He used his cigarette butt to light the new cigarette and drew a deep puff, then coughed violently letting out a nasty streak of profanity as he walked away from the table and stood by the bar.. poured himself a drink, smashing the empty glass into the floor… All his three companions laughed at him,
“you smoked a whole pack in the last half hour. What are you trying to do.. kill yourself ?” asked Rand still laughing.
“it is this frickin luck.. I shall never play poker again.” Answered Boris coughing violently.
“you say this every time Bore.. what do you expect … sometimes you win, sometimes you lose… it is poker, you know” responded Kerry throwing his arms in the air.
“sometimes you win and sometimes you lose.. heh… except in my case it is sometimes you lose and other times you lose some more.. unless one of you chums is cheating.. or maybe all of you are cheating stupid old Bore…” Boris answered pointing his cigarette at Kerry with glaring red eyes.
“Now wait a minute Bore.. don’t you go saying such stupid things just because you lost a few thousand Dollars .. nobody forced you to play .. you continued to play even when Rand here suggested you slow down ..” said Patel, habitually shaking his head.
“what do you call it when I change three cards, and get back the same… the same goddam three cards, not just once, but four times in a row.. what do you call that? Tell me.” screamed Boris
“It happens to the best of us.. when you have a bad day anything can happen.” Answered Kerry.
“The last hand I had a full house.… a full house .. and I lost..” Boris complained again.
“Sorry body, but Patel had a stronger full house.. you are playing poker, not a kindergarten game.” Answered Rand with a chuckle ..
Boris stormed out of the room angrily.
A few days later, Boris was walking in the mall with a smile, mumbling to himself, when he heard a small voice speaking sarcastically,
“this guy seems to be a loony cuckoo…” the child’s voice giggled..
He looked around to see the “cuckoo” and heard the child giggle much louder.. finally his eyes spotted the boy looking straight at him… He was surprised.. and gradually his face turned from surprise to anger..
“who are you calling cuckoo little sh…?” he blurted trying to locate a parent and finding none..
“you were talking to yourself.. weren’t you? You were smiling and walking like …” the boy said and started to giggle again imitating Boris…
“I just won some money, if you like to know ..” Boris said triumphantly and found a bench near the artificial fountain where he sat looking adoringly at his lottery ticket.
“Really?” the boy came to sit next to him, “how much did you win?”
Boris looked at him like a teacher who was about to give him a lesson,
“I won ninety Bucks”
“Wow… what are you going to do with it?” asked the boy anxiously.
“probably buy more lottery tickets..” Boris answered without looking at him..
“eh… how many tickets did you buy already?” the child asked again.
“what is this? An inquest? You almost sound like my wife?” Boris replied angrily.
“sorry.. I just think ______” the boy started, when Boris interrupted, almost absent mindedly.
“I bought a hundred and thirty one Dollars worth of tickets…” he mumbled…
The boy exploded laughing… which roused Boris from his contemplative mood..
“what is so funny? what are you laughing at?” he roared.
The child could not answer right away… trying to control his laughter, he finally managed to spit the words…
“you spent … a hundred and … thirty one in order to… win ninety bucks.. and you are so proud of yourself?” he continued to laugh, while Boris closed his eyes and puckered his lips. Then the little boy controlled himself and tapped his shoulder,
“listen mister.. I have a much better deal for you… just give me twenty Bucks, I shall give you back another fifteen.. that may be a greater win for you ..” the nasty boy fell back laughing again.
“I may have to knock your smarty head right here, you little schmuck.” Sneered Boris.
“listen mister… you seem to have a few screws loose in your head..” the boy said sarcastically, “I think you should see a shrink or something”
“screws in the head.. where did you learn to talk like that, you little piece of crap?” snapped a furious Boris.
