A Resigned Shrug

Submitted into Contest #95 in response to: Write about someone finally making their own choices.... view prompt


Fiction Sad Contemporary

Time was moving on.

 The wall clock's alarm rang when it arrived at exactly nine am on the morning. The alarm reminded me of the striking bell from the famous Big Ben, when I happened to be on a national trip in London last summer. I was one of the favourites by then.

 It was a reminder to me that it's time for an end-of-the-week meeting. Every other Fridays I would've confidently gotten on my feet and shuffle to the meeting room to discuss the progress, receive reports and give out instructions on what should be done on the coming week. But, on this Friday, I was glued on my chair with my hands upon my head, with a loosened tie and pulled sleeves from my long sleeved shirt, having an inward conflict within me, feeling gloomy and uncertain, seeing imaginary jeering faces and hearing their comments that told me "you're not fit for the office". Due to that, my mind was like a frightened squirrel in a cage, and for the first time in my entire low life, I understood the feelings of a trapped prey.

 I stood up and moved to the bathroom, I watched an ugly reflection of myself in the mirror. 

 Man! Did I look a wreck!

 I opened the sink tap and threw flowing water onto my face. Hopelessly, I returned to my office and resumed my position, dwelling into the flush of thought. 

 I remembered the cheering whistles when Lawrence Mroto was appointed as a minister of home affairs in Tanzania. The ministry, whose mission is to: save lives and properties, facilitate and control movement of aliens and non-aliens, assist refugees, and rehabilitate convicts through implementation of relevant laws and regulations. The ministry monitored the police force, prisons service, immigration service, fire and rescue force, refugees service, and community service. The ministry, as a government body, did all that, and I, Lawrence Mroto, as the minister, the head of that government body, did everything to make sure all operations went accordingly.

 What went wrong, then?

 I really don't understand it till now. Everything was going fine, everything was going okay. Then, suddenly, came an outbreak of street rip-offs and arms heists in different monetary institutions, specifically, in the commercial cities of our country. I played it cool and left the police force to their job. However, the situation got so much worse until the finger of guilty was pointed at us, especially at me.

 "There have been a great number of robberies and theft in the streets, your honourable. The people are worried, they think the police are being unaccountable, what are you going to say to make them calm down?" I was asked by one television host during a one on one interview on the air.

 "I suggest they should be at ease without compunction, we're working on it. They must trust the police, they know their job and the incidents will be perished." I answered simply like that, while in the actual reality I hadn't even yelled at the Police Commissioners.

 We hadn't eradicated that problem when another bother followed its footsteps.

 The fire and rescue force started to become inefficient. 

 Citizens lost their homes and premises just because the fire and rescue force was late in handling the incident. Of course, we had had similar cases in previous years, but the fire accidents were few, and the fire and rescue centres were also few. But, in my time, the fire accident casualties were so rampant until I thought I was embraced by an unavoidable misfortune.

 As usual, I did nothing about it.

 "Our country will not step anywhere by still having leaders like Mroto. So much incidents are happening, and what does he say about them? Nothing, just nothing. I hope the President sacks him." It was a comment I saw on the Facebook page, after the news concerning a failed fire rescue was posted.

 Man! I skipped the post.

 Three weeks later, one of the famous leaders from the opposition party got kidnapped. What happened? I didn't know. He was constantly negatively commentating against the government leadership. The government leaders openly cursed him, the police pestered him. So his kidnap came as a shock in our country and the turmoil it caused was nobody's business.

 I began to take actions.

 As a response, series of killings erupted. People, especially, opposition politicians and their followers were killed and neglected onto distant forests or dumped into water bodies, either a lake or a river.

 Man! That was too much!

 I felt like a person having hemophilia. Was there no an end to all of these?

 I called a meeting between I and the chiefs of forces. I stormed angrily at them. I barked on their ineffectiveness. But, what came as an explosive shock to me, was, they stared blankly at me without fear. Even Maria Mongi, whom I recommended to the President to be appointed as an Assistant Police Commissioner, glanced at me in an up-and-down way. I was startled and disappointed by her. I never liked to be shown a snobbish act by a woman.

 Their blank stares told me as nothing else could that I was in the position of a minister just as a stooge of the President, and not the boss. So, by that, it means I couldn't be able to take actions against them. They will only be accountable to the President, and not to an appointed minister.

 I ended the meeting with a feeling of defeat. During my weekend home rest three weeks ago, I got called by the President. He gave me a month to end all troubles, or else, I should check the statistics for myself to see if I'm good enough. That meant I should evaluate my ability in the office.

 Some citizens began to question as to what I was doing in the office up to this time. Remembering the sniggers from chiefs of forces, I even asked myself what the hell was I doing in the office anyway.

 Man! Despicable me!

 This Friday was my fourth week.

 I was in a dilemma on if I should hold on and attempt to clean my reputation I had had before or if I should vacate my seat and leave it open for the better man.

 The first one was unconvincing, I've already blundered enough. The second one needed guts, and all of my guts I had hidden inside the chamber of greed. To leave a host of monthly handsome wages just because some things don't work out needed a lot of guts, man!

 Revolving the trouble in my mind, I decided to renounce my position. I would have to write a letter to the President, informing him about my decision. At least that would put my mind at ease and protect my head from going haywire.

 My office door was knocked. I told the knocker to come in. It was my middle aged secretary.

 "Your honourable, they're waiting for you in the meeting room," she told me humbly. At least this woman was remaining polite to me. Remembering Maria Mongi, I wished I hadn't vouched for her.

 I glimpsed at the wall clock. The time was fifteen minutes to ten. So for fourty five minutes I was wrestling with my problems.

 I looked at her and stood on my feet, advancing towards her, regarding her in her eyes. 

 "Postpone the meeting, I have something else to do," I told her curtly.

 A look of surprised flickered in her eyes. Hesitantly and silently, she went out of my office. 

 I returned to my seat and began to draft a letter of resignation.  

May 23, 2021 09:29

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