Former Congressman

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CHAPTER ELEVEN

“Come on!” Nancy urged. She was sitting down and holding unto Rooney’s arms. Rooney was sitting down as well, and not in the best of moods.

“This is not the end of it,” Nancy went on to say, as she opted to console Rooney. “I harbour not a single doubt that your future is bright, Rooney.”

“You don’t understand. You can’t really understand, Mummy.”

“I do.”

“I put in my very best. I gave my all. And in the very end I was not picked by the scout from Everton.”

“I say it again. This is not the end of it. You’re a premiership star. Your future is bright, Rooney.”

“Mummy, a chance just passed me by.”

“I know. I do understand how you feel. But one moment of disappointment cannot in anyway blight your future that I know is bright.”

“I would love to play for Everton football Club.” Nancy smiled before her next response could take shape and come. She did not smile because what Rooney uttered was in any way capable of summoning a smile. It was just because she felt very strongly that Rooney ought not to be worried.

“Is Everton the only football club in the premier league?” She asked.

“Of course, not.”

“And you can’t be recruited by other clubs?”

“I can.” Nancy withdrew from Rooney and got to her feet.

“What then are you worrying about, son? There are still a lot of fish in the river.”

“You’re right.”

“Maybe it’s not your destiny to play for Everton football club.”

Rooney all of a sudden, felt his worries disappear, as optimism surged through him. He got enlivened and rose to his feet, exuding self-belief once again. Nancy threw a glance at Rooney. She was nothing else but impressed, as her face abruptly became rich in smiles. The gladness in her knew no bounds. I could do well in motivational speaking, she thought.

“That is the right spirit,” she said. “Believe you can make it happen. Is that taken?” Rooney didn’t need to say yes. Even Nancy also thought so. He had guessed the right thing for him to do was to keep working hard and wait for another chance. He simply walked away, beaming a lot of confidence. This swelled Nancy’s joy. And she giggled. Her giggle made one strong statement—a son in whom I am well pleased.

Dale got revealed. It was his return. This was as soon as Rooney had exited. And Nancy’s mind was still on Rooney when some intruding dance and hums of a song barged into it. She now had to turn her attention to Dale, the source of the song and dance. She didn’t just understand this untold joy that had taken her husband prisoner. Dale was more than one hundred percent full of joy. He just kept on dancing and humming a song with reckless abandon. As if humming was not enough, he began to sing the very song he had hummed.

Who has found a game . . . . .?

Who is in the game . . . . ?

Who will never leave the game . . . . . ?

Nobody but Dale . . . . .

Nancy kept watching in silence, still not knowing what to first say to Dale, who was completely wrapped up in excitement. Voices in her head got on rampage at once. They drifted up and down and mingled. They told Nancy at last, to scream at Dale, ordering him to shut his mouth. But Nancy could not obey them, in spite of the fact that she wanted to, as she felt irritated by the sight of a grown man in jubilation without a single sensible and discernable sign of why. She came almost close to getting peeved, but expressing it was very hard because Dale’s singing and dancing got her gradually intrigued. The theatrics unfolding before her eyes was enough to make anyone curious. Dale’s dance steps soon changed from resembling that of an over excited drunk African masquerade, to that of Michael Jackson’s and the risen corpses, in the quite famous 1982 ‘Thriller’ video.

“Great!” Dale shouted. “You won’t believe it! Will you? There’s nothing as good as staying in this game,” he concluded. He had stopped dancing now. Then he roared in noisy laughter. The laughter was so noisy that it wouldn’t be wrong to assign it a second position in the world of noises, second to none but the kind of deafening noise generated by coal-powered trains in motion.

“And may I know what it is again staying in the game has brought?” Nancy’s response came firm. She went closer to Dale, mounting curiosity, her driving force. Dale first laughed.

“You won’t believe it,” he began. “It’s mind-blowing this time.” He giggled. “Splendid! Beautiful! Awesome! Fantastic!”

“Really?”

“Nancy,” Dale called, and pulled Nancy closer. Both of them got seated.

“Dale, tell me more.”

“This is absolutely out of this world! And I mean this!”

Dale soon reached for his pocket and brought out a bundle of money. The sight got Nancy numb for a while, as Dale laughed. She could not just find words to utter in quick response. The amazement she felt was so much, which soared to become consternation that did a good job of keeping her speechless, her mouth agape, and her eyes widened. Dale just laughed on, exuding a huge sense of accomplishment. Nancy did speak finally, when she could have words.

“How come?” She quizzed. Her voice was not clear. It came across a bit hoarse, no thanks to a combination of amazement and awe, which the rare sight of such a bundle of money had imbued in her.

“I said you wouldn’t believe it when I drop the bombshell,” Dale ceased to laugh and said. “You are looking at ten thousand pounds, my darling. Just staying in the game pulls in all the big sums. Come on . . . I need a hug . . .”

Nancy hurriedly hugged Dale and withdrew, still staring at him with a face full of awe. She then smiled a bit. She just managed to do it, for in her were questions that needed urgent answers.

“I can’t still accept that a man can be this generous in this world,” she said.

“Better do. The earlier you do the better!”

“And what on earth can I term this mind-blowing kind of employment?”

Dale laughed. His laughter just said, ‘You don’t know what you’re in for’, to Nancy.

“Call it unprecedented, Nancy.”

“Oh yes it is! Do you blame me? It just beats my imagination.”

“You may even call it divine or sublime. But you must get this.”

“What?”

