Chapter 108: Bring Me Along
Translated by: kevin1782
Edited by: Isalee
Madam John Smith suddenly thought of something, and before Gao Yang could respond, her eyes shone and said in surprise: “You are a Chinese, did you find John’s boss?”
The muscular man who had been struck down was still groaning. Under the gaze and attention from the crowd around them, it was not a right environment to talk. Bearing that in mind, Gao Yang turned to Madam John Smith and said with a smile: “Can we talk elsewhere, it’s quite inconvenient here.”
Madam John Smith nodded: “Of course, follow me.”
After peering at Gao Yang quizzically, the youth saved by Gao Yang turned to the teenage girl and said with adamantly: “Come along with me, or you will be beaten to death. Don’t see him before he calms down at the very least.”
After some hesitation, the girl let herself get pulled to her feet by the youth. The youth said, “Hold on, let me find my baseball.”
Sweeping his gaze along the floor a bit, the youth then picked up a yellowed baseball. After stuffing the ball into his pocket, he promptly walked in front of Madam John Smith and said: “Mom, let’s go back.”
Madam John Smith looked worryingly at the man who is still lying on the floor, then turned her gaze onto the girl pulled along by the youth. She let out a sigh, and without another word, waved a welcoming gesture before leading the group to her house.
Madam John Smith and her son lived in a tin shed with a curtain dividing it into two rooms. The shed was tiny but tidy. At least it was a place they could call home.
After letting Gao Yang and Elena sit on their only two worn-out chairs, Madam John Smith, feeling awkward, said, “Sorry, our home is simple and crude. May I ask why are you looking for me?”
Gao Yang pondered thoughtfully, and with a deep voice, he said: “I am a friend of Mister John Smith. Although I have only spoken a few sentences with him, he had indirectly saved my life. Yes, I am also one of the passengers on that plane, and I was sitting beside Mister John Smith.”
Madam John Smith covered her mouth in shock and stuttered: “Oh my god, there are really survivors. You are the one who was still missing. I remember your father’s name and he firmly believes that you’re not dead. Thank god, you are really still alive. Oh god, your family must be overjoyed.”
Her tears poured uncontrollably while talking. Gao Yang stood up, embraced her lightly: “I am very sorry, I brought up sad memories. I am here to bring back the belongings he left behind. When the plane crashed, I took his knife and it saved my life numerous times. I feel that I should return it to you. I am sorry, I wanted to save Mr. Smith but he has already met his demise then.”
Madam John Smith nodded and sobbed: “I understand, he could not have survived. Thank you for trying but this was all God’s will. Sorry, I lost my composure.”
From his bag that Elena was still holding onto, Gao Yang took out the hunting knife and brought it in front of Madam John Smith solemnly. “I am very sorry, I have left some marks on the knife when I used it, hope you don’t mind.”, he said.
Madam John Smith held the knife, unsheathed it to take a look. Tears flowed from her eyes once again as she sniffled: “Yes, this is John’s knife. He purchased it from a blacksmith back in the United States. I am glad his knife helped you, really, and I am sure John is glad his knife helped you with your survival as well.”
Gao Yang nodded and said: “If it is convenient, I would like to head to his grave and thank him personally.”
Madam John Smith heaved a sigh: “I apologize, his grave is in Ethiopia, we don’t have money to bring his remains back, and nobody wants to finance us either.”
Although disappointed, Gao Yang was not too shocked. It was obvious from Madam Smith’s condition that if nobody else stood up for her, there would be no way for her to bring the body from Ethiopia back to South Africa.
Gao Yang took out all the US dollars he brought along and said seriously: “I can tell you are not doing very well. This isn’t much but please accept it. I have no other intention but to help late Mister Smith. Also, if you have anything you need help with, please bring it up, I will try my best to help you.”
Looking at Gao Yang, Madam John Smith shook her head: “No, thank you. I cannot accept your money. I appreciate your goodwill, but John would be willing to help his friends, and out of my respect for him, I cannot accept your money. Still, I have to say thank you, you are a kind soul.”
With the money still in his hands, Gao Yang felt that it would be inappropriate to forcefully give the money the Madam Smith, but on the other hand, he could not bring himself to retract his offer. After seeing the poor condition she had been in, Gao Yang just could not turn his back.
Just as Gao Yang was in a dilemma, Madam Smith’s son said abruptly: “Greetings sir, I am Fly. This is my girlfriend, Ella. My mother and I are grateful to you, but some money wouldn’t be able to save us from our plight. You seem like you’re a rich man and I would like to take the liberty of asking you if I can have a job. So long as I have a job, I can change the livelihood of my mother and me. I can do anything!”
