Somehow, I know the person coming through my door right now is not Sam Evans, but I don't expect it to be Bess, and certainly not Bess in the state she's in. Her blouse is slightly wrinkled, she's out of breath, and her expression's urgent… all in all, she looks distinctly ruffled, which has me more than somewhat worried. I'll be the first to say it takes a lot to ruffle Bess, but between when she left my office just a few minutes ago and now, something or someone has managed it, and that has me almost scared. What could have happened to send her back in this state?

"Bess?" I ask quickly, not bothering to keep the concern from my voice.

"Don't endorse Evans," she pants. "Run as an independent."

…Is she crazy?! Sure, I don't want to endorse Evans, not when I think he is beyond dangerous for my country, but this idea is a little far-fetched, even for Bess. I am resigned to my loss, and harebrained suggestions are not making it easier to bear.

"What?" I ask her, incredulously. Frankly, I am even bordering on annoyed.

"You just said that you're an asset in the general election with broad popular support, and it must be even broader than we think or Evans wouldn't be hitting it so hard," Bess asserts passionately, but I don't quite see her point yet. "What if you have a shot even without your party's support?" There it is. "The move would be historically unprecedented, but given the coup that they just pulled on you? One unprecedented event deserves another. Well, it's either that or leave the country in the hands of Evans, a spineless puppet for special interests, or to Fred Reynolds from the other party, a clueless isolationist!"

I have to admit, she has a point, but I squelch my flicker of hope at her words. This is far too risky a move, and, honestly, I don't see a point in driving what is left of my train into the ground after years of hard work from so many good people.

"I realize this is a reckless play," she continues, and I don't cut her off, "given that no independent has ever won the presidency, although Teddy Roosevelt came close, but that was..."

I can't tell if she's trying to talk me into this or out of this.

Bess changes tactics and cuts herself off, obviously realizing how she's making this sound. "With the right support and an aggressive enough ground game, we have a fighting chance. Wouldn't you rather go out fighting? If we're going to make history, let's make the good kind."

I can't help but think that maybe Bess has a point. That maybe we have a shot at this. That maybe, just maybe, it could be possible to win the presidency without the support of either major party, far-fetched as it sounds. It's certainly a more appealing prospect than just handing the keys over to Evans or Reynolds and letting them blow everything I have fought for to smithereens, and with a smug smile on national television, no less. Frankly, pretty much anything would be better than that. And Bess... well, she makes a good argument. Maybe one unprecedented event really does deserve another.

"Alright," I sigh, the hope in my chest warring with trepidation. "I won't endorse Evans. Come back tomorrow and we'll see if we can't figure out how to make this crazy idea of yours work."

Bess beams and nods, noticeably relieved, and I can't wait to tell Lydia. Then she asks what we're going to do about Evans, who's waiting outside my door.

But I have bigger problems: Russel's going to have a coronary.


I hope y'all enjoyed this latest short drabble Real Life finally decided to allow me time to write! I have a couple more in the works, but you know how it is... time mysteriously decides to vanish. But anyway. Thank you for reading, and as always, please review!