“If we are to have any hope that this child, this man, returns to us and to our community, we must endeavor to build him up and not tear him down.”
Meekus Claudius shook his head. Denim felt his stomach sink into his soiled boots. The simple gesture was just another arrow to pierce his heart. The Congressman had no hope in him or for him, no matter how firmly Denim enabled himself to stand in the world. “I have done all that I can for him, Henelly. There is nothing left that I can do.”
“You can hold back your wrath and in so doing laugh in the face of regret. Give it no place and take your victory over it. You’ve already eaten at its table enough to be in its debt. Should you take a seat there again, if you continue in the way you are going and don’t hold your tongue in check it will only hasten to devour you, Congressman.”
Denim cursed as soap burned in his eyes. Blinking with desperation, he quickly rinsed the fire of it away with a fast and heavy stream of water. Water, the very thing he’d been charged with being an accomplice of stealing, he was given the privilege to bath in as if its supply was endless.
“All because I am the congressman’s son.” He punched the slick walls of the shower forcing his knuckles to crack and the automated voice of the water system’s artificial intelligence to come on.
“Shall water pressure decrease, sir?”
“No.” Denim sighed, massaging his bruising hand before squatting down and grabbing the scouring brush he’d dropped at his feet.
“Shall water temperature be increased?”
“Shall water pressure be—”
“No! No, and no!” He finally shouted. “I’d like it very much if you’d shut up, however. I will decrease water pressure, turn the heat up or down myself. And before you ask, no I don’t require any further assistance nor a scan of my vitals. Leave me in peace!”