The Prime Minister of Tawa – 66
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Heather came home crying from her friend’s place. It was vacation time and one of Heather’s classmates, a princess who was a distant relative of the King, had invited Heather home for her birthday. Mash was not home when Heather returned from the party in tears.
‘Honey, tell your mama what’s wrong,’ Judy asked Heather many times, but Heather refused to tell Judy what had gone wrong. Instead, she plonked herself on a sofa and continued to cry her heart out. It was not that Heather was angry with Judy since when Judy asked Heather if she wanted any dinner, Heather nodded. Heather was quite hungry. It seemed she had not eaten anything at the party. After dinner, Heather and Judy sat in from of the TV, with Judy holding Heather’s hand. Heather had stopped crying, but her eyes were all puffed up and red.
Mash got home at ten in the night.
‘What’s the matter with you?’ he asked Heather who burst into tears once more.
Mash looked at Judy who hastened to say, ‘I don’t have a clue. She won’t say a word. She came back from that party in tears. She had stopped crying and now she’s started all over again.’
‘Honey, tell Daddy what’s wrong,’ Judy prompted Heather.
Heather decided to speak up. But it was quite difficult for her to get the words out of her mouth. Mash’s heart was in his mouth. Had one of those blasted princes tried anything funny with his darling little daughter?’
‘They teased me,’ Heather said amidst her sobs. ‘They called me names.’ The disclosure brought forth a fresh round of tears.
‘They what?’ Mash asked incredulously.
‘They called me names. They think my name is funny because it ends in a R.’
‘What exactly did they say?’ Mash asked.
‘They called me all sorts of names. They called me leather, weather, tether, brother, dither, they called me everything. They said things like Heather is wearing a leather belt in this wet weather.’
‘Who said that?’
‘One of the princes.’
Mash and Judy looked at each other incredulously and then burst out laughing. ’So, you’ve never been teased before! It’s time you got used to it. Everybody gets teased in school. Didn’t you get teased when we were at Watford?’
Heather was silent. Yes, she had been teased many times when they lived in the UK. But for the past three years, no one had teased her or made fun of her.
But that was not all. ‘They also said that you will not win the next elections,’ Heather told Mash.
Mash stopped laughing.
‘Who said that?’ he demanded.
‘I don’t know his name. This was one of the princes. A fat boy with pimples all over his face.’
‘How dare he be so nasty to my baby,’ Judy said and took Heather into her arms. Heather stopped crying now that she had put down her burden.
‘What do you think made the prince say something like that? Judy asked Mash.
‘How on earth would I know?’ Mash said in a surly voice. Judy looked away, offended by Mash’s nasty tone.
‘He doesn’t know what he’s talking about,’ Mash added in a placatory voice. Judy continued to look offended and had her lips in a small pout as she did whenever she was cross.
Soon it was Mash’s turn to look sad and angry and Judy’s to comfort him. ‘You are bound to win the next elections. You’ve been working so hard for this country,’ Judy said. Mash remained silent.
‘In any event, we can always go home, can’t we, if things don’t work out.’ Mash did not reply to that comment either. He went to bed a very worried man.
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