That's my Boy

Benjamin Wood is happy living a bachelor life style. Until his ex girl friend arrives on his door steps and dumps their teenage son Robin on him. Ben notices strange things about Robin and it's not long before he discovers Robin has Aspersers. How can a man who can barely care for himself care for a child with special needs?

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2. Chapter 2

The next day Ben decided to take Robin out. “Where do you like to go?”

“Museums.” Ben groaned. Why couldn’t he be landed with a kid who likes movies or the arcade? “Ok museums it is.” I’ll just have to find something in the city. They walked to the bus stop. “So if we’re going to the nearest city we need to catch the…”

“Number 22. Arrives at 10:32. That’s 2 minutes from now.”  Ben shook his head. “If you say so.” When the number 22 arrived they boarded it and sat at the back. Robin sat bolt upright staring straight ahead. It made Ben feel a little uncomfortable. The bus stopped just down the road from the museum. Ben walked right in but Robin stopped at the door. “What’s wrong?”

“Aren’t you going to pay?”

“No need. It’s free entry.” They went to the hall of vehicles first. Robin spent a long time looking at everything. Bored Ben sat on the bench and looked at his phone. After 2 hours he got up to find Robin. He was talking to a man about some old car. “Robin it’s been 2 hours. Come on let’s see what else there is.” Robin followed him. “Bye Robin.” Called the man. “Bye Mr James.” Robin called back. They went round the other exhibits a lot more quickly. Eventually they stopped for lunch. The girl serving them had red hair and a tattoo of John Lennon on her arm. She was very pretty but she scowled a lot. Ben ordered a tuna Panini and a cup of coffee. Then it was Robin’s turn.  “What pasta do you have?”

“Sorry no pasta we’re all out.”

“But it’s Sunday.”

“Yeh  so.” The girl snapped. Ben noticed Robin had started swaying and grinding his teeth together. Quickly he tried to figure out what to do. They could get some pasta somewhere else. “Robin it’s ok.” He put his hand on Robins shoulder.  Before he could say anything else Robin’s first made contact with his eye. He took a step back as Robin threw himself on the floor and started banging his head. Everyone was staring and who can blame them. A 15 year old boy was having a full scale tantrum. “Cut that out!” Ben snapped. Shit why hadn’t Kate warned him about this. The girl at the counter was threatening to call the police. Hurriedly Ben picked him up. Ignoring the kicking and scratching he carried him out of the café and to an empty exhibit. He laid him in an open space and stood watching. After what seemed like forever Robin calmed down. They went home after that.

***

That evening whilst Robin sat watching TV Ben made a secret call from his room. “Ben! What are you calling for?” He told her about the melt down. “Just put his head phones on.”

“Head phones?” Kate sighed. “His CD player. With the tribal sounds CD. If that doesn’t work or you’re in public press your hands over his eyes. Lie him on his back as well.” Ben sat there on the bed staring at the door. “Ben? You still there?”

“Oh Yeh. Why does he have tantrums?”

“He’s got Asperger’s.” she hung up.  Asperger’s. What the fuck was that? He went into the computer room and typed the word into Google. He read the information he found. "

 

Asperger’s is a neurological disorder on the Autistic spectrum. It effects more boys than girls but can occur in both genders. Characteristics of people with Asperger’s:

Dislike of lying Inability to feel empathy or read emotions Dislike of being touched Sensitivity to colours, sounds, smells Strict routine Average or above average intelligence Obsession with certain subjects Very literal mind

Ben stared at the screen. The video game high score. The hours spent in the museum. The melt down. All because of this? Was this why Kate had left him here? He felt angry. Not at Robin. He couldn’t help how he was. He was angry at Kate, for abandoning Robin. For lying to him. For leaving Ben in the dark. He sat there staring at the screen. Then he looked round the door. Robin was fast asleep on the sofa. He tip toed over to him. It was a cold night and he was wearing only a thin t-shirt and jogging bottoms. Quietly Ben went to his room and opened the wardrobe. He pulled a blanket off the top shelf. It was a red and white patch work job. He snuck back into the living room and placed it cautiously over Robin. He stood there for a while watching him. Watching his son. He thought it would feel old. But it felt good. It felt right.

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