by DJ Thomas
by DJ Thomas
Driving back to the hospital I began thinking about the quantity of kids that are being abused. And, as a result of the investigation that Tom and I initiated concerning the State's Child Protective Services agency, there are going to be a growing number of neglected and abandoned children. These youngsters need a safe, nurturing environment to flourish in. I wish that I had the resources to provide homes for all them, but I don't. I need to find a different solution. However, to date, it has eluded me.
I decided to visit my office since it was directly on the way to the hospital. I wanted to see how backed up my work had become. However, I should have realized that Miles had taken care of things for me. Not only was my desk cleared and cleaned (damn I hate that!), but I had a new assistant. Sherry is a young pretty woman about twenty-five years old. Although I did not know anything about her, I instinctively liked the young lady.
Calling Miles into my office, I groused, "Why the hell did you hire an assistant for me without my knowledge or involvement?"
I jumped my second-in-command as soon as he walked in. The door hadn't even closed, nor was I aware that Sherry had heard every word I had said.
After entering the room my friend barked, "Jackass!... You know damn well we talked about this before the kids came into our lives! If I had left this matter up to you, it would never have gotten done! You are just a stubborn ass! Now, I did go outside the box, but so far I am very happy with the results! Here is her resume and application. Please, look them over and, then, talk to her."
He walked out of my office in anger.
I examined her paper work. She was twenty years old and had dropped out of college. The more I read the greater I wondered why Miles had hired her. Her credentials were not what I expected. I decided that there was more to this girl than the documents indicated. I needed to talk to her. Therefore, I walked out to my receptionist, Barbara, asking her to send in Sherry.
"I am sorry, Sir, she left!"
"What do you mean?"
"The young lady handed me a file and, then, ran out to the elevators."
The woman gave me the evil eye.
"What did I do?"
"Sherry overheard what you said to Mr. Miles, and it really upset her!"
Barbara has been with me since day one. She is in her sixties but shows no sign of slowing down. Over the years she has been like a mother to me, letting me know whenever I do something wrong.
"Did she tell you where she was going?" I asked knowing I had to make this right, or the woman would hold this against me forever!
"Home!... Here is her address. She has no phone."
"I am leaving for the day!"
I headed for the elevators. Then, I got into my truck punching the address into the GPS unit in the dash.
It took me a little over fifteen minutes to arrive at the location: a run down apartment building. Entering the dwelling I knocked and waited.
The door cracked open about an inch. A tiny voice asked, "Who's there?"
"My name is Drew. I am looking for Sherry," I replied as gently as I could.
"She's at work, so please go away!"
"You see, that's why I am here! I own the company she works for, and she just left to come home. I really need to speak with her!"
"Sorry! I can't help you."
The door closed leaving me to wonder what the hell just happened, and whom that voice belonged to.
I decided to wait in my truck until the woman arrived home. It was about forty-five minutes later that I saw her walk up the street. I could tell she had been crying. She stopped, took a deep breath and then headed into the building. Exiting the vehicle I returned to her apartment. She was already in her home when I arrived, I heard her talking.
"What do you mean that he was here? And, why on earth did you respond? Gagy, I have told you that you are not allowed to let anyone in! Please! I don't think I could take it if anything else were to happen!"
I knocked, hoping I was doing the right thing. The door opened again by that one inch.
"Hi Sherry, it's Drew Thomas. I need to talk to you, if I may!"
"Sir, why are you here at my house? I heard what you told Mr. Miles! I understand that you don't want me!"
She was close to tears.
"My Dear, let me explain. Miles and I have a very close relationship that you couldn't have be aware of. May I please explain what happened?"
I didn't know what else to try.
Closing the door, the chain was unlatched, and the young woman opened it.
"Please come in, Mr. Thomas."
Entering I was shocked to see a nearly bare apartment, however the place was spotlessly clean. I finally found the source of the voice: A little boy, at best 6 years old, who was playing with some toys which surrounded him.
"This is my little brother Gage! I call him Gagy. So!... What may I do for you?" She replied coldly.
"First of all, I want you to understand that Miles and I have been best buddies since high school. Sometimes, we joke around with each other, as you heard in my office. He is as close to me as any brother could be. The man was there for me when I was disowned by my family, and I was all alone. His sons call me Uncle Drew, and mine think of him in the same way. What was said had nothing to do with you personally, it was a joke aimed at my friend. Please accept my heartfelt apology for my insensitivity and let me know that you will return to work!" I blurted out.
"Sir, are you sure?"
She looked at me with fear in her eyes.
"Totally! Now, why don't you tell me a little about yourself, and, then, I will do the same for you!"
"Actually, there isn't much to say: Mom raised us by herself. Gagy was born when I was a freshman in high school. She didn't know whom the father was. I graduated and had entered the local university. Things were going well for us until last year. Then, Mother was killed in a drunk driving accident, and my brother was seriously injured! So, I had to drop out of college to take care of him. I can barely keep my head above water with all the regular bills, and, then, there are the medical expenses for my little one!"
