Chapter 39: Errors and omissions.
Once again Elvie and I have little to discuss. Once again I drag her to my bed. But this time I keep her there for a good hour of leisurely loving. Towards the end, she looks at me, wrinkles her brow, smiles and says, OK. I know now. And she snuggles in for a bit before announcing she has so much to do, Why you do this! Hehe!
It is Friday morning and the week has passed without excitement. That is a good thing. The girls tell me there is much talk about the shootout last Sunday. Little is known about it. But the Battalion commander and his second in command, a PNP captain, a sergeant, an officer, and three Immigration officers are all dead. The head of the DSWD and others are in jail.
Later in the day, my new friend from Manila texts me.
Cortez claims Mahinay was blackmailing her to get her cooperation.
The guy in Manila is getting an award and being promoted.
Even later I get a text from Judith. Czaren has been 'interviewed' about Mahinay and my involvement. She tells them that Mahinay tried to have sex with her. She tried to stay with Miss Judith but Mahinay stopped that. Then her friends at school told her I would protect her. Mahinay decided to make me unavailable to the girl by blowing up my immigration status, but the whole thing backfired when I refused to seek employment. If that is true, it answers a big question for me as to why he was so intent on me seeking that position.
Anyway an hour later I get a text from Manila. It reads,
Mahinay tried to set you up. It fail. He mess with the wrong man. Good for you. I learn a lesson. Gain a friend!
It appears that Judith's position is secure. But that there are a few board members of the orphanage the NBI1 is checking out.
It is after supper. I am looking forward to this evening with Emelyn and Ros, and am checking out my email when a Skype request from Sarah pops up.
We have our tickets. I will email you the itinerary in a few. You were right about the boxes. It works out great! They all have been shipped today, fifteen of them! I couldn't believe how much each held. Ha! We cleaned out the kitchen, took all our things, I have the silver and other nice things. He gets the furniture of course, but I can't get over how much we could send for a little over two grand. Dad, I need to wire money to your account. Please send me details. I need to do it today.
How much are you sending?
She tells me and I just about shit. It is a lot of money.
I tell her that she is eligible for a SRRV Smile Visa. With the two girls, her secure payment would be fifty thousand dollars. Or she can use the SRRV Classic, which is what I have, invest in RFO real estate property to the tune of eighty grand. I gather the numbers don't bother her.
We end the call. I send her the bank info and I get the itinerary. She will be here on Sunday.
Ros and Emelyn come up to my room but really want to talk for a while. When I tell them about the visa options Sarah has, Ros mentions that there is a condo complex that will probably qualify. She could purchase a couple of those and lease them out for income while meeting the requirement. It sounds like an interesting idea.
We talk about pregnancies. This is a good time for Ros. Emelyn is too close to her monthly right now.
We talk about the girls.
But mostly I am just enjoying being with them. Emelyn punches my shoulder. I think you really like us. Not just the sex.
See, Ros. I tell you. He is lonely. He needs to talk sometimes. We are wrong to stay separate so much. It OK with you if we just visit sometime... no sex, just be here?
Yeh, I would like that.
You play cards, Ron?
OK, we will teach you our games and then we can play cards with you.
It is at this moment that my life in this house changes. Sure we will still have sex, but here and now, these two women decide they will be my friends. Does that sound strange to you? It does to me that I didn't understand that it is the one thing I was missing.
Elvie has become a friend through the morning sessions, but she was the only one. Now all of a second, I have added two more friends.
I depend on Jenny, but it isn't exactly a friendship. Maybe it can become one too. We will see.
Susan is a lover and in all honesty my real wife. But I need friends and now it appears I have that too. And something tells me that with the impending addition of Sarah and the kids I am going to need my friends, just to keep my head on straight.
An hour later I am on my back, and Ros is on top, rocking on my cock. She is humming a little tune and every once in a while vocalizing an ah or an mmm. This is as low impact sex as there is. We are just here in the moment, enjoying each other's bodies and feeling good.
Emelyn is here and she is rolling my left nipple around with her lips. Flicking it with her tongue. These two are friends and lovers who care about me. See, it is no longer about getting them off. It is about being with them. Feeling them. Being close to them. Being in love. I am in love.
And eventually I do cum. But that is inconsequential, except to Ros who tells me this is the very first time we have made love when she is fertile.
When the morning comes, it is not Elvie and me. It is Elvie and Ros and Emelyn and me. We talk about Sarah and how that is going to affect things. The property matter is discussed and Elvie asks Susan and Jenny to join us. It becomes a family council. This is the first time we have done this when it wasn't filled with dissension. No one is on the outs. We are working as a family. Once again as was last night, I feel the dynamic of the family changing, and for the better.
