• CHAPTER TWELVE: The Most Beautiful Day For A Celebration

    It is the most beautiful day in Monrovia. The sun is shining on a small crowd of military officers, civilians and dignitaries on the airfield right outside Dexter's office.  The crowd has gathered to celebrate the completion of the Mandela Liberty Transcontinental Highway. Today is the ribbon cutting ceremony.

    Dexter is looking out of his window onto the airfield.  He reaches in his desk drawer and pulls out a metal lock box. He takes a seat at his desk, swivels his back to the door to continue looking outside, places the box in his lap and runs his hand over it. He reaches in the drawer again and pulls out a small flask of whisky. He opens the flask and takes a quick swig, cringing at the sting and burn of the swallow.

         "Big guy like you...flinch like that...that's gotta be gasoline in that flask."
    Dexter is startled. He swings his chair around to find Jamison standing in the doorway.
         "Hello Dex. Shouldn't you wait until AFTER the ceremony to have a strong, stiff one?"

    Dexter just looks at Jamison.  Jamison continues,
         "Oh wow. I'm sorry...that...that came out wrong. I just meant..."
         "What do you want? What are you..."
         "...doing here? Wow. All that before, 'Hello Jamison. How's my little brother doing? Congrats on your promotion."
         "Promotion? Really? You call destroying..."
         "Oh no...not you too. I've been doing this with you guys for the last month. I was really hoping I had an ally in you. I mean...you have an ally in me."

    Dexter pausing to maintain control over his temper, he chuckles,
         "Jamison...what are you doing here?"
    Jamison answers confidently...nearly cocky actually,
         "I'm uhhh...I'm USA Corp at this shindig. I am the face of the largest, most important corporation on planet Earth.  I am the face of the company and the country who will bring money and wealth to the entire CONTINENT of Africa. I am USA and I am Corporation.  I'm am here to cut the ribbon on this highway and deliver the Motherland to freedom and prosperity."
         "You're an idiot."
         "And you're finished here."

    Dexter looks confused. Jamison takes a small black card box out of his jacket pocket.
         "This, my loving brother, is your...wait for it...wait for it...your Dracel Card. You'll need it when you go back home."
         "When I go back home? I'm stationed here until..."
         "Until now.  All US military have been released from duty here. This is not just a ribbon cutting ceremony. The USA Corp is going to announce the changing of the guard, so to speak. The troops are going home and there will be a TRUE celebration here today."

    Dexter is completely stunned and thrown off guard. He turns and takes another look out his window on to the field towards the festivities.
         "And who will take our place? The people here aren't ready to take over the security, the check points, the tolls, the..."
         "The USA Corp will be..."
         "Dex, the ceremony is about to..."

    Sgt. Baker enters the office without knocking, interrupting the brothers with his intrusion.  Jamison gives a long look at Sgt. Baker.  He smiles slightly and then turns his attention to Dexter.  Sgt. Baker instantly realizes his misstep and quickly tries to recover,
         "My apologies sir. Major Dracel, you are requested to be present on the field as the ceremony is about to begin."
    Sgt. Baker turns to Jamison,
         "I'm sorry, Mr. Dracel. I did not mean to interrupt your conversation. That was rude of me to have..."
         "No worries..."
         "...Sgt. Baker."
         "Yes, no worries at all, Sgt. Baker.  But I do have one question...for you, Sgt. Baker.  Do you always address your commanding officers by their first name...Sgt. Baker?"

    Sgt. Baker looks nervously at Dexter and then back to Jamison,
         "Sir, in a moment of excitement I..."
         "Sgt. Baker, thank you. I will be out shortly."
    Knowing he has been saved, Sgt. Baker exhales a sigh of relief,
         "Yes sir."

    Sgt. Baker leaves.  Jamison is standing next to the door with a smug grin on his face.  He stares directly at Dexter, who finds it difficult to keep his focus on Jamison.  Jamison continues,
         "I'm not going to ask. I'm fairly certain you're not going to tell."
         "Get out."
         "Brother, I'm just trying to side with you."
         "Get. Out."
         "Besides, he seems nice..."
         "GET OUT!"

