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

Chapter Thirty-Six: Hurricanes are Coming

Allie knocked on the door at seven thirty, "Dad and Bra, the other guys are still asleep.  I'm going to let them sleep since they won't have anything to do for a while.  Brahim and I need to be at practice with Mrs. Dawkins at nine.  I'll go check on the Generals and Grandpa Darryl and Uncle Tom to see what they're going to do while you get ready for breakfast."

When Brahim and I entered the living room Allie was sitting between Amir and Khalid.  He was saying, "Sometimes I guess I get carried away.  I forget that not everyone is as open and free as Dad, Bra and you two are. I hope I didn't upset Tran and Kim's Dad and Mr. Yates last night."

Khalid hugged Allie, "Allie, I don't think the gentlemen were upset.  In fact, I think you maybe helped them realize that they could be even better parents.  Just continue to be the neat young man that you are.  Now let's go eat.  I'm starved."

Brahim announced our presence, "Me too.  Are Grandpa Darryl and Uncle Tom going to go with us?"

Allie laughed, "Nope, they're going to sit on their veranda and watch the world go while they eat a decadent breakfast that they ordered from room service."

When we arrived in the dining room, the only people in our area were Mrs. Dawkins and Mr. Yates.  Jacob looked at us, "Is everyone else picketing the dining room?"

Allie complained, "No, everyone's probably being lazy.  There's a certain individual who won't permit the rest of us to be lazy, right Mrs. Dawkins."

Mrs. Dawkins scowled, "Watch it, kid, or you will be doing a show every night."

Allie wasn't about to let her get the best of him, "My dear lady, the audience is going to get very tired of going to the theatre for a two minute show.  That's all the longer the shows can be, because I have to go to the bathroom every two minutes."

Mrs. Dawkins was laughing, "Allie, my dear young man, that's easy to fix.  We just have to find some diapers big enough to fit you.  But I'm not going to be the person responsible for changing them."

"Dad, make Mrs. Dawkins stop being mean to me.  Jacob, I'll have the recommended special breakfast today."

Mrs. Dawkins looked at Jacob, "I'll have what he's having.  That way, if Allie doesn't keel over, I'll know it is safe to eat it."

After two guys and Mrs. Dawkins had departed, Cal Yates commented, "Ed, your son is something else.  He doesn't care who he takes on.  I can hardly wait to see what happens when he meets the President."

It was nearly eleven thirty when my guys resurfaced.  I was sitting on the veranda and the waves seemed to be getting a little bigger.  I heard, "Dad, have you seen the other guys?"

"Nope, I haven't seen them all morning."

Allie sat down beside me, "Dad, is it just me or is there more movement on the ship than there has been?"

"Allie, I was sitting here thinking the same thing.  I guess maybe it's because we are approaching the coast of Greenland."

Allie stood, "Come on; let's go to the dining room.  If the guys are going to resurface, they'll meet us there.  Besides, I'm hungry."

We had our full complement of people for lunch, so it was a fun time until Alan came to the table.  Brahim and Allie, we need to have you do your show tonight.  The sea is going to be too rough for the cast to do the show that they were going to put on tonight.  It has a lot of dancing and movement in it.  The orchestra and the people who were watching you rehearse this morning said you have already done a lot of work on your next show.  Please say you will do it!"

Allie looked at me and he had tears in his eyes.  He answered, "Mr. Alan, I really don't feel ready and I really want to see Prince Christian Sound with the icebergs and glaciers.  This may be the only chance I'll ever have to see something like this."

Mrs. Dawkins interrupted, "Guys, you can do a terrific show for the guests with just what we practiced this morning.  I have one other song that I want you to sing for your encore."

Allie looked at Brahim, "Bra, it's your call.  You're the singer in the family."

Brahim looked at me, and I shrugged my shoulders, "Brahim, it's up to you two guys."

Brahim looked at Alan, "Alan, we'll do it, but you people need to give us, especially Allie, some breathing space.  After all, he is only ten, even though he acts much older.  He needs time to be a boy, kid or whatever."

Kate leaned over to me and whispered, "I'm glad to see Brahim put these people in their places.  You have two special young men there."

We were finishing our lunch when Alan came on the intercom. "Ladies and gentlemen, we will be entering Prince Christian Sound at approximately two o'clock.  Because of the high seas, we have had to change the show for tonight.  Instead of the cast performing the 'Best of Broadway', the Safi brothers have agreed to do a special show for you entitled, 'See the USA'." 

There was a round of applause from the people who were in the dining room.  Mrs. Dawkins looked at her watch, "Guys, we have time to go practice the last song before we enter the Sound.  Let's go do it now."

The guys were gone again.  I was sitting on my veranda with Khalid, Amir, Darryl and Uncle Tom.  The swell was definitely getting higher.  It was almost two o'clock when Allie and Brahim returned and joined us on the veranda.  When they stepped onto the veranda, Allie shivered, "It's definitely getting colder.  I'm going to go put on a sweater."

