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...

Chapter 37  

Letting It All Hang Out


I must have fallen asleep again, because it was almost eleven thirty when Ricky came in, “Daddy, you need to drink some water.”


“Ricky, I need to go to the bathroom before I drink anymore water or I’m going to explode.”


Ricky giggled, “Are you one them things that spits out water like we saw when we were watching the program about Yellowstone National Park?”


“Nope, but I need to go to the bathroom bad.  I need to do more than just pee.”


Ricky frowned, “Do you want me to go get Grandpa T.’s wheelchair?”


“No, I think I can make it to the bathroom and back by myself.  If I have trouble, you may need to go get the wheelchair.”


I was able to make it to the bathroom on my own,  and I made it just in time, because I had diarrhea big time.  It started to smell up the entire area.


When I came out of the bathroom Ricky was spraying some deodorizer to hide the smell.  “Daddy, I guess you must have had to go really bad.”


Hank came in just as I arrived back at the bed, “Oh good, the cripple is walking.  Steve, the boys want to know if you want lunch in bed or will you be able to join us in the kitchen?”


I looked at Ricky, “Son, go tell the guys, we’ll be there as soon as I can get some clothes on.”


Ricky pointed at me, “Daddy, make sure that you ride Grandpa T.’s elevator chair down the steps.  You probably shouldn’t walk up and down the stairs until you’re all better.”


“Yes, Doctor Michaels.  I understand, Doctor Michaels.  Anything you say, Doctor Michaels.”


“Dad, make Daddy stop being so silly and help him get dressed.  I’ll go tell the other guys that you’re on your way.”


After Ricky had gone, Hank asked, “Steve, do you feel up to a shower or would you rather try the tub with the Jacuzzi sprays, to get you jump started?”


“Do I smell that bad?”


Hank turned away, “Why do you make everything that I say or ask seem negative?  All I was saying was that I thought a shower or a bath might help you get moving.”


“I’ll take a bath so you won’t have to worry about me falling down.  I do feel like I need to get rid of some grime.  Hank, you said we were going to have some visitors.  Who are they?”


“Steve, just get your bath.  I just know that there are a lot of people concerned by what’s been happening.  Not the least of which are our five guys.  We need to weather this bump in road and make them feel secure.  I’ll draw your bath water and start the jets, then go check on the boys.”


I rode the elevator down, as I had been directed, and went to find the boys.  They were in the kitchen fixing sandwiches for lunch.  When Cam saw me, he commented, “See, guys, I told you he couldn’t stand to be away from us, any longer.  Dad, sit down.  Lunch is almost ready.”


I looked around, “Where is everyone else.  Why isn’t Grandma Ellie fixing lunch?  Where is Grandpa T.?”


Cam answered, “They went to mass and then were going to have lunch with some friends of Grandma Ellie.  Chase and Freddie left right after the horses were fed this morning.  They said they’d be back in time to take care of the horses, tonight.  Never fear, we have everything under control.”


After a nice lunch, the boys were doing the cleanup.  I looked at Hank, “I get the feeling that this is a plot to keep me from leaving.”


“Steve,  please don’t even talk like that.  The boys are quite frankly still very nervous about what’s happening.  We really do need to make sure that they feel secure.  There are some other things that are happening that you are not aware of.  It is going to make it more important than ever that we work together to get through this bend in the road.”


“Why don’t you lay the guilt trip on me, if that’s what you’re going to do?


“Steve, that's precisely why I’ve said nothing about what’s happening.  You need to stop thinking that everyone is out to take advantage of you.  If you’ll listen, I'll try to explain.  For starters, Linda has been committed to a rehabilitation center.”


I looked at Hank, “Why was she committed?”


Hank took a deep breath, “Steve, she has a severe drinking problem.  She was using the alcohol to mask the denigration that her husband made her endure.  After what happened to Cody, she tried to commit suicide.  Cody found her in time and called 911.”


“Do our boys know what’s happening?”


“They only know that the Martin boys’ mother is in the hospital.  Cody is going to be bringing his brothers here this afternoon.  He really wants to talk to you.  He identifies with you and he feels responsible for what’s been happening with us.  He’s blaming himself for causing it to happen.”


“Hank, why haven’t you told me everything that is happening?”


“How could I with the frame of mind that you were in?  First you runaway from home, and then you wind up in the hospital and zonked out for another day.”


