The Left Out Ellison
The guys aren't mine. They belong to Pet Fly. I wish they were mine but then when do I ever get what I want.
Feedback on or off list is welcome. Thanks for taking the time to read I'll say in advance.
Kenny was not a happy camper. Why did it seem that Bet and BJ got all the attention. So what if BJ was some kind of super guide. Kenny was a guide too, after all he had been the one to get Bet out of those space outs she had before they ever met BJ. If anyone was Bets real guide it was Kenny.
Kenny remembered that his dad had told him that he was Uncle Jim's original guide too but that Grandpa William had pushed them apart. Well he wasn't going to let himself be pushed away like his dad. Bet had told him to tell BJ to meet her in front of the school so they could go to the rock concert in the nearby park.
Uncle Jim and Uncle Blair had expressly told her she couldn't go without a guide because of the noise and lights but Kenny wouldn't tell BJ who wasn't home from football practice anyway.
He would have Uncle Jim drop him off with the express knowledge that Bet was waiting for him. Since Uncle Jim had a stakeout tonight and Uncle Blair had a meeting at school neither would know that BJ wasn't with Bet since BJ thought Bet couldn't go because he wasn't.
BJ would happily go home with his best friend Blake, thinking Bet and he were still at odds with each other so. Kenny had hidden the card Bet left for BJ this morning and eatten the no-sugar chocolate pecan she had put on BJ's pillow while he was in the shower.
Now he would show everyone who Bet's real guide was and that they didn't need think-he-was grown BJ Sandburg.
* * * * * *
Jim was surprised when Kenny asked him to be dropped off for the concert. "I thought you didn't want to go and I was supposed to take you to Cal's?"
"Well I changed my mind Uncle Jim. Bet is at the school, waiting out front. I'll be with her. Please can you take me now or she'll be gone and I won't get to go."
"Is BJ there too? Bet knows she can't go to the concert without BJ."
"BJ's coming after practice. He'll be there in a little while, before the concert starts. Please take me now Uncle Jim before I can't find them."
"Okay Kenny hold your horses. Get your jacket and lets go. I want to make sure you kids have a ride home anyway."
* * * * * * *
"Uncle Jim what are you doing here? Is BJ with you?"
"No, what do you mean? Kenny told me BJ was supposed to meet you in a little bit."
"Yes I guess so. It's just I didn't get to talk to him this morning he took so long in the shower. I would have been late for school."
Jim grinned "like father, like son. Can't be on time to save their lives."
"Yes I know" Bet said in a long-suffering voice. "So it's okay Uncle Jim if BJ said he'd come he always keeps his word. He'll be here."
"Yes I realize that" Jim said still feeling a frisson of worry but when he checked his watch he realized if he didn't hurry he was going to be late for the stakeout and this was an important bust. It would get guns and dangerous drug being sold to kids and gangs off the street.
"Okay" Jim said "I've got to go. Do you have your cell phone Bet? Do you have BJ's and Blair's number? Do you promise no guide, no concert?"
"Okay, okay I'm out of here. Call if you guys need us."
"Yes Uncle Jim."
Jim jumped into his truck and sped off.
Bet shook her head at her Uncle Jim's driving then turned to Kenny. "What time exactly did BJ say he'd be here?"
Kenny shook his head "BJ isn't coming Bet."
"What! Kenny you told Uncle Jim he was! You know I can't go to the concert without him or Uncle Blair and I'm certainly not going with Uncle Blair."
"No" Kenny said decisively "Uncle Jim said no guide, no concert. Well I'll be your guide. You don't need BJ. I was your guide before BJ and I'll be your guide tonight. You'll see I'm just as good as him and then we won't need him. I won't argue with you like him or try to be all grown up."
"No Kenny, no. It's not going to work, neither Uncle Blair or Uncle Jim will allow it."
"Please Bet, please. Let me prove I can do it then Uncle Jim and Uncle Blair will trust me."
"I don't know Kenny." Bet said unsure. She gazed off into the darkening sky. Finally she gave a big sigh "Well I guess we'll have to try it. Uncle Blair is at his meeting and Uncle Jim at the stakeout and Stacey's mom expects me to ride home with her."
