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   Chapter 5 No.5

Gwen, are you ok By Bruno Maiorana Characters: 5160

Updated: 2018-04-10 12:02


The night was warm. I headed to the port where the cargo ships were stationed. I could do this. Concentrate. I climbed the metal rungs on one of the ships and walked through the narrow passage that lead to the interior of the ship.

With still a bit of sunlight illuminating the interior of the ship, I inspected every room along the hallway. A boiler room, a communications room, showers, and finally a kitchen. A huge kitchen that was probably used to cook meals for all the workers and passengers of the ship. The ship seemed to have been stationed there for a while, so there was no fresh produce on board. Only starchy food, grains, beans, lentils, spices, and oils.

I filled a pot with water, turned on the stove and boiled myself some rice. When it was done, I drained the water, added some spices and a bit of oil into it, to give it some taste, and enjoyed my meal while keeping an eye out the window to make sure no one was coming.

I washed the pot and my dishes and went out to the hallway to explore what was left of the floor.

There were a few more closed doors to my right, so I kept walking up to the end of the hallway where there were stairs going up and down. I headed down and reached another hallway, taking a left turn. I had found the passengers quarters. Ten rooms, all of them smelly.

I chose a room in the middle of the hallway and lay in the top bunk, covering myself with the blanket. I was physically tired after walking for about four hours non-stop, and I was mentally tired after taking in all the new stimuli from the new country. Leaving my survival mode on, I closed my eyes and counted from one to a hundred in Italian.

???

126 - Gwen

Terra let herself in and placed the beers on the bed with the utmost care as if she was handling a forbidden item. And she probably was, but I still couldn't come to terms with the fact that alcohol was illegal in Pakistan. I felt like I'd traveled to a parallel universe where things were the same but a little different.

Terra took off her hat and effortlessly threw it at the cloth-hanger in the corner with a smooth wrist swing. The hat got hooked on the pole and made a few swift spins before settling down.

'Wow!' I thought. I'm so used to leaving my clothes on a chair and before she did that, I hadn't even noticed the cloth-hanger in the room. She petted the goats and took a moment to inspect the room. "This is really nice, " she expressed, with the utmost clarity and charm. I don't think I've ever seen her without a smile on her face. "I could get used to this."

W

as the room nice? I hadn't really thought about it. I thought it was just an average-looking hotel room, with an average bed, an average closet and the kind of drinks children usually take in the mini bar - water, juice, soda. No adult drinks whatsoever. Probably her standards had dropped a notch after spending such a long time in this part of the world. She looked out of the windows and checked out the bathroom. The goats followed her around.

"Thank you for the beers, " I told her.

"You're very welcome. Are these your goats?"

"I guess they are. There used to be three but now there are two." I sat on the floor and thought about the missing goat.

"Goats are like that, they come and go all the time. I wouldn't worry too much about it, " she paused and got herself comfortable in a chair. "So, what have you been up to, besides hitting the bottle, raising goats and staying in fancy hotels?"

"Well..." I explained her everything that had happened until then and how Ria was in Australia, and how I needed to go there desperately.

Before I had a chance to ask, Terra read my mind and said: "That's no problem, I can look after the goats for you. Do you think you'll be coming back?"

"I'm not sure. I hope so though, I really like it here." I copied her, pausing and getting comfortable on the bed, next to the gun. "Are you sure it's no problem to look after the goats? Otherwise, I can ask someone else." I lied, I knew no one else here besides George Clooney and the receptionist. Neither were good options.

"It's no problem, I'll leave them at school. The kids can play with them."

"Good. Let's drink to it then, " I suggested. We opened a can of beer together and celebrated that the goats are most probably going to be OK.

"You said you're leaving today, right? What time is your flight?"

"I don't have one yet, " I told her, finishing the beer and opening the second one. "I'll buy one at the airport when I get there."

"I don't think that's a good idea, the airport here is hellish. Why don't you use the computers in the lobby to book your ticket online? I could help you with it. Otherwise, you may have to wait at the airport for hours if not days until there's a flight for you. And I'm not even sure they sell tickets there." I could feel Terra's genuine concern; our relationship had grown a bit deeper.

I hadn't thought about it that way. Ria was the one who always booked tickets for us. I always thought an airport was like a train station and they would sell you the tickets for the next available flight anywhere.

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