“If it isn’t beating one’s imagination, then it’s not from Richard Dangerfield. Then it can’t ever be from the brain behind Playing Games Pictures.”

“What else are you not telling me?”

“The movie Mogul about to become the richest man on this planet. Maybe in planet Mars when men start to reside there.”

“That’s actually intriguing.”

“His acts may appear strange.”

“Of course they do.”

“They may be transmitting shock and awe all around.”

“I’m wallowing in that shock and awe now.”

“But in them are doses of excitement that lengthens the life span of a man.”

“I see . . .”

“Are you coming, Nancy?”

Nancy got lost. She did not understand Dale anymore. Dale must have talked crazy, she thought. Nancy knew that it was only a question that she needed to ask. And if her question got the right answer, she would then get back in sync with Dale.

“What are you talking about?” She could not wait to ask.

“Oh! What I’m talking about? You asked what I’m talking about, when the most generous man on this planet has requested to have a chance to set his bulging eyes on you.”

Nancy was stunned. She could not believe what she heard.

“What? Me?” She exclaimed in her sudden reply. Then her tone lost all elements of surprise that took hold of it, and became firm, as she spoke on. “Don’t even go there!” She said on top of her voice, sprang to her feet at once. It was obvious she did not expect what Dale had said. Dale knew it and smiled a little.

“Are you trying to suggest I didn’t make my point clear?” He said.

“It can’t be me. I swear you didn’t hear him correctly.”

“I’ve never been deaf, Nancy.”

“For what then?” Nancy quickly stooped beside Dale and continued, her tone lowered a bit. “Oh…tell me this is the biggest lie you’ve ever conjured in your life.” Dale was stunned.

“What lie?”

“Men lie to their wives quite alright but you want to break records with this and make the Guinness book, isn’t it?” Dale sprang to his feet with Nancy looking up at him.

“Don’t you get it?” He quizzed at once. He shrugged his shoulders in such a way that it evinced some pride. Then he went on to further acknowledge that he became rich by virtue of the fact that he had committed to staying in the game. “My Boss wants to have the honour of meeting with you,” he concluded.

“Well, Dale,” Nancy began and got to her feet. “What can make me accept his request is curiosity,” she continued. Her desire not to go with Dale was huge, even though she was full of curiosity to set her eyes on Dale’s Boss. The game-playing man. The rare species.

“You must come, Nancy.”

“I don’t think so!”

“You must be kidding!”

“I don’t think so. When there is no will, there can’t be a way.”

“No one can lack the will to meet with Richard Dangerfield. Stop kidding!”

Dale got revealed, and already captured by haste, pacing around in impatience, as he waited for Nancy who had later made up her mind in full to meet with Richard.

“We can’t afford to be late,” Dale yelled. He soon became worried. “Richard is a man that likes to keep to time. Oh...what is she doing?”

Nancy emerged dressed in a pretty green gown, and cat-walked for a short while, as if she was on a fashion runway. The mood Dale was in, was not one that would allow him the patience to watch the displays, Nancy thought there was all the time in the world for her to put up. Dale quickly grabbed her left hand and began to drag her away. Nancy’s response was swift. She broke her hands free.

“What is it, Dale?” She asked.

“You very well know time is not our friend now.”

“I came to show you my dress. Let me take a look at my mirror first.”

“What mirror?” Dale exclaimed, very much unpleased.

“Is what women do.” Nancy made to leave for her mirror after her response, but Dale grabbed her right hand again and began to drag her away. He didn’t think the mirror was necessary. “Who cares?” He said. “You’re beautiful. You’ve always been. Your face is free of pimples.”

“Dale, I’m a woman.” Nancy’s voice went off in protest as Dale dragged her away.

“I’ve known that since I met you a high school drop-out that I am too.”

“I need to look at the mirror!” Nancy’s protest was mounting.

“You’re a woman that needs no mirror right now! Get that into your brain, Darling.”

A little scuffle ensued as Dale held onto Nancy, who wriggled to free her hand. Nancy got to break her hand free again, compelling Dale to cast a glance of ‘have you gone crazy?’ at her.

“Don’t look at me that way,” she requested.

“Then get reasonable! Time is not our friend!”

“Dale, I can’t do without it!”

“Says who?” Dale screamed.

“Womanhood. I must take a look at the mirror before I leave. One minute please.”

Nancy left for her mirror, leaving the displeased Dale all to himself, all in his world, in which he suddenly began screaming.

“Go ahead! Please yourself!” He went on to saunter out of anger as he spoke. “Mirror! Mirror! And mirror all the time, as if womanhood is not complete without it. Whew! She’s so addicted to looking at the mirror before she leaves home.” Dale now stood still.

Nancy soon emerged again with a smile on her face, and instantly caught the attention of Dale.

“Let’s be going, Dale” she said at once.

“Looking at the mirror has now told you that?”

Nancy first grabbed Dale’s right hand before she voiced the reply she had.

“Stop sweating over one of so many feminine things, Dale,” she said. “Let them just be.”

“Oh . . . I see . . .” Dale’s swift response went off, the couple now leaving. “It’s none of my business, right?” Nancy smiled.

“Great! I’ve been longing to have you understand it long before now.”

Nancy then threw a glance on her watch. Haste arrested her at once as she did.

“Oh . . . . We are going to be late,” she exclaimed.

“Yes,” Dale said after offering a giggle. “This is one of the hazards of over reliance on mirrors for a decision on when to leave home.”

“Women will be women. Isn’t it, Dale?”

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