Former Congressman

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CHAPTER FOUR

Dancing had never been his hobby for even once, but he danced in his living room. Though his steps were big time awkward, he danced. His big fatty buttocks wobbled from side to side as he danced. He just danced to the tune of the song he hummed, in which he quite clearly would make one believe he had won a million dollar lottery. Smiles on his face had never been wider. They would shrink for just a grin this minute and then shift for a smile the next. Smiling and grinning just kept on mingling on his face as he danced away with reckless abandon.

“Who can say my problems are not now over?” Said Dale. “Nancy!” He stopped and called. “Where are you?”

No voice came in response. Dale chose to continue dancing around the living room as he sang a song.

I’ve been searching for . . . . .

For a job . . . . .

But I kept right on searching till I found . . . . .

Nothing good comes easy . . . . . .

This I know . . . . .

But I kept right on searching till I found . . . . .

Rooney emerged, and was on his way out. He had a ball with him, which he threw up and headed twice before allowing it to fall into his waiting arms. Then he observed his dancing and singing father for a while. His face couldn’t help but break into a smile at first before his mouth let words go.

“I can see you are happy, Daddy, because Aston Villa, your favourite football club, just thrashed Liverpool by three goals to nothing.”

“Where is my wife?” Dale, who kept on dancing, asked.

“She is not yet back from work. You wait, Daddy, till your team meets my team. The big Manchester United. I bet you won’t have to sing and dance.” Rooney threw the ball up again, headed it twice and caught it again, as Dale danced on.

“Go away, Rooney. All you talk, sleep and dream is nothing but football. You are too young to understand why today is my happiest day.” Dale spoke in response, laughed and went on dancing.

“I see. Well, I’m off to practise,” Rooney responded and left.

Dale stopped dancing as soon as Rooney was gone. He began to throw glances around. It was obvious they were glances thrown out of delight. Dale laughed. The laughter was thunderous. He had to open his mouth wide to achieve that. Only special heavenly powers could have saved anyone near from being choked unconscious to a hospital bed by alcohol stench.

“Richard is the man,” Dale announced in his huge excitement. Richard had suddenly brought back the long lost sunshine to his life. Dale the wilted flower had found moisture, in which to freshen up and bloom once again.

“Oh . . . dear . . . what a splendid day,” said Dale. He sat down with a face full of wide smiles.

Nancy then entered. “Hello, dear . .,” she said to Dale with a smile. What she got was Dale who sprang up at once and darted towards her like a man whose madness was yet to graduate from its infant stages. Nancy was a bit scared. Her eyes dilated in fear.

“Where have you been?” Dale had asked in a tone in which joy was fully resident. Stench of alcohol oozed out and confronted Nancy’s breathing. Her access to fresh air for breathing became threatened. It was that notorious stench she had gotten so used to since Dale lost his job. She ignored it.

“You ought to know I went to work,” she said.

Dale had begun to dance and hum a song by now. Nancy just stood and observed him. She was so amazed. Her amazement gradually enlarged its confines until she found herself in consternation. What has happened to Dale? That was the question which rattled in her mind.

“You haven’t danced for more than a year now.”

“That is quite correct,” Dale responded and went on humming as he danced.

“What has come over you?”

“Over me? Yes something has come over me.”

“Some alcoholic demons?”

“Something sweet,” Dale yelled. Nancy got curious.

“Really? I can’t wait to hear more.” Nancy was all ears now. Dale continued to yell.

“Something fantastic! It makes the world go round, dear. I’m talking about purchasing power! Something nice and lovely. When I say something I mean…”

Dale dipped his hands in his pocket. This heightened Nancy’s curiosity. All her glances yelled nothing but one question, which was, ‘what is this man up to?’

Some of them later deviated and yelled something else, which was, ‘are you sure this man has not returned from lunatic asylum?’

“This!” Dale finally said, and quickly pulled some notes out of his pocket for Nancy’s viewing pleasure. Nancy’s eyes just dilated in awe, as she got thrilled at once.

“You got hired?”

Dale laughed. His laughter had nothing else in it but pride.

“You can say that again. Oh…yes! Hired by the man.”

“Oh.... Dale,” Nancy went on, further thrilled, emotion taking hold of her. She gave Dale a hug. “I’m so happy that you’ve managed to get something at last.” She gave Dale a wet kiss on his lips. “I told you not to worry. You see?”

“It is not just something we are talking about here.” Now Dale displayed the notes. “This is one thousand British pounds,” he yelled. Nancy couldn’t believe what she saw.

