"… Then you should have heard Hannah's dad. Boy was he pissed at his daughter, and Brittany. After he finished yelling at them, he came back on the phone, to us. He must have tried a dozen different ways from Sunday to apologize to me and Mr. Ken, for what Hannah and Brittany tried to do to me. He was so upset with everything, he couldn't think straight.
"Then he got it from all sides. First, Bill Jackson laid in on him then Uncle Andy told him he would personally go to the Bar Association for his misconduct. Mr. Ken was not to be out done as he, sort of, read the man the 'riot' act'," explained Collin, to his buds at school the next day.
"What about you, Collin? What did you say to Hannah's dad? Did you get in a few well choice words?" asked Damon who then laughed at what he asked.
"Well, no not really. Mr. Ken whispered to me to stay out of it, and to let the lawyers handle it," replied Collin.
Just then, Hannah and Brittany, along with Ellen and the rest of that 'clique' walked by the boys. They all had their 'noses' up in the air, but Hannah and Brittany added a 'harrumph' as they passed. Then they both said in unison, "You'll be sorry you did this to us. Just you wait and see!"
The boys all laughed.
Then Damon yelled out, "Hey Brittany, did you get your hundred thou?"
That made all the boys laugh, all that much more.
"So, Collin, what's going to happen, now? I mean … well, they tried to scam some money out of you and … and make you take out a full page ad, so … are you going to sue them?" asked Derrick.
Collin didn't answer right away. He knew they wanted to hear him say how he was going to 'take it to them' but that is not what was going to happen. Collin got his thoughts together and then explained.
"Guys … Mr. Ken and Bill and Uncle Andy talked to me after Mr. Schwimminger hung up. They said it would be best if we didn't pursue this."
"What? No way man! They tried to make you PAY them for what they said you did. How can you let them get away with that?" demanded Damon.
"Guys, guys … I think they were right. Hear me first, okay, before you go off on me again," implored Collin. "Bill and Uncle Andy … well they said that by going to court we'd only bring attention to ourselves for what many would perceive as 'petty' teenage hormones getting in an uproar. We'd also bring unneeded publicity to Three Finger Cove, and Mr. Ken, and that wouldn't be right."
"Yeah, okay, I can sort of understand that, but … well, what is going to happen to Hannah and Brittany?" asked Teddy. "They did cause you and Mr. Ken lots of grief and all. Are they going to have to … you know … pay you something or do community service? Is anything going to happen to them at all?"
"Well, guys … the bottom line is this. Mr. Schwimminger said Hannah won't be allowed to go to the water park this weekend, or any time this summer, without her family being with her. And … she is also supposed to stay away from me. Mr. Schwimminger then said he couldn't say what Brittany's dad and mom would do, but he was going to recommend they do the same to her.
"The lawyers agreed that Hannah and Brittany would have to write me a letter of apology and it could not just be two words, 'I apologize!' Bill and Uncle Andy demanded that the girls write what they were attempting to do and to explain themselves, up until they decided to get Mr. Schwimminger involved.
"Mr. Schwimminger began to say, he couldn't speak for Brittany's dad, but before he went any further, Bill Jackson interrupted him and explained what would happen if either one or both girls refused to comply with what they agreed to. Dracken, that's Hannah's dad's first name, got all tongue tied like we usually do when we have to explain something to our parents," said Collin.
That made the boys laugh some more, and high-five one another, over the explanation Collin was giving them.
"You should have heard Uncle Andy, then. He demanded the girls pay them, him and Bill that is, for their time they spent on this frivolous prank. And you can bet that it won't be just a few dollars."
"Yeah, but what do you get out of all this?" asked Teddy.
"Well … I get an apology," started Collin.
That made the lads laugh some more.
"And … I don't have to put up with either of them. I think that, in itself, is a BIG win for me, don't you think?" added Collin.