She said all that while watching him play on the floor.
"What is wrong with Gage?"
"With my Darling? Sweetie!... Please come over here so you can meet my boss!"
What I saw broke my heart. The cute little blond boy dragged his way over to his sister. Then, he pulled himself up onto her lap. He had no legs. They had been amputated above his knees!
"Gagy! Mr. Thomas is my new employer! Will you please say "Hi" to him!"
"Hi, Sir!" this tiny angel said to me.
"Hello Little Guy. May I call you Gagy?"
When he nodded I went on shooting from the heart.
"Do you like living here?"
"It's okay!... Sissy takes good care of me." He said trying to act tougher than he was.
"Well, I don't like it. I think you and your sister deserve better! As of right now, the two of you are moving! After all, my "Personal Assistant" needs to be near me. Take some clothing, and whatever else your brother needs, and we will leave!"
"Mr. Thomas, thank you! But, I can't afford a new place!"
She stood setting the little fellow down on the floor.
"My dear, what did Miles tell you that your salary would be?"
"Uhh, he said in the range of thirty thousand dollars per year."
Sherry crossed her arms nervously.
"He doesn't own the company, it's mine! So, as of this moment you are earning ninety thousand, annually: your perks include a company car, and a place to live! Now, because I will need you to pick up clients and drive them around, it has to be a nice vehicle. Also, since, I am returning to my country home, you must be near the office. The only way I can demand that you live close by is if I provide the housing. But, all that can wait, we must promptly return to the hospital! I don't want my son waking up without me being there!" I explained in a demented manner.
The young woman went into the bedroom and packed a bag very quickly.
Upon her return she picked up Gagy, saying, "I am ready to go."
"Where is his wheelchair?"
"Sir? He doesn't have one!"
"Well, that changes as of now!"
I pulled out my cell phone, as we headed to the truck. The first person I called was Mrs. Koch.
"Carol, this is Drew Thomas. How are you doing?"
"I am fine, but that's not why you are calling. What's the matter?"
"Have you sold your house?"
"No, we had the home inspector here. He gave us an estimated price we should ask."
"What was it?"
"One hundred eighty-five thousand dollars!"
"Fine!... I will give you two hundred! However, I need the place NOW! Can the two of you do that?"
I knew I was pushing things by moving this fast, but that's what I wanted.
"As long as you are staying at your condo, I don't see any reason why we can't move out to the new place, immediately! I still want to keep Nicky in his school until the end of the school year. I think we can handle that! I will talk with Greg when he gets home and call you back."
"Carol that is great! But, don't you want to know why?"
"You need to provide someone with a home. And, since, you already told us to sell, then, I do believe that you have buyer for our house. I bet my husband that you would be the person to purchase it! And, now, I get to collect from him!"
She laughed out loud.
"You sound like you know me, but we just met: How could you have figured out that I was going to be the one to acquire your place?"
"Just a feeling I had."
She continued laughing.
"Thank you, Carol! I will be back later to work out the details."
I cut the call and rang Debbie.
"Hi, I am on my way to the hospital. I need to see you in Simon's room in about thirty minutes. I have a new patient for you. Also, will you please ask a specialist dealing with pediatric wheelchairs to meet us there? I must hang up, so I can ring your husband to fire him. Bye!"
Sherry looked really scared. I just smiled at her and called my friend putting him on speaker.
"MILES! You hired my personal assistant at thirty grand per year! What the hell were you thinking?"
"Drew, sorry! I thought that was more than reasonable for what we had talked about. If you believe it's too much, then I will have to work that out."
I reckoned I scared my friend into considering that he had exceeded my salary criteria for the position. However, I really didn't care.
"Miles! The sum is totally unacceptable! Ninety grand is what she is going to be paid, and DJ Enterprises will buy the Koch's home for her! We are also providing the young lady with a company car of her choice at a later date! This is what I want to happen, SO MAKE IT OCCUR! I will be at the hospital for the rest of the day if you need me! And, Buddy, thanks for everything!"
After I hung up, I glanced over at Sherry. She had this very shocked expression on her face with tears in her eyes. I was going to say something to her, but I decided to wait until everything was arranged.
I called Debbie's number a second time.
"Hi!... It's me, again! I didn't fire your husband, yet! I need you to do something else for me. Who is the best pediatric prosthetics specialist in the region? And, do you have enough pull to get that person to the hospital today? Or, do you think it would help if I called in a favor from Tom?"
"Drew, before I will do anything I must know what is going on. I can't just tell Eric Sampson that I need him here to see a patient and not be able to give him any specifics!"
"All right! Tell him it is for a favor for me: The individual is a six year old boy whose legs have been amputated above the knees. And, that, I want EVERYTHING done for this child that is possible. Cost is no object! This little tyke is to be treated as if he is part of our family!"
