THE NEXT STEP (41)

‘Come and sit down with us’, Darky gave a wave towards some more soft cushions placed on the floor. ‘I have enough beers here for all of us.’

Ted looked at Laura who nodded slowly. What harm could there be in having a beer with the guys before going back to bed? She sat down next to Ted and took the beer that Darky handed to her.

‘We thought that you were up to no good’, Ted admitted as they were all comfortably sipping on their beers. ‘But still, you are not allowed to bring strangers into the building and certainly not in the middle of the night.’ Ted gave Darky a stern look.

‘I know, I know’, Darky said dismissively. ‘It’s just this once for today and then tomorrow we will find them a proper shelter for the coming nights.’

‘Okay, I won’t tell anyone then’, Ted agreed. ‘As long as I don’t see you doing anything similar again and as long as you do such things for a good cause.’ He nodded at the guys who were quietly sitting following the exchange and sipping their beers.

‘Thanks, I appreciate that’, Darky said with a warm voice, which made both Laura and Ted feel slightly guilty. Here they were doubting Darky and suspecting that he was up to no good when in fact he had been helping homeless people all along.

‘But, Darky, there is something else’, Laura said after a short companionable silence. She looked at Ted for approval who nodded his agreement. ‘Didn’t you take the big golden Buddha statues from the reception area and sell them at the market?’

Darky shifted slightly on his cushion and looked down at his hands. ‘Yes. I thought that no one had noticed or knew what had happened to them.’ He looked at Ted and then at Laura searchingly. ‘Even the money that I got from them, I gave to the homeless. That is why I did it. Right, guys?’

The two men nodded eagerly. This is odd, Laura thought. Could it really be that Darky was doing all this for the homeless, even if it still meant that he was sneaking around behind other people’s backs and stealing goods from others?

All of a sudden, the door opened with a bang and startled them all.

‘Oh there you are’, Annie said and rushed to Laura. ‘I was worried about what happened to you. I thought that maybe you were not feeling well or something, and felt like I had to come and check up on you.’

Then Annie turned around and looked at all the men sitting around the room.

‘Is this some kind of a midnight gathering that I have not been informed of?’

‘You could say that’, Darky said and a slow smile spread across his face. ‘Come and sit down here on this cushion next to me and I will crack open a beer for you too.’

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Author: Buna School of Music

New music academy and teacher training centre in Kampala, Uganda. For more information, please see: www.https://bunaschoolofmusic.wordpress.com/

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