Men and women filled the bar. Commotion, smoke and mixed conversations filled the air, somewhat blending with the music. Most were merry, celebrating the completed elections, which many considered free and fair.
Mike sat by the counter sipping on his beer slowly, contemplating how things turned out. Never in his dreams had he thought that his candidate would lose. He was very bitter, and the celebratory crowds did little to soothe his pain. Nevertheless, it was better than going home to a soothing wife. Betty could be a nag. He knew she secretly supported the opposing team, and with every consolation she gave him, deep down she was glad her candidate, her ‘person’ had won.
He was interrupted from his thoughts when a very drunk man shoved him as he tried to regain his balance, knocking his beer down. This was what he needed, he thought to himself, this man would know who was in charge here…
“Ah, brother,”slurred the drunk man holding Mike by the shoulder. “I…I am very sorry about that, you see…my balance, my balance is a bit wanting after the celebrations,eh? You know what, to…to apologize for this little incident, let me get you a beer to forget it all, eh?”
The man, still with his hand on Mike’s shoulder, surveyed the room, looking for a waiter. “Eh, waiter, waiter! Give this man here four beers, cold ones, and quickly! I…I want to see them here before I blink again!” He said laughing.
“Again, I’m so sorry my good man. I am…” the man’s talk was distracted by a woman dressed provocatively passing by, who just winked at him.”Well brother, enjoy the beers, I…I have more pressing matters to attend to. And celebrate, we have a new president. Hey…hey, madam!you over there…” he trailed off as his voice got lost in the crowd.
Mike looked at the man in disgust as he disappeared into the crowd. He was barbaric, but on the other hand, he got him three extra beers…
He took off his coat and sat on his stool once more. He wondered why people were so jovial when, all along they knew, they knew the elections had been rigged!
He could hear a group of young men and women seated nearby discussing how the new president won. He did have the majority ethnic tribes on his side, it was obvious that he would win. They praised him, saying that the country would now be in good hands, be in hands that were accustomed to money, that corruption would now cease and that there would be better chances for all to a better life.
He smiled at their stupidity! Money is what gave that man power to win. He had bribed his way to the top. And as soon as he took those vows, he would start paying back his debts. He would take care of those that helped him first. This would be worse than tribalism, it would be nepotism. Bribes on the other hand would have doubled, he had after all, set the bar high enough, meaning that the normal citizen, such as himself, would suffer in the hands of the wealthy.
He wondered if those celebrating knew what it meant, all of them, as a nation, were going to face harsher times ahead.
He wondered how life would be if his candidate had won. Peace would prevail. And the man’s dream was great, maybe too great for this nation. They would have definitely grown to a nation to reckon with.
But then again, maybe he was as biased as they were. Maybe he was too fixated on his candidate winning that he never saw the benefits they could reap from the winning candidate. Maybe he had let the dark cloud of his ‘person’ blind him so greatly that he did not see the vision, the dream of his contender was greater than his candidates.
Maybe, he mused, sipping on his beer. But either way, like a little child, he stayed rigid and grumpy, and he decided, all on his own, that the elections were not fair, simply because he was unhappy.