I throw my pen on Josie’s desk hard enough to knock down her framed photo of her and her brother. She stops typing and turns around to watch me, no surprise showing on her face. She knew this would happen, she warned me to let go, that my boss has a family he is responsible for, and won’t go against the Party anymore.
“He won’t do it! He won’t publish my article on the protests! He says we must be careful what we show to the world, and we should try to get people back inside their houses, so as not to get unwanted attention from the Government…He’s such a weak piece of shit! I bet the Governor threatened him…or his wife! Maybe little Annabelle. He mentioned something about wanting Annabelle to go study abroad, I bet he was preparing for something!”
Josie only nods, having decided not to interrupt me as I have my epiphany. She just nods along, not wanting to say “I told you so!”.
“I’ll just leak the story to one of the websites created for the protests.” There are a couple of them who are really trying to be objective during this whole period, and they would not “butcher” my article too much, in order to gain sympathy for their own political affiliation.
“I know exactly who can help!” quips Josie.
“Great, now you decide to chime in?” I bite at her in frustration. All this work, going out every night after work, going home exhausted, only so we can tell people the truth, and now he decides he can’t risk his job anymore, even though it was his idea in the first place!
She starts typing something furiously, and I decide to go get a cup of coffee. However, as I arrive in the kitchen, I see that the pot if empty again, and nobody bothered to wash it. I grab the pot, rinse it and put it back, I lift the top off the machine and measure 6 tablespoons. I quickly glance at my watch – it’s 5 p.m., everybody will be having long nights tonight. Serves them right for not cleaning the damned thing in the first place. I only meant to measure 4 tablespoons, but somehow my mind started wandering. I have a bad feeling about this Emotion Law, and nobody but Anthony backs me up. Sure, Livy will go protest with me, but I think that’s just her way of disconnecting from her very demanding job. Josie doesn’t believe we are going to succeed anything. And Anthony… well… Anthony is another story. I can’t believe we are so in tune, after only knowing each other for like 5 minutes! As I start pouring myself a cup of coffee, I see Josie coming and pour a cup for her too. She waves me off with a pen in her hand and gives me the piece of paper she was holding. On it is a name, Jose, and a phone number.
“Make sure he knows Josie told you to call him! Just say you need to talk about his niece’s birthday party. That’s his code for the protests. He used to train to become a Navy SEAL and was all about code. Became sort of paranoid in the last couple of years, but with the Government doing what it’s doing, who can blame him?” she paused, thinking for a second, then she took her cup of coffee and started going back to her office. “Gotta go! Andrew is taking me to the Art Museum tonight! There’s an exhibit of the Students’ dissertations, should be fun!”
“Yeah… if you like flowers!” I mutter to myself as I remember Anthony’s story. Speaking of Anthony, today marks a week since our first kiss and two weeks since we met. The deadline for the bill proposal is in two weeks, and I have a very gloomy feeling. The storms in the last days are not helping either, but they don’t stop people from attending the protests. Yesterday, almost a quarter of the city’s population was in the square. People have been gathering outside, every day, for almost a month now, and things are getting worse each day.