The Boy in the Bin

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9) VISITORS

After the first day, Raphael resigned himself to the fact he would try to make the best of going to school. He liked his new friend Johnny and anticipated seeing him every day. The routine for Raphael ended up always the same.

Cal, the driver would pick him up in the morning and drop him off to school. He would then return again early in the afternoon to take him home. Natasha would give him a little snack and he would tune in the television until his mother came home at 3:30 P.M.

“So my little schoolboy,” Sylvia asked, “how do you like your class?”

“School is OK Mommy,” he answered. “I met another boy nthere who is pretty cool. He used to live in California.”

“How wonderful Honey,” she commented. “I’m so glad you are getting along and I’m extremely proud of you.”

When Raul came home at night, Raphael acted excited as ever. He hugged his dad as he came through the door and started telling him about his day.

“Let Daddy get comfortable first,” Raul chuckled, “and afterward, you can tell me all about your first day.”

Raul went to the bathroom and cleaned up . He changed his clothes and put some casual attire on, went into his workshop/office and stowed his briefcase. Afterward, he came out to sit on the couch. He invited Raphael to sit down with him and tell him about his big, first day.

Sylvia called from the kitchen to tell her boys their dinner would be ready shortly. Tonight they would have Spaghetti and Meatballs; one of Raphael’s favorites.

“I spoke to my sister today,” Raul mentioned. “She said she would love to come over and visit whenever you want.”

“How about inviting them to dinner next Sunday?” Sylvia inquired. “We have no social plans for the weekend and I would rather like to help Natasha clean the house. I’ve got Friday off, so we can plan a family dinner for the three of us.”

“OK,” Raul replied, “I’ll call her and verify the day is good for her. She may want to bring her son if having him over would be OK.”

“Yes,” Sylvia exclaimed, “by all means. I would like to meet this young man and I’m sure Raphael would like to also.”

“Who is nthat Mommy?” Raphael lisped.

“She would be your Aunt Maria and her son John,” Sylvia explained. “They are coming for dinner on Sunday. Your father said John is around your age.”

“Oh Boy,” Raphael shouted with excitement. “Do you nthink he likes Ninja Turtles?”

“I’m sure he does, son.” Raul reckoned. “I’m sure he likes Ninja Turtles and many other things. He’s the boy your mom and I talked about, who previously lived out on the West Coast.”

“My new friend in nschool lived in California.” He pointed out. “Do you think he knows him?”

“Well Honey,” Sylvia explained, “California is a big state. I’m sure he will interest to talk to.”

Raphael exhibited good feelings today. For starters, his first day of school went well and he met a new friend. Now his cousin from California would be over to meet him. He couldn’t wait to show him his collection of toys and Ninja Turtle cards he collected since they first came out.

The rest of the week went by in a slow progression. Raphael would go to school each day, and each day Miss Gordon would give the students a new assignment to work on. She explained to them they needed to use the mornings to work on their assignments. In the afternoon, after their dreaded nap, they could work together on anything they wanted.

Raphael and Johnny always sat together during lunch but most of the time other kids sat with them, so conversation didn’t come easily to devise any creative harassment. Before they knew it, school ended for another day.

At last the weekend came. Raul left early again to go into his office. Sylvia set about looking at cookbooks, to get an idea of what to serve to her guests tomorrow. Natasha showed up around 10 A.M., not to babysit this time, but to assist Sylvia with the meal preparations.

“How about Beef Wellington,” Sylvia reasoned, “which looks so good in the pictures.”

“Zat is a veddy complicated deesh Sylvia,” Natasha revealed. “I theenk you like to do something more simple.”

The two ladies tossed around different meals Sylvia specifically marked in the cookbook. Sylvia finally came to doing Veal Parmesan, Red Roasted Peppers and Angel Food Cake with Strawberries for dessert. This would be a good wholesome meal because cooking required little work by Sylvia.

Sylvia did not like to cook.

Natasha made a list of the ingredients required and Sylvia gave her money to go to the deli and pick everything up. She would prepare the meal and refrigerate everything so Sylvia only needed to heat the oven up and cook things. Natasha did the shopping and said she would be back in an hour.

