Honorable Ontii stretched himself leisurely on the coach, although leisure was the last thing on his mind at the moment.
He was becoming a tortured man and the worst thing was that he did not know how to maneuver through the whole situation; simply because he had never faced a similar one before. He had handled “diplomatic” issues before at international level and one thing was for sure; they were way easier to handle than what he was facing now. All he had to do in the former was wear his most expensive suit, master the queen’s language to perfection and put on his most passionate facial expressions. Later, he would receive his allowances and retreat to his hotel room where his “hand man” would organize a bevy of beauties for him. See, that wasn’t as hard as they made it appear on the papers now, was it? And he preferred two to three. Never one – the women that is.
Surprisingly, he had never faced opposition in his constituency. Not as strong as the one he was currently facing anyway. That explained why he was boiling, literally. Boiling with anger and a number of emotions he did not want to admit. Ohh, the kids had guts, that he could not deny them.
Who would have thought that this day would come? Definitely not him. Not even in his wildest imagination.
During the last elections, he had laughed and even distanced at two of his former colleagues who had been bundled out of parliament by the electorate. He did now want to imagine what was going through their minds at the moment; how humiliating! What had begun as a humorous moment was no longer funny. He had ignored the signs, stating that what the boys were doing would come to pass. All the better, he had said amid happy chuckles as his face disappeared between two huge boobs, the challenge would make his victory even sweeter.
Not even in his worst nightmare had he foreseen this.
Someone slapped him on the back, bringing him back to reality. It was his friend, the current minister for pothole patching. Sited to his far right was another colleague, minister for socialite affairs. They were at pothole patching’s house and everywhere you turned you could notice the country’s biggest names in the modeling industry. Mr. Kihara (pothole patching) was saying something to him in a low voice but ontii wasn’t even listening. How could he, when the reigning miss tourism was dancing seductively in front of him in sexy lingerie? All he could think was how good it felt to be a politician, eating food prepared by the best cooks (cooks who travelled the world to learn new cooking skills at the expense of the taxpayer) and be entertained with some of the most beautiful women in the world. Women who would do whatever you wanted them to, being a politician et al.
Suddenly, Mr. Kihara sat upright and slapped ontii on the shoulder again. Harder this time. Ontii flinched in pain, angry at being distracted from matters of importance. Ontii was surprised at the amount of force in the slap. Surprised because kihara was a skinny man who never added weight no matter how deep he ate from the national coffers. Ironically, the more he dipped, the skinnier he became. Needless to say, his colleagues envied him. The girl he was with turned to look at him questioningly and kihara pushed her away. The girl stumbled and fell, looking back only to be met with kithara’s cold stone stare. For, other physical attributes the guy had included a mean scarred ugly face and an attitude to boot. Scared, the girl moved away from him.
“Mr. Ontii, isn’t that your constituency in the news?” he asked in a booming voice.
You could hear a pin drop. A hush fell in the room. Some of the girls, sensing something was amiss, got up and left the room. Others were suddenly busy with other things.
“Sarah,” minister for socialite affairs said for the first time that evening, “kindly pass us the remote and go find something to do,” he said sweetly. His sweetness was not to fool anyone though. For behind the sweet façade was a mean calculating politician. Under the sweet façade was a man who had committed worse atrocities than skinny kihara.
“Oh and tell someone to bring us some popcorn. This seems interesting enough,” he said slyly, ignoring the contemptuous look ontii was throwing him.
Ontii stared in disbelieve as images of his constituents passed before him. He saw a mammoth crowd, a crows he himself had not assembled in the near past. He thought he saw a few celebrities and quite a number of faces he could definitely recognize. They watched silently as some musicians started performing for the mammoth crowd. A crowd that kept swelling by the minute. He stole glances at his two colleagues, who were trying their best to avoid his eyes.
When was the last time he had seen such a passionate crowd in his own backyard? Why were they this happy? When was the last time he had seen them this happy? Why were they never this happy for him? Someone was playing politics in his own backyard, dirty politics and yet…..here he was, making merry and touching young girls’ behinds. Most importantly, how come he wasn’t aware this was going on? Ashamedly, he thought he knew why. He had grown complacent. So had his team. He had grown to think he was the invincible one. It was time for a reality check.
A journalist pushed a huge microphone towards one of the constituents.
“Do you think ontii will be able to recapture his seat in the coming elections?” ole Tatiana – the journalist- asked gleefully. She seemed to be enjoying every bit. Ontii frowned. Why would she? She was under his payroll, for Christ’s sake!
People now crowded the journalist.
“Sorry, who?” the villager asked just as gleefully.
“I meant…” Tatiana begun before the villager cut her short.
“I know who you meant; I’m just pulling your leg maam. Now as for ontii, I have a message for him.” he turned and faced the camera. “Honorable ontii, wherever you are, stay there and never come back. We no longer need you. Or better yet, go and rot in hell.”
It was at that moment, at that very moment, that ontii wet his pants.
“Did you know about this?” kihara asked in a low voice full of meaning, ignoring the visible patch on ontii’s trousers.
Dumbfounded and speechless, ontii said nothing. He wasn’t sure he even had the right words to say.
Mutisya – minister for socialite affairs- stood up abruptly.
“I have a meeting to attend to. I’ll catch you guys later,” he said hurriedly. Suddenly, he looked very busy as if he had matters of national security to attend to. The others of course, saw it for what it was. Since the whole situation started showing, he had absolutely ignored ontii’s eyes. Even as he strode hurriedly to the door, leaving his coat behind, he did not as much as glance at him.
Ontii turned to look at kihara. He knew how desperate he looked from the look of disgust kihara threw him. He stared at the mess between his legs ashamedly. Pothole patching moved closer to him and placed a gentle hand on his shoulder.
“My friend, you better do something about this whole situation- and do it fast. A little competition is good. But this doesn’t look like a “little competition” any more. Make sure this doesn’t get out of hand. The earlier you fix it, the better for all of us. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have business to attend to.”
He ushered ontii towards the door.
Honorable ontii had never felt so humiliated in his entire life.
scenes from the sunsetter’s first published book, “No change”