One of the hallmark activities of a sleepover at The Cove is a late night swim. When the Covers and their guests returned from their evening of fun at the Go-Kart track, Miniature Golf and a visit to DQ for banana splits, the older lads asked Mr. Wayne if they could swim. Mr. Wayne enjoyed the indoor pool as much as the boys did, so he told them he had no problem with them swimming as long as they adhered to Mr. Ken’s Rule.
When Richard, Landon, and Isaac heard there was a Rule for swimming, they asked Charles and the twins about it. The twins told them they hadn’t been there all that long and they were still learning all the rules for The Cove. Charles told them that Mr. Ken wanted to make sure everyone could swim across the width of the pool and didn’t swim without a buddy and didn’t eat before swimming. The three lads thought those were good Rules.
What the three guests didn’t know was that the Rule Mr. Wayne was referring to was Mr. Ken’s Rule that if he swims with them then everyone wears a swimsuit. Eric and Robert had hoped Mr. Wayne would swim with them and when they saw him show up with his suit on they got big smiles on their faces.
“Ok, who’s swimming?” asked Mr. Wayne.
That call for swimming made the four guests get into gear and race upstairs to get their swimsuits and then head quickly down to the Locker Room to change. The regular swimmers at The Covers nonchalantly took off their clothes and put on their swimsuits. The three lads who weren’t used to showing their bare bottoms to everyone were still a bit hesitant in changing there in the Locker Room.
Charles saw how Richard, Landon, and Isaac were lagging behind in changing, so he went over to them, asked them to get by their host and let them talk them through it. He reminded them they’ve already done this at least once before and if they just did it and not think about it, they would be changed before they knew it.
Charles asked Richard to go with him to a side bench to change. Kevin asked Landon and Isaac to get beside him as they, too, changed. Kyle still had his arm in a cast so he wasn’t swimming. Charles told Richard to follow what he did and just do it. The other two newbies heard what the pre-teen said so they watched the twins.
Charles told Richard to take his shoes and socks off. The pre-teen then told the lad to put his swimsuit on the bench. The next instruction had the youngster take his shorts and underwear down and let his shirt still cover him. Charles then told Rich to slip his suit on and then take his shirt off.
It took the two pre-teens about 30 seconds to do all that and when Richard was standing there with his swimsuit on he had a great big smile on his face. Landon and Isaac had followed along as Charles spoke out the instructions and they marveled at how easy and fast it was to change and not be embarrassed. All the lads then went out to the lockers and placed their clothes in them. Swimming would soon commence.
The seven lads just swam at first. They enjoyed the immense pool and the freedom to go this way or that way without being interfered with by 20 other lads. Then the younger lads wanted to play a few games. Horsey was the first one they chose. Robert had Isaac on his back and Kevin took Landon. Charles took Richard and Eric was the odd man out since Kyle wasn’t in the water.
It was Mr. Wayne who went in and took Kevin and put him on his back while Eric took Landon on his back and challenged the other two teams. They lost. Mr. Wayne took Richard on his back and Charles put Kevin on his back and challenged the two other teams; they lost, too. But, the thing was, they all had fun. They did a few other games and then they challenged one another to see how far off the jumping rock they could get.
Before they knew it the time had gone by so fast that it was almost 12:30 AM. Mr. Wayne told the lads to go change into what they wore to bed, and he’d meet them in the Kitchen Nook where they could get their midnight snack. Mr. Wayne then walked up to his en-suite to change into some running shorts and a t-shirt.
Robert told the boys to just change into their underwear and t-shirts and they’d walk up to the bedrooms that way. The three newest lads said they weren’t sure they should do that because someone might see them. Robert told them that they and Mr. Wayne were the only ones in the house right now and they often wore what they had on when they went up to bed that late.
When the lads got up to the bedrooms, Eric and Robert didn’t change into anything else. Richard brought his pajamas but when he saw Charles was only going to wear his boxer shorts and a t-shirt he asked if Mr. Wayne would mind if he did that. Charles smiled and said he didn’t think he would.
In the twin’s bedroom, Landon and Isaac put on their pajamas, but they saw that Kevin and Kyle didn’t change out of their boxer shorts and t-shirt.
“Aren’t you guys going to change into something different, like pajamas?” asked Isaac.
