Castle Roland

Three Finger Cove - Robert
Book II

by Chowhound


Chapter 59

Published: 16 Jun 16

Three Finger Cove – Robert

Copyright © 2012 - 2016
by Chowhound
All rights reserved

The radio and TV news Tuesday morning focused their coverage on the incident at the waterpark. The newspaper had focused their coverage on the screw up by KTFC-TV's Richard Casey, on their front page, and lambasted his feeble attempt to retract his claim about the child he identified as an attacker. The newspaper also printed Robert's statement, word-for-word and then the exchange between Ken Thomas and Stanley Mitchell. The paper's coverage was more accurate than that of the television's. The paper also questioned the security measures at the water park and wondered 'out loud' what the County Commissioners would do now that two major attacks happened on the park's opening days, in two years.

Beginning at eight o'clock, the phone at Three Finger Cove began ringing. The first caller was Ms. Judy asking about Robert. The second call Mr. Ken took was a TV reporter asking if they could interview Robert after school. The answer was a big No. The next call came from County Commissioner Judge Joseph Jouseff. The man started out being arrogant and condescending and wanting to know why he, Mr. Ken, interfered with the security personnel at the waterpark, the previous day. The commissioner went on to say he would no longer support anything Mr. Ken brought to the Board and he was already trying to pull the permits for the hotel and the office building. The arrogant man then hung up without letting Mr. Ken explain what actually happened.

The following call was from Bill Jackson. Bill had heard what happened and also knew early on that Mr. Ken and Robert had been involved, somehow. Bill went on to say what he read in the morning's paper and Robert's statement about talking to his lawyer and Bill knew he needed to get on top of it. The two men talked about what happened and then Mr. Ken told Bill about the Commissioner Jouseff's phone call and the potential false reporting by the water parks security detail. Bill promised to get on top of that, but wanted to know who Robert was going to talk to, since he was swamped with all the other 'little jobs' Mr. Ken had given him. Ken laughed at Bill's attempt at a joke and proceeded to tell him to put Stew on it and for him to wait for Robert's call.

The next call came from, all people, Collin. He'd heard the reports on TV and saw his name being bantered around so he wanted the real scoop. The two talked for a few minutes with Mr. Ken doing all the talking since he was the one involved with the incident. Mr. Ken told the teenager he was glad he called, as he was going to call him later that evening. The teens 'Big Bro' then had to tell the lad that he and Robert couldn't come over to his graduation until just before the ceremony Friday.

Ken told Collin that he couldn't take Robert out of school without a valid reason. He told the teen he supported Ms. Judy because she was doing her job to deny the request because it wasn't medical related and not a school Holiday. Collin said he understood and would see them at the graduation ceremony and he expected them to stay until late Sunday.

Ken took a few more calls for interviews that morning and denied them all. He did receive a phone call from one of the Rescue volunteers, who helped him at the waterpark. The man told Mr. Ken that the water park's security manager, a Jeremiah Mason, had contacted him, and the other three men, and wanted them to sign some prewritten statements the man had written up. He said the security manager told them it was just a formality and that nothing would come of it.

But, the Rescue Volunteer said that the more he thought about it the more he knew that that wasn't the way they did their reports. The volunteer said he and the others talked about it and refused to sign, but they did write their own reports about what they saw and did and sent them to him. Mr. Ken was grateful for what the men did and thanked the man and his buddies. The man knew who Mr. Ken was and thanked him for providing them with a state-of-the-art Safety and Rescue facility.

The school was all abuzz about the attack on Logan. All the 7th graders could talk about was their friend and how it could have happened. Robert had a good idea how it happened and, most importantly, he understood the Why. Cody walked around the school in a daze. He knew if he hadn't gotten away from Brody, and his bully friends, he could have been hurt as bad as Logan, or worse. He stayed away from everyone that morning and no one could figure him out.

At lunch, Robert went and sat with Cody. He had asked Eric to let him talk to him, alone. Eric was presumably the only person, other than Robert, who knew that Cody could have been attacked, too. Cody didn't even recognize that Robert sat down, next to him, at the table. Robert tried to talk to his friend but the boy would only eat his lunch.