After another big sigh and a look of uncertainty at her brother she turned and started off toward the park next to the school. "Come on Kenny, I don't want to be late."
Kenny gave a whoop and chased after his sister. <Now he'd be able to prove what he could do. He wouldn't be the left out one anymore.>
* * * * * * *
Kenny was in tears and almost hysterical. He had managed to pull Bet away from the crowd into a bit of bushes where she was hidden from the screaming, jumping kids. Stacey had helped him and right now she was holding Bet and looking scared while Kenny banged away at the quick dial buttons on Bets cell phone.
"Please, please, please" he pleaded into the phone as he waited for BJ to answer. As soon as he heard the older boys voice he began to pour out words so fast that BJ couldn't understand him.
"Kenny is that you? Hey, man what's wrong. Slow down, little man. Slow down. That's right deep breaths. Now tell me again. What's wrong? Where are you?"
"BJ it's my fault. Bet wanted to make up to you and she left you a card and candy but I took the card and ate the candy because I was mad that you and Bet got all the attention so I came and I convinced Bet I could be her guide at the concert and now she won't wake up no matter what I do and she needs you, please come Bj, please I'm sorry."
"Okay just wait there Kenny I'll call Dad. Blake's mom isn't here just his older brother and he doesn't have a car. Uncle Blair will come and get me and we'll be there right away just keep talking to her and calm down."
"Okay Bj. Me and Stacy are near the entrance by the Stature with the man with birds all over him. We're off to the side in the bushes. We'll wait right here. Please hurry." Kenny pleaded amazed at how grown up BJ sounded.
"Okay Kenny. Just wait and calm down." BJ hung up and immediately called his father at the university knowing he would come even if his meeting wasn't over.
* * * * * *
"Of all the harebrained ideas what would make that girl disobey Jim and my admonition and go to this thing without you? She'll be lucky if she and Kenny get out of the house again for a year. Crazy, headstrong, I-can-do-it-myself-don't-need-the-guide-sentinels. Or maybe it's just headstrong, I-am-in-control-Ellison ism."
BJ couldn't help grinning at his father's gripping but the smile couldn't last. He was to worried about Bet and something was bothering him about Kenny's recitation earlier.
He didn't have time to think about though as the Volvo pulled up in front of the park. Blair soon saw he didn't have h__ of a chance of getting a park in front of the crowded park or even the school nearby.
"It's okay Dad let me go. I think I can reach Bet and if I can get her out before you find a park I'll call you and you can come get us."
Blair hesitated but he didn't see any other option so he nodded. "Okay BJ go ahead. I'll keep looking for a park."
BJ was out of the car and disappearing into the throbbing, darkness of the park before Blair finished speaking. Blair shook his head, that boy of his was giving him almost as many gray hairs as his sentinel and now his sentinel's kid. She may be Jim's niece but she was so much like him that you'd have a hard time believing she didn't come from his own seed. Blair shook his head again and ran his hand through his thick, wavy, red-brown locks.
He drove past the park and school again searching through the darkness for any open space.
* * * * * * *
The call came just as he pulled into a space vacated moments before by a large van. With a shake of exasperation at his luck he pulled back out and headed back to the park.
BJ opened the back door and helped a dazed Bet into the seat, buckling her in. A subdued Kenny climbed over her and a frightened Stacy followed to sit near the other door.
Blair looked back at her as BJ joined him in front.
"Just drop me off at home please Mr. Blair. I told my mom I was coming home with you. She said it was alright. I didn't want to stay for anymore of the concert."
"I can understand that. And Stacey I realize that probably what happened tonight with Bet scared you...."
"Yes I was scared! What happened? Kenny couldn't get her to wake up and I couldn't..." She stopped on a sob.
"It's okay Stacey she's going to be alright."
"I thought she was going to die."
"No! no it's okay Stacey. It's just that Bet has a condition. Sometimes it causes her to go into a daze she can't come out of without help. Everybody can't help her. That's why I didn't want her to go unless BJ went with her."
"Yeah BJ woke her up right away." Stacey agreed. She looked over at her friend. "I'm glad."
"I'm glad too."
* * * * * * * *
The car pulled up in front of Stacey's house. Blair got out and pushed up the seat and Stacey jumped out. She ran toward the house then reversed herself and came back sticking her head back into the car. "It's okay Bet I'm still you friend even if I was scared."
