Three Finger Cove – Robert
Copyright © 2012 - 2015
All rights reserved
All rights reserved
Wednesday morning came much too fast for the residents of Three Finger Cove. Ken Thomas's alarm clock went off early enough so he could make sure Robert was up and getting ready and they could have something simple for breakfast before leaving for the courthouse.
"Time to wake up, Sport," lightly spoke Mr. Ken while, at the same time, gently shaking the lad.
Robert didn't immediately wake up, but after a few gentle nudges, he did finally open his eyes and thank his 'dad' for getting him up.
"I guess I forgot to set my alarm last night 'dad'," quietly said Robert. "I guess even Chief forgot I needed to get up, didn't you girl?" teased Robert, as he scratched behind her ears.
"Okay, I'll let you be," began Mr. Ken, as he messed with the lad's hair. "After your shower, I'd like for you to get dressed in your suit and brush off your black shoes before you put them on. I'll catch up with you in the kitchen where Momma is making us a light breakfast. Will that be okay with you, 'son'?"
"Okay, 'dad', that would be great. Oh, and thank you again for having Doc Doug talk to me last night. I don't feel as anxious as did, but I am still a little bit scared about what that judge wants with me," answered Robert.
"Me, too, Robert, me, too!" answered back 'dad' Ken. "NOW … get out of bed and get your shower." With that, Ken left the boy's bedroom and Robert could hear him laughing as he walked down the hall to the stairs.
After breakfast, 'dad' and 'son' drove to the courthouse to meet up with Bill Jackson and Stewart Russell, so they could discuss their strategy, and any new information the two lawyers were able to come up with.
"Good morning, Bill, Stewart … this boy is my new charge, Robert," said Mr. Ken, as he introduced the men to the young lad.
"Good morning," said Robert, as he shook both men's hands.
Then, getting a nod from Mr. Ken, Bill Jackson explained to Robert that Mr. Russell was going to be his personal lawyer, his representative, in the courtroom and that he would be Mr. Ken's. Bill told Robert that he should let Mr. Russell handle everything and to ONLY answer the judge's questions when he directed them to him. He recommended that Robert answer the judge's questions with a 'Yes' or a 'No', whenever possible.
Stewart then told Robert to only answer the question and to NOT offer anything more than what the judge had asked. He continued on and further explained there were a lot of procedures, in the beginning, and to just take his cues from Mr. Russell, or himself, unless he was busy talking to the judge.
The four of them huddled together and discussed a number of different scenarios, but in the end, none of them knew what was going to happen inside the courtroom. Twenty minutes to their appointed time, Mr. Ken took Robert to the Men's restroom to allow them both to get rid of any 'anxious needs' before entering the courtroom. A few moments prior to exiting the restroom, Ken straightened Robert's tie and then hugged him and told him how proud he was of the lad. The boy returned the hug and then smiled back at the man and then said, "Let's go get this thing over with!"
"All rise … the Honorable Judge Randolph Terryman presiding. … Court is now in session. All be seated," announced the Bailiff.
The judge sat at his huge desk, or Bench, and ruffled through a number of papers in front of him.
While that was going on, Stewart and Bill discussed amongst themselves that there was no one seated at the prosecution's table. They could never remember that ever happening to them, at any time they were in court, and mentioned that fact to Ken Thomas. They then went back to quietly talking about what they intended to do.
"Is the BOY in the Court?" abruptly asked the disheveled looking Judge Terryman, a bit out of character for a judge.
"Your Honor, I am Stewart Russell, representing Robert Harrison, and he is present and in the Courtroom. If your Honor would permit, we would like to understand why my client has been brought to this court, without anyone from the District Attorney's Office present. We humbly request that this procedure be continued until at such time the DA's Office can have someone present to represent them in this issue," announced Mr. Russell.
The agitated judge just glared down at Stewart Russell's request and replied, "If I wanted the DA's Office here in the courtroom I would have invited them. Request denied!"
