Chapter 9 : Pleading for Life (Part 2)

"Good afternoon," Mrs. Avena greeted the guard of General Cleofas' office.

"Good afternoon, ma'am. What can I do for you?" he asked.

"We want to talk to General Cleofas. May we?" 

"I'm sorry, but those who are allowed to talk to the General are higher person only or those with permission from them."

I moved closer to the guard. "Here is the permission letter that Madam Principal gave to us," I said while showing him the permission letter.

He gets the letter from my hand and opened it. His eyes are scrutinizing the letter. His index finger is pointing the paper and his eyes are following it. 

"Okay. I'll just ask the assistant of thr general. I'll be back," the guard said before going inside of the office. 

The three of us sit on the long chair nearby. I think that asking thr assistant of the General will be just for a short span of time but since we are tired from walking, we need to get some rest too. 

"I'm getting more nervous," Mrs. Cambri said out of nowhere.

"Just believe that we can save your son, Mrs. Just pray," Mrs. Avena replied. "The destiny of her son is in your hands, Casy. I know that you can do it," she added.

"Can I?" I asked, doubting myself and my abilities.

"You can. Just believe in yourself and don't get distracted by the general's aura and stare. You'll get blank if you let those things control you," she advised.

"The general is that scary, huh?" I asked.

"Yup. I'd seen him for only one time but I can say that his aura is too dark and heavy for me," she replied.

"Can you describe him more specifically?" I suggested. "I want to know him more. With that, I will know what to do and what to say to him. Maybe that can help me," I added.

"Hmm, let me think," she looks above and started blinking her eyes rapidly. "The general is short tempered." 

"He doesn't like long talks. I remember when I first saw him, he lets his officers to explain why they failed to capture the criminal, but for only three minutes. I bet he will also do that to you," she explained. 

"Oh my god," I exclaimed. "How can I explain everything with just 3 minutes? Or shorter? That's too short for me."

"Of course you can find a way to do that. You're a teacher, Casy," she replied.

"Okay. Enough with that. Another description of him?"

"As far as I can remember, the older ones said that General Cleofas is really not listening to the explanation of others," she said.

"Huh? If that's so then how can I guarantee that he will listen to me?" 

"I don't know. Getting his attention, maybe? I'm not sure."

I looked away to stare at the blank space nearby. Because of what Mrs. Avena said, I'm now pretty sure that I will have a hard time explaining to General Cleofas. I'm not sure if I can do it, but the life of my student is in this matter. I must do something.

"By the way, I'm sure that General Cleofas will try to distract you while you're explaining. So try not to answer his questions especially if it's not related to what you are saying," Mrs. Avena reminded. 

"Thank you," I expressed my gratitude.

"Oh, the guard is already here," Mrs. Avena said while looking at the gate of the office. 

We stood up and walk towards him. I hope they will allow us to talk to the general.

"You're lucky. The assistant allowee you to talk to General Cleofas. Please go inside and move fast. They might change their mind," the guard said. He lets us enter and shows us the way to General Cleofas' office.

"Please enter this way," he said while holding the door open for us. "By the way, this is your permission letter. Show this to General Cleofas," he said as he handed the permission letter to me.

"Thank you," I replied.

"That's nothing. Just do your best so that you can save the child's life."

"How did you know?" Mrs. Cambri asked.

"I'm sorry for crossing on your privacy but I read the permission letter before showing it to the assistant. I know that's prohibited," he apologized. 

"It's okay. You know, there's nothing wrong about that," I replied.

"Thank you. I hope General Cleofas will be considerate this time," he said before leaving us inside the office and closing the door.

I looked at our back and saw a fat man sitting and eating donuts. His table has several bunches of papers but the dirt that came from the donuts are also scattered on it. There are also many caps of bottles above the table. On the floor, there are spilled juices and crushed foods.

Eew. Disgusting.

"Who are you? What are you doing here?" the general talked even if there are foods inside his mouth. Some portions of the foods he is chewing were thrown out while he is speaking.

I feel like I'm going to vomit because of the disgusting things I'm seeing now, but that won't help.

"General, they are the ones that I'm saying to you earlier. They are here to defend the young man we arrested last week, Angelo Cambri," the assistant saud to the general.

"Defend him? Why would you do that? That's idiotic!" he shouted before taking another bite from his donut.

I feel that Mrs. Cambri was about to shout back to him, but I stopped her.

"Calm down, Mrs. Cambri. We might lose the chance to explain to him if you became disrespectful," I said.

"But he is the one who's disrespectful," she replied.

"Just calm down. Let me talk to him."

I turned my sight to the General. I make a small cough first to clear my throat. 

"General, I will be the one who will defend the student," I started talking. 

"And who are you? Are you his kin?" General Cleofas asked.

"I'm Calliope Sydney Fryxell, Mathematics Teacher from Felghana National High School. And no, I'm not his kin. I'm just his subject teacher," I answered.

"Then why are you here, defending that idiot? Huh?" 

"It's my responsibility to ensure the safety of my students. And also, a news came to me that the capturing you made was unfair," I replied. 

"Okay. I'm giving you three minutes to convice me. If you are able to do that, then I'll let that student free, but if not, you're sorry but we have to execute him," he said before bursting out an evil petrifying laugh that reaches every corner of the room.

"You may start now," the assistant clicks something and a timer was projected on the walls of the room.

"The news that came to me said that the Capital's police arrested Angelo Cambri because someone reported him of being a gay, but that is just an accusation. The police department never made the needed process to validate that report. The Capital's police arrested the student without showing any valid proof that supports their accusations-"

"You look beautiful today, Ms. Calliope," General Cleofas cut off my words. But I didn't bother to answer that. I continue on explaining.

"Usually, the Capital's police must show their warrant of arrest that came from the Minister. From the Minister only, not from the Minister's son. But it is obvious that you don't have any warrant of arrest since the Minister is not here to study the report," I stopped talking for s while for my throat hurts. I don't know why this is happening. Why this time when I supposed to have a strong throat to talk to the general?

"Another point is that the only thing that you are holding is the report someone. Don't you think that this someone might be lying and just making false accusations? That someone can be one of the student's enemy and it is trying to smash the student's life by doing that thing. Again, you didn't make a process. You didn't investigate thoroughly. All that you did is just t-" my words were cut off when a loud noise of ringing clock disturbed me.

"Okay. You're time is up," the general said while having a smile, but that smile is not good to see. 

What? That fast? Did they cheat the timer? 

"After hearing your explanation, my decision is," he stopped talking and swallow the donut he is chewing earlier. "No. We will not let the student escape. I'm not convinced."

"What? You're unbelievable!" Mrs. Cambri shouted.

"How dare you to say 'after hearing your explanation' when you didn't really listen to her at first! You fat-ass!" Mrs. Avena exclaimed, for she can't manage her anger anymore.

"I can't believe you. My arguments are strong! How come that I didn't convince you?" I asked.

"Well, lady, I don't care about process, evidence, or warrant of arrest you are saying. As long as the Minister is not here, I am the boss, and I can do whatever I want," the general said and then laughed. "Leave," he said while pointing the door.

"We will not leave this place unless you changed your decision!" I exclaimed.

"Can't you understand my point, lady? No matter how hard you explain and defend that student, you will never in a million years be able to convince me! Now, leave!" 

"We won't!" I was about to run to the general when a police pointed his gun to me. Okay. Dead end.

"Shout at the general once more and your brain will explode," the police warned me.

We were forced to leave the office. Before they can close the door, I take the last look at the general.

"You don't deserve your position," I said in my mind.

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