Bet smiled and some of the strain fell off her face. "Thanks Stacey" she said
with heart-felt emotion.
Stacey took off back to the house where she met her mother waiting at the door. Sharon Klingston waved and ushered her daughter into the house. Blair climbed back into the car and head to the loft apartments where they lived.
There was silence in the car.
* * * * * * *
There was silence as they climbed the stairs to the third floor, nobody wanting to be locked together in a small, cramped elevator.
There was silence as coats were hung up on pegs, Jim's house rules for both combined apartments.
And finally there was silence as Bet and Kenny sat on the couch in the part of the loft Jim and Bet slept in at Blair's commanding gesture.
They sat close together. Kenny stared at his shoes, his hands clutching Bet's.
Bet refused to look down though she did have trouble looking Uncle Blair in the face. She was relieved when BJ sat next to her in solidarity. Blair noted his son supportive gesture and nodded recognizing his own self in son's actions. Finally he turned to the two contrite, frightened children before him and starting his questioning in a gentle voice that had the bite of steel.
"Okay Bet explain? Why were you at the concert tonight without BJ. Didn't we expressly tell you you couldn't go without him?"
Kenny squeezed Bets hand tighter but neither child answered.
"Well?" Blair demanded
"I thought BJ was coming. I gave him a card and candy to show I wanted to be friends and I thought he would accept it and come with me." Bet didn't mention Kenny's part in the debacle.
"Well even if you thought he'd accepted it, why didn't you call him or call me when he didn't show up?"
"I just thought I could handle it. I'm sorry Uncle Blair it was all my fault. Uncle Jim warned me about going without BJ when he dropped off Kenny but I thought BJ was coming then and then I didn't want to leave. Uncle Jim had already left and you were at your meeting. Stacey's mom had said she would pick us up. I didn't want to leave Stacey alone. She would have had to go home early."
"Well she had to go home early anyway and she got a terrible scare. I know you didn't mean for that to happen, Bet."
"No. I'm sorry Uncle Blair. I just didn't think!" Bet cried tears running down her cheeks as she clutched at her brothers hand. BJ looked over at her distress on his face at her pain and reached out to clasp her tightly closed hand on his side. He glared at his father.
Blair was a little taken aback but he knew that despite everything he had to be the heavy this time so that Bet would never do this again. He hated it though because usually he'd rather Jim play badman. Of course now that he thought of it Jim was rarely hard on any of the kids. He saved his badman rep for the hardened criminals he met everyday. Blair was always the one playing the big, bad, mean dad. He frowned.
But he didn't have time to think about that now, for he had to be the authority figure. Now he understood why Jim hated it when Blair laid that anal, old crap on him. He was the anal, old guy to the kids. He shook his head, truly everything was relative.
"I'm glad you realize the mistake you made Bet. Now we need to figure out some restrict...."
"No! No! No!" Kenny jumped up. "It isn't Bet's fault it's mine. I ate BJ's chocolate and took his card. Bet and BJ didn't know. I did it. I told Bet that I would guide her at the concert. I used to be her guide before BJ came. I used to wake up. I thought I could do it this time too. I asked her to let me prove I could do it. I wanted to show you, all of you I could do it and I wasn't useless and that we didn't need BJ." Tears flowed down the young boys face.
"I just wanted..." he choked and then turned and ran from the room into the adjoining loft and into the downstairs bedroom he shared with BJ. The door slammed shut and everyone sat frozen for a moment not moving.
Then Blair stood to head toward the other loft and to talk to Kenny but BJ jumped up and grabbed his hand. "Wait dad. I think I know what's wrong with Kenny." He hesitated.
"It's what he said when he called me too. I think Kenny feels left out. Everyone is either a guide or a sentinel and because it causes a lot of problems it gets a lot of attention. I think he's just feeling left out."
"And jealous"Bet said jumping up. "He's jealous of BJ. He and I used to be close and he did used to wake me up. I remember dad used to tell us how he was used to wake Uncle JIm up until Grandpa William forced them to fight. I think Kenny just wanted to be my guide again."
