The next morning.
Someone was kicking Derek's leg.
"Hey, wake up."
It was stronger.
It was even stronger.
There was no kick this time.
Instead, the sound of flowing water could be heard.
He was splashed with a basin of water.
"THE FUCK?!" Derek quickly opened his eyes and shouted.
He looked around to see who splashed him with a bucket of water.
It was the 6'7" bartender with knife scars on his face.
"Good, you're awake."
He passed him a mop and a plastic bag of fresh clothes along with a hat.
"Clean up the mess you made and then change to these clothes. You owe me big time."
"Like hell I do!"
Derek quickly got up and was about to pounce on the bartender.
It was then he realized that he was inside the men's toilet and his shirt and jacket were covered in puke.
It was also already morning outside.
"You won't hurt a fellow 'white' brother, yes? I'll be waiting over at the front bar and make some coffee. We have so many things to do today so hurry up."
The bartender turned and left him.
15 minutes later.
Derek got out of the men's toilet and was wearing a fresh of set clothes.
He didn't wear the hat.
"Looks good on you. It was left behind by one of the customers last week," said the bartender.
Derek just stood there and didn't say anything.
The bartender was standing behind the bar and there were two cups of coffee on top of it.
"Come, this will help with that hangover of yours."
He grabbed one of the cups and took a sip.
It was sweet.
"Take this too."
Derek glanced over at the medicine before taking it.
Thanks to all the drinking and vomiting he did last night, he had this splitting headache of a hangover.
"People call me Sweet Dave. What about you?" said the bartender.
Derek glanced at the knife scars on Sweet Dave's face as he took another sip.
The two of them silently drank coffee after that.
Derek put down his cup and checked his watch.
"Thank you for this. I've got to go," said Derek.
"Where are you talking about? You haven't yet repaid me. We're going somewhere and my wife is going to pick us up any minute now."
"Look, let me just write you a cheque for whatever inconveniences I caused you last night." Derek started checking his pockets.
"The favor you owe me can't be bought with money."
"I can pay you handsomely."
All of a sudden, the front door of the pub was opened.
"Morning, dear and happy New Year~" said a female voice.
"Morning too, dear and happy New Year," replied Sweet Dave.
Derek turned to the direction of where the female voice was coming from.
It was a plumped brown-skinned woman around 40 years old and about 5'5" in height.
Seeing her brown skin, a sense of disgust welled up inside of Derek.
He was about to walk away but was blocked by the woman and she hugged him.
Despite his hatred, he never hit a woman.
"So you must be the little sheep that my husband told me about over the phone. Very handsome."
She grabbed his head and pulled him over before kissing both of his cheeks.
"Hey, hey, hey. You're hurting my feelings here. You haven't yet kissed your husband and you're already kissing a complete stranger," said Sweet Dave.
"Shush you! It's not every day I get to kiss a young and handsome man."
She kissed Derek's cheeks again.
"Well, sorry if I'm just handsome, not young," Sweet Dave muttered on the side.
"Oh you were never both when I met you!"
"What's the meaning of this?" asked Derek.
Derek started to wonder if these two were one of those swinger couples who like to do cuckold sex.
"Derek, this is –"
"Oh! So your name is Derek. What a very manly name. I'm Sansa. You can call me Sunny if you want~"
She grabbed Derek's buttocks and squeezed them.
Derek yelped in surprise.
Sweet Dave shook his head and smiled as he picked up a hat from the counter.
Derek removed Sansa's hands from his buttocks and took a step back.
"I'm sorry but I have to leave. Let me write you a cheque real quick or you can swipe my credit card."
"Dear, you're scaring the kid," said Sweet Dave.
He walked out of the bar, pulled his wife over and gave her a kiss.
Their lips parted and she looked at Derek.
"Shy guy, huh. Rawr~" She purred.
Derek felt a chill ran down his spine.
Sweet Dave threw that hat at him and caught it.
"My wife is just teasing you. Let's go."
"Look, I got to go –"
Sweet Dave wrapped his giant arm around Derek's neck.