"You Honor," began Stewart, "this is truly unorthodox and …" and while Stewart was trying to get the judge to continue the proceeding to a later date, Robert sat in his chair trying to think why the man's face looked so familiar and his voice sounded like someone he should know.
Just then, the judge slammed his gavel down four or five times startling the lad and yelled, "There will BE NO CONTINUANCE! DO YOU HEAR ME? Now let's get on with this."
But before the judge could say anything else Bill Jackson stood up and asked if he could approach the Bench.
"And WHO the HELL are YOU?" yelled Judge Terryman, who began to sound like he might be a bit drunk.
"Your honor, my name is William Jackson and I am co-counsel with Mr. Russell representing Robert Harrison and his court appointed guardian Mr. Ken Thomas," replied Bill.
"I can care less who is who here today. I called for Bobby to be brought before me today and I DIDN'T INVITE ANY ONE OF YOU! Now sit DOWN counselor before I hold you in contempt of Court," angrily shouted a slightly slurring Judge Terryman.
It was when the judge said 'Bobby' that Robert knew who that man was. It was the way the man said 'Bobby' and his tone of voice that finally help make the connection in Robert's mind.
"'Dad' 'dad' I know who that man is," whispered Robert, to Mr. Ken.
"How could you know him, Robert? You and I just walked in here a few minutes ago and none of us knew who that judge was. Now listen to what Bill and Stewart are trying to do to get the judge to delay this, this … damn, I don't even know what this all is," an exasperated Ken Thomas replied.
"But 'dad', I have met that man before and I really know who he is," Robert angrily told his 'dad' Ken.
"Not now, Robert," replied Mr. Ken.
"But 'dad' … you've gotta listen to me. I know who that man is and I think I know why he wants me here today," spat out the lad.
That time Bill Jackson heard the boy and then leaned over to the boy and asked him to explain. All the while Bill and Robert talked, Stew Russell was being raked over the coals by the judge, who couldn't care less about courtroom procedure or any other procedure, that day. He stated, matter-of-factly, he wanted Bobby to be brought there so he could talk to the lad.
After listening to Robert's explanation, Bill finger waved Ken over and told him what Robert was trying to say to him. Ken listened attentively and after asking Robert point blankly that he was sure, the new 'dad' said in a very loud voice, "He What?"
"What's the meaning of this loud talking, in my Courtroom?" burst out Judge Terryman.
Bill Jackson immediately stood up and apologized for his client's outburst and promised that it would never happen again. The judge didn't answer right away, but when he did the judge said, "Make sure he doesn't … or, I'll throw him in jail for 30 days! Make sure your client understands that, Counselor!"
"Yes your Honor," answered Bill.
"Bobby … are you in my courtroom boy? Stand up if you are, boooy!" announced the still slightly slurring judge.
Robert tentatively began to stand but before he totally stood up he looked to his 'dad', then Bill, then finally to his lawyer, Stewart Russell. Seeing each of them nodding their heads, in the affirmative, the lad fully stood up to face the judge.
"Now, that wasn't all that difficult was it Counselor? I asked the boy be brought here today, and there he is. Why did you make this all so difficult?" leered the judge, as he looked over the lad, head to toe.
Just then, Bill Jackson and Stewart Russell simultaneously stood up and yelled at the top of their collective voices, "I Object, you Honor!" Stewart then sat down and Bill continued, "This is highly irregular that a sitting judge would call for a child to be brought to him so he could 'talk' to the boy. I've never heard of anything such as this and I intend to lodge a complaint with the Ethics Board and I will ask them to look into this irregularity and your conduct today, Judge."
"Lodge all the complaints you want Counselor, by that time I would have already talked to the boy and have done what I intend to do. Bailiff … bring that boy into my Chambers! This Court is adjourned."
With that said, the judge got down from his Bench and watched as the Bailiff walked over to Robert and grabbed him, by the arm, and began to pull the boy in the direction he wanted the boy to go.
"No, no, I don't want to go with you, or be with that man," Robert yelled, at the top of his voice.
"'Dad', don't let him take me away," cried Robert.