    The final shout echoes through the room and into the hallway and then a restful quiet. The brothers are still for a moment. Dexter turns his back and looks out the window towards the podium and the airplane hanger behind it. Jamison steps forward to place the card on Dexter's desk.
         "You'll be needing that."
    Jamison turns to walk out the door,
         "And don't be too long. The Dracel brothers have a show to put on. So get your face right and let's go."

    Jamison exits the room, leaving Dexter alone, still looking out the window.  Dexter slowly turns back towards his desk and takes a seat.  He takes a key out of his pocket and opens the metal box.  Inside the box is Dexter's passport, some photos, his birth certificate, his social security card, a marble ring box and $188 in cash...one bill of each domination.  The silence is broken,
    Dexter looks up to see Sgt. Baker standing in the door.
         "I'm so sorry, sir.  I hadn't realized your brother was in the..."
         "It's ok."
         "But sir, I'm..."
         "Shane...it's ok."
    Dexter gets up from his chair, walks around his desk to Sgt. Baker., who is standing nervously at attention. Dexter steps up closer and closer and whispers,
         "At ease, Shane."

    Sgt. Baker relaxes and exhales a bit.
    Dexter closes his door, returns to Sgt. Baker.  The two share a brief kiss and embrace.  Dexter says while in the comfort of Shane's arms,
         "It's all gonna be ok now."

    The military band begins to play signaling the beginning of the ceremony,
         "Dex, we should go now.  It's starting."
    Dexter releases Shane and pulls himself together. Tugs at his shirt...fixes his tie. He then crosses back behind his desk, caps his flask, takes a last look at a photo of himself and Shane, takes out the ring box, closes the box and places them back in his desk drawer. He puts on his jacket and grabs his cap.
         "Yes, Shane?"
         "I love you...and I'm incredibly proud of you."
    Dexter looks up, tears filling his eyes,
         "Thank you.  Shane, I love you too."
    Dexter looks out the window once more,
         "Shane, it is a beautiful day. It is the most beautiful day I've ever seen in Monrovia."
    Dexter turns back to Shane,
         "We are going home."
         "We are?"
         "Yes, we are. And when we do, I want to marry you."
         "Yes.  Shane Baker,"
    Dexter goes to one knee and presents the ring box,
    Dexter opens the ring box to reveal a platinum band with a black onyx embedded on the face. Shane gasps at the sight of the gesture and the ring,
         "Wait Dex...wait...what are you doing?!"
         "We are going home.  I want to go home, to America, starting a new life and starting it with you. We have no idea what we are about to face there but whatever it is, I want to face it with you. America is new now. We will love and serve the army, our country, and our God...together."
         "Are you afraid?"
         "Dex, no.  I am not afraid."
         "Do you trust me?"
         "Will you marry me?"
    Dexter takes the ring out of the box and slide it on Shane's finger. Dexter gets up and the two men hug and kiss each other in celebration of their engagement. Dexter is glowing. He is beaming with happiness and is now ready to take on the ceremony.
         "Ok...NOW, let's go out, cut this ribbon, and celebrate."

    The two men walk out of the office and out towards the airfield.
    It is a beautiful day, indeed.


    1. Standing ovation!! Applause!!! Bravo!!! Wolf whistle!!! Bells!!! Confetti!!! Yay!!! The long awaited Chapter 12 just knocked Passage Home out the ballpark. I knew there was something Dexter was hiding... I just knewed it. Lawdamercy, how is Father Dracel going to take THIS news??!!! Time will tell but today ... today is a beautiful day, indeed! Thank you for sharing your remarkable writing talent with us! 1Love

      1. Wow! Thank you!! Chapters should flow a lot more now that the film is behind me. ;-)

    2. So Happy you're writing and sharing again Diva Blue. You are SO talented and brilliant, and inspiring. Waiting patiently for the next chapter ;-)


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