“My Mom used to tell me this when I made a stupid mistake and beat the hell out of me so I never had to do it again.. I bet your mom never did the same!!” the child got up and started laughing again.. and before Boris could lay his hand on him he ran away and disappeared among the shoppers/ while Boris mumbled to himself,
“your mom told you.. yayaya… moms don’t know nothing..”
Two weeks later, Boris was sunning himself on the deck of his boat, when he heard his wife yelling from the bedroom below and pouring a long list of unsavory descriptions of her husband, ending it with the usual threat,
“Boris you useless animal, I am going to kill you one of those days.”
He smiled to himself sheepishly and thought,
“Oh silly.. she must have seen the computer… I forgot to exit the page.. ” he gnashed his teeth.
Shortly she came up on deck and stood right in his face,
“we were supposed to take a boat trip to be away from all that betting crap… yet somehow you find a way to connect to your poison .. just how did you do it?.. have you gone totally insane.. you cannot let one day go by without losing more of our money..” she roared.
“No woman.. I am just a genius.. you should be proud of me.” He said waving his hand for her to come sit next to him, which infuriated her even more..
“I give up.. I give up.. this must end.. we must get back now, and I shall find a lawyer or something… I don’t have to kill you, I shall have to dump you.. yes, that is it.. dump you like a sack of dirt..” she screamed, and as she walked away, she continued under her breath, “genius, he says.. genius my foot… losing half our money in six month … the genius”
Boris did not have to wait for long before he was served with the divorce papers. He made a serious effort to persuade his wife to give up the effort to “dump him” promising that he would give up gambling altogether, but she had already made up her mind. In a few short months, he was kicked out of the house and burdened with a hefty alimony after having to give up almost half of everything he owned.. or thought he owned, because no sooner did the divorce problems were settled, the tax man found his way to his bank account after an anonymous tip. Suddenly he lost control of the business he inherited from his father, and found himself practically penniless … thereby, in a short overwhelming year he moved from being an wealthy heir of a million Dollar business, to a destitute vagrant and outcast. He tried contacting several of his poker pals but none of them would even want to meet him. Finally he remembered, Cyril, a friend of his father who used to visit the family in the hay days of the past. He knocked on his door on a Friday evening, and after a slight hesitation the man’s wife allowed him in, and went to fetch her husband.
“Boris, how are you? It’s been a long time?” the bashful gentleman walked into the room reaching out to shake his hand, “I have not seen you since… oh, since your good old man passed away.”
“Yeah.. hello Mr. Cyril, good to see you.” Boris answered in a barely audible voice.
After they were seated and the good wife offered biscuits and coffee, she left the room and Cyril spoke casually with a smile,
“it is quite a serious transformation Boris… what happened in your young life.”
“Yes sir. I guess by now you .. I mean everybody knows what went on this last year… it is a bit of bad luck I suppose..” Boris started to say his prepared narrative, when Cyril gently interrupted,
“A bit of bad luck? Or a gross mismanagement…” the old man tried to correct him gently.
Boris stayed silent for a few moments, then slowly said,
“May be a .. little bit of both..” Boris was impenitent.
Cyril gave him a sharp look which made him feel scared while quietly saying,
“No, Boris.. it is not…” he closed his eyes and continued, “what would you call a doctor who writes a prescription without examining the patient and diagnosing the disease?”
“so, are you going to help me?” answered Boris impatiently.
“Boris .. what kind of help do you expect me to give you? .. give you some money? Give you a loan? .. well, I am not a charity and I am not a bank.. and even those organizations would not give you anything before they examine your credentials and find you qualified … so tell me… if you were the person in charge would you find somebody like yourself qualified?” Cyril was calm and sympathetic, though Boris could not see it this way. A long uncomfortable silence followed .. then like a man in a trance, Boris jumped out of his seat at last and walked erratically towards the door, he stopped… then he walked back and started to speak incoherently,
“when I had the money, everybody wanted to be my friend, now that I have nothing, everybody has become a philosopher at my expense.”
