A Train Trip to Remember
 by: Miguel Sanchez

© 2008 by the author


The author retains all rights. No reproductions are allowed without the author's consent. Comments are appreciated at...


The judge nodded his head. “You have the court order and my clerk will notify the Jacksonville Police Department that you will need an officer to escort you when you and your son get his property. Mr. and Mrs. Martin, you’ve tried to destroy a young man’s life because of money but you will pay the price for it. JC, you will be in my thoughts and prayers as you continue to undergo your chemo therapy. Mr. Miles, I know you’ll be good to him. May you both have many years of happiness together. This court is adjourned.”


Chapter 7


He banged his gavel then JC looked into my eyes. “Is it real now, are you my Dad?”


Ike came over and put his arm around us. “JC, I have no doubt that Jerry will be your Dad for a very long time.”


JC looked up at me smiling. “But what about when I get sick?”


I ran my hand down his cheek. “I can’t say I might not be hurling with you because at times I do have a weak stomach but I won’t leave you.”


Ike got a case of the giggles. “At least you’re honest Jerry.”


I was thinking about what JC’s mom had said. “Ike, can you call the Jacksonville Police? I don’t think we’re going to wait until tomorrow to head up there.”


JC looked surprised. “What about clothes?”


“We’ll stop by the house and pack a bag then get on the road.”


He was shaking his head. “Dad, that’s an 11 hour trip.”


“Not really son. It’s right up 95 and we can be there in about 8. I trust your mom as far as I can throw her.”


I saw him thinking. “Yeah, I guess you’re right. Are we gonna go there tonight?”


I nodded my head, “Yeah we are. When we arrive, we’ll stop by the police department and get an officer to meet us there. By the way Ike, what was that you handed the judge that made him change his mind?”


He giggled. “I had a petition for emancipation done up and if I had to, I was prepared to file it.”


Ike had pulled out all the stops in order for me to keep JC. JC and I headed outside to the Hummer. I was looking at JC and I could see he was a million miles away. “OK son, what’s going through your mind?”


He sat there for several minutes before he finally answered me. “Dad, were you serious about getting me another computer?”


He had me totally confused. “Yes son I was, why?”


He had a very devilish look on his face. “Well, you’re not gonna believe what I wanna do.”


He was grinning at me. “OK, go on son.”


“Well, all I really want from my old computer is the hard drive. That has everything I need, the rest of it I’m going to trash.”


I looked at him like he had lost his mind. “Trash it?”


He nodded his head. “I mean totally trash. I want to smash it into itty bitty pieces and leave it there.”


“I guess that’s your way of telling them to kiss your ass?”


He broke into a fit of giggles. “You could say that.”


I couldn’t say I didn’t blame him after the way they’d treated him. “Alright son, I’ll let you trash it. Since you have a PC, you’ll have to get another PC so the hard drive will fit it. Do you know what kind it is?”


He winked at me. “Yep, it’s an HP.”


“Alright son, tomorrow we’ll find one that the hard drive will fit.”


We pulled into the driveway then hurried into the house. JC almost ran down to his room and grabbed a change of clothes while I pulled out a small bag and did the same thing. “Here you go Dad, here are my clothes.”


I went into the bathroom and got our toiletries put them into the bag and we were on our way. I decided to take the turnpike so it would save a little time. By the time we were on the open road passed the stop and go traffic it was almost noon. In my haste to hit the road, I hadn’t looked at the gas gauge. JC was saying he was hungry so at the next plaza, I pulled in and fueled the Hummer then went inside to get ourselves something to eat. It was just before 1 when he got back on the road. By the time we got into Jacksonville, it was almost 8:30. JC directed me to the local precinct where we spoke with an officer. After talking with him he shook his head. “I’m sorry sir, this is a civil matter.”


“Officer, did you hear a word I said?”


He nodded his head then copped an attitude. “Didn’t you hear a single word I said? What part of this is a civil matter don’t you understand?”


“Then I want to see whoever is in charge.”


He gave me a dirty look but did as I asked. While he was gone, I got on my cell phone and called Ike. “Ike, did you call the Jacksonville Police?”


“I sure did Jerry. I spoke the officer in charge. Hold on a minute and I’ll get you his name.”


While I was waiting, JC looked at me. “Did he call Dad?”