Robert saw Mr. Chassen, who all the boys knew would help them out if they were in trouble, standing over in the corner, so he decided to go talk to the man. He told Dan Chassen what he knew about Cody and his brush with Brody and the bullies the previous day. He told the man he was concerned for his friend as he was not talking or participating in class. He did tell the teacher that not many people knew that Cody was almost attacked, too.

That last bit of information caught the man's attention, so he went directly over to Cody and sat opposite the boy and tried to engage the lad in conversation. What he saw made the man decide the lad needed to talk to at least a counselor, or maybe someone who dealt with children, directly. He walked Cody to the Principal's office and told the woman what he knew.

Abigail Chadwick called Cody's parents and told them about Cody's actions that morning and further told them what she knew about what happened at the waterpark the previous day. That revelation shocked them, as they knew he was there, but didn't know he could have been seriously hurt, too. They came to the school and signed him out with the intention of taking him to see a doctor.

Before the business day was over, Mr. Ken received a phone call from Judge Joseph Barnneby, another County Commissioner. Judge Barnneby heard what the other Commissioner had to say and, when he learned the man didn't bother getting Mr. Thomas' side of the story, he decided to call and hear it for himself.

"Three Finger Cove, How may I help you?" answered Ken Thomas. … Oh, Hi Judge Barnneby. … Yes, Judge Jouseff called first thing this morning and was very abrupt, condescending and most of all very rude, for an elected public official. … He obviously had talked to someone who had his ear and was not about to have anyone dispute what he heard. He had already made up his mind. … That is true, he didn't even let me say a word in any defense. … He just told me he would no longer support anything I brought to the Board and he said he was now trying to pull the already approved permits for the hotel and the office building.… For someone to get ahead of any investigation tells me, personally, he has something to hide. …

"Okay, well … when my 'son' and his friend went missing, I tried to get the park's security involved. They responded at a snail's pace. … Oh, yes, sir … Cody Orbauch was with me at the time. He's the one who told me the boys had been taken by four other teens. When I couldn't get security to take me seriously, I used a lady's cell phone and called the Lake Safety and Rescue Headquarters and asked if anyone there could help. … Yes, four Rescue volunteers came over and a man on the top floor used the telescope and saw a gathering of people in the far corner. All of us headed in that direction. …

"We got there a minute too late. Logan had already been assaulted and was bleeding pretty bad from his face. … The fat security man, whose name I learned is Jeremiah Mason, did finally appear and he was ready to handcuff me for interfering with them. He and the other security man, the one who basically refused to listen to me, had barely gotten there and were already taking over the scene.… Yes, sir, a Sheriff's Deputy told the man to stop or he'd arrest him for Simple Assault on me. … Yes, we used my boat and took them to The Cove where an ambulance was waiting along with Deputy Sheriff Dan Fischer. … That was my first occasion to go there this season. … No, I never met those two men before and I did not get their names, at that time. I do now know the security managers name and I will definitely find out the name of the other man and who they work for. …

"Yes, I do and I will file a formal complaint. They were supposedly hired to protect the people and not sit around in their office. … Funny you should ask. … I received a phone call from one of the volunteers who told me a curious story. It seems the fat security man, Mason, had made out some reports of the incident and wanted them all to sign them. The volunteer told me that he and the three other men decided to write their own reports. … They are sending them to me. … Yes, I guess I could. That would make for better proof of custody of the documents and will show I didn't write them myself. …

"Oh, that light beeping in the background. … That means the phone call is being recorded. … Yes, all of my business phone calls are recorded. … Sure, I can get you a copy. I will probably make a copy for when he runs for office next spring. … I believe I've been above board with all my transactions with the County. What we have accomplished together has already brought great gains. …

"Those tax abatements were discussed at three public meetings and the public was invited and encouraged to comment. Only one person was against them, but he is against anyone getting a tax break, period. … You and I both know I've already pre-paid my taxes by fronting the money for the infrastructure improvements at Four Corners that we both supported. … Thank you for calling. At least, I got the opportunity to tell my side of the story. Goodbye."

