“I now introduce to you our new Prime Minister Winter Takashima!”
The applause following the words was deafening. The centre was packed to the point that it felt as if everyone were packed into a can of sardines. It was hot, humid and sweltering; and that was only outside. Inside the convention centre it was a hundred times worst. Drops of sweat were rolling down peoples’ backs in rivers and no one cared. Everyone had wanted to be present for this event. There had been people lined up to get into the convention centre a day before this event. People knew who would be the next Prime Minister and they wanted to be able to state that they had been there when he was sweared in.
Standing at the back of the convention centre was a woman wearing a black tank top and blue jeans. When she had walked in to the centre men and women alike took a second glance. Men wanted to know her better and get her phone number, and women wanted to know how they can look like her. Regardless of the fact that she was dressed in a simple outfit she had made sure that her dark brown hair had been styled into beautiful curls, her breasts were Dds (and they were not enhanced) which were very prominent because of the tank top. She also walked with confidence in the fact that she was beautiful. People who knew her were happy being around her. She had a great sense of humour and she never put anyone down. However, what no one knew except a few selected people was that it had taken her years to get her self-confidence. Before five years ago she was on yo-yo diets and had the worst self esteem problem that anyone could have had. It was hard work and support from her family and her two best friends to help her get through it. Now, she had everything she needed to be the best person that she can be. And to her, she was. She was well known for her fiction novels and was finishing her grad school in Hamilton, Ontario. Currently, it was summer so she would have been up in North Bay working at her part-time job during the summer at a small café. However, she wanted to be in Ottawa for the introduction of the new Prime Minister.
Prime Minister Winter Takashima. Short spiked black hair that was so soft that you couldn’t stop touching it, beautiful black slanted eyes, and a body to die for. This was the new Prime Minister of Canada. This was one of her best friends of fifteen years.
Kayla Dubois gave a small smile as Winter lifted his hands in the air with confidence. He was someone who knew what he wanted and wouldn’t stop until he got it. He had been working toward this moment for years. She was proud of his accomplishments and knew that he will be the best Prime Minister that this country will ever see. He would do things for this country that should have been done years ago.
“Go Winter!” Kayla yelled into the still applauding crowd. Her secret love for him filled her until she wasn’t able to feel anything else.
As Winter finished his first speech as Prime Minister of Canada the Four big screen televisions that were situated around the centre zoomed in to his face. He was laughing and smiling. Happy to be able to have reached one of his biggest goals in life at age 35.
“You go Winter. Show the world what you’re made of.” Kayla said with confidence and love.
This Prime Minister wouldn’t be someone that other countries would be able to push around. He would stand up for Canada and everyone in it.
One day over smoking up together he told her that he wasn’t sure if he would be a good Prime Minister. Stating that Power grows evil intentions. Kayla laughed and assured him that there wouldn’t be anything wrong. That he would be a great Prime Minister. She still believed it.
With a quick glance to her watch Kayla swore. She had to be at the bus station in a few hours to catch her bus back to North Bay. She gave one last look at the new Prime Minister before leaving.
If she had looked back just as she reached the exit doors she would have seen Winter Takashima, the new Prime Minister of Canada, looking right at her with a secret smile. A smile that would have frozen her in her tracks, for in that smile was the first spark of evil.
North Bay, Ontario (One year later)
“I can’t believe that next month we will have 100% coverage in our health care. To top it off, minimum wage is going up to 14.00/hour! I’ll finally be able to pay off my debts!” cried Krissy as she worked on a customer’s order.
Kayla smiled at her friend’s excitement and continued making more coffee. This was what she liked, her friends not crying about their finances. Winter Takashima was doing something for the little people. The people who have been ignored for years. It was a great feeling. People were happy regardless of what job they were doing. You rarely got an angry customer or client in Canada now in days. Provinces were not threatening to separate from the country.
In under one year Winter Takashima had created a Utopia. Immigrants from all over were running to Canada, the real country of freedom. Once again, Kayla became proud of her best friend. Of what he was able to create.
