You Ain’t Santa Claus
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 11

The Mysterious Uncle



My parents arrived a little after three and we got them settled.  Nate and Ryan started to work their charm. By 4:30 the boys had my parents eating out of their hands so to speak.  I was amazed that my staid father, the minister, was so easily drawn into the boys’ web.


Everything was going fine until Mrs. Belton arrived with Will and Brandon.  Ryan immediately responded, “Is that other person still going to come?”


I hugged Ryan, “Yes, Mr. Holloway is still going to come.  Please be nice to him.  We don’t want him to think badly of us.”


Ryan was watching out the window when a van pulled up and a ramp was extended from the van.  Ryan turned to us, “I think he’s here.  Why is he in a wheelchair?  It looks like he doesn’t have any legs.”


Ryan and Nate went to the door and we heard Ryan ask, “Are you our Uncle Bruce?  Please don’t take us away from our Dads.”


The voice answered, “Yes, I’m your Uncle Bruce, and no I’m not going to take you away from here, unless you want me to.”


Both boys said a resounding no.


Mr. Holloway had a motorized wheelchair so he could navigate by himself.  He turned to his driver, “George, go visit with your family.  I’ll be fine.  There is a doctor here.  I have your cell phone number, so I can call you if there is a problem.  Come back and pick me up at 8:30.”


The fun was about to begin.  Poor Mr. Holloway, little did he know what he was getting himself into, nor did the rest of us.


I went to greet the guest, “Good afternoon, Mr. Holloway. I’m Kirk Richter.”


We shook hands.  I turned to the two boys, “Perhaps, you should properly introduce yourselves to Mr. Holloway.”


They looked at me as if asking, ‘Do we have to?’


I nodded my head yes.  Nate was very proper and polite.  Ryan resisted but I pushed him forward and he finally introduced himself and shook Mr. Holloway’s hand.


Mr. Holloway held Ryan’s hand a little too long for Ryan, and he tried to pull away.  “Ryan, I promise.  I’m not going to take you away from Dr. Richter and Doctor Thornton.”


I intervened, “Mr. Holloway, please come meet our other guests.”


I started around the room.  “Mother and Dad, I’d like you to meet Bruce Holloway.”


“Mr. Holloway, these are my parents, Stan and Mary Richter.”


As they were shaking hands, Mr. Holloway laughed, “You must have cut your sermon short, Reverend Richter.”


Mother laughed, “The congregation was somewhat surprised to get out early for a change.”


Ryan had been studying Mr. Holloway very carefully.  He’d look at Mr. Holloway and then at Nate.  It seemed as if he had something on his mind.”


Mr. Holloway started to talk to Mom Thornton before I could introduce her, “I take it you are the notorious Mary Thornton who runs the school board in Columbus.  It’s nice to finally meet you.”


After he shook Mom Thornton’s and, Dad Holloway’s hand, “Good to see you Counselor Don.”


Dad shook his hand, “Good to see you, Bruce.”


Mr. Holloway moved to Mrs. Belton, “Shucks Ginger, I was hoping that you might be here in your Viola Swamp outfit.  It’s a pleasure to finally meet you in person.”


Brandon and Will stood and introduced themselves, but Ryan added, “Uncle Brandon sold the Christmas tree and helped us decorate it.  Uncle Will helped us make the star.”


Nate added, “Yeah, after Christmas, Uncle Brandon is going to help us plant the tree so the wild animals can eat the decorations except for the lights and the star.  We’re going to call it the Santa tree.  Next year, we‘re going to get another tree and call it the Doctor tree.”


Mr. Holloway turned to look at the tree.  “You sure did a wonderful job, because it is a very special tree.”


Kirk and I took the drink orders and Ryan was still intently looking back and forth between Mr. Holloway and Nate.  We had just sat down when Ryan blurted out, “You’re really our Dad aren’t you?”


Mr. Holloway started to turn red, “No, Ryan.  I am your Uncle.  Why did you even suggest that I was your Dad?”


Ryan turned to Nate, “Nate, go stand beside Uncle Bruce.”


Nate did as requested and Ryan continued, “Everyone, look at the two of them carefully.  Don’t they look the same?”


They did  indeed very much resemble each other.  Bruce shook his head, “Ryan, it’s probably because your Dad and I were identical twins.”


Ryan turned to me, “Dad, what does that mean?”


“Ryan, it means that they were born about the same time looked very much alike.”


“Nicely put, Kirk.”


