Teaser 349: Don’t Neglect Anyone in the Family

Esperanza let out a loud sigh. “No wonder you told me your head should be spinning. I never expected this!”

I shook my head slowly. “Chodak and I had to lie to protect the monks. The Chinese know nothing about their involvement. I had to create a story during our discussion after the bombing of your office. None wanted us to go through with it, Tanya, but they weren't scaring me off and I had to come up with something. I couldn't admit I impersonated a monk and traveled with several monks into a province of China, but I did admit about being in the bank, because I figured they were putting heat on Nyima, and they would eventually discover the money transfer, which they already had discovered. But I didn't lie when I said it was none of their business how I got to Barang and met up with Chodak. It is none of their business. While I never felt threatened for my life in the company of the monks, without them? Who knows? They protected me while I was there because they felt obliged to do so. I protect them now because I am obliged to do so. I may have failed to expose the truth in entirety, but I do not consider anything I have said or done during and after the trip into and out of Tibet to be anything but duty, from a full sense of honor and love.”

Tanya adopted her diplomatic demeanor when she asked, “Now that you have met an extra-terrestrial being, and I'm assuming it to be true, what do we human beings do about it? If it's true, we are frequently being invaded by extra-terrestrials, isn't it correct, Al?”

“You are correct, my beloved, and since you are a high-ranking diplomat from a major nation on this Earth, what do you do?” I watched Tanya shake her head in defeat. “There's nothing you can do, Tanya. These beings not from this world possess knowledge and technology millions of years advanced beyond our own. They have millions of years head start over us. There's nothing you can do. Some are still tracking. I didn't tell you, but they're still looking for descendants from the giants, the projections I told you about. This means there is extra-terrestrial DNA in the human population today and will remain so. The One, though, is the ultimate judge, the arbiter, and those of the One will intervene if necessary. This is the way it has been since infinity. Don't try to consider it too long. In only the last one hundred and fifty years, close to that, several mathematicians have gone completely insane trying to grapple with infinity. Never think you're special and can consider it, too. When I tell you your brain will explode take me at my word. You have a fragile brain. It can be mighty, perhaps the greatest tool ever created, but infinity will crush a human brain, yours included.” I glanced around the room, wearing a warm smile. “I'm hungry. Who wants to eat?”

We all ate a hearty late lunch, with Jinpa, Chodak's wife and his friend's wife cooking, and Lena and Esperanza helping to organize the kitchen and dining table, which was often how we conducted meals, mostly of a Tibetan style, and we ate a late dinner, a light salad for me, after which I told Jacob and Chodak to accompany me to the small library on the first floor. I advised both to get their drinks and whatever else. Heinz looked to me anxiously. “I will talk to you about all of this soon, Heinz, only you and me. I don't need Chodak or Jinpa to confirm anything with you, do I?”

Heinz immediately smiled. “Why would I, Al-Barrak? Your word is like gold to me.”

I glanced to Lance and Carla. “The two of you, Lance and Carla, I have come to consider part of my family, too, and I will share this with you both at some time. Consider the time, though, as a test, for I will not waste the time I will spend telling you should I think you'll leave soon anyway, and if you are truly committed to all of us, time will mean nothing to you. You will wait and do so patiently, for you know your time will come.”

I went about as long with Jacob as I did with my immediate family, although Jacob interrupted occasionally to ask questions and I answered diligently. After a minute or two while he sat back in his chair focusing on nothing, Jacob engaged my attention and stated, “First, you discover you are the subject of a prediction made over four hundred years ago, then you discover you are the subject of at least one and probably countless tribes from other worlds and they have been watching you. No wonder you don't want to share this publicly. You would be the laughing stock of the entire developed world!”

“The entire developed world doesn't matter to me, Jacob. What matters to me is what you think.”

“There has always been something drawing me to you, Al-Barrak, though it lay dormant most of my life. When I suddenly learned in one brief meeting the man in those movies, The True Cross and My Brother's Keeper, both of which I thought were great movies, and the man who walked into the rubble strewn street in Gaza to face down the Israelis was the exact same man who held me in his arms the first day I arrived in this world and whose picture my mother sent me with her last letter before she died, I knew it was no coincidence. There was a reason why all of it happened to me when it did and I was shaken when so many in the meeting considered you an enemy. After the briefest of research concerning you, I considered all of those people who claimed you were the enemy, they were in fact the enemy, and since I met you and have worked for you, I know the conclusion I reached about you is true and complete, for the more time I spend in your presence, you show me which decision is true and which is false.” Jacob was adamant and his expression only confirmed it. “Every day, Al-Barrak, I think how undeserving I am to be paid to be by your side. Of all the human beings I have ever met, not one reaches you. They all have their strengths and weaknesses, but when I compare all of them to you, every one of them comes up short. I don't consider what I do for you a job. I consider it a privilege.”

“I'll tell you how much I respect you, Jacob. I'm not even going to demand you never tell anyone what I told you, because you never will, not even when I'm dead and gone. You will never confirm or deny any of it. What I appreciate the most about you, my trusted friend, is you will always say, 'What was ever told to me by Al-Barrak shall remain forever between us. If you had meant to be there you would know. Since you were not there, you shall never know.'” Jacob smiled widely, appreciatively. “And, of course, you'll write your memoir about me, but you'll only include those events and conversations which occurred in the presence of others, and you'll get those others' permissions to do so, and they will, and it will be a best-seller, and you will be set for the rest of your life...” Jacob and Chodak laughed. I turned to Chodak. “You, too. Have at it, but...don't neglect anyone in the family, Heinz and his family, Carla, Lance, all my wives, Sofia, please stay together, stay in touch frequently, Brenda, Kaela, the pilots, Jim, Michael, my daughters, even my ex, the boys, Jennifer, they're all my family, they're all your family. We're all family. Never forget it!”

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

contact me, as always: schussprose@gmail.com