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Journey into Disaster
I proudly present chapter
9.04. Forced marriage
The German Thomas Heger, arrested in the Philippines, kill with his friend Mik time with memories and tell stories experienced together.
Mik and I kill time with memories and tell stories experienced together. We are laughing about Romolo’s last mug of Rum in the Garden of Adon, Franco’s father. Romolo was drunk and falling backwards into his plastic chair in the sand and slept in this position immediately without saying any word. We saw only his feet with the flip-flops. Fortunately, he hadn’t hurt himself.
I laugh loud: “Oh my God, we were really drunk.”
My friend smiles and smokes his cigarette.
“I was two days sick!” It shakes me in the memories of the headache. “Coke, Tanduay Rum and ice are a hellish poison.”
Mik makes a grimace and it shakes him as well. “Hangover!”
“I will always have fond memories of your wedding celebration. How long was that now, eleven or twelve years?”
“I’ve been married for twelve years,” sighs Mik, “as long as Phil is old. Well, he’s only turning twelve.”
“How quickly time goes by. Well, in any case, I wasn’t really well for a few days after the party.”
He grins broadly: “Do you know that they forced me to marry?”
“No!” I answer. “Who and why?”
“Well, Vicente was only 16 and I was over 25.”
“Oh, 16 and 25? That’s pretty young!”
Adon, Romolo, some other uncles and relatives of Vicente, the Kagawad and other people looked for me everywhere. They wanted to beat me up and do something to me. But I ran away from the village quickly.” Mik says seriously: “In the mountains with my friends, the communist rebels of the NPA, nobody could find me. Tommy, they had a highblood when it was discovered that Vicente was pregnant by me.”
I swallow, cough and spit out mineral water: “What, pregnant, with 16?”
He plays embarrassedly: “Yes, that’s how it was back then. My father and his cousin, a commander of the communist rebels, mediated between my family and the Taslig family.” Mik suddenly laughs out loud: “What choice did I have, with a huge gun on my chest? None! Marry, or they will file a case against me for seducing minors and then off to jail. I married Vicente.”
„But, but,“ I stammer, „You love each other, don’t you?“
“Yes, of course it was a love marriage too!”
I have to laugh at the thought of the pistol as an aid to making a decision about a forced marriage: “A pistol on your chest? That makes the right decision pretty easy, isn’t it, Mik? Did they really put a gun on your chest?”
He snorts out: “I only say that with the gun-on-chest because it’s a saying here and Vicente is really a great woman!” Unexpectedly he jumps up: “Tommy, look there, Kagawad, Franco, Marielou and Jonathan are at the barrier!”
“I know that saying gun-on-your-chest too.”
The four visitors are carrying heavy bags with Tupperware and drinks. Marielou and Kagawad notice that they heard us laughing at the barrier. I repeat in short the funny story of the drunken Romolo again. That causes laughter even now. I’d rather let the story of Mik and his Vicente rest. We don’t spend long with the greeting, but instead set up four upturned coke crates as a table as best we can. Kagawad places cardboard on top of the boxes and plastic bags serve as a tablecloth. The teenagers use the lids of the Tupperware containers as plates. The food is a mixture of freshly cooked food and leftovers from yesterday’s birthday party. The dishes are excellent. I especially like a light pork soup with lots of vegetables, in which I add rice. As usual, there are also cold soft drinks. For dessert we enjoy the rest of a simple, sugar-sweet cream cake.
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