All that time Robert was yelling, he grabbed for anything, and everything, that he could to help him delay the inevitable, which had him to go with the judge into his chambers.
"Mr. Russell, you're my lawyer … do something, anything," cried out Robert, as he tried to slip out of his suit jacket in order to get away from the bailiff. But, the bailiff felt the jacket coming loose so he grabbed for the boy, with both hands, and continued to drag the boy towards the judge.
Robert saw his attempted escape thwarted and knew he had to do something and quick. The only thing that came to mind was to yell out what he just told his 'dad' and Bill so he did. "Stop him 'dad'; he's going to rape me like he's done before! You've gotta STOP HIM!"
"That's absurd, young man; all I want to do is talk to you. Now come along," spoke the still leering and now smirking judge.
"No, NO … you'll do what you and all those other guys did to me. That's where I know you from. You paid my father … so you could take me for the weekends, and it wasn't just talk that you did to me," yelled Robert. His pronouncement was effective enough that the bailiff stopped pulling on the boy.
"Judge?" said the bailiff, with a big question on his face
The judge looked at the bailiff and then smiled at the boy and said, "Just bring him along to my chambers. I'll handle him from there."
Just then the doors to the courtroom banged open while at the same time Robert pleaded one last time. "No, no I don't want to go … he … he'll rape me, AGAIN!" The over stressed lad sagged down to the floor and a flood of tears flowed. Everyone saw and then knew how scared the boy was and how much he feared that judge.
"What is the meaning of this Judge Richards?" announced Judge Terryman. "You have NO authority in this courtroom! Now, get out of my court!"
"Release that boy and stand down bailiff," angrily announced Judge Richards. "Men," the judge spoke to the Sheriff Deputies he brought with him, "separate the boy from the bailiff, and HOLD that so-called Judge."
Ken got to Robert, before anyone else could, and pulled him into a no-holds-bared hug. He was overwhelmed, at what he heard and saw, and he began to cry for not protecting the boy more than he did.
While the deputies took the judge into custody, Ms. Judy came along side 'dad' and 'son' and hugged them both.
"So, this is the 'new' boy, huh, Mr. Ken?" teased Judge Richards.
"Ah, ah, yes sir, ah Judge" said Mr. Ken, through his tears. Then looking down to a hugged Robert, he said, "Robert, this is Judge Adam Richards. He's the one who helped Collin out during his stay with me."
Robert reached out his still trembling hand to shake the judge's and said at the same time, "Wi … will I have to tal … talk to you a … alone in your chambers?"
The judge smiled and said to no one in particular, "Now, why is it the kids don't want to talk to me in my chambers?"
"Because you are a Judge," chuckled Ms. Judy, which got Ken and Bill and Stewart all to chuckle along with her.
"Touché," said Judge Richards.
"What say we ALL go back to my conference room and sort this whole damn thing out," announced Judge Adam. Then, looking down to Robert, he asked, "Will that be okay with you if Mr. Ken and all these wonderful people come along, too?"
"Ye … yes, sir," meekly replied Robert.
"Good, good, shall we all go, then?" asked Judge Richards. He then waved his arm to indicate he wanted everyone to exit out of the courtroom.
"'Dad' do … do you know that judge?" asked a perplexed Robert.
"Yes, 'son', I do know this man and believe me … he is one of the good guys. You can trust him, as you trust me. Now, let's see what he has in store for us when we reach his conference room. My bet is he'll explain everything and he'll even ask if you have any questions. … Oh, when we get home, remind me to tell you how Collin and Judge Richards got to know one another. I think you'll be amazed at that story," explained 'dad' Ken.
The next morning the home delivered newspaper had the headline:
But, even before the newspaper had been delivered, the morning TV and radio newscasts had their own headline 'Judge Arrested in Own Chambers, Linked to Child Sex Scandal' blaring as their top story. Ken Thomas heard the hype being put out by the TV and radio and debated with himself as whether, or not, to allow Robert to go to school in case his name came up as the person who made the accusation.
"Morning 'dad' … are you okay?" asked Robert, as he entered the kitchen nook, and saw the troubled look on Mr. Ken's face.
