From the Ashes of Disaster

Nicholas Quirke was in a pessimistic mood when woke at 5am on 3 June 2021 and was not looking forward to going to the Exit / Entry bureau again and if Peng had said lets not bother he would willingly have acquiesced. However he was with a determined spirit who insisted on making sure every avenue was explored. The day had a completely different aura to it from the day before with the brilliant clear blue skies he was used to seeing in over the city returned to glory. His mind churned over the arguments that would be put to the officers and the words of the officer ‘there are flights every day’ clanged with rancour in his memory. They did not have to wait long at the enquiry desk before they were seen and Peng began to to persuasively offer reasons for him to be given another 30 days. He could not understand what was being said but he patiently watched and listened seeing her expressions turn from impassive to uncertain. They were instructed to go and wait while ‘supervisors’ were consulted which was when Peng told him the office were very familiar with his case and he had exhausted all opportunities for extension. When they were summonsed back they were informed that they would rescind the previous decision and give him a final 30 days to prepare for leaving. There was additional paperwork required and they were given time to collate it and would return on Monday with updated documentation to secure the extra time he was given. In the meantime his mood had shifted dramatically. He really could not believe that his fortune had reversed so swiftly and he was incredibly grateful to Peng for arbitrating with such conviction. They needed to talk over the everts and Nicholas led them to The Corner, a favoured cafe where they went over and over the conversation and were both excited to be able to go on the planned trip the next week. He had eschewed the delights of a vegan ice cream the day before and now that spirits had lifted he was ready to indulge and treated them both to the new coconut based treat from Veggie table. It was exactly what was needed now the temperature was in the 30s. He was teaching and left Peng to head home while he cycled his way to Galaxy mall for afternoon tea in Taetea to write up events. He was given snacks with his tea which on the surface thrilled him till he discovered they were all crab flavoured. His lesson with Harry and Willis seemed fraught from the start despite the good mood he was in and though he normally was patient he lost his temper with pair and a frosty atmosphere pervaded the remainder of the class. The heat, the tensions of the last two days and the sudden switch in emotions left him feeling drained and he was not in the mood to cycle and instead went to Chaoyangman to get the subway home in fact, so tired he had forgotten to get a water melon. He was never too tired though for a movie and as they snacked on some new Tabasco flavoured crisps and the almond ice lolly’s they watched a Korean drama ‘Innocence’ which was a heady mix of courtroom drama , personal tragedy and corruption which proved to be utterly compelling.  It felt a bit overacted at times but it somehow added to the allure. Knowing he now had time to prepare for his departure led to an infinitely more satisfying and need sleep.

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