By Maxine Slater
The first thing she noticed was the empty bed — the sheets undone and an imprint of his body looming before her. It was rotund and reminiscent, mocking her. His dressers were open and empty, the nightstand to her right devoid of any marker of his existence. Miscellaneous ties and dress shoes littered the floor, and his favorite bathrobe was hanging apathetically from a chair. The most concerning sign, she recalls, was the absence of his iPhone — an item she describes as having been his “lifeline” in the past few weeks. Alarmed, she followed a trail of footprints out of the grand bedroom, down a courtly hallway lined with imposing portraits of former presidents, and around the building’s bend, finally arriving at an open window. The window was completely ajar, its blinds fluttering in slow, organic movements. It was at this very moment that terror-stricken Melania realized he had run away. President Donald J. Trump had fled the White House in the middle of the night and no one, not even his own wife, had noticed.
Melania’s next course of action was to check her husband’s Twitter Feed, the only medium he had unabashedly confided in during his short time as president. So beloved was this platform to the Donald that often, Melania would awake at three in the morning to find him tweeting away on his Apple device. Hurriedly, she ran to her phone and signed onto her Twitter account. Expecting a barrage of tweets from Mr. Trump detailing his dissatisfaction with Congress’s inability to repeal the Affordable Care Act or its equally detestable failure to enact a new tax plan, Mrs. Trump was quite surprised to find pictures of her husband posing next to Mr. Vladimir Putin of Russia. The pictures were, in the words of Mrs. Trump, “weirdly provocative.” Melania describes one picture in particular, where Donald can be seen holding a bouquet of white roses while blowing a kiss to Vladimir, who winks in return. The two appear to be interlocked in a romantic gaze. But the most telling detail is the adjoining caption, “Just eloped!”
After seeing the pictures, Melania had to catch her breath. She recalls lying in the fetal position for hours on end, realizing the gravity of the scandal: Donald Trump had not only abdicated his presidency, leaving her to fight his battles, but had run away to marry Vladimir Putin, the very man whose country was accused of colluding with the Trump campaign against Hillary Clinton in the 2016 American Presidential Election. This was an incomparable blow to Melania. Donald had been unfaithful, removed himself from command, and confirmed his politically malicious — and apparently, romantic — ties with Vladimir Putin. Although she lives to tell the tale, stoically sharing her story with every news organizations that asks, Melania describes the aftermath of the scandal in one, brutal word: hell.
As all dutiful wives are bound to do when marriage fails, Melania cannot help but blame herself. She perceives her own actions as culpable for her Donald’s flight from the White House and pursuance of elaborate romantic endeavors with authoritarian rulers. The question of what she did wrong has plagued her ever since. Was she too uppity? Her husband often glared at her when she spoke in public, as if he was embarrassed by her sentience. Was she boring? He frequently made crude remarks about other women’s bodies and alluded to unfaithfulness. Melania berates herself for having missed the signs of her husband’s adultery — his frequently missed calls from Vladimir, his skyping a “business partner” at all hours of the night, and his hiding of mysterious letters packaged in pink envelopes signed “VP <3.”
While enduring one of the most tumultuous times of her life, Melania is not alone. Standing behind her is an entourage of White House staff and secretaries who remind her that she can’t dwell on the past forever. Once she is able to, Melania will return to her home in New York City’s Trump Towers, where she will occupy a now ghostly home filled with her husband’s paraphernalia. She has not spoken to Donald since his departure, and current forecasts do not show the two speaking any time soon.
As for Trump’s children, the general consensus is support for their father’s renegade decision. Ivanka Trump, when asked to speak on the matter, said she could detect her father’s romantic feelings for Mr. Putin since the day of their first correspondence: “He always radiated positivity after a phone call with Vladimir. He seemed equally enthralled at the prospect of a friendship with that of a political alliance. At the time, I couldn’t really envision a future for them, given their political obligations, but now it’s as if they’ve been liberated. This is a joyous occasion, really.” The children, accustomed to their father’s shifting relationships, claim this act to be more “common,” rather than an “aberration” in their familial lives, and are eager to wholeheartedly support their father in “whatever endeavors that make him the happiest…and the richest.”
The FBI’s investigation into Russian collusion has, with the blessings of Melania Trump, unearthed the hoard of love letters from Putin from one of Donald’s “secret” drawers. The letters are a trove of incriminating evidence, including love poems from Vladimir that offer Donald political aid as some form of a sexual overture. One particularly explicit poem reads:
Trump, my dearest.
I know your polls are down.
Do not fret, my love.
Here are some Clinton emails I found!
Attached in the letter are printouts of Clinton’s emails, cutout in heart shapes and pasted with lipstick. One letter even provides the name of a Russian hacker who would alter the poll numbers at Trump’s “soonest request.” The federal investigation, led by former FBI Chief Robert Mueller, found this evidence sound enough to invalidate the results of the 2016 Presidential Election. Mrs. Clinton, the team believes, is the rightful victor — as was indicated by her triumph in the popular vote — and they are currently awaiting approval from Congress to appoint her as President.
For now, some of us can breathe a sigh of relief — one we have been holding in since Trump’s inauguration — while others can mourn the loss of their beloved president. Regardless, this should be a reminder that we must scrutinize our elected officials more carefully and vote for presidents who are fully committed to their executive role. If we fail to do so, the sanctity of American democracy may meet an untimely fate sooner than anyone can anticipate.