The only problem that she had was that she wasn’t able to make her regular phone calls to him. Before he became Prime Minister she would call him every three days to see how things were. He would talk to her about his problems and his hope for the country. She in return would give him a fresh view of the situation and encourage him. Now, she couldn’t get a hold of him. The secretary would tell her that he would be out and that he wouldn’t know when Winter would be in. After a few months of getting the run around she decided to stop calling. She wrote to him once a month, even though he never wrote back. She still wanted to be friends. 16 years of friendship couldn’t be erase so easily. At least that was what she thought.
“What the hell is that?” Krissy said in a high pitch voice staring at the front window of the establishment. Everyone in the small coffee shop looked over to see what had surprised her.
Three black cars with their windows tinted were parked outside. Two seconds later six men started getting out of two of the cars. They were dressed all in black with dark sunglasses on. They were not here for fun, anyone could see that with the expressionless faces they wore.
Everyone in the café started to talk all at once excited and scared. No one knew who was in the third car, however it had to be someone of importance since two of the six people who left the other cars moved to stand on either side of the car. The other four went into a circle to talk to each other while one of them was on a cell phone.
“Who do you think it is?” Krissy asked with excitement. “Do you think it’s a celebrity?”
“I don’t know.” Kayla said with confusion. This was North Bay. No one of importance came here unless it was during the festivals. However it was another two months before they started.
Just as the noise in the café started to become deafening the four people in the circle started to walk to the front doors. As they got nearer Kayla noticed that they were all armed. Armed meant that they were dangerous.
“Krissy, go get Jake.” Kayla said with fear. She didn’t know what was going on, but the closer the men in black got to the front doors the more scared she became.
“Kayla what are you talking about? They probably came to get some coffee. I’ll serve the guy on the right okay? He looks cute.” Krissy said as she was distracted by the man she spoke about.
Kayla’s heart started pounding like a jackhammer. “Fuck him. Get Jake NOW!”
“Fine.” Krissy said after give the man another glance. “But you owe me one.” Was her last words to Kayla before she left to get the owner.
The sound of the front door opening made everyone in the store stop talking all at once.
Kayla placed her fear at the back of her mind, took a calming breath and walked up to the four men with a smile of welcome. Maybe they were only here for coffee, like Krissy suggested. Fuck they better be here for coffee, Kayla thought.
“Hello. Welcome to our establishment. What may I get for you?”
Nothing. Not one of them said anything or broke into a smile.
The fear that Kayla had placed at the back of her mind came to the front. Her heart started beating fast once again. They were here for business. Business that she didn’t want to know about. Jake may owe them money. Fuck, she knew that the café wasn’t doing well recently, but that didn’t mean that he had to go to the mob or some loan shark for money. If that was what he had done, Kayla promised herself that she would kick his ass.
They stood there staring at each other for more than one minute before one of them (the cute one) left the group to stand right in front of her.
“We are looking for Miss Dubois. Would you be able to tell us if she is working today?”
“No. I don’t know when she will be working. Sorry gentlemen.” Kayla said in a rush. She wasn’t sure why she lied, only that she didn’t want them to know who she was.
“Are you sure she isn’t working today? We called a few minutes ago and the owner assured us that she was here.” He said with a small smile.
To Kayla that smile was more of a warning than a friendly one. All that the man was able to accomplish was to show her his teeth. This wasn’t a friendly smile. This was a knowing smile. He knew who she was and he was playing with her.
“I…I’ll tell her that you’ve been looking for her. Now if there isn’t anything else that I can help you with can you please leave this establishment? You are making our customers nervous.”
“Your customers aren’t the only ones who are nervous. However, you can give Miss Dubois a message when you see her.”
“Alright. What’s the message?”
“The game has begun.”
Kayla blinked. That was it? What the hell was that? Who would give a message like that?
“Who are you?” Kayla asked in confusion.
