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    CLJobe
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Salvation - 43. Chapter 42

“Alex, I need your help”

I told him about my idea. He said he would help, and he would get Sal to help as well. We decided on the Brooklyn Zoo, and we would take five boys at a time. We put the boy’s name in a hat. Maria pulled the names.

The first group that went were very excited, and I was glad that Alex and Sal were with me as well as Peter. We must have taken several pictures of each boy with an animal. The petting zoo was a laugh. The boys were afraid at first until a baby goat came and butted one in the seat of his pants. Then it was fun, the boys laughed, and as you would expect, I heard, “Dad, can we get one.”

We ate at the zoo cafeteria, which was interesting. The food had animal names; bananas were monkey fruit, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches were elephant delights, and so on. The kids laughed, they ate, and the hugs we got were very special. Of course, we had to get souvenirs.

When we got home, the kids couldn’t stop talking. The following day, the next group went. We continued until all of the boys had their trip to the zoo and returned with a souvenir. A noticed a difference in the atmosphere; they had something to talk about.

We decided that the next trip would be to the museum.

I worked on my UN presentation. I had slides made of the newspaper clippings, the picture of my lost son, the picture of his monument, and the photo of the assailant. I still didn’t know my lost son’s name, but the agency said they were working on it.

The night before the presentation, I had a private presentation after the boys had gone to bed, except Jon and David, I wanted their input. I went through the presentation, showing the slides. I couldn’t hold it together, and when I showed his grave, I broke down.

Everyone left. I was standing there crying when I felt an arm around my shoulder. “It’s okay, Dad. Let them tears out, tomorrow you’re going to see a lot of tears, but they won’t be yours alone.”

I looked at Jon. He was crying as well. “That could have been any of us. I was able to fight my way out, but the other boys weren’t. You got them out, so let the tears fall for those who didn’t make it and let the anger come out for those who didn’t stop it when they could’ve.”

I hugged him, ‘Thanks Jon, I think you may have found your career.”

We walked back to the house. He had his arm around my shoulder; that’s when I realized how tall he is and how short I am. Leading to my room, “Good night Dad. Sleep in peace, you’re going to wow them tomorrow.”

I didn’t sleep in peace. My thoughts were of my lost son and my failure. I heard, “You didn’t fail. Look at what you have done.”

I woke, and Alex was sitting on my bed. “Carleton, you have turned something horrible into good. Now you need your sleep, I’m going to stay here.”

I did fall into a deep sleep, and when I awoke in the morning, Alex was asleep in my chair.

I took my shower dressed for the UN meeting. When I came out of the bathroom, Alex was gone. I knew where I would find him in the kitchen.

The boys all came and hugged me, this was unusual, and I knew someone must have said something to them. Charlie and Vasily crawled on my lap, “Dad, we love you.”

That did it; the tears came again. I use my napkin to hide them; breakfast was very quiet this morning. Maria refilled my cup. “You need to say something to these boys.”

“What could I say?”

“Say thanks for their support.”

I looked at Alex, for their support wasn’t enough. “I know you are aware I’m going to address the United Nations this morning concerning child prostitution. I need your hugs to be able to do this, and your smiles. I love each one of you, I’m your father, and I couldn’t be more proud. God has blessed me in so many ways, but the best way is being here with you and you being here with me. Now we need to show our brothers and Maria we appreciate them making breakfast for us. Let’s eat.”

I saw smiles, and then I heard ever so faintly, amen.

On the drive to the UN, everyone was quiet. Alex and Sal were going as my support. Just as we were about to pull out of the driveway, Peter stopped the car, the door open, and Jon jumped in. I smiled as I was glad to see him. He whispered, “Just in case you need a hug.”

I looked at him and hugged him.

When we arrived, we were shown into a room that had coffee and doughnuts. “Mr. Jeffries, this is Roger, he’ll help you with your presentation. I understand that you have some slides as part of your presentation?”

“Yes, and I have copies of my presentation. I understand they needed to be given to interpreters. I have marked the spot where a slide is to be shown. They are numbered.”

Then I sat down with my coffee. I hoped I wouldn’t break down as I did last night.

We waited for about an hour, and the doughnuts were almost gone, thanks to Alex. I definitely need to get him to a doctor. “Mr. Jeffries, if you follow me, I’ll take you to the hall where you’ll deliver your speech.” As I rose to follow him, my bodyguards followed me as well.