"They also have to stay away from ANY of my friends and make sure that none of that nonsense EVER happens again, between them, and any other boy. They also have to tell Dracken if they hear any of their girlfriends talking about doing something like that again," continued Collin.
"But, are you going to get anything out of this?" asked Damon that time.
"If you are asking about money … then no," Collin quickly answered.
"That sucks, man," spoke up Derrick and Nicholas.
The group of boys became quiet for a time. Each of them went through in their minds what they knew and heard about the incident and thinking how they would have responded, or would have liked to have responded.
"Guys … Mr. Schwimminger is between a rock and a hard place, over this. Bill said he handled it the wrong way. He took his 'little' girl's word, over gathering the facts, before he acted. The fact that he demanded such a large sum of money could mean he could have his license suspended and, or, be fined. Also, if Brittany's parents don't go along with the recommendations … then this will probably become a real big court fight.
"Guys … I really don't need this! I … I already have to go to court … you know, over what happened to me and … and, I really don't want to have to tell that to anyone, ever, again," a somber Collin said, as a few tears welled up in his eyes.
A few of his friends saw that, but they didn't say anything. It was when Collin wiped his eyes that everyone knew that they needed to cool it, with what happened last night, and move on to something else. Ryan took the lead and they talked about the weekend's big event, the 'soft' opening of the new lakeside water park.
"So what makes it a 'soft' opening?" asked Vince.
Ryan saw that Collin was still a bit upset so he answered the question. "Vince, for your information, this type of 'soft' opening has nothing to do with sex!" The boys all laughed, and that was what Ryan was hoping for.
"We all know, or we all hope, that it will be 'soft' when we … No, no wait … we don't want it soft! What we all want is for IT to be as HARD as nails." Again, Ryan got the expected result, a hard laugh from all the boys.
"Okay, enough of the sex jokes … for now … but actually Vince a business does a 'soft' opening when they need to work the kinks out of their system, before they advertise their Grand Opening. Mr. Ken explained that the water park needs to see if their safety plans, as well as the parking and admittance and refreshment plans, and everything else, will work. He also said they are afraid they're going to get an overflow crowd on Saturday, which is why he is taking us on his 38 foot Commander. He wants to avoid the traffic grid lock; he is afraid will happen."
"I thought you weren't allowed to take boats to the water park," said Damon. "They said there weren't any boat docks there."
Collin, by that time, recovered enough to answer Damon's question. "Damon, what many people do not know, and I stress that I don't want you all spreading around what I am going to tell you, but … well, Mr. Ken IS building the water park."
The lad's eyes all got big, upon that revelation. Then they began to laugh at what they just heard.
"Dang … I knew Mr. Ken was rich, but NOT that rich. I wonder how much that thing's gonna cost to build?" queried Derrick.
Ryan and Collin both shrugged. "He never told us that," said Ryan. "Matter of fact, we didn't know, he was paying to have it built, until we sailed past it when the California Boys were visiting. That took us by surprise, for sure."
"But how can he take the Commander, if there are no docks?" also asked Derrick
"Actually, there are some boat docks there, Derr. They are also building a new Lake Water Safety and Rescue Team headquarters, and observation tower with offices and classrooms, and there will be docking spaces for the Rescue boats and equipment. The place won't open until later in the summer, so Mr. Ken is going to use one of the docks," explained Collin.
"Is Mr. Ken building that, too?" asked Teddy.
"Yes! He said the place is in an ideal location, since it is located almost half-way from anywhere on the lake. Also, he said that with that place there, they can help keep down the vandalism and tagging, that is sure to happen, if they don't have some sort of security," further explained Collin.
"But, that place is so far out of the way, who would go out there just to mess it up?" asked Vince.
"People do the damndest things," answered Ryan. "They do it because they can, and then they can talk real big about what they did. They don't give a shit about what they do to other people's property. Just look at all the tagging everywhere. All those clean open spaces and being so high up will give them a challenge, so they will try it, believe me!"