Blair nodded he truly did understand what the kids were saying and he had understood the emotion behind Kenny's outburst. "I realize that Bet, BJ and I'll deal with it. But first we need to deal with what happened tonight. Bet you are the oldest and you are still responsible for what happened. I think you can miss the school field trip next Saturday.
Somewhere Naomi was cleansing her karma with vengeance. Her son, her son restricting a child's freedom. Blair shook his head. Naomi had never restricted his freedom. But then he wasn't his mother.
"Yes Uncle Blair" Bet agreed and squeezed BJ's hand before heading off with her head down to her room.
BJ and Blair looked at each other. "I'm going to go talk to Kenny. You call up the Mai Yung's and order our usual meal."
BJ picked up the phone while Blair entered the boys downstairs room.
* * * * * * *
"So even though I expressly told Bet she couldn't go to the concert without BJ she willfully went anyway."
"Calm down Jim I've already dealt with it. She doesn't need you coming down on her too."
"But Blair this is dangerous. She could have been hurt. She can't play with this. She isn't superwoman. She needs her guide."
"Oh right now why do you think she has that attitude?"
"It's different Blair I'm an adult."
"No it's not different Jim. It's not different at all. A sentinel needs a guide. You need me. You can't do it on your own and maybe if you showed her that more often she'd understand it better."
"So it's my fault now?"
"No it's nobodies fault Jim, it's just the truth. It something we have to face. Kids learn by example."
Jim was silent for a minuet gazing moodily into the dimly, glowing fire. "You're right Blair." He sighed and ran his hand over his head pushing back his hair.
"but you have to admit I'm doing better."
"Yes you're doing better but Bet doesn't see that. She sees all the time you buck against me and test and help."
"Okay, okay" Jim groaned "I get the message father."
"I am not your father, old man" Blair roared being careful to keep his voice down not to wake the sleeping children. He punched Jim in the arm.
"Alright" Jim laughed. "alright I'm sorry." He sobered up then and sat up. "what's this about Kenny?"
"Kenny set all this up. He was feeling left. We're always talking sentinel and guide and he felt like he had no place. Also he was jealous of BJ and Bet's relationship. He felt pushed out of the close relationship he and his sister used to share."
"But Bet loves her little brother. She's always taking care of him and BJ take pains to include him in his activities. we all go to his basketball games when we can and we all went to that play he was in."
"Yes but he's a little boy Jim. A little boy who has lost his mother and father and now his sister is becoming close to stranger he feels pushed out, alone. Bet and BJ are older so sometimes they don't want Kenny around and with everything else he just feels that he doesn't have a place especially with the sentinel/guide thing."
Jim sighed and covered his face for a moment, then he looked up at Blair. "What do we do?"
"We just need to downplay the sentinel/guide thing a little more and we need to show him that not being a guide or sentinel doesn't mean he's less of a person. He needs to spend more time with non-sentinels and guides. Maybe with H's daughter and Joel's grandchildren."
Jim nodded "I'll talk to the guys tomorrow." He paused. "What brought all this to a head?"
"Kenny and Bet told me how Steven told them he used to be your guide but that you guys father pushed you guys a part. Kenny told me he didn't want to be pushed apart."
Jim nodded. "Steven did used to help me sometimes when we were kids but it was nothing like you. You are my true guide, Blair."
"I know and BJ is Bets but that ability to guide is a family thing. We need to show him how special that relationship is and that no one can replace it, not even BJ."
Jim closed his eyes in pain. "I remember what Steven told me before they left for Europe. He was so glad we were back in each others life. HE really liked you but he was jealous of you too. I guess he always felt left out too."
Jim sighed. "I don't want Kenny to feel that way Blair" he said softly. "I failed Stephen. I don't want to fail Kenny."
"No Jim! You didn't fail Steven. He went to Europe knowing you loved him and that you guys were brothers. You did well Jim and Kenny won't feel like that ever. He and bet won't have a relationship like you and Steven because neither of us are William Ellison"
"No buts Jim. Kenny will be Steven without the pain because we see that he is."
"Is that right Blair?"
"That's right Jim, that's alright."
The two men grinned at each other and sat back with their heads laying on the back of the couch gazing up toward the dark ceiling thinking about the positive ways they were going to raise their kids.