“I have big news to tell you Zeke. But first you have to promise to be honest with me. And I mean it, completely honest.” Lucky said in her most serious voice.
“Of course I will be honest. I’m always honest with you.” Zeke answered trying to hold back his growing curiosity.
“Okay fine.” Laquita said before smiling widely. “I am going to run for City Council!” Zeke smiled back at her.
“Those are great news Lucky!” He said and Lucky kept smiling.
“You are being honest right? Because if I am going to do this thing, if I want to run a successful campaign I have to be here in Sunset Valley not back at the capitol…” She took a deep breath and her smile vanished. “I would have to quit my job…”
Laquita, or Lucky how everyone close to her called her, worked for the state representative Posie Kerry. That job meant she had to spend all week in the capitol, she was home only on weekends, and not even every weekend. Zeke did miss her a lot, especially now that their father was gone… He felt he couldn’t really talk to anyone about it, anyone but Lucky…
But still he knew what an important step working for Posie was in her career so he never said anything about it but now that he knew there was a chance she might move back home for real he couldn’t stop a smile that crept on his face. Still Lucky asked for honesty…
“Posie will take it personally if you quit…” He said carefully and Lucky just nodded. “And she would still be the mother of the guy you are dating… That would surely be though…” He was silent for a while and Lucky looked at him with those big eyes of hers. “Still I say go for it.” Lucky smiled, obviously relieved. “It is your dream is it not?” Zeke continued. “You will never win elections if all you do is work for others. It is time to take off the training wheels.” Lucky was still smiling when she pulled him in a tight hug.
“Thank you for believing in me.” She whispered in his ear.
“I know you can do it.” He said. “You can run and you can win that election. I would have voted for you even if you weren’t my sister and best friend. People would have to be stupid not to vote for you.” He added. And he did truly mean it. Lucky was one of the best people he knew. She wanted to become the leader of the world one day and he knew she should be. He believed her and he believed in her. He knew she would do the best to make things better, not just for herself but for everyone.
“Well thank you for the kind words.” Lucky responded pulling away from him. “But there is one more thing I have to ask…” Zeke said nothing and Lucky went on. “I want you to be on my team. Help me win this.” Now Zeke stepped away nervously.
“I… I don’t know Lucky… I am not good at these things…. You need good people, experienced people…” Lucky dismissed him with a wave of her hand.
“I need people that I can trust to be honest with me. If I learned anything working for Posie all these years is that politicians gather sycophants…I will make mistakes, I just need someone to set me straight when I do…” Zeke nodded weakly. Lucky’s words did make sense and he knew that if his sister needed him he couldn’t just abandon her but still the thing made him wary.
Zeke worked a menial job at the City Hall during work hours and on most afternoons he would meet with Lucky and the rest of her campaign team and worked with them for the upcoming elections. Working at City Hall for years now Zeke was well acquainted with small town politics but still he hated it. He disliked lies, manipulation, duplicity… And all that kinda came in the package for most politicians he knew. Lucky was different, he still believed it but the work was draining and it left him little energy to do anything else.
Luckily Marty, his fiancee was understanding. She was busy for the whole summer too. It surprised Zeke greatly when Marty told him she would audition for a new martial arts movie being filmed right here in Sunset Valley. Marty was one of the most introverted persons he knew, still she did some commercial a while back and loved it. She explained to Zeke that she was comfortable around people when she was acting, she took on a role and became that, she was no longer Marty Gradle the clumsy loner… Zeke was glad it made her happy, at least one of them deserved to be doing something they loved…
Lucky’s campaign was going well but Zeke didn’t feel he had anything to do with it. There were only two instances when Lucky asked for his help. The first was at the very beginning of the campaign, they were discussing her strategies, taglines, stuff like that when one person proposed to print: Laquita Hoves, daughter of deceased police hero Jesse Hoves in their printed material.
“No.” Laquita said definitively.
“Why not?” The woman said. She was tall and blonde and almost always wore a scarf, Zeke could not remember her name. “That is true, is it not? And a lot of people knew and loved your father… They all know the circumstances of his death… I think that might help getting the voters on our side…” She pressed on. Lucky’s face darkened.
“It is true. And I know perfectly well what you are aiming at… I just don’t like it…” She said crossing her arms over her chest a frown on her face.
“But why?” The woman continued boldly. “The people still know…”
“Well if they know. They know.” Lucky interrupted her, which wasn’t her usual practice. “I am not using my father’s death for political points.” She finished sharply and the conversation was dropped.
It was later that night when everyone had left that Lucky came over to talk to Zeke. “Do you think I made the right decision?” She asked. Zeke regarded her carefully. She had seemed so determined back when she spoke to the blond woman, now she seemed shaken, nervous. He took a deep breath.
“I think you did. ” He said honestly. “She was right about that one simple statement bringing you a lot of sympathy votes… But you’ll get those votes regardless. You would have a good campaign and people would recognize you are not after power, you want to bring change, positive change for everyone.” Lucky smiled weakly.
“Thank you…” She whispered. Then she stopped. She looked as she was about to say something but she found it hard to say the words. That was uncharacteristic for his sister so Zeke froze himself. “Do you… do you think dad would be proud of me? For doing this I mean…” She finally said in a faint voice.
“Of course he would!” Zeke said truthfully making his sister smile.
That night he returned home in a somber mood. If he was to honestly think about it he was sure his father would have been proud of all of his siblings, Lucky was finally taking charge of her dreams, Irene was back, she got a job as a Tomas Prentiss’ lab assistant , Krystal had done her big sister duty and kept the family together… Only he had not changed anything… His life was the same as before… He did his stupid job he hated…He still hadn’t raised enough money to be ready to get married… He was stagnating in every possible way…
But then what could he do but power trough? There was much work to be done… He helped Lucky pick a photograph to use for the billboards and posters that are to be displayed all over town. That was another big affair, Lucky’s boyfriend helped her get this professional photographer to come to town and take pictures, there was a lot of dress up, make up… In the end she listened to Zeke who told her to choose the one where she looked most like herself.
After all it was an election, not a damned beauty pageant. Lucky agreed with him for the most part. She kept the focus of her campaign on the issues she would be addressing once she was elected city council. She gave a lot of interviews and Zeke got to watch her talk to journalists, since it was only a local election those were people from their town papers and radio but still it all seemed very professional.
Sometimes Zeke would watch those journalists and wish he was one of them… One of the people who would uncover the truth, read between the lines of other people’s stories… He admired the work they were doing greatly but he knew that was a challenge he could never take on… He loved to read, ever since he was a little kid but he couldn’t write to save his life and so that dream stayed just that, a dream…
/* So sorry for the delay I have been rather busy with everything and unable to finish this. Then once I did I just wasn’t satisfied with it… I think it is readable now and I hope you’ll like it. There will be three more parts of Zeke’s story that are right now in the early draft versions but I think I could get them out faster now that I at least know what it will be about… Any feedback is as always very welcome 🙂
If you want to rad more about Lucky you can check the characters page. */