"Senator, if elected, how do you plan to tackle the growing unemployment issue?"
"What is your policy on foreign affairs?"
"Are you nervous about your competition, Senator?"
"Senator, can you provide a statement for our readers at The Washington Post?"
I could hear the clamoring voices talking over each other on the television from our suite's bathroom. One of my roommates, Emma, had poor hearing from years of blasting her iPod, but that was her fault, not mine. I shouldn't have to suffer along with her.
"Emma, turn down the TV," I yelled from the bathroom, slamming my hairbrush on the sink counter and watching as it rebounded onto the white tile floor. Being too lazy to pick it up, I let it lie there with the rest of the cosmetic clutter: perfume bottles, hair serum, eye pencil shavings, and other unknown substances. They must have been there since the beginning of last semester. Despite the stereotype, it turns out that three teenage girls can be just as messy as three teenage boys. "I can hardly hear myself think!"
"Wait, Aubrey, you've got to come see this," she insisted, cranking up the volume only because she knew it would piss me off even more.
I sighed, and walked into our common room. Emma and Lily were glued to the television set, both sitting on the floor with their legs crossed, just a couple of feet away from the screen. There were plenty of open seats, including our luxury couches and antique lounge chairs. But for some mind boggling reason, they chose the cold wooden floor.
"What is so important that I just had to --"
And then, I saw him.
My roommates caught a glimpse of my shocked expression, and exchanged nervous glances.
Lily broke the silence. "Isn't that--?"
"Uh huh," I nodded slowly, and let my body drop onto our brown leather loveseat.
The man on the television screen, the man who stood behind the podium on the stage, the man who the crowd cried for . . . was my father. My father has been one of the two Senators of Virginia since before I could walk. I've grown up in the political world, and I've grown to hate it. That's why I jumped on the first opportunity to get away from it, which came in the form of Our Fair Lady of Rosetta--an elite boarding school in France. I escaped when I was fourteen and since then I've been able to avoid the dog-eat-dog system of politics . . . for the most part.
"Did you know that he was running for President?"
I bit on my bottom lip and tried to remember the last conversation I had with him. "No . . . I don't think so," I shook my head and stared into space, pondering some more. "In fact, I remember a few years ago he said he never wanted to go any further than Congress."
"Strange . . ." Lily mumbled.
"Why didn't he tell me . . .?" I dropped my voice, and shook my head in disbelief.
"Since when do you care?" Lily snapped, shooting me an unexpected peeved glare. "All you do is bitch about him anyway."
Nervously running a hand through my long hair, I stammered, feeling caught on the spot. "I don't . . ."
Emma paused, feeling the tension between us, and narrowed her eyes at me. "What happens now?" She questioned, in a desperate attempt to melt the ice between us.
I shrugged, trying to casually brush it off as if it was no big deal. But it was. No matter how hard I tried to act like it wouldn't, there was no denying that everything was about to change. My biggest fear had come true. Now, I could only expect the worst and hope for the best.
* * *
One week later, I received my notice Letter of Departure. By order of my parents, I was being sent home, against my own will. Of course I had no say since I was still seventeen.
My parents better have a good reason for this, I thought to myself as I ferociously packed my stuff away into the matching luggage set my parents shipped to me, or else there is going to be hell to pay.
What could my parents possibly want from me now? Couldn't they just let me be? Quite frankly, I could care less if my father was the next President of the United States. I could care less about anything that happened in that ruthless family of mine, just as long as they kept me out of it.
I just wish, that for once, my family could pretend to be normal. I wish we could get through one dinner without discussing economic trends or constitutional rights. I wish that we could focus more on how we perceive ourselves rather than how the public perceives us. But I guess that's just too damn much to ask for.