“Oh my God! A thousand pounds. This is staggering!” She grabbed the notes from Dale and went on to count them. “This is wonderful,” Nancy uttered when she was done with counting, before joy compelled her to burst into laughter. She gave Dale another hug and withdrew quickly. Her inviting warm gaze was now on Dale’s face, which was rich in smiles. “I can’t believe my eyes, Dale.”

“You had better.”

Nancy took a seat. There was no doubt she wanted to speak on.

“This is awesome. My ears are wide open to absorb more of your delightful tale.”

“What you have just seen is a little of it.”

Nancy’s delight knew no bounds now. She was more than thrilled.

“O…yes...just a tip of the iceberg,” she chipped in and laughed. “May I know that kind of job that pays this much in London? A thousand pounds a day, to me, is just out of this world. Wow!”

“A chef went in search of his usual kind of job…. You know.... Jobs that have to do with oil, spices and flavours, but destiny stepped in to change his course. Turned it around completely. You still call me a chef?”

“What else are you?”

Dale sat down.

“You still think I’m all about cuisine and menus?”

“What else?”

“Throw that chef stuff to history. That is where it now belongs. I play games, Nancy. I’m a game player.”

“Wait! Let’s clear my confusion. You cannot be talking about football or basketball. Come on! What are you talking about?”

Dale just pointed at the money in Nancy’s hands.

“I just got signed as you can see,” he began. “All I need to do is to stay in the game and more money rolls into my bank account.”

“And what is the game?”

“My next fee is five thousand pounds. And that comes tomorrow. Can’t you see, Nancy? Life is getting interesting.”

“Yes…but.”

“You’ve always believed that good luck would smile on me one day.”

“Yes, but…but….”

“It has come. We will soon move into a new home and you will be able to own a posh car of your choice as long as I stay in the game. Isn’t it splendid to wallow in life of affluence?”

“Yes. Who doesn’t want to live big? But, Dale, it seems you are into a deal.”

Dale got up and began to saunter. The steps he threw around were filled with air of royalty. “O yes,” he replied. “A deal with a movie tycoon in Hollywood.” Nancy was delighted to hear that. Her response came very fast and direct.

“That is interesting. Tell me more.”

“Well, have you seen ‘The threading man’?”

“A movie?”

“Of course.”

“I don’t think so. Nice title. Captivating! Intriguing!”

“What about ‘Gangsters in the moon’?”

“Yes, that is everywhere.” Nancy was thrilled. “Oh… it’s such a great film,” she further said.

“What of ‘The erratic sun’? What of ‘As the moon fights the sun’?”

“Great titles. I’ve seen them. They had huge box office.”

“There are more, Nancy,” said Dale, as he sat down. “Isn’t it interesting to be associated with a man whose outfit has churned out great titles?”

Nancy burst into laughter. “Wow! You are lucky,” she went on to say.

Dale just smiled. The smile showed how happy he was that his wife was finding all he had revealed interesting.

“We are lucky because my own part in the deal is to stay in his game and I’m made. You will soon have a millionaire husband.”

Nancy’s curiosity got heightened. And suddenly there was this huge hunger in her to know more and more. She wanted by all means to know the identity of the man that seemed to have vowed to turn her family’s life around. Nancy thought his sort of goodness and kindness was new under the sun. She sought to know his name. Dale was delighted to answer, as a wide smile appeared on his face.

“I am pleased to say his name is Richard Dangerfield. He owns ‘Playing Games Pictures.’ And as I speak with you now, his plans are at advanced stage to make a bid for fifty percent stake in Liverpool football club.”

“That is awesome.”

“We were best of friends in college.”

“Interesting! Now I get all your drifts. One big reunion of old friends. I see . . Oh . . . fate. You are a big train that picks us up to different destinations and brings us back to places you wish our paths to cross again.”

Dale rose to his feet in the joyful atmosphere that pervaded. His mood was that of celebration.

“You can stay here and talk all day,” he said to Nancy. “As for me, it is dancing time,” Dale concluded and began to sing the song he earlier sang. He started dancing as well. Nancy watched him and reaped absolute delight from doing that. She didn’t want to smile in spite of all awkward dance steps Dale threw around. She tried very hard, but she could not succeed. Her face broke into a smile before she knew it. The smile kept widening. Her teeth began to show before long, because so much laughter she suppressed had exploded. Nancy rose to her feet in her thunderous laughter, and joined Dale who had already been consumed in the world of his song and dance. The couple was now singing and dancing.

I’ve been searching for . . . . . . .

For a job . . . . . . .

But I kept right on searching till I found . . . . . .

Nothing good comes easy . . . . . .

This I know . . . . . . .

But I kept right on searching till I found . . . . .

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