No Tears For the Damned (Part Ten, to “Voices Out of Saigon”)

No Tears For the Damned (Part Ten, to “Voices Out of Saigon”)

Zuxin and Ming are now alone in the house, and have a plan; it must be implemented in one day and evening. They’ve already sold Zuxin’s house; the property has been sold to Mr. Jong, a week ago for $5000-dollars, and will become a boutique, the money being distributed, between the two girls. It will take place tomorrow, the 2nd of January, 1979, the second day of the New Year; people will be traveling back and forth across the boarder between Vietnam and Cambodia, soldiers as well as citizens of each country will be tired, excess work means less double checking identifications, for all the celebrations are over.

Mr. Jong, is a rich man that goes to the cloths shop where Zuxin works, and likes Zuxin, and he has offered to help her, and she has offered herself to paito warna saigon him, if he takes them to Phnom Penh in his car, on the 2nd of January, and arranges passports, he will have a weekend with her at any hotel he wishes.

Zuxin’s husband is now dead, and buried, yet she remains ambitious, as does Ming, they want to better themselves, and staying in Saigon, raising kids that say: “You aren’t my mother, you can’t tell us what to do (only feed us, bed us, and be our slaves)” and don’t appreciate their labors, she can do without them or that. Selfish they are, and so, they do not plan on trying to change them for the next ten years. Ming, is always a charming and understanding companion, and does not drink like a lot of self pitied folks so because of hardships, and she’d be a much better accompanying person to end up with.

They were both born to dream of a better life, not necessarily money, but a better background than this, what they were enduring, not really living: meaning, being a slave to disparity, to Mr. Manh, and his future whims and Yoon (assistant to Nguyen Khoa, at the sanitary plant in Saigon, who took advantage of Ming also, although never Zuxin, for some odd reason, perhaps reprisal, yet it was stunning to Zuxin that she would take advantage of her friend. Ming had already told Zuxin, how her husband forced her into an affair on the side, and was sorry to have to tell her. But under the circumstances that was forgiven instantly. She did not add Yoon into her new plans, figuring his day would come, he would take another chance too many, they all think alike, she told Ming, they all feel they got one more chance before it catches up with them, and then when it does, they can’t figure it out-judgment day.

And if they survive through it (so she continues to explain) they figure they will do it right next time, forgetting they were originally in the wrong, and they try it again, and get away with it, and then again, and that is that, they face death in the face, and plead, but death does not discriminate, they are left with only a reception afterwards and even then, the robber, the kidnapper, the thief, the killer, they all try to sneak through the back door into heaven. They no longer play the game, “I’d rather be in hell, than have to endure the rules of heaven.” This has all changed, to God have mercy on my soul, but God looks at his deeds, and the one’s he has wronged, and if you do not speak up on behalf of them, they fall, sink into the abyss, never to be seen, never to be heard of again, and to Zuxin and Ming, this was befitting.

This is what she had told Ming as they sit in the house, figuring out the plan of escape, dotting the ‘i’s’ and crossing the ‘t’s’.

Day of Emancipation

If you wait long enough, the day always comes. It is the day, and they talk in the morning, and separate themselves, getting the children ready to go visit there Aunt’s place, they have told her in advance that they were coming early in the morning to do some shopping, and they are standing at the door, Zuxin and Ming look at each other, at the two wild boys, the kids paying them no attention whatsoever, which is normal for them anyhow, just taking in a deep breath, as if to say, let’s get on with it. Alas, the show will change for their whole lives, hereafter.

Zuxin is now without the house, the kids, $5000, dollars in her purse, or half in her’s and half in Ming’s.

“So far so good,” Zuxin says to Ming, you can hear the aunt in the kitchen as they walk away, moaning and complaining, “I hope your mother, or whoever you kids call her, comes early to pick you rug rats up.”

Ly (short for lion), she has taken to drink, the old aunt, and loses patience easily, and you can see her through the window pouring a glass of sake (a glass of an alcoholic beverage made from rice; or simply rice wine). Her sister Qui (turtle) is Vang’s husbands’ mother, and Ly and Qui are sisters, Qui has passed on; Ly being the older sister and in her 60s.

It is Zuxin and Ming standing at the corner now a block from Ly-s home, a bag in each hand, a big gag, as if it is a shopping day, they do not want to be suspicious, more incognita you might say, incase they bump into someone. She sees which way the taxis are set, they cross the street so they can catch one going in the direction they want, she must risk Mr. Manh and his wife Si are sleeping, expects them to be at home sleeping this morning, it is 6:30 AM, and she has something nasty in store for them. The way she has it planned, they will not be able to escape, or even fight the forces off, or outrun them, a violent reaction from fear will be delivered, she wants to cleanse herself physically and mentally from this lonely part of her mind, the part her and Ming have been swimming in.

They meet, Thiea, Chiem, and Cham, called by Mr. Jong, Zuxin’s friend, as the ‘Brutes,’ or paid killers. They are large, ugly, broad and deadly looking, strong as bulls. She hands them fifty-dollars each, and says, “You’ll each get the other fifty when the job is done.”

Now they are standing outside of Mr. Manh and his wife, Si’s home, the day has come, and now the time, hour, they go through the locked doors, Ming and Zuxin watch, one of the three brutes stands out by the street, incase there is an onlooker, he can subdue him or her. Another stands by the door blocking Thiea, the one with a crowbar, prying the door open, ripping the hinges on the other side of the door loose so he can push the rest of the way with his body weight, and muscular force through the door, and its side hinges that hold aboard across the door, thus hindering some of the noise; it is all within three to four minutes time.

 

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