"But, why would he want to spend his OWN money to buy something, that he won't own?" asked Vince.
"Who said he WON'T own it?" chuckled Collin, in reply.
"Oh" was all anyone could say.
"But why … I mean it is a nice gesture and everything, but … well, what does he get out it? … Sure, he might be a 'silent partner', but why build something so damn far away?" a very curious Derrick pressed the issue.
"Okay, this is what he told me. He said when he was building the Cove, he wanted to build … you know, that boat dock and beach, but was getting resistance from the Planning & Zoning Commission. Did you know the dock area is almost 20 feet deep? He said he then went to the Commissioner's Court and asked them 'what could he do' to get the needed permits. Then, he laughed and told me that sometimes you have to make a deal with the devil, in order to get what you want done," explained Collin.
That made the guys laugh some more about making a 'deal with the devil'.
"I wonder what else he did at the dock and beach. Is it gold plated or something?" teased Damon.
"You'd be surprised how he had the beach area dredged, and those concrete barriers placed, to hold in the tons and tons of sand he brought in to make it a SAFE and soft sandy bottom," began to explain Ryan. "That island, you know the space between the dock and beach, he elongated it, to make the dock area longer, so it could handle more boats.
"He added the pavilion and picnic tables and grills to make it look like it was always that large. He also put in huge circulation pumps, so the water in the closed-in beach swimming area wouldn't get stagnant. There are also underwater lights, in both areas, to light up the areas at night. I've only seen that, once, when he tried it one night. And there is a lot more to that entire area."
The lads could only look back and forth, at one another, before someone looked at their watch and remarked that lunch was almost over.
"This was a great lunch, guys," offered Damon. "I'm sorry you had to go through that shit, last night, Collin, but hearing about it all made it good for me. Those girls got what was coming to them. … Oh, yeah … ah, don't worry about me blabbing about the water park."
Just then the end-of-lunch bell rang and the group of boys broke up. Many patted Collin on his back, while others thanked him for the chat, and the information.
"Hey, there, Collin, how did today go?" asked Mr. Ken when Collin came into his Study after school.
"Well … it went better that I expected," offered Collin, as he slumped into a soft leather chair.
"Oh … anything you care to enlighten me about there, Collin?" asked Mr. Ken.
"Well … all the guys wanted to know what happened, when I got home last night, and when I told them, they were like … WOW!! They couldn't believe those girls would go that far. Then, when I told them all about the phone call, and what happened, they couldn't contain themselves. They were happy things worked out the way they did, but they all think I should have gotten something more out of it," answered Collin.
"So, what was it they thought you should have gotten out it?" further asked Ken Thomas.
"Money … they all thought I should have gotten some money out of the girls for what they put me through. I did explain what we agreed to with Mr. Schwimminger, but they still think those girls deserved to PAY. Some of the guys don't particularly like Hannah or Brittany, especially Damon."
"Why? Did Damon have a bad experience with them, too?" inquired Ken.
Collin then explained what the girls did to him the previous year, and that made Mr. Ken a bit angrier at what those two girls tried to do to Collin.
"Oh, Bro … we also talked about the 'soft' opening, this weekend, and they guys asked me how I was going to get there and … well Ryan and I told them about the Commander, and us using the dock there, and a couple of other things," said Collin.
"Would you care to elaborate on those 'couple of other things", for me, Collin?" asked Mr. Ken
Collin proceeded to tell his mentor about what was said about him building the water park, and the other buildings. Then Collin waited for his guardian to read the 'riot' act to him for revealing such personal information.
"Are you mad at me, Bro?" asked Collin.
"No, Collin I am not mad. I just found out today they are actually going to have the 'Official' Opening this Saturday, instead, and there will be lots of speeches. In one of those speeches, they will explain how they enticed me to fund the water park. So, you see, everyone will get to know that I was involved from the start, anyway.
