Mandy’s father had just been elected President of the United States in January, and while everybody else (including her twin sister) thought the whole fucking thing was marvy, Mandy thought: Great. Now everybody gets to find out about my OUI.
Life with Clinton had been the best. She had secretly voted against her father, which would have made the entire family collectively shit if they knew about it. Whereas before, Mandy could party down at the college frat parties 'til dawn, now The Secret Service had to accompany her everywhere, casting a disapproving eye upon her late-night activities. And if the Goon Squad wasn’t bad enough, the National Enquirer had just published a photo of Mandy drunkenly sprawled over her sorority sister, Kimi during Frosh Weekend. All she remembered is doing those keg stands and then, to appease the derelict fantasies of those guys from Theta Chi, she vaguely remembered hiking up her skirt and mashing her breasts against Kimi, who was totally into faking the bi thing in public to make guys horny. Other people got to wake up the next morning – puke -- and laugh about the raucous good times from the night before. But no, Mandy had to wake up to a barrage of phone calls from People, Star Magazine and that lecherous dick, Howard Stern. Followed by Dad, the Dean of the College and the Police, who were negotiating with her father about not arresting her for underage drinking. Everybody else on her campus could be twelve years old and walk down Main Street holding a Bud pounder and the cops looked the other way. Not Mandy, hell no. And that was just how the morning started.
Mandy’s father, The President of the United States, didn’t find anything hilarious about the photo, which showed she and Kimi with beers in one hand and cigarettes in another. Mandy silently endured the “scene” from her father behind the closed doors of The Oval Office, once he’d found out. How irresponsible she was, how inappropriate, for God’s sake, and didn’t she know how badly that reflected upon him considering that he was the one who signed the Zero Tolerance policy for underage drinking? Blah, blah, and on and on with his stupid Secret Service men standing resolutely behind him and her twin sister, Glenda The Good Witch, clucking her tongue like a goddamned chicken.
And now that she was back on campus with the Goon Squad following her everywhere, no boys would come up to talk to her. All the cute ones from Theta Chi held their distance because who really wanted to barrel through two black-suited Reservoir Dogs in order to ask her out? Mandy vowed that after her Econ 101 class, she was going to find a way to ditch her protectors and go off on her own this afternoon. She hoped to find Kimi so they could go drive off somewhere and get high.
She didn’t get far. Once out of class, they were on her like deer flies. “Excuse me,” Mandy said to the two Secret Service men flanking her. “But I need to use the bathroom.” She gazed at them as they looked at one another, silently conferring whether this was a good idea or not. One of the guys had gray hair, cropped short and looked like someone her dad used to get drunk with. The second guy was a lot younger -- and a lot darker -- he looked like Ricky Martin with no sense of humor. She wondered if he could shake his bon bon. Both of them wore those ridiculous black sunglasses with the black thingys in their ears.
“I’ll stand right outside the door,” the Ricky one said, following her to the bathroom. Mandy rolled her eyes. “Do you want a glass tumbler so you can press it to the door and hear me take a dump?” she said. The Ricky one didn’t know how to reply to that and she huffed into the bathroom.
When Mandy came back out, the older Secret Service guy had gone, leaving the Ricky one waiting for her. “Where did Number One go?” asked Mandy, zipping up her tight cherry Chinos in front of him.
“You’re in my care now, miss,” he said stiffly. Mandy gave him the up-and-down eye. He had short spiky brown hair and a cleft in his chin you could park a Cadillac in. Tight, cheekbones and a face the color of crème brulee. Shoulders: square, not too beefy. Cut of Secret Service suit: snappy. Her gaze fell further. His black pants revealed nothing but pleat. The cuff of his trousers fell neatly across his shined black shoes.
“What’s your name?” Mandy drawled, sucking deliberately on a chunk of her frosted blond hair.
“Otto Fernandez,” he said.
“Mm,” she said. “Spanish?”
Her index finger tapped her teeth while she continued to gaze at him. “Killer. Did you like, grow up there?”
“You can call me Mandy,” she said. Her index finger stopped tapping. “Listen Otto, we can be friends but I’ve got to know one thing.”
“Are you a tattletale? Cuz Daddy doesn’t need to know everything.”
Otto smiled and she’d never seen a brighter row of Chiclets in her life; God what fantastic teeth he had. The smile broke his natural reserve and his stance loosened.
“Mandy, you can do whatever it is you like. My job is only to protect you from danger.”
That evening, Mandy lay across her rainbow bedspread at the dorm and began scribbling into a leatherbound book with the embossed words on its cover Dear Diary:
I am so sick of all this. It's Valentine's Day and instead of having a romantic dinner with lots of champagne and caviar I am by myself. I just want to go to the Theta Chi party. Last time somebody put liquid E in the punch. I'm gonna wear my red Bebe dress and Jimmy Choos (from the inaug -- they're hot). That should get me some free punch at Theta. Or some free something.
