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Journey into Disaster
I proudly present chapter
7.00. New day, new misfortune!
Some villagers visit Tommy who has been arrested in the Philippines and report on an NGO which visited the village to talk to the parents.
Vicente is worried: “Tommy, what about you? When will they set you free?”
Romolo seems more relaxed than last time: “Yes, Tommy, when do they dismiss that story and release you?”
Shyly I look at the officers sitting at their desks: “The police say nothing to the case. The public prosecutor has to see the file first. Only he has the power to decide how it continues. Today is Friday. A week ago, Sam and Phil asked to visit Tugalm City. What a stupid story! If we had returned the same day, and I would have given the children on this day back to you — Everyone would be happy now.”
Kagawad Jacub Castro turns to me: “Blaming yourself doesn’t help. Together we have to work on it, and we have to find out how to finish your story as soon as possible.”
I like that he says “we.” It calms me.
Romolo reaffirms the Kagawad: “With God’s help, we already do that. Tommy, I have better, stronger medicine, my pain in my knee and fingers are gone.” For demonstration, he moves the fingers like a piano player.
I congratulate the sympathetic Romolo for his painless existence.
Silas has eaten the sugar roll and swallowed it down with the last swig from its water bottle: “Tommy, last night visited us a strange foreigner in the village. He wanted to talk with the parents. Ernesto just went out for fishing. Matthew wasn’t back from work.”
Romolo exclaims excitedly: “The guy talked about helping our families. He was from a Christian organization, an aid association and had heard that a foreigner was supposed to have molested our children. Then he saw and examined my broken fishing boat and asked what the repair would cost. I honestly replied that it is beyond repair. So he said straight out, we should file a criminal case against you. Then he could help us. Help with a new boat and fishing net. The association he works for is in the Philippines for precisely this kind of help. I told him to leave as soon as possible.”
Romolo’s son Silas reports with sweeping gestures: “They were suddenly in a hurry. He looked at his fat wristwatch, what a showy thing! Then he climbed back into the big, air-conditioned SUV, said he would be back and roared away. What a horny sound from the thick exhaust tubes. The machine is definitely inflated on double power. Tommy, well that was an SUV! A real gangster cart! You do not believe that, Tommy! Huge, wide tires in size as for 48-tonner and this on chromed rims. The SUV — it can’t be different — black, with tinted windows and an extra driver! That was clearly the bodyguard from the foreigner. I bet he has a huge gun under the seat!”
Like all others, Vicente also listens to the funny, imaginative narrative. Then it is enough narrative and she interrupts the teenagers: “Good, that this man didn’t find our house!” Now she is very upset: “With such people we do not want to talk! We are your friends, Tommy!”
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Poor but carefree!