I HAVE AN ETERNITY AHEAD OF ME

EPISODE 13

AUNTIE YONNY: HONEST AND UNFILTERED

Having unknowingly drifted off to sleep, Tanya found herself back in the White House. It was the night before the ex-FBI Director’s testimony in the congressional hearings. The atmosphere in the White House was tense and stifling. She felt her rib cage and chest tightening around her. Each breath caused her to feel the nervousness and anxiety as the air passed through her windpipe, settling in her lungs.

Anxiety gripped the pit of her stomach and hung in her throat. Having butterflies could not describe the miserable feeling she was experiencing. No, there was no beauty or gracefulness mixed within the grinding, wrenching feeling that strove to steal each breath and bring her to her knees.

She walked through the White House hallways with ease and suddenly became aware that no one stopped her or noticed her. It was as if no one could see her.

Down several hallways, reporters were interviewing Republicans. She didn’t know how she knew, but, she knew that they were interviewing as many Republicans as possible to catch them in the act of lying on camera, trying to defend her father’s indefensible texted statements and irrational behavior. Some seemed more than happy to do their part for the cause, being too arrogant and blind to see or care that their ridiculous explanations and lies would be used against them in the coming elections.

She wasn’t particularly keen on saving them, but, she knew, that for some reason, she had to try. So, she tried to get their attention and warn them, hoping they would stop, but the sound that came from within her could not be heard.

Tanya became furious and frustrated that she was ignored. She hurried to find her father in the Oval Office. She pushed pass the security guards and burst into the office shouting.

“Do you know what you’re doing?! Do you know what’s going on out there?! They’re getting ready to take ALL of us down because of YOU! NOBODY ELSE BUT YOU! YOU DID THIS TO US! YOU AND YOUR…YOUR…DAMN TWEETING HAS DAMNED ALL OF US! STOP IT!”

As expected, she found him busy lurching over his cellphone, in his usual texting mode, none too speedy, but, in one of his few rare moments throughout the day, he was focused.  No doubt, Tanya thought, he was sending out more irrational statements in an attempt to get a headstart to try to impede and influence  the Director’s testimony and how it was perceived by others.

Everyone knew that he had become unhinged and only listened to the angry and manipulative Devin Monroe and the corrupt far right Republicans who sought to disrupt the government and the country, but, she had to try to reach him.

Something terrible was going to happen. Something no one in the White House wanted to happen, especially, now.

They had been baiting him. They wanted him to text during the hearing. They were ready for him and he was going to further incriminate himself and take everyone else down with him. They would use his honest and unfiltered presidential statements against him.

This was the Big League and he was an amateur, but, he was too far gone, too hateful, too vindictive, and too insane to admit he was in over his head.

Tanya knew her father’s behavior was a threat to all of them. They had tried to protect him, but, there were only three things that drove him and kept his attention: hatred; pride; and money. He remained unabashed and resolute to defend himself at all cost, with no regard to those around him.

He was certain that if he got through to his base supporters, they would defend him. He was certain that Congressional Republicans would stand by him. He feverishly worked to rally the base, piling lie on top of lie to discredit the image and reputation of The Boy Scout Director and the media.

“My base will believe me, no matter what,” her father said.

“I SAID STOP! DID YOU HEAR WHAT I SAID!”

Tanya walked over and tried to snatch the phone from her father’s hand, but, her hands slipped right through it. She looked at her father and he hadn’t been talking to her. He was talking to himself.

“They’re ignorant, gullible people and I’m their HERO!

That’s right, I’m their hero.”

He laughed and repeated himself.

“Poor, ignorant people, losers. Losers who deserve to lose, for me to use…losers who can’t be helped. But, they can help Graves. Graves is a winner. Yeah, I’m a winner.”

Tanya noticed her extended hands and they weren’t young like they were when she was in the White House. Suddenly, she realized that she wasn’t able to communicate with or touch her father. She put her hand on his shoulder. Continuing to text, he failed to acknowledge her. She watched him deeply engrossed in texting as if it were a video game.

“Oh, well,” she thought, “it’s no different from when he could hear me. He’s so stubborn and arrogant, he never listens to me, when he should, only when he wants to. Everything has to be his way and his idea! He truly IS insane.”

She looked at her hands again.

“Am I dead? Or, am I dreaming? If I’m dead, will I always look like this?”

Again, she looked at her father, who appeared to be in a mad frenzy of texting, clumsily plucking the buttons. She closed her eyes in disgust, shaking her head.

“OH, HO!” He shouted.

Startled, Tanya opened her eyes.

“They’ll NEVER believe that loser! Yeah, that’s what he is…a loser! I’m the PRESIDENT of the United States of America! He’s GONE because of me! I fired him and I’m STILL president! He thinks he can get rid of GRAVES? We’ll see about that! I’ve got people, too, and my people outweigh your people, loser. This Russia thing is gonna stop. It’s been going on for a long period of time, too long. Nobody’s going to vote me out of office. I’m MAYNARD GRAVES!!! Just WATCH!”

Tanya watched her father’s big awkward fingers and stubby hand fumbling over the tiny buttons to begin another text. Exasperated, she couldn’t watch. Holding her hands out in front of her, she wondered,

“Is this a test God?”

The door opened and her husband walked in. Her heart skipped a beat and began to race. If she were dead, she wondered, why did she feel so alive, still?

“Come on in J. Have a seat. I’m almost finished.”

John sat down across from his father-in-law, perusing through some papers and a book, cross-referencing.

“Yeah, J, what is it?”

“Putin sent us a message. He said not to worry about the General, because, they’ve got him. And, keep texting and bringing up the Director’s mistakes and go real heavy on fake news and the media as the real enemy.

They’re going to flood the internet with misinformation to bury his testimony and rally the base through Monroe’s website. And, they’ll keep the Attorney General and Republicans talking in your favor with some bait.

BUT, best of all they’ve got some more leaks to put out there to blame on the FBI. Nobody, will trust them anymore or believe what they say about the case. It will all be lies coming out of there.”

Tanya couldn’t believe what she was hearing and covered her face.

“Good J. And the Assistant Attorney General and Special Counsel?”

“He said that this should take care of it, but, they’re still working on another angle. We’ll just have to wait and see. He said to just keep quiet and stay away from the media. He wants you to cancel that speech after the testimony.”

“That little squinty, beady-eyed bastard… he…he…he just wants to keep us stewing so he can control us. He doesn’t want us to make a move unless he says so. He thinks we’re supposed  to keep the door open so he can walk in anytime he feels like it and tell us what to do. I’M NO PUPPET!

Putin doesn’t run the White House, I do! I’m the President of this country! He’s just a hoodlum…a thug…and a criminal! I’ll show him.”

Tanya had never heard her father say anything against Putin and could tell how much he resented his control. Still, he strove to be like him. Couldn’t he see how much he liked to control and manipulate people, too?

She watched her father throw some papers around and have another one of his tantrums. Honest and unfiltered? His supporters think they’re getting the honest and unfiltered President Graves? She looked at her father pouting like a child. She knew the world would soon see the honest and unfiltered Graves, when he and John were exposed as liars and traitors. Perhaps, she would be, too, one day.

John got up to leave. She started to call out to him and follow, then, remembered she was there and at the same time, she really wasn’t there. Her heart sank and she laid down upon the sofa, hiding her face, crying for what was to come, yet, feeling that she was already too late. Maybe, she had really lost John and everything had already taken place.

Through her muffled cries, she heard a faint, but, familiar voice calling to her.

“Mrs. Yanovich, Mrs. Yanovich. Sorry to wake you.”

Xenobia, her nurse, stood over Tanya, gently rubbing and patting her arm, calling to her, with her heavy Carribean Island accent.

” I’m sorry dearie, but, I’ve got to keep you on schedule. It’s time for your medication and the usual routine. You’ve got to wake up, my love. It won’t take long.”

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