It is Jenny who puts it into words. Ronald, until now, you have lived your fantasy and we have assisted you, willingly. You have us and we are never leaving, but the fantasy is ending in some ways. You will have the young ones and that is your fantasy. We know it, all of us. But you have us and we love you. We think you love us. The killings have changed many things. It has changed us too. Now Sarah and her kids are coming and they are not your fantasy. It frightens you. We can all see it. It frightens us too. We need to keep on talking and not stop talking. We need to get through this together.
I look around the table. Do you all feel this way?
They do. Jenny turns to Elvie.
Is it OK with you that from now on we all meet here in the morning. I do not want to cause you any problems. So it is your say.
Elvie looks at me and asks, How will Sarah take it if all but her are here?
It's a valid question. She will be pissed.
Susan has been quiet. Her fingers moving a spoon around on the table top in circles. I think she needs to be here with us each morning as we work through things. She wants to join us. Shutting her out is a bad idea. She needs to be included. She is either one of us or she needs to go somewhere else.
Elvie announces that Susan is right. No one wants to disagree with Elvie and so the matter is resolved. What is also resolved is that though all are here. Elvie, the youngest of us, will have the final say.
But Elvie is not done. She turns to me in front of all assembled and tells me, You need to take care of Czaren. Do it today after school. Jenny can take her back to the orphanage on the 220 after that.
Because I talked to Judith and I decide she is right and you are just being stubborn. You, Ronald, now that Mahinay is dead, are the most important man in that girl's life. She wants you to take her virginity and you will do it.
I am not sure I follow that logic, but I decide to accept it.
OK, set it up.
I already did.
Oh. Huh. OK.
Susan, Jenny and I spend the day looking at properties that might work for Sarah. We take photos, write down specifics.
I also look at an Isuzu mu-X. We are going to need another vehicle and this one makes sense. The sedans do not have enough ground clearance at around 150mm. That's only 6 inches. The SUV's from Mitsubishi and Toyota are too expensive. This one looks OK.
When time comes to pick up the girls at the school, Czaren is with them. There is a bunch of giggling between them. Czaren isn't saying a word. Plus the kid looks really uncomfortable.
Jonalyn, what is the giggling about?
Ron, do you know why Czaren is here?
I think so, but what does that have to do with giggling?
But... Oh! Oh no! Friends! Be quiet! We make a big mistake! I am sorry Czaren, we are rude and wrong to tease you.
Well the kid doesn't look any happier, but the razzing seems to have stopped. I pull off to the side of the road as well as I can, get out and ask Susan and Czaren to join me.
Czaren. I am sorry that this has happened. I do not want to embarrass you. You deserve respect. Is there anything I can do to make this better?
Sir, what you think I want?
Judith told me you want me to take your virginity.
Is that what you want, Sir?
No. Czaren. It doesn't make any sense to me.
Me too, Sir. I not tell Judith I want this. She tell me I need to do it.
We don't. I agree with you. What do you want to happen? Should I take you back to the orphanage now?
Sir, will you be my father?
Sir, I do not have a father. I need this.
Czaren, I am not a good father option.
Because you sleep with your girls?
Yes, because of that.
Sir, I am not afraid of that. I not want some man to take my virginity and leave me. I not like that.
Oh. I see. But you are a lesbian, aren't you?
No, Sir. I like it when Judith take care of me because I am frighten of my uncle. He is not a good man. I am not a lesbian, Sir. The girls Judith has now, yes they are lesbian, Sir. Not me.
OK, let's go over this again. Now that your uncle is dead, you are a real orphan. Di ba?
You are under the care of Judith, but she thinks you are a lesbian?
You need a place to go and I am the only option you know of. Is that right?
Yes, I think this is true.
But I am a bad man who sleeps with his girls. Still I seem like a better option than being Judith's lover? Do I have that correct?
I think you are correct, Sir.
Susan please verify this in Czaren's dialect.
Susan does and tells me that I have it about right.
Susan, please ask Tamal to join us.
Once Tamal is standing by my side I ask Susan to explain to Tamal what has been said. Tamal might be a year younger than Czaren, but Tamal has a maturity and eclipses the older schoolmate.
OK Tamal. I want to take Czaren back to the orphanage and explain to Judith that Czaren is no longer a lover and needs to be left untouched from now on. Will that work?
Because the other girls, they will not be OK with Czaren. She is too close to Judith. It will be a big problem.
None you will like, Sir.
OK, I understand. Susan, comments?
Same as Tamal.
Huh. Well, no matter what I do now, we have to start with Judith. Get Elvie on your cell and fill her in on this. Then have Elvie ask Judith to bring a change of clothing to the house. Elvie should say that I require the girl to stay overnight. Susan starts calling Elvie as I turn to our frightened waif. Czaren, I am not going to have sex with you today, but you are going to stay at our house tonight. Tamal, while we are out here, get back in the van and tell the girls what is and is not going to happen today.
