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Journey into Disaster
I proudly present chapter
3.18. Goodbye my friends
The parents visit the accused Tommy [Mr. Heger]
The parents agree that Rica and Lang cook the food for the children tomorrow. I give 1,000 Piso for this.
Like time, money goes by quickly.
Ernesto looks at his worn wristwatch and demonstratively puts on his faded blue cap: “Jesus, after three o’clock already. We really have to go!”
Matthew jumps up: “Yes, I have to visit my client today. Otherwise, the job will be gone tomorrow.”
He stands in front of me and holds his big hand to me to say goodbye. He is a strong guy with big muscles and passed the very dark skin color on to his children Jan and Dan.
Sam’s father Ernesto is a wiry, sinewy man who was a fisherman all his life. The sea and nature are its territory. He also extends a friendly hand to me when we say goodbye. I see this as a very positive gesture. So far, he and his wife were very critical of the story and to me. More critical than the other parents. At least I think so.
Ernesto clears his throat: “Tommy, I wish you the best. Don’t worry about the children. We’ll take care. One of my cousins works at the BSWD in Sendong City on the top floor. Let Attorney Padernesto advise you.”
“Of course, Ernesto, and thanks for your help.”
I look into the faces of my friends: “Thanks for your help.”
Ernesto explains: “I’ll meet Attorney Padernesto tomorrow. He’ll contact you. I’ll give him your phone number.”
Franco sits behind Ernesto. At the name “Padernesto” he winces and rolls his eyes, unnoticed by the others. I see it.
Franco’s behavior seems excessive and inappropriate.
Isn’t it best if several attorneys advise me? I wonder, but don’t want to waste any further thoughts on it now.
Silas and Mikel-Loy say goodbye with sad faces. For them the adventure could be continue. Kagawad and Romolo say goodbye warmly, as good friends do. Everyone wishes me luck. Before the group leaves, Franco says his obligatory prayer.
After the “Amen” only Michael and Franco stay. I look sadly after the group and again painfully aware of my precarious situation: pinned down to this godforsaken place.
Michael’s wife Vicente turns around: “Be strong, Tommy, and don’t forget to pray!”
Then, after completing the visitor formalities at the barrier, the group finally leaves the site.
Michael offers me one more Marlboro. This time I refuse. The taste of cold smoke in the mouth and throat is now very unpleasant.
I put two empty water bottles aside for the night as there is no toilet. Then there are two full liter bottles of mineral water. One for drinking and one for cleaning my hands. Franco and Kagawad also bought a 150ml bottle of alcohol. The label reveals, “70% solution.” The alcohol smells refreshingly like what hairdressers use.
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