Dead Men’s Path 3
The morning for former congressman Hikinfield came with exercise. It was something that he started immediately his wife died of heart failure. He did yoga and every other exercise he heard of that could strengthen the heart. Even though his younger self had told Rosa that he could not live without her, he well and truly wanted to live in her absence and he was not ashamed to let people know that.
He wanted to live for many more years. His wife’s death only served to reinforce that decision. Since he started helping the mayor, he had discovered there were many things to live for. Actually there were tow that he knew: money and women. The office of the mayor did not pay nearly enough, so other avenues had to be explored. It was on a cold evening when he was approached by a man with a big suitcase. The rest was a story tucked away as dollar notes in an account in Cayman Islands.
Hikinfield fell into pace with his instructor who had waited for him outside. He followed the instructor’s moves. He felt the exercise was working because he felt free and light every morning after this.
The sun espied him from a distance, then proceeded to bathe him in golden brilliance. He was happy. He had felt happy for a long time after his wife’s death. Sometimes he thought it was his mind that killed his wife. Other times, he accepted it was her time. But that did not stop the nightmares at night, one which he never told anyone.
“Done, Mr. Hikinfield.”
The former congressman nodded, smiling, and almost out of breath. The start of the yoga sessions had been easy enough, but as they proceeded to the next and the next, he found himself struggling to cope, much to the delight of his instructor. The man had been frightened when Hikinfield made remarkable progress on the yoga thing. He had been afraid that the politician would come to do more than him, his trainer.
“See you tomorrow,” Hikinfield said..
He had half the mind to fire the trainer and get another, but the man’s reputation stayed his hands. He went for a bath, after which he headed to the pool. Three laps were all he needed for the day to get started. He dove in. The water was cool and refreshing, it washed over him in soporific drawl. Three laps soon became four. Four turned to five. Before long, he lost count of how many times he had swum around the pool. Work could wait. He was feeling this now. The mayor would not be too annoyed if he came late to work. He was after all, one of the most experienced members of his team. When he finally became tired, he climbed out of the pool and sat by the side.
“Nice swimming, Mr. Hikinfield. How’s the water? Cold?”
* * *
The room was very dark where they met. Men of timber and calibre, sneaking in through any opening they could find. They did not want to know themselves though, which was why all the curtains were drawn and the place left in pitch blackness. It was only evening outside, but inside here, it was night.
“We all have to sponsor the bill,” a speaker said.
Everybody mumbled approval. It would not help if only one or two people sponsored the bill. It would be easy for the government to cast it off.
“The benefits from this bill will be development and provision of jobs.” The voice continued.
“That’s sensible. Although I wonder what we are hiding for.” Another voice quipped in.
“Well, dear senator. If you want to show yourself, feel free to,” the first voice intoned.
A murmur rippled through the men at the table. Silhouettes filled everywhere in the room as the men sat round the table.
“The bill is great, but our counterparts will not understand that, don’t you get? We would be seen as liars and criminals. That is why we are hiding.”
The meeting ended as abruptly as it began. The first silhouettes left the room and scurried through the darkness to hired cars. The second group waited till they could no longer hear anything, then they met their way out and headed to their own hired cars. They kept leaving in this way till only one senator remained. He peered through the darkness, unsure of what waited for him outside there. Then his silhouette moved against the house. He stopped after a while. Another silhouette walked up to join him.
“How did it go?”
“It was easy.”
“So you think this bill will be passed?”
“We will have to see.”
“Come on, I’ll give you a ride home, senator.”
“Don’t worry, I brought my ride.”
The senator walked away from the other man. Out of the darkness, a car whistled and blinked twice, unlocking its door. The senator pulled open the door and got inside. He started the car and drove off. Once in a while, he looked at his side mirror. He did not know what he was looking for, but he had the feeling that it was there alright, trying to follow him.
He did not think it was the man who he had just spoken to. Well he did not know, it could be him. His mind started racing. What if the man walked with the government agencies? What if there were moles implanted everywhere by the stupid executive arm of the government?
The realisation dawned on him that he had not been careful. He had been taking everything for granted, meeting the representatives of the companies in his office. What if his office had been bugged? He would be in big trouble then. First thing he was going for tomorrow is to acquire a high class bug detector. Where ever he sat, he would use the detector. There was nothing like being too careful. He had a family to fend for.
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