Well after the first part of Refugee! went viral (what? a virus that one person has is still a virus), I received numerous requests for part 2. And so, without any more ado, behold!
“Hey, Sarah.” It was Steve.
Gosh, Sarah thought. I really like Steve. He’s so dreamy. She thought for a few more minutes about whatever the sort of things girls think about boys. Then she said “Hello Steve.” She looked nervous.
“Hi Sarah,” Steve said. “Hey, I’m gonna go down the wharf and join in the protests! You wanna come?”
“Oh Steve,” she said. “I just said in the last scene that I couldn’t. But maybe I can.” She had a moral dilemma for a minute.
“Come on,” Steve said. “You don’t want people to think you’re a loser do you?”
Sarah frowned. She hated peer pressure. It was really hard to resist it.
“Okay, I’ll come,” she said. “But can we not get too close? I’m a bit scared of all those radicals. I always watch the news and see them punching policemen for no reason.”
Steve took her hand and Sarah felt a little excited thrill.
“Don’t worry Sarah,” he said. “I’ll look after you. Probably.”
Sarah thought her heart would melt, and then it did.
“All right,” she said, throwing her books onto the ground, and then picking them up and putting them into her bag. It was all very well to make gestures, but she still needed her books. “Let’s go!”
And they did!
Emric sat up on the deck and watched his homeland, wherever it was, recede into the distance. “I guess I’m on my way,” he said out loud to himself.
Just then the other guests came up on deck.
“Hi Emric!” they said. “Welcome to the boat. Are you coming with us all the way to Flatland?”
“Oh I don’t know,” Emric said. “I was just going to the nearest safe harbour. It’s only my safety that’s important. I’m not picky.”
The other passengers laughed. “Oh Emric!” they said. “You’re so sweet and naïve and stupid and naïve and dum!” They pounded him on the back and Emric’s pipe fell out of his mouth overboard.
“Why are you laughing?” Emric said.
“Once you’re on the boat you should keep going!” the others said. “We could have gotten off of the boat at a hundred different ports by now, but we’re shopping for the best country!”
Emric shook his head, shocked. “I don’t know if I think that’s right,” he said. Then he said to himself, “All these people are picking and choosing their destinations. All I want is to get my family somewhere safe. I’m not trying to manipulate the system.”
The other passengers laughed some more and then they went and sat on the deck on some chairs.
Emric went over to the captain. “I don’t think everyone on this boat is really doing the right thing,” Emric said.
The fat man laughed his jowls and then rubbed his hands together, like there was oil in them. “Oh Emric!” he said. “You’re the funniest man I know, have I ever told you that?” Then he put a cigar in his mouth and smoked it.
Emric scowled, confused. “Being a refugee isn’t exactly what I thought it was at first,” he said. “I’m only just learning that.”
Sarah and Steve arrived at the wharf. Sarah felt like she was falling in love with Steve. She just hoped he didn’t lead her down the wrong path. But how could he? He was so handsome. And he had his own car.
“Well, we’re here, at the protest,” Steve said. “Let’s see what happens next.”
“I really don’t know what’s going to happen next,” Sarah said. “The suspense is killing me! Not literally.”
“Me too Sarah!” Steve said. “Anything could happen.”
Suddenly there was a shout. Police had arrived at the protest.
“It’s the pigs!” someone shouted. “Let’s start punching them!”
“Okay!” someone else shouted. “It’s better than getting a job!”
“Let’s get out of here!” Sarah said. She clutched Steve on the arm and got a little thrill of electricity in her.
“Just chill, babygirl,” Steve said. “There ain’t no cause to be worrying your pretty little head.”
“You really think my little head is pretty?” Sarah said. “Gosh, I think he really likes me. I better stay for a while to try to impress him. I know it’s against my morals. But just this once it couldn’t hurt, right?”
“Okay,” she said, “we can stay.”
Steve smiled and lit a smoke. Sarah knew it was bad but she found that she thought he was attractive anyway. Who knows why!
“All right,” he grinned. “Now let’s see if we can get closer and see what’s going on!”
They went down near the wharf. All around there were people pushing and shoving and trying to punch policemen. Sarah felt a little bit scared but a little bit excited too. But also scared. “I’m scared,” she said.
“Don’t worry Dollface,” Steve said. “I’ll protect you!” He gave her his jacket.
“Sarah!” It was Hibiscus.
“Hi Hibiscus,” Sarah said. “What’s happening?” She looked mousy and nervous. Hibiscus gave her a big smile.
“Oh the stupid fuzz are trying to bust up our protest,” she said. “But let’s not talk about that, it’s boring! Me and some of my friends are gonna go jump on the border control boat and try to mess with the men who protect our land from invasion!”
“What?!” Sarah exploded. “Why would you do that?!”
“I know!” Hibiscus said. “Isn’t it awesome! Oh hi Steven” she said.
Steve nodded. “Hibie,” he said.
Sarah felt a little jealous explosion in her bowels. “You two know each other!” she said.
“Er, yeah,” Steve said, looking a bit nervous and chewing his nails and staring at the floor.
“Stevie and I used to date!” Hibiscus said. “We still get along great! Sometimes it seems like we could quite easily get back together.”
“I don’t like the sound of that!” Sarah said to herself.
“Hey, I know!” Hibiscus said. “Why don’t you guys come with us?”
“We can’t,” Sarah said, but before she said that, Steve said “Okay” and so she didn’t say it in the end.
“Let’s do it!” Steve said. “This will be great!”
Sarah didn’t know what to do. Should she go, even though she knew it was wrong, just because she was falling in love with Steve? She knew what was the right thing, but somehow her hormones told her to do something else. “Okay!” she said.
“Why did I say that?” she said.
And they were off!
“Hey Emric,” the fat man yelled out. “Come up here on to the deck for a minute.”
Emric pulled himself up out of his hammock, where he’d been having a lovely dream about his homeland, its customs and some of the foods that people eat there.
“What is it?” he said, going onto the deck.
“It’s your new home,” the fat man said. He laughed a big belly laugh and rubbed his hands together. “I love being a people smuggler!” he chortled.
“Flatland,” Emric said. “I never dreamed I would actually make it. Now maybe I can start working really hard and one day I’ll be able to afford to bring my family out here to stay with me.” He smiled dreamily into the air.
The fat man laughed so loud his cigar flew out of his mouth and into the sea, where a dolphin ate it. “Oh Emric,” he guffawed. “You’re the funniest refugee I ever knew!”
“What’s so funny?” Emric questioned.
Some of the other passengers were walking past, and they answered Emric’s question. “Oh Emric,” they said, “we’re not going to work hard. Don’t you know this new country has generous welfare laws that allow us to spunge of the government and do nothing all day long!”
“Wait a minute,” Emric said, raising a finger. “That doesn’t sound like the right thing to do, to me!”
The fat man pointed at Emric and let out a booming chuckle.
“You see what I’m saying now?” he said to the others.
“Oh Emric,” the other passengers said. “You’re a nice man, but very very naïve. Don’t you know how easy it is to rort a country that is trying to do the right thing? Just stick with us, my friend, and you will be on easy street!”
Emric shook his head. “This is further evidence to add to my earlier perception that being a refugee doesn’t always mean that a person is doing the right thing,” he said. “Sadly, some of us are doing the wrong thing. And we really don’t deserve the hospitality we’re generously offered. I’ve finally learned that.”
The fat man shook his head loudly. “Oh Emric,” he pontificated, “you’ve sure been through some character development in this section!”
“I sure have,” Emric said. “And I’ll never be the same again.”
“That’s for sure,” agreed the other passengers.
Just then a boat suddenly appeared on the horizon.