Once back from their mountain vacation, Glenn and Gareth were quite busy with school and home activities. Gareth was an active little child who loved sports and exercise, inside or out. Glenn was a sports nut, too, so she encouraged him and often played with him.
He still loved building things with his blocks, too, and in this she encouraged him as well.
“Maybe he’ll want to be an architect someday…or a mechanic? Both are certainly necessary,” Glenn thought to herself occasionally.
It was probably the only time he sat quietly except for when he did his homework. He made fantastic grades and his various teachers had always praised him, but would add hesitantly, “...except, he just can’t seem to sit still for long”. Nodding her head at teacher conferences, Glenn could picture what a handful he might be at school. He was always in motion at home, jumping on his bed if there was nothing else to do.
Still she thought fondly, he is the sweetest boy. Any of his teachers would have had to agree, for Gareth had winning ways. He was still very affectionate with his mother. This could not last much longer, she knew and dreaded; he would be entering his teens soon.
Lately he’d been harping a lot on the roller rink and when could Glenn take him there? So on a Sunday afternoon they did just that, catching a taxi to Rapid Racers just at the edge of town. Gareth skated some, but after all that hoo-ha; he spent most of his time at the pinball machine.
Well, this was kind of a waste of time, Glenn thought, he’s got a pinball machine at home. She continued to skate slowly around the rink. Then she noticed a man skating by himself and she couldn't help but admire his skating. It was robust and athletic and yet, he was very graceful. Glenn, who mostly excelled at sports, could not skate that well. This fact galled her way down deep. As she watched the man glide around the rink, though, she was not jealous; merely impressed. She kept thinking he looked a little familiar.
When he’d completed his spin, she skated over to him and introduced herself, telling him how much she admired his athletic abilities. He thanked her and when she told him her own skating was a bit faulty, he offered to help her.
“I’m Remington Goth,” he told her.
Glenn nodded thinking, “Ahhh, the Goth family. He must be related to Mortimer Goth, the gadzillionaire. That’s why he looked familiar. Is this man his son?"
Before she could ask, he whirled her out on the rink to help her learn a few skating moves.
He practiced a little spinning with her. When they held hands, Glenn felt an electric thrill run up her arms at his touch. She found it disconcerting. It had been years since she had responded to any man. Skating beside him with his arm around her waist made her giddy as a schoolgirl. She knew she was crushing on him, but just couldn’t stop herself.
After awhile they sat down to talk at one of the tables. Glenn looked over at the pinball machine and saw that Gareth was still playing, using plenty of body English. She tried to ferret out the information on how Remington was related to Mortimer.
“I am Mortimer Goth,” he stated with a smile.
It was a beautiful smile Glenn thought, but she said,
“How can that be? I’ve heard of you but, no offense, aren't you close to 75?”
Remington/Mortimer smiled again. “Yes, I am. Since I had an extreme makeover last year, I’m pretty unrecognizable even to close friends. I don’t feel 70; I don’t see why I should look 70. Looking younger again made me feel so much better and I’ve always hated ‘Mortimer’, so I changed it to Remington, which is a family surname on my mother’s side and was actually the name she wanted for me, but my father insisted on Mortimer. I’ve had it legally changed.”
“Wow, now you look younger than I do!” Glenn laughed.
“Oh, no, that can’t be true. I don’t know how old you are but you look no more than 40 at the most.”
“I wish,” Glenn groaned; then she added with characteristic bluntness, “I'll be 51 next month.”
"No, that can't be true," he protested.
"Amazing, that's how I feel, too, when I say it out loud," she grinned.
As they continued to talk, one thing led to another and the next thing she knew, Glenn had promised to make dinner for Remington the following weekend.
She assured him she must go now and and gather up her game-playing son to head home.
“See you next Friday at 6—be prompt!” she called back to Remington.
“Who was that guy?” Gareth asked her later that evening.
“He was Remington Goth. He’s got a boy in your grade and a daughter a little younger.”
“What’s their names?”
“Colby Trimble and Lisa Trottier,” Glenn said absently, setting up the chess game for them.
“Yeah, I know Colby. Why isn’t his name Goth, then?”
“They’re his foster children, so they keep their own names unless he adopts him.”
Gareth pondered this a moment as he sat down.
“Why is he coming over here?”
“Well, I’ll tell ya, sport,” Glenn smiled, “I kinda think he’s cute.”
Gareth looked puzzled about this, but then he got absorbed in the game and seemed to forget about it. He had school the next day and brought home a friend for swimming, Denene McMillan. Overhearing Gareth brag about his exploits on their trip to Three Lakes, Glenn had to laugh. He was trying to impress little Denene.
When Friday rolled around, Glenn became nervous. She had planned on making something chic or exotic, but Gareth had picked up a bad cold and she was sneezing so she knew they needed chicken soup. Her chicken noodle soup was delicious; it was Melora’s mother’s recipe, but still, chicken Soup?
