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MIA Krae sprang up from bed with a start.
If the twenty-five-year-old had slept through the night, anyone would have thought she just had a nightmare.
But her eyes had been awake all night.
She’d pointlessly buried herself in her laptop all through the night; furiously thumping at the keys with cramped and aching fingers.
Mia had busied herself with working on three frivolous news articles only to keep herself from shedding more tears.
She’d typed for hours before going to bed some one hour thirty minutes ago.
But Mia hadn’t got a moment of sleep in bed.
She slid her feet into a pair of bathroom slippers and got up on her feet. She groped for the wall in the dim morning light and reached for the main light in her two-bedroom apartment.
She turned on the lights and just stood there for some moments, hands clasped over her waist. She looked at the wall clock.
It was about twenty-five minutes to six in the morning.
A new poster that’d been elaborately framed and decorated hanged on the wall just below the clock. It bore the following impressive words.
HERE IS A MAN WITH A HEART OF KIMBERLAND BENEATH HIS CHEST
HERE IS THE ONE PATRIOT WITH COURAGE AND COMPASSION
VOTE JIMI JACOBS AS THE PRESIDENT OF KIMBERLAND
FOR THE 2017 GENERAL ELECTIONS
VOTE GREAT SERVICE, GREAT INTEGRITY & SUPER GREAT ACCOUNTABILITY!
Gracing the centre page of the poster was a large picture of Jimi Jacobs.
Looking charmingly decorous, he solemnly placed a hand over a large heart; with his heart being the map of Kimberland.
Mia glanced briefly at the framed poster of the new President of Kimberland who came into office only three months ago.
It was October 2, 2017 today. Mia remembered her worries again, with the reminder bells the rolling year rang in her head.
The twenty-five-year-old journalist was dressed in a cream night gown with floral patterns of violet, mint green and sunset yellow.
Mia always wore her hair in a mass of natural curls with a lovely dark gloss. Her supple chocolate skin gleamed in the light with a coppery sheen.
And she had a slim figure with perfect curves.
Mia let out a frustrated sigh, a stream of tear coursing down her left cheek.
She muttered. ‘Let’s get rid of the tears, Mia.’
The young gorgeous girl rolled out a tissue paper from her desk and dabbed the tears.
She stretched her limbs back and forth to flex them. And after just a couple minutes, she began jogging on a spot.
Today was a Monday, but she didn’t care she got up already late for work. She was really going to darn the consequences and live one moment at a time.
At least, for today.
Within a few minutes, the lovely girl of twenty-five was drenched with sweat.
And along the sweat flowed the tears.
The sun that dawned on Gardon City at the same time was like light showers of soothing rain on a cool day.
The gentle sunshine was the kind that instantly begot enough motivation and optimism for that initial weekday of work in Kimberland’s capital city.
But then, as the sun dawned on the day, it only dusked on the dreams of the first citizen of the small tourist nation of Southern Africa.
The forty-six-year-old Jimi Jacobs sat in a large living room in the Rock Castle. Kimberland’s presidential palace. Sitting resplendent in the capital city of Gardon.
The dark skinned Mr Jacobs had a handsome oval face, an average height and a sturdy frame. His low cropped hair glistened in the light with scanty specks of silvery grey strands.
He had a regular chin and wore a dark, shiny beard and moustache in a neat square shaped cut.
And his shoulders formed a broad square that reinforced his charming, athletic build.
Jimi raised his gaze from within the pile of papers he’d busied himself with through the night. He glanced at the wall clock right ahead of him.
It was about twenty minutes to six in the morning.
Jimi had set up a financial and economic development committee since about three months ago when he resumed the presidential position.
The committee had been working but it seemed it’d just been difficult to make reasonable progress on what he wanted.
At the end, the committee came up with a report anyway. But the report here wasn’t inspiring. Not at all was it.
Discovered and conquered by the British Empire in 1820, the Southern African Kimberland had emerged an independent nation after a hundred years.
