Updated: Feb 4
It was a normal day, as long as you ignore the fact that it wasn't.
She was perfect.
Her frame was fragile, with Tenacious curls tucked in her hair that could break a brush. Chocolate colored her skin, and her smile could captivate a room of both men and women. Her eyes were black as volcanic ash burying obsidian in their depths. Perhaps she was the woman I was to marry. Maybe she would be Mrs. Barrows. At least that's what I thought when I first met her.
The moment before I met her, I happened to be standing in front of a room full of wealthy, power-hungry men. My muscles were stiff under the thick air of discontentment. I played cool. Sipping my water as I watched their faces wrinkle.
"Do you really think your radical idea is something to risk?" A solemn man stood breaking the thick quietness. His dark figure was intense as he approached us. I gulped. My co-presenter, Andel, took hold of the podium to ease his shaking.
"Considering," He went on.
I should have interrupted him. Objected. Just simply spoke over him.
"People left to themselves can't handle the responsibility of Power. You are imposing that we simply give them all our Power. Therefore, stripping us of our expertise and smashing them with something they can't handle."
He was twisting my words, turning the audience into hostile wolves.
"...I think it's a no." He placed a weighted hand on my shoulder as if he was attempting to be friendly.
It was my turn to speak.
"Cowards!" I roared, shoving the man's hand off of me, "Power is slipping away from us every day, and you want to sit here until you are left with nothing? My idea might be a risk, but it is one I'm willing to take for more Power."
Confidence consumed my smile as I watched the shock of the crowd.
For a moment, I was reminded of why I was the best politician in this courtroom. Memories of all the trophies that decorated my wall flooded into my mind.
This was how I was going to change the world. This was where I am meant to be.
Guffawing flooded the room. Tears raced down my audience's cheeks as they gave themselves to the wild pleasures of laughter.
They were insane. These high and mighty politicians were all crazy.
I stood there like a stone, teeth clenched and red-faced.
It took me a moment to realize what they had done to my words, to my dreams, to my passions. They had hurled them into meaningless dirt that the citizens of ValPort frequently walked on.
And it took me even longer to recognize that I was rudely kicked out of my own presentation.
And as I was left in the hall with my books in hand, I let my shoulders drop, my gaze falling to the white marble floors. A sigh slipped out from my lips as tears threatened to fall.
The courtroom door screamed open as heavy footsteps rushed to my side.
It was Andel. Plump, round, and consistent, Andel.
"I think we did well," I said, plastering on a smile.
"No, that went horribly. You went too far, Kalan." He scolded, shaking his finger like a club.
"Oh, come on." I gave a convincing laugh.
"You just got us kicked out of the most powerful and important meeting on the planet," He whined.
"And we will be back in that meeting in no time." I declared more to myself than to Andel, "I'm the best politician in the world, remember. They can't suspend us forever."
Andel mumbled a short response.
"Huh?" I leaned in over his compact body.
"I wasn't suspended from the court, you... just you were." He revealed a clean white card with his name on it.
My gaze shifted to the far left of the hall, and that's when I met her.
She stood comfortably in heels as she leaned against a desk with a frown. She looked odd standing there rolling her stubby nails against the counter impatiently.
"Kalan?" Andel barked, noticing my lack of focus before he, too, saw her.
"dibs." He called.
"You can't do that!" I spat.
I regret not saying "dibs" first.
"Women aren't property." I corrected him with righteous vigor. Andel didn't care to listen to my impromptu respect for women.
And as if nothing inherently excellent or awful happened that day, Andel and I paraded through the halls. It was as if I never lost my seat in the most crucial courtroom in history as if I never saw a beautiful woman, and as if I never felt insignificant.
The next time I saw her, she was in a promotional court, a typical politician's assembly (Or as typically as they can be).
At first, I had assumed the usual—an audience of men, dressed in black suits (just like me) with a presenter. Perhaps the presenter would speak on awful nonsense like global warming or the influx of natural disasters. I grimaced at the thought as I sat in the back and began rolling my white card with red markings through my fingers.
Everything was going as expected until the sound of painful heels entered the room. Everyone's head turned. Calm, confident, and put together, she floated through the seats to the first row.
What a good girl she was, with her confidence and cute outfit. I doubt she can do anything in a courtroom.
Although she was indeed an unexpected individual.
Sitting in the front row was unordinary for a new politician—not to mention that she's a woman. She technically shouldn't even be allowed to enter the room.
The presenter began with the usual opening, "I'm going to be talking about climate change." His words slipped through my consciousness as I imagined myself speaking on political unrest and tensions between kingdoms. But she listened to the presenter. Each word he said pushed her to the edge of her seat. Her fingers fidgetted, her lips moved with unuttered words as her body tensed. She was so enraged by the presenter's accusations that she shot to her feet with clenched fists as her chair toppled over.
Once again, she had the entire audience's attention as she stood uncomfortably. Her gaze shifted uneasily around the room, and her face grew solemnly flush.
Were her actions involuntary? Did she not intend to outright oppose the presenter?
I found myself with a hand over my heart, leaning in and captivated.
The presenter, who had stopped talking, noticed how timid and confused she was. So, he didn't hesitate to take advantage of the moment.
"Ma'am, come on up and explain to us why you opposed my statements." He ordered.
He is a fool for doing such a thing.
Moving, she arrived next to the presenter on the stage, only to stare at the crowd like a deer in bright lights.
She bit her soft rosy lips in hesitation before saying, "Would you agree to die if it meant the whole world would live?"
The presenter stuttered as the room sat with open jaws and wide eyes.
"Would you let your parents and siblings, your wife and your kids die?"
"No." He finally argued.
"Then why would you ask others to do it?" She declared before turning to the crowd. She held her head high as she projected her calloused voice, "If we limit the number of children couples have, if we cut down the number of people in this world, then their blood will be on our heads." She moved around the podium, getting closer to us. I wondered if her eyes would pause on me, but I wasn't given that satisfaction.
"There are plenty of ways to solve climate change without death, violence, or aggression. The moment we start using those methods is the moment we bring war and death on ourselves."
Perhaps I underestimated her. I thought as I bit back a smile and used the moment to pick back up my card that had dropped on the floor all those moments ago.
Glancing back up, it seemed she and I were the last ones left in the empty room—time flies.
I pushed myself towards her, slipping into a cool character as I flashed her with my confident smile.
"Welcome to the Political House of ValPort," I greeted as she picked up her bag. "The most powerful political home in the world."
She pushed her hair behind her shoulders and refused to even look at me.
"We haven't met, I'm- " I stretched my hand toward her.
"To be honest, I don't care." She spat with a roll of her eyes.
Perhaps I missed judging her.
She wasn't the good girl I assumed she was.