When Robert returned from school, he went directly to his 'dad's' Study and told him about Cody and the way he was acting. He then asked if they could call Cody's parents to find out how he is doing. 'Dad' Ken looked up the boy's phone number and called, right then. The phone was answered on the second ring and he introduced himself and the reason for the call.

The adults talked about what happened at the waterpark and Mr. Ken's first-hand account of what actually happened at the waterpark shed more light on the Orbauch's understanding of what might be happening with Cody. Mr. Ken then suggested Cody see Doctor Doug. The man explained who Doug Jennings was and how the man greatly helped Collin out. They took the doctor's number and told Mr. Ken how much they appreciated his call and to thank Robert for being a 'top notch' friend for their son.

After dinner that Tuesday evening, 'dad' and 'son' sat down for their regularly scheduled Family Meeting. They had been cutting down each other's List of things to discuss so that night Mr. Ken asked Robert to talk more about the weekend. He specifically asked Robert to talk to him more about the feelings he had from the BBQ Picnic and then about his feelings after he talked to Daniel and Dylan at the waterpark.

Their discussions lasted about two hours and when they finished 'dad' Ken got 'son' Robert to recognize his life had indeed changed, since arriving at Three Finger Cove, and he would have to learn how to act and conduct himself. The two agreed their Tuesday night talks were very productive and they both wanted to continue doing them. Robert thanked his 'dad' for spending all the time he does with him and for listening to him and looking out for him. The two shared a big hug before the two headed in different direction. And, despite the day's events, they both slept sound that night.

Wednesday's morning newspaper headline read:

One Juvenile Arrested
Three More Detained

Ken Thomas read the article with great interest. He wanted to know how the Sheriff decided to charge only one teen and not all four. As he read, he learned that the arrested teen, unnamed due to his age, was remanded to the Juvenile Detention Center for Assault, Assault to Commit Bodily Injury, and Abduction of two juveniles. Names not given due to their age. The article went on to explain the three unnamed teens were 'people of interest' and charges could be forthcoming after the full investigation of the incident at the Lakeside Water Park was conducted.

Further, in the article, mention was made about the lackluster response of the waterpark's security personnel. The newspaper reported they received numerous phone calls from witnesses' saying they saw one security person arguing with a man who then asked a woman if he could use her phone to make an emergency call. The newspaper noted the man was reported to be Ken Thomas, the owner of Three Finger Cove. The article went on to say that Mr. Thomas was very concerned for two boys who he was with at the park but could not find them.

Witnesses, the article went on to say, stated four Lake Water Safety and Rescue volunteers arrived to assist Mr. Thomas and no sooner had they arrived they went off to a far corner of the park. Witnesses, who were there when the assault occurred, told the newspaper that Mr. Thomas and the four other men, reportedly the rescue volunteers, got there right after the boy had been hit in the face. It was only then that security personnel arrived and tried to arrest Mr. Thomas for interfering in their doing their job. Witnesses said they rarely saw any security personnel inside the waterpark and the men could normally be seen around the entrance or at the concession stand, eating.

At the end of the article, the newspaper reported that Mr. Thomas used his large cruiser to evacuate the injured boys to a waiting ambulance since an en route ambulance would have taken 30 minutes to get there and 30 minutes more to return to the hospital. The newspaper asked anyone who took cell phone videos of the assault and any other people who had information about the attack to get in contact with the Sheriff's Office.

Ken Thomas was pleased at the coverage of the article and was even more pleased that people recognized the uselessness of the assigned security personnel. He only hoped his conversation with Judge Barnneby and those of the witnesses would result in an investigation of the security personnel. He already knew he would initiate his own investigation, today, of the people who call themselves security personnel. He was going to call Jules Diamond and ask him to take on that project.

