A time where millions of people gather in small stalls to vote for whom they feel is fit to rule the country. A time of hectic decisions, also a time of pure trust. Two representatives step out in their best suites and charming smiles, declaring in a clear voice they are fit to run the country. You sit at home, watching their speeches, your mind fixing on who you want to win.
Social media is booming. Dozens of tweets and posts of political debates, everyone buzzing about the election. Your phone can’t take all the energy. Your friends all talk about who they are voting for, your mind confused about all the different viewpoints.
You wait until the last minute to vote. You don’t know why. Maybe it’s your tendency to wait. Anyway, you find you are the last in the building to put your vote in. It’s due that day. You click whom you vote for, and then leave the building.
Days later, you and your family crowd around the TV, all watching the counting of the votes. This continues for the whole day, numbers jumping up and down. You can feel the tension churning in the room as the hours pass by.
Finally, the votes are in. Your phone feels like it’s going to burst with all the news and action. You sit on your couch, your eyes like lasers on the screen. A brunette walks on the stage, a shocked smile on her face.
“Ladies and gentlemen, the time you have waited for is here,” she says, her voice strained painfully, “The presidential election’s votes are in, and we have some news. For the first time known in history, one representative beats the other with only one vote.”
She pauses, almost as if she knew the gasps that sounded in your living room, probably all over the country. She takes a deep breath and continues.
“That’s right. Nothing like this has happened before, but we have to welcome our new president, Oliver Sebastian Garden!”
Oliver walks on the stage, a huge smile on his face. Your family grimaces, their minds still reeling from the shock. You feel delighted. He’s who you voted for.
As he shares a speech with the country, your family bursts into conversation.
“One vote, holly cow.”
“That doesn’t sound real…”
“This is a miracle…”
“I can’t believe they think he’s fit to run the country…”
As they talk, Oliver’s mouth still moves, his voice promising things and says words of thank you, yet the country can’t believe what just happened.
You sit in your office, feeling powerful and in control. You grin, thinking of how miracles can be true when someone walks in.
“Sir, here are your papers,” the man stammers, flustered to be speaking to the president.
You smile, thinking how much power you have and how you could use it. “Thank you…?”
“Malik,” the man responds nervously.
You nod, already bored of this conversation. You don’t have time to be speaking to such unimportant people.
“Yes, yes. Now, if you could leave me, I have some work to attend to.”
Malik nods, going red in the face. He bustles out of the office, missing your evil smirk. You flip through the papers. Taxes, educations, homelessness, military… all such unimportant things. You don’t have time to sit in a stuffy office, reading and filling mindless papers. You’re the president, for goodness sake! You must have fun! You saunter out the office, nodding to maids and other nameless men and women. You walk to a lawyer, grinning as you ask,
“I have a helicopter, am I right?”
You type on a computer when Brandon walks in, a newspaper in his hand. He looks distressed, a disgusted scowl dancing on his face.
“Look at this,” he mumbles, throwing the paper at you. You catch it and read the front page’s headline, “PRESIDENT JOYRIDING INSTEAD OF WORKING?”
You frown and open the paper. Oliver’s smiling face greets you, evilness lurking beneath the grin and bright eyes.
Oliver Sebastion Garden has been voted the president this Thursday, but citizens are already questioning his decisions. He has been neglecting his duties, instead riding his private helicopter and jet. He has an urgent meeting next week with the Prime Minister of Great Britain. Let’s hope he attends.
You continue to read the article and feel your insides churn uncomfortably.
“And he hasn’t been working on the military at all. Or the taxes,” Brandon rages, his face red. “Who even voted for him?”
You have an uncomfortable feeling like this is your fault.
“Excuse me? Sir?”
You turn to find a peaky woman, her voice high. She was dressed in maid clothes, a mop in one hand and a dirty rag in the other.
“How can I help you, dear?” you ask, a dazzling smile on your face.
She blushes. “Umm, I have been sent to help you. Get you ready for your trip to meet the Minister of Britain.”
You wave an impatient hand. “Oh, that. Don’t worry, I have everything under control.”
“Are you sure? You’ve kind of been-”
“I’m sure,” you say, calm trying to shield anger from coming to the surface. How dare such a person question your authority? This needs to be fixed.
“I cannot believe this!” your sister exclaims. You look up from your plate.
“What happened?” you ask through a mouthful of food.
“The president missed his meeting with the Minister, and he passed a new law!”
Your eyes widened. “What’s the law?”
Your sister rolls her eyes. It’s quite clear she’s trying not to shout. “No one beneath the president should question his choices. Nor shall they interrupt him.”
You gasp. “You’re joking.”
“I wish. So stupid, right? How could Congress do this?”
“He probably threatened them,” your brother hisses.
You run to the living room and grab your phone. Predictably, everyone is talking about this. News outlets, tweets, posts, everything. Your heart sinks as you read.
“... and I need a new bed. My old one isn’t cutting it.”
“Of course, Sir,” Malik says nervously. He feverishly scrawls on a notebook. “Do you have a certain preference?”
“Excuse me! The buffet is ready!”
You turn, seething. A cook stands behind you, his apron stained.
“I hope you are aware of the new law that passed,” you say, your voice dangerously calm.
The cook’s eyes bulge, his face scarlet. “I am so sorry, Sir. Please… forgive me.”
You mock think. “Hmm, breaking the law is something not even I can swerve. I’m sorry. You’re fired. Be happy I’m not sending you to jail.”
The cook bursts into tears.
You grin on the inside.
Over the course of months, you discover something not pleasing. You were the last one to vote, hence your choice is the reason why Oliver is president. The reason why the country is slowly falling apart is because of you.
You hear a sharp knock on your door. You get up, trying to brush all of the unimportant papers off your desk.
A woman in a business suit walks in, her heels clicking on the marble floor, her hair in a ponytail, her brown eyes blazing.
“Sir. What an honor to meet you,” she says, shaking your hand. You miss the sarcasm. You’re too distracted by her beauty.
“As to you. So, what do I have the pleasure of your company, my dear?”
She doesn’t seem to be impressed. “I can’t stay long, I’m afraid. I am here to deliver a paper,” she says, handing you a folder
“Oh,” you say, disappointed. “Well, may I know your name?”
“Isabelle,” she says coldly, looking at you in disgust.
“Beautiful name,” you say, showing off a huge smile.
Her face doesn’t change. “Thank you, Sir. Now, the paper-?”
“Yes, yes,” you say, trying not to roll your eyes. Papers and documents. Such unimportant things. Things not worthy of your time and attention.
You slip the paper out of the folder. On it, stands a single line.
“Being a president doesn’t make you irreplaceable.”