The Ed Waller Stories: Book One - Algeria Here I Come

Chapter Twenty-Eight: I Want To Go Home

Brahim and I went to the pool area to see what Allie, Khalid and Amir were doing.  We were walking toward them when we saw a bar waiter stop next to Allie and hand him a drink.

Allie obviously hadn't ordered it because he shook his head.  The waiter pointed to a couple on the other side of the pool.  We saw Allie wave and acknowledge the couple.  He started to put the drink toward his mouth.   Khalid said something:  Allie stood and started toward where the couple was lying.  He seemingly tripped and spilled his drink on the couple.

Pandemonium took place, as the swim suits and skin of the donors started to emit smoke and fumes.  The couple dove into the pool and the man shouted.  "You little bastard, we'll be scarred for life."

Khalid and Amir dove into the pool and immobilized the couple.  Amir yelled at Allie, "Call Officer Del Rio."

Allie started for the bar phone, but Officer Del Rio was racing toward the scene with a security detail.  The couple was half naked because the drink they had sent Allie had caused their suits to start to disintegrate.  The P.A. system came on and asked that all passengers leave the pool area immediately and announced that the pool area would be closed until further notice.

Brahim and I walked to Allie who was visibly shaken.  In fact he was standing there shaking.  He looked up at me, "Dad, can we just go home?  What would have happened if I had drunk that drink?"

We watched as the Security Detail put robes on the two would be assassins and escorted them away.  Khalid and Amir came to where we were standing with Allie; Amir suggested "Allie, let's go take a shower, so we can go and heckle Dr. Roberts during his presentation."

That was all it took to jump start Allie again.  Brahim and I followed the trio to the cabins.  We heard Khalid say, "Allie, I think you, Bra and Ed will be fine now.  I cannot imagine that the jerks would try anything else."

Allie looked at the two gentlemen, "Uncle Khalid and Uncle Amir, I hope you're right."

We went to the theatre and we were just about late, so we sat in the back.  Allie was leaning on the empty seat in front of him listening to what Dr. Roberts was saying about Oslo and Bergen, Norway.  Allie didn't ask any questions, which was different, but other people did.  Allie looked at me, "I figured I could ask Grandpa Darryl some questions in private.  No one would be interested in what I wanted to know, anyway."

I hugged Allie, "Son, I think you're wrong there.  I bet the people would have very much liked to hear what you wanted to know.  We may as well just stay here, since the talent show tryouts will start as soon as the audience clears out of the theatre."

"But Dad, I really don't want to be in any talent show, after what happened today."

Khalid put his arm around Allie, "Look Mr. Safi, we can't very well swim anywhere from here.  So we might as well have some fun.  I want to watch you and Brahim make fools of yourselves.  You'll probably be so bad that you'll scare all of the evil spirits away."

Allie turned to me, "Dad, beat this man up.  He's picking on me."

Alan appeared on the stage, "Would all of our contestants please come draw a number, to see in which order you will perform for the judges?  There are fifteen entries, but only eight entrants will be chosen to perform, because of the time allotted for the show."

Allie looked at me, "Good, then I don't need to worry."

As luck would have it, Allie drew the number 15.  He came back and plopped down, "It's a conspiracy.  Everyone hates me.  What am I going to sing, anyway?"

"Why don't both you and Brahim sing what you sang in the shower the night you decided that I shouldn't sing anymore, when we were still in the hotel in Oran?"

Allie thought for a minute, "But Dad, I was singing an Arabic lullaby and Brahim was singing something from an Italian opera.  No one is going to understand what we're saying."

"Allie, trust me; if you try to sing something that you don't know, the judges will pick up on it right away."

"Dad, who are the judges anyway?"

Alan announced, "The judges for the contest are the permanent members of the cast who are all professional entertainers.  Our first contestant is …."

Both Brahim and Allie were visibly nervous.  Finally Alan announced, "The fourteenth contestant is Mr. Brahim Safi."

Brahim went forward and Alan asked, "Mr. Safi, what will you be singing?" 

I was pleased by Brahim's composure, "I will be singing an aria from the Barber of Seville by Rossini."

I thought to myself, 'I need to find out how he knows so much about opera.'

He sang the aria acappella and the other contestants and spectators applauded.

Allie looked at me, "Dad, I don't feel too good.  I don't want to do this."

I hugged him, "It's too late now.  Just do the best you can do."

Alan announced, "The last contestant for today is Allie Safi.  He will be singing a song of his choice, and then he and his brother are going to be singing All Things Bright and Beautiful accompanied by Mrs. Hobbs."

Allie looked at me, "Dad, it's a conspiracy to discredit us."

I watched as Allie took the microphone and went to the middle of the stage.  He started to sing the lullaby that he had sung in the shower.  It was as if he was singing to someone.  When he finished, he said in English, "Good night, Teddy Bear."