“Nope, ‘Dad Ken’ says as long as we’re comfortable sleeping in our underwear and a t-shirt we can do that. He doesn’t like us to walk around the lower floors in the morning like this because Momma Maria could be there and he doesn’t want us to embarrass her. At night, after we swim, and we know there are no women in the house, we can go downstairs like this for our late night snack before going to bed,” replied Kevin.
“My mom would get real mad if I walked around in only my underwear and t-shirt,” said Landon.
“Yeah, mine would too. But, I bet it is a lot cooler sleeping like that than to have to wear them and the pajamas. I often wake up and have to throw the covers off because I am so warm,” added Isaac.
“So, why don’t you just try it here, tonight?” said Kyle. “It will give you a chance to know what it is like. Come on try it and let’s hurry up and get downstairs for some of Momma’s great cupcakes.”
The two boys took off their pajamas bottoms but left their tops on and the four eleven-year-olds walked down to the Kitchen Nook for their midnight snack. When they walked into the room, Mr. Wayne and the other boys were already there wearing almost exactly what they had on. The nine people had a few cupcakes each and some cold milk and then off the bed they all went.
Since they didn’t get to bed until well after 1 AM, the eight lads slept in that next morning. When 9 AM came and the boys weren’t downstairs for breakfast, Mr. Wayne went up to Robert’s room and did the Three-Knock Rule.
“Robert … you guys going to sleep all morning,” teased Mr. Wayne, when he was allowed into the room. He was startled that the two teens were sleeping in the same bed. He didn’t say anything to either of them. He figured that was up to Mr. Ken.
“What time is it?” asked Robert, but he didn’t get out from under the covers.
“It’s after 9 and I thought we’d go out for breakfast and then be back before your friends arrived,” replied Mr. Wayne. “Now, hurry up you two, while I get your ‘brothers’ and their friends up for breakfast.”
While Mr. Wayne went to Charles’ and then the twins’ rooms, Robert woke up Eric and told him what just happened. Hearing that Mr. Wayne caught them in the same bed woke the teenager right up. They talked for a few moments and when Robert said the man wanted to take them out for breakfast Eric put his boxers on and went directly to the bathroom. Robert quickly followed behind.
Charles got out of bed to open the bedroom door and was surprised to see Mr. Wayne there. The man told Charles what he wanted to do and for him and Richard to get up, dressed and downstairs by 9:30. The man repeated the same things in the twins’ bedroom.
All the lads peed and quickly washed their face and hands and were downstairs by 9:30. Mr. Wayne told the lads to grab their jackets as the morning chill was still in the air. The lads got their jackets and they all loaded into the van and off they went.
Mr. Wayne asked the last where they wanted to go to eat and none of them had any good ideas. Charles then said that Mr. Dan had taken him to the IHOP for breakfast and they had a great meal there. Mr. Wayne didn’t ask the lads what they thought, he just drove the van in the direction of where he knew an IHOP was located.
“Robert, please call the guards at the Main Gate and tell them what we’re doing and to allow your friends in if we aren’t back when they show,” asked Mr. Wayne.
While Robert talked to the guard at the gate, Wayne asked Charles what types of foods IHOP had. Charles told him and the other boys that they had different breakfast combinations that had eggs, bacon, sausage, hash browns, and pancakes. The pre-teen said they could get pancakes and bacon, or waffles and bacon or sausage, or omelets, or they could get a sampler plate. Charles also told them IHOP had a really neat appearance inside and it felt fresh and clean. The boys couldn’t wait until the got there for breakfast.
When they arrived, the staff had to put together a few tables in order to accommodate the large group. Mr. Wayne told the guys to order what they wanted, but to make sure they can eat everything they order. The lads then looked through the extensive menu. Mr. Wayne ordered coffee while the boys all ordered milk.
When their waitress came back she asked if they were ready to order and were they. They ordered four Breakfast Scramblers, one Belgian Waffle, two Split Decisions, and two Pancake Combos. With such a large order for one table, it took a little longer to have it all out at one time. So, while they waited, they talked about what they did last night.
“Mr. Wayne, I want to apologize, again, for not waiting for you last night,” said Robert. “As the oldest, I should know better, but … I guess the idea that we got to do something totally different than what we usually do when we have sleepovers I just … I’m sorry. I will do my best and try not to let happen again.”
Mr. Wayne smiled back at the lad and nodded to him that he was okay with his apology. It was very quiet at the table for some time. It took Mr. Wayne to get the conversation started.
“So, Richard, how did you enjoy driving the Go-Karts last night? I understand you didn’t get to do that very often,” started Mr. Wayne.
Richard look to the man and then to Charles. Richard decided since the man asked him a direct question he should answer him. “Sir …” but that was all he got out when Charles interrupted him.
“Rich, that’s Mr. Wayne, not sir. Just call him Mr. Wayne like you call me ‘dad’ Mr. Ken. OK?”
Richard nodded to Charles and began again. “Mr. Wayne … actually, I think that was the first time I ever drove something like that. My mom never took my brother and me to anyplace like you did last night. But, you know what? It was FUN! Sure, I didn’t do too good, but it was fun driving the car around the turns and on the straightaways. Thank you for taking me.
“My dad … he just got a new job and he told me and my brother that until he gets his feet on the ground we won’t be doing everything, but we’ll slowly get to do some fun things. If what we did last night was a taste of the ‘fun things’ my dad was talking about, I can’t wait until he gets his feet on the ground.” With that said, Richard had a big smile on his face.
Landon went next and he told Mr. Wayne that he’d driven the go-karts a few times, but he never raced like they did last night. He told the man and all his friends how fun it was to try to go faster than he did before and that even though he lost he had a lot of fun. He even said he liked that they didn’t keep score at the miniature golf course. He told everyone it was fun just hitting the ball and watching how it bounced off the sidewalls or the other objects. He just wished he’d gotten a FREE Game when they all finished.
Isaac told everyone how he enjoyed last night. He told everyone that he wasn’t very good at driving the go-karts yet, but he knew as he got older and drove them more he’d do lots better. He told Robert he was surprised he raced that man as well as he had and wondered if his ‘dad’ would call that guy and let him race.
Robert was on the spot from Isaac’s question, so he told everyone that he didn’t think his ‘dad’ would let him do something that dangerous. The teen told his friends that he enjoyed racing that man last night and that he got a ‘rush’ from it as he was racing to the Finish Line. He told them he was taken by surprise when the man bumped him and he had to slow down to maintain control of the kart. He said if he’d lost control Charles would have finished second instead of him. That brought about a lot of laughter from everyone at the table.
As Robert finished answering Isaac’s question, their waitress began serving the table with their food. It took her two tries to deliver all the entrees and as she finished she asked who wanted seconds on their drinks.
The conversation slowed to a trickle as all the boys and Mr. Wayne dug into their breakfasts. Many of the lads hadn’t eaten at an IHOP very often, if at all, and as they ate their food, the people around them could hear them purr from the good tasting selections they’d all made.
The group returned to The Cove just as the lads’ friends began to arrive. Today, there would be all of the Covers’ friends and Mr. Wayne would be put to the test. The Covers told their friends they’d meet them by the ramps as they needed to go in and take care of business. The boys all laughed knowing the boys were going to off load some excess water and stinky weight.
When Mr. Wayne went into the Study, he saw there was a message on the answering machine. He wasn’t sure if he should check it as he was only there watching over the boys and he didn’t know anything about Mr. Ken’s businesses. The man decided against checking the message and took out his laptop and began checking housing prices as he needed to know that information so he could compare the New Homes he was selling to what was already on the market.
Upstairs, Charles asked Robert if he had heard from their ‘dad’. Robert said he hadn’t but they were so busy last night that he hadn’t even checked. The teen asked his pre-teen brother if he heard anything. Charles had the same answer for his older ‘brother’. The two then checked their cell phones, but neither of them had a message from their ‘dad’.
The Covers and their overnight guests went down to the Study to check with Mr. Wayne. When they entered the Study, Robert told the man they’d be out at the ramps and then they’ll cook before they go swimming. The teen wanted to know if he wanted a burger or dog or both or what. Mr. Wayne told the teenager he’d like one of each and to please come and get him when they started cooking.
