June 2016 had been humid, but David’s sweat was of the nervous variety. He entered his private quarters and locked the door behind him. Relieved the day was over, he checked his phone: Fourteen messages, one from Liz.
He switched the phone off and went to his bedroom. There, he stripped down to his underpants, stretched his limbs and let out a slow, guttural moan. The room was sound proofed so he could always enjoy these moments of release privately.
Ignoring the drinks cabinet, David went straight to his Special Cupboard and unlocked it.
Ignoring the drinks cabinet, David went straight to his Special Cupboard and unlocked it using a combination code. Inside were tins of paint and small boxes of rivets, pins and tacks.
He sighed. “I’ve ruined everything.”
David selected a large box of drawing pins – the shortest yet sharpest of his collection. From the top shelf he selected three tins of paint, each a different colour.
The mattress of David’s bed was protected by a plastic sheet. He whipped it from beneath the bedclothes and laid it flat upon the floor. He sat cross legged in its centre with the three tins of paint and the box of pins.
On the wall in front of him hung a portrait of a special lady, destined not to be in his life for much longer. He spoke to her image: “Liz, forgive me.”
The first tin of paint was labelled Summer Rose. It was a rich crimson hue. David poured it entirely over his head.
Wiping his eyes, he addressed Liz’s picture again; she stared back, emotionless. “You deserved better than me,” he admitted. The next tin was opened: Pure White Emulsion. He drizzled this over his belly and groin.
“I didn’t mean to hurt you,” he cried. He opened a third tin, Royal Blue. He scooped handfuls and smeared it over his legs.
“This is because of yesterday,” David explained.
Moments later he reached for the box of pins. These, he scattered across the sheet. Liz glared at him from her frame, unforgiving. “This is because of yesterday,” David explained.
He lay down and rolled across the length of the sheet. Every movement produced a starburst of agony, pins puncturing skin. In David’s painted flesh, some pins remained while others left.
Finally satisfied, he stood, tiptoed into the bathroom and observed himself in the mirror: a strange painted devil, decorated with tiny wounds. He turned on the shower and crawled under it. There he slept in a foetal position, sobbing.
At dawn, David was refreshed. He cleaned his room and dressed smartly. He looked at the portrait one more time. This particular image of Queen Elizabeth II dated from her younger days, when David had been little more than an awestruck child. Now an adult, he had to say, “Sorry, Liz.”
Having said a final goodbye to Her Majesty, David ventured outside and was immediately bombarded with questions. The first was blunt, but not unexpected, considering what happened yesterday:
“When can we expect your resignation, Prime Minister?”