Chapter 52 - Retaliation

The Prime Minister of Tawa – 52

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When Mash got back to his office after his meeting, he found Osirial’s resignation letter waiting for him.  Reading the stiff and formal letter brought a smile to Mash’s face. Dear Respected Prime Minister-raan, it began. I have had the honour of serving the great and noble General Akram Naranin-raan for eighteen years. I have also served the honourable Horan Samiban-raan for five years. And most recently, I have had the honour of serving your good self for thirty months. With the greatest regret, I must inform you that I have decided to retire from the esteemed position which I have held for so many years. I have the honour to be Sir, Your most humble and faithful servant. Osirial Mennee. Mash’s smile broadened into a grin by the time he finished reading the letter. Screw you, you bastard, Mash said to himself. It’s payback time now.

He dialled Sulawa’s mobile number. She was still at the university. ‘Can you come tonight?’ Mash asked her.

‘I will be late. I need to go home and see Zaman before I come home. What happened? Did it all go off well?’

‘Yes. So far, so good. Osirial has quit. Try to come as early as you can. I need you.’

‘I’ll try,’ Sulawa promised. This was one of the few bad things about Sulawa. She would not go too much out of her way for Mash. Neither did she expect Mash to go too much out of his way for her. Zaman always got priority over Mash. Which was understandable. But even on a day like today when Mash needed Sulawa to be around, she would go to her parent’s home first, spend some time with her son and then go to their getaway house. Mash slammed his phone down. He needed a break. He needed a drink. He had a few bottles of red wine and a bottle of scotch kept in the house, Sulawa did not particularly like the smell of drink on him, though she never complained. Typical of her, she wouldn’t say anything, but Mash could sense her revulsion.

Mash decided to get to their getaway house before Sulawa did and have a drink.  Tough luck if she did not like him after that. After a drink, it didn’t really matter if Sulawa liked him a little less. Just before leaving, he decided to call home. One of the servants picked up the phone. ‘Is my daughter there?’ After a few seconds, Mash heard the sound of running feet.

‘Dad, when are you coming home?’ Heather asked.

‘Not tonight honey. May be tomorrow. How are you doing?’

‘I’m fine Dad.’

‘How’s your mom?’

‘She is in her room. Do you want to speak to her?’

‘No, no. Not now. I’ll call her later. Goodbye honey.’

‘Goodbye Dad. Come home soon Dad!’

He would go home tomorrow. He wasn’t sure what was to be done with Judy. The ideal thing would be to send her back to the UK and to have Sulawa move in with him. Sulawa and Zaman. And Heather. They could all live together. To be honest, he hardly knew Zaman. And Heather had never met Sulawa. But it could not happen in Tawa. The Prime Minister of Tawa could not officially separate from his wife. Divorce would be even more unacceptable. What a bunch of hypocrites, Mash thought as he walked out of the Central Secretariat. And this was a country where most politicians and businessmen kept a mistress, if not more than one!

It was seven by the time Mash reached the getaway place. He took off his kiree and sarong and had a warm shower. After that he poured himself a glass of wine. He then called up Sulawa. ‘What time are you likely to get here?’ he asked.

‘I don’t know. Around ... around nine? Zaman needs to finish some homework and ...’ Initially Mash used to feel that Sulawa was embarrassed by the fact that she was sharing time between Zaman and him. It was much later that he realised that what he had mistaken for embarrassment was just Sulawa’s manner of speaking. She spoke slowly, with many pauses in between. No, Sulawa was not going to be embarrassed by the fact that Mash would have to be on his own for almost two hours before she arrived.

Might as well have dinner, Mash thought. He got the housekeeper to make him some rice cakes and ate them with fried tuna and some gravy.  A second glass of wine helped ease the dinner down his gullet. When he was about to finish his dinner, the phone rang. Must be Sulawa, calling to say that she was going to much later than she said because Zaman was yet to go to sleep. Mash told himself. But no, it was not Sulawa. It was Urushambo. And he was distraught.

‘Mash, you won’t believe this. Ibraheem has been killed. Both Ibraheem and his wife.’

‘What do you mean? When did this happen?’

‘Just half an hour ago. I got a call from Ibraheem’s son ten minutes ago. Apparently, their car was stopped on their way home and they were both shot dead.’

‘Was he driving? Didn’t he have a driver?’

‘Oh yes. The driver has been killed as well.’

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More by :  Vinod Joseph

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