"Y … yes, 'son', I'm doing okay, it's just this … this piece in the news," replied Mr. Ken, who then showed the lad the newspaper headline.
"Oh," was all Robert had to say. The lad then took the offered newspaper and sat down and began to read the article.
As the lad read, Mr. Ken said, "I'm not sure if I should let you go to school today, Robert. I don't want you to get caught up in something you have no control over and … well … I just don't want the kids in school taunting you over this."
Robert didn't respond right away but kept on reading more of the article. When finished, he put the paper down and hugged his new 'dad' and said, "'Dad' … it says here that Judge Adam preferred the charges and that he won't release the name or names of the child or children who brought the incriminating information that made him aware of the situation, with Judge Terryman. The reporter also stated that, even if they knew who the children are, they wouldn't release the names, as they are underage and are protected. So, 'dad' I think I'll be okay to go to school plus … I don't want to miss any more school than I have to, in case I have to go to court because of my parents, and those other men. … So … can I … you know … go to school today?"
Mr. Ken hugged the pre-teen as he listened to what the lad had to say and when the boy asked about going to school he knew the lad was alright. "Yes 'son', I guess you can go to school. … But, promise me this … if somehow you are identified as one of the kids, the judge is referring to, you are to go to the office call me! Okay?" answered 'dad' Ken.
The talk at school that morning, and virtually all day, focused on a judge being arrested and for what he may or may not have done to some kids. None of Robert's friends ever put two-and-two together to come up with that their friend could have been one of those kids, down at the courthouse, when that all happened. That was all except one Best Friend, in particular, who happen to suspect the lad's involvement.
All day long, Eric wanted to ask his best friend about his court appearance yesterday but knew he could be overheard and didn't want that sort of information to get out and, possibly, start rumors that couldn't be substantiated.
Back at Three Finger Cove, Mr. Ken and Judy talked over the phone about the previous day's revelation and how they wanted to handle any, and all, possible fallout. It was during their conversation Mr. Ken learned Eric knew about Robert's court appearance.
Ms. Judy told him her son heard them talking that Monday night when they talked about it. She then assured the man that Eric knew not to say anything, at school, since she made that very clear that he was NOT to. For that, Ken Thomas was extremely thankful but then wondered aloud if they should sit down and discuss the situation with both lads. Judy recommended they let the boys work it out, first, and then, IF, there were problems, they could counsel the lads with the truth.
At dinner that night, Mr. Ken and Robert discussed their day and in doing so, Mr. Ken mentioned that Eric knew what happened at court, the previous day.
After hearing his best friend knew he was at the courthouse, the previous day, Robert asked out loud, "Does Eric know WHY I was there or … or, does he only know I had to go to court?"
Ken thought about the question, for a bit, and then replied, "Well, Robert, all I know is what Ms. Judy told me, today. She said Eric knew you had to go to court and he didn't understand why but when he heard the news reports he asked his mom if you were one of the kids. She said she told Eric NOT to discuss that with you as you didn't need to be answering a thousand questions, especially if you weren't involved."
"But 'dad' ... she knew I was involved. She was there! And she even talked with Judge Adam, and us, about everything afterwards. Why would she not tell Eric the truth?" quickly asked Robert.
"Think about it, 'son'. … Did she do the right thing … even if she told a big fib?" countered Mr. Ken.
Robert did think about it for a few moments then nodded his head and said, "Yes, sir, I guess she did it trying to protect me, but … but what's Eric gonna think when he finds out the truth? … Ah, 'dad' … is it okay that I invite Eric to spend the night tomorrow night, so … well, so I can tell him the truth, about what happened, and … ah … about m … me an … and why I am living here?"
"You mean you haven't told him, anything," asked, a surprised, Ken Thomas.
"Yea, I never found the right time. We were always having a good time and I didn't want it to end. I haven't had a best friend and someone to pal around with for so long I … I didn't want it to end. Was I wrong in doing that, 'dad'?" asked a now teary eyed twelve-year old.