I nodded my head. “Jerry, I spoke with a Sgt. Morris. He said he’d pass it on to the next duty sergeant.”


I closed my phone and the officer came back with a sergeant. “Sir, this is Sergeant Mahoney.”


I shook his hand. “Sergeant, I believe you got a message from Sgt. Morris.”


The man looked at me. “Are you Jerry Miles?”


“Yes I am Sergeant.”


He looked at the officer on the desk. “Officer, did you listen to this man very carefully?”


“Yeah Sarge, I did. We don’t send our guys out to escort some guy through a house while he and a kid.”


The sergeant rolled his eyes. “Listen Officer Nelson; that IS our job. Our job is to assist the people of this city.”


I took the Court Order Judge Gould signed out of my pocket and handed it to Officer Nelson. “This is a court order signed by a Family Court Judge in Broward County.”


Officer Nelson stood there with his mouth hanging open. “Why didn’t you say so sir?”


I glared at him. “Why did you cop an attitude?”


“Follow me Mr. Miles. I’ll find out what officer is free so he can assist you and your son.”


JC and I followed the sergeant then we were on our way to JC’s parent’s home. When we got there, there was an officer waiting on us. I showed him my ID and the court order then he escorted us to the front door. JC took out his key then unlocked the door. “Dad, my room is upstairs.”


We went upstairs then JC unhooked his computer. “Hey son, this is a very nice monitor, are you sure you don’t want to keep it?”


He just stared at me. “No Dad, you know what it is from here I want.”


I took the CPU unit down stairs while he took the LCD monitor. I headed for the Hummer while JC went around towards the back. The officer followed. “Hey kid, where are you going?”


JC kept walking but I had a pretty good idea then I heard him speak. “Just follow me.”


He came to the trash bin then opened the lid. The next thing I heard was a loud crash of breaking glass. I had the back of the Hummer open when the two joined me. “Sir, has your son lost his mind?”


I shook my head. “No officer he hasn’t. He’s been treated like shit for the past 2 years and he’s doing what he wishes with his property. JC, did you get the photos you wanted?”


He nodded his head then went to work on the case to the CPU. It took him a few minutes to get all the screws out then he carefully removed the hard drive. “Here Dad, hold this.”


He handed me the hard drive then he went back to the trash bin. I heard him totally destroying the unit then he returned. “Are you ready son?”


He nodded his head then we checked the house to make sure it was secure. “Thanks officer for your assistance, have a nice night.”


JC and I got into the Hummer then he looked at me. “There’s a nice hotel right near the mall.”


I wasn’t really paying attention when we got off 95 so my boy directed me to our lodgings for the evening. After we got checked in, I decided to surprise him. I took the bags and tossed them onto the bed then took his hand. “Come on kiddo.”


He led me over to the bed then sat down on my lap. “OH, are we going to have fun?”


I kissed him on the lips smiling. “Yeah, this is going to be fun.”


He reached down and rubbed my crotch then gave me a weird look. “What’s wrong Dad; don’t I turn you on any more?”


I reached down and rubbed his teenage package still smiling. “You know better than that son but that isn’t what I had in mind.”


His face sunk as I felt his tool deflate. “Why Dad, you know I’m not ever going to tell anyone.”


I kissed him passionately then picked him up in my arms. “I know that too son but there’s a time and place for everything and this just isn’t the time for that right now. Come on kiddo before it gets too late.”


He still had a confused look on his face when I set him onto his feet. I took him by the hand and we headed for the door. We were almost to the Hummer when I remembered I’d forgotten something and hurried back to the room. I found a place to hide the hard drive then I returned to the vehicle. We took off and I spotted the Best Buy. When we pulled into the parking lot JC looked over at me with a huge smile on his face then slapped me on the leg. “You’re mean Dad.”


Instead of finding a parking space I turned around like I was going to leave. “Mean huh?”


He quickly changed his tune. “No, no, no Dad, you’re not mean. You’re the best Dad in the whole wide world. Have I told you lately how much I love you?”


He was laying it on thick so I turned around again and found a place to park. When we got out of the Hummer, he ran over and hugged me tightly. “I’m sorry Dad. You are the best Dad for me and I do love you.”


I took the hard drive out from under my shorts and handed it to him. “You might want to hold onto this son.”


