Chapter XXXI – The Impression

After an hour of lurking around and tasting different types of wine, Marybeth knew Rem was already tipsy. So, every time he will ask a server to fill in his glass, she will not allow him. She also looked for Jimmy and Dricks to help her out. It took her about 15 minutes to look for the two. During those, the alcohol took effect on him.

Jimmy and Dricks guided Rem. They led him into a part where there was a couch. They just let him rest on one of the sofas and asked him to stay there.

“Come on guys, I am just enjoying the party,” said Rem, who was obviously not on his normal self. His eyes were red and tender while his white face turned reddish, looked like he was slapped several times. His speech was slur while his breath smelled alcohol. “Let’s drink. Hooray for Arkimans,” Rem shouted catching attention from some people.

“Rem calm down. Some of the officials can hear you,” said Jimmy.

Jimmy asked for a server to bring them water and a glass of fresh fruit juice. Dricks left them to look for Vincent.

“What?” asked Rem. “I’m calm. I’m happy. I can now serve the stupid vow of mine. Hooray for Arkimans,” he again shouted with some more people stopping just to take a look.

“Rem, can you please stop,” said Marybeth. “You are making a scene.”

“Alright, I will stop,” Rem said. “In one condition: one kiss,” he added reaching for Marybeth’s face. She didn’t say a word but she removed Rem’s hand. She rolled her eyes.

“Stop it, or I’ll leave,” said Marybeth.

“Alright, I’ll stop now. I love you…”

Jimmy asked Rem to drink water and fruit juice so the alcohol will subside. However, after drinking water, he threw up with some witnessing it. Sounds of disgust were heard in the party. Vincent arrived and asked Jimmy to carry him. They left the party area and into a room, where they laid him.

“Jimmy, please go to the clinic and ask the pharmacist for Dihyprosine,” said Vincent. “It’s the best we can have to make the alcohol effect subside. Anytime, these guys will be called to the stage.”

“Dricks, please go back to the party and tell Heitzberg that I’m letting Rem and Marybeth rest for a few more minutes. Don’t tell him Rem got drunk.”

“Marybeth, please look for a towel in this room and dump it.”

Vincent stripped Rem off to his underwear. The young man was completely passed out. Marybeth immediately arrived with a wet towel and a basin with water. The two helped each other in cleaning him.

Few minutes after, Dricks came back and told Vincent that Heitzberg agreed. A few more minutes, Jimmy came back with the medicine.

“Rem, wake up,” said Vincent shaking Rem.

Rem raised his head and opened his one eye.

“What happened?” asked Rem.

“You passed out after drinking too much Olah-Olah,” said Vincent. “Drink this. It is very effective in removing alcohol in the body.”

Rem tried to sit down but he can’t. Jimmy rushed to help him. He reached for the tablets and took it with a glass of water.

“Take a rest Burrows while we wait for that medicine to take effect,” said Vincent. “I told you to enjoy the party, not to get wasted.”

After 15 minutes, the alcohol indeed subsided. Rem took a shower and get dressed. The group then went back to the party.

*****

“Wait here. I’ll inform Heitzberg that you guys are ready,” said Vincent.

After five minutes, he returned and asked Rem and Marybeth to follow him. They stopped after reaching the side of the mini stage. They saw Heitzberg standing and ready to speak on the microphone.

“Ladies and gentlemen, can I have your attention please,” said Heitzberg.

The people immediately lined up in front of the stage and they all lent their ears.

“The Arkimans have been longing to win. It is almost a decade now when we won, of course, courtesy of our dear friend Anya, who is also busy training other fighters,” said Heitzberg referring to the woman Rem and Marybeth faced way back in the island.

“I’m proud to announce that we just got an ace. We trained two fighters who broke so much training records, have surpassed the mentors’ expectations and outlasted to the point of outplaying experienced Arkimans during their latter part of training,” Heitzberg boasted.

“Ladies and gentlemen… I am proud to announce Ms. Marybeth Anderson and Rembrandt Burrows. Our representatives to the ‘Bloody Train.'”

People clapped… Vincent pushed Rem and Marybeth climb to the stage. However, some stopped clapping with objections on their faces upon seeing the two representatives. When everybody finished clapping, voices were heard.

“Hey, isn’t that drunkard man?” said one woman with golden hair.

“Yeah! He’s the one who made some scenes earlier. He shouted many times and tried to kiss a woman,” a man added.

“He also puked and called his vow ‘stupid’,” another one said.

“Not just that, those two locked themselves inside the men’s comfort room and stayed there for a long time,” said the man, who they met in the comfort room.

