62 – The wall

He stood there, watching from a distance as the crowd cheered with every falling piece of the wall.

Most of them were too young to really understand the true meaning, and cost, of what they were now gleefully attacking with hammers and pick axes.

But not him. He could still remember the times when this had been an open garden where other crowds had cheered the man who was to be their savior.

More chunks of stone and concrete rained upon the pavement as he watched the awkward moment when relatives who had grown on either side and never known each other suddenly found themselves confronted with the cognitive dissonance of meeting a familiar stranger.

He wondered about their future. Would a people so divided even before the wall went up would ever be able to become a single nation again? He didn’t know, and he was too old and tired to care now.

He’d seen so many things. His friends and neighbors being loaded into trucks never to be seen again. Scientists and thinkers arrested or fleeing just in time.

Then came the war. The triumphant parades and cheerful news from the front that kept coming even as the sound of guns began to be heard near the capital.

The defeat was not as painful as the occupation. Seeing his country torn apart and divided between the victorious, his city sliced in half by that hideous wall… he took his glasses off to wipe away the tears.

This city had been the last to fall. When the coalition troops led by the resistance finally stormed the White House they found the eternal president and his closest aides dead inside the Oval Office, unwilling as always to accept defeat.

And to think all they ever wanted was to make their country great again.

He walked away from the window and watched his reflection on the mirror one last time.

He was dressed in his best gala uniform, the golden insignia of the president’s élite praetorian guards shining brightly on the black overcoat.

The sound of footsteps on the building’s stairs told him it was time. With a last salute to the figure on the mirror, he put the gun against his head, and pulled the trigger.

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