The talk at school that morning was not only the newspaper article but also that not only were four 8th graders absent, but so was Joanna and Kaelyn. Then, later that morning, some students were called to the Principal's Office. After those unscheduled meetings, word got out that Sheriff Deputies were there and were talking to students who knew anything about threats made to Logan and anyone else they knew of.

After lunch, Robert received an invitation to proceed to the Principal's Office. There, he found Principal Chadwick and Deputy Sheriff Dan Fischer waiting for him. Deputy Fischer told the lad he had permission from Mr. Ken to ask him some questions, but Robert didn't believe him and asked if he could call his 'dad' to make sure. Robert was relieved when Mr. Ken told him he knew what questions were going to be asked and that he should trust Deputy Fischer.

Robert came to learn, from the direction of the questions, that someone may have conspired to have him assaulted. What Deputy Dan Fischer wanted to know was, if he ever heard anyone talking about attacking him and/or Logan. Robert honestly told the Deputy, and his Principal, that this was the first time he ever heard his name in conjunction of any assault. The two adults then told the boy that other students have indicated that he was an intended victim on Monday and not just someone who was at the wrong place, at the wrong time. They asked him if he could remember what was said, exactly, when the four boys met them that Monday.

Robert tried to recollect his ordeal on Monday at the waterpark. He closed his eyes to try and recall what Brody said to them when he, and his three buddies, accosted Logan and Cody and him outside the restroom. The preteen said he remembered Brody saying something like, he was a spoiled brat and his 'dad's' money couldn't keep him from being hurt and that I needed to learn a lesson, presumably from him, Brody.

Robert told Deputy Fischer and Principal Chadwick that Brody blamed him for his being suspended for 5 days, and said he swore he'd get me. He then said Brody blamed Logan for almost getting his girlfriend, Joanna, expelled. He also blamed Logan for his not being able to see Joanna anymore because he said her dad said he was a bad influence to her.

The Deputy thought he saw something in Robert's demeanor that told him the boy may have remembered something else. He asked the lad about it and Robert said he had. The preteen hesitated a few seconds before telling the two he remembered Brody saying something else about Joanna. Dan Fischer pressed the lad to tell him, but Robert refused to say it in front of Ms. Chadwick. Dan asked him if he would whisper it into his ear.

Robert decided that it would be OK, to do it that way. The lad leaned over and told the man that the way Brody boasted it sounded to him that Brody and Joanna were having sex. Robert told the Deputy that Brody said something to Logan like, he couldn't get his 'rocks off' and he didn't like that and when he got through with Logan he'd be lucky to have any balls anymore. Robert then hesitated, before telling Dan Fischer that Brody said something about Joanna having his baby.

Principal Chadwick saw Dan Fischer's eyes go up at whatever Robert just told him. She figured the Deputy Sheriff would tell her in due time, so she didn't want to say anything and upset the preteen. As she listened, she heard Dan ask Robert if he remembered anything else from that day. Robert told him about the fat security man trying to put handcuffs on his 'dad'. Deputy Fischer asked him to elaborate and the lad told him a Sheriff's Deputy showed up, just in time, and told the man to stop and that he didn't have any police type powers and if he put those handcuffs on Mr. Thomas he'd arrest him.

They talked for a few more minutes. Deputy Sheriff Fischer asked Robert to repeat some of what he said and finding his answers were consistent with what he initially revealed he asked the boy to return to his classroom. Principal gave him a 'hall pass' and Robert went back to class.

That evening, Robert told his 'dad' what Deputy Fischer asked him, and he tried to tell Mr. Ken exactly what he said. In addition, Robert remembered the things he said into the Deputies ear and told his 'dad' outright and in particular about Brody saying Joanna was having his baby. That surprised the man, very much, and when he asked when that conversation had occurred, the lad explained right before he and Logan were taken to the far side of the park.

Robert eventually asked his 'dad' to call Mrs. Anderson to find out how Logan was doing. The man did as he was asked and found out the teenager was home resting. The woman explained the surgery for the boy's injury went very well, but that Logan had two black eyes, now, and was sore throughout his face. The two adults talked a bit more about the attack and the investigation and when they were through, Mrs. Anderson said she'd keep her son home from school until Monday.

