What Happened to Baby Cameron?
by: E Walk
(© 2009 by the Author)
The author retains all rights. No reproductions are allowed without the
author's consent. Comments are appreciated at...
On Friday morning, Hank was up early packing, “Steve, I made reservations on the eleven o’clock flight. You can take me to the airport after we take the boys to school. I’m not sure how or when we’ll be coming back. It’s up to Grandpa T. I call you when I get into the hotel.”
We went into the school and made arrangements for Terry to be in Randy and Tony’s class. I was designated the person to go collect Terry’s records when I returned from the airport. Hank called Wayne, “Wayne, we just enrolled Terry at the Academy. … We’ll worry about that later. Steve will be picking Terry up today when he unenrolls him. He’ll take Terry home with them. Call Linda and tell her what’s happening. … Well then Linda won’t have to pick anyone up today. I’ll talk to you after I get back from New Orleans with Tony and Andy’s Grandfather.”
When I returned from the airport, I went to grab a sandwich at a deli. I decided to go pull Terry out of his school early. When I walked into the office, I announced, I’d like to I’m here to pick up Terry Martin and his records. He will not be returning to this school. He’ll be attending Wentworth Academy.”
The lady looked up at me, “Sir, you just enrolled him. Why are you taking him to a new school?”
“Ma’am, he asked us to have him go to school with my sons. They’re good friends.”
The lady was persistent, “How can he afford to go to the Wentworth Academy after what his father just did what he did?”
I looked at the lady, “It’s none of your business how he can afford to go the Wentworth Academy. It’s people like you who are making it not fun for him to go to school here. Now would you please call and ask him to report to the office with all of his things.”
The lady reluctantly did as I asked. She looked at me, “I’ll refer all the reporters to Wentworth when they come looking for Mr. Martin.”
I was getting hot under the collar, “Lady, if the reporters even get close finding out that Terry is at Wentworth, I have you in jail for endangering a child. Terry had nothing to do with what his father did.”
The principal walked in and I looked at him, “Sir, your receptionist here has a major attitude problem. I’m only trying to take Terry Martin out of this school so he can go attend the Wentworth Academy, and she’s threatening to tell the media where he is. Believe me sir, if the media shows up at Wentworth looking for Terry, not only will your secretary and you but the school district will charged with child endangerment.”
The man looked at me, “Who the hell do you think you are to be threatening us like that?”
“I’m Steve Michaels and I own the Michaels Advertising Agency. A few well placed ads and this school and the district could be made to look rather bad. Perhaps you might recognize the name of Henry or Hank Rodgers. I assure you that he will put his considerable resources into an effort to discredit all of you. He already is not favorably disposed to what’s happening in this district.”
Fortunately I was spared from any more trash talk by the arrival of Terry, “Hi, Uncle Steve. Is something bad happening again.?”
“Nope, you asked to go to school where Tony and Randy do and that’s where we’re going.” We left and I didn’t even sign Terry out.
When we were in the van, Terry announced, “There was a reporter at school today and they had me go to the office to talk to him. He asked all kinds of questions trying to find out where we lived and where our Mother was. He got really upset when I did like Da, I mean Uncle Wayne told me to do. I kept telling the man that I didn’t know the name of the hotel where we were living.”
The man was almost mean and threatened to hit me when I wouldn’t answer his questions.”
By the time we arrived at the Academy, I was seething. I took a couple deep breaths before we went into the office. I looked at the young woman behind the desk, “This is Mr. Terry Martin, he’s scheduled to start attending the Academy on Monday. He’s going to need some of the Academy shirts, size ten-twelve probably.”
“Welcome Terry, here make sure this is the right size of shirt. You can go into the room over there and change if you would like.”
I watched as Terry went into the room, but he didn’t even shut the door. He returned, “Uncle Steve, what do you think?”
I nodded, “It looks fine to me. They always tend to shrink some when they’re washed.”
The receptionist nodded in agreement, “Mr. Michaels, do you want me to call someone to come and meet Terry or would you like to take him to his classroom since you know where it is.”