Meanwhile, Sylvia cleaned all the silverware, glasses and plates in the cupboard. With only the three , they did not use most of the extensive cutlery and tableware she possessed. She called Raphael away from his television program to help her polish the silver. He didn’t want to but reluctantly complied because having visitors represented a big deal with him.

“Am I going to share my room with John?” He wondered aloud.

“Maria and John aren’t staying Honey.” She responded. “They are simply coming to dinner. Mommy hasn’t met them either so hearing their stories should excite. Aunt Maria moved back here because of all the earthquakes in California.”

“What if I don’t get along with John?” Raphael worried. “He’s older isn’t he?”

“Well Honey,” she informed, “If you don’t like John, I won’t complain. But please be cordial to him while he is here. If there’s a problem, we won’t ask him to come back.”

“What if he picks on me for the way I talk?”

“Honey,” Sylvia reassured, “I don’t think John is mean like some kids. And if he did something like being mean, either your father or I would correct him. So don’t you worry about small potatoes, OK?”

Noon approached when Natasha came back from the deli. She laid all the ingredients out on the counter and started the prep work. The kitchen reminded Sylvia of an assembly line with all the tomatoes, salt, garlic, veal fillets and the rest.

Under Natasha’s direction, Sylvia boiled water and cooked the pasta and pounded the veal fillets to break loose the fat lines. Everything sailed along as planned until Natasha shouted in shock, “Oh My Gott.”

“What’s going on Natasha?” Sylvia screamed.

“I forgot zee pasta sauce.” She divulged. “Vee need zat for za Spaghetti bed.”

“Oh Natasha,” Sylvia advised, “don’t worry. I’ll call Raul and ask him to pick some up on his way home from work today.”

With the crisis resolved, everything else went smoothly. Natasha breaded and braised the veal quickly, to give them a tasty crust. Equally as efficiently, she took them out of the frying pan, wrapped them in wax paper and put them away to chill. All the cheeses got mixed and put into a container, the spaghetti drained and put away, the cake baked and frosted and everything else done.

“Tomorrow,” she told Sylvia, “you only neet to put sauce and cheese on zee veal and cook zem in zee oven. Zee pasta can be warmed up with boiling water. And zee cake needs the strawberries all peeled and cleaned. You shoult be all set.”

“Thank you so much,” Sylvia blushed, “for helping me. I couldn’t do everything without you.”

Natasha left shortly after 2 P.M. and Sylvia picked up the phone to call Raul at his office. Her loving husband worked so hard and she wished he would make more time for himself, but he made the choice to work on Saturday’s.

The phone rang and rang until the voice message system picked up spurted out the blurb about the office being closed.

I don’t understand, Sylvia thought. I’m sure he said he would be in the office. Why didn’t he pick up my call? He can’t be with a client because he said he would work alone. Perhaps he’s on his way home already. NUTS. This would mean someone must get the pasta sauce we need.

Raul walked in the house at 4:30 P.M. Sylvia had tried to call his office twice more since her initial attempt. Almost automatically, the first thing she did when he came in the door; she glanced at the clock.

“I tried to call you at the office,” Sylvia hissed. “I wanted you to pick up pasta sauce on the way home.”

“Freddy, my co-worker came in the office about noon,” Raul explained, “and we left around 2 P.M. to go enjoy a few drinks. Sorry, Honey.”

Raul’s excuse seemed plausible and so Sylvia didn’t press the issue. But the fact remained, they needed the sauce for tomorrow’s meal.

“Before you get comfortable,” she commanded, “you need to go get some sauce.”

“OK, Hon,” Raul complied, “I’ll hop over to that little deli. How much do you need?”

“Better get two jars,” she remarked. “I can always use a backup for another meal.”

With only a brief exchange, Raul left the house. Sylvia thought for a moment about Raul’s excuse. A little crawling sensation nagged at the back of her neck, but she shook the feeling away. Raul did nothing to indicate he played at being unfaithful to her, and she decided not to start second guessing him now.

Raul came back in 20 minutes with two jars of specialty pasta sauce. He immediately retired to clean up and change his clothes, even though he dressed casually on the weekend. The old creeping hunch came back to Sylvia again, and again, she shook her suspicion away.

In the evening, the family sat around watching many television shows. The Cartoon Network got one full hour and afterward, Raul switched over to Fox News. Raphael turned and eyed at his father when the channel changed. Raul merely glared back as if to say, “I own the remote” and you don’t. Since he wasn’t interested in watching the news, Raphael got up and announced his intention to go to bed. He kissed Mom and Dad and happily went down the hallway to his bedroom.

Maria and Johnny were scheduled to arrive shortly after noon on Sunday. Sylvia behaved all nervous and jerky and spent the morning running around making sure everything in the house got dusted, vacuumed and polished. Raul chuckled because all he needed to do would be to lift his feet up when the vacuum cleaner came by. He also agreed to answer the door when his sister and her son arrived.

DING DONG, went the bell.

“I nthink nthey’re here,” Raphael shouted. “Should I get nthe door?”

“C’mon Son,” Raul hollered, “We’ll both get the door.”

Raul opened the door to greet his guests. He and his sister weren’t in contact for about five or six years and he anticipated meeting her again. He never met his nephew John. The door swung open and here stood a petite little brunette of about five feet tall. Next to her, stood a young lad of six or seven years old who was almost as tall as his mother. A big smile came across Raul’s face as he welcomed his sister and her son.

The expression on Raphael’s face became more or less one of shock. His cousin John, in reality, wore the face of his friend from school, Johnny. Raphael’s initial thought became this seemed to be some kind of trick or stunt. What brought his friend here, at his house, on a Sunday afternoon? John offered a more positive attitude about the situation and a broad smile burst forth evident on his face.

“Well, Raphael,” he chortled, “aren’t you going to invite us in?”

“JOHNNY!” Raphael shouted. “What are nyou doing here?”

Raul appeared to be confused at the fact Raphael and his sister’s son appeared to be friends. He could spot a familiarity between the two by their mutual greetings.

“Please,” he motioned, “please come in and make yourselves at home.”

Maria and John stepped inside and closed the door behind them. She introduced her son to Raul and turned to Raphael.

“And this must be Raphael,” she clucked. “We’ve heard so much about you from your daddy. But I’m confused; how did you meet my John?”

Both boys spoke in unison, “We go to school together.”

Now the current riddle had solved itself, Raul invited everybody into the dining room. Sylvia came out of the kitchen and Raul introduced her to John and his mother. He stated, “These two already are aware of each other.”

Maria brought an apple pie and she and Sylvia went out to the kitchen together. Raphael invited Johnny up to his room and they took off together. Raul stood alone in the living room, still bewildered.

Eventually, everyone returned to the dining area and sat down for the wonderful meal prepared by Sylvia. The grownups enjoyed their conversation while the boys made their own conversation too. Soon, the conversation came around to school.

“So you guys are in class together,” Raul stated. “I’ll bet having the two of you must be fun for the teachers.”

“Now stop Raul,” Sylvia cautioned. “I think being together in class is good for them.”

“I can tell John enjoys his new friend,” Maria said. “Raphael is all he talks about since starting school.”

“Do you like your teacher?” Sylvia inquired.

“Yea,” Johnny mused, “she’s got big tits.”

Maria flushed bright red upon hearing her son’s somewhat graphic utterance. Instantly, she raised her hand and cuffed him on the back of the head.

“John,” she barked “what did I tell you about dirty talk; you embarrass me.”

“Well, she does, Mom.”

Raphael witnessed a little surprise at Aunt Maria’s action because he suffered nothing from either of his parents involving violence. But he tried to hold back his little smile because Miss Gordon DID possess big tits.

The rest of the afternoon remained rather restrained but cordial. At about 5 P.M., Maria said she and John should think about heading home. She helped Sylvia pick up the dishes and offered to wash them, but Sylvia declined. She stated the dishes presented no big deal and she enjoyed they made the trip over for dinner. John asked to be excused to go to the bathroom and Raul retired with Raphael to back into the living room.

The honking outside indicated their cab arrived and the time to return home had come. Raul and his sister hugged, Sylvia and Maria hugged and Raphael and John grinned. The day turned out to be a wonderful time and the adults promised to do another dinner soon.

It was a promise soon broken.

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