Ken pulled the lad into a big hug and answered the lad. "No, Robert … you weren't wrong in not telling Eric about your most secret of secrets. You had no idea how he would have reacted or taken the news, but now … well, now might be the time and see how he reacts to it. But … if what I've seen between you two is any indication then … I do believe that Eric will accept your explanation. And, one more thing, I believe, is that Eric … he will ultimately be there for you and he'll also support you and defend you in all of this."
Robert didn't respond right away to his 'dad's' thinking, but continued to relish the hug between them and the feeling of the love that came through to him. Then, when the lad did pull out of the hug, he asked, "So, will it be okay to ask Eric to spend the night tomorrow, and then I can tell him everything then?" said the hopeful preteen.
"Yes, I think that will be okay with me. I'll call Ms. Judy later and tell her what you've planned. That way she can decide if she wants her son to know everything. As a matter of fact, I think she'll be okay with it, as she was surprised Eric didn't already know why you were living with me. You know what … I think I'll ask them over for dinner tomorrow night, and afterwards you'll have us both here if things don't go to well when you explain things to Eric. That okay with you, 'son'?"
"Thanks, 'dad' and you know what… maybe the four of us can sit down together and discuss it and I can tell Eric everything that happened to me and why I am living here. Then, we can tell him what happened at court yesterday so he knows the whole story," replied Robert.
Then, looking at the time, he uttered, "Sheesh, I better get to the bus stop and quick before you have to drive me to school." With that Robert ran out of the house.
Robert got to the Bus Stop, just in time. He got on and headed to his regular seat where Eric waited for him. The two bumped fists, as Robert sat down, and the bus began its regular route to school.
The two Best Friends sat quietly but the quiet was 'deafening' to Robert so he elbowed his buddy and said, "Hey … I asked Mr. Ken if you could spend the night tomorrow night. He told me he was going to talk to your mom later and invite you guys over for dinner. Y … you do want to spend the night, don't you?" asked a now hesitant Robert.
"Yea, I'd like that," replied Eric as he smiled at his Best Friend. "I'll call my mom at lunch time to see if she said OK and if I should get off at your stop or go home to get a change of clothes, first."
"Cool" was all Robert had to say to that. Before long, the bus entered the school's bus corral to offload its precious cargo – the kids.
Ken and Judy did talk about what Robert wanted to do and why and Judy agreed to dinner and the sleep-over for that night, Friday.
At school that Friday, Robert couldn't wait until the day was over. He knew he made the right decision to tell Eric all about himself and why he was living with Mr. Ken. He just hoped that his Best Friend could accept what he was going to tell him tonight.
"Thank you, Momma Maria for that wonderful dinner," said Judy Turner, as she got up from her seat. Then, looking at her son, Eric she said, "Eric, I hope you really do appreciate the wonderful foods Momma makes for the people visiting Three Finger Cove, especially, since you are beginning to spend so much time here." Then the woman went to her boy and ruffled his hair and grabbed him in a great big hug.
After the hug, Judy stepped back and looked into her boy's eyes and stated, matter-of-factly, "You really are growing up, my boy! I can remember two teenagers grabbing you and taking you away from me when I began to tease you about 'how you were NOT so 'little' any more' and it happened in this very Nook. Didn't it Mr. Ken?"
"Oh, yes … come to think of it, you spent the night, or was it the weekend. Your mom was beginning to mention how you stayed under your bed covers until she closed your door and that you didn't walk around in your underwear anymore," laughed Mr. Ken. The man tried to relate what happened the day that Collin and Ryan grabbed Eric and ran with him out of the Kitchen Nook and away from his mom and the other adults there.
"Oh, yea, I remember that day," intoned a smiling Eric. "But what you adults didn't know was, just that morning, my Big Brothers had a talk with me about 'boys growing up' and what will happen to me, well, actually my body, as I got older. Then mom starts in on me and mentions how I was 'growing up' and my Big Bros knew they had to 'save' me from her and her embarrassing me in front of all the adults, there," a now laughing Eric finished.
