The Good Doctor 47
David is a very happy looking young man this morning. Normally
our breakfast in your underwear tradition was something that
made him pretty uncomfortable. Usually he sat at the table
and gave a pretty good imitation of someone hiding but not
this morning. This morning he was leaning casually against
the kitchen counter wearing only his blue checked Abercrombie & Fitch
boxers and a big smile while he sipped his coffee. Even Jase
did a double take.
Pete was at the stove making eggs and I was watching the subtle
play of his butt muscles under the taut fabric of his white
boxer briefs while I planted my own butt next to David’s
against the counter.
“So are Sam’s mom and dad nice?” By the
look on his face I’d be amazed if he recognized them
if they walked into the kitchen right now. Oh, David, you are
a lucky boy!
were cool. Sam’s looks just like his dad…..well
maybe not as big.”
I said, “Well Sam’s a pretty good guy I guess
that that had to come from somewhere.”
David nodded yes and was blushing like he was on the verge
of combustion and I decided to take a chance. I turned and
took his face in my hands and for once he didn’t get
all nuts and looked up at me with half closed eyes and a smile
on his face.
“You handling this okay?” We both knew what I
was talking about.
He nodded yes and I pulled his head to my chest and said just
above a whisper, “You need to talk about this just lemme
know…………even if I’m at work,
just call.” He nodded yes against my chest.
I turned to my little toast maker Jase.
“How are you doing this morning?”
“I dowanna go to school.”
Pete came over with a platter of scrambled eggs bent and kissed
the top of Jase’s head and said, “School attendance
isn’t optional.” My sentiment exactly, if I had
to go through it everybody does.
Jase reached out his hand with a plate full of toast and David
took it. Jase said softly, “Will you put these on the
table I gotta make four more.”
As soon as David, Jase and I pulled up in front of the High
School Sam came running over and held open the door for David.
After David was out Sam slid into the front seat and said, “Mr.
Cortland, do you s’pose it’d be okay if I picked
David up in the morning and brought him home at night?”
I smiled at him. “Ahhh……….sure, Sam,
as long as it’s okay with David.” Like there was
some chance that it wouldn’t be.
Sam was beaming. “Thanks, Mr. Cortland! Then I’ll
drive David home this afternoon………..if you’re
sure that it’s okay.”
I stared at him for a moment. “I’m sure, Sam.
But, Sam…………..I’m expecting you
to be a responsible guy. Understand? He’s young and I
wouldn’t want him hurt…………in
“No, Sir, I’d never let David get hurt.” He
got a conflicted look on his face and I smiled at him.
“Sam, I said responsible, not celibate. I know that
you guys are gonna do what you’re gonna do, I just want
you to think.” I put my hand on the side of his neck. “Okay?”
He looked relieved and grinned. “Yes, Sir………..and
On the way to drop Jase off at his school I looked at him
in the rearview mirror and asked, “So why didn’t
you want to go to school today?”
He frowned and looked out the window.
“You don’t wanna tell me?”
“You’ll make a joke outta it.” He kept staring
out the window.
Well this was unusual. “I promise, Jase, I won’t
make a joke.” That is the sort of thing that I do. I
get it from my dad who used to do it to me all the time. You’d
think that I’d learn.
“You say that you won’t but when I tell you you’ll
still do it.” Okay, I have done that but I really didn’t
think that he was gonna like write it down or something so
that he’d never forget.
“Okay, I promise that I won’t make a joke out
of it and I also promise that I won’t double cross you.”
“What do I get if you still double cross me?” Geez
I’m proud of him!
“I dunno, a dollar?”
“Dad! A dollar?”
“Okay, whadya want?”
“A cell phone.”
“A cell phone? You gotta be kidding!”
He was grinning at me. “If you’re telling me the
truth you won’t ever have to get me one.” There
“Okay a cell phone but this better be good.”
He sighs. “It’s Kathy Ryan again.”
“The little bitc………….girl who
was giving you a hard time before?”
He lays his head all the way back against the seat. “She
says that I’m cute.”
“You are cute.”
He rolls his eyes which seeing that in a rearview mirror seems
really odd. “She makes me embarrassed.”
“Sooooooo are you mad because she says it when people
are around to hear it?”
He just nods yes and I wonder if he realizes that I couldn’t
see that if I wasn’t looking in the rearview mirror that
I don’t even think that he’s aware of.
“But if she said it when nobody else was around it’d
“I dunno. It’s stupid.” Geez it’s
hell to be six.
“So why not just ask her not to say it unless you’re
alone with her?”
“Cause then she’d say it all the time!”
“Do you like her?”
As it turned out Kathy Ryan was probably not destined to like
him or any Cortland.
I love my new expanded warehouse. Okay……….well
maybe love is too strong a word but I really really like it.
No more a case of crap being piled so deep in what are supposed
to be aisles so that you can’t even walk down them, it’s
great and it’s even been great for business.
Naturally Jane and Ellen have bitched endlessly since we started
building the addition and have continued that nonfuckingstop
every fucky second of every fucking day until sometimes I think
that they’re gonna drive me right out of my fucking mind………….but
it’s okay…………they’ll get
used to it.
