Buster was heading to Centre Park Rink for a hockey game on a Wednesday afternoon. It would be his first home game. When he had an away game before Winter Vacation, his team had won that day. He's one of the three goalies. He does it on Mondays. He would be on the ice with the other players because it was Hector's turn and Pete takes his turn on Friday. They do that well as a team.
Buster also takes skating lessons on Tuesdays and Thursdays. He has been taking them since he was only five and he's nine now. He even has a skating event in a few weeks. He had finished third place a few times, but he didn't care.
His diabetes doesn't stop him from being active in sports. He also can't drink milk without taking Lactaid pills, which he takes every morning.
"Go, Lightening!" Haylee cheered on.
She and Buster had met on a soccer team and they have been best friends ever since. His other friends are his neighbors: The Hollowware siblings, Alex, Jr., Manny, Danny & his twin, Lenny, Anna, and Alexis. He's also friends with the girls' pals, Tammy & Amy, who are also twins, Kayla, and Kayleigh. They're African-Americans. He's also close to another friend, Lena. None of his friends skate, but they do like to cheer him on and want to attend all his home games. They also want to attend his skating event.
Lena was the only one who wasn't there. Buster knew she wouldn't be, because she was out of town with her parents. If she could have come today, that was all she could have done. She got ill with cancer recently and Buster was the only person she mentioned to. She claimed her mom said it was her decision if she wants to bring it up or not. He didn't like leaving his friends out, so he made her a Get Well Soon card and had them sign it to show how much they cared. Then, he learned she had lied to him: Mrs. Brock never mentioned that. As a result, Lena got grounded for two weeks, starting after she returned from Winter Vacation with her class in New Hampshire. She apologized, but it didn't excuse her from being punished. She can't use the phone, watch TV, or leave the house except for attending any of his home games, but she is not allowed to join her friends during celebrations.
When the game had ended, Buster's team had won 6 to 1. Hector missed only one goal, but did just fine for the rest of the game.
"Way to go!" exclaimed Leah.
She's one of the Young triplets who were adopted by Buster's parents last summer after their father got killed in a car accident. Her brothers are Lee and Leo. They lost their mother and sister to an illness.
Buster's mom and dad, T.J. and Justin, recently welcomed twin boys to the family. Mike was named after T.J.'s late grandfather, and Jake was named after Justin's uncle, who had died long before Justin and T.J. had started dating.
On the way out, Haylee said, "I'll meet you outside. I just need to tell Buster something."
"Okay," said Alex, Jr.
She didn't wait too long when Buster came out in his regular clothes. Coach Gomes lets the players leave their uniforms at Centre Park Rink during hockey season.
"I was waiting here to tell you something. My folks are going away to Florida for a week starting next Saturday, so I'll be going home with you the day before that," said Haylee.
"That's good," said Buster.
"I don't want to watch my siblings while our parents are away, so they're both staying at their friends' houses, too. It's for my mom's birthday," said Haylee.
"Do my folks know yet?" asked Buster.
"Yes. Mom made the arrangements before letting me know," said Haylee.
"Good," said Buster as they headed out to join the others.
The kids planned to have dinner at the diner. T.J. already knew none of her children would be home for supper. She would just have her infant sons.
After the kids had dinner, they had some ice cream and went home after that. At home, Justin gathered the kids for a family meeting.
"I have some news for you kids. I have found a bigger house to fit all of us. This house has four bedrooms, which means Mike and Jake would be able to have their own room when they're ready. But they'll be still be with me and your mother for the meantime," said Justin.
"That's cool," said Leah.
"We'll be seeing the house tomorrow after Buster gets out from his skating lessons," said Justin. "It's not far for your school, so you'll be staying there."
"Good," said Lee.
Buster didn't say a word. He got up and went to his room while his father was mentioning it. He has been moving a lot since he was three. He was born in Washington. When his father became a diplomat, they had lived in Utah, Nevada, and New Jersey before settling in Delaware. He kept changing schools every time. That was when Justin decided to quit that job and enroll in school for bartender.
Buster was also disappointed because he had planned to give up his room to his brothers and move into the triplets' room since they had two sets of bunk beds. He didn't want to mention that in front of them in case the plan didn't work out.
Twenty minutes later, T.J. came up to see her son and said, "I was concerned about you, honey."
"I thought you told Dad about my plan," said Buster petting his dog, Goldilocks.
"I did. He just wanted to make the right decision for everyone. The good news is that the new house is close to your school," said T.J.
"Good. I'm sick of doing that, especially since we moved around too much," said Buster.
"I know," said T.J.
"I don't want to tell anyone until Dad takes the house," said Buster.
"I don't blame you for that," said his mother.
"I'll only mention that to Haylee since her family almost moved when her father declined and wanted to stay where he was and to stay here," said Buster. "He likes working at Uno's."
He changed into his pjs and went to bed at nine pm.
The next day, at school, Buster went to Haylee during lunch and said, "Can we talk about something after school?"
"Sure," replied Haylee.
Even though she knew what it was, she decided to wait until school to let him focus during class.
"Mom said she'll bring you home after your skating lessons. She already talked to your mom about it," said Haylee.
"Okay," said Buster.
After school, on the way to Centre Park Rink, he said, "Dad found a bigger house to fit everyone. It's big enough for Mike and Jake to have their own space when they get old enough."
"I had a feeling," said Haylee.
"Luckily, I don't have to switch schools this time, so I'm glad about that," said Buster.
"That's good," said Haylee.
"I know. We'll be visiting the new house after my skating lessons," said Buster. "I'll call you about it after I do my homework."
"Okay," said Haylee.
"I don't want anyone to know just yet until Dad accepts the house," said Buster.
"I don't blame you for that," said Haylee.
"Neither did my mama," said Buster. "When I'm ready, act normal in front of Lena."
"Good idea," commented Haylee.