The doorbell rang and Cam went to answer it.  He came into the room with Cathy Watson and Lori Spilker.  “Dads, my sisters’ mothers would like to talk to you.  We’ll be outside if you need us.”


I looked at Cathy and Lori, “To what do we owe the pleasure of your visit?”


Cathy started, “Tammy and Lindsay came home after being here and said that Steve had run away and then we found out that he was in the hospital.  Is there something that we can do to help?”


I looked at the two ladies, “Thanks for asking, but this is something we need to work out.  I’m beginning to think that the boys have formed a twenty four hour watch, to make sure nothing else happens.  We haven't seen much of you, now that the girls are in high school and middle school.”


Lori laughed, “The girls do keep us busy with their sports activities.  I swear that’s all they think about.”


After Cathy and Lori had departed, Tony came into the room carrying a bottle of water, “Dad Steve, remember, you need to drink lots of liquids.  Would you like something to eat?”


“No, thank you, Tony.  I can help myself when I get hungry.  Where are the other guys?”


“They’re riding their bicycles, but we’re staying away from the highway.”


I winked at Tony, “You and Randy need to make sure the three younger boys don’t get hurt.”


Tony put his hands on his hips, “Yeah right, Dad.  You don’t really think that Cam would let anyone else be the boss, do you?”


Both Hank and I laughed and Hank answered, “Tony, you do have a point there.”


After Tony departed, I asked, “Hank, did you know that Cathy and Lori were coming over?”


“Nope, hadn’t an inkling on their visit.”


There was a knock on the door and Damon was standing there with a huge sombrero, “Hey boss, do you think this hat would be floppy enough to satisfy Doctor Straley?”


Both Hank and I started to laugh.  I answered, “That should do the trick, but I’m concerned that your penis will be sunburned when you’re sunbathing to make sure you don’t have any tan lines.”


Damon giggled, “Never fear, Mr. Michaels.  I’ll just have to make sure that my prick stands at attention when I sunbathing in the nude.  Of course, you’ll need to get me a supply of Viagra to enable me to do so.  Seriously, what kind of hat do you think I should get?  The only other thing I’ve seen is a ski mask, and I sure don’t want to be wearing one of them the rest of my life.”


“Wait here, I may be able to find a solution to your problem.”  I went to Kevin and Jacob’s bedroom and found two cowboy hats that I thought might work.


I took the two hats for Damon to try on, “Here, try these on for size.”


The first was white felt and the second was black.  Surprisingly enough they both fit fine.  Hank started to laugh, “Damon, you have two options.  Either you wear the white hat and tell everyone that you’re The Lone Ranger or you can wear the black one and tell them you’re Zorro.  Either way, we need to get you the mask to go with the hat.  I suggest that you take the white one.  You’d look awfully funny walking around school dressed in black and wearing a long cape.”


“Mr. Michaels and Mr. Rodgers, what are you trying to do, make me the laughing stock of Cody High?  I have no idea who The Lone Ranger or Zorro are, so the other students would laugh me out of school.  I’m surprised that you don’t want me to pretend that I’m Buffalo Bill Cody, for whom the school was named.”


Hank chuckled, “Just be thankful that Steve didn’t bring you a hat that would have made you look like Annie Oakley.”


Cameron popped in, “Damon, come on. We need you.  The Granger boys are here and we’re going for a ride on the horses.”


Damon showed the hats to Cam, “Cam, which hat do you think I should wear?”


Cam didn’t take long to answer, “Wear the white one.  The black makes you look like a bad guy.  Besides if you wear the white one, you can pretend that you’re The Lone Ranger and we’ll even let you ride Silver Bullet so you can yell out Hi Ho Silver.”


I looked at Cam, “Cam, how do you know about The Lone Ranger and his horse Silver?”


“Easy Dad, we got bored one day and were watching some old video tapes that Daddy had in the attic.  Now all we need to do is find Damon a his friend, to be Tonto.”


Hank and I went to watch as the twelve guys came out of the barn.  Chad was riding beside Ricky and Colby was riding beside Andy.  Damon and Corey were next to Randy and Tony.  Cody and Len were together so that left Terry and Cam riding together and I whispered to Hank, “That’s not good.  Both Cam and Terry are experienced horsemen.”


We were watching the guys ride when we heard a car approaching the house.  Hank and I went to see who it was.   Wayne climbed out of the car, “Steve, can we please talk.”