It had been a long time since she made dinner for a grown man. Denene was on her way home before Remington arrived, so there was just three of them gathered around the table. He was very cordial, and took the homely chicken soup in his stride. But Glenn was amazed to think he had four children; he didn’t really seem to know how to talk to kids. Or maybe he was only comfortable with his own children. Kids don't like to be talked down to, they'd rather you just talk to them as you would to an adult. However, Remington tended to answer questions in long paragraphs replete with 3 and 4 syllable words. Gareth was quite intelligent and had a fairly good vocabulary so he could follow everything Remington said, But Glenn sensed that there was something about the man that put her son off somehow. She would find out what that was in due course, of that she was sure.
While Glenn cleared away the leftover food and dishes, Gareth and Remington played SSX3. They seemed to get along okay, but Gareth began to yawn so Glenn tickled him (a bedtime routine of theirs) and packed him off to bed.
Remington patted the place beside him on the love seat and Glenn moved to sit down by him. She wanted to know him a bit better before locking lips. Up close it was easier to see that he was not a 35 year old, but then neither was she. However; the fact remained that he was 25 when she was born. He had a zillion reasons some women would be enamored or at least convince themselves to act that way, but Glenn had never been impressed by money. The really important thing was---how did she feel about him and, more importantly, how did Gareth feel about him.
They talked for quite a while; he told her how lonely he had been when he lost his wife, Bella, and had 2 children to raise alone. His daughter, Cassandra, was grown now, nearly 40, in fact. His son, Alexander, was ready to go off to Harvard.
“I don’t suppose she’ll ever marry now,” Remington sounded a little sad, “I ran off that ne’er-do-well, Don Lothario, he was only after the money. But she never seemed to meet anyone else that she really cared for. I tried to promote a romance between her and Darren Dreamer. He had no money, but he sincerely seemed to care. She didn’t want him, then he went off and married Ivy Copur; another creature like Don Lothario.”
“Are you sure she’s unhappy?” Glenn questioned.
Remington shook his head,
“I really don’t know. She always wanted to marry and have children, so when she wanted to take in Lisa from the orphanage, I said fine. I had already gone through the process to move Colby in with us.” His expression changed to a happier one, “Those two children are remarkable. I love them like my own now.”
Glenn smiled, “That’s a nice thing to do and now it turns out it helped you as much as them. I like happy endings.”
He pulled her close, “You’re kind of an enigma to me, Glenn. I must admit I tried to learn more about you during the week.”
“Well, Rem, I’m a former private eye; I can relate to do that. Find out anything I should know about?” she cracked. Remington seemed to wince a little at the nickname, but didn’t say anything.
“Isn’t Rem okay? I mean Remington is so long, unless you’d prefer Ming or Ton—or I could use Tony!" she quipped, “What does your family call you?”
She laughed, “Well, yeah, that would make sense. But I’m not going to call you Daddy. No way.”
“Rem it is, then,” he smiled, his brown eyes crinkling up at the corners. She liked men whose eyes did that when they smiled. Check. She liked men who had a sturdy, strong body, too. Check.
When he pulled her to him and hugged her she didn’t struggle a bit. She hadn’t been hugged by any man except her close friends John Lassiter and Jim Candeloro in years.
She had one ear cocked toward Gareth’s bedroom upstairs. She could just barely hear his soft snoring, so she knew he was safely asleep. Remington pulled her onto his lap.
“Glenda, I think you’re a lovely, exciting woman,” he told her, then proceeded to drive her crazy with his accomplished kissing. He’d evidently managed to find out that her real name was Glenda. Good old Glenda Marie Caswell, Glenn thought, and she sighed mentally. She would eventually have to tell him that she simply hated “Glenda” and that’s why she went by Glenn. Oh, well. Right now, who cared?
An hour later he slipped out of the front door. Nothing had happened other than some delicious time spent making out. Glenn had no intention of suddenly getting reckless with regard to the opposite sex. For one thing, she'd been there, done that. For another, she had her son to think about. She hoped Remington could live with that and still want to see her, but if not, that was just too bad.
She wasn’t sure what she really thought about Remington anyway. Those melting brown eyes and that slow smile. Suddenly she remembered lines from an old song by Waylon Jennings, "A brown-eyed handsome man, that's what the trouble was; a brown-eyed handsome man" and she had to smirk to herself. He definitely was different from all the other men she’d met over the years, but different didn’t always translate to better. She thought his sense of the ridiculous seemed to be a little stunted too.Life is hard; you have to be able to laugh at yourself, Glenn always said.
“Probably I’m too vulnerable to tell romantic feelings from gratitude!” she reflected and then laughed and shrugged, “Well, we’ll just have to see.”
So for the time being at least, Gareth was still the center of her universe. That active little boy had an important birthday coming up soon, too...
Next update: Glenn Caswell Ch. 5 - The Teen Years Pt. 1