Bruce continued, “Your Dad and I looked so much alike that even our parents had a difficult time telling us apart.  We would many times confuse the teachers and go to each other’s class and the teachers hated that.”


That caused everyone to laugh.  Nate stopped the laughter, “Uncle Bruce, where is our Dad?”


Bruce looked at the boys, “Your Father was killed in a plane accident about six and half years ago?”


Nate kept probing, “Was our Mother killed in the same accident?”


Bruce took a deep breath, “Boys, I honestly don’t know where your Mother is, and I don’t even know who she was.  I’ll tell you more about that when you are older if you still want to know.”


Nate must have been really thinking, “Uncle Bruce, if our Father died over six years ago why are you just now looking for us.”


Dan’s Dad looked as if he was going to say something, but Bruce shook his head no. “Nate and Ryan, I was injured in the same accident that your Father died in.  I was in the hospital nearly two years. When I finally fully recovered my memory and started to look for you, you had been adopted by the Gordons and about the time I would locate where you were living, they would move again.  They would never leave a forwarding address.”


“I didn’t know that you had been placed in the home until just before Thanksgiving.  When I got to the home on Thanksgiving Day, you had already run away, and I had no idea where to find you until Mrs. Belton called me in Phoenix to tell me where you were.  Since I can’t and won’t fly, we had to drive.  We just arrived to this afternoon.”


Ryan was starting to sob, “Grandma Swamp, why did you have to call Uncle Bruce and tell him where we were?”


My Dad, bless him, pulled Ryan onto his lap, “Grandson, if Mrs. Belton hadn’t told Mr. Holloway where you were, she could have been fired, or even worse, she could have been put in jail.  Besides, everything is going to work out.  We’ll pray extra hard tonight to make sure it works out.”


The timer in the kitchen was sounding and the two Mother’s stood, “Come on Ryan and Nate, we need to start serving dinner while your Dads get everyone to the dining room.”


The guys were carefully bringing the shrimp cocktails and putting them at each place.  Brandon and Will went to help them.  After Dad said the prayer, I was watching to see what the boys would do with the shrimp cocktail.  They were both looking at them.  It was evident that they weren’t sure what to do with them.


Will was sitting beside Ryan, “Just pick them up with your fingers.  Don’t eat the tails.  Make sure you like the sauce before you take too much.”


Brandon must have been telling Nate to do the same thing, Both boys started to very tentatively eat.  It didn’t take long before their shrimp cocktails were gone.  The four young guys cleared the table and returned with the frozen salads and the bread and two casseroles of chicken divan, so everyone could take what they wanted.


Ryan looked up from his dinner, “Uncle Bruce, what was our Daddy’s name?”


Bruce nodded, “His name was Bryce.”


Nate asked, “Where is he buried?”


“Nate, he has never been buried.  His ashes are at your house.”


Talk about a bomb.  Both boys reacted to that comment.  Nate spoke first, “You mean his ashes are here in this house.  Why are his ashes here?”


Bruce realized he had said too much, “Guys, I’ll explain tomorrow after you have been adopted.”


Dan and I just looked at each other and all I could think was, ‘This is getting more and more bizarre.’


Fortunately, most of the remainder of the conversation was not controversial.  After everyone was finished eating, Nate looked at Mr. Holloway, “Uncle Bruce, are our Grandparents alive?”


“No, they are buried near where your Granddad and Grandma Thornton live.  When you go to visit your Granddad and Grandma Thornton, perhaps you could put some flowers on your Grandpa and Grandma Holloway’s graves.”


Brandon stood, “Okay men, let’s take care of the dishes while the old people go take a nap.”


Bruce complained, “Watch it kid, you could be sued for slander.  Who are you calling old?”


Will answered, “Well, you‘re older than Nate and Ryan aren‘t you?”


The rest of us adjourned to the living room.  We could hear the four guys in the kitchen and dining room.  Bruce started, “I think I need to tell you why I don’t know who the boys’ birth mother was.  Bryce and I were very close, similar to Kirk and Dan.  We wanted to have children so we decided to be sperm donors and pay someone to be a surrogate mother.”


“Pardon me ladies, but there was something wrong with my spermatozoa so I couldn’t be the father of a child.  Bryce went ahead deposited his sperm and an unknown woman agreed to be the surrogate mother.  Nate cost us $15,000.00.   He was such a beautiful little boy that we decided to have Bryce do the same again providing the same young woman would be available.  She was, but Ryan cost us $25,000.00.”