"In a way, I am kind of relieved that the information will be coming out. It will show the community that I am committed to the area, and will contribute when, and where, I think there is something that will benefit the people, as well as the county. So, your little discussion with your friends won't really mean anything, after Saturday.
"Okay … so what do you have planned for this evening, besides homework and talking on the phone?" asked Mr. Ken
"Actually, Bro, not too much, other than some studying and homework and, of course, some time on the phone. Why? What do you have planned, Bro? Is there something you got planned for me or maybe US to do?" excitedly asked the teenager.
"Well, I thought I might give you a driving lesson," replied Mr. Ken with a slight smirk on his face.
As soon as Mr. Ken mentioned giving Collin a 'driving lesson', Collin immediately pulled out his wallet. He searched the wallet windows for a certain item and then pulled it out and waved it in front of his Big Bro and said, "Bro, are you at that age, when adults begin to lose there memories? You see this? … It IS my driver's license! I don't think I NEED any more driving lessons. Do you still think I need MORE driving lessons?"
Mr. Ken laughed at Collin's antics with his license, but replied, "Well, I thought I'd take you out and show you how to drive, with your birthday present trailing behind you."
It took Collin a few seconds to comprehend what his Big Bro was talking about, but then all of a sudden, he understood and jumped up and said, "Come on, what are we waiting for!"
For the next two hours, Mr. Ken taught Collin how to hook up the WaveRunner trailer and how he had to allow for the extra length, when he made his turns. The most important thing he did teach Collin, though, was how to back up without jackknifing.
The two then ate a wonderful dinner together and, when they finished, they gave each other a big hug, and then headed off to do what they each had planned for the rest of the evening.
School was a drag for Collin and his friends on Friday. They all could 'feel' summer was already 'here' but they all knew it was a full two weeks before they would be out of school, for the summer.
"Shell, what do you want to do, tonight?" asked Collin.
"I don't know, Collin," replied Shelley, Collin's girlfriend. "I'm tired of going to The Mall, and there aren't any good movies over there anyway. What did you have in mind?"
"Yeah, I have to agree with you about the Mall, and there won't be any new movies until this summer. … Hey … what'd you say we all go play Putt-Putt, you, me Meg and Ry?" offered Collin.
"That sounds good, but … well, how are we going to get there? You're the only one of us who has his driver's license, but you can't take anyone with you, yet," replied Shelley.
"Let me call Bro, and see what I can work out," answered Collin.
That evening, Mr. Ken made the limo available for the teenagers, so they took off for Castle Golf, where they decided to play a round of miniature golf.
"Dang, I suck at this," gripped Ryan, to no one in particular, after he had another "5" on a simple hole.
"You have to keep you eye on the ball, Ry," teased Collin.
Then Shelley spoke up and added, "He's so afraid Megan will beat him, he can't concentrate. Isn't that right, Ryan?"
The four miniature golfers laughed, but that still didn't calm Ryan down enough to focus on his putts, and by the time the games we over, Ryan had the worst score.
"Where to, now?" asked Collin. "We have the limo until midnight, when the two young women turn into pumpkins, or something like that," he teased while giving his girlfriend a quick hug.
"Whataya say we go to try the Go-Karts," spoke up Ryan.
Megan laughed and then said, "I bet he thinks he can beat us girls there, too, so I think we should go over there and show him he isn't as good a driver, as he thinks he is."
Shelley and Collin laughed along with Megan, while Ryan stood there with a scowl on his face.
The four walked towards the Go-Kart track, but Ryan was walking ahead of them as he was still somewhat miffed at how badly he did at miniature golf, and also how they were treating him.
"Ryan … stop acting like a spoiled brat," Megan whispered into his ear. "We're here to have fun, along with our friends, so, please lighten up."
Ryan stood there for a few moments, deep in thought. Then he lightly grabbed his girlfriend, Megan, in a light hug and whispered in her ear, "Thank You!" Then he kissed her.
"Hey, you two … how 'bout comin' up for air," teased Shelly, as her two friends continued their lip-lock.