“you are really an insufferable child..” Cyril said angrily, “you don’t even deserve pity anymore.”
Boris tried to speak again with his eyes looking past his host, but the words came out jumbled. Cyril would have none of it so, for the first time he raised his voice slightly and commanded,
“sit back down and listen, for the sake of your good father I am going to say this once .. and only once.. sit down.”
The wretched guy fell back into his chair and did not dare look at the old man.
Cyril stood up and started pacing the floor.. then he spoke without looking at Boris,
“while your poor father worked himself in the business to death, you were spending your time in the casinos and gambling joints.. you ran a hefty debt, gambling with other people’s money. You almost ended up in jail.. remember that?” he stopped and then approached his guest who was staring at the carpet like a mad man… He stood over him and continued, “your father died leaving you a fortune, and a successful business which was the envy of the whole community.. what did you do with this great break? You wasted it .. you wasted your father’s life work … ”
“it is the divorce_____” Boris tried fretfully to interrupt, but Cyril would not let him..
“who are you trying to fool.. if not for your stupid addiction even your marriage would have been saved. you see, this is the main problem.. you cannot find a cure of any disease, unless you first admit that you are sick and seek the treatment…no, let me finish.. because you cannot diagnose your own sickness.. a sick person, even a sick physician, will always need somebody else to examine him, diagnose the case and prescribe the treatment.”
“and you think you are that somebody else? .. that one who would diagnose and treat my sickness?” Boris replied mockingly.
Cyril did not answer him. He shook his head sadly … turned around and went back to sit down… finally he said in a low voice, more or else speaking to himself,
“It seems to me at this stage… you need more than that… you need divine intervention..”
After a long silence, Boris stood up and walked slowly towards the door without looking at his host. Before he opened the door, Cyril asked gently,
“I see you are still driving your Mercedes?”
Boris hesitated for a moment and answered while opening the door,
“I am supposed to hand over the keys of the house on Monday, but I’ll keep the car.”
“I know you refused to take the job Jeremiah offered to give you.. the offer still stands” Cyril said following him outside the door.
“There are too many strings attached to his offer.. treating me like a teenager delinquent.” Boris replied indignantly.
“May be you should reconsider.. after all, you are behaving like a delinquent teenager? Cyril said as he let him outside the front door, and watched him walk to his car.
It was getting dark as Boris sat for a while in the car thinking. He was fuming with anger and despair trying desperately to find a way out of his dilemma, until he heard a knock on the car window,
“Are you OK sir?” Cyril’s servant asked politely.
“Yes I am, why do you ask?” Boris asked arrogantly.
“You have been sitting in the car for the past half hour.. Mr. Cyril was wondering if you have car trouble?” the servant explained.
“No car trouble..” Boris answered and started the engine.
He drove off not knowing where to go… and gradually all kinds of wild scenarios began to creep into his confused mind.. he did not realize that his speed was increasing until he found himself on the highway… that is not where he wanted to go … next thing he was completely unnerved as he almost crashed into a motorcyclist.. he had to swerve sharply to the right, which forced him into a dark exit … he kept going for a while, hoping to find a way back.. but the road was extremely winding and narrow.. soon, he realized he was driving on a mountainous dirt road, he never saw before. To his left side was a steep rocky drop, while on his right was the solid mountain side. He got so furious with himself, he pushed the gas pedal in a fit of irrational insanity. He could hear the tumultuous crashing of the sea waves below, as the car rolled out of control down the sharply sloping mountainside, banging his head against the side .. the air bag almost took his breath away, while the seat belt felt like cutting him into pieces. After a seemingly endless tumble, The car finally stopped rolling when it got wedged at what felt like the bottom between a huge boulder and the side of the mountain. He was unconscious for a few minutes… then he opened his eyes and began to feel the intense pain in his whole body, as if it was completely disjointed.. it was dark and all he could hear was the frightful roaring of the sea waves against the rocky shore nearby.. he started to scream at the top of his lungs until he fainted again.
