Saturday, September 09, 2006

Sharing Nugget #25

#25: The story of J.

Chapter II: Hostile take over.

This story is inspired by real-life characters.

J started a clandestine operation that involved firstly, a battle to discredit her foe, Lin; and secondly, to mount a mutiny against the decision made by the ‘tyrant’, Ku. She carefully compiles a list of reasons why Lin should not be the president. It was compacted into a page – not too long to be a tedious read, but not too shallow to fail as a case. Over MSN, she ‘conveniently’ starts conversations with other member of the club – who are surprised by her sudden initiation to talk.

She found a surprising handful of disgruntled members who are unhappy at the decision of succession. J found her strongest ally in Hy, a political animal with ruthlessness to boot. Hy is a senior who was in the same batch as Ku. Hy has an air of self-admiration, and he speaks as thought no one is worthy of his wisdom. Hy wants to have a say in everything. It rubs Ku the wrong way. As a result, Hy was marginalized by Ku when he voiced out against Ku several times to undermine his authority. This forced Hy into a corner. Hy lay low, but hung around, waiting like a hyena for a moment of vulnerability. Now, Hy saw his chance. By ‘killing’ Lin, he can get back at Ku. Hy doesn’t care about whether J has the competency to lead the club. Heck, he doesn’t even care if the club ‘closes down’. All he wants is blood.

J seeks Hy’s ‘wisdom’ to draft a coup. J doesn’t care if she becomes Hy’s puppet. What J wants is the presidency, and with it, the glory. If Hy can help her get closer to her dream, Hy is an ally. Together, they infected the minds of other members, all the while feeding intravenously the horror that will be befall the club should the Ku and Lin dynasty be allowed to reign. The pair got to almost half of the members. Plan A is done. Now, they are ready to strike.

During the meeting that is supposed to be Lin’s first one as a president, a sheet of paper is distributed to the club members. On it, read the ‘charges’ against Lin. J initiates the first volley. Her face turned red. Her hands trembles, as is her voice. She goes through the ‘reasons’ point by point, reciting it in an emotionally charged, almost angry tone. Her gaze darted across the faces, interjected with brief, awkward glances at Lin. A few members voiced out in support of J. The rest tried to stay objective, and rational. Lin kept quiet. Hy casts as the supporting actor, lending fuel to fire. It is ugly. And it pains Lin.

Sensing victory, J calls for a vote. Reluctant, and dismayed at the turn of events at an otherwise routine meeting, the members cast their votes. It is a draw. It is enough nonsense, Lin thinks. The voting will create a fault-line that dissects the club. Even if she wins, Lin is not confident that she can work with such a polarized group. However, Lin thinks that if she lets this ‘maniac’ take over, the club might be driven to ruins. It is a dilemma. And she has only minutes to make the decision.

Lin interrupted the commotion that ensued upon the surfacing of the stalemate. She made eye contact with every member, pausing slightly longer at Ku and J. With a composed voice, she declares that she will withdraw from her appointment. A brief but painful silence followed. It then sinks in. J is now president.

The very first thing J says as president is, “I think we should vote whether to remove Lin from the club, totally.” Another piercing silence followed. Quick glances are exchanged between the members. J just hangs her head low. Lin is stunned. A member asks why the need to remove Lin.

With the same tone of voice as before, J explains, “I will not be able to work with her anymore! I mean.. I mean… I had just attacked her! How can someone who has been attacked like how I did, be able to live with each other?”

“I think at this point, some of us may have issues against Lin as the leader, but I believe that we have no issues against her being a fellow member”, offers a neutral member. The rest sounded in agreement. J got as far as “but…” when Hy stopped her. The cunning hyena he is, Hy turns the game on its head. “J, I think you should calm down”, he spoke in a measured voice, motioning his hands up and down to signal ‘slow down’. “I think we all want Lin to stay”, Hy continues, this time stretching his right hand out as if offering a handshake towards everyone. It is a master stroke, Hy contends, the rest will vindicate him from any part in this coup.

Then, the exonerated hyena withdraws into the shadow. The tiger with fresh blood smeared over his mouth, is speechless. What J, Hy, Lin, Ku and others do not know is that the line has been drawn. The club is spilt into two camps.

The damage is grave. And disaster looms.

(to be continued)


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