“Is there anything wrong Sir?”
Kayla jumped and turned to see the owner of the café Jake McMatters walking in from the back room with Krissy hot on his heels.
“May I assist you?” Jake asked as he stopped beside Kayla.
Kayla gave Jake a quick glance. The man was over 35 years old, but the man looked as if he was younger. He took care of himself to ensure that he was in great health. He had great hair and a beautiful complexion. His greatest asset that even had Kayla stop in her tracks a few times were his eyes. They were a beautiful crystal blue. They seem to be able to pierce people down to their very souls. Kayla was attracted to him and he knew it. He would use the fact over and over again to get her to work double shifts, stating that he would be in the café until she was done working and then he would drive her home. Usually they would stay up at her place for a few hours after work talking about the day and having a little something to drink.
Even though Kayla found him attractive she wouldn’t sleep with him. At first it annoyed him considerably, but after she explained that she only wanted to sleep with one person and one person only Jake had stopped asking her out. Oh, he would still flirt with her, and she would do the same thing. She wasn’t dead after all.
“Mr. McMatters?” asked the cute one said as he looked at Kayla.
“We spoke on the telephone a few minutes ago. We are looking for Miss Dubois. We were informed by you that she would be here.”
“Yes, I do remember that conversation.”
“Then you will understand our confusion. When we got here we were told by one of your staff that Miss Dubois isn’t here. Do you have problems in keeping tabs on your staff? You are running a business are you not?” The cute man asked with a little anger.
Kayla swallowed in nervousness. This was it. Jake would tell him that she was the person that they were looking for.
“I am not sure what happened Sir. All I know is that she was here a few hours ago. Krissy, do you know what happened to her?” Jake asked as he turned to Krissy.
“I…I forgot to tell you that she had to leave for an appointment that she forgot about. Sorry.” Krissy said with a small laugh.
“When you see her next tell her that I want to see her.”
“I’ll do that.”
Kayla gave a small sigh of relief. They were not going to tell them who she was. Kayla promised herself that when Christmas came around she would go all out for the both of them.
“Is there anything else I can do for you? I am sorry that I gave you false information Sir.” Jake said with the up most politeness to the man.
“No, it’s fine. Everyone makes mistakes some times. We are only human after all.” The man said. He then turned to his buddies that were standing silently behind him to talk to them in low tones.
Just when Kayla thought that they would leave the café one of them took out the cell phone again.
“What’s going on?” Jake asked in a whisper to Kayla.
“I…I don’t know. They came in asking for Kayla Dubois.” Kayla said in a whisper back.
“Is she in trouble?” Krissy interjected the conversation.
“I don’t know Krissy. I don’t think so. There wouldn’t be any reason why.” Kayla said as she rubbed her forehead.
“Shit may hit the fan soon. No one sends people like them unless they mean business.” Jake said with concern as he placed a hand on Kayla’s shoulder.
“I’ll make sure that she understands the next time I see her.” Kayla said with gratitude as she placed a hand over his.
“Sorry to interrupt this conversation. We apologize for the awkwardness of this situation.” The cute one said as he turned back to them. “However, someone that Miss Dubois knows would like to speak to her.” He said as he pointed to the car that was protected.
“Someone she knows?” Kayla asked.
“Yes. However since she isn’t here we decided to stay for something to eat and drink. A repayment of sort for the scene that we have created.”
“Alright. How many people will be joining you?” Jake asked.
“One moment while my associate talks with our boss. He may decide to have something to eat as well.”
Just then the man on the phone turned it off and looked at the cute man with a nod.
“We would like to have a table for ten people please.” The cute man said with a smile.
“Krissy go get there table ready.” Jake said as he smiled back. “Go help her.” He told Kayla as an after thought.
“Will do Jake.” Kayla said happy that she would be able to do something instead of standing there wondering what the hell was going on.
Just as she started to turn to help Krissy the cute man stopped her with a hand on her shoulder. He then leaned in close enough until she was able to feel his breath in her ear.