“When Ryan was six weeks old, Bryce and I had to go on a business trip.  We had left the boys with a nurse because we were only planning to be gone overnight.  Bryce owned a small aircraft and had his pilot’s license.  We were sitting on the taxiway, and we were to be the next aircraft to take off.  We were on hold because a big jet was about to land.”


For some reason the pilot missed the center of the runway and landed short of the runway and was coming right at us.  We were trapped and there was no place for us to go.  Everything was happening so fast.  The jets left wing hit our small plane and the boys father died instantly.  No one knows how I survived.  But as I told the boys, I spent two years in the hospital.”


The conversation was interrupted by Ryan, “Dessert is being served in the dining room.”  He made a sweeping bow as he was announcing.  He added “Come on Uncle Bruce, I’ll make sure they don't eat your dessert.”


As we were eating our mini-cheese cakes, Nate looked at Mom Thornton, “Grandma, you gotta make sure that our Dads have this recipe.  These are really good.”


The guys took care of the dishes again and Ryan came in and announced, “Uncle Brandon and Uncle Will are going to help us get ready for bed.  We’ll come down and kiss everyone goodnight.”


The boys returned and kissed everyone goodnight as promised.  Ryan did stop and hold his Uncle Bruce’s face, “You promise that you aren’t going to take us away?”

Bruce was so funny.  He rubbed his nose against Ryan’s.  “I promise.”


Ryan turned to Nate, “I think we’re okay.  Uncle Bruce didn’t have his fingers crossed.”


When the two boys had disappeared, Bruce started to laugh, “Kirk and Dan, are you sure you’re ready to be fathers?  You have two very sharp young boys there.”


I nodded, “Mr. Holloway, we’re sure.  I’m not sure what Ryan would have done if you were to take them away.  He threatened to stop talking again.”


We were interrupted by the return of Brandon and Will.  Will was laughing, “Tonight, not only Ryan fell asleep while talking, but so did Nate.  Mr. Holloway, please don’t let them down.  We need to go.  Mom, do you want us to take you home.”


Ginger looked at the two young men, “Guys, go do what you have planned.  I’m sure I can convince Dan and Kirk to walk me home.”


Brandon looked at us, “Would it be permissible for us to be at the hearing tomorrow afternoon?”


I nodded, yes, “Guys, I think it might be a big plus if you were there.  Nate and Ryan would probably be much more at ease if your were there.”


Bruce nodded in agreement, “Brandon and Will, I agree with Kirk on that point.  The two boys seem to look at you as if you are big brothers, so I think it would be super for you to be there to support them.”


The two college students left and George came to get Mr. Holloway.  As Dan and I were walking Ginger home, she started, “Kirk and Dan, I worried about what Brandon and Will do every night.  It’s as if they disappear from about 9:00 until 11:00.  You don’t suppose they are selling their bodies do you?”


I hugged Mrs. Belton, “Ginger, I can’t imagine that the two young men would do anything like that.  They wouldn’t spend so much time with the boys if they were doing anything like that.”


Ginger wasn’t finished, “Well, we’re concerned because they always seem to have enough money to take care of their needs.”


Dan smiled “Ginger, the next opportunity we get, we’ll confront the two guys.  I think they trust us enough to level with us.  They’re both wonderful young men and they love each other.  That is evident in the way they act toward each other.  I have no idea why they have become so attached to Nate and Ryan.”


Ginger started to laugh, “Your two young sons have a way of worming their way into everyone’s heart.  Thanks for making sure I got home and please have Will and Brandon tell us what they do almost every night.”


When we got back to the house, everyone had disappeared.  Dan and I sat down on the sofa.  I leaned against Dan’s shoulder, “Danny, I get the distinct feeling that your Father knows Mr. Holloway much better than he lets on.  What in the heck do Brandon and Will do every night that has Ginger upset?  What kind of house do the boys own?”


Dan hugged me, “Kirkie, now who’s talking like our youngest son?  I agree with you about Dad and Mr. Holloway.  I can’t believe that Brandon and Will are doing anything illegal.  As far as the house, I guess we will just have wait to find out.  Now let’s go to bed.  Tomorrow is going to be another long busy day.”


To be continued...


Editor's Notes: Didn't I tell you that Uncle Bruce would be a good person? 


I certainly hope that the Judge who is handling the adoption is a good and fair judge. I guess we will just have to wait and see what happens.


Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher


Posted: 10/09/09