Claire and Rachel went to their booth in the coffee house and waited in silence for Donna to bring them their coffee, each with hopes of some fresh scones.
Claire finally opened up to Rachel, her anger raging. “I dated the Senator for a full day, and yes. I spent that night with him. I woke up the next morning before he did, and that’s when I found the manual they call Take Back Our Country. I didn’t know he was married.” She shook her head, then stared across the table. “Why am I even explaining this, I haven’t done anything wrong. It seems like every day brings a new assault on me and I’m letting it get to me.”
“My people are working on the photos, it will be my story tomorrow night. It would make a really really big impact if you were to come on the show, Claire.”
“I can’t do that, Rachel. Honestly? You don’t want me. The truth of the matter is this. I still don’t know how I’ll vote. It’s perfectly clear to me how my reputation can be damaged by these folks. In other words, I know I won’t have a chance of re-election if I vote against this bill.”
“Yes, but Claire. What about Eve? What if your hypothesis is right-on about her world? What if the bill is the beginning of the changes she eventually has to live with, endure? And not just her, all the citizens of this country.”
“That’s my point. We don’t really know what the future holds, or how the future becomes what it is. Maybe it’s my working as a Senator that changes her world.”
“Yea, maybe you become the next President. Claire, a lot of maybe this, maybe that in this conversation. Voting against this bill seems like the most likely way to stop all these wrongs. You can have a voice on my show every night if you like.”
“If I’m not a Senator, I can’t vote though, can I Rachel? I need to remain a Senator so I can vote to keep things sane.”
Rachel removed her dark-rimmed glasses and rubbed them with a napkin from the table. When she replaced them to their rightful position, she nodded in approval. “That’s better. I can see you now. For a minute, I wasn’t sure it was you across the table.”
“Funny, ha! Hey, I’m sorry for not asking, how are you feeling?”
“Just a little sore, that’s all. I’m going to live.” Then Rachel smiled at her.
“Those photos from your camera? One of them wasn’t centered on the manual. Your hands were probably shaking. Anyway, it was a lucky break. That photo shows in its background, a portion of a personal photo Mr. Hancock has sitting on his desk. It’s of him and his buddies who wrote the bill. Now that’s a stroke of luck, I would say.”
Claire straightened her back and smiled for the first time in hours. “This is great news, I didn’t notice. Rachel, why did you wait so long to tell me this?”
“I wanted to know how you plan on voting first. Listen, Claire…”
“Hello Claire, Rachel.” Eve stood at their table’s end, looking forlorn and tired. “Can I sit with you?”
The sound of her voice enticed both women to look up, their expressions undoubtedly showing interest. Their evening was certainly about to take a turn for the better.
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