Mr. Wayne then asked the lads if they ever checked their ‘dad’s’ messages when he wasn’t there. Upon hearing there was a message, Robert went over to the machine and click the PLAY button. Mr. Ken’s voice came out of the speakers. “I guess Mr. Wayne has kept you boys so busy that you didn’t even hear my phone call. I’ll call later tomorrow. What I will tell you is that these managers …” was all they boys heard when the phone at their ‘dad’s’ desk rang. Mr. Wayne answered the phone and it was Mr. Ken.
“Hello, Wayne, I take it you and the boys were swimming when I called last night. Are they close by?” said ‘dad’ Ken.
“‘Dad’, ‘dad’, we’re here, we’re here, ‘dad’” called out Charles, and Mr. Wayne hit the speakerphone button, so they could all hear the conversation and talk to their ‘dad’.
“We’re sorry we missed your call ‘dad’, but Mr. Wayne took us over to drive the go-karts and play miniature golf. He even took us out for banana splits,” laughed Charles.
“That’s great. He’s keeping you as busy as Mr. Dan did, is he?” laughed Mr. Ken.
As the Cover lads talked to Mr. Ken, Eric motioned to the other three boys to follow him. He explained when they were out in the Foyer that they should let them talk to their ‘dad’. Eric told the lads they should catch up with the rest of their friends and tell them what Robert, Charles, Kevin, and Kyle were doing.
Each of the Cover boys got the chance to speak with ‘Dad’ Ken. They all told him what they did last night and how their friends and they had a good breakfast because Mr. Wayne got them all up. Kyle lamented that he still couldn’t swim and he couldn’t wait until he had his cast off. “Dad Ken’ told the younger twin that it would be off sooner than he thought and that he just has to deal with it. ‘Dad Ken’ also told Kyle that he needed to make an appointment to have his arm checked by the doctor when he got back.
The boys sounded upbeat to Mr. Ken and he was happy that things seemed to be working out with Mr. Wayne being there with the lads. It was at then that Robert told his ‘dad’ what they did last night when they got to the Go-Kart track. It got awfully quiet after the teenager told his ‘dad’ that they screwed up.
The twins thought that ‘Dad Ken’ was going to get extremely mad because that was how their real dad reacted to things he didn’t like that they did. But when Mr. Ken asked Robert and the rest of the boys if they learned a lesson last night they all spoke up and said they did. Mr. Ken told them all that this is a part of growing up and learning for when they are older and finally adults. He told them it was best they made mistakes now and learned from them, so they knew what was expected of them as they got older. The twins couldn’t believe that ‘Dad Ken’ wasn’t mad and didn’t yell at them like they would have heard from their dad, Parker.
“‘Dad Ken’ … why didn’t you yell at us for, you know, for leaving Mr. Wayne behind at the van as we all ran ahead to get in line?” asked Kevin.
“Kevin … and you too Kyle, what good does it do if I yell at you and you didn’t learn from your mistake? If I yelled I think you’ll remember the yelling more than why or how you messed up. Boys, I want you all to remember … you are a kid first, so you can learn a lot of life’s lessons for when you are on your own as an adult. Granted you should try not to make mistakes, but we all know you’ll make them. Try to keep in mind … you do have to learn from them. Does that make sense to you Kevin, Kyle? And what about you two, Robert and Charles?” finished ‘dad’ Ken.
The lads looked at one another and it was Charles who spoke first. “‘Dad’, I know what you are saying. I try not to make mistakes, but know I will because I am not all that mature yet that my inner child will still come out at times. ‘Dad’ I know I’ll make the wrong choices at times, too, but I also know that every time either I or my ‘brothers’ make a mistake I, we, learn from it.”
“‘Dad’, I’m sorry if I disappointed you by my actions last night. I am truly sorry for acting like a little kid. Sure, I am thirteen, but I am also the older ‘brother’ and I should be the one who sets the example to my ‘brothers’,” said Robert. “I’ve apologized to Mr. Wayne and I hope I won’t make the same mistake twice.”
Kevin and Kyle didn’t have much to say about their actions and Mr. Ken knew they are just beginning to learn right from wrong and last night was a good learning experience for them all and he hopes they would never forget this.
Mr. Ken told the lads he was expected at the office of the second amusement park he was visiting and he would have to go. He told the boys he’d try to call later tonight, but for them not to wait around the phone in case he gets involved with something and just can’t get away. The owner of The Cove told the lads they needed to be the Host to their friends and have as good a night as they did the night before.