The sun was up when he came to.. he looked through the smashed wind shield to see some bent metal within inches of his face.. despite his severe pain, he knew that no bones were broken.. after an exhaustive effort, he succeeded to free himself from the seat belt and the air bag, pulling himself out of the car from the passenger side.. even now, he could not understand the miraculous way he escaped a certain death with only some wounds and bruises. He saw that the ledge where the car landed was about ten feet wide, beyond which there was a sharp drop for a few yards .. the sea had receded away exposing almost fifty feet of a rocky shore below … the rusty wreckage of a vehicle was resting down near the edge of the water.. he walked in the direction where the ledge was descending to the level of the shore beneath.. the place was desolate and completely devoid of life.. he checked his cell phone to find that it was hopelessly broken, yet without thinking, instead of throwing it away, he put it back in his pocket. He sat down gazing at the endless vastness of the ocean before him.. Is this how it all ends for him? He used to like the ocean.. the cruises .. the fishing trips.. surfing and swimming, and the ocean-side casinos by night.. he never thought the ocean would be so grim and horrible.. he wondered about the occupants of that rusted vehicle .. were they lucky enough to die in the crash, or like him, they survived the fall, only to expect suffering a slow painful and miserable death. He got up and went to examine the wreck.. there were some human bones inside. Then a shocking thought hit him suddenly.. “this means that this place is so remote and out of reach, nobody cared to check for survivors” he thought, looking at the height from which he had fallen.
A deep feeling of foreboding squeezed his heart.. he looked up to heavens and screamed, “why am I so doomed?… why?” he fell down sobbing and crying until he fainted again.
When he regained consciousness, he felt thirsty.. it was already late afternoon.. he remembered that he had a few water bottles in the car, and he walked unsteadily to fetch it.. he never thought he’d be so happy at the sight of a water bottle before. As he gulped the water hungrily, he had to stop himself half way,
“I don’t know if I shall find any more water.” He thought. The three water bottles he found were like his treasure now. He found nothing to eat anywhere.
Boris decided to walk along the rocky beach in search of some habitable spot. He was mindful that by the time of the evening tide, the sea will creep up again and cover a large portion of the area where could walk, so he was trying to find some higher grounds.. with mixed emotions he suddenly fell upon what appeared to be a cave or a recess in the side of the mountain which was almost as high as the ledge where his car settled. He climbed up and got in gingerly.. it turned out to be like a long passage. He kept walking in and realized that it was sloping down slowly and led to a wider cave, part of which was well lighted by an opening in the rocky wall.. he looked around until he found another extension of the passage on the other side of the cave .. he decided to fall back to reach the safety of the car, because he did not know how the tide would flood this place..
After a very troubled night of intermittent sleep and endless nightmares, the rising sun woke him up.. he got out of the car and looked around, almost hoping that it was all a long horrible dream and that he would suddenly find everything somehow different and back to “normal” again… but normal has become the reality of a remote shore, away from all life as he knew it, without any resource for survival. Some of his wounds were becoming very painful and he felt sick, and very hungry.. yet there was no alternative to exploring the place to find some way out.
He stumbled back to the cave and ventured into the other side of the passage.. shortly he found it opened into a large open area of higher grounds, with some trees at the distance and several uneven rocky elevations.. it looked promising, or at least it may be a better alternative to sleeping in the car. He tore off part of his sleeve and placed it far from the water edge on a higher elevation of the ground to check how far the tide would go, before drudging back to the car.. on his way he stopped to rest inside the cave, the light angle was changing, and a strange bright area caught his attention..
As soon as he approached he was mesmerized by what he saw… for a few seconds he stood there motionless.. then he fell on his knees and screamed agonizingly, “I am dying of hunger, and a hungry man cannot eat gold..” he wept bitterly as he scooped the gold coins and let it fall though his fingers.. there was enough gold to fill a bank depository..