We did have to hire two new guys to help with the increase
in business but that’s a good thing…….generally.
The one guy is Larry Perkins, early twenties, wife, two kids,
hard worker. The other guy is Marc Townly………..that’s
Marc with a c. Marc is also early twenties and a hard worker
and I’m pretty sure that he’s gay. Course knowing
if someone is gay is something that I’m really lousy
at, I mean I didn’t even know that I was gay until………..well…….anyway……..it
took a while.
Okay so the weird thing is this…………..little
Hershey kisses have begun appearing on my desk. Now there’s
no fucking way the Jane or Ellen are parting with a piece of
their candy as demonstrated by the fact that both of their
butts are big enough to support orbiting moons. And unless
I’ve totally missed something none of my other guys are
gay……………..okay, I could have
missed something, I do it all the time but I think that I would
have picked up on it by now.
When I leave at night, okay……afternoon, my desk
is clear but by morning a little silvery Hershey’s kiss
has appeared. I thought about checking for fingerprints but
the foil on those things is kind of crinkly and I don’t
think it’d support them and I don’t know how to
do it anyway.
Well anyway, the thing is that I don’t really know that
he’s doing it and even if he is doing it it’s not
like they’re time bombs and you can’t just go firing
people. My dad was hell on that. You didn’t hire people
until you absolutely needed them and the last fucking thing
on earth that you did was to fire them.
Oh and he’s cute……………..not
fucking HOT like Pete, but cute. Tall, dark brown hair, eyes
of some color, trim body, packed crotch and cute butt, like
I said, cute.
So my problem is how do I break all this to Pete. I should
say that that WAS my problem because I called Pete this morning
and pretty much forced him into coming over and taking me to
lunch. I’m also gonna give him a tour of the warehouse
and introduce him to the new guys. That’ll give him a
chance to get all alpha male and territorial and shit and hopefully
scare the crap out of anyone who might have……ideas.
Pete has broad shoulders and stands ramrod straight as he
just did when he first walked through the door, then he spotted
Jane and Ellen and walked over with a huge smile on his face
and generally made them both nearly wet their pants while he
turn those million watt baby blues on em and remembered their
names and crap like that. Anyway, given the chance, they’d
replace me with Pete in a heartbeat, hell I would too.
Thirty minutes later were being seated at a nice table overlooking
the bank parking lot of a frilly little restaurant that puts
assorted teas made out of roots and shit on the table and serves
their coffee in delicate little cups. It’s not that I
have anything against a decent cup of real tea but this root
crap makes me nuts. I mean as soon as you walk into the place
you know that there’s no fucking way that you’re
getting a decent meal here.
I smile at Pete. “What made you pick this place?”
“My mom talked about it.” Enough said.
He laughed. “You hate it!”
This is the point where you always lie no matter what anyone
else tells you. “I don’t hate it……….the
food may be great……..it’ll probably be great.”
Pete fixes me with those eyes. “Your new guy wants you.” This
is not necessarily the bad thing that it seems.
“Is that why you stood there glaring at him?”
He took a sip of his coffee. “Believe me it was a better
idea than what I wanted to do.”
“You were gonna beat em up?”
He laughed and seemed to relax. Staring down into his coffee
he said, “Something like that.”
I reach over and wrap my finger around his. “Lemme just
say three things. First, what he feels I can’t do anything
about. Second, he doesn’t stand a chance and third I
didn’t hire him. Although looking at his application
I probably would have.”
Pete puts his elbow on the table props his chin up on his
hand and stares out of the window. “I know………….and
I know that it’s crazy that it makes me feel this way.”
I decide to kid him. It’s a little like poking a lion
with a short stick. “You’re invited to our company
swim party next week. Maybe you’ll feel better once you
get to know him.” The swim party is total fiction.
He lifts his head drops his hand and stares at me hard. His
voice is louder. “Swim party?”
“Yeah we do it every year. We rent the pool down at
the YMCA and do like a swim thing. Gives me a chance to try
out my new suits.”
He looks like he’s about to take my head off but then
laughs. “You little shit!” He takes my hand. “You
are gonna be fucked so raw you won’t be thinking about
anything but me leaving for work in the morning so you have
a chance to heal.” See, it isn’t necessarily a
I was already home watching my mom cook when I heard Sam’s
car and then two doors slam but I wasn’t prepared for
what I saw.
The two boys were standing in the doorway with Sam hanging
onto David who’s face was smeared with blood and tears.
Sam looked like he wanted to die.
Sam’s face was twisted in barely controlled rage and
his voice pleading. “Mr. Cortland, David’s been
hurt but it’s really not as bad as it looks. I was gonna
My mother beat me to them and yelled, “In here sit.
Quickly! Eric get towels and bandages!”
I yelled, “Sam, what the fuck ha………………” but
she cut me off.
“ERIC! Do as I say, NOW!
I grabbed what I needed and hurried back to the kitchen where
my mother had pretty well already cleaned him up and Sam was
right, it really didn’t look all that bad.
Sam was kneeling next to David who looked totally embarrassed
by all the attention.
