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Emergencies Arise

Ronnie came and knocked on the door and said "Hey guys, dinner is on the
table. Come and eat while it's hot or do you want to eat in here?"

Pop set the papers down and said, "We'll be right out." He then looked at me
and said, "We'll get student papers filled out on him and filed. I want him
on a flight to New York today. One of us will meet him then bring him here
on our plane. Now lets eat guys, I'm hungry."

We went into the dining room and everyone had begun eating but I knew Pop
wasn't upset for not waiting. It was our fault dinner was late but I know
Ronnie wasn't going to say anything. I looked at Pop and asked, "Do you
think we should have work papers filled out and filed just in case? He will
be working here."

Angel looked up and asked, "Will he be getting a pay check like the full
time people will?"

Pop looked up and said, "No. Technically he is classified as a student. I
don't know if he could be put on the payroll at the same time. I'll have to
check into that but maybe we should have those papers filed. Can you handle
that too sweetheart?"

Angel looked at him and said, "Sure Pop. It will only take a few more
minutes. Oh by the way, do we have all his information?"

I got up from the table and got all the information we had and brought it to
her. I said, "Here you go sis. Hope it's what you need."

She swallowed her mouthful and said, "Thanks bro, if it's not I'll call and
speak to this person."

I thought Pop was going to blow a gasket when Angel mentioned calling
Australia but he stopped eating. I looked up at him and asked, "How do you
want to handle the boy in California. Is there a social worker than can
travel with him or will we need to have someone make a round trip to the
west coast?"

Pop looked up and replied, "After I eat I was going to call the person I
know out there and see. I don't care if I have to go, I want him here
tomorrow and he will be escorted also."

I looked at him and hoped I wasn't shoving my foot into my mouth but I had
to say something. I said, "Pop, I hope things go smoother when we get other
kids. If we could get a day or two to go over the files we could plan things
a little better for everyone."

This time was different. Pop just lifted his eyes and looked at me. I know
that's just what I did. He swallowed and said, "Well Marco, the boy in
Australia was an emergency situation and we did have to move quickly. Kevin
was a special case too because no place would take him. He's been in a
special facility for the past week and he needs to be out of there. I agree
with having two or three days to make arrangements is the way I want it as
well, but sometimes we just won't have it but I want that time also."

That was refreshing. I just tasted the heel of my boot instead of having to
digest the whole thing. I finished my dinner, fixed another cup of coffee
and went back into Pop's office. No one heard the fax ring while we were
eating but I saw papers in the bottom tray. I went over and pulled them out
then I saw the switch for the ringer had been slid into the off position. I
fixed that then sat down to read this file. I recognized the phone number
and saw the name Jono McDaniel. I saw that this was all his personal
information Angel would need to fill out the papers.

I finished my coffee and the phone rang. I answered it saying, "Sanchez
Foundation Boys Ranch. Marco Cortez speaking."

A female voice on the other end said, "Yes Mr. Cortez, may I speak with
Miguel Sanchez please. This is Gwen Cooper speaking. I`m calling from
California regarding Kevin Jones."

This must be the social worker Pop's been talking about. I said, "Yes Gwen.
I read his file. I'm the Director of Child Services here. Can you hold for a
minute, he's right out in the dining room."

I put her on hold and went and told Pop, "Gwen Cooper is on the phone for

He got up and went into the office and I heard him say, "Hi Gwen, how are
you? Is there a problem with Kevin?"

I went inside and fixed another cup of coffee then went to sit with the kids
in the living room. When I turned the corner, I was surprised at what I saw.
On the couch was counselor Mike surrounded by Mike and Tim. Over on the
other sofa the four younger boys surrounded Jordan. I looked over at the
recliner and Angela was once again the odd person out. I sat my coffee down
and my lovely niece then surrounded me.

About twenty minutes later, Pop came out of the office and asked Mike and I
to join him in the dining room. We went in and sat down so we could hear
what he had to say. He said, "I just got off the phone with Gwen Cooper in
California. There has been a development with Kevin. It seems he tried to
have his own private orgy with about four other boys until a unit guard
caught them. Kevin had to spend the night in isolation but Gwen was told he
could no longer stay there. She has no choice but to have him stay with her
tonight. The good thing is that she is single and there are no other boys in
the apartment. If she had got this information sooner, we might have been
able to go there and get him but now it will have to wait until tomorrow."

