L in the Southeast

L in the Southeast
Location
Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Birthday
November 04
Title
Retired PR Director
Bio
I am a retired Public Relations professional who now writes purely for fun and catharsis. I covered most of my memoir-type pieces in the first three years here. Lately I have dabbled in politics, current affairs, pop culture and movie reviews. Life is my muse.

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NOVEMBER 6, 2012 5:24PM

Being the Obamas on Election Night

Rate: 16 Flag

He nods goodnight to the guys with the dark glasses, leaving them to serve as sentries on his front porch.

While stepping across that familiar and long-missed threshold he inhales deeply and slowly sighs it out while he quietly shuts the door.  It is 7:30 p.m.

She is already there.  Her campaign duties ended with a women’s luncheon somewhere in Ohio at around 1:30 p.m. EST.  She and the girls are half-heartedly watching MSNBC while they await his arrival.

“Daddy’s home!”  He tries to sound upbeat.  He is mentally and physically exhausted.

Sasha, at 11, still hasn’t developed the cool reserve of her older sister.  She springs from her seat on the floor and throws herself at her father, arms and legs encircling his slender body.

“Oh, hi Dad.”  That from Malia, the tall, elegant teenager who will not reveal her delight at seeing the man the rest of us call POTUS.

The large old Mansion in Chicago’s upscale Hyde Park neighborhood wraps him in a soothing hug.  The light, the smell, the feel of the place whispers to his tired ears “you’re home.  You are safe here.”

Michelle rises from her seat on the sofa and sends an air kiss in the direction of his left cheek.  She knows this man better, sometimes, than he knows himself.  He needs to de-compress. 

“Do you want to take a hot shower first, or are you ready for supper?”

He glances at her while he hangs his cashmere overcoat in the front hall closet. 

“What’re we havin’?”

She grins.

“Italian Fiesta Pizzeria in Hyde Park has sent over three jumbo pies, of course.  It IS a special occasion.”

In one smooth motion he rips off his tie and tosses his suit coat on the back of the club chair near the window.

“Let’s eat.”

Once seated around the table, Malia asks if she should call the Secret Service detail in to eat. 

He smiles at her and shakes his head.

“Not tonight,Sweetie.  Let’s just be a family tonight.  We’ll send one of the pies out to them in a few minutes.”

For several minutes there are no more words.  Only the sounds of chewing and savoring the special concoctions the local pizzeria created for Mr. President pierce the silence.

Sasha looks at her Daddy.  He looks different, a lot different.  His hair looks like it had snowed on his head.  The areas below his eyes are darkened and puffy.  He doesn’t laugh as loudly as he did before they moved to Washington.

“Daddy?”

“Yes, honey?”

“Are you going to win tonight?”

“I don’t know Sasha.  We’ll have to wait and see, just like everybody else. Tonight is one night I won’t get an initial briefing from those clowns in the other room.”  The staff is having its own meal in a back room of the mansion.

“May I say something?”  her voice is tiny and a little frightened.

“Of course you can, baby.”  He dabs the pizza grease from his chin with a paper napkin.

“I…kinda hope…well, I wish…I hope you don’t.”  She looks down at her hands in her lap.  A large, hot tear falls from her round face onto the back of one hand.

Malia, who is seated on the same side of the dining table, slams her fist against the youngster’s thigh, her eyes riveted on her mother’s face.

Michelle rose from her chair and circled the table, putting an arm around the girl’s shoulders.

POTUS stares long and hard at his pizza.  Then he lifts his head and speaks to his family.

“ I know how hard this has been on all three of you.  Mommy has been gone almost as much as I have, trying to win this election by talking to the people on my behalf.  I have missed some of your important events.  I haven’t always been “here” even when I’m at home, whether in the White House, Camp David or this old house.  I know.”

“If I win – and I hope to God I do – the next four years will be just as tough, but they will be different.  Our country is in trouble.  Daddy has done a lot of things to try to make that trouble better.  Some has worked.  Some hasn’t.  But, Sasha,sweetie, we can’t afford to turn this country over to people who want to undo all the great things that have been accomplished on behalf of the common man, woman and child in America.  We need to hang on and push forward, no matter how difficult it is.  And, yes, I’ll be asking an awful lot of you, your sister and your Mom – AGAIN.  I must.”

He pauses, again staring at the uneaten slice of pizza on his plate.

“We are behind you, Daddy,” says Malia, with conviction.  We understand. It’s just that sometimes…

“Yes, no matter how hard Mommy and I try, you two hear some nasty words spoken about your father.  And you want to stand up for me, but you don’t know how.  I know.  But as long as you know the truth – as long as you know your Daddy, the guy who comes to your basketball games and hollers like an idiot; the guy who used to read to you, even after he became President; the guy who loves your mother more than life itself – as long as YOU know what’s true, you will be strong in the face of criticisms and, yes, even lies.”

Michelle winks at the girls across the table.  “They know, don’t you Malia?  Don’t you Sasha? “

Rising from the chair, Michelle motions to her family to gather in the living room to watch the election returns.   POTUS calls in the staff.  The waiting is almost over.

 

 

 

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Comments

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Not many people would take into account the impact on families. Nicely done, L.

And Tom was right: "You take it on faith, you take it to the heart, the waiting is the hardest part".
About like that

When did you get to be a fly on the wall?
Boanerges1: I imagine being a First Kid is a rough role to play.

Kosh: In my imagination, I am often a fly on the wall.
Can you do one of these for a family of a person who has been droned by POTUS? libby
Thanks, nerd cred and Jon.

Libby: I'm sure I can, but I won't. Feel free to write one yourself.
Man, you must have been a fly on the wall. Excellent ~
Excellent ~Kosh stole my line~
Funny thing - when I commented on the Our Salon version of this, I wondered what the version would look like if written by one of the people who wanted us to vote Green. I still wonder.
Just beautiful, Lezlie.
Well how are they now? Fox just declared Obama re-elected. That's RE-ELECTED!!!!!!!!!
Wonderful, and I swear I can hear them cheering now! What a relief!
@L in the Southeast

That is so beautifully put.
Not about the post, a test:

Please let me if OS e-mails you when this comment hits. My e-mail notification has stopped working, as have others' I've talked to. Thank you.
This is so imaginative!! I loved it. You created such warmth here, that I believe - so many of us do - is really what their lives are like. Beautiful.
You know what I liked best about last night? Michelle walking up behind Barack and putting her arms around his waist as if they were at home, just the two of them, for just a second. I remembered, then, that they have always seemed to me to be really, really in love with each other. And that given that...Barack can be almost fearless. There's all that love waiting at home, no matter what. Lucky people, the Obamas...
Nicely done. We'll never know how the conversation went, but that is how I hope it went. R
You had me with you all the way, Lezlie. Tears. Today, cheers!
i can almost hear his voice in this wonderful little piece.
this is a remarkable line, but indicative of theNEW AMERICA
we fucking achieved
last night:

"POTUS stares long and hard at his pizza"
~
it was hard. it was a hard won battle.
it was damn fun tho. especially to see the judgment of
a Merciful Loving God or Something
with a sense of humor

come down on the fat old billionaire old boy's club
finally..

rove, decompressing.

haw.

lovely.

The new America? What is it? Unknown as yet.
To be built...
as long as YOU know what’s true, you will be strong in the face of criticisms and, yes, even lies
Beautiful and touching. I really enjoyed this. Though it's fiction, so much of it feels true.
Lovely, just lovely! You still surprise me with your writing. Gentle in this harsh world. R