His trip back the following morning to the beach area where he left his sleeve, was very slow and much more difficult as his strength was waning and he felt like dying.. he was running out of water and knew that the end was at hand.. he reached his destination by late afternoon, the cloth was dry, so he sat next to it completely exhausted .. and shortly he fell into a feverish stupor imagining various phantoms in every direction.. he eventually felt the water gently and repeatedly touch his feet and then recede again.. it was already evening.. he pulled himself further up on the rock, while his eyes caught two black sea monsters emerge from the water and start to approach him… he was scared out of his wits and began screaming frantically until he fainted.
Boris opened his eyes to see the unclear figures of three large people standing over him against a bright light in a small space. He heard humming, and sea waves and confusing noises, yet the headache splitting his head was so bad, he had to close his eyes moaning and groaning until he fell unconscious again.
When he woke up at last, he was alone in a bed.. inside a tiny cabin. Hearing the sea waves and whirring of an engine all around.. he could not pull himself up.. so he fell back in bed.. and his mind returned to wandering… soon the door was opened, and a tall man entered,
“hey welcome back from the dead Lazarus.” The stranger proclaimed, “Hey guys, he is awake.”
Two more people crowded the small cabin, talking all at once.. and one of them brought some soup and started to stuff it into his mouth almost forcibly.
“what is your name stranger?” one man’s voice said
“how did you get to that place ?” another man asked
“How do you feel now?” a woman’s voice asked.
They were all speaking at the same time and repeating their questions until finally the voice of the woman declared,
“stop you guys, please stop.” She pushed away the person with the soup, and said, “both of you, get out.. let me talk to him.” she shut the door of the cabin and returned to sit next to him with a big smile.
“How do you feel?”
“Alive?” he answered slowly with a face exuding disbelief ..
“Thank God, you are alive indeed.. you have been seriously sick.. if we did not have the antibiotics on board, we would not be able to save your life.”
After a few moments of silence, Boris relaxed and asked,
“who is Lazarus?”
She laughed gently,
“you have never been to Sunday school?” she answered.
“My mother used to take me there, but as soon as she left, I would run out to play cards with the fellows.” He said reflectively.
“well.. if you stayed to hear what they said, you would know that Lazarus was a friend of Jesus who got sick and died.. then Jesus brought him back to life.”
Boris seemed to get lost in thoughts for a while.. until the woman gently touched his face,
“Hello there… you seem to travel a little far away.. ” she said gently
“My mother used to say ‘Boris is a good son, he shall return back one day’ and my father would chuckle and answer her ‘yeah, when he dies like Lazarus’ and I never understood that tense exchange every time they talked about me” a dreamy Boris was talking to himself.
” it seems you gave them a hard time.. by the way my name is Karen.. ?” she said.
“Oh, I am sorry.. my name is Boris… thank you Karen. And.. I mean.. where am I?” he said struggling to sit in bed ..
“you are in our boat.” Karen answered helping him..
“How did I get here?” he asked.
“the question is how did you get to that horrible place where we found you? Did your boat capsize?” she exclaimed.
“I walked..” he replied raising his eyebrows.
She laughed gently,
“Please.. don’t go back to this hallucination again.. you were at the bottom of a cliff in the ocean .. an impossible remote place. The only possible way to reach it… is a boat that must have been smashed against the rocks, cannot you remember anything?” she said gently squeezing his hand as an encouragement.
“Ahhhh … yeah.. I remember.. I walked before .. before the tide covered the passage way.” He said innocently.
She looked puzzled… then the door was opened again, and a young man pushed his head inside,
“did you find out how he ate gold and walked on water?” he laughed at his own joke.
“get out Paul.. this is serious please.” Karen said firmly.
When Paul left, Boris asked,
“what does he mean?”
“this is Paul my son… he is always taking things on the funny side.. when you were feverish, you kept repeating ‘I am hungry and cannot eat gold’ you were hallucinating and it was clear that you went through some horrible ordeal.”
