Chapter XLIII – The Pre-Game Party

Rem knew Vincent was a bit snobbish because he arrived late. However, he didn’t mind him. He only thought of his plans. After arriving in their unit, he informed his group that he needed to take a rest.

Inside his room, Rem arranged all the items he bought and arranged them. When he finished, he asked Carklein to wake him up after 3 hours. The machine agreed.

“Mr. Burrows, three hours passed,” said Carklein.

Rem without a word got up on his bed and went straight to the bathroom to wash his face.

“Carklein, where is the room of the bellmen or maybe, employee room?” Rem asked.

“That is on the second floor, room 47,” Carklein replied.

“Alright thank you,” Rem said while on his way outside. “Please do me a favor, be a friend to me and tell everyone that I am sleeping and don’t want to be disturbed.”

“I’ll do that for you, Mr. Burrows.”

“Great!”

Rem sneaked through the unit and silently left. He went to the second floor and knocked on the room 47.

“Yes, can we do something for you?” said the uniformed man, who didn’t open the door completely.

“I’m looking for Fernando,” Rem said.

“Hey Fernando, a rich kid is looking for you!” the man shouted.

Fernando appeared.

“Hey, Mr. Burrows. It’s a little late and if you needed anything, you should have just buzzed,” said Fernando.

“I really wanted to talk to you and give you some gift,” Rem said slightly lifting his left arm to show the papers bag laid on the floor.

“Oh my goodness! Holy cow! Are you going to give me those things?”

“Not just to you but to your friends as well. And, I need your help. Some of the things are for your female co-workers. You need to help me sneak through their room… But, right now, help get these things inside.”

The two put the things inside. Rem asked Fernando to announce his gift to them.

Right after shouting, the men gathered and it looked like that they don’t want to believe. Rem then asked one man his shoe size, dug through the stuff and threw a shoe box. The bellman opened it and jumped into joy seeing a branded pair of rubber shoes.

Rem smiled as he watched the men turning into a kid after receiving their Christmas presents. After, many hugged Rem with some even gave him a kiss on his cheek. He then asked Fernando to help him bring the female staff in the women’s room.

In the women’s room, the earlier scenario also happened: the women don’t want to believe, but later were like teenagers crumbling to see a popular boy band.

After that, Rem also asked Fernando to help him sneak through outside explaining that every time he and his team go out, he used to see homeless people, including children. He also bought some pieces of stuff for them. Fernando showed him the way where employees go. They also paid the security guard to let them snoop out.

Rem and Fernando woke the homeless people living near his luxurious condominium unit and gave the things he bought. He gave them baby dresses, shoes, toys, foods and a lot more.

Rem felt good after; he got inspired and more motivated, especially by the innocent smile of the children after seeing the things bought for them. He again promised to himself that he will win and will again buy pieces of stuff using his winning pot. He went to bed with a smile on his face. He immediately fell asleep while thinking of the million smiles he saw and billions of gratitude he received.

“Mr. Burrows, it’s 8:00 a.m.,” Carklein noted. “Breakfast is already served.”

Rem wondered why he wasn’t asked to prepare. He just shook it out and immediately went to the bathroom to take a bath. He only had a few hours of sleep, but he can’t help but smile because he can’t forget the smiles and laughs he saw last night. He went outside his room whistling.

“I think someone woke up on the correct side of the bed,” said Vincent.

“Yeah, I think so,” Rem said.

Marybeth appeared after a few minutes and the group started taking their breakfast. Vincent explained that a good luck party will be held for all the wildcats. It will be at 6:00 p.m.

After breakfast, Rem and Marybeth spent the rest of the hour chit chatting. She noted of his bubbly spirit. He, however, denied that there was something new. At lunchtime, Rem ordered deep fried breaded pork belly, a beef steak, French fries and slices of fruits. Marybeth, on the other hand, only asked for a vegetable salad noting that she will eat a lot during the party.

At 3:00 p.m., Vincent told the two that they should be preparing. The two obliged.

Rem however only lay on his bed. He knew there are still lots of time and Vincent only gave them the two hours to prepare because Marybeth needed it. He asked Carklein to wake him up after an hour.

After an hour, he immediately went to the bathroom to take a bath. He then wore the suit and tie waiting in his closet and went outside. Two gay men are waiting and they were running out of patience.

“There he is,” one man with dark pink hair said.

“Come here handsome,” another one said pulling Rem into a dresser.

The two started to work on his hair and makeup.

