rang for a long time before a man answered. "Hello, my name is Jimmy and I'm a friend of Richie's. May I speak to him?"
Then I heard someone call Richie. "Telephone for you. He said his name is Jimmy and he's a friend of yours."
I waited for 5 minutes and no answer. I was just about to hang up when I heard his father, "Richie the guy is good enough to call you at least say hello."
Then I heard hello. "Richie I just heard from Mike about your accident. Are you ok?"
"Yes, Jimmy I'll be ok. I have a bruise on my back and I broke my arm."
"Does that mean you won't be working the rest of the summer?"
"Yep I guess so. It's going to take some time before my arm heals."
"If you aren't going to be working, maybe you should come here and take a summer course. You could stay with me."
"You may not want me to stay with you."
"Why not? Did you grow horns while I was away?"
I heard a chuckle, "No, I'm gay and you might not want me to stay with you."
"Richie, my brother is gay and I love him. You being gay will not stop me from being your friend. My grandparents love my brother and in fact they will be coming over in two weeks. I could ask them to stop and pick you up and bring you here."
"I need to think about that and I need to discuss it with my dad."
"All right you call me and let me know as soon as possible. Let me talk to your dad." I waited a few minutes I'm sure Richie is briefing his dad.
"This is Richie's dad."
"Sir I would like your permission to have Richie brought to my place. I'll be attending Ohio State come this fall. I'm currently working and I have my own apartment. I think from what I know about the accident, it would be in the interest of Richie to come here."
"I'll discuss this with Richie and he'll get back to you."
"Thank you." Then I disconnected. I sent an email to Mike telling him I contacted Richie and offered for him to come here.
That night I really had the dreams. When I woke up in the morning I had a wet dream and I hadn't had one of those since puberty. I made my self some coffee and remembered I had to drive to work today. Before leaving, I went to tell Gramps that I invited someone to stay with me. I knew he wouldn't say no but I wanted him to know. Just as I was leaving, his car arrived. I just sat in my BMW for 5 minutes before I started the car and backed out of the garage. The motor purred, it was music to my ears.
Arriving at the gate, I showed my badge, the guard looked at my car. "Yesterday you came with Mr. Bishop and today you are driving this BMW."
"Yes, sir, Mr Bishop is my grandfather and this is my graduation gift. Please don't tell anyone that I'm his grandson. I don't want preferential treatment."
"No problem Mr. Ricardo."
I pulled into a parking spot that didn't have a name. Entering the building I stopped at security, they swiped my card and told me I could move on. I went to my assigned floor and began to work.
When I got home there were emails from Mike and Richie. I had an unanswered Skype message from Brand. First I read Mike's email. "I spoke to Richie and told him he'd be foolish to pass up your invitation. He said he would email you, good luck." There was a ps attached to the email. "I knew all along you were gay but I'm cool. You're still my best friend."
I sat there and couldn't get my head around what Mike had said. How did he know I was gay when I didn't know it and still don't believe it, the next email I opened was from Richie.
'Jimmy, my dad and I talked it over. He thinks maybe it would be best if I did leave so if the invitation is still open I'd like to take you up on it.'
I needed to talk to Gramps before I talked to Brand. I saw that it was after dinner time so I felt it was safe to go and see Gramps. I no sooner walked in the back door when Miss Marie grabbed me. "You missed supper. I have a plate for you so just sit down and I'll get it."
Seeing Miss Marie sitting me down and getting me a plate brought back happy memories. I remember as a kid when Brand and I would spend summers here, we always missed lunch or dinner. There was so much exploring to do, Miss Marie would make us wash our hands and sit down, then she would bring our dinner or supper. I just smiled as she put a plate of food before me. "Miss Marie, I believe your could cook anything and make it taste like chicken."
There was a line from an old book that when someone cook something that would sound horrible, like rattle snake, they would tell you that it tastes like chicken.
When I was finished eating, I found Gramps in his den. I knocked on the door. "Come in James."
"Gramps I have something I need to ask you. One of my friends back home was in an accident. He was working on a construction site and someone found out he was gay. They pushed him off the site, he broke his arm and is bruised. He was planning on attending Ohio State this year. I knew him from high school and I was wondering if he could stay here with me."
"James that apartment is yours. If you want him to stay here that's your decision. You said he was gay, are you gay?"
"Gramps I don't know what I am. I never dated in high school, I was too absorbed in my studies. I think I got the library award for the year I spent so much time there. Now I don't know. There has always been something in my life that I devoted my full energies toward."
"Well, invite him. If you're gay then you're gay, if you're not, you're not. It makes no difference to us. The main thing is to be happy. If you're happy then so are we."
I gave Gramps a hug and a kiss on his cheek.
I went back to the apartment and emailed Richie. 'I need your address so my brother can pick you up.'
Then I Skype my brother, the same kid answered. "Hey Jimmy how are you?"
"I'm fine but I don't know your name."
"I'm Nick, Charles's younger brother."
"Well, it's nice to meet you Nick. Any chance my older brother is there?"
"Yep he'll be here soon. He's just finishing taking a shower."
By the look on Nick's face I could imagine who else was taking a shower with Brand. I waited and chatted with Nick for a while. He was spending the summer with Brand and Charles while his parents where in Europe. He said he got the best deal because Charles spoils him.
"Hey little brother what's up?"
"You Skype before when I wasn't here so I was returning your call."
"I think that was Nick who Skype you. Yes, he's shaking his head yes."
"Are you still planning on coming over?"
"Yes, we'll see you not this week end but next week end."
"How far out of the way would it be to stop back home and pick up a friend?"
"Maybe 15 minutes, the interstate we take goes right pass the exchange we would take. Why do you ask?"
"I have a friend who'll start Ohio State with me and he needs to get out of Dodge."
"What happened? The police after him?"
"No, he was working at his father's construction site and someone found out he's gay. They pushed off the site, he banged himself up and broke his arm. Since he'll be attending Ohio State with me I thought it best for him to get out of town. Never know what the crazies would do to him."
"Ok, email the address, use the email address on Charles's card."
"Thanks Brand, I really appreciate this."
"Anytime Jimmy, I'm always here for you."
[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.]