“I’ll take him since I know his teacher.”
Terry was looking around as we went to the fifth grade pod, “This school is really nice. It makes that my last school look like a prison.”
I knocked when we arrived at his classroom, and the young male teacher motioned for us to come in, “Ladies and gentlemen, this is our newest class member Mr. Terry Martin. He’s a friend of Randy and Tony. Let’s welcome him.”
The students applauded. “Terry, my name as you can see by my nametag is Mr. Nichols, but you can call me Santa Claus. We have a seat for ready foryou right beside, I can never remember the young man’s name. I know it starts with an A. A whoever you are come show Terry to his seat.”
A young black guy came forward, “Hi, Terry, I’m Alan. Don’t mind Mr. N. He has Alzheimer’s. We just have to grin and bear his corny jokes which cause us to have nightmares.”
I nodded to the teacher, “Thanks, Ned.”
I was walking back to the office area when I met the principal. I looked at her, “Ma’am, we just had a terrible experience at Wilson school when I was checking Terry Martin out to bring him here. The secretary and the principal seemed uncaring and almost disrespectful. They had allowed the media to badger Terry today trying to find out where the Martins are living.”
The principal shook her head, “Steve, that is probably the worst school in the district. The principal has chip on his shoulder because he was demoted. We have more parents bring their children here from that school than from any other school in the district. You need to call the district superintendent and complain about the treatment. That man doesn’t give rat’s ass about children.”
I was standing in the foyer when the three six year olds arrived. Cam looked at me, “Dad, what’s wrong? Why are you waiting inside? Did something happened to Daddy?”
“Cameron nothing is wrong. Can’t I wait inside if I want to. I was getting tired waiting for you slowpokes. The fifth graders were coming down the hallway from their pod. I noticed that Terry was walking with Alan. The two guys bumped fists and Terry said, “I’ll call you after I talk to my Mother and Uncle Wayne.”
I watched to see who Randy and Tony would arrive with, and they were walking with two young ladies. Tony said, “We’ll see you Monday. We have to get ready for our Grandfather’s arrival.”
When we were in the van, Cam asked, “Is Terry going to be going home with us everyday?”
I turned around since I hadn’t started to drive yet, “Probably not, his mother didn’t know where to pick him up, so we’re going to take him home with us today. We’ll just have to see what happens.”
When we arrived at ranch the boys took off for the house. I gathered that their stomachs were telling them it was time for a snack. When I arrived in the kitchen, six boys were sitting at the table having banana nut bread and milk. Cam looked up at me, “Dad, you need to have a piece of this banana nut bread, it’s still warm and it’s really good.”
I sat down with the six young guys and the banana nut bread was indeed good. So much so that I even had a second piece. Ellie laughed, “Steve, I gather you won’t be wanting much dinner.”
The boys took care of the cleanup and I heard them going up the steps, They went up the stairs and when they returned they had changed into old jeans. Cam announced, “We’re going to see if we can go for a ride on the horses.”
I was talking to Ellie and watched as Freddie and Chase came out of the stable area with Randy and Andy on horses with them. Cam of course was leading the pack. Terry obviously was at ease on a horse because he was keeping pace with Cam. Cam must have decided that they should race, and I cringed as Cam took off across the pasture. I was relieved when the two boys arrived back in one piece.
Ricky came into the kitchen, “Cam says I’m to get some apples so we can feed the horses a snack.”
Ellie handed Ricky a bag of apples, “Tell Cam that the horses can only have one because this is all we have.”
When the boys returned to the house, Cam handed Ellie one apple. “Grandma Ellie, we had one apple left. Do want me to cut it up into six pieces so it can be our dinner?”
Ellie sniffled, “The apples were to be your bedtime snack. I guess you’ll just have to go to bed hungry and starve all night. I suggest that you young men get your hands washed so you can set the table. Dinner will be ready shortly.
The guys were taking care of the dishes when Chad and Colby arrived. I thought to myself, ’How interesting.’
Chad announced, “We’re here to take Terry home.”