That seemed like the sensible thing to do, so we all did the same thing.  It wasn't long before we were joined by a number of the people in our party including the other four boys since our suite was located in the perfect position to see the scenery.  Allie was enthralled with the icebergs separating from the glacier or calving, as someone was describing the action from the bridge. 

At five thirty, Allie announced, "Brahim, we need to get our tuxedoes ready, so we can jump into them after we eat dinner.  I need to take a shower.  I feel a little sweaty after the way we worked today.  We'll see the rest of you at dinner."

Everyone left and I went into the bedroom with Brahim, "Are you guys going to be okay?"

"We'll be fine.  I just wish people would not expect so much of Allie.  He wants so much to do a good job.  Ed, go let Allie know you love him, no matter what happens, while I take a shower.  You can make me suffer for being bossy after the show tonight."

I snickered, "Promises, promises."

I did as I had been told to do; Allie was just coming out of his bathroom naked, of course.  "Do you need something, Dad?"

I sat down on his bed, "Nope, I just came in to tell you I love you and I always will, no matter what happens tonight.  Just do the best you can do, and have fun doing it.  You don't need to be perfect because no one will notice if you're not."

Allie sat down on my lap even though he was still wet, "Dad, thanks for telling me.  I love you and I want you and Brahim to be proud of me."

I pulled him against me, "Allie, we're already proud of you.  You have demonstrated that you are special and as Brahim said today, You need time to be a brat like everyone else."

Allie started to laugh, "But Daddy, I don't want to be like anyone else.  I want to be who I am."

I pulled Allie close and hugged him, "Allie, that's why you are so special.  You're one of a kind, and I doubt very much if there will ever be anyone else like you.  I guess I need to go change clothes for dinner, since I seem to be a little wet."

Allie sighed, "I'm sorry you went to the bathroom in your clothes.  You better go check on Bra to make sure he didn't jump overboard.  Dad, thanks for reminding me that you do love me, because I love you too."

When I returned to the bedroom, Brahim looked at me, "What the matter little Eddie did you have an accident and go to the bathroom in your clothes?"

"You're really going to get your butt punished tonight.  You're not only bossy, but you're downright mean."

Brahim started to undress me, "That's all I ever get is threats and more threats.  Now get ready for dinner."

We were about ready to go to the dining room when Darryl came in through the veranda door, "Guys, Tommy and I won't be joining you for dinner tonight.  Tommy isn't feeling very well."

Allie looked at Darryl. "Did he eat something that didn't agree with him?"

Darryl shook his head, "I think it's called mal de mar."

Allie looked confused, "What does mal de mar mean.  Is it something you eat?"

Amir hugged Allie, "I think what Grandpa Darryl was saying is that Uncle Tom is suffering from sea sickness."

Darryl added, "We'll watch your show on television.  I sure don't want to miss it."

I looked at Allie and he had a glint in his eye and I could almost hear the cogs working.  He was plotting something.  When we were seated, Allie looked at Mrs. Dawkins, "Mrs. Dawkins, I regret to inform you that I will be unable to perform tonight.  I'm suffering from mal de mar."

Mrs. Dawkins didn't react, "That's okay, I have just the perfect remedy for mal de mar.  Ed, take Mr. Alexander out and give him five lashes with your belt.  He'll be so sore that he'll forget that he has mal de mar.  It's a good thing that he'll be standing during the show tonight though."

Allie put his head on the table and pretended to sob, "See guys, everybody hates me."

Jacob and Carlos were laughing as they handed us the menus.  Jacob suggested, "You might consider the special for tonight.  It is called the Safi Brothers Delight."

That caused both Allie and Brahim to look at the menu.  Allie reacted first, "It's about time we get some real food around here.  I'll have four of the specials.  That way I'll be so stuffed that I won't be able to perform tonight."

Jacob noted, "Allie will have one of the special Safi Delights for dinner.  We'll hold the other three as ransom until after he does the show tonight."

Everyone else had the Safi Delight as well, and it was very good.  I noticed that many of the other diners in the dining room were also having the same thing.  As we were finishing eating, Philippe approached the table, "The Chef wanted to meet the two young men who inspired this menu.  This our Head Chef Giuseppe Vittolo."

Allie went to the gentleman, "Sir, I'm Allie Safi and my brother, Brahim, is seated there next to my Dad, Mr. Waller.  Brahim and I wish to thank you for making this special food in honor of us.  It was excellent and was exactly like something we might have had in Algeria."

Allie hugged the gentleman, "Sorry we can't visit, but we need to go get ready for tonight's show."

The two guys left and while everyone else was finishing dinner.  The public address system came on, "The Safi Brothers have a fabulous show for you in the theatre tonight.  It will begin in approximately thirty minutes."

