Richie and Jimmy
Nick received his high school diploma in the spring and his parents gave him a vacation trip to Europe as a graduation present. He wanted us to go with him but we couldn't, we didn't have the money and we hadn't finished with buying furniture for the extension.
While Nick was gone, we bought a dresser, two more desks and desk lamps. With another person and another bed, we bought more linens, towels and restocked the bathroom with soap, gels, tooth paste and lubricant. We spent one Saturday, washing everything and then we went shopping. Rich and I needed some new clothes, we needed some groceries and I needed to get the car washed and gassed up.
While we were shopping for groceries I noticed a news stand with a lot of pamphlets, advertising homes and lots for sale. I picked up a few, I hadn't forgotten about finding a job for Rich. "What do you have there?"
"These are advertisements for homes and lots. I thought maybe you might be interested in designing homes for the lots. The houses could give you some ideas."
"That might be interesting. Maybe I could submit my design to builders who might be interested in offering to build the homes when people bought the lots."
I agreed with Rich, this could be a way for him to introduce himself to the local builders. With his dad's knowledge he should be able to design a home.
"When does Nick come back from Europe?"
"I think Brand said he should be back next week."
"Is he going to fly home before he comes here?"
"Yes, then he'll come over with Brand and Charles."
"It'll be good to see them again. We had fun the last time they were here."
"You know if Nick is here in time he could sign up for the second summer course at State."
"Are you thinking about signing up?"
"Yes, what are you going to do."
"I'm planning on working with Gramps. I could use the money and I like what I'm doing. I think Gramps will offer me a full time job when I graduate. What's the matter?"
"I don't know what will happen in the future. If you work full time for Gramps, we may not be together. What will happen if I can't get a job here and have to go somewhere else, long distance romances don't work."
"Don't worry about that. I'm not willing to give you up. If you can't get a job here, I'll move with you. I'm sure I can get a job anywhere. Engineers are always in demand."
"You would do that?"
"Of course, we are in this together. I love you Rich and I'll do everything to ensure we'll be together forever."
Looking at Rich I could see the tears forming in his eyes, when they are wet they sparkle. I grabbed him and gave him a kiss as if I was sealing a life time pact. In fact I was.
Nick came back from his European tour, he Skype us to tell all about his vacation. Of course Rich and I were excited to hear about his vacation. I told Rich when we finished at State, we would take a vacation in Europe as well.
At dinner that night, "Gram will be getting company soon. Brand wants to drive out and spend a few weeks before school starts."
"Will he be coming with Charles?"
"Yes, and also Nick, who has enrolled in State's summer program. It's a short 6 week intensive study. Rich will be taking the same course."
During the last week of July, Brand and company arrived. That night after dinner with Gram and Gramps, Rich and I took Nick's suitcases to the apartment
And so life returned to a normal routine, Rich and Nick went to summer school, I resume my internship at Gramps company. Rich's dad hung around for a while on the pretense of spending time with Rich when he actually was spending time with Miss Marie.
Before we knew it, it was time to begin our sophomore year. We repeated our schedule, meeting for lunch and studying in the library until we all were ready to go home. Nick became a part of our group, many days we'd have to wait for him and that gave Rich and I some alone time.
Nick started to notice the girls and the fraternities. I wasn't sure which road he'd take, fraternities were basic social and if you got too involved your grades could suffer. Rich noticed that a few of his freshman classmates were no longer in school. Unless you had self discipline it'd be easy to get caught up in the parties and social events. Nick attended some parties and eventually he had to make a choice whether to join or not. When he asked Rich and I for our opinion, we told him why we didn't join any frats. The decision was his and neither Rich or I wanted to influence him one way or another. He decided to ask Charles for his opinion. Rich and I went to the patio with some books to read, he Skype Charles. I don't know what Charles said, but after 15 minutes he came down to the patio. "Let's go and get a pizza, my treat."
Rich and I just smiled at each other. "Let's go."
Nick had decided not to join any fraternities. Charles had convinced him that if he wanted to keep his grades up so he could go to Law School and particularly the one his dad attended, he should focus on his studies. Nick made his decision and he still met several girls, Alice was still in the picture.