We walked into the store and there were sill a lot of people still shopping. I took a look at the store hours and they were open until 10PM. JC took off for the computers. “Come on Dad, you’re getting old.”


I started hobbling and talking like an old man. “Well then you better take my arm sonny so I don’t fall.”


I stopped and held onto a display like I was trying to catch my breath. JC looked at me then broke out laughing. He came up to me taking my hand in his. “Come on Gramps, I sure don’t want nothin to happen to you.”


I wrapped my arms around him and gave him a quick tickle. We found the computer display then a salesman came over. “Good evening gentlemen, what kind of computer are you looking for?”


JC held out the hard drive. “This came out of my old HP. We need something that this will fit into.”


He got a weird look on his face. “If the hard drive is still good, why didn’t you keep the CPU?”


I stepped up, “Well that’s a long story. Do you have something this will fit into?”


He still had the funny look on his face. “Why don’t you come with me young man? I think I have just what you need.”


The man reached down and took JC by the hand and started leading him towards the back of the store. “Dad, come on. Hey man, wait for my Dad.”


I heard JC then I looked around just as he and that salesman went through a door. I ran towards the door but it closed before I could get there. I saw the manager. “Hey, one of your salesmen took my boy back there.”


He looked at me with a disbelieving look. “Now why would he do that?”




I looked at him. “Why would he do that huh?”


The manager took his badge and swiped it through the lock then opened the door. We listened for a second. “Now, tell me boy, why does that man want to buy you a new computer for that hard drive? Is it because your real parents found stuff on there that you shouldn’t have had? That’s it, isn’t it?”


I followed the employee as he led me to another door. He tried the handle but it was locked. He reached into his pocket and got his key and quietly put it into the lock then opened the door. “Just what the hell are you doing?”


The manager stood there as his man had JC by the shirt collar. “I… I can ex… explain s… sir.”


The manager ran in and pulled him off. “You better because your freedom depends on it.”


He reached into his pocket and pulled 2 joints out. “He just sold me these. I paid $20.00 for them.”


JC had a shocked look on his face. “Dad, he’s lying.”


The employee looked at me. “Yeah right sir, I bet he’s not really his Dad.”


I walked over. “I know just what is in his pockets. JC, take everything out of your pockets.”


He reached his hands inside his pockets then turned them inside out. The manager stood there looking at JC’s empty pockets. I reached into my pant’s pocket and pulled out the court order signed by Judge Gould and handed them to the manager. He read them over then looked up at his employee. “You want to get your story straight?”


His boss wasn’t pleased. “I told you the truth. What was that paper he just handed you?”


“You’re in deep shit. This paper is a court order giving Mr. Miles here custody of this young man. Now, just what in the hell were you doing?”


JC kicked the employee right in the shin. “He called me a liar. He said I had stuff on this that I wasn’t supposed to and my real parents found out.”


The employee managed to stop his shin from hurting, “Why you lying brat.”


JC hauled off and kicked him square in the balls causing the man to double over in extreme pain. The manager picked his man up by the shirt then shook him. “You son of a bitch, you just opened us up to one huge law suit. Mr. Miles, what can I do to make this right?”


I thought for a moment. “Well, we came in here to buy a PC that this hard drive would fit in.”


JC handed the manager the hard drive. He looked at it for a minute. “This is made by Western Digital; we have several models this will fit in. Is the operating system on it?”


JC nodded his head. “Yer sir, I have Windows XP Professional.”


The manager smiled. “OK, I have an HP here and I can switch out hard drives and then make the other one a secondary HD.”


JC had a confused look on his face. “I don’t follow you sir.”


The manager giggled. “Basically what you’ll have is a C drive which will have your operating system on it. You’ll have a D drive which will be a CD/DVD burner so you can make your own DVD’s. You’ll then have an E drive wish will give you another 120 Gigabytes of storage space. How big is this one, do you know?”


JC’s mouth was hanging open. “That one is 80 Gigabytes.”


The manager looked at me. “Mr. Miles; how would you like a 17” flat screen LCD monitor?”


JC’s head was like a bobble head doll. “I’d like a wireless set up and a wireless keyboard and mouse.”


I looked at my son. “Let’s not get carried away son. This man has been real nice to us.”


The manager ruffled JC’s hair. “PC’s aren’t really designed for wireless unlike laptops.”