When Robert went off to get involved with something, Ken called his lawyer and friend, Bill. He told the lawyer what his 'son' said about Joanna and Brody and asked if he should call Dracken, or let him find out by himself. Bill told Ken that if it were his daughter, he'd want to know sooner than later. They talked about Ken hiring Jules to investigate the security guards at the water park and more about Mildred's lawsuit. When they hung up, Mr. Ken had decided to call Dracken.

The phone rang about four times before anyone picked it up. When it was, Mr. Ken asked to speak to Mr. Schwimminger.

"Yes, who is it that is calling me so late in the evening? I hope this is not a … well, anyway, how may I help you?" finally asked a very disgruntled sounding Dracken Schwimminger.

"Mr. Schwimminger, this is Ken Thomas, I am very sorry for calling this late," spoke up Mr. Ken.

"Oh, yes … how can I help you there Mr. Thomas? I hope this won't take too long?" stated Dracken.

"Well … ah … I don't really know how to say what I called about," stuttered Mr. Ken.

"Ah, I see … does it have anything to do what happened at school a few weeks ago? I sure hope not," said Dracken a bit more exasperated.

"Mr. Schwimminger, Dracken if I may?" began Mr. Ken.

"You may," quietly said Dracken.

"Dracken … are you aware of the incident that happened at the waterpark the other day?" inquired Ken Thomas.

"Yes, I heard you were somehow involved with that. That makes twice now, doesn't it?" Dracken snickered a little bit.

"Yes, I'm not sure what is in the water out there that makes things happen," lightly laughed Ken Thomas. "But, well, the thing that causes me to call you is … ah … my boy Robert … he was one of the intended victims. But, before he and Logan were led off to a far corner, the main attacker, Brody Jordan, said a few things to the boys."

"Oh, that bastard, pardon my French, is who I was having a lovely conversation with my daughter and wife about, when you called. I guess you could tell I wasn't in such a good mood when you called. This call is providing me a break away from that so-called talk. So … what is it that you want to tell me Ken?" directly asked Dracken.

"Well, as I said … Brody said a few things to Robert and Logan … before he and his bully buddies dragged them away with their hands and arms twisted behind their backs. Brody was mad at Robert for getting him a 5-day suspension and he was mad at Logan for getting Joanna two suspensions. It is the other thing he said about Joanna that … that, is something, I am not so sure it is my place to even mention it," hesitated Mr. Ken. "Especially, now that you and your daughter are having such a 'lively' discussion."

"Oh, come on now, Ken … you called here, I am assuming, with some information that you've been made aware of … and it obviously involved my daughter, Joanna, because you've already mention that snake-in-the-grass Brody. If it does have something to do with those two, I ask you as a dad and father, to please let me know what it is. I'd rather I know about it before it hits the newspapers. That way I can help protect my wife and other daughter, who I am still not too happy with. … Can you help me out here, Mr. Ken?" implored Dracken Schwimminger.

Ken thought about what he was about to say to Dracken, and then he decided, just like Bill, and now Dracken, if it was his kid he'd want to know, no matter how devastating it may be. With that foremost in his mind, he tried to figure out how he could tell the man without being too dramatic or without it sounding harsh.

"Mr. Ken … are you still there?" asked Dracken.

"Yes, Dracken, I am still here … I was just figuring out how best to tell you what I heard but do NOT know how true it really is. Right now it is just something Brody said but … but hasn't been verified," Ken Thomas revealed.

"Oh, come off it man … are you going to tell me or not? Don't keep me in any more suspense, please," Dracken sort of begged.

"Okay, Dracken, and please remember … what I am going to tell you is ONLY what Robert said he heard. I have not verified it with Logan and or Cody," prefaced his revelation for Dracken.

"Who is this Cody person? I never heard his name used in any filtered reports that I came across?" now demanded Dracken Schwimminger.

