Robert Bwanji had a dream, a dream to make the world of his hometown better again. He was going to be the Albert Einstein of his day come what may or Thomas Edison.

He was African by birth but moved to Sri Lanka as a young child of 8. He was Malisesian as the record stated. Four years after they moved, his parents station wagon was hit head on by a drunk driver but when the police arrived at the scene, there was no evidence of the drunk. It was quickly dubbed an open and shut case, making young Robert a child of the state. All through his growing years he clung to the idea of creating a better world back home. The little notebook his father left behind was both his pointers and inspiration. As the years flew by and he began talking on political duties, try as he might, he could not stay in the shadows for long. He knew that some day he would have to make a decision - go home or stay forever.

Robert was thrilled at the prospect of setting up new industrial and infrastructure growth back in his hometown, Malisese. He had always commended the government of Sri Lanka in their ability to provide durable infrastructures for their citizens to make life easy for them. They also came up with an initiative called Free Education for all. Robert was one of the beneficiaries of its earliest awards in terms of scholarships and grants. Since he always had a head for books he was also elected the city's library manager by his school authorities. He desired to bring such hopes and dreams back to Malisese and he was determined to. But first he had to be equipped with the right knowledge.

It took him almost 10 years but it was done. Rob was a graduate now and working with the present political administration of Sri Lanka. There was even talk of him being the next Minister of Environment in Mahaweli, a small but prospeous town in Sri Lanka.

In August of that year, Robert began making plans to relocate back home. He had served faithfully in office for a period of about six years and he was due a promotion any day but he was content to forfeit any opportunity for corporate advancement. It was a small price to pay for his departure. The time has come for a change he thought.

As part of the codes of conduct and regulation, any corporate member or staff who would resign had to do so 3 months before the date. It was even drafted somewhere in the rule of law - for research purposes and all that.
Robert knew the scores so he made sure to add an extra month to avoid unnecessary delays.

The first two months passed in quick successions with no response from the board of directors where he was an active member. Two weeks to his final day in Sri Lanka, calamity stumbled in arms of his direct boss. He had been in a ghastly ski accident. His arm was out of commission was all they got at the office. Everyone was in panic. Mr Sumimar can't die now. The man is as strong as a bull. Even bulls have their limit some argued.

At the executive level pandemonium reigned. Robert can't leave now. He was needed. He was a necessary part of the top team of the organisation - as necessary as the lifeblood of the country someone even said.

All through this, Robert knew that it would be detrimental to leave - for two reasons. Simple yet powerful. If he left they could sanction him for a crime he never committed and he would be a temporary nuisance until they took care of him while awaiting trial. The other reason was even more important. He had in his possession the originals of a conspiracy orchestrated by a group of people who termed themselves the Magis. They believed they were a sect sent to correct the wrongs in politics. They had in their various pockets security agencies, military officials, paramilitary experts. Their reach extended to international bodies with influence in covert operations including organised assassination of leaders they labeled troublesome, caused coups, raised civil wars and manipulated governments and their leaders. They also believed that they were unstoppable because they had the backing of Almighty God. He elected them to do His bidding.

It was fanatism at its worst. It was a nightmare but it was happening right before Robert's eyes.

He was sure Sumimar's accident wasn't an accident at all but an attempt to keep him around until their next plan was finalised.

Robert had stumbled on their strategem by what he sarcastically termed a lawful mistake. He was late to leave the office one balmy day because he had no immediate family. He had been in and out of relationships because of the demands of his job and relationship requires time and consistency so when his current girlfriend tabled the "we need to talk" issue, he knew it was time for a long break from relationships. If he couldn't commit he might as well go casual. He knew his adopted aunt would have something to say about that when he got back to Malisese but that was the least of his concerns.

He had to leave Sri Lanka or his name would be among the celebrated post-mortem heros in the tabloid next spring.

To be continued...

© sailabby

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