Tonight’s interviewer, Callum Sterling, is a household name like yourself. Almost 10 years ago he interviewed you about your experience as a hostage. Tonight he will be asking you about your time in Makeni, Sierra Leone, where you traveled for the Ebola story. You wound down from Monrovia, Liberia, looked at the exteriors of hospitals whose doorways were plugged with bodies. Bodies left to rot in the streets. Hemorrhagic fever made even the freshest corpses slick.
You ran into Giles over such corpses, both of you watching white-suited man wrapping up bodies while family members keened at a safe distance. “It’s hellish that hell makes for such good stories,” Giles said after it became clear you had nothing to say, and it’s true, but God did you want to punch him in the mouth.
“Rolling in 5,” the cameraman says.
You sit kitty-corner to Callum behind the desk, both of you assuming the perfected business-casual posture of a polished anchor. “It’s a tough story to sell,” Callum says. “Polls say most people think of it as an African disease, like it should stay with the blacks. There’s more sympathy for the white Americans who go home contagious and cured than all the black bodies piling up. You know what they’re saying, that because you’re black some viewers might think you’ve got an agenda, or worse, you came back with it. They thought Giles might be a better fit, but I’m glad they went with you. The man’s too young to know how to tell a story.”
“Not to worry,” you say. “I’ve got the angle. I’ve always got the angle, don’t I?” You make sure to ooze confidence to disguise your horror. They were going to give the story to Giles?