Finally Sally and Cindy came in. Cindy sat next to Paul and took his hand in hers. Sally spoke, "Ed, you were out of the market twenty minutes into the session this morning." Paul hardly noticed.
"The thing is, I wasn't watching Paul that closely and I should have been. He was looking at those five other contracts we let him follow on paper. I came back an hour later and discovered he had sent in a buy order for all five of them. Four options had already been confirmed. I was shocked and was puzzling what to do when the last confirmation came back. You now hold positions on five contracts."
Sally was nervous. Cindy spoke up, "Ed, you can't blame Paul. He didn't know he wasn't supposed to do that." Ed looked from one to the other.
"The account must be nearly bottomed out, isn't it?"
"It was all day, but when the sale from the original was entered, you do have some cushion."
"We're okay then. I'll wire more funds tomorrow just to be sure. I wasn't going to get back into the market so soon or so heavily, but Paul handled it correctly. He has been watching those particular five contracts and I'm inclined to go with what he has done. They are all for different goods, so I wouldn't think we could lose money on all of them at the same time. Who knows, maybe Paul knows how to do this better than anyone."
"You aren't mad? I was so worried and needed some support so I called and had Emma drive Cindy up here to siphon off any anger."
"Honey, when have I ever been mad at you?"
"Never, but there is always the first time. You trusted me to watch what Paul was doing and I didn't do a very good job."
"Sally, to be honest I didn't think we would make money on the first option and Paul made more than I would have. As long as we don't overreach and get greedy we are fine. We will hold to this program that keeps Paul occupied and happy. I say we should go ahead and let him continue."
"I was hoping you would feel that way. I just wish Paul could know how hard you are working to keep him happy. He is so far ahead of where he was when you first came into contact with him." Sally was silent looking down at the floor for a minute then she looked at Ed. "I made an appointment to see George when I called Emma today. I think I may be pregnant."
"Wow, I'll have to leave more often. Two wonderful surprises when I get back home."
Cindy turned to Paul and took his face in her hands. "You hear that Paul? You are going to have a brother or sister." She then kissed him on the lips.
Ed saw this. "Careful, Cindy."
"I know Ed, I was just so excited." Ed didn't make an issue of Cindy kissing Paul, but it bothered him. This set Ed to thinking about Paul's future. In one way it didn't look promising for him to be beyond what he was right now. Sally watched his diet closely to make sure he was nourished correctly. That is except for the occasional pizzas that Paul loved.
Paul was going to be seventeen in another month. Ed figured puberty had been arrested and might never be reached. There wasn't any obvious sign of it that he could detect. He should also be getting more exercise. He would address that now that he had thought of it.
Ed loved Cindy and considered her as his little girl because they were so close. But now she was growing into a young woman and he really had no right to caution her tonight. Thoughts returned to Paul. It might be a good idea for George to examine Paul and see if he could tell if Paul would turn into a young man with rampant hormones and all that went with growing up.
Sally was directed to keep a journal about what were Paul's accomplishments and those things that he couldn't begin to do. In another year he would return Paul to university for revaluation. What would that show when matched against the base line done a year ago?
Ed did have Sally begin to walk Paul up the mountain behind the house. It would do her good as well to get some exercise to strengthen her for the coming birth of their baby. He had reveled in taking charge of Paul and considered him as his son, but then to sire your own was a happy feeling that couldn't be denied.
He did make time to talk to Penny the next day. "Penny, Cindy kissed Paul on the lips last night. I don't think I approve of her doing that. I did let Cindy know of my displeasure."
"How did it come about?"
"Sally was telling me she had an appointment with George to confirm she was pregnant. Cindy turned to Paul and kissed him. She claims she was just excited."
"You mean like this?" Penny came into Ed's arms and kissed him. "Wow, this is exciting."
"Yes it is, but I don't want Cindy to be hurt. I thought we should nip it in the bud if it was more. She hasn't changed her mind one bit when she claimed she was going to marry him. I wish she could, for I love her as much as I would if she was my own daughter. She isn't, so I have to leave it up to you and Bill."
"Leave Bill out of it. He just spoils her. I will talk to her. It may mean keeping her away from Paul more than we have. You have my permission to explain to her how she is going to screw her life up better than I can."
"That's all I can ask. I hate to see her heartbroken."
Two days later Cindy was standing in the parking lot beside Ed's vehicle. "Ed, I'm mad at you. You went to mother about me kissing Paul. Why did you do that to me? I thought we were friends."
"How did you get here?"
"I took a taxi."
"Come sit in my office and we'll talk. I'll let Bill know you are here, but just to talk to me. You can ride home with him. He will be finished in another hour."
"Okay, but you have hurt my feelings."
Ed got them both a candy bar and a bottle of water. "Cindy, you must know that I love both you and Paul equally. For a few months in the past when you first arrived here you and Paul were separated and it might have been a good thing if you had remained that way. Paul would have died on the vine so-to-speak. I think now he is about as happy as he can be. Sally is happy and he must at some level feel that.
"I know he loves me and probably you as well. Your mother too, because it was she who first gave him a way to entertain himself by teaching him to play Free Cell. He is still locked away from us, though. To be honest I just can't imagine of you having a satisfying life with him. That is my biggest concern. If you were twenty and he was twenty-four and you wanted to get intimate, I would say it was your choice."
