As he gazed out at the sea of people – seeing in the crowd echoes of the same adoration that infused him with a faith that could not be extinguished.
The Lieutenant slowly nodded in approval, standing inches away from the candidate, feeling equal parts redeemed and inspired.
The candidate’s bellicose rhetoric was always contagious – he shouted whatever popped into his head which served to quench a void that seemed to be insatiable.
Accordingly, the crowd roared with an approval that he reveled in.
“People always tell me to be safe”, he bellowed.
Thankfully, the shouts of the crowd drowned him out, providing him with a reprieve to gulp down copious amounts of water that served to invigorate him.
Pausing for effect, he surveyed the crowd and with one fluid motion, he raised his hands, quieting the masses of people. He semalessly pivoted to the standard close that he used for all of his speeches.
“Safe… Better be with me!
And with that he bounded off of the stage – retreatunt into confines of his security detail, who enveloped and whisked him off the stage and into the limousine flanked by his Lieutenant to be whisked off to the Hotel.
Later that evening at the Waldorf…
The Lieutenant heard a muffled noise from the adjoining room bordering the candidate.
It was a morose sob that sounded foreign and unfamiliar, his body tensed as he reached for his holstered gun and he slid into the candidate’s room.
Seeing him collapsed in the fetal position on the floor, sobbing uncontrollably – left him speechless…
He was frozen in place for what seemed to be an eternity.
Before he finally, he managed to ask.
“Sir… Are you alright?”
“I’m okay”, the candidate replied…
“But… Now that you mention it, I… I… haven’t been okay for a long time.”
And with that – the adoration that the Lieutenant always had for his hero evaporated into thin air.
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