At 10, when the losers of the dorm were settling down with blankets, popcorn and Nick At Nite in the common room, Mandy checked her makeup in the mirror, ready to go out. The phone rang: the private line. Caller ID showed it was Victoria, her twin sister at Duke.
Bored, Mandy picked up the phone.
“What? I’m on my way out.”
“Aren’t you studying?”
“Amanda, I’m just worried about you. Mom thinks you’re gonna die.”
“Jesus H.” Mandy groaned.
“Just let me ask you one question,” Victoria pleaded.
“Out with it.”
“Are you still a virgin?”
Mandy snorted. “Are you?”
At the party, guys were playing quarters and everybody who was decent looking had been paired off. Every private room in the frat house was occupied and locked. She dunked a ladle of punch into a red plastic cup and looked around. The buffet tables had been ravaged. Her careful plan to arrive fashionably late had failed because everybody had started drinking at noon. In the game room, one fool was slurring, “Hey aren't choo za presdensh daughtah?” The Valentine’s Day bash was a bust. Mandy walked out and accidentally slammed into Otto.
“Do ya THINK you could MAYBE not STAND so far up my ASSHOLE?” she screamed and huffed out into the night. After 500 feet she began bawling, Otto following right behind, carefully checking the bushes for any unusual activity. She shuffled all the way home with raccooned eyes feeling sorry for herself, loathing all those couples who walked hand in hand on the college green. At her dorm, Otto opened the door and signed in for her, following her up to the third floor. He stopped at her door, unlocked it and switched on her lights. After a quick check of the bathroom he exited the dorm room. “All set Miss,” he said.
Through her blackened eyes and besmirched lipstick, Mandy smiled. “Did you check my windows?” she asked. “I thought I saw some perv out there with a camera.” When Otto Fernandez re-entered the room to check, Mandy’s crooked smile widened and her door closed.
The next morning at 5am, she rolled over in bed and wrote:
I can't sleep. It must be the E, I was sure right about the punch. But that's not the only thing I got for free last night. I just didn't think it would be so easy. I played the damsel in distress role to the hilt and it worked. Waaa, I hate my life, waaa, I hate being the President's daughter, blah blah blah, no one wants to get close to me, waaaaa, etc and it worked! I collapsed in his arms and he couldn't resist. You just have to make him think he's saving you. Anyway, we had the most incredible sex. He did everything right. They really teach those Latin lovers a thing or two. And you know what? He's really sweet too. He says he wants to see me again, that he really understands my alienation, blah, blah, blah. But he's not as much of a stiff as I thought (well, in some ways...). I kinda like him. I'm gonna find out when I can see him again. Screw these college guys... Later...
The weeks went on. The college monument in front of Dean Helfner’s office began to slowly melt away. (An enormous cock and balls made of snow). Campus fashion began to change. Northface jackets were phasing out. Cute Abercrombie and Fitch spring windbreakers were phasing in. Mandy began throwing up without even being hungover.
I'm late. I should have gotten my period two weeks ago. Do your boobs get really big when you're pregnant? I don't know how this happened, I mean, Otto pulled out way early. I have to tell him, because someone is going to have to come with me when I get the test. Maybe Kimi will get me a home pregnancy test at the store. Then, if it's positive, I tell Otto and we can go to the doctor together. I can just imagine it. “We're pregnant, Otto.” He's been so sweet the past few weeks, I know I can count on him. I thought I was falling in love with him, but now that I imagine his baby inside me, I know for sure. Maybe it will turn out better than I thought. I have nothing to be scared of, right? Otto will do the right thing. More after I get the results.
Spring Break all of Mandy’s friends got to go to the MTV beach blitz in Cancun. Mandy had to spend her vacation at The White House. Big whoop. Victoria was all into it. “Oh my God, we get to live here,” she said breathlessly when she arrived. Mandy wanted to see the room where Monica rammed her kitty with a cigar.
But, first she had to get it over with. She found her father up in the Presidential Suite. Mandy had always found it easier to talk to him rather than her mother, who would fall apart like a wet paper towel if Mandy even scraped her knee. She still hadn’t told her mother about the fake ID incident.
Her father was straightening his tie in the mirror. “Hey peaches,” he said. “Ready for dinner?”
“Dad,” she said, and found it hard to actually continue. The thought of the baby was actually choking her up. “Dad, I’ve got to tell you something and it’s hard to tell you.”
The President’s meager upper lip disappeared.
“I’m, well, I’m six weeks pregnant and I thought you should know.”
The President didn’t react and when she looked up at him, she realized he wasn’t even breathing.
“Dad, the father is Otto and --”
“Otto?” the President interrupted.
“The agent? The one you assigned to me?”
The President’s eyes widened and she heard an intake of breath.