That was a signal for the rest of us to leave for the theatre so we would be able to get good seats.  I don't know why we bothered, because we had two rows of seats reserved for us.  I was seated between Mrs. Dawkins and Kate.

At the appointed time, Alan appeared at the side of the stage, "Ladies and gentlemen, it gives me the greatest of pleasure to present the Safi Brothers.  These two very talented young men were able to put this show together for you tonight on very short notice.  So get ready for your trip across the USA."

The curtain went up and Allie appeared. He looked as if he was in a car, "Ladies and gentlemen, get ready to join us on our trip across the USA."  He started to sing 'See the USA In Our Cheverolet.'  As he finished singing he announced, "Brahim is ready to get us started at our point of departure. So get ready to go."

Brahim started to sing 'New York New York' and that was the start of our trip across America.  The guys skillfully sang their way across the United States that included stops in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Kokomo Indiana, and Chicago, Illinois.  The next stop was Allie singing 'Meet Me In Saint Louis' followed by Brahim singing 'Kansas City Here I Come.'

They made a stop at the Continental Divide with Allie singing 'Rocky Mountain High.'  Brahim took us to San Francisco by singing 'I Left My Heart In San Francisco.  The guys started the return trip across the United States with stops in Albuquerque, Amarillo, and San Antonio.

As Brahim was finishing the 'The Rose of San Antonio', the spotlight switched to Allie, 'Ladies and gentlemen, that's as far as we got on our trip around the USA.  We do have one last song to remind us of our journey tonight."

Brahim joined Allie in the middle of the stage and the two guys sang 'America the Beautiful'.

The curtain descended just as the ship must have hit a big wave because we felt the ship rising and falling.  That didn't deter the audience from standing and applauding until the curtain opened again. 

This time it was Brahim who spoke, "Ladies and gentlemen, Allie and I truly appreciate your applause.  We have only prepared one more song for tonight and it will tell where we are headed."

The music started and the guys sang 'Houston.'  Again the audience was standing when Captain Brower appeared.

He took the microphone that was handed to him, "Ladies and gentlemen, all I can say is WOW.  These two young men, with the help of Mrs. Dawkins, have done it again.  Let's give them another big hand.

After the applause had died down, Captain Brower started to speak again. "I have some important news to announce.  We are going to need to change the itinerary for this voyage.  There are two tropical storms along the east coast of the United States and Canada.  We have been advised to stay as far away as possible.  We have changed course and are now heading toward a two night stay in Bermuda, and then we will be heading to Nassau so that we can avoid the turbulence of the two storms.  We will still be arriving in Fort-Lauderdale at the scheduled time."

"The rough turbulence should subside tonight, about two o'clock.  I apologize to those of you who were looking forward to visiting Canada, but the company is more concerned about your safety than adhering to a strict schedule.  Enjoy the rest of your evening.  Here's Alan."

Alan took over, "Ladies and gentlemen, we found out about the change in the itinerary just before Brahim and Allie went on tonight.  The staff is busy working on getting the plans for the rest of the trip together.  We will be working into the wee hours, tonight, to make sure that you have an enjoyable trip.  Before I say goodnight, I have a question for you.  How many of you would like to see the Safi Brothers back again?"

The audience was applauding and Allie came back onto the stage and shaking his hands up and down with his thumbs pointed downward.  Alan turned to Allie, "Too bad, Allie, you were outvoted.  Ladies and gentlemen, these talented young men will be back at least one or two more times."

When we got to the suite, Dr. Roberts was sitting with his arms around Allie and Brahim, "Guys, you were absolutely wonderful."

Allie changed the subject, "How's Uncle Tom feeling?"

"I think he's feeling better.  When I left the cabin, he was asleep.  Hopefully he won't wake up before the ocean calms down.  I'm glad that we're going to Bermuda.  I've always wanted to go there.  I understand that they have some wonderful beaches."

Allie asked, "They aren't nude beaches are they?"

Darryl shrugged his shoulders, "I don't know.  I guess we'll just have to find out for ourselves."

Allie stood and started to take off his tuxedo in front of everyone.  "Guys, I'm starved.  It's hard standing up there singing all night.  I need to go eat.   Dad, are you and the other adults going with us? You can always have a beer or wine in the Lido restaurant and watch us eat. I don't think you will be able to do any dancing tonight."

Editor's Notes:

I do believe that any dancing being done while the ship is moving about like that would really have to be rock and roll.

When I was in high school, way back In the olden daze, I played in the school orchestra.  One of the songs we had to play at every recital was called "Over The Waves."  I wonder if the orchestra on board ship played that one.  I know that if I put my mind to it, I could come up with lots of water or ship or ocean related songs,

There is Rockin' Rollin' Ocean, Thanks To The Rolling Sea, Sea Cruise, Sea Of Love, and many more, but hey, maybe next time I will think of some more.

Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher