Copyright© 2015 by Lumpy
When I got home, my first call was to Mr. Colleta. Although it was late, he was still at the office.
"What can I do for you Cas?"
"I had a couple of questions about this settlement thing."
"How sure are we that this is going to happen?"
"Positive. I have already have the first draft of the contract. We are working it out, now. We should be able to sign everything in the next week or two."
"And what happens with the money, when we do that."
"Well, at first, it will go into a bank account. From there, you and I need to sit down and talk. The best course of action would be to put it in a trust for you until you come of age."
"What if I already had a plan for the money?"
"Cas, this is a lot of money. While a portion of it would be fine, you need to get most of it into some kind of trust, and get it invested. It isn't uncommon for people who come into easy money, like people who win the lottery, to blow it quickly. I don't want to see this happen to you."
"I understand, and I have a project I want to invest in."
"Who have you told about the settlement?"
"Have you been talking to people about it?"
"Then why are people coming to you with investment opportunities. You have to be careful, Cas, this kind of money will bring out the vultures."
"It's not like that. I came across this on my own and it's a really good opportunity."
"And how much do you want to invest."
"Seven hundred thousand."
"JESUS! That is almost your entire settlement."
"I know, but I think there is a huge upside. The risk is worth it."
"You need to be careful, here. You need to do your 'due diligence.'"
"I understand that, and it's why I am calling you. I would like to hire you to check into it, and advise me if it is the opportunity I think it is. If it is, I want you to take the point in setting this deal up. I am not naïve Mr. Colleta; I am not just going to throw down money without having it checked out."
"Ohh, I guess I shouldn't be surprised. Sorry if my knee-jerk reaction was off the mark."
"No problem. So, you know Ted Baker, the guy I am working for?"
"He will be one of the principals on this. I would like for you to meet with him, and Marcus Long, the engineer who actually had the idea. If it checks out, Ted will be putting up some money but I will be the principal backer of the project. We will need to set up some kind of company to make this happen and have both Ted and I as stock holders, at levels appropriate to our investments. Marcus will also need to have a stake since it is his idea and he will be putting in 'sweat equity.'"
"You have done some reading on this, I see."
"Yes, sir, I have. For now, please just tell them that you are doing due diligence on it. I am not empowering you to enter us into any agreements. While I want you with me on this, I want to be there for the negotiations."
"Sure thing, Cas. Let me get on this."
"Thanks, Mr. Colleta."
Just like that, I was on my way to having a business. A pretty exciting end to the day, actually, after such an exciting week. Although, I guess not as exciting as the week when I got shot!
The weekend promised to be interesting. The girls had a game, and even though I wasn't allowed to play yet, Doctor Chang was coming by the house again, on Sunday. She would have to clear me, then I was supposed to watch the plays, and get a feel for it. I thought it would actually be fun to watch the girls cheering from the sidelines. All three had promised me, however, to skip any after game parties!
That plan was sidelined Friday afternoon, at school. We were just leaving to head home, but before I could open the door, Zoe spun me around.
"Okay, I think recovery time is over. It's Friday night, and we haven't been on a date in while."
"Okay. So what do you girls want to do, tonight?"
Tami jumped in, "We talked about it, and we want to go shoot pool."
"Most of the pool halls are 'eighteen and up.'"
"Yeah, but they have that room at the bowling alley that has the two tables in it," Vicki said. "Okay, sounds good. Let's all go home and change. Do you want to meet at Zoe's? We can walk from there."
The bowling alley was just outside of the neighborhood, only a ten minute walk from the house.
"Sounds good," Tami said as she and Vicki hopped into Megan's car. Zoe and I headed out behind the school for our normal walk home. When we got there, I started going through my clothes. True to her word, Margret had sent Tina over with a few boxes that had my personal stuff, and clothes.
"Is that what you are going to wear?"
I was pulling on a clean t-shirt.
"What?" I said looking at the shirt.
"Ugh! Boys! Move aside."
Zoe pushed me out of the way and started going through my stuff. She reemerged from the closet with a collared shirt and a pair of khaki pants.
"Here you go."
"Really. Put them on."
She then proceeded to ignore me as she got ready. It's interesting living in the same room as a girl. It hadn't occurred to me how much work they put in, to getting ready. Besides the clothes, there was primping, some plucking, lotions, base coats, makeup, and accessories.
It was a serious task: getting ready!
I eventually sat down to read while Zoe spent the better part of forty-five minutes, 'getting ready.' Just about the time she was getting done, I heard thumps coming up the stairs. Tami and Vicki appeared at the door. Both were also well primped and looked good.
Vicki gave me the once over.
"Good choice in clothes, Zoe."
"Seriously! How do you know I didn't pick this out?"
All three girls just laughed at me and then started talking about clothes. I tuned it out until Tami hit my foot.
"Off the bed, boyfriend, and let's go."
We headed out of the house and down the street. We had a lot of fun playing pool. We played teams, and the girls kept cycling through who was on my team. They seemed to play fine by themselves when they were against us, but whoever was on my team seemed to need help lining up shots. They all took this as a good opportunity to push back into me as I was 'helping'. By the time we got home, all of us were charged up. I gave a serious good night kiss to both Vicki and Tami before they headed out the door. I noticed Zoe doing the same. We each took turns taking showers and Zoe spent a good thirty minutes getting all the crap she'd put on her face, back off. I was once again amazed by how much work it seemed to take to be a girl. Not that I was complaining about the results!
"Let me ask you a question."
She didn't look away from the mirror but gave me the 'uh-huh' to proceed.
"Were you into girls before we got together?"
"Not really, no"
"So, what is with you and Vicki and Tami? At first there was a little between you and Vicki, but that was mostly just when the three of us were in bed. Lately I have noticed you three getting a lot more physical with each other."
She stopped what she was doing, "Huh. I guess you're right. I hadn't actually been thinking about it."
"So, what's up with that? Are you starting to get into girls?"
"Umm, not really, no. Other girls do nothing for me. It's just Vicki and Tami. With them, I kind of feel how I feel about you. Like, not just that I love them, although I do, but I am really attracted to them. It's not that they are girls, it's just ... them."
"Actually, you know, thinking about it; I don't really feel attracted to other guys, either. It's strange. At football games I used to ogle the players when we weren't performing. I don't think I did that at the last game. I mean, I am trying to remember, because it wasn't conscious; but, even sitting here now and trying to think of other guys ... even past boyfriends ... none of them do anything for me. Really thinking about it, I only feel attracted towards you, Vicki and Tami."
"Okay, that's weird. We should talk to them about this, also."
We let the conversation go at that, although Zoe did her level best to try and show me exactly what she felt towards me.
The next day was game day. Zoe and Tami were off with the cheerleaders and I was on the bench. I didn't suit up, since I hadn't been issued a uniform, and a lot of the guys were looking at me sideways in the locker room. I hadn't gone to any of the practices yet and I am sure they were wondering what I was doing there. The coach gave a little speech, but didn't say anything about me so I figured I should just stay quiet and watch.
We were a 4A team, which meant we were not tiny, but not as big as the 5A teams like most of the schools in Houston. Some of the outlying cities however were also 4A. Tonight we were playing Tomball High School and I could see the guys were worried. Tomball was a small town north west of Houston and about an hour and a half from Allentown. Texas is a big place, and sometimes the more spread out cities have to travel a good distance to find schools to play against. The only thing I really knew about Tomball, was that their football team had always been really competitive. Word was, next year, they might get bumped up to 5A. While we would have our own 4A division state championships; in Texas, 5A was where the real attention was. In the 4A division we tended to play a lot of teams from mid-size towns. There were also 3A, 2A and 1A divisions. Each was determined by the student population of the school district. It seemed, generally, the further from the big cities like Houston and Dallas you got, the smaller the school district was. 1A schools tended to be in really rural areas.
We were playing at home and Tomball was one of those towns that would pack up the entire population, and caravan out to the stadium. Their colors were red and white, and their side of the stands seemed like a sea of red. It made our turn out feel a little meager.
The game didn't start out well for us. They won the toss and we kicked off. Somehow they managed to break through and score on the kickoff return. Not even a minute into the first quarter and we were already down seven points. From there it just got worse. Our line managed to hold its own and keep the QB from getting sacked, but we couldn't seem to get past their line when we were defending. It didn't help that three of the guys in our line had been brought up from JV, and this was their first game with varsity. Josh was among them, and they just weren't working as a single machine.
The other problem was we couldn't get our running game to work, and they were all over our receivers. By half time it was 21 to 3. Everyone was pretty run down in the locker room. The coach was just as frustrated as everyone else and railed into the guys. I managed to catch up with him on the way out.