“You can’t run for ever Miss Dubois. All of your chess pieces are useless.” He said in an angry voice.
Kayla jumped back as if she had been slapped. “Who the fuck are you?”
“You’ll know soon enough.” He then turned to look outside the café. “Look here he comes. You remember him don’t you?”
Kayla started to hear her heart pounding in her ears. Her hands were shaking so much that she had to hold them together.
When she turned to see outside, her world as she knew it slipped from under her feet.
Winter Takashima, the Prime Minister of Canada was getting out of the car.
Why would he be here? If he wanted to speak to her, why couldn't he just called or at least write back. He had no fucken reason to come see her in person after not speaking to her for one year.
As Kayla stood there looking at Winter as he came into the café a shiver of fear crawled up her back. This wasn’t good. This wasn’t good at all.
The Prime Minister of Canada was in North Bay.
That was the only thing that was going through her head as he walked up to his entourage of guards. Now Kayla knew why they were not smiling and looked mean. They had to if they were protecting someone as important as Winter.
“It’s been a while Kayla. What have you been doing with your time?” Winter Takashima asked with his bedroom voice and a small smile as he turned to look at her.
“Winter. I didn’t know that you were in the area.” Kayla said as she looked around the café. People were talking to each other in low tones staring at Winter. They knew who he was. Everyone knew how he looked liked.
“Kayla, I didn’t know that you knew the Prime Minister.” Jake said with awe.
“Yeah, we go a long way don’t we Winter.” Kayla said with sadness. Now that she got a good look at him, he wasn’t the same person that she knew. He was more hard, more stronger. He looked like he would crush anyone that would get in his way.
“Now, now Kayla. Is this the kind of tone you should use with someone that you’ve known for more than sixteen years? Where is the hug and kiss that you used to give me when you used to see me?” Winter said as he opened his arms wide.
Kayla looked at Jake, who was looking at her in awe. Fuck. The star struck look was on his face. He wouldn’t see her for who she was anymore. This always happened when she told people that she knew Winter. People would try to get close to her so that she can ask him to do them a small favour. She hated it. She wanted people to see her for herself, not for who she knew.
“Come, give me my hug and kiss that I haven’t had in one year.”
“Alright Winter.” Kayla said in a small voice as she walked into his arms and followed his orders. As soon as she was wrapped in his arms it felt as if she had her old friend back. She hugged him with all her might and kissed him on the cheek, just like old times. The feelings of love that she had for him even came out in the actions.
“I missed you Winter.” Kayla said into his right ear as she gave him another kiss, just below his ear.
After another two minutes of hugging they separated. Kayla, a little shy looked away to see the customers looking at her with awe and a little jealousy. “Why are you here Winter? You couldn’t called me. I haven’t changed my cell phone number since five years ago.”
“I know. I just wanted to pop in as a surprise. I had an appointment in Sudbury and since it was only a few hours away I decided to visit you. Are you not happy Kayla?”
“I am. Thank you. It’s a great surprise.” Kayla said as she got the courage to look at him again. “How long are you going to stay here? We can maybe catch a movie later on tonight if you want. Maybe even get something to eat.” Now that she had hugged him, the fear that she had at first seeing him was gone. She wasn’t even sure why she had been scared to begin with.
“Actually, I can’t stay. However, I need to speak to you in private for a moment.” Winter said as he looked at Jake.
Jake took the hint. “You can use my office if you wish.”
“Thank you. I will.” Winter started walking to the back of the café. “Kayla, are you not coming?” He asked as he continued walking.
“Yeah Winter. I am coming.” Her heart started pounding once again. This meeting wasn’t going to be good.
Once they reached the door Winter opened it and allowed her to go through first, like a true gentleman. Kayla took the first chair that she walked by and sat with her hand folded over her knees. Winter on the other hand took the chair on the other side of the desk. As she looked at him she couldn’t help but be amaze at the fact that he looked great on the other side of a desk. This was what he was meant to do.