I took a deep breath.  “Wayne, I apologize for the way I acted on Friday, but I was really hurt by what you said about  my usurping your authority, and then what did you do but leave Chad to his own devices and we know what almost happened.”


Before we could go into the house, another car arrived and Dusty and Mimi appeared.  We went into the house and I suddenly felt as if this had been planned and I was being manipulated.  “I resent that you all feel that what happened is my doing.  I agree that I may have overreacted, but you’ve all accused me of doing things that I wasn’t aware that I was doing.”


Dusty put his hand up, “Steve, we agree that you overreacted, but Mimi has made it quite clear that Hank, Wayne and I are partially as responsible or more responsible than you for what has been happening.  When she heard what Hank said about you not working like the rest of us, she exploded and threatened to get a job so I could be responsible for the children and find out how time consuming it was to get them where they needed to be when they needed to be there,  Heaven help us if I had to do the cooking.”


Mimi added, “Steve, you have every right in the world to move back into the offices if that’s what you really want, but to do it as payback for a comment that would have me see red is the wrong reason.  Dusty has practically gone into isolation since this mess started.  His ego was hurt to think that he was being demoted.”


Mimi was on a roll, “I don’t know all the particulars surrounding what happened, but, Wayne, you had no basis on which to make a statement like Steve was usurping your responsibilities.  Did you volunteer to take the boys places or were you too busy working?  Have the boys fully bought into the idea that you could be their Dad?  I don’t think so.  It’s going to take some time before they will, now, in light of recent events.”


“It’s time for all of you to grow up and stop acting like our kids.”


The conversation was interrupted by the arrival of Cam and Cody.  Cam sat down, “Uncle Dusty, did you come to buy Dad’s business so he wouldn’t go back to work like you said you were going to do.  We boys really need him around all the time since Daddy sometimes forgets where we are to be at what time.”


Hank started to turn red, “Cameron, you have no right to talk like that.”


“Daddy, we all know that when you get busy doing something, that you sometimes forget about anything else.  Uncle Wayne, I don’t understand why you were so busy at work that you couldn’t have taken Chad to the hospital after you said, ‘Dad was usurping your control.’  If you really wanted to have control, then you would have gone with Chad.”


Hank stood, “Cameron, that’s enough.  I don’t want you to say another word.”


Cam jumped up, “Fine, then I’ll run away like Dad did.  In fact, if Dad Steve goes, then you can kiss all five of us boys goodbye.  Come on Chad, let’s help the guys take care of the horses.”


I was agitated, “So this was a plan to get me to sell the business to Dusty.  Hank, were you going to loan the money to Dusty so I could stay home and play nursemaid?”


Dusty shook his head, no, “Mimi and I have the funds to buy the business and this was my idea.  I wasn’t aware that Cam even knew what was happening.”


Hank was looking a little down, “Steve, this was entirely Dusty’s idea and no, I did not offer him the money.  I know that he and Mimi have sufficient resources to buy the business, if you would be willing to sell.  I’m concerned that they might be putting themselves in a bind,”


Wayne interjected, “I’d be willing to be a minority partner, assuming that I were to stay.  After the way Chad ripped into me last night, and now Cam, I’m beginning to think that I’m not suited to be a father.  Chad explained, that if I wanted to be a Dad to the boys, then I damned well better show them that they were more important than work or proving my manliness, like the boys’ previous dad.  This is going to be a critical time for the boys, now that Linda is in rehabilitation and I’m not sure that I can be a dad, mom and whatever for the boys by myself.  Steve, I’m going to need your help.”


I stood, “Everyone, I need time to sort out what has been happening.  Dusty, I won’t be coming back to work, at least for now, and I’ll think about selling the business to you if that is what you want.  It’s going to be difficult giving up something that has been part of my life for over twenty-five years.” 


“Wayne, I’ll be glad to help with the Martin boys, but Cam and the four boys have made it abundantly clear that they need to be my first responsibility.”


“I need to go check on the guys.” 


To be continued...


 Editor's Notes:  Things seem to be straightening out, to some degree.  There were a lot of things falling apart, mainly because of misunderstandings between the adults, which were tearing the families to pieces.  It seems that just about everyone was feeling as if they were not getting the respect that they deserved.  Hopefully everyone will be able to realize that they are all important, and that they are all loved, and wanted.


Let's hope that by the next chapter, people will wake up and smell the coffee, so to speak and try to act a little more like adults.


Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher


Posted: 05/14/10