Fly looked like he was just seventeen or eighteen years old, and his girlfriend looks even younger, at most sixteen years old. She still looked naive and dressed shabbily. Her appearance was average, neither beautiful nor ugly, but a large bruising on her forehead made her look pitiful.
Gao Yang thought a bit, and sighed: “I am sorry, I cannot give you a job.”
Fly looked upset. He shook his head, heaved a sigh and stayed silent.
Gao Yang hesitantly said, “As whites, it is quite easy to find a job in South Africa, isn’t it? I know that the country underwent a large change ever since the end of the apartheid, but finding a job shouldn’t be hard, right?
Madam Smith smiled wryly: “John and I used to be public servants. He was a professor and I was an office clerk in the government sector. However, as John had participated in anti-terrorist movements as a militia before, he lost his job soon after the end of apartheid, and remained unemployed. Same for me, I couldn’t find any jobs after I was fired. After the passing of John, we could no longer afford the rent, and could only move here. Nowadays in South Africa, the blacks hold onto all the jobs, and they wouldn’t let Fly work anywhere. In fact, that’s what happened to all the whites around here. We have no choice, but to gather here and live on running small errands and begging.”
Fly fumed and added: “Those blacks don’t even know how to turn on a computer, but the government still gave them jobs. They turned this country into a mess. If my father had money, we would have left this country long ago.”
Gao Yang sighed: “I am sorry, I didn’t intend to discuss government policies in South Africa, but I can give you some money so that you can leave this country. As for a job, that is something I cannot provide.”
Fly looked at Gao Yang, and said: “You look like you’re rich, can you tell me about what you do for a living?”
Gao Yang hesitated before rejecting: “Sorry, I can’t.”
Fly said: “Sir, I want to get my mother and my girlfriend out of here. We just don’t want to stay here any longer, I swear I will return the money afterwards.”
Gao Yang immediately nodded: “No problem, I can give you as much as you need, within my capability.”
Madam Smith looked hesitant before heaving a sigh: “Fly, you only went through junior high school. It would be impossible for you to find a good job, much less bring Ella and me along. Where can we go?”
Madam Smith then turned to smile at Gao Yang apologetically and said: “Thank you for your kind intentions, if possible, I would like you to sponsor Fly to leave. I cannot ask for more. Ella and I can wait for him to earn money and fetch us from here.”
Fly got agitated: “Mother, if I were to leave, Ella would be killed by her father. Didn’t you see what happened to her today? So long as I am willing to put in all my effort, I can definitely support us all, and then return the money to this mister.”
He then felt weird after finishing his sentence, smiled awkwardly as he turned to Gao Yang: “Sorry, my mother and I were too worked up, we still don’t even know your name.”
Gao Yang smiled awkwardly as well, and after pondering a little, he decided to be honest with them.
“Sorry, you can call me Gao Yang, but please don’t mention my visit to anyone as I am in a little trouble in China. Since you might come into contact with Chinese in future, so please, you must help me keep this secret.”
Fly’s eyes immediately shone and turning his gaze on Gao Yang, he said: “I see, you are rich because you committed a crime. Whatever you deal with, sir, I do not care, but I can be your best sidekick. Trust me, no matter what you are doing, please give me a job. I swear on my father’s name, I will be loyal to you!”
Madam Smith was flabbergasted, and sternly said: “Fly, what are you talking about.”
Gao Yang awkwardly replied: “Sorry, my job isn’t exactly illegal, or maybe it is, depending on which country’s law is in question. My job is also highly dangerous. Fine, I’ll come clean. I am a mercenary.”
Fly immediately said: “Being a mercenary is not a crime, but can earn big money. Damn, why didn’t I think of that? Sir, please, bring me along! I can do anything for you!”
Madam Smith said sternly: “Fly, your only seventeen. You should be finding a job, and being a mercenary is not an occupation that’s fit for you!”
Fly turned to his mother and shrugged: “Mother, don’t you know that I have worked for drug traffickers before? Don’t you know I shot and killed two other drug traffickers who trespassed our territory? You know that they only gave me a thousand Rands, just because I am a white. Just because, they know I need those Rands, and I would kill for those Rands. You are also aware that without those Rands, Ella would be dead. Today, Ella’s dad hit her again as well. If we don’t think of a way to get out of here, it would be a matter of time before Ella is dead, along with you and me. That bastard won’t spare us. So, I feel that I am most suited to be a mercenary.”
Madam Smith could no longer hold back her tears. Ella hugged Fly and started crying as well. Elena sighed, and turned to Gao Yang: “Maybe you should give him a chance.”