"I know your type. You don't have anywhere to go – you slept inside a pub's toilet on a New Year's eve and no one looked for you or called your phone. And plus, the place we're going, it's not what you're thinking."
He dragged him to the front door.
"Hey, unhand me!"
When they finally got outside, there was a pink van parked in front of the pub.
Sweet Dave released Derek.
"She's a beauty, right?"
Derek was speechless.
'This couple is just so weird. But then again, I don't really care whether I die or live anyway. So who cares where they take me.'
"Wear the hat. You're gonna need it," said Sweet Dave.
Derek saw giant plastic bags, tupperware, and other kitchen utensils.
"Find someplace to sit," he said to Derek as he went to the driver's seat.
Sansa, on the other hand, went to the front passenger seat.
The place that Sweet Dave and Sansa brought him wasn't some secluded area. Instead, they went to this public open space in the slums.
There were a few opened tents of different sizes erected and a number of people of different genders, ages and races. The adults were busy preparing food, while the children were playing around.
When the three of them got off the van, Sweet Dave and Sansa were immediately greeted by some people and exchanged hugs.
They also introduced Derek.
Sansa slapped Derek's ass, causing him to yelp in surprise.
"What are you waiting for? Quickly help my husband unpack the things inside the van. We've got so many people to feed."
He fixed his hat.
They spent the whole morning cooking and feeding people of all races and ages.
When they ran out of food to serve around 11:00 am, Sansa had Derek accompany her at her house to get more supplies for lunch.
And during that time, he had to undergo a lot of teasing from her.
They ran out again of food to serve by 4:00 pm. This time around, it was Sweet Dave and Derek who went to fetch for more supplies.
This cycle finally ended around 9:00 pm.
Sweet Dave and Derek were sitting and drinking beer at one of the open tents.
Derek was still wearing his hat to cover his racist tattoo.
As for Sansa, she was busy gossiping with other people at the next tent.
"You were a lot of help today. Thanks to you, our old bones didn't have to suffer that much unlike last year," said Sweet Dave.
Derek thought about his experience today. It was indeed physically exhausting, but it was also spiritually fulfilling.
Ever since the death of his parents and sister, he couldn't remember the last time someone genuinely smiling and thanking him.
For the first time in years, he felt lighter and his mind clearer. It was a hundred times better than the feelings that drugs and alcohol gave him.
"Yeah, no problem."
Neither of them spoke after that until a group of children passed by them with a smile on their faces.
"I don't know how you became who you are, but I do know that you're a good person."
"You've guessed wrong, old man." Derek took a sip of beer.
"Take a look at this."
Sweet Dave lifted the bottom of his shirt and revealed a giant racist symbol on his belly.
It was the same symbol as the one tattooed on the back of Derek's head.
"I've got many more in my body and I'm still saving money to remove all of them."
Derek didn't say anything but he was genuinely surprised to find out that Sweet Dave had such tattoos.
"I know this may come as a surprise, but I wasn't always called Sweet Dave."
Derek looked at knife scars on Sweet Dave's face. "Yeah, I could never picture you having a different name other than 'Sweet Dave'."
They both chuckled.
"I know what it's like to live with hate. I lived almost 30 years of my life with it."
Derek didn't say anything.
"And I do know that hate is a time-consuming, stressful, and destructive thing. And to hold onto it when there's so many beautiful things in life is simply a wasteful thing to do. Sure, there are bad people out there, but there are also good people as well."
"You don't know what I've been through," Derek said dismissively.
"Hmm… Based on what I've observed, I'm guessing you lost someone dear to you."
"Look, I appreciate what you're trying to do, but just drop it. I'm not interested."
Truth be told, as much as he hates non-white people, especially the brown-skinned ones, he also hated himself.
If he didn't invite them to go to another country to watch the game, they never would've been at that time and place. They would've still been alive now...
Sweet Dave finished his beer and stood up.
"I'm going for a refill. What some?"
Sweet Dave left.
I hope you guys enjoyed this chapter. Thank you for reading!
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