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He tried placing himself on her situation. On the way to school, the car she was on crashed and she fell unconscious. When she woke up, people told her that her brother died and now the world has change. She probably hasn't accepted the reality and most probably still denying the possibility, but was losing hope everyday.
Then, she met someone who looked exactly like her brother. She probably thought that these people were lying to her and now being reminded and proven that that person is different from his brother, she finally accepted the truth.
Jun ignored her and faced Chairman Sarah instead.
"How did you defend this place?" said Jun, "This place is huge and from what I saw, your tanod's weren't properly armed."
Chairman Sarah drank some water before answering his question.
"I think you already know the answer since you were able to survive for this long. All of my tanod's have already leveled up, gaining access to a mystical storage. Every weapon they have is placed inside their dimensional storage." replied Chairman Sarah.
"Well, its good that you're safe. Its always nice to chat with acquaintances." said Jun.
"I can relate a bit, but since I have my secretary and tanods to accompany me with, I'm doing fine. By the way, I haven't seen you're father. Is he around somewhere? You left him at home again?" said Chairman Sarah.
"Nah, the old man died. I guess its too painful for him to live, so he gave up." said Jun.
He was reminded of every old person he met after the world changed. All kinds of old people, on all paths of life were seen around his community; carpenters, masons, smiths, farmers and more variations the longer they searched. But his father died while perfectly fine, enclosed at his room.
"I'm sorry to hear that, I really do. It's too bad that your family got struck by too many misfortunes. I heard of what happened to your father. He's a good man, a good friend and a good father. Ooooh! I'm really scared of politics. Too many things could happen in one wrong move."
Chairman Sarah opened a wrapper and took a bite from the chocolate cupcake inside it.
"Mhhmmm!! This is good. You should try it." she said while pointing exaggeratedly at the small cupcakes on the table. When she noticed that Jun wasn't responding, she smiled wryly, then decided to put the cupcakes down on the table.
"People always said that being talkative is good when you're running for government positions, so I tried and I succeeded. But even after doing everything that I could to impress the ma.s.ses, I never won when I ran for mayor. My oppositions never told me where my fault lies while my allies never look for whatever I lacked. They would always tell me that the opposition was just luckier. Heh, I never believed what they said." she grabbed the gla.s.s of water and drank it all. Afterwards, she placed the gla.s.s down and said, "Do you know why I'm friends with your father? Because he doesn't talk s.h.i.t and always gets to the point! No bulls.h.i.ts! We're both talkative and can't stand injustices. Do you know what that means?"
"People don't like you and powerful people won't like you." answered Jun.
"Correct! That's the exact same reason why I'm still a lowly Barangay Chairman while you're father reported the mayor for corruption! I'm talkative and he's a righteous man." said Chairman Sarah.
Jun frowned upon hearing her narrative. Chairman Sarah noticed his expression and instantly covered her mouth. Afterwards, she removed her hand and chuckled, "I guess he didn't tell you. After all this years. He's a really tough guy. He bore all the problems and never involved his family. He's idealistic and quite futuristic. You should see his designs, they're fascinating."
Jun tried comapring his father's image in his head towards the person being described by his Aunt Sarah. No matter how he chose to relate the two, it never clicked! But maybe, she was right. At some point in his life, he felt that his father was the best. Someone who could achieve his dreams while helping those in his surroundings to achieve theirs.
A flash of memory rekindled in his head. That day, that early morning. His father's last smile.
"I-Is this true?"
Chairman Sarah noticed Jun's cheeks that already had tears dripping down. She raised her hand wanting to hug him and support him, but retracted her hand in the end.
"Uhh... well... as far as I know, yes. I just heard it from a friend in the munic.i.p.al office, but never confirmed it. I never had the power to confirm it. But the source was reliable. Wait!! You aren't thinking of confronting the mayor, right?! Everyone knows that he's not good. Its like an open-secret. But people still like him because there's no one else suitable as mayor, right? You just need to calm down and relax. Besides, people like us can't do anything to him. He has a lot of people on his side."
Jun could still here his Aunt Sarah speaking, but everything was becoming a blur. Tears didn't stop flowing down from his eyes and a surprised image of a girl, looking straight at him from the opposite chair, was getting clearer every time he wiped it. He then raised his head and looked up the ceiling to prevent further tears to come down.
Just then, several knocks came from the door and a tanod came in followed by Adrian. The tanod strode towards them and ignored Jun and Jennie who were sitting on his sides.
"Chairman! We've cleared J.P. Rizal Avenue and its immediate vicinity. I'm reporting here since everyone's dimensional storages were already full." reported the capped man.
"There's eleven of you and you're saying that its full already? Wait a minute... it's not even half an hour when you left, but you're saying that everyone's storage is full!? Did you loot the convenience store?!" said Chairman Sarah.
"Yes, Chairman. We bulldozed the highway and not one could stop us. Those masked men were great warriors! I saw some of them outside the door too! And they have this sword, a very sharp one. It can slice any zombies in one strike!" the tanod breathed out, then tried catching his breath after his long speech.
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Chairman Sarah turned to Jun and looked at him in wonder. She saw a crying man and was reminded of a smiling teenager whom she had more memories of. She tried guessing what this man was capable of, but her eyes wouldn't be able to help her.
Adrian who stayed back finally noticed that Jun was in the room. He walked forward and smiled, "Were you crying?"
Jun's breathing calmed down after hearing a familiar voice. He closed his eyes and slowly breathe in. When he opened his eyes, he saw Adrian smirking at him.
When Jun calmed down, Chairman Sarah finally took her chance to speak with him. Privately this time. Jennie and Linda were brought out by Adrian and the tanod, leaving the two of them alone.
"I know that what I said earlier was some big news for you, but to be honest, I have no way to prove if it was true. The only thing that I know for sure, is that bad things started to happen when your dad reported the mayor for corruption."
After a few more explanations, Chairman Sarah finally came to her real motives. "Earlier this morning, our watchmen reported that new people were coming. As the Chairman, I welcomed them. They introduced themselves as people of Black Haven. I thought of them as weirdo's, but they offered to help us in clearing the surrounding. With the risk of increasing zombies everyday, I had to risk it and accept their help. But now, it turns out that they'er good people... So, my question is, do you know their higher ups? It seems like you're quite close with their Captain, so you know." she chuckles, "...maybe you could introduce me, so we could get some help."
Jun smiled. "Okay, I'll say some good words. You lack weapons?"
Chairman Sarah said. "Not really lack... but actually, yeah... we do. You see, we have two groups of power that live here. One is the barangay officials consisting of me, my secretary and tanods while the other is the mayor's son, Henry. He took refuge here with a couple of bodyguards and they're the people who holds most of the gun. They have five guns and never gave us one. Most of my tanods only have baton and bolo for self-defense since they are not required to be armed with guns. We survived mostly by scavenging at night since its much safer, but its not enough. We're running low on food and the orchard can't sustain all of us."
"Henry is the name of the mayor's son?"