Dead Men’s path
Eden Watford walked to the window of his apartment and stared out of it at the city of Tennessee. The lights were on and about. Darkness seemed to have been pushed into the smallest corners. But he knew it was in those corners that evil was bred.
He had a tough task in his hand. Sometimes he wondered if he should not just quit everything altogether and travel to Mexico. Lie on the beach with girls in bikinis calling him over. Of course, they would call him over, he was handsome. It was something that he could not help. Every time he thought of getting away, his mind countered him, bringing up pictures of the beautiful things he had in mind for the city.
“Oh, Nineveh, Nineveh.”
He sighed and walked to the bar. The wine bottle kissed the glass lightly and poured some of its content into it. Eden drank that up, gobbling it down like famine. He sat down at his little bar and wondered on his many possible actions. It was sad that he could almost do nothing. His hands, as the saying goes, were tied.
Well, damn everything. He walked into the big room and turned on his console. The TV screen came to life and he sat back down in his favourite couch to play a racing game. It was what he did when his head was full. It Helped him see the world in a new perspective. Gamepad in hand, wine on the side stool, he started the racing game.
His mind was immediately taken off his problems and became geared towards making first position at the end of the race. His eyes lost the lost look he had earlier. The look was replaced with one of determination and sheer will.
There was focus inside those eyes. In the next five minutes, he rode through the winding roads and dangerous mountains, with barriers jutting out suddenly from the ground. It was not unlike Tennessee’s political field. The metaphor could only seize his mind for a while before he banished it and focused on his game.
“Yes!” he shouted as he cleared the last line. He was first.
Eden had always been first among his brothers and cousins. He was the one with the best record in law school in the family. He always got the job done. But he was stubborn. His father, Reddington Watford was always at loggerheads with him because of some matry-lije ideas he had about politics.
“Family first, before duty,” the old man would say.
“No, it’s duty first,” he would counter.
Reddington would begin to rant on how ungrateful he was. It was his name that got his stubborn son all the support he needed to become a congressman, but the boy thought he was old enough now to sit in judgment over his family.
That was why Eden hated family anything. Each reunion served only to push him farther and farther from his family. He had resolved he was not going for any other reunion.
His phone rang then.
“Congressman Watford,” he said.
“Hello, congressman. It’s been 24 hours.”
“Eva,” Eden, his face parting into a smile.
“That’s right, sweet congressman. When are you passing out bill?”
“And what’s this bill about, if I may ask?”
Eva loved playing around. Recently, this had been her subject of fun between them. He did not mind, although… although it made him wonder if she knew about his father.
“The bill for sex. We, women, deserve good sex with handsome men like a certain Eden.”
“Oh, that Bill? It’s been passed. If you would like to reap its fruits, go see Eden.”
“I’m right in front of his door.”
“Oh, you heard me. Bye, I have to meet him now.”
The line went dead same time the doorbell rang. Wow, Eva. The girl is full of surprises, Eden thought. He hurried to the door and opened it. The girl launched into his arms and pinned him with her hug. She reached up for a kiss, for which Eden gladly obliged.
“Well, senator, it’s been a while,” Eva said, shutting the door.
“I’m not yet a senator,” Eden countered, but he was smiling.
“In my head, you are already. Who would pass up on the chance of voting a genius to vote for that old man.”
“’That old man’ is experienced and his ass was the last on that seat.”
“Hmm, you say such foul things for a congressman. Words like an ass should not be in your dictionary.”
“Well, it was not. You came with all that.”
Eva reached for another kiss. This one lasted longer than the first and reminded Eden why he was still in politics. He walked in it for Eva. With the many reforms he had kicked off as a congressman, Eva looked at him like he was somewhere close to God.
She could not believe that someone could be that good, which was really funny. He knew he was far from good. Add that to the fact that he was plagued with a family who did more to favour themselves than the people that elected them. He was well and truly lost, but he did not care. He would ride on Eva’s sentiment.
“You know, I was thinking of withdrawing from the Senate race.”
“I was just thinking I should withdraw from politics. It’s tiring.”
“Don’t you dare, Eden. Think of the many people that need you.”
“I’m not so sure anyone needs me.”
“What of me?”
Eden smiled. She always ended it with that. He had gotten what he was after, which was a tad selfish. He had gotten the feeling of validation from Eva. It was the spur he needed going into the second half of the election campaign.
“Eva, what can I ever do without you?”
“Nothing, sweetheart. Absolutely nothing.”
Samuel Ogechukwu thinks of himself as a writer, a superhero, a songwriter, the prince in shining armor for some lady in his fairy tale. He believes this too, because well, his stories are his, and he can be anything in every one of them.