"Well, as for Cody … he, ah … he was with the boys but was able to sneak away before they took Robert and Logan to the corner of the waterpark. They have kept his name out of it, for now, and rightly so. He is feeling some remorse he couldn't do more for his friends and that he also could have been beaten as badly as or worse than Logan was. He almost had a breakdown at school yesterday. And, please, don't reveal that to anyone," implored Ken Thomas, of the man.

"Ah, yes … I totally understand about that piece of information," acknowledge Dracken. "But, now … will you please tell me what it is that you are so reluctant to tell me."

"I hope you are sitting down there, Dracken," Ken prefaced his words. "The thing that Robert said he heard Brody say is something to the effect that … that Joanna was having his baby."

The line went totally silent, and if it weren't for the man's breathing, Ken would have thought Dracken had hung up on him. Ken gave the man a few seconds to get a hold of himself. Then he heard Dracken rustle something out of his desk drawer and then a sniffle and then the man blow his nose. Ken Thomas was glad he wasn't in the other man's shoes right then.

"Ken … I am sorry for acting the way I just did. I am hoping of all hopes … that what your lad told you will not come to pass. You see … the conversation my daughter and I, and her mother, by-the-way, were having … dealt with that that Brody character. You see … I only just found out her mother had gotten her on the 'pill'. I believe she is way too young to be having sex and she thinks she is a 'woman' now and should be able to do that sort of thing. The conversation was not going well. Now, this!

"I wish I knew what to do. Her sister was high strung but even she didn't get on the 'pill' … oh, you don't want to hear any of that, I am sure. I just wish … I wish I knew how to handle this situation, Ken. This Brody person … he has my daughter wrapped around his little finger. It's Brody this and Brody that. This has been going on ever since the Holidays, Ken. It was just after then that her mother got her the prescription.

"Of course, I know of her involvement at school with Logan and I firmly believe it is Brody who is egging her on. I just wish I could get her to see and understand that. Oh, I am truly sorry there, Ken. Here I am bleeding my heart to you with my own problems, when you have some of your own, I am sure. Please forgive my ramblings, Ken," Dracken sniffled some more.

Ken Thomas knew exactly what the man was going through, right then. He went through many days when Collin first arrived with no one who could understand what he was trying to accomplish or to even talk to. What he heard just then was the frustration of a man who sounded like he had no one to talk to and his calling gave him an avenue to say things he needed to get off his chest. Ken Thomas knew he needed to say something that would make the man feel much better about his situation.

"Dracken … I know exactly what you are going through," offered Ken Thomas. "I didn't have a daughter, but I did have a very scared fifteen year old who people were out to kill. And, just like you, I didn't have anyone out there to talk to or to bounce ideas off and get feedback to what I was doing or even thinking. I know we've had a tenuous relationship but there is no reason that it has to remain. As far as I am concerned, that problem is long over with. I don't know how much I can help you there Dracken, but I do know, with both boys, when I had them say out loud, what they were thinking, they could hear themselves and it began to make sense what they figured was wrong.

"Even if I can't help, directly, maybe there is someone your daughter could talk to, a professional, maybe, who can help her see what you are trying to get her to understand. I'd recommend Doctor Douglas Jennings. He worked with Collin and the teen loved the man for getting his life back on track. He had seen his mother and father killed, before his eyes, and then had to deal with someone trying to kill him, not once, but twice. This man is good and my bet would be on him for your daughter."

"Ken … I want to thank you for your phone call tonight. Yes, I have to agree that hearing someone saying things out loud can make more sense to them than just thinking them. I also am thankful you gave me your ear tonight, so that I could hear myself and how desperate I may seem. I know you took a chance by calling me tonight; I really am very grateful you did," a happy sounding Dracken Schwimminger said.

"There is no reason why we can't be friends. It was our kids who got us where we are today with each other. Can you call my office tomorrow and leave Doctor Jennings phone number? I'll be very appreciative to know there could be someone out there who could help my Joanna. Now, I believe, it is time to talk to her mother and see what she has to say about this possible predicament. Good Night, Ken. Thank you again for calling me and helping me out tonight."