The boys said their goodbyes to their ‘dad’ and then headed out to catch up with their friends. Mr. Ken and Wayne talked for a few minutes after the boys left the Study. Mr. Ken wanted to get Wayne’s perspective on what happened. All Mr. Wayne could tell the man was what the boys told him was pretty much what happened. He told the owner of The Cove that the boys recognized they made a mistake and they apologized and then he didn’t make a big deal out of it. Mr. Ken was happy that Wayne didn’t overreact and was happy he handled it the way he did.
The Cover lads caught up with their friends out at the ramps. Robert checked with Logan to see if he brought his things over for the night and learning he had the two teens went up to Robert’s room to drop them off.
Charles asked Cooper if he’d brought his things but learned Cooper’s mom would bring them over later in the day. The twin’s asked the same question of their invited friends, Blake and Grant, and they learned that their parents would bring their things over later, too.
When the boys weren’t skating they were talking about what the lads did the night before. The big discussion that afternoon was about the older man who raced Robert last night and then asked him if he wanted to learn to race. Most of the lads wished they’d been there to watch that race as from what they heard it sounded like it was a tight touch-and-go.
The day was like most other days the lads came over to use the skateboard ramps. The only difference was the air temperature. The lads could tell that fall was in the air and some figured that they’d soon not be able to skate much longer.
It was about 2:30 that afternoon that the lads decided to ‘burn’ some burgers and dogs. Kyle went inside to tell Mr. Wayne because that was what he asked them to do. The lads did their thing with Brad and Chuck choosing to cook. The eleven-year-olds were asked to do the major honors that day to see if they remembered where everything was kept and how to bring it down to the Patio. The younger boys were also asked to do the setup, too. Although they’d only helped a few times they got the job done with only a few helping instructions.
When Brad and Chuck had the grill cleaned and hot, they took out a number of hamburgers and began to grill them. They didn’t put any hot dogs on the grill yet as they didn’t take all that long to get ready.
Mr. Wayne came out to the Patio and was surprised that the grill was already smoking and the setup was already going on. He stood back and watched the boys do their thing and was amazed that there was no bickering amongst them but rather some light-hearted laughter.
When the burgers were done, the lads let Mr. Wayne go first and then followed in no particular order. The boys watched where Mr. Wayne was sitting and they all seemed to want to sit with him or close by.
“Mr. Wayne … will you come out and show us how you do some of the things you showed us the last time?” asked Sam.
“Well, I thought you were all going swimming after you ate?” replied Mr. Wayne.
“Well, we don’t all have to swim,” answered Sam.
“Yeah, some of us would like to get better on our skateboards and … well, you’re really good and you already showed us some things and we would like you to show us a few more. That is … if you have the time,” added Terran.
Wayne Mitchell was pleased the boys were accepting him as well as they were. He was concerned they wouldn’t accept him and would ignore him but his fears were unfounded. Now he had to decide if he was going to show the lads some more of his skateboard ability or beg off and promise he’d do it tomorrow.
“Boys, why don’t you all swim after we eat and … and if there is time today, before you go home tonight, I’ll show you a few things. But, tomorrow, I promise I’ll come out and work with you on some of the tricks I showed you before and maybe start you working on something new. Can you do that for me?” finished Mr. Wayne.
After the lads finished eating and put everything away, they did go swimming. The lagoon water was way too cold to swim out there anymore, so the boys automatically went into the indoor pool area to swim. A few of the older boys asked if they could skinny-dip but Robert said Mr. Wayne already told them last night that he wouldn’t like it if they did that. A few of the lads grumbled, but they understood Mr. Wayne was an unknown, so they needed to be careful and not let the cat out of the bag and get Mr. Ken in trouble because they wanted to swim without their swimsuits on. Kyle was on the sidelines, watching his friends swim.
While the lads were swimming, Blake and Grant talked to Landon and Isaac about what they did the night before and where did they sleep. Landon said they slept with either Kevin or Kyle even though they had sleeping bags they could use. It was Isaac that told their friends that they also slept in their boxer shorts and t-shirts even though they brought their pajamas. Landon told them that all the Cover lads slept that way and they tried it and liked it. They added that when they get home they knew they couldn’t do that there because their mom’s wouldn’t like it.
