I still can’t believe how long it took me. To realise. Between the time she left – slammed the front door – and me making the connection. Incredible!
And all the time, the facts were staring me in the face.
But maybe that’s why. She was so close I didn’t see the big picture. I mean, there she was – living, sleeping, stretching – right in front of me. Hiding in plain sight. She’d do her exercises, crossing one foot over the other, palms on the floor, then bending from side to side. I just watched, like a love-struck fool. Never put two and two together.
Then she’d kiss me and head off to the park. Good times. No suspicions.
Till I started wondering. What did she do there? Who did she meet? And all this politics she was spouting, that had nothing to do with me, nothing to do with us!
So anyway. After our falling-out – after she shouts in my face that I’m a sad jealous nothing – everything clicks into place. Not straight away. It takes weeks, literally. But one day I realise. What she was preparing for, with those ritual stretches.
So I hurry down to the park.
But there’s nothing. Just a few dogs barking in the distance. A young mum pushing her baby and arguing on a mobile. Then silence.
I admit, I’m shaken. Was I wrong to think something was happening? I collapse on a bench, plunged into confusion. Was this all in my head?
And that’s when they appear, out of nowhere. The joggers.
Not all at once. But coordinated.
First a balding guy in a tracksuit, powering towards me from the left. Then a younger, female athlete, sprinting across the grass. And from the trees a pensioner, his old skin flapping as he moves. Before long, the whole park’s teeming with them.
Here’s how they operate. Most have satellite receptors disguised as wristwatches, to keep them updated on tactics. Every so often they’ll stop to check the latest battle plans, before racing off to their next stronghold.
So, they have the technology.
In terms of morale, too, the joggers are ahead of us. After an hour’s observation, I spot a group in blue numbered vests converging by the statue. They huddle together and shout a slogan before heading off in tight formation, a terrifying platoon.
These events may seem isolated, innocent. But like moves on a chessboard, they all fit into a strategy. A campaign in the long war Steph was waging against us. And no one so much as raised an eyebrow!
So, it fell to me. To stand up and be counted.
I did my best. With my bare hands. Strangled the old one – the ringleader. Beat up a few more. If I’d had the right weapons I could have finished the job. But I didn’t. So here I am, in a cell. For trying to save my country.
And the joggers are still out there.
Seizing power, step by step.
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