Working the summer at Gramps was always interesting, I reviewed contracts, purchase agreements and work with Mr. Robson in sales. I even spent a few weeks working for Gramps as his assistant. Of course I supported Rich, when we went to town I would pick up magazines for him. Architect digest was an excellent magazine as it not only had great articles but also some ideas on construction and design hints.
Rich's love the first night I gave him the magazine would guaranteed that he'd get them every month. Rich started to doodle drawings of homes on a tablet. I decided to show him my support, I picked up a used drafting table and a T square while he was at school, I set it up in the study. If I thought his love was great when he got the magazine, the drafting set up way out shone the magazine.
When Rich saw the set up, there were tears in his eyes, yes sparkles as well. "I want you to start drawing house plans. If you are gong to submit them to builders, you need to have a professional drawing. You can't do that on a tablet."
"You really are going to support me aren't you?"
"I told you, this is for life, where you go I go."
Rich did start to draw house plans, at first they were sketches. He would show me and if I liked it, he would begin to do detailed drawings. I happened to mention it at dinner at Grams and Gramps one evening. Gramps wanted to see what his ideas were. Rich beamed as he went and got a few drawings he had completed.
Gramps looked at them, "Rich these are quite good. Gram, you remember that land we bought across from the diner? What do you think about developing it?"
"We could do that but we'd need an architect and builder as well as a survey to lay out the lots."
"Well, I know where I can find an architect and builder. I guess we could hire a surveyor."
I knew who the architect would be and the builder if he had the time. I just smiled and received a wink from Gramps.
Summer passed and school began, our routine remained the same and now our studies were more tuned to our major. Nick started to take prelaw courses, Rich and I being juniors began to spend more classes designed to fulfill the requirements for our majors.
Rich had his advisor review some of his drawings. Dr. Martin thought that they showed promise, he gave Rich some helpful hints and told him he would be glad to review them again after Rich had reworked them. Rich was flying high when he came home from school.
Of course Nick and I had to hear all about it, Rich's face shined and his eyes sparkled when he told us what Dr. Martin said. I had good news for Rich as well. "Rich, Gramps had the lots across from the diner survey. He wants us to take a look this week-end. Your dad will be here as well."
"Why does he want us to take a look?"
"I think, I don't know for sure, but he might want you to design the homes he'll put on the lots. I think he'll ask your dad to build them."
"You're kidding. My homes, he wants me to develop the plans for dad to build."
"I think so, I'm not sure but maybe we'll find out when we visit the site on Saturday."
Rich gave me a hug. I think he was beginning to realize that he had the support of Gram and Gramps as well as his dad.
That evening in bed, "Jimmy do you really think that Gramps will want me to design the homes?"
"Yes, love, I do. He was impressed with the sketches you showed him. You know they love you and will do anything to see you succeed."
"Maybe he doesn't want you to leave. I'm sure he has figured out if you were going to work for him I needed to be employed as well."
"Maybe, but he also has recognized that we are life time partners. Being partners, what is good for one is good for both. I told you before where you go I go. I mean it."
The next day, "Jimmy what kind of house should I design?"
"Why don't you design a house you and I would love to live in."
"That would be easy, one room, a bedroom with a shower."
Rich began to laugh, I just looked at him as if to say, I dare you.
It was a week later that Rich showed me the house he design for us. The outside of the house was beautiful, it looked very elegant particularly with the landscaping. The floor plan included 3 bedrooms with in suite baths, a large kitchen with eat in capability, the dining room was fairly large with one wall being glass that over looked a garden. There was a living room with a fireplace and two small rooms off the living room, one he said was a study and the other was an office which we would share.
"Rich this is brilliant. Are you ready to show Gramps?"
"No, the plans are not finished. What you saw is a layout that gives us an idea of what the inside would look like. Now I need to do the specifications, the construction drawings and a bill of materials. That is gong to take a while."
"You can ask your dad and Dr. Martin for suggestions and help if you need it."
" That's a good idea."
For the next few weeks, I hardly saw Rich. If he wasn't at school he was in the study drawing. When we got home, he would hand me a piece of paper with a list of things he needed, pens, India ink, triangles, rulers, vellum paper and of course at the bottom of the paper was always a request for a kiss.
The one thing that didn't change were our showers and our love sharing. Rich didn't let his project interfere with our lives even though he was quite busy, he always had time for me and Nick.
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