Standing at the podium, I looked over the crowd. I was surprised to see Alex’s father and the other members of that group I met in The Hague. They smiled at me as I was introduced.

I thanked the UN for giving me a chance to make this presentation. I began slowly; the first slide came up behind me. My mind went someplace else as I continued to read from my presentation. Somewhere I stopped and looked at the audience. I saw tears, I saw disgust, and unbelievably I saw humor. There was no humor in my presentation. Those men who inwardly laughed were the culprits who thought that this wasn’t wrong. I noticed where they sat. I’ll never forget their face or the placard in front of them.

I turned and saw my last slide. The tears threatened; the applause brought me back. Jon patted me on my back, “Good job, Dad.”

I was led off the stage, Alex’s dad came and shook my hand. “You did an excellent job, but I knew you would. The slides added another dimension to this problem.”

The other men from The Hague came and shook my hand. Those who laughed said it was an excellent staged presentation, but they don’t believe it. I saw Jon, he was getting angry, “Jon, forget it, they aren’t worth it. We’ll get them in the end, you’ll see.”

Prophetic words, of course, I didn’t know that at the time.

Copyright © 2020 CLJobe; All Rights Reserved.
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27 minutes ago, Kev said:

I love that guy... I'm in trouble as I'm falling in love with too many of the characters in your story. I now want my own Jon... Talk about Carleton missing him when he's at college, I think we all will. I want those that were laughing to be hung by the nuts and hung out to dry... Loving the story my friend... Thank you :)

 

Thanks, I appreciate your support. Don't worry about the laughing , those men will feel the pinch soon. Carleton won't be the only one missing Jon

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Great chapter, the presentation was great, the idiots who laughed are I hope going to get their just rewards, Jon is going to be really be missed

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Even if  those men(and I use the term loosely)are ignorant or cynical about Carleton's presentation there still isn't anything remotely funny about that.Can't wait to see what you got planned.I bet you the men from The Hague was plenty p*****d off those are powerful guys you don't want mad at you.So no goat eh?They don't have room for another kid?(So sorry for the awful pun)

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9 minutes ago, Chris L said:

HOLY CRAP!!! I was bawling and wasn't even personally at the UN for the presentation!!!

You are a writers most desirous reader. Next chapter going up in 5 minutes

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He fed the Kids at the Zoo Cafeteria. Wow! He really must be rich. I know, a Home for 30plus with a Pool, Orchard, Conservatory, Basketball Court, Soon To Be Gym, Limo, Plane, etc. But he fed his Kids at the Zoo Cafeteria! And. And, the food must have been alright. Amazing...

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On 12/1/2020 at 10:46 AM, Tonyr said:

I love getting even. Pay back is a.......gas(?)😉

😀

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8 hours ago, Buz said:

He fed the Kids at the Zoo Cafeteria. Wow! He really must be rich. I know, a Home for 30plus with a Pool, Orchard, Conservatory, Basketball Court, Soon To Be Gym, Limo, Plane, etc. But he fed his Kids at the Zoo Cafeteria! And. And, the food must have been alright. Amazing...

I have eaten at a zoo cafetereis , it isn't gourmet but it's standard kids food, hotdogs, hamburgers, peanut jelly sandwiches.

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16 hours ago, CLJobe said:

I have eaten at a zoo cafetereis , it isn't gourmet but it's standard kids food, hotdogs, hamburgers, peanut jelly sandwiches.

The last time I ate at a Zoo Cafeteria was Taronga Zoo in Sydney. The food was not great and expensive as. Not that I have been to alot of Zoos, but their Cafeterias seem to be the same to me. Way over-priced (like way WAY over) and blah.

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9 hours ago, Buz said:

The last time I ate at a Zoo Cafeteria was Taronga Zoo in Sydney. The food was not great and expensive as. Not that I have been to alot of Zoos, but their Cafeterias seem to be the same to me. Way over-priced (like way WAY over) and blah.

Be glad they don't serve you what they serve the animals. On the other hand, maybe they think that all of the visitors are animals. I will give you that they aren't gourmet. And everything at a zoo is expensive, animals eat free and their food can be expensive, someone has to pay. 

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