Winter placed his hands on the desk intertwined. “The letter that I sent you a few months ago. Why didn’t you read it?”
“What letter is that Winter? I don’t remember you writing me at all in the past year.” Kayla knew what he was talking about. At first she was happy that he wrote her. However, when she opened it she noticed that it wasn’t written by him. It was typed. She didn’t want to read something as sterile as how the letter sounded.
“You did read it, didn’t you?” He said with a smile.
Kayla was starting to hate that smile. It wasn’t the smile that he used to have. This one was more like a robot, smiling for the reason of smiling.
“Winter, if you knew that I read the letter than why ask me?” She said with a sigh.
“Just wondering if you would tell the truth or not.” He studied his hands for a second then looked back at her. “I know you read the letter, I just wonder why you didn’t follow the instructions that were given.”
“You told me to get my ass to Ottawa, I couldn’t at the time. I wrote you a letter of apology, but I guess you didn’t read that one too. Just like the other letters that I wrote to you in the past year.”
“I am sorry about that. I have been very busy being the Prime Minister. I still have all of the letters that you sent me, just not opened.” He said with a shrug, as if it was nothing.
“Winter are you hearing yourself? I write to you every month and you never give me a sign that you have them. What’s going on? Why does it seem like you’re avoiding me? Did I do something wrong?” She said with concern. She thought back at the last time that they had spent together. It was like all of the other times, they had smoked up and watch movies until they passed out. Nothing out of the ordinary for them. Then what else had changed?
“Kayla, I am not here to relive past memories. I have an agenda today.”
“What is it?”
“Did you understand the letter? You were supposed to have come to Ottawa because I had something of importance to give you.” After saying those words he took out a cell phone and spoke one word “Come.”
Two seconds later two of his guards came in with a suitcase. They passed her without giving her a glance and placed the suitcase on the desk. Winter reached for the lock and opened it. At the distance that Kayla was sitting, she wasn’t able to see what was in there. However, there must be something interesting because the two men couldn’t take their eyes off of it.
“Kayla, come here for a moment. I have something to show you.” Winter said as he reached in and took out something. The item must have been very small because she could only see his cupped hand, as if he was holding something precious.
“What is it?” Kayla was now curious staring at his hand. She wanted to know what he was holding.
“Come and see. You’ll like it. I promise you.”
She glanced up and found him looking at her with caring. Even though he wasn’t the same person that he was before on the outside, inside he was still the old Winter that she had always known.
Slowly, Kayla got up and walked towards the desk. As she got nearer the two men started to change positions until they were standing directly behind her. For a moment she felt like they were caging her in.
“Do you see it?” Winter asked as he held his hand up more so that she would get a better view.
Nothing. There was nothing in his hand.
“Winter. I see nothing.” Kayla said in confusion.
“Look closer. It’s small so you have to get right up to see it.”
Kayla bent more forward until her face was a few inches from his hand. She still wasn’t able to see anything. “Uhmmm…it’s nice Winter. Very beautiful.” Kayla said in confusion. There was nothing there! However, she didn’t want to upset him so she pretended that she was able to see something. What it was supposed to be, she wasn’t sure.
“You like it?”
“Yes, very interesting.” She said with a nod.
“Well, Kayla. What I find interesting is that you are able to see something in my hand when there’s nothing there.” He said with a laugh.
She jerked her head up to see his face. “What?”
Winter took the hand that he had used to pretend to hold something and slowly reached for her face. “Kayla, you are as gullible as ever I see.”
Kayla was still. She couldn’t move. Winter was slowly rubbing his knuckles up and down her cheek as he stared into her eyes. In those eyes she saw kindness, love, concern and one more emotion that she didn’t want to see. Regret. He was regretting something. He never regretted anything.
“Winter…” Kayla said still looking into his eyes as she felt the two guards closing in on her from behind.
So what do you think?