The former British subject tottered into a free, independent walk as a sovereign state in 1920.
And now in the year 2017, almost a hundred years after independence, Kimberland’s economy already derived essentially from tourism and foreign investments.
President Jacobs reclined in his seat and flexed his neck a little.
The economist had taken it upon him to successfully sail the ship of Kimberian economy to stability and then unprecedented success.
But the committee he’d set up on the country’s economy had only come up with a heartbreaking report.
They’d analysed the country’s internal revenue, foreign investment as well as past fiscal plans and policies.
And it was crystal clear the economy had experienced sore wounds from past admirations.
And it appeared it might take a lot of time to heal up.
The report spelt out the patience of a farmer in every little detail. But the president was a jet age man.
Jimi picked up his phone on the side stool and dialled a number.
He waited for a few seconds while a deep husky voice of a man answered at the other end.
Jimi didn’t bother with pleasantries.
He muttered. ‘We need to talk.’
Mia dabbed her face dry with a towel.
She’d just halted her jogging and her body felt weary. It was the one hundred and fifty-sixth jog and she was fagged out already.
It wasn’t from a physical stress Mia was fatigued. No; it was rather from an emotional one.
Mia sat down on the tiled floor and her mother’s words popped up in her head.
‘What is the essence of your so-called career advancements without a man?’
Mia used to be the envy of her classmates all through high school. She was good at almost everything. From her studies to public speaking, and to athletics in fact.
Everyone wanted to be like her. But Mia’s goal through girlhood was to be the perfect picture in her mother’s heart.
Mrs Krae was the perfectionist. She was the only one that found a flaw in her daughter’s life.
Every race Mia had started in life had being about the perfect thing her mother could flaunt.
But Mia soon forgot about that when she started doing so well in the life after college.
After the smart younger woman graduated from the University at twenty-one, she soon got an enviable job at one of the leading news media in the country.
Mia’s workplace had its operational base in Kakakhi, Western Province. And she soon got herself a comfortable flat on a rent in the vast, booming city.
Her outstanding performance in her work soon began to earn her regular promotions.
She covered big stories for VCN’s TV channel and got exclusives for political and governmental personages.
All these had earned Mia awards in the nation’s news media and a growing nationwide recognition.
Mia wanted to own her happiness. And that she’d been achieving right from the time she graduated from the University.
She wanted to lead her own life.
But then, Mrs Krae wouldn’t let go of her daughter that soon. Now that the younger woman was about twenty-five, Mrs Krae’s expectations and worries had only just resumed.
Mia’s mother came visiting her as frequent as rainfall in a season of flood. And Mrs Krae’s rampant visitations only dampened the younger woman’s fighting spirit.
‘The true test of a woman’s intelligence is being able to capture a good man’s heart but what have you done? You haven’t even found any man to call yours!
‘Don’t you want me to see my grandkids, Mia? Won’t you give me grandkids, Mia?
‘Look, you’ve only failed as a girl and as my daughter if you can’t get yourself a responsible man at this age! You’ve totally failed regardless of those awards!
‘And those plaques and recognitions, uh? They haven’t fetched you a home, have they?’
Now seated on the floor exhausted from her joggings, Mia dabbed her sweat and tears with a towel. As her mother’s words of days ago sliced through her heavy chest.
When Mrs Krae stepped on the accelerator of her daughter’s life, Mia would usually charge up and go right on to get her mother’s wish done.
But this time, the accelerator wasn’t going to stir up the pretty young chap the way her mother expected.
Mia heaved a sigh where she sat on the floor.
She muttered in a sad, weak voice. ‘To my mother, I’m just a trophy. My whole life and existence is just a trophy for her to flaunt to the world!’
She raised her head, glanced at the wall clock and sprang up. She got her toiletries, and then rushed into the bathroom and turned on the shower.
She just remembered now that she could wash all her tears away.
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