The door opened again, and an older man stepped in,
“OK, Karen we have to prepare for the next dive. Also, Peeto is here and maybe it is a good time to get him to meet his new guest.” He talked like a man in charge.
“this is my husband Daniel. Danny, meet Boris” Karen said
“Hello Boris, glad to see you survived your nightmare… for a few days we thought you weren’t going to make it. ” Daniel answered and left.
“I have to go. We shall talk some more later, OK?” she stood up and left, leaving the door open.
Shortly Paul came back with a shirtless native and ushered him into the cabin.
“Hello, I am Peeto and Karen tells me your name is Boris?” the young man asked cheerfully.
“Yeah. What_____?” Boris started to speak when Peeto interrupted.
“you shall come and spend some time with me in the village, while our friends go for their next dive.. you think you can walk? Or you want me to carry you?” Peeto asked with a wide smile.
“I think you can help me walk?” Boris said, making an effort to get out of the bed.
Boris spent three days in the wooden hut that belonged to Peeto’s family, during which he gradually developed a bonding with the young native. Peeto, was a sincere, jovial character, with no care in the world. By the third day, Boris was able to walk out on his own, and even though he could not communicate with the other natives, he felt that they were friendly and generous towards him. Peeto explained that Daniel’s family taught him how to speak the language as they came several times to the island in their salvage trips. They were looking for the wreckage of a ship which sank many years ago transporting a load of gold and provisions. Karen was a physician who joined her husband and her son with three other assistants in their efforts. On the morning of the fourth day, Boris accompanied Peeto on his small fishing boat out to sea.
“this is their fourth trip to our island because they believe according to the papers they have that the ship sunk around this part of the sea.” Peeto explained.
“Peeto, how big is your island? I mean.. are there other villages? I mean.. .. how do I say that? .. do you have telephones? Or televisions.. or.. I mean..” Boris stopped
“you mean things like what they have on Daniel’s ship?” Peeto asked.
“Yeahhhh…” Boris answered merrily, “exactly.. anything like that?”
“No sir. You see.. understand? People simple. We all do fishing, and some of us plant some food, and we have some animals .. many years ago, some strangers bring us some animals.. chickens, sheep and pigs.. we share everything.. is good.. this is good.. yeah?” Peeto said.
“Yeah.. Peeto.. this is very good.. no need for lottery, or poker…. Or computer betting..” Boris replied like a man day dreaming.
“What?.. what is that?” Peeto asked curiously.
“Never mind man.. I never thought I’d see the day when I remember all that with disdain and disgust.. it is like I have indeed died and returned back to life.” Boris said with tears running down his face… he somehow felt a sudden warmth overcome his whole being.. he whispered to himself, “boy, I love this place!”
“No.. you sad.. why?” peeto was surprised to see the man cry.
A week went by, before Daniel and his family returned to the island. They were pleased to see Boris become a member of the village community. He even picked up some native words to communicate with the people. That evening they invited him to have dinner with them on their boat.
“I love this place, and I love these people..” Boris said
“does that mean you are not going to try to leave .. to get back home?” Daniel wondered.
“home?” Boris reflected, “home.. well.. back there I was rich.. I lived in luxury, and never needed a thing in my life.. yet, I never lived a single happy day like the days I spent here on this island… I was hated .. and I hated everyone.. the only human being who loved me, was my mother.. and I let her down .. I really broke her heart.. my father used to say, ‘you are our only son and you have become our cross’ .. and the last time he said that to me before he died, I so audaciously answered, ‘how could you say that.. I never put nails into your hands’.. I was drunk.. dead drunk.”
There was silence for a while.. until Paul tried to reduce the tension in the room..
“Ok, Boris .. you did not tell us how you used to eat gold.” He cracked up laughing.
“Paul please.. this is not nice.” Karen chided him.