When Ken got off the phone, he saw Robert standing there in the Study's doorway. The lad said something about his 'dad' being on a long phone call and wondered if that man he was talking too, this Dracken person, was Joanna's dad. Hearing that it was, the boy got concerned he would be in trouble for saying something. 'Dad' Ken assured him he did the right thing by telling and that Joanna's dad was very happy to know what might be going on between his daughter and Brody.

Ken called the lad over to him and pulled him into a big hug and told the lad he should never be afraid to tell the truth, even if it hurts someone's feelings or possibly gets them into trouble. 'Dad' Ken stressed to Robert that what the boy did may save someone a great deal of future embarrassment and a family's cohesion. Then, Mr. Ken wanted to know if there was something the boy wanted to tell him.

Robert told Mr. Ken had talked to Logan for about an hour which was why he knew is 'dad' had been on the phone that long. During his turn, 'dad' Ken told the preteen he first called Bill and they talked about the 'fires' he had going and that his talk with Mr. Schwimminger only lasted about ten minutes, or so. The man then wanted to know what Logan had to say for himself.

Robert explained that Logan's voice sure sounded funny but then he realized his friend had his nose all bandaged up and that caused the difference. Continuing, Robert relayed that Logan was extremely grateful his 'dad' had come when he did. He also told his 'dad' that the investigators have talked to Logan three times since he had been attacked. Once at the hospital and twice since he's been home.

Robert revealed the detectives asked his friend about his attackers and if what happened at school possibly may have started it. The preteen went on to say the detectives asked Logan about what Brody said to the two of them before Brody and his minions led them away. Robert subsequently mentioned the investigators asked Logan what Brody said about Joanna. The lad told his 'dad' that Logan said he remembered what he, Robert, did earlier that day about Joanna and a baby.

Thursday night was Ryan's graduation. Ken and Robert were both invited and they got to watch Ryan walk down the center aisle and then receive his high school Diploma. After the ceremony, Ken Thomas took the new graduate, his mom, and Robert out for a nice dinner. The man would have liked to have taken them all to downtown San Antonio, and the Riverwalk, but, due to the lateness of the graduation, that wasn't possible. The four did have a nice meal at the Four Corner's restaurant, back in the corner, where Mr. Ken has his reserved table.

Ken had already talked to Mary Taylor and her son, Ryan, about the teen's graduation gift and, that night, Mr. Ken handed the teenager the keys to his new vehicle. It wasn't a brand new car but it was a 2013 Ford Fusion I4 Sedan which a major magazine considered a great 'first' vehicle for the teen driver and for someone going off to college. The vehicle had a 2.5L I4 16V MPFI DOHC, a 6-Speed Automatic Transmission, an AM/FM radio with CD player and MP3 and Bluetooth, floor mats, got 22 – 34 mpg, and was painted Red Candy Metallic Tinted with Clear coat. The vehicle was also a Ford Certified and came with an extended warranty.

Ryan knew the man could have gotten him a brand new car, for his graduation, but he knew from when his Big Bro bought Collin his first car he said he didn't need to advertise he might have money if he was ever in an accident. Ryan was very pleased with the car as he helped pick it out, the previous week. Mr. Ken had it washed, waxed, and detailed for the high school graduate and it was sitting out in the restaurants parking lot. Hearing that, Ryan asked Robert if he wanted to go for a ride. The two hastily disappeared. Mr. Ken wound up taking Ms. Mary home. The man later learned that Ryan had driven all over the area and visited some of his old haunts. He showed Robert around and told him more stories about Mr. Ken. That was why Robert didn't get back until almost midnight, on a school night none-the-less.

Friday at school was like any other day. The kids talked about things that happened during the previous weekend, or, the past week, such as, the attack at the waterpark and the teachers did their best to redirect their attentions elsewhere. Robert had to remind his friends that he would not be at The Cove at all that weekend. He told them repeatedly that he and his 'dad' were going to Collin's high school graduation later that night. He explained they would be staying with Collin and his grandmother for the weekend and he wouldn't be home until late Sunday night.

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