The 'love-birds' did one last peck on their lips and then smiled at their two friends.
The four waited in line, and when it was their turn, Shelley got up front, with Collin behind her, while Ryan took the car right behind Megan. They would have 5 minutes of driving time on the elongated figure-8 track, along with 12 other drivers.
When the flagman dropped the Green Flag, the group all headed out onto the track. All the drivers jockeyed for position but it was Collin who took the lead. Shelley waited for her chance and took an inside position, at the next curve, and she took the lead from her boyfriend. Ryan and Megan were somewhere back in the pack and found it difficult getting around the slower, inexperienced drivers.
Collin and Shelley traded the lead a few times, and laughed at one another as they continued their friendly rivalry. Those two were so far out in front that they began to catch up with the end of the pack, and that slowed them down as they tried to get around the slower drivers.
It wasn't until Collin passed Ryan that, for a moment, Ryan got that 'pissed off' look in his eyes. With that, he began to bump other cars, in order for them to get out of his way. It wasn't until when Ryan passed Megan and he gave her a snickered laugh that he realized they were there for fun, and slowed down enough for the two to have their own friendly rivalry.
"Boy, five minutes goes way too fast," complained Ryan. "Let's do that again!"
The four got back in line, but this time, they rearranged their starting lineup. It didn't matter, though, as both Shelly and Collin somehow made their way to the front of the pack, again, and had their own fun racing against each other. When the four exited the race track, the four of them were laughing and hugging one another as boyfriend and girlfriends tend to do.
"Where to, next?" asked Shelley.
"I'm hungry, so what say we head out for a nice quiet dinner?" spoke up Collin.
With quick agreement, the four headed to the limo which sped them over to the nearest Fuddruckers' for some burgers, fries and rings.
Their last stop on the way to drop the girls off at Shelley's was for ice cream.
"I love Dairy Queen," announced Ryan. "It always has the right mix of sundae and blizzard selections that I could never ever find something I wouldn't like."
The girls just laughed at the teen, as they couldn't figure out where he was going to put it after the huge double-burger and onion rings he just ate.
"So, what you gonna have, Col?" asked Ryan. "Me … I'm gonna get the Chunky-Monkey Blizzard … size, medium."
Collin felt his stomach rumble and that decided for him. "I'm gonna get a medium ice cream cone. What about you, Shelley?"
"Collin, I'd love a small ice cream cone. A girl's gotta watch her figure, you know, she said as she teased her boyfriend.
"There's no need for you to watch your figure, I'll do it for you," replied Collin, as he teased back then hugged her and gave her a quick kiss.
"Ryan, will you get me a small cone, too?" asked Megan.
The four decided to eat their ice cream, while seated at an outside bench, and then before long, they were seated in the back of the limo, making out as best they could, while their chauffeur took the long way back to Shelley's.
The boys headed into the Study, when they returned for the evening, in order to thank Mr. Ken for the use of the limo.
"Thanks, Bro, for the limo, tonight. It was awesome not having to worry about driving and finding a parking spot, especially, when we went out to dinner," offered Collin, as he and Ryan walked into the man's work room, and sat down into the soft leather chairs there.
"I was happy to do that for my 'little bro's'," said Mr. Ken, with a smile. "I'm glad you boys enjoyed it. It would have been a drag, otherwise, trying to get people to cart you to all the places you wound up at tonight. So, how did it all go?"
The teens explained their miniature golf outing, with Ryan telling their Big Bro how bad he truly was. They all laughed, as Ryan told his tale of woe on the Go-Kart track, and how he had to remember they were there for fun. When they came to the part about what they ate, Mr. Ken couldn't believe what Ryan had eaten that night.
"Ryan, I sure hope you do not get sick on me, tomorrow in the Commander. If you do, you make sure you hang your head WAY over the side, and let it blow-out over there," laughed the twenty something man, and owner of Three Finger Cove.