Sam looked up and me and then at my mother. “I just
left him for a second to go to the john and when I came out
he was lying there like this. It’s that damn kid that
did it before. I shoulda killed the son-of-a-bitch then!”
To my utter amazement my mother looked………..almost
She said quietly, “David, who was the boy that did this?”
He looked at her oddly and then looked pleadingly at me.
“Ma, he’s afraid that if he tells you and you
do something that it’ll only make it worse. High School
kids get all crazy about that.”
She looked at him and said, “David, do you trust me?
I haven’t ever given you reason not to trust me but do
you?” What a loaded question.
He looked up at her and said, “I just know his first
name………..I mean I knew the last name but
I can’t remember it. His first name is Brad.”
I looked at him. “Red hair, fat?”
David nodded yes.
“That little bastard I’ll kill him and his old
man too!” I grabbed for the telephone but my mother’s
hand shot out like a praying mantis and grabbed mine.
“That’s your friend, Brad? That’s his son?”
“Gotta be. I looked at David. “Does the last name
of Ryan sound right?”
He nodded and said, “That’s it.”
I said, “Gimme the phone, Ma!”
She said, “Eric, take the boys into the family room
and get them a coke and get yourself a beer…..oh and
I’ll take a glass of wine.”
“Ma lemma call that asshole and deal with this!”
“Eric……………just do as I
ask, I’ll make the call.”
I must have looked at her like she was nuts.
“What? You don’t think I know how to dial?” I
didn’t mention anything about the phone not having a
When I got back she was leaning back in the most uncomfortable
chair in the room. I sat on the one side of David, while Sam
was on the other side holding his hand. Jase came running out
of his room but when he looked around he got all silent and
climbed onto my lap and kind of burrowed backward into my chest.
She said into the phone, “Lemme talk to Harold.”
She took a sip of her wine and winked at David. “He’s
your attackers grandfather. The jerk!”
Apparently they tried to give her the runaround. “Just
tell him that it’s Helen Cortland and that if he doesn’t
want his lifestyle to change soon he better get his ass to
the phone.” She was enjoying this.
After a minute. “I’m fine Harold. How are you?
I drive past that big used car lot all the time and it just
seems to get busier, more cars and sooo many customers. I see
you even put up a new building.”
“I can imagine and don’t worry Harold I won’t
keep you long. Harold I got a call from a friend of mine that
works at the high school and she told me that she saw your
grandson Bradley beating up my adopted grandson, David.”
I looked at David and kind of sheepishly said, “We’ve
been meaning to ask you if you’d be willing to do that?”
She said into the phone with a laugh in her voice. “You’re
right, boys will be boys but we can come back to that. I really
wanted to discuss the used car lot with you.”
“Actually Harold there’s a lot to discuss and
no Honey you don’t have a lease. If you remember you
were too damn cheap to hire a lawyer so you said that we could
just use mine. What you do have is a month to month rental
She put her hand over the phone and said. “The whole
damn family is stupid.”
“No, Harold, it’s not the same as a lease. Under
our agreement I only have to give you thirty days notice and
then you have to vacate the property and after you’ve
gotten that notice and the thirty days are up you become responsible
for two things, Sweetheart.”
“Number one is that you have to return the property
to the exact state it was in when you took possession and Harold,
I have pictures that show every beautiful tree. The second
thing is that for every day past that thirty day limit that
you stay you pay $5,000 per day instead of the usual rent.
If you remember I asked you at the time if that was too high
and and you said no that you’d never want to leave the
She held the phone away from her ear and we could hear the
old man screaming.
She brought the phone to her mouth. “Harold, I know
that I’m not your attorney but something else that you
might want to consider is that you signed the agreement personally
not as the president of Ryan Motors. Remember you wanted to
rerent the property to the corporation.”
She held the phone away from her ear again as she took a sip
of wine. She shook her head. “How these people ever survived
in business is beyond me. He is a good salesman though.”
She said into the phone. “Harold you have another problem
that we should discuss now too. I just got off the phone with
my attorney and he suggested filing criminal charges against
your grandson for attacking my grandson and then filing a civil
suit against your son. He feels that a hundred grand is not
out of the question. Of course if you lose the car lot that
might make money a little tight.”
She held the phone away from her ear again and shook her head. “I
gotta end this. I just can’t stand talking to him. I
should feel sorry for his wife but she’s just as dumb
as he is.”
She sighed and brought the phone to her mouth. “Shutup
Harold! First of all do I call my attorney and tell him to
go ahead? I want twenty-five.” A pause. “Twenty.
Harold fifteen is as low as I go and I want the check here
within the hour. Second, Bradley disappears.” She slowly
shook her head. “No you idiot, I don’t mean kill
him! Transfer him to another school, enlist him in the army
I don’t give a damn but if he returns to that school
I call the cops. And Harold, if my grandson gets so much as
a dirty look from anyone I’m gonna assume you started
spreading things around and I’ll turn that fifteen acres
back into farm land faster than you can say Henry Ford! So
you better spread the word to that bunch of bums that you call
your family and lay down the law!”
She turned off the phone shrugged and smiled at David. “Well
that’s one way to build up your college fund.” She
leaned forward and smiled. “You’re having lasagna