"But Ed, he needs me now and I love him so much."
"And you're only thirteen."
"I know but I'll be fourteen soon. It sucks doesn't it? I guess you don't want me to have anything more to do with Paul?"
"I didn't say that, but you could do other things so when you get older you can make a wiser choice."
"You mean better don't you? For me he is the best. There are no better choices."
"I don't mean that all. You are making this decision when you are too young. You should be out more with your age group. You must have friends?"
"I do, but they are all boy crazy and that is so juvenile."
"I suppose. Cindy, how would they feel about you if you started taking Paul to your school functions the way he is? Kids can be so cruel and they would think you were crazy to have a friend like him. They would laugh you right out of school. That's what I'm trying to save you from. You do need the experience of growing up with your peers. You aren't playing any sports or you haven't participated in a lot of things that you should be doing. You know like dances and being in school plays and stuff like that.
"School is an ongoing learning experience. It isn't just what you get from books. I know you are smart enough there."
"Thanks for that, Ed. So you are saying I can't see Paul? I'll die!"
"No you won't, but I don't want him to be your main interest. Let's figure this out. You can e-mail him as much as you want to about your activities the same as you have been doing. Say we make Saturday night a night out to the movies or out to dinner and you can stay over and have breakfast with us Sunday mornings. With the baby coming Sally and I are planning on building two more rooms on. We can say one of them is yours."
"You do love me don't you?"
"I do. All I'm asking is that there will be no intimacies between you and Paul."
"Ever is a long time. Certainly not until you are eighteen. We can revisit this at a time when you get older. Think about this? You notice I haven't cut you off from Paul at all. I just want you to expand your horizons. Some day you will be out in the real world and you will have to interact with all kinds of people. You wouldn't get that from just Paul, but you will from your classmates. Let's go find your father. Time we all went home."
"Ed, you and I both know you are my real father." Ed just shook his head, but smiled and reached out and touched Cindy's hand.
In coming months and years Cindy adhered to what Ed had set forth. Ed himself was a happy person. Brian Bowen arrived on time and was found without defects. This had been a worry in the back of his and Sally's mind. Paul gained somewhat. His accomplishments were minor, but each one was applauded. He took care of his own needs, dressing, eating and he routinely moved about the house. George said this was more conditioning than thinking on his own.
Ed felt his family was complete now and when Sally asked if he wanted more children and after a long discussion, they decided not to. "We have Paul and Brian and say it or not Cindy might as well be family. She has done everything I have asked of her, but I don't think she has changed her mind about Paul. She never mentions marrying, but she still comes to be with him when she is free."
"I know it is crazy and a little spooky, but it makes Paul happy." Ed put this down as the mother in Sally speaking.
Ed had done a couple of things to keep abreast of the documentation of Paul's life more than the journal Sally kept. He purchased a video camera and Sally and Paul were taped in his day-to-day actions. Some with each member of the family and most often with Cindy.
Ed had George examine Paul several times. "Paul has reached puberty but it is late. It is difficult to pinpoint because I can't ask questions. I do believe he could be fully functional sexually. The only sound he makes is much deeper, he has facial hair on his chest, under his arms, and other places as well."
"I know he can get an erection. His clothes tent when he gets up in the morning."
"He does have a fully developed set of genitals. I would say he is a fine young man. Not being able to speak is a problem, but being able to converse online takes care of that somewhat. He shows a minimal amount of emotion, but he seems to exude something that lets you know how he feels if you give it some thought."
"I know. When his grandfather, Walt comes down, Paul goes right to him. I thought that Walt was the last person who would have an affinity for Paul. Walt made the statement he was more comfortable with Paul than he was with his two sons, Bob and Tim. I can tell Paul doesn't care much for Bob. Some of that may be the tension in the air when Bob and Penny are here together. Of course Bob may have done something to Paul when he was small. I wouldn't put it past him from what Cindy tells me about their life when he was drinking heavily."
"He has changed though, hasn't he?"
"Yes, or I wouldn't have him and Sammy here hardly at all. I have one thing more to do on my list if I can arrange it. I want the team of doctors at the university to evaluate Paul again. Is that neurologist still there? Steve something, I believe his name was. What I really would like is to have them come and see Paul in his natural setting. It was damned traumatic for Paul last time up at the university."
"Yes he is. Let me talk to him. Maybe I can set it up for you."
A week later Ed had his answer. "Ed, this is George. You said you wanted to have Paul evaluated in his home environment? Well, be prepared because Steve is in town tonight. What time does Paul get up in the morning?"
"Well, two doctors will be up to observe the start of Paul's day. Can Sally feed them? They will be there in the background all day until Paul goes to bed in the evening. Have him do whatever he normally does. You said one time Sally was keeping a diary of his actions. Provide that for them and any other information you might have concerning Paul. Steve Golden is behind this and he was planning on doing a follow-up when Paul reached eighteen. He jumped on this when I contacted him three days ago."
"We will be ready for Steve when he gets here. Does this mean Paul won't have to go to the hospital for tests?'
"That will be determined. They may want to do some scans, but it can be done here in Brattleboro now that BMH is connected the way it is with the Dartmouth Hitchcock medical facility."
"That's great. If they do scans would it be possible to have Cindy present? She will want to be involved."
"The child is still fixated on Paul isn't she?"