It was absolutely quiet when Allie finished.  Mrs. Hobbs went to the piano and started to play and Brahim joined Allie at the center of the stage.  Allie and Bra sang All Things Bright and Beautiful.  Again, there was no applause because it didn't seem to be appropriate.

Alan went to the center of the stage, "Ladies and gentlemen, you were all wonderful.  It is unfortunate that we can't feature all of you in the talent show.  Judges, may I have your decisions as to who will be in the show?"

Alan looked at the list, "Thank you, judges."

Alan started to read the names of the people on the list.  The seventh person is Brahim Safi.  The final contestant will be Allie Safi."

The judges stood and started to applaud.  We were getting ready to leave when we were approached by two of the judges.  The young man spoke,  "Allie, we would like for you to be in our show tonight.  Could you please stay and practice for a few minutes?  We would like for you to close the show tonight with your Teddy Bear Lullaby and a similar song in English."

"How did you know I was singing The Teddy Bear Lullaby?  Do you speak Arabic?"

"Yes, now will you please stay, so we can practice for a few minutes before you have to go get dressed in your tuxedo.  Brahim, we'd like to also work with you before the talent show, on some numbers.  You two gentlemen have absolutely beautiful voices."

Khalid started to laugh, "Gee whiz, Ed.  The guys can keep you in the luxury that you have become accustomed to with their voices."

Allie turned to Khalid, "Uncle Khalid, that's not funny!"

Everyone left except the cast, orchestra, Brahim and me.  I got a little apprehensive when the cast took Allie and went behind the stage.  I had sinking spell thinking that perhaps the bad guys had gotten to them as well.

The head of the cast came out and was talking to the orchestra.  Some of the other cast members came out and were sitting on the floor.  The entire cast was sitting on the floor when Allie came out. The band quietly began to play as Allie started to sing The Teddy Bear Lullaby in Arabic,  As he was singing, the cast laid down and pretended they were sleeping.  When Allie finished, he and his Teddy Bear were still awake.

The leader of the troupe stood and said, "For our encore, we have a special treat for you which will feature Allie Safi Waller.  The orchestra started to play So Long, Farewell from 'The Sound of Music'.  They did it a little differently than the movie or the Broadway play, in that Allie was the only person on stage when they finished.  After he sang the last line, the floor of the stage where Allie was standing descended and Allie disappeared as he sang his last good night

Alan had been watching, "People, that ending will wow the passengers.  I suggest that you let Allie go get some nourishment before you work him to death tonight."

Allie came out on stage, "Dad, did you hear that.  Now they're going to work to me death."

We went to our cabin and thankfully Michael arrived with some snacks, and the phone was blinking like crazy.  There were five calls from Jim and John wanting to know where we were.  Allie called the guys and told them that we would meet them in the dining room.

We bypassed any pre-dinner formalities, got dressed and went directly to the dining room.  Allie did insist that we have a picture with everyone in it, much to the chagrin of some of our friends.  Dr. Roberts was the most vociferous complainer.  "But Allie, you said I needed to lose weight."

"Dr. Roberts, this is the before picture.  We'll take the after picture after we get you on The Biggest Loser Show."

Khalid looked at Allie, "Allie, that wasn't a very nice thing to say."

Kate was laughing, "Mr. Khalid, that's a popular reality show where they see who can lose the most weight.  There is no way that Dr. Roberts could win, because he isn't heavy enough.  You gotta weigh a lot more than he does to even compete."

About half way through dinner, Allie looked at the clock, "I have to go get ready for the show.  I'll see everyone, in the suite, after the show."

It was as if he were a genie; he disappeared.  Needless to say, no one was going to miss the show.  When we arrived at the theatre, it was already almost filled and we had to find seats apart.  I guess the word had gotten out that there was a special treat tonight.  The theme of the show was to be songs from the movies.

I was sitting with Kate and she looked at me, "Dad, has fallen in love with Allie, so you'd better watch out.  Dad never comes to these shows except at the beginning and end of the cruise."

She was interrupted by Alan coming on stage, "Ladies and gentlemen, Captain Brower is here to welcome you tonight."

Captain Brower came out from the side, "Ladies and gentlemen, we have made history today with the capture of two more villains.  Hopefully, the remainder of our voyage will go smoothly.  I understand that we are in for a special treat tonight and I, for one, do not plan to miss it.  Here is our cast with a modified production of Hits from the Movies.  Hit it maestro."

Captain Brower sat down in his seat, next to Mr. Michaels and his wife, and Mrs.Brower.  The show started and it was like any other show except the cast seemed more enthusiastic than when we saw them the first time they performed.  After a production number opening, the lights went down and the orchestra was playing a medley of movie tunes, When the lights came up, Allie was sitting on a stool in the middle of the stage, dressed in lederhosen, and the cast members were seated around him.

"Look, boys and girls, we gotta do this right to please this discriminating audience.  Listen to me as I sing so we can make the ship bounce and roll."

Allie started to sing The Sound of Music.  When the members of the cast joined in.  It was an exciting experience. 

Allie didn't appear again until just as the show was ending.  He came out in a Bedouin outfit with a Teddy Bear and sang The Teddy Bear Lullaby, in Arabic, and then sang it in English while the cast pretended to go to sleep.  After the applause, the entire cast stood around Allie as he shed his Bedouin robes for the finale and he led them in singing So Long, Farewell until he was the only person on stage.

When Allie disappeared into the floor, singing the final goodnight, and the curtain came down, the entire audience was standing and applauding.

The curtain went up for the curtain call and two of the guys had Allie on their shoulders.  He waved to the audience

We went to the suite to await Allie's return and Jim and John were already waiting.  Jim asked, "Where's Allie?"

Brahim answered, "Probably getting into trouble."

We were sitting, waiting for Allie to return, when the door opened.  Allie looked around, "Good, everyone's dressed.  Come on.  Everyone, this is Lars and Liv.  Their from Norway and have volunteered to show us around Oslo tomorrow, since that's where Lars' home is.  Liv is from Bergen so she'll be able to show us around when we get there.  We're going to go to the Lido restaurant and get something to eat, since I didn't eat very much dinner.  Come on, Jim and John."

"Lars and Liv, I'll introduce these people to you tomorrow.  I can't remember their names right, because I'm too hungry."

The three young guys left and Uncle Tom laughed, "Talk about resilience.  That would be the only word that I can think of that would describe Master Allie.  Let's go to the lounge and have a nightcap."

We went to the Starlight Lounge and had a drink and some of us danced several dances before we returned to the suite.  When we got there, the three guys were eating their desserts.  Allie looked at me, "Dad, I need a wig and some dark glasses so people don't recognize me."

Jim giggled, "Well, you could always just stay in the suite for the rest of the trip."

Amir shook his head, no, "That's not an option.  I'd get cabin fever if I had to stay in the cabin and guard Allie."

John scowled, "Why would you need to stay in the cabin and guard him?  You people are more than just friends, aren't you?"

Khalid answered, "Yes, Jim and John, we are, but please don't tell anyone.  We have come to love Allie, Brahim and Mr. Waller very much.  We are trying to ensure that they get home to the United States safely.  We think the three of them are safe now, but we still aren't going to take any chances."

Jim and John nodded.  Jim spoke for the guys, "We aren't going to tell anyone what we know or you'd probably have us locked up.  We heard what happened at the pool today and Allie hasn't said one word about it.  He never really tells us anything.  I guess he's afraid that if he would tell us everything that is happening, we would worry."

I felt as if I needed to say something because Allie was looking at me, "Jim and John, your guesses are correct.  Allie, just doesn't want to have anyone hurt.  It is better that you know as little as possible; that way, the people who are trying to hurt Allie, Brahim and me won't start trying to hurt you too.  Now I suggest that you three get yourselves ready for bed since our tour director has scheduled us for a tour of Oslo, tomorrow."

Allie reacted, "Dad, be nice to your only son."

Editor's Notes:

I liked this chapter very much. I just hope that everyone gets home safely.

I, for one, will not stop worrying about Allie and the others, at least until they get safely home.  I can't help but worry that there are still people out there who want to cause harm to them.  I have a friend who lives in Norway, and I have found out a lot of interesting things about that part of the world.  It really is a beautiful place to live.  Someday, if I ever get the chance, I would love to visit there.

E Walk also brought back some wonderful memories for me from my childhood, a few chapters ago when he mentioned Copenhagen.  When I was in the third grade, We had a wonderful teacher who's name was Miss Boone. One day she brought an album to class to let us hear some songs by Danny Kaye, from the Movie, "Hans Christian Anderson". She had been teaching about some of his stories, like the Ugly Duckling, which I very much identified with, since I looked so different than all the other kids, being an Albino and all, My skin was so pale and I couldn't go out and stay in the sun, or I would get really badly sunburned, so during recess, I often stayed inside and either read or listened to some music.  The day she brought the Hans Christian Anderson album to class, we sat there and listened to the whole album, and I totally fell in love with the song Wonderful Wonderful Copenhagen. Miss Boone let me borrow the album and I took it home and just about drove my parents crazy by playing it over and over.  

I pestered my parents to take me to see the movie.  I loved it, however, I learned that the music in the movie was different than what was on the album. 

That was one of my first lessons in being able to tell which version of music was right and which was wrong.  I'll go off on that tangent some other time. 

Darn, I can't help but worry that I already went off on this tangent, before.  That's what happens to us old farts when we start driving down memory lane; we get lost, and we won't ever ask for directions, any more than we would think of reading an instruction book.  See, I can go off on a tangent about a tangent, even when my tangent was from back in another chapter. So sue me!  

Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher