Teaser 348: They Have Become Their Own Masters

We returned to California, though Tanya stayed in Germany, and Esperanza, still putting together her classes, took time off to be with all of us for a few days before we left for India. While she was staying at Serena's spread Esperanza received a call from the police. Some group had driven by her house and sprayed it with hundreds of bullets from automatic rifles. The police had the house secured and were in abundance but they wanted her to survey the damage. We picked up Jim and Jacob, Esperanza, me, with Heinz driving, arrived a couple hours later. The damage was not extensive but it was impossible to ignore. Multiple windows were shattered and open. Bullet holes were everywhere. The police immediately agreed, since it was late at night, to retain a presence until we could get some people there to board up the place temporarily.

I pulled Esperanza, who was obviously distraught, away from everyone, Jacob included, since I told him I must speak with my wife privately. “You can no longer stay here, my beloved, and I mean as a professor with the university, too. You have been targeted twice so you must have full-time security, which you would have to hire, but I already have full-time security. Resign your position with the university tomorrow and stay with me at all times and we'll repair your house and sell it and move what needs to be moved. You told me once you couldn't marry me because in too short a time you would be burying me. Do not make me have to bury you! Do you understand me, Professor?”

Esperanza understood completely. She wrapped herself around me but asked, “Why are they doing this, Al? What have I done, what have we done together so threatening?”

I unwrapped and put her at arm's length and smiled contagiously. “What you and I and all the others have accomplished in our little Peace Garden is empower the powerless, to engage the disengaged, to enfranchise the disenfranchised, my beloved. Now, these people who had nothing have lives, are living and are beholden to no one. This is why you're a target, Esperanza. You have helped those who had been beaten down to rise up and make lives for themselves. They don't look to their masters for anything any more. They have become their own masters.”

I drove with our security crew to the university the next morning with Esperanza. Together we marched right into the Dean's office and she set down her resignation paper on his desk. “I won't be teaching here any more, Dean. I have other things to accomplish and I will accomplish all of them. I do not need a formal learning structure. I can teach without it.”

Once we flew to India a few days later, Esperanza never lived in America again, although she could move back after I'm gone. I certainly couldn't stop her. We moved all she wanted by freight to India, repaired her house at little cost since insurance covered most of it, and she sold her house and started all her various experiments in northern India. Of course, her family visited her frequently, all flying in a small turquoise blue private jet, with food service, although Michael was often thinking about the good old days when he had a sous chef and a hostess working for him full-time, since they hadn't once the “damned jet” arrived in Los Angeles.

- Just Desserts, Segment Forty-FiveAdvances and Retreats” by Gregory R. Schussele, © 2021

contact me, as always: schussprose@gmail.com