I shook my head at JC. “Sir, that won’t be necessary and I’ll get him a wireless keyboard and mouse.”


“No sir, we’ll cover that. Was there anything else?”


I looked at the employee who was still holding his balls. “Yes, I want to make sure this man never works in retail sales where he comes into contact with kids ever again.”


“I’ll be ruined,” the employee screamed. “What will I do for work?”


The manager got into the man’s face. “I could care less what kind of work you do. You’re damn lucky Mr. Miles doesn’t have me call the police and have you arrested.”


His face suddenly lost all its color. I stood beside the manager. “I think you struck a nerve here. Have you ever been convicted of a crime before?”


All of a sudden, he lost his tongue and couldn’t speak. The manager and I looked at each other. “Mr. Miles, help me escort this man to the front office. I want to look at his application.”


We each took an arm and assisted him to the front office. The manager pulled his file and looked at it. He was shaking his head. “What’s wrong?”


I don’t know how this was missed. “The question about being convicted of a crime was not answered. You better answer that question NOW!”


The man kept his mouth shut then I got an idea. “Let’s call the police; they’ll be able to find out real quick.”


The manager picked up the phone. “OK, OK, OK, I have been and I’m on probation.”


I looked at him. “What were the charges?”


He just stood there then the manager picked up the phone again. “Last chance man, next time I make the call.”


He tried to talk but all he could do was sputter. I was not really pissed. “Call the police. This stunt here will definitely violate his probation.”


The manager made the call and while we were waiting, he went out and got the unit for us. He brought it into the office then went to work on it. It didn’t take him but a few minutes to set up the hard drives. He started it up then reconfigured the system. He showed JC how to access the other hard drive then there was a knock on the door. I opened it and was surprised to see who was standing there. He laughed, “Fancy meeting you here.”


The manager explained everything to the officer and I could tell he wasn’t happy. “OK, let me see some ID.”


The employee stood there not moving. The officer stepped towards him and he quickly handed over his driver’s license. “I’ll run his name and find out what he’s on probation for.”


The officer went out to his car and returned a few minutes later. I saw him reaching for his handcuffs and the employee wasn’t happy. “What’s going on?”


The officer went over and put the man in bracelets. “He has an outstanding warrant for violating his probation.”


The manager looked at his employee. “Can you tell me what he’s been arrested for?”


The officer locked the cuffs. “He’s on probation for lewd and lascivious conduct with a minor under 13.”


I thought my heart and stomach were going to trade places. He was alone with my son but JC never said he tried to do anything with him. The manager went over and took the man’s employee ID. “You’re through with this company.”


I looked at the officer. “Is this man on the sex offender’s registry?”


The officer nodded his head and I thought the manager was going to go off on him. “You rotten son of a bitch. You knew if I’d seen that you’d been convicted before, I’d have never hired you. I know you didn’t try anything with this boy but if you’ve ever touched a customer’s child here and I find out about it, I’ll have you prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”


The officer had to get the man to the jail and booked before he got off duty. Once they were gone then manager helped JC and I get the rest of the things we needed for the PC. After helping us load it into the Hummer he extended his head. “Mr. Miles, words can not express just how truly sorry I am for what my employee did to your son.”


I shook his hand and smiled. “I know you are sir. Just find out if he’s hurt anyone’s child. You might need to get the media involved so they can put the word out. I do hope this doesn’t affect you or your store.”


JC and I got back into the Hummer then returned to the motel. We got everything into the room then we grabbed a shower. We stretched out on the bed and JC channel surfed. He turned the TV off then snuggled against me. “I’m really glad you heard me Dad.”


I wrapped my arms around him then pulled him up onto my chest. “I am too son but I need to be a better Dad. I should have never let you go off with him. Had anything happened to you, I could have never forgiven myself.”


JC sat up on my chest. “Dad, I’m not a little kid, I’m 16 years old and I can take care of myself.”


I sat up and kissed him on the nose. “I know that son but you’re also going through chemo and that zaps your strength. Can you humor your old man?”


He smiled and kissed me gently on the lips. “Alright old man, I’ll humor you.”


I saw him let out a big yawn. I looked at the clock and it was 10:45. “It looks like someone’s ready for bed.”

To be continued...


Posted: 05/23/08