The crowd went wild. Everybody was talking. Some were questioning Heitzberg and his decisions. Inaudible crowd noise was heard.

Heitzberg just looked at Rem and Marybeth. His eyes were questioning and at the same time, threatening. Rem felt embarrassed not just for his actions, but also to her. During those times, he wanted to jump from the window and die.

“Wait wait wait…” said Heitzberg. “I think we should call our reliable Vincent to explain.”

Heitzberg looked at Vincent, who was already talking to Jimmy and Dricks. He immediately went on the stage and talked to Marybeth and Rem for a few minutes. He then took the microphone from his boss. He walked at the center with full of confidence.

“Guys, there is a misunderstanding,” said Vincent.

“Misunderstanding? Our eyes won’t tell lies,” said one man.

“Please let us explain,” said Vincent.

“First of all Mr. Arrizo,” said Vincent referring to the man that Rem and Marybeth met after talking in the comfort room. “I don’t know what you think, but I asked the two… they indeed locked themselves inside the bathroom, only because they can’t contain their happiness now that their vow is about to be given to them.”

“Do you think we will believe that sh*t?” one woman said.

“I am not asking you to believe. I am asking you to have faith in the training,”

“About this drunkard accusation,” Vincent said using his convincing tone. “We all know that these two spent eight years on the island. There, they were not served with wine or any alcoholic drink or beverages. I asked Burrows and he only consumed three goblets of Olah-Olah wine, because he loved the taste. Well, every one of us loved it right? Unfortunately for Rem, he has a low tolerance to alcohol. So boom! He got drunk.”

“He tried to kiss Miss Anderson,” one man asked.

“Well, we won’t tell a lie. Rem and Marybeth have feelings for each other,” said Vincent. “Isn’t amazing that aside from the winnings, these two are more motivated for the game? Right? Did you guys get me? Now I’m having a point right?”

“With that ‘stupid vow’ that you guys heard, Rem was just getting emotional. And if we’ll recall his whole statement, he said he is happy that he will fulfill his ‘stupid vow.’ He’s just using the ironic expression.”

Everybody fell silent.

“Guys, trust me. I’ve been sending you great fighters for many years now,” said Vincent. “You won’t vote for me to come back every other year to become the manager of two fighters if I had never proven something. So believe me when I say that these two are one of the best. Please don’t judge them on what you guys saw about an hour ago. It shouldn’t replace the eight years of training we had for them.”

The majority had this convinced look on their faces. Heitzberg, on the other hand, was again impressed.

“So, I will take this silence as yes?” asked Vincent.

He then gave the microphone to Heitzberg.

“The man says it all,” said Heitzberg. “Continue with the party everyone.”

Heitzberg then looked at Vincent and nodded asking him to come with him.

“I wanted to talk to you along with the fighters and escorts,” said Heitzberg.

Heitzberg left the stage and walked towards the guarded door at the back. Vincent and the group followed immediately.

“Take a seat, Burrows and Anderson,” said Heitzberg pointing to the two chairs in front of his desk.

“I admit, I am disappointed with your actions Burrows,” said Heitzberg.

Rem was silent. He was obviously ashamed of himself.

“But, thanks to ever reliable Vincent, our ass*s were all saved. I don’t want that to happen again, alright Burrows?”

Rem looked at Heitzberg. He was confused because the Arkiman leader didn’t get mad.

“Yes, sir,” said Rem silently. His head was bowed down.

“Dricks, Jimmy and Vincent, you guys are a team. I just wanted you to be reminded,” Heitzberg added. “Ms. Anderson and Mr. Burrows need more time to adjust to this world. Guide them.”

The three nodded.

“I think everything’s clear now. No one’s to be blamed. But, everyone should be more careful,” Heitzberg said and this time, he’s already smiling. “Marybeth, Rem, and the rest can now leave and take a rest.”

Rem was the first one to stand because he was still ashamed of his actions. He was also the first to walk to the door. In the car, all were silent. He was still ashamed of himself so he took the courage to apologize.

“Mr. Vincent, Jimmy, Dricks, and Marybeth, I sincerely apologize for my actions,” said Rem. “It won’t happen again.”

Marybeth just squeezed Rem’s leg.

“I’ll hold onto that Rem,” said Vincent looking at Rem. “As what Mr. Heitzberg said no one’s to be blamed. We also had our own negligence. So, be happy.”

“Want some Olah-olah?” asked Dricks that made Rem smiled.

“Now you’re smiling,” Marybeth whispered. “It’s been hours now since I saw that. I missed it.”