I sat quietly on my cosy bed, anxiously awaiting the result of the election. Time began to hold back, minutes became as long as hours and hours began to take the form of days. In just a few moments from now, my future would be determined. I gasped for air and began to pace anxiously across the voguish room.
I imagined how great the future would be if the election result came out positive. How I would have my private escort, be addressed as ‘his excellency’ and become a major party stakeholder whose favour would be sought after by fellow politicians, organizations, monarchs and myriad individuals. I imagined how much respect and duty that victory at the polls would bring, a flurry of smiles sneaked through my face, but before I could savour, it was immediately stifled by the fear that came with the thought of losing the election.
I had invested a huge amount of money and time into ensuring that I win this election. I borrowed loans from three banks to safeguard my announcement as the party’s anointed candidate. Two of my five houses were sold to cover loose ends, when that vindictive journalist failed to stop publishing his bogus accusations of my alleged involvement in child trafficking and sexual harassment despite receiving my initial settlement.
Should the election result be unfavourable, then all my efforts would have been for nothing. The sad truth about politics is there is no consolation prize, just as the winner wins all, the loser losses all. The election was my ticket to getting my wealth back on track; I would be able to acquire new properties and salvage my company. I knew from the beginning that failure to win would have disastrous consequences but I never truly considered its gravity until now.
My heart continued to pace rapidly, I felt like Atlas shouldering the weight of the world. I could feel the fear taking over, infecting my frail body like a vile disease, spreading its root from my heart to my liver, my lungs, veins and bone marrow. My stomach soon began to twinge as though little carnivorous insects were devouring my intestine from within. I felt a gust of mild headache sneaking through my skull. The world soon became bleak. As my fear plunged into despair, I budged from fidgety to trembling. My weary legs could no longer pace back and forth; I took a heavy gasp and steeply tumbled to the cosy embrace of my lonely bed.
How would I survive unless I win this election? How do I inform my family that my towering ambition had reduced us to nothing? How would I face my friends, colleagues and everyone who supported and believed in me knowing I am a failure? I thought repeatedly over and again. I remembered vividly how I woke up early in the morning to galvanize my campaign team. I remembered the late night meetings that never end. I remembered the godfathers, traditional rulers and chiefs I kowtowed for endorsement. I remembered leading my company to the brink of bankruptcy, all because I needed to bankroll my prodigal campaign.
For a brief moment, I wished I never contested, I wished I had stayed in the private sector, as part of the board member of two transnational companies, or retained my position as CEO of the company I inherited from my late father. I wished I never got ambitious, that I never desired to become the youngest governor of this godforsaken state. I wished I had taken a different path and avoided this tenuous reality.
The fear in me had opened the door for regret to creep in; I wished I could go back in time to change my decisions. My heart felt the explosion of a cocktail of fear, regret, sorrow, anguish and despair. I felt miserably helpless.
Then I said to myself, “I did the best I could and I actually have a strong chance of emerging victorious”.
Moments later, my phone rang, my campaign manager had called and my worst nightmare became a reality. That night in my scenic room, I played host to unimaginable grief.