"Yes, but if I remember it correctly, one of your big brothers said something back to your mom, to the effect, that you 'weren't so little anymore' and when your mom began to say something like, 'she knew he was growing in every way young boys do, at that age', your big brothers thought she would embarrass you so they picked you up and hightailed it out of the Nook," added Mr. Ken.
"What you don't know Eric is … your mom actually also told us, after Collin and Ryan took you out of here, that she noticed how you stayed in the bathroom longer and longer and that in the mornings you weren't that same little guy who used to walk around just in your underwear, and a t-shirt. And, being male, I sort of figured it out and began laughing," added Mr. Ken.
Then, Ms. Judy added, "When I heard Mr. Ken laughing as to what was said and what your big brothers did, I said something like, that, my bet was that Collin and Ryan had a 'growing up' talk with you, and when I mentioned him being NOT SO 'little' any more, they didn't want you teased in front of all us adults. And, I maybe may have mentioned that you were already beginning to experience the early symptoms of puberty," laughed Judy.
All that time, Robert just stood there, mouth open, not knowing what to think, or say. He knew that it had to have been at a time that Eric and his big bros, as he called them, had some fun together with the adults present. He told himself to ask Eric about it later but Eric broke his train of thought
"Robert, it happened almost like they said," began Eric. "Mr. Ken, you remember, it was the weekend we all took the boating course, so we could operate the Waverunner's my big brother's got for their birthdays." Eric then replayed how he saw that particular conversation and quick exit.
Robert smiled back at his best friend as the lad recounted that funny event, from not too long ago, that happened right there where they all were. In the back of the lad's mind, though, was the thought of how he could get Mr. Ken to get everyone to go to the Study so he could explain everything concerning him to Eric. But, before he could get his 'dad's' attention, the man actually asked them all to head to his Study and the four began their walk, to Mr. Ken's Study.
Once they arrived, they all sat down in one of those, very comfortable, leather chairs that engulfed you into a state of relaxation. They started off with some small talk about the meal and what was discussed afterwards, but Mr. Ken could tell Robert was biting at the bit to tell Eric everything, about him, and then what happened at the courthouse.
Mr. Ken cleared his throat and then began to speak. "Eric … we have an ulterior motive for asking you, and your mom, to dinner tonight. Robert and I talked about this, before he got on the bus this morning, and I then cleared it with your mom."
Eric sat there in complete surprise. He didn't know what to think and began to look at his mom with a questioning face. All his mom did was to smile back at him and then to shake her head with a quick back-and-forth motion for him to wait. Not knowing what was going to happen, the lad began to get scared thinking that he'd done something wrong and they were going to call him out on it.
Mr. Ken saw the questioning fear on the boy's face and so spoke up and said, "Eric, my 'little bro', you haven't done anything wrong so please try to sit back and relax. Why we're here tonight …"
"… is to tell you about ME," finished Robert.
Eric didn't know what to say or do.
"Eric … I talked with 'dad' this morning and asked him if I could ask you to spend the night so I could tell you why I am living here, and then to explain what happened at the courthouse, the other day. Then 'dad' suggested we invite you, and your mom, over for dinner and that way the three of us could answer any questions you may have after I tell you what put me into the foster kid system," explained Robert.
"So, mom, you knew all about this?" asked Eric.
"Yes, son … Mr. Ken called me this morning and he explained to me what your best friend wanted to do tonight. He invited us to come over to dinner so the four of us, together, could get it all out and be here to answer the questions you'd invariably would have," replied mom Judy.
"You going to be okay with that, sport?" asked Mr. Ken.
"Yea … sure, I mean … well, I always wondered why Robert was living here, but I figured he'd tell me when he was ready. So, I … I guess he's ready!" admitted Eric.
Just then, Momma Maria knocked on the Study door and then brought in some coffee for the adults and soft drinks for the lads, along with some of her famous sweet cakes. She also brought Chief a few of her favorite treats, for the boys, to give to her. As the woman began to leave, everyone thanked her for her thoughtfulness as they picked up their drink and a sweet cake.
A few moments later Robert began his story.