And this time it was Debbie who hung up on me!
I had to laugh at that one. However, before I could do so, a small voice interrupted my train of thought:
"Sissy, why you cryen?"
"Oh Gagy, because I am so happy!"
"Sweetie, sometimes people tear, because great things happen that make them feel good. Also, a person bawls, because their worries have been removed, and their fears are gone!" I explained.
"Oh, Sissy is that true?"
"Yes, Gagy! I was crying, because all of our troubles were solved!"
"My Dear, that is absolutely correct!... You don't have to fret anymore! Your brother will be taken care of. Debbie is the best pediatrician in the state. She is now our little angel's primary care doctor. The lady is also Miles' wife, and the aunt of my sons. What I am trying to say is that she is family, and, as of now, so are the two of you!"
"It's Drew, unless we are in the office!"
"Okay, I really don't know what to say! Thank you just doesn't seem to cover it: I am beholden to you for life!"
"Your welcome! There are ten minutes until we get to the hospital. I want to use the time to describe your duties. Your first responsibility is to make sure Gagy is cared for! Second, I must concentrate more on my children without unnecessary work-related distractions. I just became a father, however, I have always been addicted to my job. I need you to tell me to go home, or that the item I am dealing with can wait until the next day. Also, you have to force me to remain on schedule. I am always forgetting things. Last year I failed to take my vacation missing my prepaid five thousand dollar cruise! In fact, the night I found Dylian, Miles practically threw me out of the building so that I would get some extended rest. In addition, you will keep track of all upper management personnel. There are so many different vice presidents that I am often unaware of which company they manage. Make sure you ask me for whatever you need to fulfill your assignments. I will contact Allen. The man is the head of our IT department: He will issue you a top-of-the-line laptop and a PDA. Do you have a cell phone?"
"Umm!... No, I don't!"
She seemed embarrassed by not owning one.
"We need to change that, at once! Allen must take care of the matter immediately. I will call him right now!"
"Hi, it's Drew!"
"Damn it, man!... How can I ever get anything accomplished around here!"
"Umm, my friend! Have you forgotten that you work for me?"
I was laughing at him.
"Oh, yes!... I am sorry! I overlook that every so often. So, Boss, what can I do for you?"
I was just pulling into the delivery zone of the hospital, as I ended my call. I had ordered everything I could think of to get her started.
Seaman Peters was waiting to move my "little" truck out to the parking lot. I picked up Gagy and headed for the elevator with Sherry trailing right behind. The boy was having fun, as I bounced him around.
When we got to my eldest room I saw that he was still sleeping. Dozing in the chair next to his bed with his head on my son's leg was his loyal friend. They looked so cute. Debbie poked her head in and motioned for us to follow out into the hall.
"Simon's not going to wake up for several more hours. But, Even won't leave his side. Warning Drew, my boy is a wee bit upset with you! He felt that you left your child on his own, far too long."
She, then, switched to "doctor" mode.
"Your son's eyes need to remain bandaged for at least a week. Otherwise, he is doing fine. The boy is starting to make sounds in his sleep: It appears that his voice is returning quicker than we anticipated."
Turning to my "Personal Assistant", she added, "You must be Sherry. It is a pleasure to meet you. My name is Debbie Edwards, and I am Miles' wife. If you have any trouble with either of them just come to me. Further, Nancy is in my loop, as well. She is Bruce's spouse. He is Head of Security for DJ Enterprises. So, don't put up with any bull from either of them! Now, who is this golden angel?"
"This is my little brother, Gage! He was in a car accident just over a year ago and lost both his legs! I don't have insurance, so he has no wheelchair, and I couldn't get anyone to provide me with prosthetics for him!"
"We will take care of all that! Now, would you prefer a motorized or a manual chair for him?"
"Both! I want one with override buttons on the back so Sherry can control him if he tries to run in a store. The other is for him to learn on, so that he can be more independent!" I answered.
"BUTT OUT! Gees Drew, let her decide!"
Debbie jumped all over me.
I stood defiantly.
"Which one would be cheaper?"
The young woman lowered her head.
"Never mind! We will go with Drew's suggestion and charge him since he proposed it in the first place!"
The doctor placed her hand on Sherry's arm.
"And, don't worry! Company insurance will cover full costs!"
I handed the squirming imp over to his big sister and went into Simon's room to "talk" with Even. I figured that I should just get this problem settled immediately!
Thank you for all the feedback. I can't get over how many people like my narrative. I hadn't planned on it going this far. But you all keep encouraging me to continue writing this story! And my Editor won't let me stop! Hehe So I am going to try to keep it going as long as there is a demand for it. I also want to thank my Editor! You are a Great friend and a Damn good editor! Thanks for your support!
Please remember that kids are our future. It's time to protect them.
No Child Should Have To Sleep On The Street Tonight!