“Never mind Karen..” Boris said gently, ” the truth is, I think I know where to find the cargo of the ship you are looking for.”
They all exchanged a suspicious sarcastic look..
“you don’t even know what ship we are trying to salvage.” Daniel said with a smile.
“do you have any idea about the place where you found me?” Boris asked.
Again they exchanged a silent look.
“I guess what I am asking is … can you get me back there?” Boris asked again.
“you are serious?” Karen asked with a face betraying doubt.
“Yes I am serious.. ” Boris answered, “you took it for granted that I arrived there in a boat that capsized in a storm.. you never gave me a chance to explain how I got there.. And yes.. I walked on that passage before it was flooded.. maybe that is why in my delirium I said I walked on water.”
Young Paul jumped out of his chair and went to grab Boris’s arm.
“You are serious.. ” Paul demanded, “speak man, speak.”
“Paul please mind your manners.” Karen again rebuked her son.
“I lost control of my car and rolled down the cliff.. it is an uneven side of the mountain… at some part it is a sheer drop and in other parts, it is more like a rough rocky slope.. the short story is that I survived the fall.. I explored the place hoping to find a way out.. there was a ledge leading to a cave where your gold cargo is sitting waiting for you.” Boris spoke quietly and unemotionally.
His shocked audience remained silent for a while.. then Daniel pointed his finger at Boris saying,
“Our … gold cargo?”
“it is waiting to be claimed..” Boris answered.
“Boris.. you realize that .. if … what you say is true.. you can wait.. go back home, find yourself a crew and sail back here to claim the find.” Karen said inquisitively.
“I must admit.. this crossed my mind.. but .. how do I know the crew I bring back will not stab me in the back as soon as they have a chance after collecting the gold?.. I am not a sea expert like you guys.. besides you have saved my life.. I feel like I owe it to you.. I love it here.. I don’t ever want to go back there again. And you are the salvage people.. you spent almost two years searching for this, albeit you were looking in all the wrong places.. the ship seems to have been sunk by pirates and not by storm as reported.”
After another long silence, Daniel finally said,
“so.. are you sure if we can take you back to that spot, you shall be able to retrace your way back to that cave?”
“Positive..” a smiling Boris answered.
After a long silence .. Daniel put down his drink and pointed to his son,
“Paul, do we still have a copy of those pictures we sent for that movie crew?” he asked, “are they still on the card or you have erased them..”
“I believe I still have them, but I don’t know where I put this card after I removed it from the camera.” Answered the son.
“you gave it to me Paul,” Karen replied, ” I do have it.” She turned to Boris to explain,
“You see Boris.. while we were planning for this trip, Daniel was introduced to a movie producer who knew about our expedition.. he asked if we could help him find a good location to shoot some of the marine footage for his film which would fit their script ..”
“Actually, if not for this, we would not have gone to that area where we found you..” Daniel added, “we have explored the whole side of the mountain in our first trip last year.. thinking that the ship might have been smashed against the rocks by the storm. Of course we found nothing.. so we never thought we would return there again”
“But Dad, that is miles and miles long..” Paul noted.
“yes, yes.. however if Boris takes a look at those pictures, he might be able to narrow the possible choices we have to check.” Responded the father..
They all moved to the control room, and Karen inserted the SD card into the computer slot. They went through the images one by one … and Daniel pointed out to the pictures, the movie producer seemed to like for his footage. They went through the whole set of pictures twice without much progress.. they felt discouraged at the possibility that it might be necessary to scan the area again physically.. finally Karen asked that they should try one last time..
Half way into the sequence.. Boris asked Paul to stop.. and zoom in to check some detail.. there..
“there…” Boris said breathlessly, “this is the spot.”
“how do you know?” Paul asked anxiously.