Mandy continued. “And we’ve talked about it and he wants me to finish school, and we’ll get married and Dad, please don’t be mad . . . it’s all going to be for the best. We’ll get married before I show and we’ll have the baby.”
After more dead air time, the kind of silence that makes two people on a phone panicky that they’d better start talking about anything, the President let out his long-held breath and finished straightening his knot in the mirror. “You’re getting an abortion.”
“What?” Mandy looked around as though she were on camera and this were a joke. “You don’t even believe in it.”
“That’s my platform, honey,” he said, through clenched teeth. Recovering, he turned to face her. “Lord knows I’ve made my mistakes in this life and how I ever got to be President with those mistakes is something I’ll never know, but I’m not going to let you make this mistake and ruin your life, not to mention my career. Did you tell Mom or Vicki yet?”
“All right, good. The less people who know, the better. I’ll call Dr. Andrews in the morning and we’ll take care of it.”
“What about God?”
“God doesn’t have to face the press.”
Mandy looked to a point beyond her father’s shoulder -- as if yes, this really were a massive freakin’ joke. Was there a camera on them right now? Was this little bit going to end up on America’s Funniest Home Videos?
The next day, a Secret Service woman with massive shoulders and an undistinguishable sexuality accompanied her to the limo. “I’m Wanda,” the woman said. “I’m to take you to a doctor in Bethesda for . . . your procedure.”
“Where’s Otto?” Mandy said with a puzzled look.
“He’s been terminated, miss.”
Mandy grit her teeth and hit speed-dial on her cell phone. “Otto!” she screamed. “Where the fuck are you? Are you going to let them do this to me?” His answer, in Spanish, was a staccato clip that didn’t imply, “I love you, baby.”
Wanda, the Secret Service woman, waited patiently until Mandy flipped shut the cell phone cover. “Let’s go,” she said. “It will all be over soon.”
“I don’t have to do anything --“ Mandy snarled. “I’m keeping my baby.”
“What are you, Madonna?” Wanda snapped. “Besides, how are you going to look when you go down to the Cayman Islands this summer with your girlfriends in a two-piece with your belly all ballooned out like a beach ball?”
Mandy’s response was a blank stare and within seconds, she was helped into the limo going to the private clinic. There, she was led in through a side door and into a white room, where her bun had been deftly and secretly extracted from the oven and disposed of in an industrial Zip-loc bag. Mandy’s expression, upon leaving the clinic, was the same pallid, blank stare until flashbulbs began popping in her face. Wanda dove in front of her, trying to protect her.
“Are you pregnant?” they screamed. “Is it true you just had an abortion?”
“Mandy, over here!” Flash. Pop.
“Mandy!” Flash! “Mandy!”
“She got her nose done!” Wanda yelled. But without bandages, the press wasn’t buying it.
A day like today makes my OUIs look like a trip to Cancun. At least there were no icky protesters with their disgusting signs at the clinic. There were other girls there with their mothers and boyfriends, but I had to go with fuckin’ Wanda, the she-male so she could make sure I went through with it. Why is this country so tight-assed anyway? Princess Stefanie can go sleep with circus performers and all the bodyguards she wants -- and have kids with them -- and nobody gives a flying fuck in the dark!
Oh shit, I’m starting to cry. I would have made a great mother -- I don’t really even care about getting fat. Otto and I could have gone to Cuba (I hear it’s nice) and raised little Elian there. Otto, my Cuban prince. Where was he? Turned out to be nothing but a fucking sheep
The evening news had been brutal. It was all over CNN to Hard Copy that the President had ordered his daughter to get an abortion. Womens’ groups were apoplectic. The Democrats were frothing. The Republicans were typically silent. The worst was when Peter Jennings had said, “This marks the fourth incident for the President’s daughter who has been indicted for underage drinking, two OUIs and now, an abortion, which goes directly against the President’s religious platform. In a related story, Chelsea Clinton has just been accepted to Oxford . . .”
Upstairs, her mother was screaming at her father, “Why didn’t you tell me?” Something about how he could just forget about the support of the religious right and she hoped he never wanted to run again because he could kiss that contribution from Billy Graham goodbye. Blah, blah, blah. Mandy couldn’t even cry because her parents and suck-ass sister had used up every friggin' Kleenex in our nation’s capitol.
At midnight, in the Oval Office, Mandy sat at her father’s desk. She put her hands together and stared heavenward. She asked Him to come back and be President again. Things used to be so good when He was around, even if he did screw around with Monica, who, she heard from a college pal, sucked in bed. Mandy clasped her hands harder and prayed until her teeth hurt. “Oh please Bill,” Mandy prayed, “Please come back.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
lives in Maine and ekes out a miserable living as a waitress and a writer. Her last novel, Backwoods East Jesus
--a story of twisted Christian values in a cornbelt town--was published online by Mighty Words last year. She is currently working on a new novel about a lobsterman and his retarded girlfriend. Read other stories by this author in our fiction archive.