Blake and Grant thanked Landon and Isaac for telling them what to expect. They then asked if they thought they’d get to drive the go-karts and play some miniature golf. The previous evening’s guests told them they didn’t know as Mr. Wayne had asked what they wanted to do that was thinking ‘outside of the box’. The lads continued to talk about the previous evening’s sleepover.
When the lads finished swimming there really wasn’t much time for Mr. Wayne to work with the boys on their skating skills. The man did walk up to the top of the estate and waited for the parents to come to pick up their son or sons. Some of the parents wanted to know where Mr. Ken was and Wayne was honest and told them he was back east checking on some of his properties and that he was chaperoning the boys.
Paula Shepherd, Blake’s mom, wanted to know more about Mr. Ken’s travels. She also wanted to know more about Wayne, since she never remembered meeting him, so she asked him to tell her more about himself and why she should allow her son to sleepover while he was there.
Blake got scared he wouldn’t be allowed to stay over, so he told his mom, “Mom, Landon, and Isaac … they spent last night while Mr. Wayne was here and they had a good time. Just ask them. Mr. Wayne took them to the Go-Kart track and they drove the karts and he took them to the Miniature Golf place and they played as well. Then, he took them all out to Dairy Queen and they all had banana splits. Come on mom. Kevin and Kyle asked me to stay over and I want to mom. I’ve been looking forward to this since they asked me.”
After Blake finished with his mini-tantrum, Paula Shepherd pushed him behind her and asked Wayne to tell her why she should trust her son with him. Wayne started by telling her his full name that he was a recent college graduate and how he met and knew Mr. Ken. The man then told Ms. Shepherd how Mr. Ken asked him to be his ‘stand-in’ when he had to be away to take care of his business interests elsewhere and how Ms. Judy Turner, the Director of Children’s Protective Services, asked him to apply to be a fully approved Foster Parent, so that he would have the same responsibility and authority if the lads get sick and needed medical help when Mr. Ken was gone
Grant’s parents, Saul and Denise, heard what Wayne had to say for himself and they thought that it was good that Mr. Ken, a single parent, a Foster parent nonetheless, needed someone he could call on and trust to watch over his charges when he had to be out of town. Saul Lowery told Paula that they were satisfied with what Wayne told them and they would allow Grant to still spend the night.
While all this was going on Judy Turner had arrived to pick up Eric and heard what was being said. She decides to wait until Wayne had defended himself to Paula Shepherd, to say something, but didn’t get the chance to defend Mr. Ken’s choice because Saul Lowery stepped up and said he was satisfied with what Wayne had to say for himself.
Judy then walked up and asked Wayne how things were going while Mr. Ken was away. Wayne introduced her to Paula, Denise, and Saul and told them who she was. That started another round of talks, but by the time they were through the rest of the parents heard why Mr. Ken was going to hire Wayne to be his ‘stand-in’. That brought a lot of smiles to everyone knowing the man cared enough to find someone all the kids liked and respected.
After all the parents and kids not staying the night left, Mr. Wayne told the guests to put their things away and get cleaned up as they were going out. Hearing that brought smiles on all eight lads as they ran up the stairs to put their things away, pee and wash their face and hands.
“And don’t run up the stairs!” yelled Mr. Wayne. But they boys never heard him as they had already made the turn and were down the hallway.
Mr. Wayne loaded the lads into the 12 passenger van, which he was enjoying driving, and took the boys over to Four Corners Diner for dinner. The boys ate heartily and hoped Mr. Wayne was going to let them drive the Go-Karts. The man didn’t disappoint.
Tonight, besides the four Cover lads, they were joined by Logan, Cooper, Blake, and Grant. Mr. Wayne and the eight boys got into line and the conversation was lively as they continued to talk about the man who challenged Robert during last night’s race. It was a Saturday night so the line was long and it took them an hour to get to the front of the line.
Along the way, the boys agreed on who would drive in which line and when they were allowed into the starting area they ran to their appointed car. Mr. Wayne was on the first line with Kyle beside him. Kevin and Grant were in the second line followed by Blake and Charles, Logan and Cooper and finally Robert bringing up the rear. The older gentleman wasn’t next to the teen that night.