Pop stopped for a minute to get a glass of water. He drank about half of it
then continued saying, "I'm going to have both planes bringing new residents
here. Mike, I asked you to come in here because you are now a part of this
team. I know that you had expressed an interest in possibly going to get
Kevin. With the report I just received, I don't think that is a good idea.
Kevin has tendencies to be sexually aggressive at times and should that
happen, an airplane is not the ideal place to be. Therefore, I think it's
best if Marco and Jay went to bring Kevin here. We still have one more
resident to get. Since Jono is arriving from Australia, he will need to
clear Customs and then meet with someone from Immigration concerning his
status here in the United States. I need Angel for that but she isn't a
counselor. He may have some issues or problems that might not wait until he
arrives here. Mike, I want you to go with her to New York and meet Jono and
help him if needed."

I could see the smile on his face after Pop told him he was going. I looked
up at Pop and asked; "I was thinking that I would need to leave no later
than ten thirty so I could pick him up at eight."

Pop shook his head at one point in my statement. He said, "You're wrong on
one point son, you will have to leave at seven thirty but Gwen will be at
the airport with Kevin. You will have some papers to sign but that should
only take five or ten minutes. You'll then turn around and come home. Do you
have any questions?"

I hadn't see Jay do this when I thought I was being cute. I said, "Oh man
Pop, that means I'm going to be up at six. And just where is Jay?"

No sooner had I said his name when I felt a smack on the back on my head.
Jay was behind me and said, "I'm right here wise ass."

I looked at him and he just smiled as Pop started to speak saying, "Mike,
you and Angel will need to leave at about the same time as Marco. Jono's
flight is supposed to get in a few minutes past eleven. You both will need
to be there when he arrives so he has our form for him at Customs. You won`t
have to worry about your three because Ronnie and I will be here. Just get
the boys and come home safe. Do you or Angel have any questions? If not, I
will see you all in the morning."

I looked at my watch and it read eight thirty and I went back to the living
room to get my crew ready to leave. Ruben and Edwardo had fallen asleep
cuddled together beside Mike. Jay took Edwardo and I picked up Ruben and we
carried them into their bedroom. We laid them on their bed and just turned
the light out. Steven and Tito were busy watching a show on the television
so I thought it would be alright if he spent the night with us. When I get
back, I'm going to have Angela stay without anyone else.

Mike came in and stood beside me and loudly announced, "Alright guys, Marco
and I have a big day tomorrow. It's time to get home."

I looked over at him and said, "Gee thanks Dad."

Mike smiled back and just giggled and said, "Don't mention it."

I wrapped my arm around his head and pulling it to me I ruffled his hair.
The boys hadn't budged so I said, "Boys, I won't speak again. Move it, now!"
I never saw five boys move so fast in my life. They all kidded Jay and Pop
as they hurried out to the Hummer.

As Mike and I walked out to the Hummer, he looked at me and said, "Marco,
I'm really sorry I over stepped my boundaries inside. I saw you there yet I
took charge.."

I interrupted him and said, "Son, it's alright. I was just picking on you
with the Dad bit. They are going to have to learn to listen to you when I'm
not around. Even if I am, there may be times when I have you get them all
together so don't worry about it."

Mike looked at me and I could see his eyes were damp. He turned his head
away from me so he could wipe them before he told me, "Marco, that's the
first time I've done something wrong and haven't had all hell break lose. My
dad would yell, rant and scream forever. It seemed I had committed a major
crime or something. Thanks for listening and understanding. Tito has a great

I was totally unprepared for what he just said. I put my arm on his shoulder
and pulled him to me for a hug and suddenly Mike lost it. He wrapped his
arms around me and stood there crying. He was crying so hard he was actually
shaking. I comforted him and his tears eased. I helped him to the Hummer and
whispered to him, "We'll be home in a few we'll talk more when we get

Mike gave me a light kiss on the cheek and mouthed the words `thank you' to
me. I started the vehicle and quickly got us all home. I gave Jordan the key
to the front door and Mike once again hugged me close as we walked. Tito
looked at me and asked, "Dad, is Mike ok? Did something bad happen to him
too? If it did, I'll kick his nuts off."

Mike put one of his arms out and pulled Tito close to him. He tried to smile
at him when he answered him saying, "No little one, I wasn't hurt in the way
you ...

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