It was Enteng.
“You doing okay,” he groaned. “Buddy?”
Enteng chuckled. “Well, that was honest of you.”
“I mean, you’ve seen me at my worst, so it’s not like I have something to hide, right?”
“So, why did you do that?”
Uncle wiped the sour taste from his mouth, dragged himself away from the toilet, and rested his back on the wooden door. He breathed. This room had no mirror. Shit. This room was too bright for his taste, and it pissed him off. And this old man leaning on the other side of the wall like he’s about to ask him if he wanted to make a snowman made it worse.
“Tell me, Enteng.” He faced the ceiling as his eyes watered. “Are you going to leave me too?”
“Well,” Uncle forced himself to laugh. “that was very honest of you. You know…” He wiped his nose and sniffed. “My mom looked at me the same way when she told me to go upstairs.” His lips wavered. “I told her to shut the fuck up, as usual, and asked her what was she on about, especially with everything that’s been happening. But… she gave me this patient nod and told me to trust her. She told me to go upstairs, lock myself in my room, hide in the closet, and not go outside no matter what I hear. You had the same look on your face, and I realized that I couldn’t lose you too.”
“Did you check her room for me when you took the kids and the elderlies upstairs?”
“Can you tell me what my mom looked like?”
“Your mom…” Enteng heaved. “Your mom was gone when I went there. She left a note that she’ll go somewhere very far away and that she’ll hang around with my family back on the farm with those large windmills, sugar canes, and white picket fences. She would take care of those talking little piggies that we can’t slaughter due to them being able to talk and having dreams of going to college. I’m vegetarian now, by the way.”
“Bullshit.” Uncle laughed. “That’s the most… bullshit… thing… I wanted to believe...” His strained face hurt as he forced himself to smile. He wiped his face lips and came to his hair at the back of his head. “But tell me the truth, please… Did she suffer?”
“Well…” Enteng clicked his tongue. “Your mom was so fat… that these monster’s clubs could never hurt her. So, they hit her head instead.” He stifled a pained laugh. “It was quick, and she felt no pain.”
Uncle laughed, hugged himself to a ball, and cried. “God fucking dammit…” He breathed to control the tone of his voice. “Aren’t you supposed to be somewhere?”
“Aren’t you supposed to be somewhere?” Enteng mirrored him and met no response. “I can’t rest, even if they told me to and spared a cracker for me and George. Enang was taking care of the supplies. Joey was leading the scouting team. The Jonathan dude that punched you in the face was nowhere to be found. The rest are upstairs, cheering and praying for the safety of others, and that includes you, too.”
“Is that so?”
“They told me to check up on you.”
“You’re more hurt than I do—”
“I can walk this off.” Uncle cut Enteng off. “You can’t, and you’ll die trying. So, stop shitting me and go to bed.”
“Fine. No need to be such a bitch about it,” Enteng replied.
Uncle felt him leaning onto the door with the pressure sliding down until he groaned upon sitting on the floor. He rested his back on the other side of the door and chuckled. It was as though he was leaning on his back.
“I know what I said—”
“You won’t be able to get out if I keep sitting here. And I just want to you ask something,” Enteng sighed. “and this is not something that I could say with a straight face or break into a laugh, so entertain this old man for a little bit.”
“Is this the part where you would say where y-you’re in love with me?” He stuttered. “I’m into girls.”
“What the fuck is wrong with you?”
“Nah… I’m kidding. Go on.”
Enteng cleared his throat. “Would you follow me, no matter what happens?”
“Depends. Would I follow you to that new place that Enang had set up for the both of us? Definitely. I ain’t following you to jump off a cliff, though.”
“I do have bajillions of IQ. I can big brain for days.”
“I want to protect everyone,” Enteng continued.
“But we’ll kill more from now on. I don’t know where I’m going. I’m going to start making enemies even with the rest of humans if I have to. And I’ll be killing them all if they threaten our peace. That’s what’s going to happen. I could see us fighting with other people for supplies, for survival, for territory. And I would be sending people, even you, to fight for that cause…” Enteng let out a long breath. “Seeing you makes us feel that we could win, and I don’t think that I could talk about this to anybody. I don’t want to die now. Not yet, at least. But I want to know if I’ll be doing the right thing.”
“I don’t know.”
“But if it’s any consolation… I’ll follow you, Enteng. You’re a piece of shit, but you’re the type that would… You weren’t even going to talk to me right now about this if you didn’t care. So… I’ll fight for you.” Uncle’s eyes wandered. “I guess that’s it. I can do big brains for days, but emotions are a no-go for me. I’ll protect you, too.”
Uncle clutched his chest. Locking himself in the bathroom now seemed like the best idea.