When the race started, Kyle raced out fast leaving Mr. Wayne well behind. Kevin and Grant also passed Mr. Wayne like he was almost sitting still. Not to be left behind, Logan, Cooper, and Blake finally passed their overseer by the end of the first lap. When Mr. Wayne looked over his shoulder he was surprised Robert hadn’t passed him yet, as well.
What Mr. Wayne didn’t know was that Robert was off his other shoulder and when the man had looked left, Robert passed him on the right. Mr. Wayne didn’t know he’d been passed until he looked straight ahead and saw Robert speeding up to pass Blake and Cooper.
Robert worked his way past the rest of his friends and was in the lead by the seventh lap. It was no contest by the end of the race as Robert won by almost four karts lengths with Logan finishing second and Charles a close third.
As the group walked out the track exit, the older gentleman who raced Robert the previous evening was there. He congratulated the teen on his impressive win and asked him if he had the chance to talk to his dad about possibly joining a racing club. Mr. Wayne was there and he told the gentleman that he talked to Mr. Thomas this morning and until Robert’s status is clarified in the Foster Care system, Robert wouldn’t be able to participate in anything like that.
The older man smiled and thanked Wayne and Robert for their time. He then told the teenager that he could have a future in racing and for him to keep his information. And, if and when the teen gets settled for him to give him a call. The man then walked away.
“That sure was strange,” said Charles.
“Yeah, it was,” replied Robert.
The group regrouped and their next stop was the Miniature Golf course. The course was crowded for a Saturday as the October weather was unusually warm for being almost the end of the month. Everybody seemed to be out enjoying the beautiful weather and had stopped at the miniature golf course or the go-karts.
The group waited their turn but the lady at the admission window would only allow four people per group, even though the evening before they allowed all nine to play. The woman said she was sorry and only the owner could make that happen. Upon hearing that, Robert and Charles laughed out loud. Their friends asked them why they were laughing and the Covers told them that their ‘dad’, Mr. Ken, did own the course.
The woman behind the window heard what Robert said. So, she got Mr. Wayne’s attention and asked him if it was true that the owner was indeed the lad’s dad. Wayne told her that Mr. Ken Thomas was the lads Foster Dad but was out of town that weekend. The woman swallowed hard and told him she’d let them play, but asked him not to tell anyone she allowed that.
Wayne thanked the woman for offering that, but told her he knew Mr. Ken would never allow the boys to use his name to influence any of the people who work for him to break the rules. He told her he’d sit this one out and let the boys have their fun. She was a bit more persistent about him playing, but he told the lady that last night, when they played, the line was nonexistent and the person said it would be OK, but not to advertise they did that for them. Wayne told her she did the right thing and he was not upset.
The boys decided to mix their groups up with a 13, 12 and two 11-year-olds on each team. They also decide to not have more than two Covers on either team. Everyone agreed and when it was their turn Logan and Robert flipped for the honor. The match was on.
The boys played as they did last night. They didn’t keep score but played the holes for fun. It wasn’t until the last hole that the game was on. Each lad was to try for the FREE Game and if they got one they won. But if they got a 2 or a 3 they lost. Just that simple. The winners got to order their DQ ice cream first while the losers, were still losers. They had fun with that last bit.
Logan went first and he got a 2. Charles went next and he got a 3. Blake went third and he got a FREE Game and then so did Kevin. When the next team played the last hole, Robert also got a 2, Cooper got a FREE Game, while Grant and Kyle both got 3’s.
At Dairy Queen, the players who won a FREE Game, Blake, Kevin and Cooper, all got to get their banana splits first. The others all got theirs according to age with Kyle going first followed by Grant, Charles, Logan and finally Robert. Mr. Wayne decides to just get a medium strawberry sundae. Of course, Mr. Wayne knew to get a medium cup of ice cream for Chief before they departed to head back to The Cove.
The group, minus Kyle, swam until midnight and then had their cupcakes and cold milk as their snack before going to bed. There was no trouble with all the boys sleeping in their boxer shorts and t-shirts. That night Charles and Cooper shared one bed, but Mr. Wayne would never find that out as he had with Robert and Eric.
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