Tamal jumps to it. Czaren, is this going to be OK for you tonight?
Yes. Yes, very much.
OK, I do not know how this gets worked out, but we need a place to start. I need to talk with Judith.
Tamal sticks her head out the window. We are ready.
Susan ends the call to Elvie and we get back in the van. One by one, each say they are sorry and ask for forgiveness. Jonalyn speaks for all of them when she tells Czaren that they all confused Czaren's need for protection from Mahinay, for sexual desire of Judith. They were very stupid. After a few group hugs, a balance has taken hold and we continue home.
When we get to the house, Ros and Emelyn rush out, grab Czaren and shepherd her inside with their arms encircling the girl in a very protective fashion.
As I walk into the house, Elvie runs up to me and almost kneels. She has been crying. I look at her and simply ask, Why?
Because I am wrong. We almost make a very big mistake because I do wrong.
Maybe. Look if we had continued to do what I was doing, it was no better. She needed intervention and I was denying that. So I fail to see how you made anything worse. The girls read her wrong from the beginning. We all failed her.
What are you going to do?
I don't know, but there is an old American saying, 'you break it, you fix it.' I have also heard it as 'you break it, you own it.' Either way, it is our problem. So stop crying and help me figure out what to do.
Ronald, I have one question. Why she not tell anyone before?
The simple answer is probably that Mahinay was still alive and he scared her more than admitting the truth about her own needs. Now that he is dead, she is free of the fear.
Supper is a quiet and pretty somber affair tonight. The girls try to make small talk but it just doesn't work. We all know Judith is coming over and not a one of us is comfortable with what that augurs.
About eight in the evening I hear Judith's motorcycle approach the gate. Jenny opens it up for her and asks her to come inside. Judith thought she was just going to drop the stuff and run right back. The change in plan produces a discussion at the gate.
By the time Judith enters the house, she clearly is not happy. I would offer her a drink, but she doesn't drink. I need one and ask Susan to bring me a brandy over ice and a Sprite for Judith. The offer is accepted but doesn't mollify her much.
Judith, there are times when everyone and everything you think you know is just wrong. For me, for absolutely everyone who lives in this house, and for you, this is one of those times. I stop and take a drink. I want her to think about what I have just said. Judith looks at me. She wants to be angry, but I have just told her I was wrong. As the only thing I had been doing is fighting her on what she wanted, hearing I am admitting error, isn't something she wants to attack me about. But I am telling her she is wrong. Judith takes another pull on the yellow straw in the green Sprite bottle.
Allow me to start with my school girls who set Czaren up to seek you out at the beginning of this. They were wrong. And I tell the tale, holding the final definitive 'she is not in any way a lesbian' from the story until the part about the discussion at the side of the van tonight.
By the time I am done, Judith is no longer angry. She is crying.
Ron, when you said we each of us wrong, I not understand. But it is true. Yes, each of us not understand Czaren's fear. Each make a mistake. So how we fix this? I not sure I know how.
That Judith makes two of us. I don't know either.
Ron, I think I need to apologize to her. You stay here with me and I do this. OK?
Czaren is shitting bricks when she is escorted to us by her two protectors, Ros and Emelyn. They have no intention of leaving and Judith wisely does not make an issue of it. I see Tamal hanging back in a dark corner. Instead, of complaining about the others in the room, Judith gets down on her knees and speaks to Czaren.
I have injured you. I am greatly sorry. I am wrong. Please forgive me. Judith is crying. Czaren runs into Judith's arms and they embrace. Czaren saying, Yes, yes. Yes, I forgive you. I not tell you. How you know?
I look at the protectors. They get the hint and leave the room.
Eventually the sob fest is over and they are both looking at me. It is Czaren who asks, What we do now?
We three just look at each other, without a clue between us. Tamal slips into the light of the room and asks Czaren, Can you live with Judith if there is no sex?
Czaren's eyebrows go up. Miss Judith, you have those three we send you. You OK if Czaren is not your love?
Judith looks at Tamal and there is something going on I cannot read. Judith gathers herself up to answer, I will always love Czaren as a daughter. But I do not need to have sex with her. Yes the other three are good for me.
I think we are done, but Tamal isn't finished. Ron, if Czaren lives at the orphanage, can you be her father without sex?
I smile. Tamal is something else. I see what she wants to happen. If I am in Czaren's life as a protector, Judith cannot backslide. Czaren, do you want me as your father, even though we will not live in the same house?
Yes, father. I would like that. And father, I would like to remain a virgin.
So mote it be.
1 - National Bureau of Investigation.