I pointed, “The guys are in the kitchen taking care of the dishes. Where are Len and Damon?”
Len went to a dance at school with Cody and the Grangers are going to bring him home. Damon and Corey were at the house on the hill. They were playing a game on the computer waiting for the basketball game to begin on television.”
Terry reluctantly left with the two guys.
The other five guys went to take a shower because Cameron wanted to watch Jacob’s basketball game that was to be televised.
The guys were lying on Hank’s and my bedroom floor watching the big screen television, and I went to make them some popcorn and get them some juice.
When I returned with the snacks, Cam was explaining. “See Number 12, that’s our biggest brother. He’s not the oldest, but he’s the tallest.”
The game was really exciting. In fact the first half ended in a tie and Jacob was the leading scorer, mostly because he had made four three point goals. It was a seesaw battle in the second half. There was less than half a minute to play when Jacob made another three point basket. On ensuing play, Jacob stole the ball and was on his way to the basket for an easy lay up shot. As he jumped to tip the ball into the net, he was hit by an opposing player below the knees and there was loud thud as Jacob fell to the floor.
Cam turned to me, “Dad, that player who hit Jake wasn’t even on the court. He came from the bench.”
The camera showed Jacob motionless on the floor and there was a pool of blood around his head. I had a sick feeling. The view of Jacob was shielded by the trainers and players of both teams. It was nearly five minutes later when they finally had Jacob on a gurney. As he was being wheeled out of the arena, Jacob raised his right arm.”
The sportscaster announced, “It good to see that the Mr. Michaels is at least conscious. We have been advised that he is being taken to University Hospital. It will probably be sometime tomorrow before we know the full result of his injuries.”
“We have just been informed that the referees have awarded the game to Carolina and that the young man who attacked Mr. Michaels has been led away by the police. This is one of the worst incidents poor sportsmanship that I have ever witnessed. The attacker came from off the bench to tackle Jacob.”
The phone started to ring, “This is Steve Michaels.”
“Dad Michaels, it’s Gisele. Are you aware of what just happened?”
“Yes, we were watching on television. Do I need to come to Chapel Hill?”
Gisele answered, “Sir, I don’t know what good it would do. I’ll call you as soon as I know anything”
I had just hung up when the phone rang again. “This is Steve Michaels.”
“Mr. Michaels, this is Trent Jonson, the team physician for Carolina. Your son has been taken to University Hospital. He is alert and responding to questions.”
“Doctor Jophnson, we were watching the game on television. I just had a call from Jacob’s fiancée. Do you think I should make a trip to Chapel Hill?”
“Mr. Michaels, I don’t know what you could do if you were to be here. We’ll let you know what the results of Jacob’s test are as soon as we receive them.”
“Thank you Doctor Johnson.”
I had just hung up when the phone rang again, “This is Steve Michaels.”
“Dad, it’s Jacob. Don’t come to Chapel Hill unless Gisele or I call you and ask you to. I’m sure my injuries are minor. The doctors are being very thorough. I’ll talk to you later.”
“Guys, that was Jake. He says he’s going to be okay, so why don’t you go brush your teeth and I’ll come tuck you in.”
Cam shook his head no, “Dad, you probably need to stay by the phone. You’ll probably be receiving more phone calls. We can tuck ourselves in.”
Cam came and kissed me and the other four boys did likewise. Cam was right. I had calls from Kevin, Tim, and Tad. It was eleven thirty when Hank finally called.
“Steve, it’s Hank. Do you need me to come home and take care of the boys?”
“Hank, Jacob called and told me not to go to Chapel Hill. He or Gisele are going to keep us updated. I also had a call from the team physician. He assured me that Jacob would be receiving the best of care.”
“Steve, Mr. Tibideaux has some things that he needs to take care of on Monday. We’ll be arriving about five on Tuesday afternoon. I send you an email with the flight information. In the meantime, if you need me to do anything for Jake or you, let me know.”
“Hank I’ll send you a note when I receive any new information about Jacob. Goodnight, Cowboy.”
To be continued...