“you see this spot.. you shot this image during day light.. this black spot.. is my Mercedes.” Boris said cheerfully, “I was focusing on the spot where you picked me up.. but this is much more clear.. this is about two or three miles from the cave which should be in this direction…”
“that make it south of this spot..” Daniel explained.
“the point where you picked me up must be another mile or so further south then.” Boris added.
“this is where we should try .. the spot where your car landed, is almost like a death trap.. it has a large number of submerged wreckage ..” Karen observed.
“that is true.. frankly it is amazing how your car had been stopped in that place on the side of the mountain when so many other vehicles had been crashed all the way down” Paul noticed.
“there is a huge boulder that pinned the car against the rocks ..” a dreamy Boris explained.
“wow.. even if you try to point it to that particular boulder, you couldn’t do it again.. what are the odds.. cannot you see?” Paul exclaimed.
“I need to go back to my car .. please.” Boris appealed to Daniel.
“it’s not going to be easy.. why is that important?” Karen asked.
“I want to retrieve a gift from my mother.. a small Bible, she placed it in the glove compartment herself saying that it would protect me someday.. I made fun of her.. and never bothered to open it or read it of course.” Boris answered with wet eyes.
It was almost a year later, when Boris was digging a canal for irrigation in the corn field, when he was pleasantly surprised to see Daniel and Karen at the distance. He hurriedly stopped his work and went to greet them…
Shortly, they were all seated in what Boris dubbed the “Porch” of his newly build wooden hut. They were served fresh mango juice ..
“this mango .. juice.. should be served with spoons Boris..” Daniel joked and they all laughed as Paul joined them.
“How is life in the stone age Boris?” Paul mused.
“Trust me .. it is much better than the disgusting hate and greed of the so called civilized world.. don’t get me wrong.. it is challenging.. at some points it becomes .. well.. difficult.. but it is nothing to compare with the cut throat mad world I left behind.” Boris said enthusiastically.
“No regrets..?” Karen wondered.
“Non whatsoever..” Boris answered.
“Well.. the modern world is catching up with you anyway.. we have some of the stuff you asked for.. and I hope it shall be satisfactory.” Daniel said.
“to tell you the truth, I never expected to see you again.. I don’t mean you would ignore it or forget it .. no, but I realize the reality of the life back there.. you must have gone through hell in the legal system and different challenges for your find… I understand..” Boris replied.
“this is true.. but finally it was all settled.. and by the way.. remember the film producer who asked us to help him find locations for his movie.?” Karen remarked.
“Yeah.. what about him?” Boris asked.
“Well.. he wants to make a movie about you.” Paul said and roared laughing.
“Stop it Paul..” chided Karen,
“He was approached to make a documentary for a TV network about the find,” explained Daniel,” and was wondering if you would agree to participate in this production.. of course he offered a generous amount of money, but I explained to him that you would probably be more interested in practical provisions for the island”
“that sounds good..” Boris answered laughing, “my wife cannot claim any part of these provisions as it will belong to the island.”
“your ex-wife.. Boris.. she got in touch with us.. and we learned that she is now married to a guy who has taken charge of your business ‘pending your return’..” Karen explained.
Boris roared laughing..
“I feel sorry for the poor man..” he laughed until tears started to flow down his face… when he finally calmed down, he asked wiping his face with the back of his hand,
“Well my friends.. what do you have for me… did you get the Bibles..?”
“Yes.. we have the medical supplies.. the school supplies, including a two dozen Bibles..” Karen answered.
“and we added a small gift of our own to the island.. some solar powered farm equipment..” added Daniel.
“so you don’t have to work like a mule all day Mr. Lazarus.” Paul added.
Boris looked around his friends fondly.. stood up with tears now flooding his eyes and face again,
“I never thought I’d deserve a bunch of friends as good and honest as you guys.. and as the beautiful people in this blessed place..” Boris spoke passionately, ” but here I am.. the first lesson for those people here will be the Lazarus story .. to read and to write .. and learn what I had to learn the hard way.. the very hard way.”