The Neighbor’s Son
The politician got on the podium with a lot of pomp and a little dance. His eyes were wild; his nostrils hugely flared and hid stomach trembled slightly. These were the moments he lived for. This was his playground, here on this podium and he could turn the crowd on its head.
He raised his hand to his head, the gold in all his fingers shining, the huge chain on his neck glistening in sweat. The crowd, awed at all his flashiness, went into frenzy. They shouted and swayed, danced and cried. He was their savior, their only hope. Didn’t He have their interests at heart? Didn’t he talk just like them?
The politician stopped for a minute and wiped the sweat from his face.
“I want to introduce someone to you,” he said with a mischievous smile, as if he was burdened with a heavy secret he couldn’t keep to himself any longer. The crowd became quiet.
“I am here with my son today. Come forward son.” His son stepped forward. “I want you to tell me, how many politicians come to these political rallies with their children? None? No? None! I am here today with my son. I want you to know I am with you…….” He went on and on, about how he was a man of the people, and today they would show the government who really was king. After all, the kids of the big government shots were abroad, living their lives, while he was here with his son, here with the poor people……
* * *
The president sat in his office alone, his head in his hands where it had been for the past twenty minutes, silently watching the live footage from the political arena. He was sick of it all. Sick of being a president, sick of being opposed at every turn, sick of his tribesmen doing things behind his back and then being busted for it. He tapped his legs slowly. The huge crowd swayed, growing bigger every second. He was growing insane by the minute and he could sense it. What would his father have done under the circumstances? Pray oh Lord, what? Then he made up his mind.
He picked the phone, ready to make that call he knew would change his life forever. Change the country for ever. He did not care anymore. This is it. This was Iddi Amin all over, Mobutu sese seko reborn. Yes this was them and he didn’t give a shit because he didn’t care anymore.
“MR. President Sir!”
“Are the troops in place?”
“Yes sir, they are ready with their teargas,”
The president paused, but only a second. Now.
“This is the order, shoot to kill.”
“We have to have a written order for that sir,” Njuguna said breathlessly. Finally some action for his men, in a country where all they did was drink booze, receive bribes and visit err, brothels.
“I am the commander in chief of the armed forces, remember,” the president said calmly.
“Yes sir, you are.”
“Say it! What am I?” the president shouted
“Commander in chief of the armed forces sir.”
“Good. Now, kill them all.”
* * * *
The politician sensed from the restlessness of the policemen that something big was about to happen. This was not the usual teargas-run-take cover-loot day. Something was amiss. It took him a few minutes to spot it and when he did, it hit him like a bombshell. The bastards were planning to shoot!
Quickly, he planned how to get out of there. Hurriedly he introduced the next speaker and took his son aside. He gave him his suspicions.
“We have to leave, now.”
“What about the people?”
“What about them?”
“You just can’t leave them here!” his son said hysterically. They are here because of you! Is this the democracy you were preaching about? Do you abandon them at the slightest sense of danger?”
“Son, this is not the united states, where you have been living for the most part of your life. Democracy is a dream here. Bullets are real in Africa, not democracy!”
“This shit is fucked man.”
“Young man, don’t talk to your father like that!”
“Says the man who is selling out his people! The people who trust in him.”
His father shook his head and said nothing. How naïve of the boy, and extremely stupid!
“Aren’t you going to tell your colleagues, at least?”
“No. we are not even friends. In this game it is everyman for himself and God for us all.”
“You have no shame at all, don’t you? No dignity at all. You are the scum of the earth.”
It was at that moment that the politician hit his son hard. The blow came as a shock to both of them. His son looked at him disbelievingly, blood trickling out of his mouth.
“I’m sorry father; I just can’t leave this people. It’s not fair—-“
“Nothing is fair in this world” the politician hissed.
“I will die with these people,”
The politician looked at him with pity in his eyes. He had no love in his heart for him; he was not capable of love. Affection, maybe, but never love. His son saw the pity in those cold eyes. He searched for the slightest sign of love; it was not there.
“I will die with the people.”
“Then die you will.” The politician said slowly, already seeing an opportunity in his son’s death.
He signaled his bodyguard and they hurriedly escorted him to his car, out of the sight of the people and his colleagues.
The boy headed to the podium and just then the first bullet was shot. It caught him squarely in the face and the boy stood still, not sure what had hit him. Then he fell to the ground. The politicians started running directionless, as did the people. Bullets were flying everywhere. Hell had broken loose.
* * * *
The four international leaders sat at the round table, following the events keenly.
“He fell into your trap,” the Chinese PM said glumly
“It was your plan, remember.” The UK PM said through slit eyes, looking him sideways. “you Chinese like to pretend you are so clean.”
The rest said nothing, knowing a single word could ignite a war of words, knowing also that the Chinese PM was angry because madam UK had blatantly said no to his advances.
“Okay. Time to zero in on the president. His summon for crimes against humanity is ready. The guy is as good as history.”
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