Former Congressman

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CHAPTER TWENTY

She was at home, sitting down, and her eyes browsing through pages of a tabloid in her hands. Her attention soon decided it had dwelt enough on the tabloid, and switched off. She was beginning to think. Thoughts took her to her current circumstance, which had been a bone in her neck. She could not fathom why he now preferred to stay away. She could swear with her entire life, even with the entire marrow of her bones, and every drop of blood her heart pumped, that she had not done anything wrong to him. She believed the heavens also knew that she had always loved him right from the very depth of her heart, right from when he was nobody.

Melancholy that gradually invaded her, slowly led her into recalling that her mother used to tell her that men change with skills of the chameleon. And she wondered if John was going to prove her mother right.

Constellation was the well-known name of the tabloid in her hands. Its daily circulation was near the one million mark in the United Kingdom alone. A tabloid always awash with people in the news, a tabloid that teemed with incredible galaxy of stars virtually every area of human endeavour could parade. All in fantastic living colours that boasted of the awesome backing of state-of-the-art printing technology well manifested in attractive and compelling pages, which always hooked in readers, from the first to the last.

Her attention returned again to the scintillating tabloid that graced her hands, and hovered from page to page once more.

“Rooney!” She exclaimed all of a sudden, and nailed the page that made her exclaim, with a sustained glare. Her eyelids dilating with a sudden surge of excitement she experienced. “My eyes are showing me lies right now,” she said. Her voice was barely audible, for the unexpected that had struck her. She rose to her feet. Not a fast rise, but a gentle one. “Rooney..,” she said and smiled. “Look at you.” She got marvelled. “This is great! When did you sign for Arsenal football club? Now you score regularly for the first team. How a boy of yesterday has acquired a growing celebrity status. Oh…my God…he needs to be congratulated. Great!” She laughed. “Rooney is everywhere,” were words she screamed.

And the next thing she beheld was John’s entry. She was not expecting this. Amazement struck her at once, made the tabloid drop from her hands to the floor.

Both John and Katy were now starring at each other without a word spoken. Silence later had to leave after fifty seconds, when John made words come.

“Hello,” he uttered, with a smile that was forced to come. Katy heaved a sigh of relief.

“John, if not for the press peddling your growing fame, I would have thought you were dead. You’ve been disappearing on me, darling. Where have I got it all wrong? You’ve changed. This is no longer the sweet John I used to know.”

Katy took steps, and further shrank the distance between she and John. Her destination was obviously John. “I’m ready to make amends to please to you. Please… just let me know if I’ve done something you don’t like.”

Katy picked up John’s left hand. The response she got was totally what she never anticipated. It got her so cold that she would have recoiled into her shell if she were a snail or turtle. John, who had always longed to hold her, now did not show any interest in having her hands in his, for longer than a second. Silence came to prevail once again, as both Katy and John stared at each other, until Katy broke it after a while, gently.

“What is the meaning of what you’ve just done?”

John’s response arrived stinking with annoying indifference. He looked away. “Whatever you wish to call it,” he said.”

“My Knight in shining armour.”

“I’ve been busy, Katy.” This was a painful reply that made Katy’s response a scream.

“So busy to even have time for me?”

“Yes, so busy.”

“No! John, please don’t make me go mad!”

“That’s not necessary.”

“Think of what we have together.”

“I’m afraid.” John giggled. “That has to die.”

“What did you say?”

“You heard me.”

“Do you know what you’re saying, John?” Katy got furious and began to scream again. “I brought you up when all you had were your talent and nowhere to go!”

“Have you told the whole world yet? Broadcast it. Go to CNN or the BBC. Go to Iran and tell the Press TV!”

Katy went ahead to respond, though now in tears.

“You’re heartless!”

“Be sure to appear on the Al Jazeera TV network with that.”

“What have I done to deserve this sword you’ve passed through my heart?” Katy screamed, dropped on her knees, and cried.

“I’m busy,” John said, and made to leave, but Katy sprang up, and pounced on him. Katy grabbed John’s neck in a scuffle that got ignited, and John chocked, as Katy screamed on.

“Who’s that woman? Why are you so wicked?”

“Leave my neck alone!” John was now in a struggle to free himself. “I could sue you for this assault.”

Katy was adamant. She kept on choking John, repeating her questions in bellicose manner, ruffling John’s clothes. John freed his neck at last by throwing a punch at Katy’s jaw. He stormed away, leaving Katy with both hands carrying her jaw in tears. She then spoke from the core of her afflicted heart.

“It has never mattered to me that hearts get broken. Now there is a problem because this time it’s mine.”

Katy gently pulled out the ring with which John had engaged her. She tossed it away after gazing at it, as if it was given to her by unknown alien that once visited London in search of a wife.

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