After 30 minutes, Marybeth appeared and once again showing an eye-candy looks. She’s wearing a body-hugging black dress. The dress revealed her left shoulder while the other side covered her arm completely. Her hair was side-flat twisted on her side while the other part was loose and bouncy. Rem smiled as she came nearer. He offered his arm for her to cling.

While going down the parking lot, the group was surprised after many of the janitors were nodding and greeting Rem. Vincent asked him about it. He said he just used to smile at them every time they go out and maybe they were just returning the favor.

The group’s limousine stopped in front of a huge and highly-guarded mansion. Four guards immediately went on the side of the limousine. Vincent opened the car’s door and nodded to them. They were allowed to enter. A party was being held in the garden where people were wearing extravagant dresses, pieces of jewelry with huge stones, overacting headdresses and hair color.

Vincent, before leaving Rem and Marybeth, told them that they can roam around and try the foods. He also reminded Rem of drinking too much alcohol noting they will be presented to the crowds for the last time.

“Hey,” said Rem looking at Marybeth while tapping her hand that was clung to him.

“Hey,” Marybeth replied.

“I’m nervous.”

“So am I.”

“I’m holding on our love. We’ll win it.”

Marybeth just smiled.

Rem knew that she was having doubts. So, he gave her a hug.

“I love you,” Rem whispered. He then laid his palm on the side of Marybeth’s face and kissed her. She kissed him back. The two stopped after someone cleared his throat.

“As of the moment, can we just enjoy the party? I am starving.”

Marybeth chuckled and nodded.

The two tried different foods around. He loved everything. From her looks, Marybeth also seemed to enjoy trying foods, including those she tried for the first time.

The two also met their teachers Jonathan, Jacklyn, Buster, Arnold and much more, turning their duo celebration into a group. After a few hours, he felt the urged. So, he excused himself and went to the bathroom.

In the comfort room, Rem used the farthest cubicle and tried to relieve himself slowly to avoid making too much noise. While doing his business, he heard a loud bang coming from outside. From the sound itself, he knew that a knife was thrown. He immediately went outside and saw a Swazoki knife on one of the cubicle doors. It was tacking a note.

Rem went near the knife and smiled. The note said: “Promise kept. Keep yours.”

Rem removed the Swazoki. It was unnamed. However, he’s pretty sure that it’s from Randolph. He then immediately went outside to look for Marybeth. After seeing her, he walked fast and pulled her in an area where there were few people. He then showed the knife and note.

“Check this out,” Rem said with tears already forming.

“A Swazoki knife. You are in a hurry because you found a Swazoki?” Marybeth replied confused.

“No. Read the note.”

She then picked it and read it.

“So, what’s buzzing about this note,” she asked.

“Randolph. We made a promise before he left us on the island. He’s alive and asking the two of us to stay alive,” said Rem already crying.

Marybeth realized that it may be Randolph. Teary-eyed, she hugged him.

“Now, I’m more motivated,” Marybeth said.

“So do I. Happy and motivated, knowing he survived. We’ll reunite with him after this.”

While hugging, someone tapped them on their backs… It’s Ms. Jack.

“I don’t want to pop out your moment. But, all of us are looking for you. The final presentation is about to start. So, let’s go near the stage. Heitzberg is now waiting.”

The three immediately went to the side of the stage. Rem saw Lowell Heitzberg and even they were still far, he knew he was smiling.

“Both of you look nice and it’s such a pleasure seeing the jewelry I gave you,” said Heitzberg.

None of the fighters said a word. A few minutes after, Daryl Ocampo appeared on the stage and started to talk over the microphone.

“Ladies and gentlemen, in less than 24 hours, ’28th The Bloody Train’ will start and I know you guys are excited about it,” said Daryl that was followed by audience applause.

“This year, based on the submitted reports by the investors and group leaders, is definitely something we can look forward to. Stories behind the wildcats are stunning. Like for example, a blood offering blood for honors, the redemption of a failure and my favorite, two lovers who will try to beat the odds.

“So once again, here are our contestants for this year’s ‘Bloody Train.'”

One by one, Ocampo called the group leader and the corresponding wildcats. Again, ‘The Pachrees’ were called last with the crowd roaring for them.

Rem looked at his right and saw Matilda giving him a sharp glare. He then looked to his left and there is Anthony looking at him while raising his right eyebrow and with ahalf smile. He looked at the audience and wondered why they were cheering for people who may die.